When signing up to a broadband deal, reviews should be part of your research. Our clear, unbiased reviews of broadband providers help give you an indication of the speeds, customer service and other aspects you can expect from different providers.
When reading broadband reviews, there are a number of factors you should look out for that will give you the best idea of the service and performance you can expect from each provider. While it might seem like most reviews refer solely to customer service, it’s important to dig a little deeper to see which providers tick as many boxes as possible, from customer service to cost to connection strength:
The stability of a connection can vary greatly from provider to provider and from area to area. To be sure that the provider you’re looking at is right for you, keep an eye out for any reviews about network coverage and strength, especially if you live in a rural area. Some providers offer stable, fast connection in urban areas, but performance drops the further out you get into the countryside, so be wary of providers reviewed negatively for their service in remote areas if this is something that would impact your home.
Even the best providers will sometimes hit snags. Small faults will usually be relatively easy to fix, but if you ever encounter a larger issue with your connection, it’s important to know that you can trust your provider to help you get connected again quickly and easily.
The nature of the support team can hugely impact the service you receive: some broadband providers outsource their support teams to customer service agencies both in the UK and abroad, while others boast dedicated UK-based teams. While outsourced support may offer larger teams with quicker response times, smaller local teams may be able to offer more personalised support.
Some providers also offer 24/7 support, while others may only operate a few hours a day. Customer service contact methods may vary from provider to provider too, with some offering social media, text and online chat support in addition to the traditional post, email and helpline options.
Most online customer reviews for broadband providers tend to focus on the customer service experience, and they give a good idea of the professionalism, promptness, and precision offered by a provider’s support team.
By checking out online reviews, you’ll get an idea of how much time you’ll need to invest in getting issues sorted: a key pain point for many customers. Whether you want to know how long waiting times are, whether or not the customer service representatives are attentive and easy to communicate with or how quickly you can expect issues to be resolved, reviews can help.
Ensuring your provider offers strong, reliable customer service is crucial, as should things go wrong, you don’t want to be waiting hours or even days to get back online.
There are a lot of factors that can affect the broadband speeds you receive, and not every household using the same provider will receive the same speeds. The speeds advertised by providers are usually based on the average download speeds available to at least 50% of customers during peak hours. When looking through broadband provider reviews, keep an eye out for feedback on speeds. You should always be quoted a minimum speed at your point of sale, in accordance with Ofcom rules.
Staying online shouldn’t be a complicated task, so you should always consider the sign-up, admin and account management processes of each provider when choosing your broadband. Customer reviews should offer a good idea what’s involved and how much you’ll need to do to stay connected.
Some providers allow easy account management and bill payments through apps and online portals, while others may be a little more involved. Look out for providers that are reviewed well for their account management systems and offer the most efficient and straightforward service for customers.
In the same vein, make sure the installation process for your broadband is quick and easy, and, preferably, free. Be sure to look out for broadband reviews that note that installation was complicated or costly. A good broadband provider should be able to get you hooked up in just a few days, without the need for an engineer visit, although this will depend on the type of broadband you choose and the equipment connected to your home. Regardless, make sure you choose a provider that keeps customers satisfied when it comes to installing broadband.
A good internet connection is very dependent on the router you use. It’s all good and well being on the very best ultrafast fibre plan, but you won’t benefit from it unless your router can handle it. In most cases, you’ll receive a router specific to your broadband plan, which may be offered free of charge by some suppliers.
If you’d prefer to use a third-party router, you’ll need to ensure that it’s compatible with the connection you’re receiving. You will be able to find specific reviews for the routers offered by major providers, and these will give you a good indication of the performance you can expect. Generally speaking, the router provided should always be able to give you reliable access to your connection.
Reviews should offer a good idea of how open and honest a broadband provider is with its customers. Some providers have been criticised for withholding information, hiding certain costs, or changing pricing or plans without properly notifying customers. You should look for providers who are fully trusted by their customers, and look out for reviews and complaints about unexpected fees or account changes.
The crux with customer reviews is that, while they are still absolutely valid, customers are far more likely to publicise negative reviews than positive ones. If a customer has an issue with the service they receive, they may leave a bad review in hopes of building awareness or resolving the issue quicker, whereas satisfied customers often aren’t as inclined to leave reviews unless they receive exceptionally great service.
What this means is that for many major broadband providers and companies in general, negative reviews far outweigh the positives despite providing reliable broadband to millions of homes. This by no means indicates that you should completely avoid these providers. Instead, look closely at the negative reviews and decide if you think the issues cited may be something that could be an issue across the board, or if perhaps the customer may have higher expectations than you. One person with unrealistic expectations, for example, shouldn’t be considered a true reflection of the company as a whole.
Outside of customer review sites like Trustpilot or Feefo, you should always look at official review sites which will provide a more structured, data-based approach to assessing broadband providers. Money.co.uk reviews are based not only on customer feedback, but also on performance stats, and using wider knowledge of each and every offer available, they can provide more accurate comparisons between providers than a customer review might.
Always consider official review sites alongside customer reviews, and be sure to check Ofcom reports for the most accurate data and information not only on performance but on customer satisfaction too. The breadth of Ofcom reports covering everything from the average call waiting times for customer support to how closely speeds received match those advertised. Ofcom release regular reports on broadband providers that paint perhaps the most reliable picture of what you can expect.
Combining real customer feedback with accurate performance data and consider all of the above factors (or as many as is feasible) to find a broadband provider that you can count on.