A couple of weeks ago the BBC’s consumer affairs programme, Watchdog, revealed the results of a broadband consumer satisfaction survey based on five key factors: customer service, ease of set-up, cancellation, value for money, and reliability of service.
The top five providers were BT, Virgin, AOL Europe, Tiscali, and TalkTalk, whilst the worst five were Orange, TalkTalk, BT, Tiscali, AOL Europe.
As is usually the way with these surveys, the larger providers scored both high and low amongst different consumers.
There lies the problem, according to Brightview, the parent company of a number of Internet Service Providers.
It claims that the BBC based its results on the volume of voters, therefore making larger companies look better because they had more customers able to vote.
According to the company, their ISPs all received over 90% satisfaction, but that fact wasn’t acknowledged.
The Chief Executive of Brightview stated, “Basing the programme’s results on volume of voters was the supreme example of the BBC’s ineptitude at managing a very important survey on broadband providers. As Britain’s leading consumer affairs programme, it is Watchdog’s duty to inform the consumer, but by telling viewers that the “best” provider of broadband also features as one of the worst, it only confused the issue and failed to make use of some valuable consumer data. The BBC’s ridiculous handling of the survey did nothing to reflect customer opinion, and misled consumers into believing that a provider which achieved a customer satisfaction significantly below average is the best.”
The BBC defended the programme, saying that they had covered the performance of both Global Internet and Waitrose.com (which they did, as I saw the complete item)
The BBC’s results page does quite clearly state that the results are not intended to be a scientific statistical survey.
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