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Consumer complaints about the service offered by UK ISPS were up significantly last year, new data has revealed.

Figures from the government's official advisory body Consumer Direct show that per 13,536 complaints were received by the service last year.

This represents a rise of 43 per cent from the 9,436 letters, emails and phone calls expressing customer dissatisfaction with ISPs received in 2006.

The rise in complaints for broadband providers came as part of an 18 per cent increase in the total number received across UK industry.

Michele Shambrook, operations manager for Consumer Direct, said: "The rise in complaints in 2007 reflects, in part, a growing awareness of the service among the general public as well as an increasing willingness among consumers to complain when they buy unsatisfactory goods or receive poor service.

"Consumers are finding that by arming themselves with information about their rights, they stand a better chance of resolving problems with shops and traders."

News of the figures comes as telecommunications watchdog Ofcom last month confirmed it is to scrutinise "hidden charges" on broadband bills, which are likely to have been a major source of consumer disgruntlement.

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