In the news today, it seems a survey has found that customer service levels from broadband suppliers are getting worse with customers spending an average 17minutes on the phone. I have to say I didn’t need a new story or survey to tell me that.

I recently left BT, after being tied into an expensive 18-month contract. My service went down on several occasions and when it did, I spent more than 25 minutes listening to a recorded message telling me that my call was important to them but I would have to wait. Once I actually got through to someone human, I found that they were in India and they had trouble understanding me and my problem – could it be the northern accent? Normally it took me about an hour to resolve whatever particular issue it was.

Is it just me who thinks that good quality customer service is now dead? Why are companies outsourcing their customer services to India to save cash, when the only differentiator from their competitors is their customer service? I think its shocking and its even worse that we the consumer actually put up with it but then what could we do?

I expect many companies and brands to start ditching the outsourced approach as customers start to move to suppliers who provide good quality customer service as well as good robust products.

I read a blog by Neville Hobson recently where he had unfortunately suffered similar problems with Virgin Media. Surprisingly, as Neville is a respected social networker he got a personal call from Virgin Media shortly after he had posted his comments on his influential blog.

I think there is a good indicator here that  power really is starting to swing back to us the consumers.

Thankfully Neville got his problem sorted quickly, but most of us aren’t that lucky or that influential.


If broadband companies want to sell their service to more consumers all they have to do is have good quality, speedy customer service and they will see the customers come flocking.

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.