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Negative word of mouth (WOM) for TV, home phone and broadband providers is higher than for many other sectors, a study has indicated.

Research conducted by Keller Fay UK suggests three million negative opinions are exchanged about the major five service providers - BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Plusnet - every day.

TalkTalk attracted 29 per cent negative WOM, almost three times the UK all-category average (ten per cent).

BT performed only slightly better, receiving negative comments in 26 per cent of discussions, with Sky next on 18 per cent and Virgin Media on 17 per cent.

Plusnet fared slightly better, seeing negative WOM in just ten per cent of discussions.

The company achieved the highest level of positive sentiment of all the providers - 58 per cent - but even this was down on the UK all-category average of 62 per cent.

"Cheaper, faster and more reliable home communications and entertainment are constantly sought by residential customers," Keller Fay UK noted.

"Those people involved in negative conversations cite ‘having a bad experience with a supplier’ as the main trigger to the discussion, with conversation content focused on expensive prices, bad service and - in consequence - advice on changing provider."

The firm noted that, naturally, a positive brand or service experience has the opposite effect, and drives a "more positive dialogue".

Steve Thomson, Managing Director of Keller Fay UK, said providers in the TV, home phone and broadband sector are "struggling to achieve positive buzz" for their services in the current environment.

"But consumers will give praise where it is due, and the best performers in the sector attract significantly more brand advocacy than their competitors," he added.

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