Consumer confidence in the UK's broadband providers is continuing to increase, relative to other organisations, according to the results of a new study.
Research conducted by insight agency Brandspeak indicates that internet service providers (ISPs) are held in higher regard than many other businesses and public institutions in the UK.
Over 2,000 people were questioned on their attitudes towards broadband providers and other companies, with Vodafone, Orange, O2, 3 and T-Mobile among those considered in the study.
Some 80 per cent of respondents said they believe O2 is committed to the fair treatment of its customers, with Orange also performing well with a score of 73 per cent.
A third of respondents said broadband providers treat their customers "very fairly", which was far in advance of the five per cent who said the same about the government.
The banks also came in for fierce criticism – perhaps understandable given their role in the economic downturn – with 36 per cent saying finance providers are less than fair in the treatment of the consumer.
While 44 per cent of respondents said ISPs have become more committed to their customers in recent times, just 24 per cent said the same about the banks.
According to Brandspeak, more people are placing trust and confidence in the telecoms industry rather than more traditional institutions.
As a consequence of this, they run the risk of being usurped by mobile and broadband providers who are deemed to be putting their customers first, the agency said.
Jeremy Braune, Managing Director of Brandspeak, commented that the telecoms industry is still "relatively young" compared to financial and governmental institutions.
He added: "However, in terms of their products, their pricing and their operational delivery, they have shown a willingness and ability to adapt to the needs of the consumer in a way that some other sectors have not.
"Retailers have actually been promoting fairness on the consumer's terms for years, and this is beginning to pay dividends in consumer response."
Last month, research conducted by Satmetrix indicated that Virgin Media and Sky are the ISPs most likely to be recommended by their own customers.