Many online companies are failing to let their customers contact them, finds research by Onyx Software and Apropos Technology.

More than three-quarters, 76%, of 114 of the UK's leading online businesses, 44 of which were internet start-ups, either never replied or failed to reply within 24 hours to a customer who had contacted them via the web.

Of the 97 companies inviting electronicform submissions or emails on their websites, only 8% were able to refer to the original internet contact when they were contacted over the telephone.