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John Lewis Broadband - genius or foolhardy?

This topic was created by Drewc .

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John Lewis Broadband - genius or foolhardy?

Interesting brand extension from the British middle classes' favourite retailer. Anyone game for this service?

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To expensive

O2's customer service is very good in my experience, it is cheaper than John Lewis, and the BE kit they use gives much better speeds than the BT kit Plusnet uses.

Does anyone offer unlimited fibre and decent customer service for a reasonable price? It doesn't have to be the cheapest around. O2 which I use at the moment certainly isn't the cheapest.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To expensive

My experience with O2 has been the very opposite - awful. I've found that they will try and blame other parties for their own issues and refuse to acknowledge their own failings. They have really stupid protocols too - asking for a user to send their password over email is just plain irresponsible. On top of the the "O2 Wireless Box VI" is a cheap and shitty no-usable-wifi-range-of-any-discernible-kind Thomson SpeedTouch TG587nv2 which has got to be about the worst router on the market. What I'd ultimately like is for the ISP to offer the option of just having a modem or not having a supplied router and to stop lying about connection speeds, or is that really too much to ask for?

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JL: Never knowingly underpriced.

Does any ISP actually charge more for the basic service?

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Anonymous Coward

ah ha

having been off wired broadband for 8 years now because we are wired for usless ntl/virgin crap.

25 squid pm is what we used to pay ntl for crap service and crap (none) support.

BT want 150+ to stick 60 cm (2 feet, 24 inch) of bellend cable through existing hole in wall.

sky cannot be talked into paying bt connection bill anymore.

have had wonderful customer support from j lewis on the few items i have purchased in past,

i prefer to pay their higher buy price just for their support, no other reason, if they sell what i have already decided i need/want.

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FAIL

Balls...

On the info page:

https://www.johnlewisbroadband.com/faq/#whymanage

we learn that on the "up to" 38Mbps service the only things that you are allowed to use AT that speed are Web browsing, Email, and "John Lewis Broadband FTP" (whatever that is). Gaming is apparently "Prioritised" at 2Mbps.

John Lewis have clearly been reading the official ISP bullsh!t manual before setting up this system.

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Re: Balls...

Gaming "prioritised" at 2Mbps makes perfect sense and is an efficient use of the network. I've yet to see a single game that needs more than 2Mbps. What they do need is low latency - a different metric entirely. What is the point of giving you 38Mbps when you don't need it? Would you really rather they give you that full bandwidth and 5-600ms round trip times like you'll get for regular traffic? In other words, do you want to be shot dead by another player before you even knew they were there?

It's not John Lewis's fault if you don't understand traffic prioritisation. Moan if you want that they aren't giving you speeds that are some pointless ego trip but that policy is precisely what gamers generally want.

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FAIL

Re: Balls...

My point, which I thought was fairly clear, was that the 38Mbps was only going to be available for web browsing, email, and ftp. Everything else is either capped (however they, or you, choose to describe it), or "prioritized" to some lower level. While games don't need 38Mbps neither do browsing, email, or ftp. The point of them giving you 38Mbp is that you are paying for 38Mbps NOT for some random lower speed that they feel is OK. "they aren't giving you speeds that are some pointless ego trip". True, they are only giving you that speed in name only.

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Re: Balls...

simple then is it not, if you want to play games, go and pay yer cash to someone who actualy runs a network for serious gamers and stop whining.

yer lucky I'm not in charge, you wouldn't be able to play online games, just remember yer part of a small, and getting smaller, minority group.

possibly the most important item created by mankind and twat's use it for f... ING games, porn, and telling each other shit about their insignificant little lives...

we deserve a horrible ending.

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WTF?

Re: Balls...

Don't assume that I play games. I don't. I never said I did. Gaming was just ONE of the examples I listed. Try reading the page that I linked to.

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Re: Balls...

@ tleaf100 I've desperately tried to spot sarcasm in your comment, but it looks like you actually mean what you say. Go and have a cup of tea and a lie down or something. I do agree I'm lucky you're not in charge though.

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Anonymous Coward

Meh

Looks like ADSL from Telefonica wholesale (Be/O2) - good luck with that, their network is currently being rebuilt - and VDSL (FTTC) from BT. Come to think of it, might be Easynet (Sky) for ADSL.

Phone is simply WLR3 - price tells you that.

I think it will be a total disaster for the John Lewis brand. They have no experience and will be totally reliant on third-parties to fix anything that goes wrong.

Whoever thought this one up needs to be sacked ASAP.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

Technicolor router, looks like its Telefonica wholesale as thats the router they're pushing on new O2/Be customers.

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Re: Meh

Thats hardly a smoking gun John; Technicolour (nee Thompson/Alcatel) are very common routers to find as ISP supplied kit.

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Re: Meh

Signs point towards the service being provided by PlusNet.

The postal address on the page https://www.johnlewisbroadband.com/contact-us/ is the same as that given on http://www.plus.net/support/customer_service/contact_us/contact_details.shtml

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Re: Meh

Plusnet also use thomson routers and the weird caps point towards plusnet

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Re: Meh

No experience apart from already running an ISP?

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Anonymous Coward

2012 and ISPs are still using shitty caps.

<=40GB may have been a lot a decade ago, but we're in the age of the digital market (iPlayer, iTunes, Steam, etc.) and High Definition.

No wonder other countries are overtaking us.

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Anonymous Coward

But...

Other countries pay more for their broadband. The price war in the UK means that there's not much money invested in upgrades - consumer broadband is run with as little core capacity as the ISPs think they can get away with.

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Isn't this scheme almost as expensive as Zen, but without Zen's proven level of ISP customer service?

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Gimp

It's more expensive than Zen.

It's more expensive than Zen. http://www.zen.co.uk/home-office/

Zen give you 100GB of completely unthrottled, non-trafic shaped usage for £25.50 per month with their proven customer support. There's no long term lock in contract, and I get 18Mbps down and 0.9Mbps up all day every day with rock solid reliability. They provide a free widget which lets me check consumption and email when I've passed the 50% 75% and 90% usage points.

I'm always suprised when I hear customers from other ISP's complain about their ISP's. The reason they are so crap is because they are so cheap. if you want a decent ISP you have to pay for it.

I've been with Zen for four years having suffered with AOL and BT previously. Prestel were initially very good untill they were taken over by some other bunch of wankers. The rot set in with Prestel when Gary Hough left, he currently works for Zen.

Zen win more awards for best ISP than any other broadband supplier, and it shows.

On the specs provided John Lewis are way behind the current market leader.

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Thumb Up

Re: It's more expensive than Zen.

Pretty much speaks for me, except I'll have been with Zen for ADSL for 10 years this year.

I was surprised recently to see the Firefox add-on tell me I now had 103 GB of allowance for the month, but I think that they specifically monitor my activity and up the allowance every time I exceed the monthly cap and buy a top-up... I've only done that twice and on both occasions the monthly cap was increased the following month. Coincidence?? ;-)

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I like John Lewis

What I do not like is their putting an LSO cookie onto my PC. How long before ICO is ready to start receiving complaints on those?

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But who loves their ISP?

Well I'm pretty sure most Orpheus Internet customers do. Zen customers seem satisfied too.

JLP is really taking the piss with its prices! And it's not going to be very popular if it makes all its Waitrose.com customers have to change their email addresses.

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Headmaster

Zen

Have 3 accounts with them and have recommended them to others. They are not cheap but infrastructure doesn't pay for itself.

Many moons ago I worked for a small ISP that used to sweat its assets and basically the entire outfit ran on sticky tape and crossed fingers. All because there was no money for anything.

Therefore having seen the other side I know what the money pays for. So I'm quite happy to spend that extra few quid a month on a service that has been reliable and excellent technical support when the BT lines have played up.

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Meh

Meh...

If it's good why does it have to be a 12 month contract?

If it was on a rolling monthly (or even 3 month) contract I'd be interested, but for 12 Months I'd want a guaranteed minimum level of service; 12 months is too long to take a chance.

Once bitten...

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This will be a disaster.

To get anything done/fixed etc, the customer will have to go through John Lewis Support, who will pass it onto whoever their service provider is, who will pass it onto BT. It will be like Chinese whispers.

Telstra operate this way in the UK and getting them to do anything, even answer the most simple question takes about 4 times as long as through anyone else due to the layers and layers of "suppliers" that they have to go through.

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Anonymous Coward

Let's take bets on how long it'll be before Tech Support is outsourced to India.

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This just won't work.

My mum and partner shop in John Lewis all the time, but they have their broadband with TalkTalk, certainly one of the worst. Point being, they won't buy John Lewis broadband, even though they shop regularly in John Lewis, because.....broadband isn't worth that much to them.

If you want exceptional customer service (and it's a niche market), then Zen or Freeola would welcome your call.

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Sky LLU

John Lewis, £31.50.

Sky LLU, same service and decent support - £7.50.

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Bronze badge

i bet

it says "must have bt line"

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Anonymous Coward

If it's Plusnet...

[And it certainly sounds like it is from what's written here, eg contact address in Sheffield same as Plusnet's? I'm kind of surprised neither ISPreview nor ADSLguide have confirmed this]]

then the service provider already is BT, both at retail (BT Sheffield aka Plusnet) and at wholesale (BT Wholesale).

On the other hand it could be a "white label" service run by BT Wholesale on behalf of the outfit rebadging it (eg Post Office Broadband, if I remember rightly, is in that category). But it probably isn't.

The Plusnet service actually isn't bad vfm for Joe Public (eg me, a Plusnet customer since before BT bought them), but Plusnet/JL won't suit those who want to download the whole Internet every week just to see if anything's changed (but then that kind of folks still seem to think you can pay a finite amount of money and get an infinite amount of bandwidth).

If I remember rightly, the most recent broadband survey in Which? recommended both Zen and Plusnet as worth a look.

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Re: If it's Plusnet...

... why wouldn't you buy the same service direct from Plusnet, for less money? In my experience they're pretty good, and while I am fond of John Lewis, I don't see them as a credible ISP and I fail to understand what value they are adding to justify the markup they are charging on this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If it's Plusnet...

Yup, just an even more expensive way of buying BT's broadband. Plusnet used to be OK, but now merely a slightly differentiated BT product.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If it's Plusnet...

"Plusnet used to be OK, but now merely a slightly differentiated BT product."

Yes Plusnet is now a BT product, but calling it "slightly differentiated" from the bog standard Big BT/BT Retail volume market offerings (the overpriced and often underperforming ones) does not match reality.

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Stop

Never knowingly undersold...

Will JLs famed 'never knowingly undersold' arrangement apply to this?

If not, why not?

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FAIL

Come on now, let's be fair.....

Is it me or am I the only one who has taken a proper look at www.johnlewisbroadband.com and realised that the pricing includes pricing for line rental - you have to take their phone service along with the broadband.

The prices quoted in the Reg article are inclusive of line rental. This doesn't necessarily make it the cheapest option around, but it also doesn't put it in the expensive catagory.

El reg should update the article and be clear about it.

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FAIL

Its not intended for the likes of us lot...

... its for the typical Middle class 40+ year old John Lewis customer base who just purchased a new iPad so they can read their telegraph without getting ink on their middle classed fingers.

They wont be worried about price or bandwidth throttling because they wont be high users, and certainly wont be playing any online games. Most will remember the early days of the internet, and their new (fast to them) John Lewis broadband will become the talking point of many dinner parties. The loyal John Lewis customers will sit around their John Lewis table, eating excessive amounts of John Lewis food, quaffing large quantities of John Lewis wine, whilst secretly imagining each other’s “posh totty” wives wearing nothing more than their john Lewis underwear…..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Its not intended for the likes of us lot...

I assume your wife ran off with that stockbroker.

(a little bitter but quite funny, thanks)

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