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Myfordman

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As per title really.
I want to leave virginmedia which has its own phone lines so to go elsewhere, I need to get a new line fitted as well as a new provider.
NOW looks good on paper and is gentle on the wallet and one of the few who will fit a phoneline free on a 12 month contract, but does anyone have experience of the reliability and if you need to, what the customer service is like please?
 

woodieallen

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I wouldn't use them as if they are anything like NowTV for streaming, you never really know what you're getting. Trustpilot has a load of bad reviews on them.

Why chase pennies down the drain ? They might cost a few £ more but to avoid the hassle? Zen for me.
 

Spectric

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Don't you get full fibre broadband with virginmedia, supposed to be very fast having fibre into your router but not due round here for several years yet if ever. Currently use BT simply because they own most of the infrastructure and so no issues with getting things sorted plus so if you do have to phone them the people on the other end are in the UK and not just pretending by giving you an english name.
 

Richard_C

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I've had excellent service from Zen for about 7 years now, Crystal clear pricing, they just do phone and Internet so it's not all bundled up with entertainment packages. I've only had 2 reasons to call in faults during that time, both resolved quickly and easily. All based in and around Rochdale. I moved my phone line from BT to Zen during that time and that too was done promptly and accurately.

Now is owned by Sky I think, I'm not a great fan of the Murdoch empire.

Assuming Virgin is fibre to premises you might find it hard to change. If the new line is copper you will not get the same speeds on FTTC as you do on FTTP.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I switched from 150Mbps Virgin to 55Mbps Zen about a year ago. We had constant connection drops with Virgin which they wouldn't solve. In a year we've had four disconnections total with Zen, totalling about 50 seconds. I don't miss the extra speed except for huge downloads, and overall its so much better. I was going to add a 4G modem for extra bandwidth and failover but it hasn't been necessary (though even adding that it'd stll be cheaper than Virgin).

If you have trouble getting through to Virgin cancellations use the house moving team instead, and tell them you're moving to an area they don't serve (I can suggest a post code). That team is quick and helpful.
 

Alex H

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I wouldn't use them as if they are anything like NowTV for streaming, you never really know what you're getting. Trustpilot has a load of bad reviews on them.

Why chase pennies down the drain ? They might cost a few £ more but to avoid the hassle? Zen for me.


they're mostly all bad aren't they?

A quick check shows

BT rating 1.8 80% bad
Talk Talk 2.3 46% bad
plusnet 1.6 84% bad
virginmedia 2.2 61% bad
Now Tv 1.4 39% bad

The problem is, how can all these bad companies have high Excellent ratings as well as high Bad ratings?

Zen does seem to be great, but £40 a month instead of £20 from Now

I'm moving to Now from the Post Office (rating 1.5 84% bad) because they want to charge me £50 a month and that's for slower speed broadband.
 

Myfordman

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Zen don't appear to offer what I am looking for. I want a fixed price unlimited use phone line. From what I can see they offer 1000 minutes fixed price (which is plenty) but a 19p connection charge.
For those who have asked, my virgin connection is their version of FTTC not FTTP. I get 50-100meg which is fine but the poor customer service and top price no loyalty package I want to drop. Last week we lost service and after several phone calls until one with "mr really helpful" I then found they had done a software upgrade to my modem and locked it up in a way that could only be reset from their end. currently I'm paying £56PCM soon to rise to £63.50 at end of contract.
I plan to get an openreach line installed so that I will then be out of the Virgin monopoly and be able to switch suppliers. Now seem to get reasonable reviews, offer a free openreach line for £20 pcm/12 month contract.

I'm keen to find someone who is with NOW to ask about details of the modem and if it is voip phone etc as we will have to contend with analogue phone switch off in the next few years and I might just as well get that hurdle sorted out too.
 
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Sporky McGuffin

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The problem is, how can all these bad companies have high Excellent ratings as well as high Bad ratings?

Zen does seem to be great, but £40 a month instead of £20 from Now

High Excellent ratings are from the people whose broadband hasn't gone wrong. If it doesn't go wrong it doesn't matter who you use. High Bad ratings will be from people where something has gone wrong and the company hadn't dealt with it well.

I had Sky broadband years ago; great until it went wrong, and then it took 4 weeks to get BT Openworld to go to the exchange and turn my line back on. 6 cancelled appointments, and I knew from the router diagnostics exactly what had happened and told them in the first call. When I then closed my account they didn't stop all the services, and twice sent debt collectors after me for services they were no longer supplying.

Virgin had constant dropouts - 15-20 a day wasn't uncommon. Again I told them what was wrong (bad connection at the entry to the house) but they wouldn't just remake that connection.

One of the things you pay more for with some Internet providers is the service level they pay for from BT Openworld. Zen get a higher level of service, and have better service staff - before ordering I'd asked a load of questions about setting up the 4G modem and they were responsive and clearly knew what they were up to.
 

Myfordman

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High Excellent ratings are from the people whose broadband hasn't gone wrong. If it doesn't go wrong it doesn't matter who you use. High Bad ratings will be from people where something has gone wrong and the company hadn't dealt with it well.

I had Sky broadband years ago; great until it went wrong, and then it took 4 weeks to get BT Openworld to go to the exchange and turn my line back on. 6 cancelled appointments, and I knew from the router diagnostics exactly what had happened and told them in the first call. When I then closed my account they didn't stop all the services, and twice sent debt collectors after me for services they were no longer supplying.

Virgin had constant dropouts - 15-20 a day wasn't uncommon. Again I told them what was wrong (bad connection at the entry to the house) but they wouldn't just remake that connection.

One of the things you pay more for with some Internet providers is the service level they pay for from BT Openworld. Zen get a higher level of service, and have better service staff - before ordering I'd asked a load of questions about setting up the 4G modem and they were responsive and clearly knew what they were up to.
Sporky please can you confirm or deny the ZEN phone charges. Are they a fixed price number of minutes plus 19p connection charge per call. Does the phone plug into the modem itself.
Thanks
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Sporky please can you confirm or deny the ZEN phone charges. Are they a fixed price number of minutes plus 19p connection charge per call. Does the phone plug into the modem itself.
Thanks

Don't know I'm afraid - I've never plugged a phone in, I have Zoom phone for work, and we each have a mobile. I think it's probably 10 years since I last used a land-line at home. Give them a shout - they're very helpful

The Fritzbox router is itself a DECT basestation, but only for VOIP calls.
 

artie

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I've been with EE now for around three years. £21pm for line and unlimited broadband. It was £19.50 three years ago.

Of course the line was there before I moved in.

There's been a few problems, but sorted promptly by courteous indigenous operatives.

I don't have a call plan because I have a virtual landline whereby I can operate my geographical number from anywhere there's a net connection.
 

Myfordman

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Don't know I'm afraid - I've never plugged a phone in, I have Zoom phone for work, and we each have a mobile. I think it's probably 10 years since I last used a land-line at home. Give them a shout - they're very helpful

The Fritzbox router is itself a DECT basestation, but only for VOIP calls.
Thanks. I latched onto the Fritzbox being a dect base station as half our phones are dect but the tech support at fritz were unable/unwilling to confirm if my C&W dect phones would talk to their box and instead just sent instructions of how to pair handset with the router. Chicken and egg as I don't have a router to try until I commit to ZEN.
SWMBO has severe arthritis and cannot hold a typical mobile slab for any length of time without pain but a conventional banana phone fits in her palm to clamp it to her ear.
A modem with inbuilt analogue telephone adaptor would be ideal as I can connect it to our wired phone network in the house and workshop which includes the DECT base station.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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If you wanted (and have a spare) you could send me a handset and I'll see if if pairs and then return it, but it doesn't route to the POTS.

Or how about a wireless headset for your best beloved? Just trying to think of ways around the problem.
 

Myfordman

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I've been with EE now for around three years. £21pm for line and unlimited broadband. It was £19.50 three years ago.

Of course the line was there before I moved in.

There's been a few problems, but sorted promptly by courteous indigenous operatives.

I don't have a call plan because I have a virtual landline whereby I can operate my geographical number from anywhere there's a net connection.
Current EE offer is £34 pcm plus £50 line install. 24 month contract then £40.
You are getting a good deal and it appears they reward loyalty which is good to know
 

Myfordman

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If you wanted (and have a spare) you could send me a handset and I'll see if if pairs and then return it, but it doesn't route to the POTS.

Or how about a wireless headset for your best beloved? Just trying to think of ways around the problem.
Ah I would want it to work with POTS at least until POTS is well and truely turned off. A kind offer, Thank you! and a good thought about a wireless headset for local management.

I wonder if the rj11 jack on the fritzbox will connect to POTS or if that is VOIP only too??
 

Myfordman

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VOIP only - that socket lets you connect a conventional wired handset or fax machine to the VOIP system.
Thanks,So does that mean you can only communicate other voip users? Apologies if i'm being thick here but I'd need to connect to any telephone number even if the call goes via voip.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I don't know - I don't have any sort of landline. I use Zoom phone, which can call any telephone number; my guess is that the VOIP systems can all call normal numbers or they wouldn't be much use.

Best ask Zen if you're considering them, or a brief Google suggests there are a lot of UK VOIP providers.
 

J-G

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I'm keen to find someone who is with NOW to ask about details of the modem and if it is voip phone etc as we will have to contend with analogue phone switch off in the next few years and I might just as well get that hurdle sorted out too.
ZEN are dealing with that already.
I had just over 30 customers with Zetnet at one time and when they had financial issues I switched more than 20 of them to ZEN - since then a further 6 have also migrated to ZEN and I've added at least 10 more later customers.
ZEN support is by far the best I've ever encountered - but then I've only needed it half-a-dozen times in 10+ years!
 
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