Customer satisfaction with home broadband performance has dropped since last year, according to new research from Switcher.ie. The findings show that less than half of us (47%) are satisfied with the overall performance of our home broadband, a 7% drop from 54% last year.

The overall decline does shield some bright spots however, with broadband providers clearly upping their game in key areas such as value for money and technical support.

Satisfaction with technical support has increased by 4% to 63%, and 62% are happy with the customer support offered from their broadband provider, up from 59% last year. The majority (63%) are satisfied with the value for money they get from their providers. However, less than half (49%) are satisfied with their provider’s additional customer benefits package.

Despite the drop in overall satisfaction, switching figures show that almost three quarters of us have stuck with our broadband providers (72%). Almost a quarter of the broadband-buying population (21%) have never switched provider, however 28% say they switched broadband providers within the last year, up 4% on the previous year, suggesting that the dial is slowly moving in the right direction.

When it comes to switching, price remains the biggest driver (37%), followed by broadband speed (20%). Just one in ten (11%) households are driven to switch due to their data allowance, despite the popularity of streaming services. At the same time, people are becoming more concerned with providers’ reputation and reliability, with 15% saying this was a factor, up from just 10% last year.

The data also reveals the important role broadband speed plays in determining people’s overall satisfaction with their broadband. Those with speeds above 101Mbps are considerably happier than the average broadband customer, with 64% saying they are satisfied with their home broadband performance.

Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie, said: “Broadband providers have to get it right for consumers, as more and more people regard high-performance broadband as a household essential. We’ve seen a dip in satisfaction levels in this latest wave of research, and an increase in those who have switched providers in the last year, so people who aren’t happy are starting to vote with their feet.

“Having said that, over seven in ten of us are sticking with our current providers and there are still some who have never switched at all. There are no prizes for loyalty, and these people could be missing out on better service, faster speeds and huge cost savings.

“The majority of people are less satisfied with the additional benefits offered by their provider, but on top of the savings and potentially faster speeds, customers who take the time to compare plans could also nab themselves extras like free Netflix or access to eir Sport. And people who bundle their broadband with other products could get an improved phone plan or TV deal, too. We’d encourage anyone who’s not happy with their broadband to compare deals, see what their options are, and switch if they find a product that better suits their needs.”

Consumers can use Switcher.ie’s free Broadband Deal Checker to compare the best broadband deals available in their area.

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