Low marks for BT and TalkTalk in broadband test

16 May 2012

A young lad, using the internet

Mysterious, clandestine mystery shoppers have carried out a test or two at the behest of Ofcom, so we can all find out about the way ISPs are going about their broadband business.

The findings show that providers aren't very good at informing us about our broadband speeds. Of course, some are pretty upfront about the maximum and minimum speeds, but some are dropping the internet-shaped ball somewhat.

The worst offenders are TalkTalk and BT who are offering customers little more than an estimate speed without prompting from the customer. This is obviously awful behaviour and we should bring back hanging. Other providers guilty of this behaviour were Karoo, Sky and Plusnet.

Naturally, the problem here is that there's usually quite a big difference between actual speeds and those estimated. This is all part of the problem with offering speeds of 'up to...' and campaigners are trying to get this sorted out. It goes without saying that there's loads of reasons why we all get differing broadband speeds, such as the distance a user lives from the exchange.

Either way, changes are afoot. Both TalkTalk and BT have agreed to change their processes.

"We strongly support the Ofcom speed code of practice and ensure that anyone who buys BT broadband gets a personalised speed quote before they are committed to purchase," said a BT spokesman. "Ofcom has suggested we should make a minor change to mention the speed quote earlier in the sales conversation, which we are happy to do and will implement straight away."

Ofcom have noted that; "It is vital that as the choice of broadband services expands, UK consumers get the best possible information when choosing a broadband provider." But can they do enough to stop ISPs acting like fibbing berks? We'll have to wait and see.

TOPICS:   Technology   Broadband


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