Author Topic: Recommend me an internet provider, please  (Read 7831 times)

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Recommend me an internet provider, please
« on: October 11, 2008, 03:00:02 pm »
I can't stand any more of BT's uselessness and I want to change. I have no objection to a phone and broadband package, as long as I can keep my existing phone number. Cable isn't an option as we don't have it in this street, and I wouldn't go near TalkTalk after the problems my mum's had with them.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


cc93

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2008, 03:26:53 pm »
O2 Broadband - Home, Business and Mobile Broadband, made better


As I have an O2 mobile, I pay £7.50 per month for an up to 8MB service - which is typically 5-6MB (we are some way from the plugs) and never less than 3 for the 6 months we've had it

Free (UK) 24/7 help service (answered in a few rings when I called it)

and money-back guarantee if you don't like it

Brilliant!

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2008, 03:40:29 pm »
Zen. Not the cheapest but IME you get what you pay for ;).
Pen Pusher

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2008, 04:17:33 pm »
I use UK Free Software Network who are a reseller for Entanet (who don't sell direct). Has been rock solid for the past year much better than my previous supplier Pipex.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2008, 05:45:35 pm »
+1 for Zen
Not had a problem for years.
Not cheapest but I need a fixed IP address (they gave me 5)
My particular contract 25GB monthly download limit at a steady 6Gbit if needed. I very rarely use more than 20GB.

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2008, 01:01:18 pm »
Another vote for Zen.  As others say, if you want a reliable bomb proof connection, they supply it.  As far as I know my connection has been up and running continuously for 3-4 years.  I've never had any access problems.  Once I've configured things it just works.  When I moved earlier this year, they arranged to transfer the connection to my new property with no issues at all.  I unplugged the router, drove down the road, and plugged it in, and it worked straight away, effectively I could run the router at both locations for a short while.

As a plus point, their phones are answer in Rochdale, not Bangalore or wherever it is that I have to ring up when my fathers Tiscali connection has issues.  I've nothing against India per se, but there are no language issues with Rochdale, and they have pretty much direct access and knowledge of Zen's systems, they are not simply following a set of questions and answers on a screen in front of them.  The one time I had to ring up Zen, when I moved, I also swapped over to paying via Direct Debit, and it all worked easily, flawlessly, and fast.

Definitely recommended, and that's why they've won multiple awards for service over the last few years.

(PCPro Best ISP for 2008, National Customer Service Awards finalist 2008, Which Best broadband provider 2008 etc).
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2008, 02:14:55 pm »
We use Zen extensively at work (recommend them to our customers). They are very good.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2008, 02:25:01 pm »


As a plus point, their phones are answer in Rochdale, not Bangalore or wherever it is that I have to ring up when my fathers Tiscali connection has issues.  I've nothing against India per se, but there are no language issues with Rochdale, and they have pretty much direct access and knowledge of Zen's systems, they are not simply following a set of questions and answers on a screen in front of them.  The one time I had to ring up Zen, when I moved, I also swapped over to paying via Direct Debit, and it all worked easily, flawlessly, and fast.
That's a big plus for me, because one of the things that annoys me most about BT is their rubbish customer service when I phone up. Or when they phone me.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 03:08:58 pm »
Do people have any experience of tiscali? Swapping to a phone and broadband pacakge with them looks much cheaper than BT.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 03:16:37 pm »
Do people have any experience of tiscali? Swapping to a phone and broadband pacakge with them looks much cheaper than BT.

I used them before I converted to Zen several years ago.

In one word: Yuck  :sick:

I don't know if they have improved since.

For Phone + Broadband, both my daughters both use Virgin and have had good service.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2008, 03:28:09 pm »
I'm out of Virgin's area so they're no good to me.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2008, 03:33:05 pm »
I ordered Tiscali last year and had bad time with them. To cut a long story short for one reason and another they were unable to provide the service they offered, citing all sorts of technical reasons why this was so. This was despite the fact that I have had perfectly good BB on this line from different ISPs in the past. This resulted in me being without broadband for 2 or 3 months while they faffed around and made excuses. Contacting their helpline was just awful: no communication between different departments, constantly having to explain the issue from scratch and so on, rude and downright thick helpline staff. Eventually I gave up on them which initiated the worst part of the experience: despite the fact that they were unable to connect me, they had a tag or whatever it is on the line so that no other ISP could use it until this was removed. This took a lot of unnecessary pressure and a tremendous number of time consuming and expensive calls to achieve. Once done the new ISP had me up and running in a few days. There were in fact no technical issues that would have prevented any ISP from connecting me and I think the problem was that they had just signed up more people than they could cope with.

Never again - mainly because of their customer services. Tiscali are fine if you have a trouble free connection and installation but if there is any problem at all they are useless.

I'm sure they have improved since or they'd be out of business.

(Edit: and don't get me started on the billing end of things - for a service that they never actually managed to connect me to).

BTW I have no trouble with BT at all -and this is probably my third BB connection via them, on two different lines.

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2008, 04:14:07 pm »
BTW I have no trouble with BT at all

Same here. I pay £10 a month for the phone, and £21.26 a month for BB1. Add on VAT and it comes to £36.73 a month. Calls are rarely more than £10 a month on top of this.

I think that's a fair price to pay for what I get; reliable broadband at a good speed (6Mbps+) and faultless phone service.

1. I occasionally work from home which often requires me pulling down large (multiple GB) files so I have the unlimited "Option 3".
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2008, 08:33:18 pm »
Another vote here for plus net.

Reliability has been excellent, and in my experience, service is second to none. For example - they have commuity support forums (like this one). The difference is Plusnet staff read and post. Just today I had a problem that my usage was excessive. This was read by a staff member who opened a support ticket for me, and then posted hour by hour stats for the last week. This enabled me to id the culprit PC and solve the problem.

It is a daily occurrence for them to step in and sort out peoples problems - and remember, the forum is not the official support ticket system.

folkdevil

  • Francis
  • I've only got one bike, and it's only got one gear
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2008, 11:22:14 pm »
Until a couple of years ago I used eclipse, based in Devon, and was very happy with their cheap broadband package and their customer service.

Since then have used Orange - I know a lot of people knock them, mainly because they're now owned by a French company and their customer service tends to be from a call centre in India, which is a bit of a pain for the reasons TimO gave. However I've rarely needed to use their CS. Once up and running, their broadband has been excellent; I get well over 6Mbps for £5/month currently, which I can get because I also have a £30/month mobile contract. I'm now switching to a £15/month mobile contract with a £17/month broadband deal. The catch is that I'm signing up for a 24 month contract. The only hitch was when we moved house a year ago - had to wait 3 weeks for them to transfer the bb over. The main thing I like is their Livebox modem/wireless router which has a USB port so you can plug a bog standard printer in and print to it wirelessly.

I'd recommend looking at orange if you want to get a good mobile phone + bb deal.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2008, 08:31:19 am »
I had a look at plus net but the bit on the website where you put your phone number in to see what they can offer you wasn't working, so they're off the list. I'm happy enough with my mobile contract, I only want a broadband or broadband/landline package. Virgin have a non-cable service which people keep recommending to me so I'm looking at them.

I phoned BT last night to get my MAC. It was a disaster. Put through to departments that couldn't help, everyone trying to convince me to stay, nobody prepared to give me the information I wanted.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2008, 08:52:12 am »
That's a bit naughty.  If you request a MAC, they have to provide one within five days, or an explanation of why they can't (eg a MAC has already been issued, or a short number of other valid reasons).  You could try threatening them with a complaint to OFCOM.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2008, 10:01:05 am »
I use Andrews and Arnold. Maybe not the cheapest, but good people to deal with. If I have a problem (which, to be fair, isn't often and generally something to do with my colocated servers hosted by them) I speak to a real person, who doesn't work from a call centre script and takes responsibility to sort it out. If it gets passed to someone else (e.g. an engineer who is in the datacentre) then I get the name of that engineer. If it takes more than a single call, then I have their name and can call back and talk to that person again. If I ask for something like power cycling of a server that isn't on a remote controlled power strip, then they send someone off to do it, who then calls back to confirm that everything is OK.

They are also very upfront about planned maintenace outages, general service problems and, on the odd time when there has been a major outage give a full analysis and details of what they are doing to prevent it happening again. AAISP Status Page (hosted on blogspot so that its availability is not dependent upon the status of their network).

For ADSL, blocks of static IPs aren't a problem, nor is rDNS delegation (if you don't know what these are, you probably don't need them!). No traffic shaping or blocked ports, IPv6 enabled, metered usage only applies during peak hours (so evening/night surfing doesn't eat into your paid usage)

The downside is that their telephone support is office hours only, though "unofficial" support is available via usenet and IRC outside those times.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2008, 01:49:47 pm »
Another vote for Plus Net - been with them for years, never missed a beat.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2008, 02:27:51 pm »
I use Andrews and Arnold. Maybe not the cheapest, but good people to deal with.

Not our experience. Their support was available only during office hours (huh? do none of their customers go to work?), and for two years they took our money for an inappropriately expensive service while omitting to tell us about about a cheaper option which would have served our needs just as well.
Profit or planet?

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2008, 09:27:36 am »
I use Andrews and Arnold. Maybe not the cheapest, but good people to deal with.

Not our experience. Their support was available only during office hours (huh? do none of their customers go to work?),

I did mention that, but I think that they are really biased towards businesses; personally I'd rather speak to somebody competent during business hours than call centre employee in another country working from a script that suggests the answer to all problems is to reboot windows  :)

Quote
and for two years they took our money for an inappropriately expensive service while omitting to tell us about about a cheaper option which would have served our needs just as well.

They give you a web interface to monitor your usage graphically so you can see exactly how much data you are transferring, and at what times of day, all of their packages are advertised on their site.
It is true that they don't automatically do the usage/cost comparison and mail you if you could drop to a lower package, but do many ISPs do that?

I think the real point is that people need different things from their ISP. The way A&A work suits me, and I like being able to talk to technical people who know what they are doing and don't assume I am an IT illiterate.

Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2008, 10:55:22 am »
...It is true that they don't automatically do the usage/cost comparison and mail you if you could drop to a lower package, but do many ISPs do that?

They introduced a lower tariff and didn't tell us about it. Why, if they change their offering without telling us, should the onus be on us to contact them to see if they are giving us the most suitable deal?

Anyway, they are history. We now use the Post Office, whose speed is very fast and whose service doesn't fall over, which is more than could be said for that provided by Andrews & Arnold.
Profit or planet?

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2008, 01:04:20 pm »
That's a bit naughty.  If you request a MAC, they have to provide one within five days, or an explanation of why they can't (eg a MAC has already been issued, or a short number of other valid reasons).  You could try threatening them with a complaint to OFCOM.

They said they'd do it in the end, but it took the best part of an hour of being passed around with various attempts to persuade me to stay.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2008, 01:27:04 pm »
Virgin were supposed to connect me on 28th October but they didn't and they can't tell me when they will, so I've cancelled the order and just placed a new order with Plusnet.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Julian

  • samoture
Re: Recommend me an internet provider, please
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2008, 01:53:53 pm »
Same happened to me at my last place.  Now wait until Virgin send you a bill, plus a 'fine' for disconnecting before three months is up.

I had to threaten to sue them.  :D