An Internet satisfaction survey conducted by consumer advocacy group CHOICE has found that Australians have been dogged by disconnections, drop-outs, connection issues and slow speeds over the last six months, with Telstra and Dodo the worst offenders.
The survey found that 62% faced problems with their ISPs in the last six months. Of these 81% had problems with speed and reliability.
It also found that 83% of those on ADSL or cable who encountered problems found these had to do with speed, variable performance or connections.
And 76% of NBN-connected consumers who encountered problems mentioned that these had to do with slow connections, disconnections or drop-outs.
“Our satisfaction survey asks ADSL, cable and NBN customers to rate their Internet retailer on connection speed, reliability, value for money, bill clarity, ease of set-up, customer support and technical support,” said CHOICE chief executive Alan Kirkland.
“Although Internet service providers such as Dodo might spruik ‘superfast broadband’ in reality most Aussies who reported an issue with the NBN complained about slow speeds and connection issues.”
The survey found that as far as overall satisfaction was concerned, Internode (81), iiNet (78), iPrimus (75), Optus (75) and TPG (74) all got scores that were above average.
Telstra (70) and Dodo (69) came in below par. “For Telstra, value for money (66), customer support (69) and technical support (69) dragged its score down,” CHOICE said.
“For Dodo, connection speed (67), having a reliable connection (69), customer support (66) and technical support (67) dragged its score down.”
Kirkland said: “To make matters worse, some of the slowest providers also scored poorly when it comes to value for money and customer and technical support.
“Telstra’s poor ranking on value for money is not surprising given CHOICE’s investigation last year, which found consumers aid up to a 92% price premium to access Telstra’s network.
“Although some higher cost telcos point to the value of their offer coming from an array of bundled extras, like content or a landline phone, our research found bundled services were the least important factor for selecting an internet service provider.
“Overwhelmingly, consumers place importance on a reliable (95%) and speedy (94%) connection and value for money (94%).
“With so many Australians experiencing issues with their Internet service, we want to get to the bottom of speed issues to make sure people can expect to get what they pay for.
“In line with this, we have joined forces with technology testing company Enex TestLab to gather information on actual broadband speeds experienced by consumers across the country.
“If you have an NBN connection and would like to join our project to monitor service provider broadband speeds, we want to hear from you.”
A total of 1910 consumers were surveyed between 8 May and 24 May with fieldwork conducted by Research Now. The participants were asked to rate ISPs on a seven-point scale range from terrible to excellent.
Enex TestLab, which also helped in the survey, has used eMetric devices to independently test, monitor and report privately on broadband performance by most ISPs to various stakeholder programmes, mostly government, since 2004.
Graphics: courtesy CHOICE.
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