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The number of complaints made about internet service providers (ISPs) fell during the first half of the year, it has been revealed.

Consumer Direct, an advisory service managed by the Office of Fair Trading, received 6,256 complaints regarding broadband suppliers between January and June 2009.

That was enough to represent a drop of 16.18 per cent compared with the same period last year and see ISPs fall from seventh to tenth in the list of consumer complaints.

To put this figure in perspective, Consumer Direct found that second-hand car sales from independent dealers were the top source of anxiety for consumers, leading to 24,672 complaints in the six-month period.

While one in three complaints registered by the organisation were about defective goods, only a quarter concerned poor-quality service levels.

Consumer minister Kevin Brennan said: "We want to empower consumers so that they are confident about their rights when buying goods and services in shops and via the internet."

Last week, Ofcom urged ISPs to ensure they remain focused on rolling out high-speed broadband services despite the government's universal service commitment of 2Mb for all by 2012.

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