back to article Tiscali in shock customer satisfaction win

Tiscali, the tightwad's ISP of choice, has come from left field to win the annual JD Power broadband customer satisfaction survey. According to the consumer analysts, Tiscali scores particularly highly for its billing and is well above average across the board. Second place is taken by Virgin Media and third by new boy Sky. …


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  1. john doe

    you gotto be kidding...

    who did they ask? penguins?

  2. Rob
    Paris Hilton


    They asked Paris...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised.

    Tiscali = worst ISP I've ever had. They should have asked me :)

  4. James Whale
    Thumb Down

    Just left Pipex

    I've just left Pipex and looking forward to a new, happy, ADSL2+, contract-free life with Be.

    Over the last few months, the speed of my (supposedly 8Mbit) Pipex service has degraded continually - when last I checked it was below 1Mbit. Customer service is appalling, and the halfwits who respond to your queries don't bother to read your query before they respond with some scripted amateurish half-arsed pap that doesn't even the answer the question posed.

    If this is what has happened to Pipex since its acquisition by Tiscali, I predict I won't be the only fleeing customer. (On the plus side, it's much easier to get a MAC number since the new Ofcom regulations came in - only took a day or two.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Dont Believe it

    Well a sample of 1600 is not really a reflection of the 11million households with broadband. Take this info with a pinch of Salt.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same Thoughts..

    I was thinking the same thing as John Doe - virgin media came second??? Were they blind penguins?

  7. Mark

    Everyone else just fell faster

    ALL the suppliers are terrible. Tiscali didn't improve, the others got worse quicker. For me, I had a choice of NTHell (natch) who throttled everything and wouldn't let me downgrade the speed. BT who only did 8Mbps lines but capped at a silly 3GB/month for £18 a month, other ADSL providers with similar caps, similar prices and similar throttling.

    Tiscali doesn't have a cap, does throttle and does a cheaper 2Mbps link.

    They ALL cap, so why do I care about the top speed? I'm not allowed to use it in any case, so what's it for? Getting spammed quicker???

    So Tiscali is a terrible choice (£12 pcm, throttling) but better than the rest (>>£18, download caps, throttling).

    And now I don't use limewire any more, I don't know whether I want to buy a CD any more: the radio often doesn't say what the track is called, and don't say what CD it is on, so how do I know what to browse for in the stores? Limewire, I could download it and have the name come up.

    Not bought a CD in three years.

    No need for high speed internet.

    And *I'm* a techie!!!

  8. Owen Carter
    Thumb Down

    All the same really!

    I would say most ISP's are the same and pretty shocking, you usually have to spend ages in a call queue then get told to turn your router on and off again.... always! Slow service and ineffective support!

    Get me some 100mbit fiber to the home and i wouldnt mind waiting ages to talk to someone but paying for a 24mbit service and getting just under 6mbit is shite!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Only last month I was searching for an ISP for my father whom is stuck in the middle ages still using the internet via smoke signals! I was keen to get an isp which wouldnt restrict him with his internet usage, but would also not be subject to a 12 month contract. Tiscali met these requirements and at a price which was cheaper than his current telephone line only subscription from BT. Having dealt with lots of ISP's I was very impressed with Tiscali's ordering system and the automated progress emails. The line was up and running well before the date it stated and installation was a breeze without installing any other guff that was not required.

    Virgin Media ... great network, overpriced and terrible company. Used to be much better as Telewest, but still overpriced!

    Sky ... gah ... they just make money hand over fist.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    100 Mbit Fiber.

    @Owen Carter

    A mate of mine has 100mbit fiber into his house in the UK. But then again he is the CIO of one of the best performing ISP's in the UK. He got the line installed for "offsite backups!" ;-)

  11. Morely Dotes

    Doesn't anyone know how you get a high rating?

    JD Power is a business - in the business of selling advertising space. Buy advertising from them - get a high rating.

    This is not rocket science. It works exactly the same way as getting a high rating for your new game at

  12. Not That Andrew

    Insert generic title

    Well the survey is bollocks - quality of service only counts for 24% of the score!

  13. Lloyd


    I'm using them and haven't had a problem yet (apart from BT with the phone line), I'm getting about 6mbps and a phone line for £20 a month compared to 1.5mbps, piss poor customer service and a line that dropped out continuously on

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Sent via Tiscali

    Basic simple supply,reliable, does what it says ( not much admittedly ) no need for service calls in any event.

    And what do i need 100mbs for? I'd get friction burns where it hurts !

  15. Matthew

    They lost my account and then denied I existed.

    Tiscali lost my email account with all my email, locked me out of the account and then claimed my account had been closed several years ago.

    That was for a PAID email account.

  16. Graham Lockley

    Obviously a sort error..

    When the results were tallied, someone switched the ascending/descending flag, only way I can see those three at the 'top' of any sort of satisfaction list !

  17. yeah, right.

    @ Not That Andrew

    Quality of service is only 24%? What's the remainder: how much money and beer they contributed to the J.D. Powers survey team?

  18. Sandy Donaldson
    Thumb Up

    Works fine for me

    I've been using them ever since they were wanadoo and never really had too much problems with them. Any time I've had to call them, i've never had to wait morethan 10-15 minutes and they always seem polite. Got my ~8mb broadband, home phone (unlimited calls in uk, and top 10 countries abroad, and mobiles to USA and Canada) and line rental all for just under £33 a month. Can't sya fairer than that.

    Enquired about SKY and was told that I'm not in the correct area and waould have to pay £20 / month just for thier broadband.

    Go figure why I stay with Tiscali?

  19. Andrew MacArthur
    Thumb Down

    tiscali and virgin experience

    I WAS a Tiscali customer until i moved home at the begging of 2007 and they made a complete bodge of the phone-line/broadband move due to inaccurate information on their 'moving home' web pages and the inability to get meaningful support from them.

    It took months of hassle to cancel my account.

    I switched to Virgin very quickly but am now working in China and find Virgin to be pretty unhelpful - especially as I cannot maintain my webspace from China because Virgin insist on a direct-connect to their webspace Server. Virgin seem to think the internet exists only in the UK and I am some sort of alien invader trying to access their systems simply because I am in another country. I have tried to explain to Virgin that the internet exists outside of the UK but they fail to understand!

    I will probably cancel my virgin account when the contract expires.... PS working in China is fun and challenging - I love it here!

    Andrew MacArthur

  20. Jim
    Thumb Down

    Tiscali the best...ha ha

    Yes, easy enough to join....but you wait till you try to leave. I got my MAC code (eventually), but they didn't close the account even though I used the mac code to go else where. Received numerous bills, then court demands etc...absolute nightmare. Customer services couldn't close the account because billing had locked it. Billing couldn't unlock it because the account was showing as active...round in circles.

  21. Andrew Tyler
    Paris Hilton

    Jesus Chrysler...

    This is the same JD Power that I always see in advertisements on TV (here in the States) giving awards to Chrysler for "highest quality."

    Have you ever driven a Chrysler?

    I don't really know anything about JD Power, but I've seen enough car commercials (not only for Chrysler) to know their awards don't amount to much.

  22. Richard Large

    <TITLE> </TITLE>

    I've been with Tiscali since they were called Freeserve on PAYG dial-up. The only truely bad thing I could ever say about them is that I have a couple of days outatge over the period of a year. It's consistanly as fast, if not faster as advertised (I currently have the 2mbps, plenty for me), I get good speeds on bittorrent. I don't use their e-mail nor have I ever needed to call them about anything so I simply couldn't comment there. It's better than anything else out there.

  23. JasonW

    Tiscali have never been Wanadoo or Freeserve

    Freeserve turned into Wanadoo, who morphed into Orange.

    Tiscali has always been Tiscali and always been crap.

    To anyone that thinks all ISPs are the same - they aren't - get off your butt and do some product research.

  24. Duncan Hothersall

    @ Tee Jay

    That really is a great summary of Virgin from my experience. Great network, overpriced, terrible company. I mean really, really dreadful company. Shame, because Telewest were okay.

  25. Nick Reid

    Works fine for me too.

    I've been using Tiscali ever since I moved to a broadband enabled area and never had any problems with them. Granted, I have no experience of other ISP's to compare them to, but I have no complaints with them either.

  26. Simon Brown

    the devil, as always, is in the detail

    Tiscali come top of the major ISPs in the UK.

    DETAIL 1:

    Only 42 points separates the best from the worst. 3 ways that can happen: the best ISP got a lot worse but in Tiscali's case that would be hard, or the worst got better which is possible because BT could hardly have degraded any further, or somewhere between the two with Tiscali slumping a bit and BT improving a bit.

    DETAIL 2:

    major ISPs. We're talking Tiscali, Virgin Media, Sky, AOL, Orange, Pipex, Talk Talk, BT. And yes, out of that shower, you could probably bring Tiscali in as the number 1 and only have 7% difference between best and worst, they are all as bad as each other.

    There are good ISPs out there. None of them are mentioned in this survey.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Ha! JD Power! Ha!

    Anybody who believes a single word of any JD Power survey is asking for exactly what they get...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Back to haunt me...

    Back in those dialup days a company called turnedup

    I was a breathe customer but screamings £9.99/month phone and FREE internet was just too hard to resist.

    then they went bust and worldonline bought them, for a while it was still free but then it changed and there was I think a £10 charge. which was still cheaper than freeserve at the time

    then tiscali got worldonline and the charge went up to £15 at which point I moved to freeserve,

    there was no warning no service just an extra fiver please every month.

    having dealt with their support in the past too, all I can say is that the JDPOWER survey needs to be looked at, as there are many providers better than them.

  29. Kebabster

    @Tee Jay

    Funnily enough for the 9 months I was with Tiscali, the only thing keeping people there was the 12 month initial contract tie-in. I can't believe they could have dropped this and still retain customers.

    Worst ISP ever, throttled almost all the time I wanted to use the net (i.e. after work / weekends) to crippling speeds. I was literally seeing below 56k dialup modem speeds on my 8Mb (line-sync at 7Mb) link. Eventually I got out because they "couldn't" fix the speed issues due to whatever way the service was being routed.

    I changed to ICUK, small outfit, costs a little more, capped packages (pick the one that fits) but more importantly NO THROTTLING. I don't download an obscene amount but when I want it, I want it now, that's the point of broadband isn't it? Oh and their customer service is unbeatable, real people, in the UK, who can speak English!

    If they do have an outage (they have once... in the past year) they go out of their way to tell you what the problem was, directly, by e-mail, instead of playing hunt-the-hardly-ever-updated-status-page at Tiscalis joke support site.

    No, I don't work for them... but people here seem to be saying one ISP is much like another these days, I'm just saying there are still a few hidden diamonds out there if you look hard enough.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    I was satisfied with tiscali...

    ..until something went wrong, they are quite possibly the worse company i've dealt with. (Apart from one guy i spoke with in billing who was quite helpful)

  31. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Tiscali have never been Wanadoo or Freeserve

    JasonW is correct - Tiscali started off in the late 90's as the first true "free" dial-up service, former-glory ISP (as part of virtual telco LocalTel). In 2000, was aquired by Dutch ISP, WorldOnline. The following year, Worldonline was aquired by the Italian Stalion, Tiscali.

    Isn't that interesting?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Everyone else just fell faster


    Good music? Streamed but <heh> it can be recorded. Try No chit chat, no twat DJ's. They have a playlist on the site, or in iTunes it shows the title of the track that's playing.


    I fell out with Pipex as they were unable to make 2 direct debit accounts or a credit card payment work (and I don't mean there wasn't sufficient funds). I was with them for 6 years, thanks Pipex. I'd recommended about 25 clients to them, several of whom are now having billing or speed problems . Their support is appalling.

    I'm now helping them all to move to another ISP - probably Zen, they seem to come out best in all the big forums. (Who TF are JD Powers?)

  34. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward - Pipex

    Sounds just like me, got back from a few days away to find my pipex broadband access has been suspended due to lack of payment; i've been a customer for over 2 years and they had both credit card and dd billing info for me but according to the call center it hadn't been setup on there system properly (they are apparently working from 2 different systems at the moment and there are issues keeping both up to date).

    They also said they had been sending me warning emails about non-payment, but had my address wrong and had been sending them to a hotmail user (i don't even use hotmail). It took 3 days to get my account re-enabled. :(

    I've used the Joke Icon as that's what pipex are turning into!

  35. Michael

    JD Powers methods of sampling are covered in this book

    I'm amazed at the way the sampling was done . and it's legal!!

  36. Ian

    @ Jason W

    I did plenty of research when I moved recently and took up on the basis of many reviews. Very, very bad mistake. Max 200K (on a good day) from my 8Mb and endless chicken and egg arguments when I try to get them to figure out why I am barely faster than dialup.

    "You need to do 3 speedchecks on the BT Speedcheck site"

    "I can't - your connection is so slow that it times out, I have tried it 40 times"

    "OK, leave your modem on, we will test that"


    "Hey, your modem isn't on"

    "Yes it is, but you can't connect to it because your connection is too slow"

    "Hmmm - can you do 3 speedtests on the BT site?"

    etc etc etc even until the end of the world.

    Thanks feck it's a 1 month contract. I might try BT at this rate....

  37. JasonW


    Reviews aren't what you need - it's real life experience from current/recent users. Sites like and are there to help. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realise that those to the right of the graph are less well regarded than those to the left.

    Oh and remember that PlusNet *is* BT now....

  38. Slaine


    I too am an ex-tiscali subscriber... for many VERY good reasons.

    Primarily, my problems revolved around the fact that it was impossible to register a problem, complaint or objection to their online site and in the end I was forced to contact them by snail mail. Having caught them breaking the rules, I manipulated myself off their connection and found myself dumped unceremoniously with a vicious debt collection agent. That too required some fancy typing before eventually I was left alone.

    ***[oh, and since this never actually went to court there is NO problem with publishing this, honest]***

    "How", you may ask, "did tiscali get to this covetted No.1 position when they are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a big steamy pile of No.2?" I suspect the same way they dealt with me; by registering ONLY the positive feedback.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    how much did this cost?

    how much did they pay for this kinda award? I've got friends who used tiscali (or tried should I say) one of them was without an internet connection for 3 months due to them screwing up. and still paid for the server!

    Granted no ISP has great support. But 3 months of calls and getting no where.

    I've with Ukonline. paying £9.99 for 1mb with no limits. but there support isn't recommended but I'd still recommend them over tiscali! hell. I'd recommend using free wireless from mcdonalds over tiscali!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It took 11 months for Tiscali to activate my shite broadband!

    ..then i migrated!


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