back to article Murdoch hate sparks mass bitchin', rapid evacuation from O2, BE

Boycotting Rupert Murdoch-owned stuff - such as the media baron's newspapers - is nothing new. But now that Telefónica UK has sold its O2 and BE home broadband businesses to BSkyB, customers are either fleeing the networks or moaning bitterly about who they perceive to be their looming "nasty old" overlord. O2 and BE punters …

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  1. Philip Cheeseman
    Thumb Down

    I'm going

    I'm going once I move. I'd have gone already if I wasn't just about to exchange contracts for the house move. Just wish I was moving somewhere with decent alternatives but it looks like its bt infinity, talk talk or sky so guess its BT infinity as the best of the worst....

    1. Snivelling Wretch

      Re: I'm going

      Ditto...

      1. CJ Bill

        Re: I'm going

        I'm waiting on the house sale to go through before ditching as well

    2. theblackhand

      Re: I'm going

      My opinion?

      Talk Talk - poor performance, terrible customer service, cheap

      Sky - free with Sky package, poor customer service, pretty good (16Mbps/1Mbps) DSL performance

      BT - expensive, poor customer service, average (10Mbps/1Mbps) DSL performance

      If you are going to get poor customer service, why pay for it?

      I can understand Be customers who were used to good customer service and business support being upset by the company being sold, but as the price people pay for their Internet connections continues to fall, smaller companies that provide niche services will find more profit in selling their user base than continuing to operate if they are just re-selling BT Wholesale products.

      1. elaar

        Re: I'm going

        Did you just pull those Sky Vs BT speeds out of thin air or do you have a source? Seeing as Sky uses BT copper then average sync speeds are going to be the same between the two. Strangely, BT offers "upto" 16Mbps the same as Sky, plus you have the option of fibre/Infinity, so your performance "statistics" are bizarre.

        1. orangepeel

          Re: I'm going

          Just an FYI, I moved from Be where I had 12mb dl & 1.2mb ul. I moved to Plus.net where I now get around 9mb dl and just under 1mb ul.

          I queried this with Plus.net and they tell me it's because Be are using their own equipment in the exchange while Plus.net use BT's.

          So where unbundling comes into it there can be a speed difference between ISP's.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'm going

            This was one of BE's better points - they are a LLU provider.

            When I was with them I was subscribed to 'Annex M' ASDL2+ which gave me a fatter upload band through their equipment at the local exchange.

        2. theblackhand

          elaar Re: I'm going

          Re: performance. It was my experience.

          I had BT for around 3 years using the first version of the Home Hub and I was quite happy with the performance at 10Mbps/1Mbps. BT upgraded their exchanges which resulted in 2-3 days loss of service for me on 3 separate occasions over the course of 3 months and I moved to Sky.

          Sky gave me a new router and I've had 16Mbps/1Mbps ever since.

          In all likelihood the same Sky router used on a BT line would yield the same result but from a service perspective, I saw a difference.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm going

        Good customer service should not be thought of as a "niche service"

        Really sad that we still expect to take shit from big companies and pay them for it without much of a second thought because we consider it normal.

    3. The obvious

      Re: I'm going

      I'd go find an infinity reseller. Back in the earlier days of DSL, BT support staff had (and perhaps still have) access to your login password in plain text (I managed to get it out of one of them once), I quit them there & then and have no plans to return.

      1. Vince

        Re: I'm going

        "Infinity Reseller"

        I think you mean just an alternative Fibre Broadband Provider.

        Infinity is a brand name of BT's for the Retail Fibre service they offer.

        FTTC (the fibre most people have that can get it) is a wholesale product many ISPs offer.

        Please don't help BT in making everyone believe Infinity IS fibre and thus they're the only game in town, they've already nabbed the majority of the business.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: I'm going

          Infinity is a brand name of BT's for the Retail Fibre service they offer.

          FTTC (the fibre most people have that can get it) is a wholesale product many ISPs offer.

          Please don't help BT in making everyone believe Infinity IS fibre and thus they're the only game in town, they've already nabbed the majority of the business.

          It's all FTTC from BT though, isn't it, regardless of what the badge says? It's a BT line from you to the cabinet, it's BT from the cabinet to the exchange, and it's BT from the exchange to your ISPs POP.

          BT make most of their money in broadband charging by the GB for backhaul from exchange to POP, I don't want to be exploited that way.

    4. IanzThingz

      Re: I'm going

      Already gone, told O2 it was because of the sale, fortunately I was out of contract with O2 anyway, so made the move to Plusnet, don't have sky at all, cancelled it when the phone hacking story broke.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: I'm going

        "so made the move to Plusnet"

        Plus net are now part of BT.

        1. druck
          Thumb Up

          Re: I'm going

          John Smith 19 wrote:

          Plus net are now part of BT.

          Yes they are, so you get the benefits such as FTTC as for Infinity, and when there are any line problems they don't just blame BT and leave you to fend for yourself.

          But also they still operate as separate company, and unlike BT they know how to run an ISP. They offer good, reliable and competitive priced products, and are open and honest about any traffic management and any service outages. I've been with them for over 10 years now, and wholeheartedly recommend them.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: I'm going

            Haven't plus.net always been part of BT? They are consistently #1 in customer satisfaction polls year after year.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I'm going

              No, Plusnet weren't part of BT for some years.

              Plusnet started out life as "Force 9 Internet" (IIRC) which was in turn an offshoot of Choice Peripherals, a PC parts company which used to be in Worksop. Insight then bought Choice Peripherals and spun off Force 9 as a company in its own right. Force 9 morphed into Plusnet, which BT bought in the middle of the last decade (2005?).

              That's why I always grin when Plusnet adverts bang on about "good honest Yorkshire" and all that guff. They started out life in a (very) small industrial unit in Nottinghamshire :)

              1. Benchops

                Re: I'm going

                To be fair Plusnet spent most of their independent years firmly based in Sheffield. I was with them then and they were excellent. Alas O2 LLUed in our exchange long before BT had any plans to so I switched (with a cashback equivalent to a year's subs) and had excellent service (both support and connection).

                When I rang to get my MAC after the Sky announcement they offered me another 12 months free and said the equipment's not going to change for 18 months.

                Being a bit of a sucker for a freeby I went for it on the grounds that I won't be lining any Murdoch pockets (Murdockets?) while it's free and I must remember to switch before the 12 month ends.

                I plan to go back to Plusnet who now have a BT 21CN line to play with.

    5. Tony Green

      Re: I'm going

      Can I suggest Andrews & Arnold instead?

      Slightly more expensive than some, but first-rate for speed, reliability and customer service. Recently came out in a big poll as the highest-rated ISP. I've been with them for years and never had anything about their service I wasn't happy with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm going

        I moved to plusnet, they're the only people with a comparable package and limited shaping to the be offering, throw in a £3 a month vpn and I don't even need to worry about the shaping they do have, plus I can watch shit that's only released in the US and get games earlier on digital distribution.

        Also the past year be have been pretty terrible and I can see it being far worse as they make the transition, and at the end of the day I just don't want to end up on one of the big 3 Sky,Virgin or BT. Though a lot of the time it's BT your line goes through at least the people on support are easier to get hold of and vaguely more competent with the second tier providers.

        1. madferret

          Re: I'm going

          But PlusNet are owned by BT.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm going

        I'd recommend AAISP if its for business or you don't have a family. The good reverend takes no crap from Openreach and has a quite informative/amusing blog too. I wonder if Shaun (IIRC) can spell any better though after all these years :)

    6. N2 Silver badge

      Re: I'm going

      IDNet or AAISP ?

    7. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I'm going

      At risk of being slapped about by the mods - You might want to look at the phone.coop. While they resell other companies' LLU services you can talk directly to the techs if need be.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Leaving, not because of Murdoch

    The whole point of me signing up to BE Broadband was that they were a good company with an excellent customer service team, and that they were going to be a million times better than Sky (previous provider) were. And in the times I had to call BE with a problem they bent over backwards to fix it, unlike Sky who were about as useful as a conscience is to Murdoch.

    I'm sad that BE will be no more, I'll miss those Bulgarians an awful lot.

    1. Trevor 3

      Re: Leaving, not because of Murdoch

      Same here.

      I left Sky as they were next to useless and I heard about this bunch of guys at BE, who did everything I wanted them to. Great support, static IPs..etc...etc... and if you want a laugh get on their BBS.

      Now I'm back at sodding sky and I'm expecting it to be as terrible as it was when I left.

      Can't help but notice that my internet isn't half as stable as it used to be already, or is that psychosomatic?

      1. Roo
        Unhappy

        Re: Leaving, not because of Murdoch

        Nah, it's not just you with respect to BE's QoS, I have had some very poor performance for about a month or so now to the point where I have given up on playing online games and watching online video. Sky's antipathy towards static IPs (to the point where the guy on the phone doesn't even know what one is) is forcing me to move.

        As soon as I get a quieter week or two I'm going to be moving ISP, keeping my cash away from Murdoch's grotty pockets will be a bonus. It would be nice if folks running companies had some alternate strategies to the now ubiquitous make our product as shit as the rest one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leaving, not because of Murdoch

      those bulgarians will be coming here next year anyway. So maybe they can get there jobs back, and get paid more as well :)

  3. Norphy

    If I hadn't already migrated from them because of their lack of fibre options, I would have done over the Sky buyout.

    Oh well, another one bites the dust.

  4. Bornhuetter
    Go

    Faith in Humanity: Restored

    If I were with O2/BE, I would unsubscribe too.

  5. Mike Pellatt
    Unhappy

    Sad to see them go

    Agree on the Bulgarians - the most helpful call centre you could hope to find.

    As I've bitched about far too often already, at the work location - no FTTC, exchange-only lines, no Virgin Media, too small for the ex-BE Hyperoptic peeps - a reasonably-priced bonded service from BE was an excellent solution.

    I'm quite sure this service will be discontinued by Sky - it's not as if they're into niche services. The only saving grace is that EFM prices are dropping, and rumoured to be descending further (so don't sign up to 3-year EFM contracts, people !!)

    1. Irongut

      Re: Sad to see them go

      I'm in exactly the same boat with our head office having no FTTC, no Virgin, etc and BT have been putting the install date for FTTC back 3 months every time it gets close for over a year now. Bonded ADSL was our only option to get a half decent speed. For the moment we'll stick with BeSky but as soon as they drop the bonded product or we can get FTTC we'll be off.

      1. elaar

        Re: Sad to see them go

        How about a BT EFM circuit then? We have many customers taking this route, they're proving to be very good circuits if you have no fibre.

        1. Mike Pellatt

          Re: Sad to see them go

          Yabut - EFM is at a minimum 4 times the price of BE bonded. My need for 10Mbps uplink isn't valued at that, yet.

          As I mentioned, EFM prices are said to be dropping - they do seem to be, but not quite to the level that I'll jump, yet. And you need to sign for 3 years or pay >1K upfront - also not good.

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I understand that quite a large reseller is also moving off O2 and (somewhat astonishingly) moving to BT

  7. SteveM74

    I left O2 the day the buy-out was announced - mainly because of poor performance when I'd been with Sky previously (I have Sky TV so can't really claim an objection on moral grounds).

    I was also thoroughly pissed off that I found out about it from the BBC first, THEN received a message from O2 beginning "as you may have seen in the news"....

  8. John H Woods Silver badge

    Hmm....

    Might be in a tiny minority here, but (despite loathing Murdoch) I've never had a problem with SKY. Broadband often a bit sluggish in peak periods, but never any problem with Customer Service or the Engineers. That may be in part because the house has 3 boxes and everything-but-the-porn subscription, so my monthly bill is substantial, or perhaps I've just been very lucky. I just wish it wasn't part of the Evil Empire.

    1. GreggS

      Re: Hmm....

      But the adult "chat" channels are free!

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Hmm....

        Shh, your IP address may well have been harvested by some Blackmail merchant (see Prenda Law case in the US) who will no doubt be asking all your neighbors if they have downloaded any Pron using your BB connection.

  9. Shao

    Already going....

    Most people went to O2 because they got a discount with their mobile phone and that O2 were on BE which was the first to provide ADSL2+. That group of people were already thinking about fleeing O2 as O2 wasn't going to move to fibre.

    Then of course it doesn't help that Sky free broadband has been slated in the past by being slow and unreliable.

    So Murdoch or no Murdoch, a large proportion were going to flee. Murdoch just reminded people that it was something on their tick list.

    It is a good time to go....

  10. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Look before you leap

    Im less than eneamoured with going to Sky but look at the alternatives - are they any better?

    Virgin - NTL under a different name - never again.

    BT - Blood sucking monopoly who phormed us.

    Talk-Talk - all time achiever at top of the BB complaints tree.

    As far as the big boys go I think sky actually could the the lesser of 4 evils.

    1. GreggS

      Re: Look before you leap

      I've been Virgin-Sky and back to Virgin again (mostly due to Sky having terrible customer service as soon as i was out of contract) and can honestly say that I've not had a problem with Virgin and my cable service has been very reliable. In fact, I've just been upgraded to their 30MB service for which they are effectively paying me as they've given me a discount on what I was already paying for their 10MB service.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Look before you leap

        I'm glad Virgin's going well for you. I applied to get connected to Virgin broadband, and let my existing ISP/phone provider know I'd be cancelling.

        The engineer came, drilled holes in my walls and installed great big ugly boxes inside and out. At that point, he got a call from base to say they didn't have working cable to my house, and never would. So, he apologised and left.

        The reply to my complaining letter somehow managed to arrive on the same day I posted my letter and said, in effect, 'Tough shit, you're not even our customer. Why would we even think about checking we could connect you before attacking the fabric of your house? And as for removing our boxes, don't you know it's our to plaster the Virgin logo every object on the planet?'

        And still not a week goes by without their marketing junk mail begging me to become a subscriber.

        Virgin Customer Service Team, if you're reading this, you can't find your arses in your own trousers with an arse detector. I would like to personally remove your collective Virginity with a Tabasco-dipped Anne Summers Rampant Raptor (limited-edition sharktooth-and-cactus model).

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Look before you leap

      Those aren't the only alternatives. I can recommend IDNet but last I heard there are several dozen ISPs who resell BT's FTTC service.

      Some alternatives.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Look before you leap

      There's Plusnet, it is owned by BT, but run by a completely different customer service team and is actually pretty good.

    4. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Look before you leap

      I've found NTL(virgn/liberty/telewest/whatever's taken them over this month) to be a very good service

      Except when it goes wrong and you have to call 'customer sevice'

      I'd rather cut my right arm off with a chainsaw, then beat myself to death with it than spend another 2 $^£*%£ing hours trying to get a solution out of the outsourced call center, before they finally agree to transfer me back to their scottish help center who magically can sort any problem out and book you a service engineer call in 5 fooking minutes........

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Look before you leap

        Up to the point when they out-sourced the call centre I had quite good service from VM for my cable connection. Of course, it is different now but not quite so bad to jump. Zen anyone?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Look before you leap

          Or the point they look at their bill from BT for hauling data and go "err guys, we're going to have to rethink all these packages..."

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look before you leap

      FAIL. There are many more broadband providers in the UK than those few.

      As someone commented above, look for a FTTC reseller, if you have this rolled out to your area. Even if not there are reasonable alternatives - I used to get great service from Eclipse for example.

      1. Vic

        Re: Look before you leap

        > I used to get great service from Eclipse for example

        So did I. Now I get shite service from Eclipse.

        I was just about to migrate to Be :-(

        Vic.

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