Is your ISP the worst in the UK?

The latest Which? broadband satisfaction survey has revealed the best and worst ISPs. Is yours among the latter?

Tuesday, 2 May, 2023

Over the last 65 years, Which? magazine has been the scourge of lackadaisical manufacturers, shoddy service providers and incompetent retailers.

Their broadband industry surveys provide one of the few impartial tools to differentiate the best and worst ISPs in today’s marketplace.

If you’re shopping around for a new contract and want to avoid dodgy connections, poor service or a lack of available ISP engineers, broadband studies make compelling reading.

And while consumers always benefit from insights into individual ISP performance, a few providers would doubtlessly prefer to hide their ineptitude away from the public gaze…

Talking a good game

Despite the promises made in marketing campaigns and contract literature, some ISPs fall short of consumer expectations.

TalkTalk propped up Which?’s broadband satisfaction survey table of the best and worst ISPs, with an average customer score of 51 per cent.

They received one-star ratings for line speed, technical support and customer service – the latter a particular bugbear among consumers.

Three other firms also received the lowest possible customer service scores – Shell Energy Broadband, Now Broadband and Virgin Media.

As one of the UK’s biggest ISPs, it’s disappointing to see Virgin languishing third bottom in the Which? table, ahead of only TalkTalk and Shell.

While Virgin’s line speeds were among the highest-rated in the survey, they finished joint last in terms of technical support, and also had the joint-lowest reliability score of any ISP.

Are all ISPs included in this survey?

Unfortunately not.

Which? doesn’t include regional fibre broadband providers like Grain or KCOM in its results, focusing instead on larger national brands.

Of the companies listed here on, Hyperoptic performed best with four-star scores for speed, reliability and value – arguably the three most important categories.

Having underwhelmed in previous surveys, Vodafone achieved a creditable 60 per cent customer score, only falling down on technical support and customer service.

Most of the big ISPs achieved scores in the high 50s, including BT, their diminishing EE subsidiary, Plusnet and the aforementioned Now Broadband.

Sky trailed in fourth-last with a disappointing two stars in five of the six categories Which? examined. Only the rather nebulous ‘ease of contacting’ section earned Sky a three-star score.

How much should this influence my choice of ISP?

National surveys of the best and worst ISPs are only ever meant to be illustrative. They should never be taken as a definitive verdict on those brands, or a guarantee of what you’ll experience.

There are happy TalkTalk customers, just as there are dissatisfied Hyperoptic clients.

It’s notable that Which? didn’t award a single five-star rating to any company in any of the survey’s six categories.

While disappointed customers are more likely to express opinions than happy ones, this isn’t an industry that tends to delight its users, especially since the latter’s expectations are often unreasonably high.

Even when there are unforeseeable and obscure reasons for broadband outages, they’re often used as a stick to beat ISPs with.

Reports like Which?’s survey are useful, but the opinions of local friends, neighbours and relatives are often more instructive in terms of the service you’ll receive in your postcode.

Then there’s cost to consider.

Customer satisfaction varies by product and geographic region, but price is a universal factor.

A cost-effective deal from a mediocre ISP might still be more enticing than a pricier offering from a highly rated competitor.

Just be aware that some companies handle their clients better than others…

Neil Cumins author picture


Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!