We believe it’s time for the broadband and mobiles industries to truly put the consumer first.
Innovations in telecoms have fundamentally changed the way we connect with those that matter most, shaping everything from our shared experiences to how we interact with the world and people around us. However, from patchy phone reception to the frustration of constant buffering, we believe there are still far too many needless frustrations consumers have to grapple with.
The government and industry is pushing ahead with plans to improve the UK’s infrastructure — which is great news for our future. But we passionately believe that as we progress from 4G and superfast fibre to 5G and ultrafast full fibre — and beyond — this must be a journey for everyone. We’re calling for the industry to give the facts, remove the hoops customers have to jump through and ensure everyone gets brought up to speed.
We're calling on the broadband and mobiles industries to put the consumer first by implementing these changes:
Knowledge is power — and we believe it’s time to put that knowledge in the hands of consumers so they can make informed decisions about which mobile and broadband service is going to work best for them. Too often the really useful information is presented, but not always in the easiest to find or most useful place. Instead of requiring customers to call up and ask, search multiple places online or dig out the T&Cs, if customers were being put first, we believe providers would surface these details so you’d be able to easily find and quickly see — at a glance — the information you care most about. We believe it is time for the telecoms industry to be more upfront when it comes to sharing the information that really matters, including:
We believe the industry can and should do better, and that this information should be made available up front and shared when consumers need it most: when they’re comparing which service is right for their home.
We believe mobile networks should share their coverage availability so consumers can see at a glance what networks will work best in their area.
We believe providers should offer end of contract notifications as standard.
Some providers do this already — we’d like to see this become the norm.
Giving consumers the facts is only the start of the battle. Ofcom recently laid out plans for text to switch for mobiles and auto compensation for broadband service outages and missed appointments, which are both wins for customers — but there’s still more to be done if the customer is to truly be put first.
We believe a similar scheme for telecoms services tying together the various different process could make a real difference to consumers and give more of us the confidence to move.
We hope the introduction of automatic compensation will act as a meaningful incentive for providers to work harder to keep you happy.
We think it’s time the broadband and mobiles industries followed suit, committing to allow consumers to cancel the way they joined.
The government has been pushing the idea of a full fibre future for the UK including committing some public money to upgrading our digital infrastructure. Superfast broadband is available to 95% of the premises in the country, and mobile networks cover 90% of the country geographically — but despite this, we still risk consumers being left behind.
It isn’t enough to put new masts up or new cables in the ground - consumers have to upgrade to them. New services should to be straightforward to buy, not cost prohibitive, and the benefits should be well communicated to ensure that as much of country can benefit from investment as possible.
Too many consumers suffer from broadband speeds that are slower than what they signed up for or are plagued by patchy coverage on their mobile. Our research shows that one in five people struggle with broadband speeds of less than 10Mbps on standard connections and half of consumers living in rural areas report problems making calls from their mobile while indoors, with one out of every five calls being patchy. Is there a better way?
We encourage providers to commit to entry-level fibre being kept affordable to ensure it is an attractive upgrade option.
We believe it is important the government sees through its plans to deliver the proposed Universal Service Obligation.
We’re calling on providers share property-specific broadband speeds to enable a more meaningful comparison of services.
While the benefits of investment in full fibre and 5G initiatives are unquestioned, the telecoms industry — regulators and providers alike — needs to ensure that consumers aren’t being left behind on this journey. They must never feel they’re paying for upgrades that they aren’t benefiting from, nor should consumers ever feel let down or be so frustrated that they lose faith in the good work happening to upgrade our infrastructure. By giving the facts and removing the hoops consumers have to jump through to purchase, access, upgrade or switch their broadband and mobile services, we will ensure that this is a journey for everyone. Trust and satisfaction amongst consumers will be improved and the industry could stand as a beacon of inspiration for a new kind of customer-first innovation.
Check your broadband speeds to see if your actual download speeds match the estimate you were given, and see how your speeds stack up against your neighbours to see if you could be getting faster fibre broadband.
Avoid paying out of contract prices by setting up a broadband and mobile contract reminder. Find out when it’s time for you to start looking at either recontracting with your current provider or finding a better broadband package for your household or a new mobile contract.
We’re working hard to raise awareness of these issues, set out the benefit of these changes, and push providers, the government and Ofcom to make them happen to improve things for you.
In the past, we’ve called for end of contract notifications, network coverage maps, property-specific broadband speeds and implementation of the Universal Service Obligation.
For media enquiries, contact our PR team.