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UK broadband costs more now but issues are widespread, finds Which?

UK flag and fibre optic cables

The consumer rights organization, Which?, has found that despite recent price hikes for broadband, customers are still “plagued” by connection problems. In its latest survey, it got feedback from 4,000 broadband customers and found that 53% of those had experienced connection issues in 2022.

Jumping on the inflation bandwagon, broadband providers in the UK have been hiking prices. According to Which?, people are now paying 14% more for “mediocre services”, following the April price rises.

While 47% of people hadn’t noticed broadband issues on average, for individual companies things get much worse. Only 32% of Sky customers, 35% of Virgin Media customers, and 37% of EE customers didn’t have to report any issues to their provider.

Out of the major providers, BT fared best with 49% of customers not experiencing issues. It was beaten by Hyperoptic, Shell Energy Broadband, and Utility Warehouse as half or more than half of their customers didn’t experience any problems with their broadband in 2022.

The most common issue, according to respondents, was frequent connection dropouts, which were experienced by 19% of those asked. The second most common issue was slow connection speeds, this affected 17% of people.

Other reported issues were slow upload and downloads (15%), router problems (14%), and losing internet for more than one hour (14%). 12% of respondents experienced slow or disrupted streaming while listening to music or watching videos and 8% lost internet for more than a day.

To make matters worse, 11% said they found it difficult to get in touch with their provider or to get the issue resolved and 44% said they had experienced some kind of customer service issue.

Which? advises that if you’re out of contract then you should try switching to a better provider. Unfortunately for people in a contract, it may not be possible to leave without paying a hefty exit fee.

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