back to article Sky falling: 119,000 Brits flee O2, Be after Murdoch broadband gobble

One in five O2 and Be broadband subscribers abandoned the home internet service after it was bought by BSkyB - according to figures shown to the City this morning. At the end of last month, BSkyB's total broadband customer base stood at 4.9 million having gobbled up about 400,000 subscribers following its acquisition of O2 and …

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  1. chappers
    WTF?

    Thats where my £1.50 increase went - to the shareholders

    1. Ragarath

      Increase? Oh the thing that you phone up and complain about, threatening to drop services so that they discount you to a decent wad of cash per month.

      The do it again next year. It costs them more in the long run for me each time they put the price up as I get discounts on what I have or just drop the ones I threaten to. When you want it back later you can get it cheaper.

  2. green_giant

    Yup

    Got my MAC through yesterday. Still not seen anything from them on how they are going to deal with the features that BE offer but SKY don't. After requesting my MAC I was offered half price broadband for a year but I would have to start a new contract with them for 12 months. No thanks.

    Forums are full of people saying they are leaving and as they are now SKY customers getting calls from them asking to migrate over early and lose the extra features they went to BE for.

  3. Anonymous Coward 101

    'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

    Er, you would need to know the quarterly changes in the number of customers before the deal was announced before one could make a reasonable conclusion as to the effect of the Sky takeover.

    No doubt some people will leave O2 solely because of Murdoch, but Sky's large customer base suggests most people don't care.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

      No doubt some people will leave O2 solely because of Murdoch, but Sky's large customer base of Sun Readers and big Brother watchers don't care.

      There fixed it for you

    2. Brenda McViking
      Facepalm

      Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

      I think 100,000 people leaving from an estimated subscriber base of circa 500,000 shows the effect pretty clearly. Let's not forget that Be subscribers were there because Be broadband was actually good, and when you had a problem they weren't afraid to speak tech with you if you wanted. I was with O2 for a while at university because it was very cheap if you had a phone contract with them.

      Both O2 and Be had something to differentiate them from the market, and hence their subscribers have already shown themselves to be a far more savvy bunch than the usual crowd- and losing 20% of your userbase even when you're offering a fair few sweetners just shows that Sky didn't do their homework properly. That's a disaster. Sky is seen to be run of the mill, poor customer service offering a mediocre product - definitely a step down from Telefonica's offerings.

      If I had a MAC right now I'd be looking at someone like Andrews&Arnold (recently quoted in the Cameron Censorship fiasco article as they'll give you active choice - you can have uncensored internet, or you can go to hell) - they must be rubbing their hands with glee at all the potential customers.

      1. Chris King Silver badge
        Gimp

        I wonder what the churn was on wholesale connections...

        I had a Be Wholesale line with Andrews & Arnold - at the time, Be was the only way to get ADSL2+ on my exchange, and there was no sign of Infinity. As soon as I heard that Be was heading to Sky, three words went through my mind...

        Eject ! Eject ! EJECT !!!

        I immediately placed a regrade order in with AAISP and switched back to a BT connection. Sure, I could have waited, but I've seen what happens when small ISP's get taken over by crappy corporates, and it isn't pretty.

        1. Mnot Paranoid
          Meh

          Re: I wonder what the churn was on wholesale connections...

          As far as I was concerned, there should be no effect on Be wholesale connections with AAISP. I've got dual-WAN bonding with them over Be connections. For the last month or so, I have had issues, where I had none before, so perhaps the wholesale service has degraded too. I had thought about migrating to the Talk Talk wholesale, but I'm moving house to another city next month, so I'll deal with it then.

      2. Tony Green

        No need for a Mac

        Not sure why you appear to think you need a Mac to use Andrews & Arnold. They'll support you WHATEVER platform you use. And they'll support you extremely well, too.

        (Very satisfied customer of many years standing).

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: No need for a Mac

          Im assuming you were joking. He meant MAC as in Migration Authorisation Code not apple mac.

          You were joking right?

          1. Spudbynight
            Trollface

            Re: No need for a Mac

            Apple Lawsuit (TM) incoming in ...

            3....

            2....

            1...

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

      When people signed up for O2 or BE, Sky was one of the alternative options they could have considered. For whatever reason, they chose not to sign up with Sky. It probably wasn't due to price, because Sky is generally cheaper, so it would either be because they hate Rupert Murdoch, or O2/BE offered something that they felt was worth paying extra for.

      The fact that many people did chose Sky does not tell you that O2 customers don't care about Sky, because existing Sky customers had different priorities when chosing to take that route. One Sky customer I know chose Sky broadband because he already uses them for their TV product, doesn't use the internet that much, but needs a cheap basic service that will do the job with the minimum of fuss. He's very happy with Sky, but it is a very different target market from people like me who chose O2 because they offer things like static IP addresses, and the best performance and customer services available without spending stupidly large amounts of money.

    4. Aggrajag
      Go

      Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

      quote: "No doubt some people will leave O2 solely because of Murdoch, but Sky's large customer base suggests most people don't care."

      I left o2 solely because of Murdoch. Just sayin'

    5. James 100

      Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

      I use Be for the office line - no changes yet, beside a few messages saying "you have now been assimilated, but nothing is changing yet besides the name on the invoices". It certainly doesn't help that they've done such a lousy job of communicating with customers about what they have planned - assuming, that is, that something IS planned, beyond "let's buy this ISP, it's got lots of customers we could have".

      I would have said the recent network congestion problems could be a much more potent reason to switch - after all, we generally picked Be for the performance in the first place - and still no sign of IPv6 either. Moreover, there was a disruptive network upgrade being rolled out; I had a few emails from Be amounting to "at some point in the next year your line will stop working, at which point you will have to upgrade your router firmware and do a funny dance to get it working again". Being the sole broadband service in that office, carrying two VoIP trunks as well, that was almost reason enough in itself to switch ISP (at least that way, I'd know and have some control over the switchover date!)

      It's a shame, in multiple ways: Be were a fine 'power user' performance ISP, and somehow I doubt Sky will do a good job preserving that. Still, it could be worse: I was a Nildram customer once, and watched in horror as they got Borged by TalkTalk and their Chinese censorship machine, of all people.

      1. AOD

        Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

        I too recently jumped ship from Be, as luck would have it shortly before the $ky announcement.

        Had several happy years with them without a single days outage. Despite the connection not being that fast (typically syncing at around the 12Mbit mark) they provided the service they promised to and had excellent support for the very odd occasion it was required.

        The network migration was actually reasonably painless, the trickiest part was the reflashing of their router which otherwise hadn't been touched in terms of firmware since joining. I seem to recall it involved a direct cable connection with a static IP address and the sacrifice of a small mammal to the deity of your choosing.

        They never really got their fibre plans together (which makes sense now) so once the CAB at the end our road was finally Infinity enabled earlier this year, we jumped over to Plusnet and are enjoying the 76Mbit connection hugely. This happened literally a week or so before the $ky announcement which when I read it, I recall thinking "Phew!".

        Now,normally Be would ask you to return their Speedtouch router after leaving, but when I called them post migration to confirm where to send it back to, they advised "no need to do that any more sir since the recent announcment regarding $ky".

        A class act, even to the end and a shining example of how to treat customers.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

      It's pretty obvious that Turdoch will either reduce the quality of service or ramp up the price. He's a greedy two faced person at times. His recent comments caught on camery covertly demonstrate that.

  4. A. H. O. Thabeth
    Coat

    No suprise really

    I was looking for an ISP for my new location and as I had used Be before I looked at what Be had to offer and was about to sign up when the news of the Sky deal broke. So now I just hotspot from my phone instead.

  5. Amorous Cowherder
    Mushroom

    Sky can get stuffed

    After Sky more less said "Sorry but your 20Mbps line is running at 1Mbps as it's been oversubscribed and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it!", lucky I was able to go to Beardy's mob and get a fibre line that runs at the speed I was promised it would.

    Sky can go take a running jump, hopefully with one of their over subscribed lines tied round their neck!

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Sky can get stuffed

      "...able to go to Beardy's mob and get a fibre line that runs at the speed I was promised it would."

      I think you may find that instead of fibre you have coax.

      1. Otto is a bear.

        Re: Sky can get stuffed

        That's a point, does anybody actually have fibre to their home? So really all these adverts about fibre are misleading, as it's really only to the exchange, or local distribution box, if you are really lucky.

        Me, I won't touch any Murdoch products, and enjoy baiting the sky muggers in shopping centres, even 40% is too much for me.

        I get 8Mbs from an overhead wire, but then the telephone exchange is at the end of my garden, so the BTWiFI is pretty good too. With no cable I doubt anyone could offer me a better service

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Sky can get stuffed

          I like telling them about Freesat.

          I chatted for ages to a Sky salesman trying to sell me their PVR. After the call he was an expert in Freeview PVRs.

          I even tried Ondigital (IDTV subrscription)

        2. Phlip

          Re: Sky can get stuffed

          Yes. KCOM (Kingston Communications) are rolling out fibre to the door by default across their network. It's happening where I live right now. And if you want to pay them for it they'll gaurantee 100 Mbps (not 'up to'). Of course we don't have much choice of provider round here.

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Sky can get stuffed

        I don't care if Virgin's service comes down old loo roll tubes, I can't think of anywhere else we'd get a 100/10Mb connection.

        Of course, it's generally on the limit of being oversubscribed (forget iplayer at peak times), but it's worth it when I buy a game from Steam, and it's downloaded in less time than it would take to walk to the shops. (I've seen 13MB/s from Steam).

        And I prefer beardy to old aussie pants.

  6. Stuart Elliott

    Still have two accounts with BE

    The only reason I've not changed is where the two accounts are, neither have access to fibre yet, so there's little point moving away, but it'll be a cold day in hell when I switch to Sky's telecom service, and as soon as fibre is available... Sayonara Rupe.

  7. Bobthe2nd
    Trollface

    Sky Fall

    I guess its true, the smack down on benefits is impacting Sky's bottomline.. from broadband to Sky TV when you have to pay for it yourself instead of it being paid for you, maybe you take a look whether its worth the money or not.....

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This is the kind of news restores your faith in your fellow (wo)man.

  9. batfastad

    Static IP

    The deafening silence from Be/Sky as to whether my static IP service would continue has forced me to move to another provider and I've needed to make similar arrangements at a few other sites. Got my MAC through earlier this week and got a migration date to a new provider. FTTC is available but I just don't need that faster speed for the higher price.

    1. An0n C0w4rd
      Alert

      Re: Static IP

      makes me wonder if the entire purpose of Sky buying Be was to get it's grubby paws on a bunch more IPv4 address space. Everyone on static IPs gets turfed off and they re-purpose the space as dynamic IPs and laugh at everyone else who is running out of IPv4 space

      Probably easier and less troublesome than CGN.

      1. chappers

        Re: Static IP

        why not just go IPV6?

        1. batfastad

          Re: Static IP

          I don't think Sky offer IPv6 either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Static IP

      I'm in a similar situation. I run my own mailserver so I raised a ticket with BE asking if port 25 would be blocked when everything moved to sky. I got the following response:

      I can confirm that there are no plans of blocking port 25 for static IP customers.

      So far it still works.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Static IP

      We have 3 services with BE - bonded, Pro, and Value.

      Last month I called to cancel the bonded service, was offered 50% off. We decided to stay because the cancellations guy told me they have *no* ETA for migrating Bonded customers to Sky - there just isn't an equivalent in the Sky portfolio. Similarly our 4-static-IP BE Pro is safe for the moment... BE Value will be the first to be migrated, but after the non-cancellation discount we are paying £7/month for it!

  10. Craig 31

    I was with Bethere for years before leaving and going to sky. I left early to jump on a deal and what a mistake. Sky Broadband is worser than having your eyes replaced with hot toffee apples. I spent two months complaining about a poor service only to get a phone call from sky and listen to a guy explain to me for 15 minutes how my bill worked. My batteries then ran out thank god.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We haven't moved across yet.....

    but already have £20 in compensation owed us due to their aggresive sales teams and abusive staff (hint put the phone down 1st then swear sweetie).

    Hopefully they will keep the O2 lot and sack these muppets.

    Just waiting for a good BT offer to connect me to that big green box just up the road from me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We haven't moved across yet.....

      THe O2 lot have either been sold off to Capita and reassigned, in the process of being reassigned, or have taken VR to get away.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We haven't moved across yet.....

      Boo hoo. That lady said a baaad word and now somebody owes me money. Did you tell you mom too?

  12. schotness

    i phoned o2 to get my mac code cos my £20pm home phone and broadband offer had finished and they had put the price up by 8 quid, so they offed to drop it again by 7 quid which still i thought was ok.

    Then they offered to put me through to sky to see if they had any offers reluctantly i agreed & the sales guy said he would make me an offer i couldnt refuse !

    He said home phone and broadband for £14pm and free sky HD tv for a year & free dish install included. & then he said if i pay upfront its 120 for the year so a tenner a month

    being a cheapskate i accepted & my torrent downloads now come down at full speed rather than seemingly being throttled by o2 & my internet access seems fine for gaming etc

    I dont watch the sky tv much, cos i think its a bit crap. But i'm not paying for it so....

    I recon i got lucky for a change

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      gaming on sky

      I've never had a problem with Sky broadband it's always been v.reliable for me in my town. As to your luck with the offer, the great thing about Sky is you can always phone up and game their system for an offer. If we're not getting free Sky sports for 6 months then we are getting free broadband for a year. In the past 3yrs our monthly bill has never been lower.

      I may not agree with Rupert's empire but unfortunately we haven't found anyone that can beat sky on price at the moment.

  13. Mike Brown

    its worse than just this for sky. im currantly counted as 3 tv customers. 1 for a free sky package i got as my sister worked there, and 2 for now tv. there getting no money from me, and infact im costing them money as they are giving me free playstation plus for 3m and lots of content

    they are managing to hide the fact the customers are leaving hand over fist by giving now tv away for free and mixing the customers into the overall customer base.

    look deeply into there figures and there is somthing horribly wrong in sky

    1. Greg 16

      The package via your sister is a staff benefit which helps with staff retention, so I wouldn't read into that too much. Many companies do the same.

      Regarding Sky being in trouble, I recommend reading the article, in particular the section covering turnover and profits.

  14. Gav

    Left months ago

    I jumped ship as soon as the news of the sale came through. Fact it's a Murdoch outfit was reason enough to leave. The fact it was mediocre Sky broadband put a cap on it.

    The very nice lady I spoke to at O2 was practically throwing money at me in order to convince me not to leave. It sounded like they already had a pre-prepared and well used script to handle the situation. I could have had free broadband and mobile for a year. I was almost tempted.

    I would advise those of you remaining on O2, and happy to sup with the devil, to give them a call. Threaten to leave and there's no knowing how good a deal you may get. They're desperate.

    1. Greg 16

      Re: Left months ago

      " It sounded like they already had a pre-prepared and well used script to handle the situation. "

      It sounds like those cunning devils have a retentions department with staff trained to try and make you stay. Thanks for the tip off.

    2. Mike Richards

      Re: Left months ago

      When I called Be to end my subscription I got much the same 'oooh and here's another thing we can do for you' routine. By the end I think they were practically offering to put up another satellite if I stayed. But I let them down gently by saying I didn't want to pay money to some of the worst people on Earth.

      Now with Xilo and very happy indeed.

  15. dougal83

    Nothing going on here really

    BT infinity rollout is providing a better value mainstream alternatives. All six people I know that had Be connections now have FTTC connections and are paying less.

    1. Greg 16

      Re: Nothing going on here really

      I agree.

      From what I understand a large part of Be's market was reliable hi speed connections for power users. With the spread of FTTC that market is now mainstream and available very cheaply.

      O2 customers got cheap BB through their mobile phone contracts and the service was provided for customer retention, but their BB had a seriously bad reputation so I'm not surprised about falling numbers. I suspect they were falling well before the spread of FTTC and before the purchase by Sky.

  16. Steve Kerr

    Going, going, will be gone

    Will be jumping ship after FTTC gets rolled out in my local area, unfortunately, it's been delayed for over 2 years now :(

    Will have to bite the bullet and go to BT otherwise, it's SKY, Stalk Stalk, Tiscali or AOL.

  17. cheveron

    ... off its own *bat*

    Please get your cricketing cliches right.

  18. Philip Cheeseman

    I went when I moved

    I recently moved - told sky/o2 I wouldn't be taking their service with me. Didn't seem to interested in fighting to keep me once I said I had no wish to deal with them. Took out BT infinity as ADSL was only ~4Mb - not massively impressed - o2 was more reliable using iplayer at peak times. Hoping for a small FTTC provider to emerge once my 18 months are up...

  19. Lloyd

    They are offering great deals at the moment though

    For example my mother was offered Unlimited Fibre, phone line with free calls and tv including free sports for £25 a month. Yesterday their Orangutan turned up to fit it:

    - Nah, can't get TV reception

    Okay, I'll just take the Fibre and landline then.

    - Oh, unfortunately the exchange has somehow now miraculously oversubscribed.

    Okay, bye, bye.

    - Wait, but we can offer you the same package as you had before at the same price.

    Bye bye now.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was a BE customer and took Sky up of their offer of unlimited broadband up to 20mb, free Sky HD with the entertainment + pack, phone line with evening and weekends pack, with free HD box etc. for a total of £14.50 a month. which even includes the line rental.

    it was too good of an offer to pass up.

    getting 14mbps which is the same as BE.

    No problems as of yet.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't buy a used Granny from Murdoch

    see title

  22. mark_h

    Promotional Offers

    Sky offered O2/Be customers 12 months free TV (all the channels excluding movies and sport) and unlimited broadband if they switched to Sky line rental (£14.50 per month).

    This level of offer shows that they must be desperate to keep their (newly bought) customers.

  23. chrisf1

    After years of excellent service although not competitively priced and with somewhat dodgy routers, sadly the Sky take over was winning in the race for FTTC for me so its cable for me too. Although in fairness its as much BT failure to update my street cabinet and i've given up waiting - its due in the next year - just like the last two years.

    Sky apparently have a wonderful offer for those moving over - but that meant talking to another human being over an already entirely unnecessary phone call to cancel and apparently email is beyond them. A need for more than 5 Mbps plus some outages this month nailed it. They did kindly say they didn't need the bebox returned - but have now sent me an email saying they do. Guess somethings they email, somethings they don't.

    Still cancelling the BT line was even more fun as the texted a telephone number to my landline to confirm 'cancellation charges' . When I rang it turned out that i needed to talk to someone else instead as they couldn't do billing issues. Still not sure why i needed to talk to anyone.

    Note - by the time I've canceled i've er... canceled. If you'd like to make me an offer stay do it preferably before then by you know, being competitive, and in writing and not only on the phone in office hours.

    1. Aggrajag

      When I got my MAC code from o2 the nice lady did explain that I wouldn't have to return the o2 router even though I would probably get an emailing saying that I should return it. Sky had confirmed they didn't want the old o2 routers.

      A month later I did get an email asking for the router. I've ignored it.

  24. Franco Silver badge

    BT FTTC is £5 more a month for me, but taking my line rental on contract saves me £5 a month. I get twice the speed I had on Be and from next week I'll get BT Sport for free as well. I've lost my static IP but wasn't hugely bothered about that.

    Unlike most I was not impressed with Be's support, I had a two week outage this year that I knew was an exchange fault as 4 different routers showed no DSL connection, but convincing someone at Be of that was hopeless.

  25. NickNick
    Linux

    Plus one more

    Added another account closure to their list this afternoon. Pleasant chap - but sounded like he's heard it all before. No resistance at all, though.

  26. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    So old wrinkle prune face or the beared one in the knitwear?

    Decisions, decisions.

    Thank god I don't have to make them.

    But let's not forget that, according to mistress of the interwebs Clare Perry, there are around 450 ISP's in the UK. Admittedly the words "Clare Perry" and "accurate information on the internet" are strange bedfellows.

    Granted some of them will only serve you're town but so what?

    While they are unlikely to be cheaper than either some of them may have compensating benefits.

    Just saying.

  27. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Be let me down .....

    ...... after recommending them to a friend. I could cope with flakey DNS because the connection was always good and issues very rare. As for my friend it took them over 3 months to accept his exchange was over subscribed (lucky to get 200Kb in the evening and constant drop outs). Their resolution? Tough, nothing they can do. I was offered half price unlimited fibre to move to Sky early. I did as I already had tv with them. No issues on the change over which took 30 mins. I now have 40/10 and I am happy.

    My friend is now on Virgin and is happy as well. Be's customer service was good, but when they failed they were one of the worst.

  28. Mike Perrin
    Coat

    Another BEunlimited fugitive

    I am one of the hundred thousand too.

    When I took out BEunlimited (as a replacement for Nildram) they were leading edge with ADSL2. I went from 512k to 6megs for my £18 per month, with no download limit. I never had to worry, the connection just worked. I was a very happy customer.

    Six years on, I was paying the same amount for what was a fairly normal connection, now available for much less from other providers, and no fibre upgrade in sight. The Sky takeover provided the simple impetus to change to something better - and I bet I'm not the only one.

    I'm now with Plus.net, on a FTTC connection, and getting 36megs - for the same money as I was paying BE. I think of Sky as a cable TV company with internet on the side; I don't own a TV so why bother?

    I will always remember BE with affection, but when it's time to move, it's time to move, as Sky have found out.

    Coat, because I took it and walked.

  29. Dick Emery

    Why not Plusnet?

    Nobody has mentioned Plusnet yet. I switched from Be to Plusnet FTTC and thus far am very happy. I am going over a problem with the line (that must have existed before switching but did not notice because I was on ADSL2+). I have a noisy line with a REIN issue. But when you talk to Plusnet support (free 0800 number BTW) they are very very knowledgeable and you can talk tech all you want (FEC, HEC, CRC, REIN and noise margins etc) and they will understand you. I've just asked to have my banded profile removed to see if I can get a speed boost over reliability (have to wait 24 hours to see).

    Ininitial sync rate was 70/20 with 67/18 on speed test. Only snag with FTTC is DLM which is the devil. Now synced at 64/16 with 57/15 speed tests. Hope to get better speeds tomorrow once the line re-syncs overnight unbanded. But the investigation into line noise is ongoing.

    Oh and when I joined it was 3 months half price broadband and much much cheaper line rental when paid a year in advance. The next week or two they had an offer for 6 months half price broadband. I called them up and had a moan and they gave me the 6 month offer too (they did not have to)!

  30. King Jack

    Be Gone

    I'm glad Be was bought by Sky. It gave me the much needed reason to see about getting fibre. It's costing me £4 more a month but my speed should be a lot better than the flaky <3Mb/s I was getting. Be had no plans ever to do fibre. The sad thing is I recommended them to someone just before the SKY deal was announced. Just counting the days before they jump ship too.

  31. flearider

    soon as they took over I emailed and then talked to be* people strange that ... yes you could talk to them and they were very good at what they did ..I was with be for 5 yrs maybe more and 2 house moves all of which I was without internet for maybe 2 days ... never a problem with download speeds or how much ..

    they even sent a bt eng round because my speeds dropped and he changed my pairs for free ...

    now i'm with orange /ee and so far it's great good speeds 68mb and no problems with a good price ..

    maybe be* staff went there ...lol

  32. kmac499

    You can check in anytime but you can never leave...

    A word of warning to anyone thinking of accepting a Sky-TV promo-freebie..

    Leaving at the end of your contract can be a nightmare. (there is no online cancellation form AFAIK)

    They will accept an initial e-mail instruction but insist on talking to you in person..

    They will only, and I mean only, talk to the named account holder you cannot delegate to any one else. With the slight exception of death of the account holder. A power of attorney for an elderly rel cuts no ice either.

    Transferring the account to another name restarts a new twelve month lock-in

    They want to know why you want to leave. repeatedly.. ad nauseam a simple "please cancel my sub" is ignored.

    So beware the experience can be just like Hotel California but without the nice tune

    1. slackshoe

      Re: You can check in anytime but you can never leave...

      >They will accept an initial e-mail instruction but insist on talking to you in person..

      Like most other companies offering subscription services then?

      >They will only, and I mean only, talk to the named account holder you cannot delegate to any one else.

      Because of a little thing called the data protection act.

      >They want to know why you want to leave. repeatedly..

      Like any other company with strong competition.

      >Transferring the account to another name restarts a new twelve month lock-in

      You can't transfer a Sky account to another person. You have to set up a new account, that's why.

  33. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Coat

    Some interesting numbers

    "That means 119,000 account holders ditched Telefonica's Blighty broadband service as it fell into the clutches of BSkyB.

    BSkyB announced that it had added 119,000 broadband customers off its own back in the past three months"

    Hmmmmm......

  34. Gradivus

    news@gradivus.co.uk

    It's actually 119,001 not 119,000.

    I too am leaving. Just haven't got round to it yet.

  35. Will 28

    Lies, Damn Lies, and El Reg reporting

    I see there are people on here displeased with the changeover, and you probably have cause (I don't personally care). However I don't think that's representative of the 119,000 users that appear to have left. I suspect that the much more obvious reason is that they changed their official provider from Be to Sky. As people here have reported that they were encouraged to do. Co-incidentally, sky announced 119,000 new subscribers.

    I think that as much as I'd like to see Sky nobbled a bit, this is a simple bit of book keeping that has got a reg hack worked up over nothing.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just saying...

    Best tech support, best customer service and most recommended in Uswitch 2013 awards

    Best consumer broadband in the 2013 ISP awards

    Highest customer satisfaction in Ofcom 2012 report

    Consistently at or near the top of other polls

    But ooh noooo, there's a stinky immoral billionaire who owns 40% of Sky's shares, I'm not touching it with a barge pole!

    You lot are ridiculous.

    1. Bodhi

      Re: Just saying...

      Agreed, it's quite sad really. We've been with Sky for 18 months now, and had 0 problems. Speeds are quicker and more stable than we had on BT, Service has been good, and they've just given us BB completely free for 12 months. Router isn't the best, but we only have a 2 bed flat so it doesn't need to be the best.

    2. AOD
      Mushroom

      Re: Just saying...

      Well hey thanks for that constructive addition to the ongoing discussion at hand. There's nothing like a bit of name calling to elevate the proceedings.

      Did you have anything to add such as direct experience of either ISP?

      For myself, I didn't want to go near $ky because of their fiasco with half speed FTTC connections. I value the reliability of my connection and wanted an ISP with round the clock support who know their stuff and I wouldn't get fleeced to call if there was a problem.

      Thus far I've had to engage Plusnet support on one occasion and that was to confirm that what I thought was an outage was actually scheduled maintenance by BT at the exchange (it was during the wee hours so I wasn't inconvenienced per se, just twitchy if it wasn't working by the time the Missus surfaced and had to access her office stuff).

      Tip for the day, find out the support contact number(s) and the URL for your ISP's status page and save them both on your phone before you have an outage. Oh, and if they offer a email/twitter/RSS option for status notifications get signed up to those as well. ISPs should really make that part of their signup process.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just saying...

        The half-speed "fiasco" affected a tiny amount of people - just the vocal minority blowing things out of proportion as usual. What you don't realise is that it took months of field testing to identify the exact cause (some sort of miniscule mismatch or delay between Sky and OR causing every other handshake to fail), and longer still to convince Openreach to make the necessary changes.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This may have been posted already, but...

    Has anyone considered whether any of those 119,000 customers migrated to Sky early? Sky were offering incentives to do so.

  38. Phybros

    Was on Be, lured by the deal a Sky reseller offered: half price line rental, half price fibre, free tv for a year. Router Sky deliver doesn't support SIP, wasn't keen on cracking the broadband username/pass out of the it and violating their Ts&Cs which insist you use their kit. Submitted for a change to BT less that a week after start date.

    Bit of a hassle, but the upshot is I keep the free tv service for a year... profit?

  39. Deej

    I will be one from the *next* 100,000

    I've just had my MAC code; Be tried to get me to stay with a tempting offer from Sky - apparently I can get Sky fibre (even though there are not any FTTC cabinets in the viscinity and the BT Infinity checker says I can't get FTTC).

    I'm off to (I think) IDNet, although I may have a look at PlusNet. Isn't PlusNet a BT company?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just because sky figures changed by a total of 400,000 when they added 500,000 from O2 doesn't mean that they lost 100,000 from O2 they could have lost them from their own subscriber base, but of course 1 in 5 sounds so much better than 1 in 50.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Left long before

    Be customer for 2+ years and recommended them to a lot more people. Left for FTTC long before the sale was announced as it became obvious no more investment was forthcoming and certainly no fiber.

    Get better speeds at same price though sacrificed the static IP and the good customer support.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BE /SKY /BE

    As an ex customer of BE consumer BB for a number of years, and also a Ukonline customer before BE( remember them?) BE when compared to uk0nline was poor, routing/peering was almost problem free with UKO, they used the Easynet nework,which had a lot of redundancy and resilience ,unlike the telefonica uk (o2/be) offering, also there support wasn't a patch of UKO 's support There are a lot of BE fanbois that will defend the indefensible in the time i was with BE i have never known any isp to suffer with so many fundamental issues, peering capacity CDN bandwidth capacity(BBC Iplayer itv player etc) which to date has never been properly fixed, still customers in the private member forum are complaining of buffering, BE /o2 where not that special , yes they offered static IP's and options like fast-path and lower than the default noise margins, (but so did UKO and they also offered SRA ) BE trialled SRA but they didn't have the know how to get it to work properly ,to be able to offer it to all customers, I also for a short time payed more for a 02wholesale based connection after leaving BE ,and that wasn't worth the extra money, im now paying less and getting a lot more with an FTTC based connection

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