Customer Satisfaction Awards 2013

ByAnthony Hill

Our winners are chosen by actual customers, the people whose views matter most, so you can be sure they really are worthy of their awards. Here are this year's results...

We may be experts in helping you find the best broadband deal, but we realise there's a lot more to it than simply comparing packages and prices online.


Sometimes, what you really want to know is how well your chosen provider treats its customers. Are they happy? Do they feel like they're getting real value for money? That's why we do an annual Customer Satisfaction Survey.


Unlike other awards, our winners are picked on the basis of how they were rated in the survey. It means we can give you some genuine feedback from the people whose opinions matter most - customers!


We asked thousands of broadband, TV and phone customers to tell us what they think of their current service provider. Some of the results were surprising:




Of the providers we list on our site, it's Plusnet that stole the show. The Yorkshire based company - part of the BT Group, although operated separately from BT - is obviously a big hit with its customers, who rated it so highly it won six of the 10 awards.



Proud purveyor of "honest broadband" Plusnet was Overall Winner for broadband in the Customer Satisfaction Awards 2013. Not only that, it won five more awards and was a highly commended runner-up in two of the other categories.


Plusnet broadband awards


It's perhaps not surprising that Plusnet wins awards for Customer Service, given that it prides itself on always being at hand through its 24-hour call centre based in Sheffield.


The fact it also won Speed of Activation and Quality and Reliability suggests the Plusnet customer's entire journey - from initial setup to whatever time they choose to depart - is supported by a pretty well-oiled machine. One customer told us it's a "reliable service at a good price".


Plusnet's low prices, combined with high scores in virtually all of the broadband categories, helped it to clinch this year's Value for Money award.


For more information, read our Plusnet reviews


Second place

Without doubt the daddy of broadband in Britain, serving approximately 6.8 million homes, BT achieved the double in this year's Customer Satisfaction Awards.


BT broadband awards


The people we surveyed were especially complimentary about the BT Home Hub wireless router, included with all BT broadband packages, which is why BT walked away with this year's Quality of Router award, beating runner-up Virgin Media's Super Hub.


It also won the Wi-Fi Hotspots award, which is hardly a big shock when you consider BT customers get free, unlimited Wi-Fi access at over five million wireless hotspots at restaurants, shops and public places across the UK, and around 6.5 million abroad.


Among the many positive remarks from BT customers who took part in our survey was one user who called it a "first class" broadband service. Another said it "responded promptly" to any problems.


For more information, read our BT reviews


Third place

Best known for its satellite TV, Sky's also the second largest UK provider of broadband after BT. This year, Sky picked up one award and was highly commended in four other categories, putting it in joint third with Virgin Media.


Sky broadband awards


Sky's award-winning customer benefits include its new Sky Hub wireless router and Sky Wi-Fi, formerly known as The Cloud, which together keep Sky's 4.9 million customers connected,  whether at home or out and about.


While it lost out to Virgin Media on speed, despite offering 'superfast' Fibre Unlimited broadband with speeds of up to 76Mb in some areas, Sky was a Value for Money runner-up and was highly commended for Customer Service.


In our survey, one customer told us "Sky has always looked after me" and another said their Sky broadband "runs smoothly".


For more information, read our Sky reviews





Virgin Media broadband awards


With the UK's fastest widely available broadband, it shouldn't surprise anyone that Virgin Media won an award and was highly commended in eight of 10 categories. 

People often say quality is greater than quantity, and if that's true Virgin Media has plenty to celebrate. Despite winning only one of our awards, Virgin Media was crowned this year's king of speed - a top priority for most broadband customers.


The fact it gained higher scores for speed than all of its competitors shows Virgin Media is meeting, and possibly exceeding, its customers' expectations of a lightning fast fibre optic broadband service that boasts top speeds of up to 120Mb.


Customers also praised Virgin Media's customer service. One of those surveyed told us: "They do all they can to help when you have a problem."


For more information, read our Virgin Media reviews





In the TV section of our Customer Satisfaction Survey, it was BT that ran away with most of the praise. That's not to say BT offers the best range of channels or the most complete package, but it's certainly meeting expectations and keeping TV customers happy.



To be named Overall TV Winner is a massive surprise victory for BT, considering it was up against the mighty Sky and Virgin Media. But the fact BT's customers rate it so highly tells us there's more to being a great TV provider than offering the most content.


BT TV awards


BT won the Value for Money award, probably for offering both its BT Sport channels and the YouView set-top box free with BT broadband.


In terms of what you can watch, YouView doesn't rival Sky in the slightest - but customers clearly appreciate being given the option of adding TV to their bundle without paying too much extra. BT also scooped the prize for quickly getting customers set up.


On top of its two wins, BT was highly commended in every other TV category.


Second place

Less surprising than BT's victory was the double win for Sky TV, which has been the first choice for movies and sport on the telly for as long as most of us can remember.


Sky TV awards



It won for both Range of Channels and Set-Top Box, which again is no surprise as its Sky+ HD box is comfortably one of the most advanced TV boxes on the market. Its closest challenger is Virgin Media TiVo, which was also highly commended.


The full Sky package boasts over 250 channels, including Sky 3D and 49 channels in HD.


Third place

Cable giant Virgin Media won just one award for its TV service, but was highly commended in every other category - proving it still does a great job of keeping us entertained.


Virgin Media TV awards



In our survey, customers made positive remarks about Virgin Media's approach to customer service. One of them told us "they do all they can" to fix problems as they arise. While reviews are evidently mixed, Virgin Media's overall performance in the TV category was better this year than in 2012 when it didn't win any awards.



Home phone


As well as rating their TV and broadband, our survey also asked customers what they think of their home phone landline provider.




Plusnet home phone awards

This year's winner was Plusnet, which scored particularly well for its easy-to-understand bills and friendly approach to customer service. It also ranked highest in terms of value for money. Overall, the home phone results were very good. All the main providers averaged at least three-and-a-half stars out of a possible five.


Click here for more customer reviews


Are you satisfied with your broadband? Is there an award you think your provider should've won? Let us know in the comments section below.


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