Broadbandchoices.co.uk has revealed that over a third of us believe the most important aspect when it comes to choosing a broadband service is connection reliability, closely followed by connection speed.
Unfortunately, however, many of us are still not satisfied with the service we’re receiving. In fact, 39% of us say our broadband provider has not lived up to its claims. So what’s the biggest complaint?
Well, according to Broadbandchoices.co.uk, our number one gripe continues to be disappointment with connection speed, while customer service comes in second. Meanwhile, a third of us are unhappy with the reliability of our broadband connection.
So if you’re not happy with your broadband provider, how can you go about complaining? Here are nine top tips!
#1 Get organisedSort out your paperwork. Even if you’re currently happy with the service you’re receiving, it’s a good idea to keep your bills filed in chronological order and keep all correspondence between you and your provider. This will come in handy should you later need to complain.
#2 Approach your providerAlways approach your internet service provider (ISP) first with any complaints or problems and insist that they explain their official complaints procedure to you before you enter into a dispute.
#3 Get writingIf you want to complain, write to your provider to explain what the issue is and say you wish to start an official complaints procedure.
#4 Keep a call logMaintain a call log with all the details of each call that you’ve held with your ISP. The log should include the time and date of the call, as well as the name of the person you spoke with.
#5 Remember passwordsIt’s important to remember all of your passwords or keywords as your claim will lack credibility if you forget.
#6 Use bank statementsIt’s worth holding onto your bank statements and using them to add credibility to your claims – particularly if the issue is about a billing error.
#7 Be patientDon’t be impatient, angry or irritable when talking to your ISP. Be polite and don’t raise your voice. Ensure you’re talking to the right department and the correct people to deal with your complaint.
#8 Get confirmationIf any changes are made to your contract, or any verbal agreements are made over the phone, ask for written confirmation.
#9 Take it furtherIf, after eight weeks, there has been no resolution, contact an alternative dispute resolution organisation to get their advice on how to proceed. Good options are the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) and the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman (OTELO).
Improve your speed yourself!If you are getting a tad frustrated with the speed of your broadband and you haven’t yet got around to complaining, there are a few things you can do yourself to improve the speed of your broadband. So check out these five tips:
1) Upgrade your browserUsing a new browser can help to speed up the time it takes to download a webpage – perhaps switch to Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. Take a look at download.com for free downloads of the latest ones.
2) Reposition your routerWhere your router is positioned can affect your wireless connection. The signal they give out is affected by obstructions such as doors and walls, as well as sources of interference. So make sure you move your router to a place where there will be as few obstructions as possible.
3) Don’t share your connection!Make sure you’re not sharing your connection with unauthorised users as they will use up valuable bandwith. To do this you should ensure you have changed your wireless network name from the one given to you by the manufacturer to something more secure. This is likely to deter any hackers who want to tag onto your internet connection.
It’s also worth setting up a WPA (Wifi Protected Access) encryption if your hardware is compatible. At the very least you should have a WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) password which will mean that anyone wanting to access your network will have to enter a password first. However, this is relatively easy to crack, so you’ll be better off using WPA or WPA2.
4) Disable P2P softwareP2P software such as the BBC’s iPlayer should be disabled when it's not in use as it can run in the background and slow your computer down. Not only that, but it will use up your download allowance.
To do this, make sure that the boxes marked “peer-to-peer network participation” and “run Download Manager on Windows startup” are both unchecked.
5) Get closer to the faceplateIf your modem is far from the faceplate (the socket your modem connects to), your connection is likely to be weaker. This is because the standard wires used to connect it to the faceplate are usually quite poor.
Make sure your modem is as close to the broadband entry point in your home as possible. According to Broadbandchoices, if you're on an ADSL connection up to 8Mb, moving your modem closer to the faceplate can increase your internet speed by up to 3Mb.
If your computer is in a different room, it’s worth investing in a good quality Ethernet cable to connect your wireless router or PC to the modem.
Eight superfast broadband deals (24Mb+)Finally, if you’re really not happy with your current broadband provider, it may be time to switch to a better deal. So here are eight superfast broadband deals currently on offer:
| Provider & package || Maximum speed || Usage limit || Contract length || Monthly fee || Monthly line rental |
| Virgin Media Broadband XXL || 50Mb || Unlimited || 12 months || £33 for 3 months, then £38 || Not required |
| BE Unlimited (12 months) || 24Mb || Unlimited || 12 months || £17.88* || £11.54 if with BT** |
| Eclipse Internet Home Lite || 24Mb || 2GB || 12 months || £11.95 || £11.54 if with BT** |
| BE Pro (12 months) || 24Mb || Unlimited || 12 months || £21.97* || £11.54 if with BT** |
| Eclipse Internet Home Select || 24Mb || 50GB || 12 months || £19.95 || £11.54 if with BT** |
| BE Unlimited (3 months) || 24Mb || Unlimited || 3 months || £20.43 || £11.54 if with BT** |
| BE Pro (3 months) || 24Mb || Unlimited || 3 months || £24.52 || £11.54 if with BT** |
| Eclipse Internet Home Pro || 24Mb || 100GB || 12 months || £29.95 || £11.54 if with BT** |
**Line rental may be less from a competitor.
It’s also worth noting that the new BT Infinity deals are capable of speeds of up to 40Mb, but at the moment, they’re only available in certain areas. To find out when BT Infinity will be available where you live, click here.
Option 1 comes with a 40GB usage limit for £19.99, plus a £50 activation fee. Option 2 has unlimited usage and costs £24.99 a month. Both of these are 18 month contracts.
And don’t forget, you can compare a whole range of broadband deals with lovemoney.com partner Broadbandchoices.co.uk.