O2 ranks highest in customer satisfaction for fixed and mobile internet

O2 ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among both fixed and mobile broadband internet service providers in the UK, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 UK Fixed Broadband ISP Customer Satisfaction Study and the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 UK Mobile Broadband ISP Customer Satisfaction Study.

The studies examine five factors that drive overall satisfaction with broadband internet service providers. The factors, in order of importance, are: performance and reliability; billing; cost of the service; customer service/technical support; and offerings and promotions.

The study shows that O2 ranks highest among fixed broadband internet service providers with a score of 767 on a 1,000-point scale, and performs particularly well in four of the factors driving satisfaction: performance and reliability; billing; cost of the service; and customer service/technical support. Sky (706) and Virgin Media (672) follow O2 in the rankings.

The study finds the number of service disruptions reported by customers in the previous 12 months declined to an average of 2.8 in 2008 from 5.9 in 2007. However, 62% of customers reported experiencing a service disruption in the previous 12 months, with 26% attributing the outage to a local exchange problem or heavy internet traffic.

Stuart Crawford-Browne, senior manager of service industries research at J.D. Power and Associates, stated: “Among customers, the proportion of complaints, compared with general inquiries, declined to 40% in 2008 from 52% in 2007, suggesting that ISPs have been working hard to improve their infrastructure. While it appears that service levels for fixed broadband are improving, the differences in satisfaction between the leading ISPs and other competitors indicate that some providers need to do more to retain their customers, who are hunting for value and quality service in tough economic times.”

Among mobile broadband internet service providers, O2 ranks highest again, with a score of 712. O2 performs well in all five factors driving satisfaction, said the survey. T-Mobile follows O2 in the rankings with a score of 683, and Vodafone ranks third with 655.

Satisfaction with mobile broadband ISPs tends to be lower than with fixed broadband ISPs. Additionally, mobile broadband customers report an average of 3.6 service disruptions in the previous 12 months, often due to poor reception and a busy network.

“The mobile broadband market is experiencing swift growth as a complementary service to fixed broadband—71% of mobile broadband customers also have fixed broadband services,” said Crawford-Browne. “However, with the rapid evolution of the mobile broadband segment, ISPs need to keep improving their offerings and service to stay competitive.”