Felix Geyr, O2 Head of Home and Broadband, talks about how today’s announcement by Ofcom should lead to improved clarity for customers and provide a better customer experience.
Today Ofcom have announced the findings of research into broadband speeds across the UK. At O2 we welcome this study and I am obviously pleased to see that O2 and our sister company Be Broadband have come out as the fastest of the DSL providers in the UK.
I believe that customers deserve transparency in terms of the line speed they will receive and that this announcement, about the revised voluntary speed code of practice, goes a long way to providing that.
In May we launched our Niggles and Narks campaign which aimed to highlight the common problems with broadband services and show ways that O2’s award-winning Home Broadband is improving the customer experience. I believe this new code strengthens those messages.
Currently when a customer calls up to join any broadband provider the ISP is required to give them an indication of the line speed they are likely to receive. In the vast majority of cases the customer gets accurate information.
The new code will mean ISPs have to give customers a range of speed they can expect. You may ask “where’s the accuracy there?”, but I believe this provides customers with more clarity around the variance in speed they may receive. At O2 if you buy broadband from us but we see you’re line speed is not what you were told it would be we will contact you to let you know and put you on to the package that is best for you. Why pay more if you don’t need to?
There will also be a requirement in the future to let customers leave, without penalty, if their service level is below the lower threshold for a period of more than three months.
At O2 Home Broadband, we believe that if your service isn’t what we sold you, or you can’t get the speed we stated then we will let you walk away, at no extra cost thanks to our 30-Day Happiness Guarantee. As part of the new code Ofcom have said customers should be allowed to leave if their speed is lower than expected for more than three months. It is a fact that line speeds can change so this announcement is certainly one that will benefit the customer.
I have said before though that it is time we start to think about what we use the internet for, rather than worrying about the speed we get down the line. If you only need to surf and send email then paying for a service that can deliver a lot more than that is not necessary. So, accurate speeds upfront and an understanding of customers needs are becoming more and more important.