It’s a heart-slumping moment when you realise you can’t connect to the internet or your broadband speeds are struggling.
Sometimes, there are simple fixes to resurrect a troubled Wi-Fi router yourself, but other times the technical issues might be out of your hands, and you'll need quick assistance.
There are plenty of other personal, or financial reasons where a helpful customer service department can make the world of difference, such as dealing with illness, bereavement or financial problems.
Over the course of this page, we’ll:
- List the providers we think are offering great customer service
- Give you tips on how to spot whether a provider is struggling to stay in the game when it comes to customer satisfaction
- Explain what to do if you’re experiencing poor customer service from your current broadband provider.
Read on for more information about how to find the most helpful broadband provider.
Which are the best broadband providers for customer service?
If you’re looking for the best broadband service for customer care on Broadband Genie, we think you’ll do great with a Plusnet package.
Plusnet broadband scored an impressive 70.8% satisfaction level for ‘Best Customer Care’ in our 2023 Broadband Awards. It also came up as the ‘Best Value For Money’, and we had no hesitation to crown it the ‘Best Provider’ in 2023.
In its 2023 Customer Service Report, telecoms regulator Ofcom also found Plusnet to have a higher satisfaction rating overall.
With the average broadband satisfaction level sitting at 82%, other notable providers who scored well included:
Call waiting times
Hanging on the phone is undoubtedly one of the more frustrating parts of dealing with broadband customer service. Out of all of these top ranking ISPs, EE was the quickest to pick up a call for complaints handling, with lower than average call waiting times.
EE, Sky and Plusnet customers were also the most likely to recommend their provider to a friend.
Which broadband provider gets the most complaints?
In the same 2023 Customer Service Report, Ofcom found Shell Energy Broadband to have received the highest number of complaints compared to the industry average. Unfortunately, it also had the longest call waiting times out of all the broadband companies.
Meanwhile, in our Home Broadband Survey, Broadband Genie customers ranked Direct Save as the least impressive when it came to good customer service.
Which broadband provider has the worst satisfaction level?
Ofcom found TalkTalk and Virgin Media Broadband to have the lowest levels of satisfaction when it came to complaints. They both also had some of the highest percentages of customers with a reason to complain out of all the internet service providers (ISPs) in the survey.
|Highest customer service satisfaction||Plusnet|
|Recent complaint numbers||Sky Broadband|
|Lowest call waiting times||NOW Broadband|
|Best small provider for customer service||Cuckoo Broadband|
|Best satisfaction for speed||Zen Internet|
|Best Openreach provider with good customer service||Plusnet|
|Best provider with no setup fee||Sky Broadband|
How to tell whether a provider gives good customer service
We’ve mentioned some of the providers who are currently winning and losing when it comes to broadband service in formal Ofcom reports. We’ve also picked out the stars from our own Home Broadband Survey.
However, service levels change all the time and there are lots of factors that might have an influence on how much support is available. So, are there any other good ways to spot whether you’ll get good or bad customer service?
Here are a few things you might want to look out for:
This is a good way to test the water to see how responsive a provider is to its customers. Just be aware, that generally customers may seem more curt or dissatisfied, especially as a character limit might make it harder to get a complex point across. In short, you might want to take some complaints with a pinch of salt.
Head to your provider’s main webpage, and you should be able to find a quick link to an X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Instagram profile.
Unfortunately, Twitter has made it difficult to read through feeds now without signing up. Thanks, Elon!
The go-to site for checking up on how customers feel about the service they’ve received. A good provider won’t hide this away. A Trustpilot score is a strong indicator as to how well a company is coping with its customer service at the moment. You’ll also be able to see how the company responds to criticism.
If you’re worried about a particular topic, you can use the ‘filter’ tool to search for keywords in reviews. This is great way to quickly spot if customers are having issues with slow customer service response times, billing issues, download speeds or other technical mishaps.
We’re proud to blow our own trumpet. Broadband Genie currently has a fantastic score of 4.7 on Trustpilot!
Check out the customer service pages
We recommend everyone looks through a provider’s help centre and ways it allows customers to get in touch. Do this before you sign a contract. Is all the information clear? How is the provider asking customers to get in touch for different issues? Is there an obvious phone number or live chat? Or are you stuck in a loop on an FAQ page? See how easy the website is to navigate.
You’ll find quick links to customer service details on our provider pages.
Broadband Genie Provider Reviews
We’ve put together thorough reviews for many providers on the broadband market. We regularly update these to include the most up-to-date information we can, including information on tariffs, bundled TV services, upfront fees and a summary of the latest ADSL, fibre and full fibre products available. We’ve looked into the customer service levels for each broadband provider review too.
We reassess these scores at least twice a year.
What does ADSL mean?
ADSL stands for ‘Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line’. It’s broadband technology that allows the transfer data across regular telephone lines. You can make calls at the same time as being connected to the internet.
An ADSL line will, at minimum, allow for a broadband connection of up to 8Mb. These days, that’s pretty slow and won’t allow you to do much other than emailing or basic web searches.
ADSL2+ is now available at nearly all exchanges across the UK with slightly faster data transfer rates of around 10-11Mb.
What’s the difference between ‘fibre’ and ‘full-fibre’ broadband?
Full Fibre broadband is also known as ‘Fibre To The Premises’, ‘Fibre To The Home’. This is often shortened to FTTP or FTTH. They’re all the same thing!
Instead of copper telephone wire making up the final part of the journey from that green cabinet on the street, fibre optic cables are installed right up to your home.
It’s amazing the difference in speed this small data journey can have. With full-fibre broadband you can expect to receive speeds of 1Gb+.
The downside is full-fibre is only available to a small percentage of homes in the UK, and it’s taking a good while to get everyone up to speed.
How to complain about a provider if you’re not receiving good customer service
Our advice is to keep a paper trail of any issues you may be trying to resolve. Save or tag your emails and ask for transcripts of phone calls and live chat conversations.
Many of the larger providers, as well as smaller networks such as Zen Internet and Hyperoptic have signed up to Ofcom’s Voluntary Code of Practice for automatic compensation if things go wrong. If not, then you can always resort to an Ombudsman.
For more detailed help on this, visit our guide: ‘How to complain about broadband’.
Signing up to a lengthy contract with a broadband provider can seem quite daunting. As well as hoping you’re going to get great value for money and a decent, speedy and reliable broadband connection, you’d be right in assuming you can rely on good customer service if anything goes wrong.
Whether your problems are technical, financial, or personal, getting a speedy and friendly resolution can make a huge difference to how you feel about your broadband package.
Before you sign a contract, take the time to research the providers. First of all, we recommend carrying out a comparison search. To find the best broadband deals available at your property, you can pop your postcode or address into our deals checker.
Broadband Genie deals checker
Use the filters to find the top three deals that suit you. You’ll be able to change the results depending on important factors such as monthly price, contract length and average download speed. Then make a note of the providers who appear at the top of your list.
You can read our provider reviews for a quick customer service summary. But we also recommend diving in a little deeper to check out how the provider is currently dealing with customers on its social media pages and Trustpilot.
Take some time exploring the helpdesk sections of a provider’s website, too. How easy does it look to get in contact if you’re having trouble? Is there a clear contact number, online form or live chat available? It may seem painstaking when all you want is a fab fibre connection, but all this preparation work could save you a lot of time and hassle in the future!
Why do we need your address?
We need your address to show you the broadband deals available at your home. This information is gathered in partnership with thinkbroadband.