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Customer service you can bank on

25 Nov 2010

first direct tops the 2010 Which? table for big brands' customer service; while AOL Broadband has been deemed 'best avoided'.

In the first Which? survey to compare service levels across different industries, the consumer champion asked people to rate 75 UK big brands*. It found the level of customer service offered by brands such as first direct , John Lewis and Waitrose was superb; whereas the likes of AOL Broadband, TalkTalk and Santander left people cold.

It's mixed news for the banking industry. first direct gets a fantastic customer service rating of 89%**. "I've not come across any supplier that is more helpful," said one delighted customer. Near the bottom of the table, Santander's score of 45% was poor. One client said: "Customer service does not exist" at Santander.

Bottom of the league with a pitiful score of 44% was AOL Broadband, about which one customer commented: "It has no concept of the meaning of customer service."

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, says:

"Offering good customer service should be a priority for any business - it beggars belief that so many big name brands still fail to grasp such a basic concept. We're urging people to vote with their feet if they're treated badly and take their custom to where it will be valued."

As well as being voted the best brand for customer service by Which? members, first direct was named 2010 Financial Services Provider of the Year at the annual Which? Awards. To find out more, and to see all their unbiased money reviews and advice, go to




Notes to Editor

For further information, including the full table of 75 big brands' results, please contact Martin Chapman on 020 7770 7373 /07970 132 811 /

*Which? surveyed over 10,000 Which? Connect panel members online in September 2010 to find out which companies they had dealt with over the past year. Members were asked to rate the service providers they had used most over the past year from the following sectors - utilities (electricity and gas), banks, telecoms (home, broadband and mobile phone providers), supermarkets and general retailers.

**Members rated up to six companies they had dealt with for their overall customer service to give the Customer service rating score.



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first direct has achieved the highest ever score for a bank in a Which? customer satisfaction survey with 93%, beating the nearest rival by 5% and the lowest score by over 100%.

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