Consumer Magazine ISP survey - how accurate is reader data?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 12-Nov-2008 08:36

This months's Consumer Magazine features the annual ISP survey, the result of which don't seem to have changed significantly over recent years. What is surprising however for many Geekzone readers is that there are seemingly differing results that Consumer magazine are reporting compared to the satisfaction levels many people are reporting on Geekzone.

Consumer's resporting is based solely on reader responses - hardly the most scientific of surveys (just like forum posts!). People's perception of "satisfaction" may be skewed by many variables and it's potentially very questionable how accurate this data actually is.

For the results - the rating for all ISP's is shown first followed by their rating as a broadband ISP

Inspire came out on top (2) followed by Actrix (1) and then Maxnet (3). Interesting WorldxChange rated 4th but Xnet rated 6th - considering they are one and the same it does question how much research went into this article!

There has been a huge number of complains lately in regards to WxC here on Geekzone in regards to speed and customer service but Consumer readers seem to be more than happy with their results. Who's right? Is the recent criticism of WxC justified?

Rounding up at the bottom of the table is Xtra. Consumer readers however seem to be deeply unsatisfied overall with Xtra as their IXP with their satisfaction results well below the 65% average. Xtra is the one ISP that many people are now consistantly saying offers the best ADSL performace in the country so it seems to show that the survey is potentially far from being an accurate indicator of ISP performance.

What it does show however is that many people are unhappy with their broadband performance and seem to believe their ISP is solely at fault. What we know from the large number of posts on GZ over recent times is that household wiring is one of the biggest contributors to poor ADSL performance. I've probably helped close to 20 people I know this year rewire houses and in nearly all cases ADSL performance has increased significantly. Because wiring changes to phone wiring are permitted by the homeowner many people have added their own extensions, done a poor job and are causing themselves problems. If you are expiencing issues such as constant dropouts then look at your house wiring first - there is a good chance it's a significant factor. If you are modernising your house ensure you factor in home networking and install a structured cabling solution.

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Comment by freitasm, on 12-Nov-2008 12:35

I've noticed a lot of people saying bad stuff about Xtra - without ever being a Telecom customer. Basically just repeating the old "Telecom is bad" chant...

Comment by Paul, on 14-Nov-2008 18:57

I'm one of those not too happy with Xnet and have posted on Geekzone about it. I've stayed with it for now, as the Naked DSL they offer is the cheapest telecommunications bundle for your buck (pay cheap s you go, good VoIP phone with features that would add almost $20 a month to have on a standard landline). The downside is that international websites are slow during busy periods, to the point where streaming flash content rebuffers a lot. This can be frustrating. I'm hoping it may get better eventually as WXC realize their reputation is costing them, and do something about it, and a few more leechers run away. I certainly don't hold much store in the survey result of consumer. Their members obviously have rather basic and unsophisticated online needs and expectations. Time will tell if WXC get it right.

sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at