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PlaNet, Actrix and Inspire top internet providers survey

PlaNet, Actrix and Inspire top Consumer NZ internet providers survey

Internet service providers PlaNet, Actrix and Inspire have once again topped Consumer NZ's customer service ratings with the three of them rating 96 percent or higher.

At the bottom of the pile were Slingshot, Woosh and Compass Communications, all of which scored 60 percent satisfaction against an average 72 percent.

More than 11,000 Consumer members rated their ISPs on in-home setup, phone help with billing and phone help with technical questions, and online help. They also rated reliability - connection and speed.

Actrix and Inspire have been among the top three in Consumer surveys since 2006. PlaNet has been there since 2009.

Vodafone at 62 percent customer service satisfaction and Telecom/Xtra at 68 percent, once again fell below the average. Slingshot had the dubious honour of being the only ISP to score worse than average across each of the categories. Telstra Clear/Paradise had a 76 percent rating.

Just over half of those who took part in the survey had received help with in-home setup. On average this was the category which had the highest satisfaction rating at 69 percent. Two-thirds had phoned their ISP's help desk about billing which received a 66 percent satisfaction rating. However, less pleased were the 79 percent who had phoned the help desk for technical support - the rating was 58 percent. Worse was online help - it received a 43 percent satisfaction rating from the 57 percent who had tried it.

Only one-third of the members with broadband had never experienced disconnections or drop-outs and the results were worse for the 2 percent of respondents who were on dial-up - only one in five had a problem-free connection.

Nearly 80 percent had experienced slower-than-expected speeds. Telecom/Xtra, Vodafone and Slingshot were the least reliable providers.

Rural users gave their ISPs' overall performance a lower rating at 67 percent than urban users - they were more likely to be disconnected and have slower than expected speeds.

One in five surveyed had naked broadband (a package not bundled with a phone line). People are increasingly using Skype and other VoIP (voice over internet protocol) options plus their mobiles for calling.

For information on ISP pricing visit Consumer's free telecommunications comparison site

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