ISPs BT and Sky offer the best customer service and technical support, according to a study by Broadband Genie.

Researchers at the broadband comparison site posed as customers looking to switch from another provider in a bid to rate the customer service levels provided by by the six biggest UK ISPs. Broadband Genie looked at a number of factors such as cost, information available, call centre opening times and  technical support.

Broadband Genie said it was impressed with BT's free support - which was available all day every day - as well as the friendliness and speed with which Sky handled customer service calls.

"There were marked differences between all the providers that could make all the difference to a consumer. It just goes to show how important it is to do some research before committing to a potentially lengthy contract," said Broadband Genie editor Chris Marling.

Marling also revealed the comparison site was disappointed with the customer service provided by Orange and TalkTalk - in particular the cost of technical support calls.

"Some people are very lucky with their fixed-line broadband connection, going for years without experiencing a problem. However, when things do take a turn for the worst, it can be devastating: people don't realise how much they take the web for granted and how they have come to rely on a good internet connection. So, when things do go wrong, it is vital the correct support is ready and waiting."

Broadband speed tester

See also: Ofcom to stamp out fixed-line 'slamming' tactics