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Broadband ISP recommendations sought

UKworkshop.co.uk

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Chris Knight

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I currently use V21 and on the whole have been satisfied with them. What really lets them down is when there is a problem - their customer service is nearly non existent. They have a so-called live server status check. It always says everything is fine even when it has been down for several hours (which I check on dial up of course!)

I am looking for the elixir of youth or the Holy Grail I suspect but what I want is 24/7 connectivity with at least 1MB download speeds and a proper help desk (polite, lives in this arm of the galaxy and knows what is going on).

If anyone can recommend such an ISP offering ADFSL I should like to hear from you! (Within reason, I am not concerned about saving the pennies - as long as it works!)
 
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Anonymous

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OK, having been a long time ntl cable customer, but recently moved to a non-cable area, i did a bit of research (but not a whole lot)...here are some findings:

1) wannadoo - offer twice the speed of bt for the same price (ie, 1Mb for bt cost of 512kb) - rang them, customer service rubbish - avoid at all cost - got an answer "computer system broken - I'll ring you back in 10 mins"...30 mins later, I re-rang them, computer system wasn't broken, just the numpty couldn't answer my question.

2) eclipse broadband - recently bought out by Kingston Communications (the fiixed telephone operator in Kingston upon Hull). These guys are not going to be going away with that sort of backing. They offer a 'flex' package, where you buy (and pay for), say 512kb, but if you need higher bandwidth you can 'flex' it up to the higher number (up to 2Mb, exchange permitting) for the period you need it (you pay extra while flexing). Colleague at work have these, and has been pleased. ISP provider of the month for many months running last year, but not in the past couple. Down side - huge installation fees, unless you're transferring from another ISP (i think it's free then) (www.eclipse.co.uk for their web site)

3) tescos - cheapest of the lot...but, would you like a supermarket running your broadband? Also, they refused to acknowledge my telephone number existed (online service), so I left them alone.

4) BT - ok, I have some problems with them, even though they're the ones I went with. 1st problem is price, but they're going to have to drop that if they want to stay in the market. Main problem is also price related, but not cost of broadband - as said in the 'fax' thread, I hate phones - so I went on light user scheme with BT (I once had a £34 phone bill, of which only 70p was actual call charges...hence I changed)...but, you can't have broadband if you're on the light user scheme...so their prices are FAKE! The cost of a BT broadband is NOT £24.99 (or whatever) - it's £24.99 PLUS one of their crappy 'together' schemes. Mind you, I suspect whatever ISP you went for with adsl, where bt was supplying the local loop, you'd have the same problem...so mebbe it's an industry wide thing.

That's about as far as I got - as I said, eventually got bt - bit expensive, but works fine, and was installed (ahem, i mean they flicked the switch in the local exchange) 2 days ahead of schedule.
 

DaveL

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Oh no the rocking horse has dun it again on the carpet. :wink:

Sorry Chris couldn't resist. :oops: :roll:

I am with the often slagged off BT, 512K works very well. The only major outages have been due to the local loop, the bit of wire that literary crosses the path out side the front hedge. The council relayed the path, snagging the wire with the digger and the first repair only lasted 3 months. :x
The help desk does appear to be in the UK, I spoke to one chap who used to work for the company I work for (he recognised the works mobile number I gave for contact). They are only following a script, this is how most 1st line desks work. When the modem died due to lighting they could not cope with the fact I had a Linux based firewall and not a windows base machine connected to it. Made me smile the logs on the firewall said the modem was broke, windows came back with an error number that I never did find the meaning of. :shock: (It is their modem but I have my own spare now.)

Not a lot of help really but it has been for in use for about 4 years with only 3 outages of more than an hour. :)
 

beejay

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Whatecer you do DO NOT GO WITH BT. Ive been trying to sort out my bb issues with them sinec December. Absolute waste of time and theyrevery expensive.
The current offer from Caudwell is very good. 24.99pm includes connection. modem and free phone calls 24/7 to local and national.
Suggest you check it out as the reviews seem excellent.
Again I would advise dont go with BT
beejay
 

Midnight

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Chris... will 2 outa 3 do..??

I've been with Demon over 10 years now, switching to broadband about 3 years ago. Basically they use the BT lines but put their own front end on it, front being tech help and customer support.

Connection speed is 576K and to date I've never been able to work the connection that hard that I'm left drumming fingers..

Reliability of connectivity is superb; only 3x in the last 3 years I've had probs... and they were resolved inside 2 hours max...

Tech help is both free and exemplary on 24/7 availability... Never seen a prob they couldn't fix..

Cost.. small change from £25/pcm for 24/7 availability.. That cost hasn't changed since I signed up..

For me, their main advantage is their e-mail system; it's nigh on imune to the viruses written to target Microsquirt software.. It's lacking some fancy bells and whistles, but has all the basic tools you'll need, and a few more besides..

If I remember right, along with your mail account, there's 20 megs server space allocated to your domain name for a web page too...

Check em out...

http://www.demon.net/
 

aldel

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I have been with BT broadband for some time now with no problems.
1.1mbps £30/month 30gig/month capping, 50gig webspace antivirus mail etc.
Check very carefully other offers with regard to hidden traps in particular the allowed traffic per month (capping).

The only other company that I would consider is Telewest but they require you to take out full telephone calls to make them competitive pricewise.
Been email by BT today and the price has been reduced to £28.00/month.
Regards aldel
 

Alf

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Espedair Street":16k5nvwc said:
3) tescos - cheapest of the lot...but, would you like a supermarket running your broadband? Also, they refused to acknowledge my telephone number existed (online service), so I left them alone.
I'm not on broadband but Tesco's dial up service has been very good; reliable and fast. So don't automatically assume 'cos it's a supermarket it's no good. And I'm touching wood, hugging horseshoes and being nice to any black cats as I type this, btw... :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Adam

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Chris,

I'm with NTL and had about 2 evenings in several years when it's been down. The telephone number tells you they are experiencing difficulties so at least you know and can go do something else.

Their telephone support is cheap (1p a min from memory) and operates from early morning until 11pm or midnight (can't remember but I think midnight).

I've found their telephone support has sorted me out on each occasion I've had a PC meltdown - always my fault generally.

So... I'm pretty happy with them.

Adam
 

mudman

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I went with Firefly, 1Mbit connection with unlimited downloads for £30pm.
Other benefit was that I didn't have to buy one of their modems and the lock-in period was then only 4 months.
Had no problems at all with them.
Wouldn't go with BT, was with them for a good long time as a dial-up customer and was not happy with them at all.

Check out http://www.ispreview.co.uk/ for a load of reviews and suchlike.
 
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Anonymous

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Alf":2ijsv2rt said:
Espedair Street":2ijsv2rt said:
3) tescos - cheapest of the lot...but, would you like a supermarket running your broadband? Also, they refused to acknowledge my telephone number existed (online service), so I left them alone.
I'm not on broadband but Tesco's dial up service has been very good; reliable and fast. So don't automatically assume 'cos it's a supermarket it's no good. And I'm touching wood, hugging horseshoes and being nice to any black cats as I type this, btw... :wink:

Cheers, Alf
Nah - actually, being in the trade (as it were), and discussing with the guys at work, tescos are going to be handing this stuff off to people who know about it...it was just the refusal to acknowledge my telephone number that rang the alarm bells.
 

Jake

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Try http://bbs.adslguide.org.uk/

I ended up with Metronet, who are excellent but in a very no-frills way, so wouldn't satisfy your helpdesk wishes particularly well I wouldn't have thought (not that I've ever tested their cs out).
 

Chris Knight

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Thanks for the suggestions people. I think as Dave suggests, I am probably looking for the proverbial rocking horse manure. I shall keep studying the form book and let you know if I pluck up courage to cange providers - not that that will be easy, I tried once before but failed because V21 would do the right thing at their end or summat. By then they had started behaving themselves so it was OK.

I am not happy with a cap on downloading, I reckon that even though I have sworn off P2P, I use a lot of bandwidth. In that respect V21 is good there is no cap and it is still the cheapest of the Broadband suppliers.
 
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Anonymous

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Chris

I have used BT broadband since moving house about 15 months ago and had no problems what-so-ever. Cost is a measly £17.99 per month which is very reasonable. Telephone support has been first rate and the installation of th cable modem is a breeze :wink:

Had NTL before and the BB was OK but the telephone support was very poor when compared to BT.
 

dedee

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Chris,
I am advised that Waitrose came out very well in a Which report on Braodband ISPs. Scored very highly on their support and unlimited downloads. Might be worth a look.

Andy
 
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Anonymous

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I started with the pipex solo 500 package last year.

Basically have had very few probs though it seems a little expensive now.

I think C/S is generally poor with a lot of ISP's but I hear very little good about Tesco/ wanadoo/bt/tiscali.

I hear good things about the Eclipse 'flex' service. Its basically priced similar to pipex ( about £24 monthly for a 512 service) but for a little extra you can increase the speed for set times.

A really cheap service I have heard about is HERE

£9.99 + vat. monthly for a 512 service

If your new to BB there is a £83 set up fee but if you are migrating then that is reduced to about £35

The person who told me about this deal has been with them a few months now and reports no problems
 

chiba

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Does nobody in the UK do *real* broadband yet. How far away is it? I mean, I'm thinking of moving back there soon, and 512K is... :roll:
 
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Anonymous

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2 Mb is about as good as you get from the ADSL services, and that depends on your exchange and your distance from it.

The cable services SHOULD be able to offer faster, but don't seem to.

No sign of true SDSL on the horizon, unfortunately.
 
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Anonymous

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100 meg :shock: bleedin eck!

The 512k I have to my home is faster than my office's pipe to the real world! So being at home is a luxury compared to the office!

BT is incredibly backwards in this respect - hell, there's a relatively new housing estate in Aylesbury (Fairford Leyes) where they ran state of the art fibre to all the houses for phone services...and the residents can't get broadband from BT, cos BT only do ADSL, which of course relies on copper. So all these houses, with bags of fibre running around, to make voice calls only!
 
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