O2 and IDNet take top position in customer service survey

thinkbroadband.com has announced the results of the largest ever UK Broadband Survey on Customer Service. It seeks to recognise excellence in customer service and reliability from broadband service providers across both the large and niche markets.

Its findings, based on half a million visitor ratings, show that providers such as O2 are worlds apart from others such as Pipex, Tiscali and Orange. The research also shows that niche operators can provide high levels of customer service with the top two niche providers IDNet and Zen Internet being top of the class.

O2 has scooped the thinkbroadband gold award for customer service in a Large ISP while IDNet hits the top spot in the Niche ISP category. Thinkbroadband Customer Service Awards Winners (based on 500,000 visitor ratings from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008: Category: Large ISP; Gold – O2; Silver – Be Unlimited; Bronze – PlusNet. Category: Niche; Gold – IDNet; Silver – Zen Internet; Bronze – NewNet.

Sebastien Lahtinen, co-founder of thinkbroadband.com, stated: “The satisfaction levels achieved by O2 and Be Unlimited are exceptional for a company of their size. Often consumers only consider price and the infamous ‘up to’ speeds in selecting which broadband service to subscribe to. It is refreshing to see a supplier of some of the fastest services in the country maintaining customer service and reliability levels so high.”

Be Unlimited is part of the O2 Group and it is clear the service quality within the network is key to customer satisfaction. One possible reason for O2 beating Be Unlimited for the top spot may be the level of customer care from its UK-based call centre.

Peter Rampling, marketing director at Telefónica O2 UK, commented: “This is a fantastic endorsement of the focus we’ve had at O2 on the customer experience. In the relatively short space of time since we launched, we have firmly established O2 Home Broadband as the quality player in the UK market.”

The ‘niche provider’ categories include the small and mid-sized ISPs with between 2,000 and 10,000 ratings. The results show that small provider IDNet leads the way with an exceptional 87% customer service rating. Close behind is Zen Internet, one of the early adopters of ADSL and known quite widely for their good quality service. Zen has crept ahead of IDNet in the reliability statistics.

Also noteworthy is NewNet and Entanet, which are both well ahead of the rest of the field. Being relatively small providers allows them to really focus and deliver on customer service across the board, and it’s certainly setting new challenges for other larger operators. The Niche ISP winner IDNet and runner-up Zen achieved the highest customer service scores in the entire survey and with Zen Internet being one of the larger niche operators, it is expected that O2 will have a tough time maintaining their position in the future.

“We are humbled that our customers have rated us so highly” said Simon Davies, director at IDNet. “We fully appreciate that there are plenty of cheaper ISPs to choose from. We put all our energy into striving to provide a high quality service and, by delivering that, we can offer our customers better value for money than our price driven competitors” he added.