Published: 10th Feb 2014
Some 38 million complaints about products or services were made in the UK last year, according to new figures from Ombudsman Services. That's a lot of complaining and the internet is one of the main things Brits were unhappy with in 2013.
The web accounted for 14 per cent of total complaints, which works out at around 5.3 million unhappy customers. It's clear from these statistics there is considerable room for improvement when it comes to the UK's broadband services.
Indeed, the latest complaints data from Ofcom shows the number of customer grievances with the nation's leading internet service providers (ISPs) increased in the third quarter of 2013. Some 0.22 complaints were recorded for every 1,000 customers, which was up from 0.18 in the second quarter.
The telecoms watchdog found Orange/EE was the most complained about internet service provider during the period, attracting 0.45 complaints for every 1,000 consumers - more than twice the industry average. BT and TalkTalk also attracted an above-average level of grievances.
It seems there is a significant level of dissatisfaction with the UK's broadband services, but what are the common issues that lead to complaints?
The most well-known problem that affects broadband users is poor performance caused by slow connection speeds. This can lead to all sorts of issues like being unable to upload and download files, struggling to stream video content online or, in the worst cases, web pages not opening or taking a very long time to do so.
Slow speeds can be caused by a number of factors. In some cases the broadband technology in use is simply not capable of delivering a faster service, while in other instances the number of users may slow a network down. Issues like this mean people's connections often fail to reach the numbers advertised by ISPs.
Another issue is internet outages, also known as downtime. This can cause problems, as it may mean people lose things they were working on online and can also be plain annoying, as users are unable to access the web when they want to.
Outages can occur for numerous reasons, ranging from technical faults to the impact of bad weather conditions.
Lack of coverage
The problems listed above can happen anywhere, but tend to be most common in rural and remote areas where broadband coverage is less developed and not as reliable. Naturally, this is a major problem for people living in such places as they are unable to fully enjoy the benefits of internet access in the same way as their urban counterparts.
While no broadband service is entirely immune from the issues discussed above, Avonline's Tooway satellite broadband can significantly reduce the chances of them occurring, particularly in rural and remote locations.
This service is designed to reach speeds of up to 20 Mbps and the fact the connection is provided by satellite means it guarantees the same level of service anywhere in the country regardless of location. Satellite broadband is also not shared with other households, thus the chance of speeds being dragged down by fellow users are reduced.
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