Consumer Focus Scotland is today calling on all broadband providers to follow the lead of Virgin Media by agreeing to publish details of the typical average speed customers receive each month.1
In response to new figures showing consumers are confused and frustrated by misleading broadband advertising, Douglas White, telecoms expert at Consumer Focus Scotland, said:
“Consumers are rightly sick and tired of signing up for broadband and then discovering that they are getting nowhere near the top speeds that are advertised. It is simply wrong that providers are promising speeds that only a fraction of their customers can actually use.
“This is a particular problem for many consumers in remote and rural parts of Scotland who are often further away from telephone exchanges and therefore experience a slower service.
“It is time for broadband providers to stop hiding behind headline grabbing promotions and come clean. Providers need to be honest and transparent about the speeds customers receive – only then will people know if they are getting a fair deal.”
Consumer Focus Scotland is also urging broadband customers to check the speed they are receiving through an independent website and compare it to what they are paying for. They should also work out what they actually use the internet for and make sure they are not paying for speeds they won’t ever need.
If people are unhappy with their broadband speeds, they should consider switching provider2 and complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority if their actual speed is slower than what was advertised when they signed up.
Notes to editors:
- Virgin Media has agreed to publish each month the average speed that a representative random sample of 66% of its customers receive across a 24 hour period. (embargoed Virgin news release attached)
- Recent new rules mean that people can leave their broadband contract within the first three months without penalty charges if their maximum line speed is significantly below the estimate they were given when they signed up and the ISP cannot solve the problem. After this time, people may face early termination fees if they try to leave their contract early.
- For details on average actual speeds compared to advertised speeds for different providers, see recent Ofcom research here.
- Think Broadband and ZDNet both have a broadband speed tester on their websites
- Consumers can search for the best deals at these Ofcom accredited price comparison sites Broadband Choices, Simplifydigital, Broadband.co.uk and Homephonechoices.co.uk
- Consumer Focus Scotland is rooted in over 30 years of work promoting the interests of consumers, particularly those who experience disadvantage in society. We work for consumers in all aspects of their lives: as tenants, householders, patients, parents, solicitors’ clients, postal service users, energy consumers and shoppers.
For more information please contact Ryan Norton, Communications Manager, on 0141 227 1852 or email@example.com