Ofcom has revealed that the majority of broadband companies are misleading customers about their broadband speeds when they sign up to the best broadband deals. According to Ofcom, broadband providers give the majority of their customers estimated speeds when signing up for a new broadband package. It is said that these estimates to not take into account the other factors which may influence the speed of service.
According to reports, only 17 per cent of new broadband customers were made aware that additional factors would significantly reduce the broadband speed available to them. During 2012, 19 per cent of new broadband customers were made aware of this fact, indicating that the problem is becoming worse, not improving. An Ofcom spokesman expressed his concerns that whilst other areas of service are improving, this particular area should not be neglected.
Broadband providers are being somewhat misleading with their sales tactics which aim to hook new customers into their best broadband deals. Providers often only refer to the top speed available when advertising their broadband speeds, which may not be a realistic reflection of the service that the customer will actually receive. If broadband providers want to adhere to guidelines, they should make it extremely clear to customers that this is only the speed “up to” which they can expect. Customers should be made aware that factors such as their wiring or appliances could affect the speed of their broadband.
Most new broadband customers are provided with an estimate speed when signing up to new packages, which indicates that the majority of these customers do not have realistic expectations about the service which they will get.
In order to investigate the situation, Ofcom sent out a few mystery shoppers to try out signing up to new broadband packages. Ofcom discovered that forty per cent of customers were provided with information about factors which can affect the speed of their broadband service.
The broadband providers which proved to be most honest with their customers regarding the best broadband deals and the speed that came with it were Plusnet, EE and Karoo. Each of these providers gave customers the required information on every single call.
Some of the worst performing broadband providers were O2 and Talk Talk. O2 only explained the speed range in 58 per cent of their calls, meaning that Ofcom urge customers to read between the lines when they sign up to the best broadband deals.