As the UK’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government settles into No. 10, and the electorate hopes for the much promised change, all eyes will be on what the coalition will achieve in their first 100 days in office. New research from a recent O2 and Populus survey suggests that the new government may want to begin addressing the smaller issues, as opposed to the larger long-term ones, if they want to keep the British electorate happy in their first few months.

The survey, which was carried out just before the general election on 3rd May 2010, coincides with the launch of O2’s new Niggles and Narks advertising campaign which aims to tackle some broadband frustrations such as slow connections and lack of friendly customer support. It reveals that it’s not the big issues such as NHS waiting times, investment in public transport or job cuts that frustrates the UK on a day-to-day basis but the smaller daily frustrations such as slow internet connections, potholes in roads and unfriendly customer service. 

Out of the 2,040 responses, 41% stated that they find slow internet connections their biggest daily frustration, well ahead of the 14% of people that stated NHS waiting times as the biggest frustration. Further to this, 36% said that unfriendly customer support was their biggest daily frustration compared to the 26% who said crime and the 18% of respondents who stated job cuts as theirs. With nearly all of the respondents (73%) stating that they would be pleased if the new coalition government solved these problems in their first 100 days, maybe it’s time for the government to create a new position in the cabinet – the ‘Minister of Minor Issues’ – to keep the British electorate happy.

Whilst O2 can’t help with job cuts and hospital waiting times, as a result of the Niggles and Narks campaign O2 hopes to ease the frustrations of thousands of broadband users across the UK.

Felix Geyr, Head of O2 Home Broadband, says: ‘It’s clear from this poll that the British public is getting increasingly frustrated with the UK’s broadband services. As the new government comes in, and it looks to get the UK online and connected by 2020, we think that now is the time for all ISP’s to change their ways and try to eliminate as many of these daily frustrations for our customers as we can. The Niggles and Narks campaign is built around listening to the consumer, and what frustrates them. O2 are constantly striving to make our award winning broadband service even better and think that Niggles and Narks will only help emphasise this to the UK’s broadband users.’

The Niggles and Narks campaign features a series of animated characters that portray customer’s daily broadband frustrations. It recognises the frustrations of broadband users across the UK who struggle with slow connection speeds, hidden costs and lack of customer support on a daily basis. As O2 seeks to continue listening and gain consumer insight it will be having conversations with broadband users through social networks over the coming months.

The launch of the Niggles and Narks campaign builds on the successful launch of O2 Home Broadband in 2007 and more recently O2 Home Phone. O2’s Home Broadband recently came top in 10 of 11 categories in the uSwitch Broadband Customer Satisfaction Awards. O2 was also ranked highest in customer satisfaction, for the second year running, for both UK mobile and fixed broadband customers according to the J.D. Power and Associates UK Mobile and Fixed Broadband Studies 2010. O2 has also been also just been awarded Best Technology Services Provider at the Which’ Awards 2010.

Key findings include:

  • Potholes in the road (49%), anti social behaviour (42%) and slow internet connection (41%) emerged as the UK’s biggest daily frustrations
  • Crime (26%), job cuts (18%) and hospital waiting times (14%) emerged as the lesser frustrating issues
  • 55% of respondents stated that high council tax made them very frustrated on a daily basis with litter on the street coming in with 52%.
  • 96% of respondents would be pleased if their everyday frustrations were solved by the new Government in their first 100 days in office.


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