Can I complain to my provider about broadband speeds?
You will notice when you look at any advert for a broadband service and packages, they will talk about speed with the prefix “up to”.
To take a motoring analogy, it’s a bit like buying a car that can do ‘up to’ 200mph and then driving it on a muddy road full of potholes. Sure your car can still do 200mph in theory, you just can’t achieve that speed.
On standard connections, non-fibre optic broadband, ‘up to’ speeds can differ significantly. They assume that you live right next door to an exchange so that there is no slow down as the signal travels along the wire to your house. Living a distance from the exchange and the nearest street box has very real implications for the speed that you will actually receive.
While things are much better with fibre optic broadband, you will still often see performance well below that quoted as a result of network capacity and usage amongst other things.
There are a number of Apps and websites available now to check your internet speed. If you think you have a problem it is a good idea to record the speeds you’re receiving. In the event that you do have to complain you then have a record of the situation and how long it has been going on.
You should check your contract for what your guaranteed speed is. You will find it is quite different from ‘up to’.
For example BT say “'Minimum Guaranteed Access Line Speed' is the fastest speed that any customer in the bottom 10 per cent of that group of customers can get. So, if there are 20,000 customers who fall into the group covered by this example, we would look at the 2,000 customers with the slowest speeds. The Minimum Guaranteed Access Line Speed would be the fastest speed that any of those 2,000 customers actually achieve.”
Even if you can understand that, you’ve no way of measuring it!
If you do complain, the best advice is to be persistent. Don’t be fobbed off that it’s your equipment that is at fault or that it will be fine tomorrow if it’s been going on a while. Escalate until you get a proper response.