ISPreview Study Finds Broadband Providers with Bad Reputations Face Challenges
A new ISPreview.co.uk survey has reported that 64 Per Cent of UK internet users would not return to a broadband ISP that had previously caused them problems and 78 Per Cent would rather pay extra for a higher quality service than less for a cheaper solution. The results could spell trouble for two of the country's cheapest ISPs.
The study, which seems to illustrate the importance of quality and reputation to a business, also asked which ISP consumers would pick if they could have any broadband service from only the UK's biggest six providers (estimated by telecoms regulator Ofcom to account for more than 90% of the country's consumer broadband market).
Virgin Media - 30.5%
BT - 20%
Sky Broadband - 14.5%
O2 - 10.7%
TalkTalk - 5.2%
Orange - 1.4%
(I don't know - 17.5%)
ISPreview.co.uk claims that both of the bottom two providers, Orange UK (Everything Everywhere) and TalkTalk, have over the past few years suffered from a mix of well documented service problems and significant fixed line broadband subscriber declines. The study states that Orange UK in particular has fallen from a peak of 1,142,000 customers in 2007 to just 714,000 today and only recently (Q2-2012) started to show a small return to growth.
"Our survey appears to highlight the difficulty of rebuilding an embattled consumer reputation," said ISPreview.co.uk's Founder, Mark Jackson. "It further suggests that some providers might continue to face challenges in the future, especially with so many consumers being unwilling to give problematic ISPs a second chance. Indeed it's perhaps no coincidence that the two lowest rated ISPs are also among the markets cheapest."
"But such situations do not have to be terminal. Many well known brands have gone through periods of deep instability (e.g. Apple) and managed to come out smelling of roses. The key is to offer something that consumers really want, at least part of which usually involves being able to find the right balance between quality and price. Consumers are perhaps also more likely to stick with ISPs that remain competitive and reward them by sharing beneficial service or price changes."