Dissatisfaction with the UK’s top three digital TV providers is likely to make customers consider switching to freesat’s combination of HD programmes without subscription.
That is the conclusion of Steve Weller, communications expert at uSwitch.com, which carried out a customer satisfaction study on the UK’s top three digital TV providers – who hold 95% of the market.
Almost 9 out of 10 homes in the UK have now ‘gone digital’ and spend a total of £4.2 billion on receiving the service every year.
However, the independent price comparison and switching service found that more than 1 in 4 customers are not satisfied with their digital service.
While 73% of people surveyed were satisfied overall with their DTV provider, 27% said they were not satisfied. This equates to 6,000,418 households.
Weller said the survey of nearly 10,000 digital TV subscribers looked at the services provided by Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media.
He said that less than 1 in 2 digital TV customers (46%) are satisfied with the customer service they receive from their provider.
“Sky and Virgin will have quite a challenge on their hands convincing customers to part with their hard earned cash whilst expecting them to accept the current levels of customer service on offer,” he said.
“The availability of ‘free’ services has received a boost with the launch of freesat, a joint initiative from the BBC and ITV that promises high definition programmes without the need for an ongoing subscription.
“With a one-off cost for the set-up and a box, consumers will no doubt see these services as offering greater value for money when compared to the traditional monthly subscriptions offered by Sky and Virgin.”
On a more positive note, customers voted Sky Best Overall Provider with 76% satisfied, despite coming last for value for money (57% satisfied).
Sky customers pay an average of £31.17 per month for their digital TV service – almost double the £16.70 paid by Virgin Media customers.
Freeview won Best Value for Money award with 75% satisfied – with value for money voted the most important feature when choosing a DTV provider.