There have been times in the past where it seemed to be quicker to get a courier to fly in a file from abroad than waiting for the computer to download the electronic version. Patience is definitely not a virtue when it comes to broadband speeds and customer care. A garden snail could cross the finishing line quicker than my last broadband connection during which time the children next door, if in earshot, picked up a number of new and varied swearwords. So news that consumer guide Which? has carried out a study of around 2,000 people with around 50% saying they suffered slow speeds all the time or frequently, came as no big surprise.
Survey by Which? reveals consumers unhappy with Broadband provision
The survey did not state if they were urban, suburban or rural broadband users because in some parts of the countryside, even having a mobile phone signal is akin to Archimedes dropping objects into the bath and having a “Eureka” moment. Getting broadband at all for some of these consumers has long been a thorn in their rural sides, let alone the luxury of high speed downloads. However, Which? is now pressing for the broadband providers to guarantee the speed and service paid for by the consumer.
Ofcom site code of practice and other measures in place to help consumers
Ofcom say that there are measures in place to help consumers who have speed-related broadband problems (let us hope those people are not expected to download a complaints procedure and fill it in on line!) and that there is a voluntary code of practice in place for broadband providers. Duly noted, as sharp eyed readers of this blog will have pounced upon, is the word “voluntary”, and although this is the start of help for some consumers, companies are not obliged to sign up for it.
It is worth checking, however, if your broadband provider is one of the few that have committed themselves to this pledge. If they have, then you should have got information in writing, giving a written estimate of the broadband speed at the beginning of your contract. If you then get speeds that are significantly lower than those speeds, your provider has to let you leave your contract without any form of penalty. Which? are behind this code of practice but quite rightly, pushing for it to become mandatory, for providers to fix any speed problems and refund consumers for loss of this service. It remains to be seen if this will be the case but any campaign to speed up broadband has our backing.
If you have had problems with the speed of your broadband then let us know-we’re listening!