A new poll says almost half of us aren’t happy with our broadband speed. No wonder, the speed we get in reality bears no relation to what we’re promised in adverts.
The survey comes shortly after telecoms regulator Ofcom found that many internet service providers weren’t living up to the spirit of the broadband speed code of practice. This code was designed to make sure that people were told the speed they were likely to get when they signed up for a broadband package.
Oh, why are we waiting?
Ofcom’s come up with some new proposals – but, frankly, we’re a bit fed up with waiting here at Which? We showed in 2007 that consumers weren’t getting their promised broadband speed. Ofcom then found the same thing.
Ofcom introduced a voluntary code of practice in 2008 – and it’s this that Ofcom has found some ISPs aren’t sticking to. But this is three years after we raised the problem.
So how long do we have to put up with this? Three years after we showed consumers were being promised one thing and given another, there’s not been enough action. In any other industry there would be two words for this: RIP OFF.
What we want to change
There’s one key change we want – allowing consumers to end their contracts if what they get isn’t what they were promised. ISPs would then have an incentive to tell the truth, or else watch their customers go elsewhere.
At the moment, you’re locked into your contract (typically for a year) even if you’re not getting what you expected.
Ceri Stanaway, our broadband expert at Which?, had these words of warning for ISPs:
“UK broadband users aren’t asking for the earth – just for a little honesty from our ISPs. Surely it’s in broadband providers’ best interests to be realistic and open about the speeds we should expect. Otherwise they run the risk of unhappy customers who’ll ditch them at the soonest opportunity because of broken promises.”
So come on Ofcom – stop time wasting and start regulating.
[UPDATE JUNE 11 2015] How new Ofcom boss says she’ll improve services for you.