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Tiscali, the tightwad's ISP of choice, has come from left field to win the annual JD Power broadband customer satisfaction survey.

According to the consumer analysts, Tiscali scores particularly highly for its billing and is well above average across the board.

Second place is taken by Virgin Media and third by new boy Sky.

Tiscali's victory will come as a shock to many. It consistently tops ISPreview.co.uk's complaints list and in the past year has goofed on email, started hijacking typos in URLs, and spent its time in public complaining about having to carry BBC iPlayer traffic.

Only time will tell if JD Power's results are a blip or the sign of a turnaround in its customer relations. The 570,000 Pipex customers it acquired this year will soon find out what it's like to be a Tiscali customer, as the new owner is axing UK support staff in the new year in favour of its overseas outsourcers.

JD Power does agree with other surveys that overall satisfaction with broadband service is sliding as customer service becomes the first casualty of the ongoing squeeze on profit margins. Average monthly spend has fallen to £21.10 from more than £25 last year.

It also reports average tech support waiting times have risen to 17 minutes, and for the first time the number of complaints is outnumbering normal customer service enquiries.

The full results from the poll of 1,683 UK ISP punters are here. ®

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