back to article BT and Plusnet most moaned about broadband providers. Again

BT and Plusnet have once again topped Ofcom's quarterly whinge list for the most complained about broadband providers between July to September. Communications regulator Ofcom receives 300 complaints a day for mobile, broadband, phone and pay TV. Out of every 100,000 customers, BT received 36 complaints, while Plusnet (also …

  1. djstardust Silver badge

    Oh yeah

    "If companies let their customers down, we will step in and investigate, which can lead to significant fines"

    Which really means .....

    "We'll continually report about Telecoms Providers and how they rip off customers and give them a poor service, however in reality OFFCOM is a useless organisation who bend over and take it up the arse from the industry and we will do absolutely nothing about it!

    FTFY.

  2. jms222

    Heaven 17

    It's a shame how Plusnet, who used to be well regarded, have fallen.

    Jon

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Heaven 17

      Their network migration has been an utter pile of shite. I've really noticed the slow down since they've done it and I know I'm not alone looking at the forums. I left Virgin because of their contention issues, the CS droid couldn't understand that it wasn't a financial decision and that I would actually like a usable Internet connection. Unfortunately I'm going to have to switch from Plusnet if this keeps up, shame as I have a few referrals.

      Instead of companies spending more money hiring staff to take complaints how about spending money treating the cause, i.e the network. Surely staff cost more than that would?!

      1. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

        Re: Heaven 17

        We left PN a couple of months back, after 15-odd years and a load of referrals. But to be honest, if human beings really did respond to the mythical "market", we could or should have left 5 years ago, when their trajectory was clear. Strange how one-sided loyalty turns out to be when corporates are involved.

    2. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: Heaven 17

      I agree.

      I'm about to move house and have just terminated my contract with them, but I have to say they were great. Really quick and reliable fibre and no complaints with the CS either when we needed to contact them. Plus I only wanted the 40mb service but always connected at nearer 78 which was nice!

      Much better experience than TalkTalk and VM (who I'm moving back to. WTF have I done?!)

    3. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Heaven 17

      I've been with them so long my email address is on the force9 domain.

      I'll nth the suggestion that they're good when they are good, but their CS has gone massively downhill since the BT takeover. They filter out all the stuff that BT filters (even though they don't need to) and blame "routing issues". I really should move away from them, but they're good as a cheap and cheerful backup for the times our experimental Virgin system explodes (In theory 1Gb if you want gold plated bills - don't know if anyone actually took them up on it though).

      1. JimC Silver badge

        Re: Heaven 17

        Join in the general opinion that Plusnet have dropped off a cliff. Recently they deep sixed my web space for alleged excess bandwidth - which looked suspiciously like a monitoring error to me - and took nearly two weeks to get it back. Was on a "premium" contract, but premium benefits have been eroded and eroded so have now swapped to cheapest deal, used the saving for separate web hosting and still come out ahead.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Referrals

          I think you'll find your referrals continue. Cheque in the post every £???. Need to check the details as it's hazy, but I'm sure that;s what it used to be,

    4. Steve Graham

      Re: Heaven 17

      I was a Plusnet customer from 1994 until 2016. What finally made me choose another supplier wasn't so much the bad customer service I'd just experienced. It was all their adverts on television at that very time, with that smug git crowing about how good their customer service is.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

        Re: Heaven 17

        > Crushed by the wheels of industry?

        Only in a world where "industry"=="BT"

        Oh, I see. Yes.

    6. Planty Bronze badge

      Re: Heaven 17

      I have always had top quality customer service from plusnet. Iessilly best in class. I wouldn't put it pass the evil empire at sky to have made those complaints.

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    there's BT and there's bt

    I'm with BT business and they're great. UK based support staff who know what they're talking about.

    I could make some rude comments suggesting that sky have so few complaints because their users are too dim to realise things aren't working, I could, but I won't.

    1. Ragarath

      Re: there's BT and there's bt

      I could make some rude comments suggesting that sky have so few complaints because their users are too dim to realise things aren't working, I could, but I won't.

      You just did. Resorting to major generalisations is rather unbecoming and just makes you look silly.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: there's BT and there's bt

        Resorting to major generalisations is rather unbecoming

        No, no, no, my good sir or madam.Making wild and generally unfounded generalisations an an attempt to make a mildly funny point is an essential part of an El Reg comment. You want sad and serious? Go to 21st Century Clown World.com

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Bad data

    Come on we need complaints per 1000 customers, not raw data. BT must be one of the largest providers after all.

    I thought Plusnet were supposed to be great... has that deteriorated? I'd have expected BT and TalkTalk to be the worst of the main ones!

    By contrast SSE and Virgin have really bad reviews online but only relatively few customers.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Bad data

      PlusNet were fabulous. Seriously, they were the best.

      Then BT bought them out.

      Since then, they plummeted rapidly and have been at the bottom for years.

      Oh, how the mighty are fallen.

      1. Ol' Grumpy
        Thumb Up

        Re: Bad data

        I'm probably going to downvoted into oblivion for this but ....

        I went to BT for Infinity when it first became available and then upgraded to Infinity 2. Not being far from the green box, I was connected for over 12 months at 76Mbps with no issues. Then, my sync rate seemed to start dropping off to the point where it would no longer sync at anything above 50Mbps. I reported this to BT customer service repeatedly only to be told I had to reset my home hub which obviously never made a difference. I was flatly refused an engineer visit.

        The BT contract expired so I moved to Plus on the basis of their UK suppor.t To be fair, they ran some tests remotely, realised the line profile was suspect and put the case out to Openreach who found a faulty line card in the cabinet. I was moved onto a new line card and I've had no problems since. The process took a couple of weeks but I think the key thing is that it was sorted.

        BT simply weren't interested.

        1. leexgx

          Re: Bad data

          i guess you was not pleasant enough

          never really had big issues with calling BT its just getting to the right person who will skip stuff you already done like test socket and not require you to do the pointless BT speedtest site for a week when i already Fixed the local problem

          most of the time its been something in the house but profile gets stuck at low speed all BT CS person has to do is raise it to reset the profile some of them won't do it, i norm just hang up and call again until i hit a real english/UK or idina person who can do it

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Bad data

      I think I saw the figure 36 per 100,000 in there somewhere.

  5. 0laf Silver badge

    Used to be good, suck now

    Had been with Plusnet without problems for quite a few years.

    Moved house and opted to stick with them for 'ease'.

    They in conjunction with OpenReach made an utter fanny of the whole process taking 6 weeks to turn on a working phone line. They were obsessed with the idea that I wanted to keep my number, but I didn't, I was moving exchange and knew fine well I couldn't keep it. This got to the point that I was practically having to manage the installation myself.

    I was promised a refund of the downtime and a months rental back as compo. I've had nothing. Raised a complaint. The reply was effectively "see your connection is up now, hope you're happy. If not go to CEDR". Haven't been arsed to follow it up yet and I'm probably too late, but I'll be buggered if I'll stick with them when the contract is up.

  6. AndrueC Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Plusnet are good when it's working. Cheap and rarely slows down.

    But if things go wrong and you have to rely on their customer service they are horrible. The new user experience seems to be particularly fraught. Even when nothing actually goes wrong they send out misleading letters that make new users think the connection is live before it is. They even send out emails to new subscribers advising them of engineer visits (which haven't been needed or requested for a year now).

    So far I've been lucky and had no serious issues. I'm over a year out of contract and happy to stay with them. But that's also partly because finding any other provider that doesn't have a lengthy initial contract is nigh-on impossible. It'd be nice if Ofcom could take a look at that. Back when a long contract gave you a discount it wasn't so bad. But now it just seems to be standard.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "But if things go wrong and you have to rely on their customer service they are horrible"

      And THAT is exactly what matters when i comes to customer service.

      Helpdesk and faultfinding is not a cost centre.

      It's a critical customer-facing operation which if done wrongly WILL result not only in losing that customer's business, but also poisons interactions with friends of that customer (who will have been informed in graphic detail of the company's failings) and makes it harder to sign up new customers.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best of a bad bunch...

    I am not contracted at present and have been looking at providers. I've looked at reviews, checked with neighbours on their Virgin Media actual speeds - and come to the conclusion that they are all just hopelessly rubbish and customer service is non-existent in all of them...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best of a bad bunch...

      All the time the market punishes ISPs for being expensive but doesn't punish them for poor service, guess what they're incentivised to do?

      It's like a British disease - the only way to succeed in goods or services is to be as cheap as possible. Manufacturers of white goods make specially cheap versions for the British market.

      There are people who use A&A ISP, shop at Waitrose and buy Miele appliances, but they're few and far between.

      1. David Pollard

        Re: Best of a bad bunch...

        There are people who ... buy Miele appliances.

        It took considerable effort to find the correct replacement heater for a friend's Miele washing machine, which failed after 14 months' light use. It also took a small age to find information about how to change it. I'm by no means sure that the construction is actually better than other makes; certainly not worth twice the price of competitors' machines, some of which provide better controls.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Best of a bad bunch...

          Because it's actually more cost-effective to buy all the cheap deals, and suffer failure.

          Honestly, my Draytek router can load balance an ADSL/VDSL line, plus whatever I put into it Ethernet (e.g. Virgin Media), plus a 4G stick, without having to change a SINGLE THING on my home network. So if VM should ever go to the dogs, I just activate a VDSL line instead, using 4G in the meantime.

          Like RAID stands for (at least always did before some people decided it sounded cheap) - an array of inexpensive stuff outperforms expensive stuff. Two cheap cars are better than one expensive car.

          I'd rather have two cheap appliances, one out in the shed or even left in the shop for when I need it, than one expensive appliance. Nobody gets attached to a fridge or a washing machine or even an ISP. Buy cheap, buy multiple, chop and change as they perform differently.

          It's only where performance matters (e.g. laptops, etc.) or other limitations come into place (space, budgets, etc.) that you don't want to buy cheap. Everything else is commodity - even servers nowadays. Buy cheap, buy multiple, and you'll have a lot less critical faults that can't be rode over than with one extraordinarily expensive server, and a backup should anything ever go drastically wrong.

          You have only two choices. A BT-supplied line, or a Virgin-supplied line. Who the ISP is on the end of the BT line just determines how much they argue for you, they still can't do much if something goes wrong or OpenReach don't want to co-operate. Rather than pay-through-the-nose for someone to argue on your behalf, avoid the argument. Get the cheapest of them all, because the chances of your phone line, and your cable, and the local cell mast going down, without taking out your own power, are almost unimaginable.

          And then you also have comparable stats after a few months and can ramp up the speed on the one that's most reliable and offers you the best deal / customer service as you see fit.

          Rather than pay money for "premium" brands that are basically selling the EXACT same services, hedge your bets. And then "Oh, the ADSL's gone down" is something that you'll never say because likely you'll never even know, even when it does.

          I don't buy brands because of this. Just look at the hard-drive wars that have been raging on forums for decades to see what a "good brand" means - it's too subjective and based on personal experience. And all the large users of hard drives hedge their bets deliberately.

          And A&A is STUPENDOUSLY expensive, and has ridiculous traffic limits. Their only saving grace is they support proper IPv6. I'd rather buy a handful of much cheaper lines, for the same price, using different technologies and service providers, and invest one-off in a decent router than can balance them. Same as almost any workplace I've ever been in too - multiple lines, even when used leased lines, from varying providers.

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: Best of a bad bunch...

            @Lee D and your cable, and the local cell mast

            What is this 'cable' and 'local cell mast' of which you speak?

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Best of a bad bunch...

            " Nobody gets attached to a fridge or a washing machine or even an ISP. Buy cheap, buy multiple, chop and change as they perform differently."

            It takes 14 days to change to another ISP. It's not like the old days where you could just dial a different number.

            and yes A&A is silly expensive. I could justify being a customer if it wasn't for their data caps.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Best of a bad bunch...

          Why did you do that? Miele washing machines have a 10 year parts and labour warranty.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Best of a bad bunch...

            "Why did you do that? Miele washing machines have a 10 year parts and labour warranty."

            Presumably nobody had read the documentation, and just assumed instead. It's IT, it's traditional to not read manuals, innit.

            I have a Miele vacuum cleaner, must be a decade or so old, still marvellous. I've had two (or is it three) Dysons in the same period. No contest.

            My other half's Miele washing machine took a lot of washing over an extended period because of parental ill health. Marvellous washing machine (ill health not so good).

            If BT were capable of being anywhere near as reliable as Miele...

            1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

              Re: Best of a bad bunch...

              I've got a Miele vac that's 25 years old and still works fine (may be a reflection on how much I use it). Dyson handheld is convenient until the wall-wart charger died just outside warranty and cost a small fortune for a replacement.

          2. David Pollard

            Re: Best of a bad bunch...

            Why .. Miele... 10 year parts and labour warranty?

            I checked with my friend. The washing machine actually failed 3 years + 2 months after she bought it and she hadn't bought the extended warranty to cover beyond 3 years because this costs almost as much as a new machine. Her comment on the downvotes was, "and it doesn't spin my woolies properly."

  8. Esme

    YMMV

    I've been with Plusnet since they were Tiscali, and I've had very few problems whatsoever, and none recently (this last couple of years. And the two or three times I had to contact customer support, I found them very helpful (again last time was a few years back). Really sad to hear that apparently they've been letting lots of others down (and they deserve a kicking if they have), but my personal experience of them has been, and continues to be, top-notch.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: YMMV

      I was keeping quiet, but I've had nothing but good experiences with Plusnet support. Just had to change my rDNS record. Took a couple of emails, but all done now.

    2. Anonymous C0ward

      Tiscali?

      Thought they were eaten by TalkTalk. At least that's why we moved to O2, which has since been taken over by Murdoch's Evil Empire.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: YMMV

      "I've been with Plusnet since they were Tiscali"

      ????

      I was with Nildram who were taken over by Pipex who then rolled Nildram's CS arrangements out to the rest of their business. They were then taken over by Tiscali who nixed Nildram's CS. I left them when they were taken over by TalkTalk who traffic-shaped Usenet more or less out of existence and hid behind the crap Tiscali CS at which point I left. I'm not aware that Plusnet ever were Tiscali.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plusnet/Tiscali

        There was a relatively brief period of time, somewhat before Plusnet became BT Sheffield, when Plusnet were using Tiscali for *wholesale* connections (as an alternative/competitor to BT Woolsale). But it wasn't Tiscali Retail:

        http://usergroup.plus.net/news_060812_lluonhold.php

        "PlusNet have announced that with immediate effect they will be placing no further orders with Tiscali to move customers onto the LLU platform.

        Neil Armstrong, Products Director, yesterday announced plans to put any further migrations on hold so that PlusNet can "take stock of the situation". A number of customers, including members of PUG, have experienced issues migrating onto the Tiscali Wholesale provided platform. It is worth noting at this stage that the Tiscali Wholesale LLU programme is unrelated to Tiscali Retail broadband products and the wholesale division is a separately managed entity.

        [continues]"

        In a vaguely similar but apparently more successful way, serious ISPs such as AAISP can offer customers connectivity via TalkTalk Business, and it doesn't involve TalkTalk Retail. Other less well known wholesalers are also available, frequently via less well known retailers.

        YMMV.

        [in passing: 060812. Any offers, without cheating, as to what date that represents? There may be a penalty if you get it wrong]

  9. lglethal Silver badge
    Trollface

    Talk Talk had 8 complaints?

    Wait... Talk Talk still has customers?

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Talk Talk had 8 complaints?

      8 of them, apparently.

  10. Franco Silver badge

    BT are utterly awful, but sadly whilst the regulators are showing no interest in doing anything other than telling us BT are awful, they will continue to be so.

    I complained to the Ombudsman about BT this year. They misinterpreted my complaint (deliberately, as I corrected them twice and they ignored me), admitted BT's service was terrible and showed complete disinterest in anything I said. They offered me £25 goodwill, which BT paid before I had accepted and when I informed them of this they took this as acceptance and closed my case. Sadly I haven't yet found an Ombudsman to handle Ombudsman complaints.....

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I complained to the Ombudsman about BT this year. They misinterpreted my complaint (deliberately, as I corrected them twice and they ignored me)"

      There is zero legal requirement for you to use the ombudsman. Just go straight to Small Claims - although having had the ombudsman ignore you won't look good for BT in court.

      The £25 is almost enough to pay the filing fee to get properly sorted out.

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    It's funny how much opinions vary...

    I have been with (what is now) VM since the old NTL days and I've very VERY rarely had issues with either their broadband speeds or customer service. I pay for 70mb and strangely enough, seem to receive exactly that. They do have an annoying habit of regularly offering capacity/speed updates for "free", but then 3 months after it happens - putting my bill up by £5 per month. Each time this has happened though I've got straight onto their "retention" line and managed to get back to a cheaper deal.

  12. Mark Wilson

    Plus.Net

    Have to say I have been with Plus.Net for a few years now and have hardly had any issues and their customer service has always been friendly, compare that to EE who we were with previously who were just rude. As for Sky being the best? When we moved house we were without any services (TV, Internet, and Telephone) for three months because they messed up so badly. They messed up the phone migration, then wouldn't install the tv because we had no phone line, even though it was their fault.

  13. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    not that it's relevant to you right pondians

    But, I'll put an upvote in for Teksavvy over here. (Yes, I'll gladly shill for my ISP, *fantastic* service)

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: not that it's relevant to you right pondians

      If we're going to shill for our ISP's I'll join in here - Kabel Deutschland are terrific. Fast and efficient, with good customer service. Although I did just read that they got bought out by Vodafone, so I expect that quality to drop over the comnig years...

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: not that it's relevant to you right pondians

        Just need to fix that pesky latency and we can sign up to US or DE ISPs.

  14. FlossyThePig

    999

    After reading about the spurious "emergency" calls I would like a bit more information rather than just a simple number.

    How many come under a category such as "I can't get 'The Grand Tour' on Netflix"?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ive said it before

    Ill say it again.

    The choice for broadband in the UK is crap.

    BT can't be bothered upgrading their shitty ingrastructure and VM can't cope with the refugees.

    I left the war torn and generally fucked British Telegrad for VM about a year ago. So far it has been solid as a rock.

    Everyone else in the middle is either piggybacking off BT or is peculiar to a particular area and most people can't get it.

    By the combined power of greyskull and the mighty Crom, I pray for better broadband in the coming years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ive said it before

      Many people I know have moved to BT this year from VM and were pleasantly surprised at the improvement and price.

      Given the amount of tax payer cash BT have had then you would imagine that they have already been paid to provide the service which I get to everyone.

      I live out in the sticks and get a steady 10MByte/second, there is only Openreach here no LLU or cable service, the mobile coverage is crap as well. Just so you get a better idea there is only one shop in the village and that sells wine, so if I can get a decent connection then everyone who doesn't live up a mountain should be able to as well.

      VM when availible should by rights have the best service and yet from what I have heard the people are not getting the service they have paid for especially gamers and heavy streamers. Also given the amount of money they have had why their coverage has not increased significantly, from my ignorance I would suggest that they have been taking too much out and resting upon their laurels rather than investing their profits back to have the service you would expect from fibre

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just out of interest what were the complaints about?

    I have BT and aside from crappy software bundle and higher overall price I have been happy with the 80/20 Mbit/sec service.

    I haven't had to call them at all in months, the last time when I renegotiated the price for same package via a UK call centre.

    Personally I refuse to deal with their offshore guys when I did have a problem about a year ago and that was my main complaint with them at the time. Scripted support is no doubt fine for non-technical people but the only way at the time to bypass them is to go to BT options who sorted it out.

    I would suggest that if you deal with BT it is best to go via the options team, I have had problems in the past with sales where they sell me a package and then charged me more than we agreed, also a bad employee who took exception to the low price I was paying now I insist upon email confirmation of what is agreed and have needed it to prove that they had made the mistake before it was resolved.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Just out of interest what were the complaints about?

      "I would suggest that if you deal with BT it is best to go via the options team, I have had problems in the past with sales where they sell me a package and then charged me more than we agreed, also a bad employee who took exception to the low price I was paying now I insist upon email confirmation of what is agreed and have needed it to prove that they had made the mistake before it was resolved."

      Record your calls. When they dispute things ask them if they'd like to listen to your recording or would they prefer it was played back in court and you will be ensuring they're summonsed as a hostile witness to verify it was their own voice.

      Don't rely on a DPA request to get the recording. I've run into a number of telcos and banks who've conveniently lost their recordings. It makes it even more amusing when they do this (the courts and ombudsmen take this as all-but-explicit admission of guilt) and you're able to play your recording at odds with what they claimed was the content of the conversation.

  17. seasider

    Plusnet customer service - watch out for Plusnet mobile's inability to port over your old number

    Interestingly enough the newly launched Plusnet mobile is making an early bid to trash the already tarnished Plusnet name. If you sign up for their mobile service, they will accept a PAC number to port in, but it would appear they are unable to complete their side of the transaction. Your old sim will go dead but the number takes days to become live on the Plusnet mobile SIM. So effectively you lose your mobile number for several days . Looking at their forum this has been going on for well over a fortnight or so and it's still chaos. I can see that they are blaming O2 for providing the info in a form they cannot read, but I am porting in from 3 mobile so I suspect it means their systems cannot read the industry standard dataset. So instead of saying "wait we need to stop whilst we sort ourselves out" they are simply instructing the Cust Serv droids to fob people off with the usual guff - deliberately miss-understanding the Offcom requirement to port within 2 working days. It's 2 working days from me requesting a PAC from the old provider to Plusnet porting it over, not 2 days from the old SIM going dead. I have been holding off paying Plusnet to move me from ASDL to fibre broadband - I guess this means that I probably need to move broadband and mobile to a competent provder. Sigh!

    1. Nelbert Noggins

      Re: Plusnet customer service - watch out for Plusnet mobile's inability to port over your old number

      Thanks for the warning, I was about to try porting my 3 number in.

      I'm not sure how much will actually be down to Plusnet yet as Plusnet mobile is EE's Life Mobile MVNO. It seems unlikely they will have ported all the systems over to Plusnet yet. More like BT shuffling it's latest acquisitions around. Or maybe the EE purchase required splitting off Life Mobile, so they sold it to themselves.

      1. symbol_soup

        Re: Plusnet customer service - watch out for Plusnet mobile's inability to port over your old number

        In this case it's plusnet. It's a shambles. Take a look at the forum posts. https://community.plus.net/t5/Mobile/PlusNet-Porting-issues-email-the-CEO-Andy-Baker/td-p/1396385

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Customer Service

    Was with VM for over 10 yrs until I switched to Sky earlier this year.

    Our broadband was so flaky it wasn't worth the money due to a network issue which had been ongoing for 18 months and was due to go on for a further 6 so we sacked them off for Sky and got a nice tidy chunk of money from VM in compensation.

    The speed isn't as good but it is stable and as my other half works from home a lot she needs a reliable connection rather than one that drops out all the time.

    For me Sky was the lesser of several evils and as much as I dislike giving my coin to Murdoch overall the package worked best for us, certainly far better than BT.

  19. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Heads Up People.

    BT is a group of companies, and it is BT RETAIL that is complete crap; the proof is in the fact that small independent ISPs can get BT WHOLESALE and BT OPEN REACH to do things quickly and effectively.

    After my ISP went rogue and I lost control of my phone line, BT Retail werent interested in getting me a line or internet service back - quoting 4-6 weeks.

    Talking to a small ISP, they not only identified who now had control of my line (Talk Talk), they also managed to get BTOR out to fit a new line and supply VDSL in 10 days from talking to them.

    My ISP is AQUISS, they are not the cheapest for BB, but if you make a lot of phone calls*, especially overseas, they will save you a loads of money, as their call charges are a tiny fraction of BTs; I call family in the UK and China for 5ppm, landline or mobile, peak, weekend or evening, with no connection or termination charges at all.

    *NOT VOIP, I know VOIP is even cheaper, but the call quality can be quite bad at times.

    As for Plusnet, I do wonder how stuffed the brown envelopes are, every time I see them win a "Best ISP" award.

  20. Alan Brown Silver badge

    "BT is a group of companies"

    Yes, but....

    "and it is BT RETAIL that is complete crap; the proof is in the fact that small independent ISPs can get BT WHOLESALE and BT OPEN REACH to do things quickly and effectively."

    There is no such company as "BT Retail" or "BT Wholesale" or "BT Openreach". They're all trading arms of the mothership without separate accounting structures, directors or company registrations.

    There may be a "chinese wall" between the trading arms, but I'll believe they're separate companies when I see Openreach selling dark fibre to all comers, duct space access to Virgin and not forcing leased circuits from 3rd parties to use BT NTUs for the last mile.

    There are a bunch of other companies (Such as BT inet) which _are_ separate companies but the three headed hydra _is_ a hydra.

    Unless and until the Competition and Markets Authority (not Ofcom) make a determination that BT has engaged in sustained market abuse(*) and monopoly leverage to gain advantage in other markets, this situation will persist.

    (*) This was what happened in New Zealand when the MoC there investigated Telecom NZ, with figures being provided as to the damage to GDP, and analysis of how BT was continuing to abuse the UK market was what shot down TCNZ's proposals to compromise with a BT/Openreach model.

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