The volatile ISP sector is continuing to annoy UK consumers as it sacrifices service for lower prices. Overall, a quarter of broadband punters are unhappy with their service - a 12 per cent slide compared to a year earlier. TalkTalk and Orange, who both provide "free" internet service, dominated the lower reaches of the half …
20Mbit or 5Mbit?
If you look at various Virgin Media usenet groups, the customers on 20Mbit feeds are not happy with the traffic management that throttles them to 5Mbit/s if they try to use their links at peak times. Those on lower speeds only get cut to half speed, the top speed (paying a significant premium) is cut to 25%. It gives the impression that they've rolled out the service without having the backbone links to support it fully.
It might be a beacon of light in the ISP world, but it flickers rather badly.
You get what you pay for.
I work for a small buisness ISP and I really think you get what pay for in this market. We may charge a little more, but when you ring you speak to a real person, and we're all (I think anyway) pretty good, we're not following scripts, we know computers and internet connections pretty well.
If you don't pay a penny for your connection then moan that they charge you premium phone numbers to speak to them, and when you finally get someone they don't know anything, or even are in another country, don't be surprised!
Spend a few extra pounds a month, get a decent service!
Until recently, I was a Virgin Media nee Telewest subscriber. I had the 4Mb line, which I got not because it was good value - £25 a month for 4Mb isn't that cheap - but because it was unlimited. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.
For the last month of my contract, I had speeds averaging 20kps download - 25 times slower than I'm paying for. Traffic shaping? That isn't traffic shaping, or throttling, or management. That is a pale mockery of a modern internet connection. </disgruntled customer>
1MBit if you're lucky
I've been monitoring the download speeds on my 10Meg Virgin connection as the much vaunted 20Meg approaches... Using the Chetnet recommendation of downloading from the BY mirror, I get about 1.2MByte/s - which is just about spot on. But as soon as I try to hit anything outside the Virgin world, it's a different matter. Even during the day, I'm often getting more like 100kByte/s - under 1Meg!
They recently did some work on the 'head end' kit round here in preparation for the 20Meg rollout, and I'm sure it's got significantly slower since :-( It's a shame, cos the package should be great - broadband, phone, more tv than you can shake a stick at... - but at the moment, the broadband is really letting it down.
Orange bottom, what a surprise
Their service has been getting increasingly slower and more unreliable for some time now.
When they were Freeserve/Wanadoo they weren't anywhere near as crap, so how did Orange manage to so royally screw up?
I'd switch but I can't see any other ISP being any better. The whole market is a shambles.
Vote with your feet
Anyone who claims they don't have a choice just isn't trying. I watched Demon's service degrade after Thus got it's claws in, and jumped ship. I'm delighted with the service I currently get from Zen, and a subscription to Which Online would get you access to their latest report which recommends a number of ISPs who get consistently good ratings from their subscribers. I'm sure there are plenty more good ISPs out there - I can only echo the second poster (above) - you get what you pay for - don't sign with TalkTalk or Orange and expect first-class service, it's just not realistic.
We tried to go on broadband at work with BT ... we are all Mac and BT worked from scripts. I don't believe I once spoke with someone who knew what a Mac was let alone how to work one. We gave up in the end and went to Netscalibur. That was some time ago and I believe they've improved at BT.
At home I am with Nildram. I'm a fairly light user and get good speeds and good customer service ... human beings are almost immediately available. It was they who gave me the best advice I ever got ... "Go with a monthly billing plan, that way we have to please you every month." OK, I had to buy my own router and bits but they've got to please me. They are usually up with Zen for best customer service.
I have never had any problems with virgin/nthell, apart from the odd court thread for 'customising' my modems speed restrictions. God bless the SB4100 and tftp.
Now since the 20Mb 'upgrade' I get about 20% extra speed on downloads 1400-1500K/sec and uploades have gone up to 90 odd k/sec. The second you hit 4.000000001Gb, boom there go's your connection until 2-3 days later.
I think many users must bnow be doing what I am, and queuing up 40 gig of downloads to start at 00:01 and stop at 15:59 every day, just to anoy NTL. Not even sure what I am downloading half the time, I never look at it, its more of a case of I am paying for this service so I am going to use it to its fullest.