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Broadband providers risk alienating consumers for good if they fail to deliver high levels of customer service, a new study has suggested.

Research conducted by indicated that almost two-thirds (63.6 per cent) of consumers would never return to a broadband provider they had experienced problems with.

Some 29.2 per cent of consumers said they would consider contracting with the company again, but just 7.1 per cent said customer service issues would definitely not affect their choice.

The study is likely to alarm broadband providers - particularly those which have experienced service problems in the past.

A number of UK providers have suffered network outages in recent years, causing varying lengths of service downtime for their customers.

Other firms have experienced problems with billing issues and the migration of customers from one company to another.

In the study, a mere 21.6 per cent of respondents said they would be prepared to sacrifice quality for a cheaper price, suggesting service levels are all-important for many consumers.

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