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rwillett

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I believe that's intentional - a way that's not illegal to make it difficult to cancel. Amazon prime is like that. It auto-renews. Without logging in to find the exact date, you have no clue what date it will auto renew and often find out when based on when they take now over $100 out of you.

If you log in 3 weeks early and want to turn off auto-renew, all you get is an option to cancel service immediately. It's probably better now than it was last time I tried it, but I thought I was canceling the auto renew about 3 weeks early until the last second when it notified me that amazon prime would cancel immediately and there would be no partial refund.

Literally cannot cancel comfortably early and still retain the no-cost parts (the kids watch some of the streaming TV, etc). I suppose it's not illegal and I'd imagine they get a lot of people checking back in a day after their membership auto-renews demanding cancellation and their money back, but would also imagine they have a data file on how much more useful it is to them to make members jump through hoops because most people would like to have the membership lapse and then renew it later when they're ready to make an order.

The whole process is made doubly stupid when the "representative" you talk to really has no idea why things are set up the way they are so it's hardly better than talking to a recorded message if you have questions. That's also intentional.
I accidently had Amazon prime on my business account. I rang up and said I didn't want it, they said fine and cancelled it and refunded my money. I have also had other Amazon stuff auto renewed my mistake and they always cancelled immediately with zero fuss.

I wroye a poor review of the Amazon Auto device, I used it for a few months and wrote an honest assement. They published the review but asked me to send the device back for a full refund. No packaging and absolutely no fuss. The 1 star review is still up.

The only time I have had an issue was when I ordered a monitor, the box came and it was full of laptops that had been returned. The monitor value was £350 and the laptop value was £3,500. That took a lot of fuss and confusion. I think they would rather I had kept the laptops but that would have been illegal and if I'd been caught, I'd have been in big trouble.

Rob
 

rwillett

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The Taiktaik broadband contract runs out on the twelfth of Dec.
To say we are less than happy with their service for the last 18 months is something of an understatement.
So I rang today to tell them I didn't want to renew.
Got through to a human surprisingly quickly.
I told her the reason for the call, then the mental gymnastics started, second and fourth letters of the password, phone number, email address. Finally she says ok, so you don't want to renew with us, I say that's right. she says why?
I say I want to let it expire, she keeps asking why? and then eventually says ok, I will disconnect you on the 4th Dec 30 days from now.
I have visions of penalties for ending the contract early , so I say no I want to let it run the distance, just don't renew it.
She says we need 30 days notice if you want to end it on the 12 Dec you will need to ring back on the 12th Nov.
I have neither the time or the inclination to relate the full conversation that followed but suffice to say he supervisor and manager were involved before they agreed to not renew it on the 12th.
It seems that even the simplest thing is geared to wind "one" up nowadays.

I always recommend Zen internet from Rochdale. All their staff are from the area, they know their stuff and they don't follow a script.

I used to run a Smoothwall firewall over a Powerline ethernet adaptor using PPPoE, they were very interested in how it worked as they had other customers wanting to do the same. The issue turned out to be a Samsung fridge turning on and off and creating too much noise on the mains line. As we had a Georgian house with massive walls, I couldn't run Ethernet or Wifi as they were simply too thick.

I now run Broadband 4 Rural Networks as we run in Yorkshire. We get 1GB fibre to the house and 930Mb upload and 880Mb download. (yes I know the diffference between MB and Mb). £30 a month and unlimited. One advantage of being in the Yorkshire Dales.

Rob
 

NewbieRaf

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+1 for Zen. As an IT person I advise to stay away at all cost from the likes of TT, Sky and the rest of them however I must admit that comes as a cost. Zen, Andrews and Arnold are all more expensive than your typical provider however the trade off is customer service and people who actually know something about networks. If you have to go with one of the common ones I would advise PlusNet
 

novocaine

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15 years ago talktalk was based in warrington (then talktalk carphone Peach house), as was Zen's technical support centre.
15 years ago, all of zens technical support team (bar I think 1) upped and went to work at talktalk with a sizeable pay increase.
15 years later, most are still there, but in management and team leader roles.

Yet StalkStalk can't keep everyone happy. guess that's what happens when you get big. more people have issues.

Zen got some pretty scathing reviews in the gaming circles for poor connection and rubbish service, but as a small provider it only hits a small number of people and never really gets out.

please note that I'm not defending StalkStalk, they are terrible, I'm more pointing out that none of the ISPs are great these days, but maybe it's because we've become so reliant on it.
 

rwillett

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15 years ago talktalk was based in warrington (then talktalk carphone Peach house), as was Zen's technical support centre.
15 years ago, all of zens technical support team (bar I think 1) upped and went to work at talktalk with a sizeable pay increase.
15 years later, most are still there, but in management and team leader roles.

Yet StalkStalk can't keep everyone happy. guess that's what happens when you get big. more people have issues.

Zen got some pretty scathing reviews in the gaming circles for poor connection and rubbish service, but as a small provider it only hits a small number of people and never really gets out.

please note that I'm not defending StalkStalk, they are terrible, I'm more pointing out that none of the ISPs are great these days, but maybe it's because we've become so reliant on it.

Didn't Zen win a number of awards for customer service in the last few years? I recall they normally do very well (Awards | Zen). Whilst they may be small in comparison to TalkTalk or BT or Sky, they're not unknown at all.

I can only state my personal experience of using them from 2002 until 2018 as a paying customer for 16 years. They were very, very good. I have rung on Saturday afternoon and got through to somebody sensible who knew what he was talking about. I have used for work and for personal usage most if not all the providers with the exception of Andersons. If you want to see rubbish service, try and get Vodafone or BT to install or change a commercial WAN connection in less than six months. We end up having to tell the their engineers what they need to do on their firewalls to get them to work as they are clueless.

I moved my father-in-law from TalkTalk (don't ask, he made his decision himself without consultation) to Zen and suddenly he started to get decent speed up from the miserable 0.5Mb TalkTalk were supplying to 30Mb (or something like that). I can't comment on what gamers want, but I ran a business with mail server, web servers and the like from home and was pretty happy with it.

All I can tell you is my personal experience of Zen and their customer service is very, very good. The only reason I stopped using them is I moved to a village in North Yorkshire from London and the whole of the village had put fibre in to each house. For £5 less a month, I get 6x the speed.

Rob
 

timothyedoran

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Another vote for Zen. Been very happy with speed and service. I have never had to restart the router. Staff are friendly too.
Was with plusnet before and it was really bad. The worst was that they could not generate a bill for me for 9 months. In the end I got the ombudsman to help and I was able to leave and switch to Zen very easily.
 

RogerS

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15 years ago talktalk was based in warrington (then talktalk carphone Peach house), as was Zen's technical support centre.
15 years ago, all of zens technical support team (bar I think 1) upped and went to work at talktalk with a sizeable pay increase.
15 years later, most are still there, but in management and team leader roles.

Yet StalkStalk can't keep everyone happy. guess that's what happens when you get big. more people have issues.

Zen got some pretty scathing reviews in the gaming circles for poor connection and rubbish service, but as a small provider it only hits a small number of people and never really gets out.

please note that I'm not defending StalkStalk, they are terrible, I'm more pointing out that none of the ISPs are great these days, but maybe it's because we've become so reliant on it.
I've been with Zen for years and years. Quality of service has been faultless and tech support excellent when needed. But then I don't play games. Maybe there should be a dedicated internet for gamers so that the rest of us can browse in peace (joke !!).
 

alex_heney

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Contrary to previous posters I have fairly little problem with Talktalk.

The connection comes down the same wire as all the other similar service providers. There may be some technical niceties behind this but I regard it as not dissimilar to gas and electricity in that respect.

The one major problem was with a failed line when I returned from an extended holiday - within threee days they dug up the path and intalled new cables - all at no charge!

Only slight issue is that although the headline price is good and they commit to no in contract increases, they simply increase the costs of the add-ons.
The real problem with TalkTalk isn't the actual service, when things are going OK. It is how they deal with issues when they do arrivse.

Their customer "service" is appalling. They close calls without having actually resolved anything, and without any communication.
 

novocaine

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sorry, my post wasn't meant as a slagging off of Zen, they are good, just saying that talktalk tech team is made up of a lot of zen folks.
 

Stevekane

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My mistake, we just moved to Plusnet, not TalkTalk, sorry.
Our neighbours have been having problems with PlusNet, no broadband for over two weeks, unhelpful agents and blaming the problem on faulty lines, eventually BT (or some incarnation of what was BT) arrived and said lines okay,,more faffing about dianosed a faulty Router but Plus Net firstly wantedto charge them for a replacement, and after a lot of threatening hassle they aggreed to send one but only on payment of £5.99 postage,,,they plugged it in and problem was fixed.
Were with Talk Talk and have a package of Broad band,TV phone line and all calls which from memory is £28 per month, weve been with them for some years and were quite happy with them, we have friends that were not, we have friends who are not happy with anyof the providers,,,but what does it mean? Well sadly I dont bloody know, however given that nearly everything that supplies your broadband, is owned and managed by BT and Plus Net and their chums just rent so many mega bits or whatever I do wonder how much control the BB providers actually have over the service? In fact I was surprised to discover that even Fibre Fast BB is only fibre to your nearest green cabinet,,which might be steets away,,to your home its on those old wires that are swinging in the wind and rain with bloody great birds pooping all over them,,or in our case in a water filled chamber in the road,,great bundles of wires that the BT bloke said had been changed to aluminium many years ago and which are now brittle through age, he is called to a fault which he fixes and carefully replaces the bundle,,they then sit back and wait for the calls from people saying there phone doesnt work,,somtimes they are at our chamber for days. The Covid crisis has catapulted us years into the future in terms of our use and need for good online services and with many parts of the country unable to get even basic broadband, its exposed the shocking ineptitude of our govts in not investing more in it.
Sorry about this,,,bit of a rant I know but,,,
Steve.
 

Woody2Shoes

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You left out 'failing to untangle'. What were the losses down to her monumental lack of management? How many millions ?
I'm no apologist on her behalf, but she did manage to make a very large, slightly less unworkable, sow's ear out of a very ropy ragbag of other smaller sow's ears (I used to work in the industry and have seen some serious "customer-(don't-)care" rats nests in my time)!
 

NewbieRaf

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If you want awesome service with highly technical people and the companies aim is to literally tell BT/Open Poo how fix their stuff check out Andrews and Arnold. They are however expensive
 

McAldo

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+1 for Zen. As an IT person I advise to stay away at all cost from the likes of TT, Sky and the rest of them however I must admit that comes as a cost. Zen, Andrews and Arnold are all more expensive than your typical provider however the trade off is customer service and people who actually know something about networks. If you have to go with one of the common ones I would advise PlusNet

Out of curiosity why Plusnet?
 

J-G

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There's no accounting for personal preference!

I have a customer (computer support) who has been complaining about his BB supplier (TT) for as long as I can remember so I sent him a link to this thread. He came back with a 'thank you' and a question about which supplier I would recommend which for me would certainly be ZEN.

PlusNet have improved of late but I still have a memory of them demanding that a customer sent them an e-mail detailing the problems she had which was a total lack of service and it took 6 weeks for them to respond to MY e-mails and phone calls (they initially wouldn't accept my response because I'm not their customer).

This customer then mentioned that he has an e-mail from TT saying that his contract would expire at the end of the month so it was time for him to decide what to do -
1) nothing and accept an increase of 40%,​
2) take out a new 18 month contract at a 10% increase​
3) change supplier.​
I spoke to him on the phone and suggested ZEN but he insisted that he was not of a mind to change supplier even if the cost was lower and the service better - he just wanted me to tell him which of the first two options would be the best !! :unsure:
 

pcb1962

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If you want awesome service with highly technical people and the companies aim is to literally tell BT/Open Poo how fix their stuff check out Andrews and Arnold. They are however expensive
I've been with Andrews and Arnold for 14 years, both as a business customer and now domestic.
Currently costs me £50 a month but for that I get better than 99.9% uptime and my download speed never drops below 60MBps.
Ironically my service is delivered over TalkTalk hardware at the exchange.

 

Richard_C

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I think the rules changed on switching broadband & phone suppliers a year or so (?) ago, now it's like mobile phones - you can just call the new supplier and have them do it all.

"TalkTalk boss Dido Harding's utter ignorance is a lesson to us all" said Marketing magazine after she was interviewed about their leak of 4 million customer records to hackers. Asked if the affected customer data was encrypted or not, she replied: "The awful truth is that I don't know". She won ''worst company for customer service' award 3 years on the trot. Worth reading the wikipedia page.

I have friends who are with A&A and rate them very highly but you pay a bit of a premium.

Zen are good.

I was with Demon for 15+ years, early innovators but after various acquisitions ending up with them in the vodafone group I gave up and moved to Zen. Been there almost 6 years and they have been excellent. Only needed tech support twice - once with an outage when they quickly checked and discovered that BT, while installing a connection to a new housing development, had put a digger through their main fibre to our local exchange. So not a zen problem. Second time, sudden change to flakey wifi, router getting hot, so called for advice on a new router. Ah, said tech support, you've had that one 3 years we will send you a new one, it came next day. I wasn't asking for that, only wanted advice. I've just moved my landline to them from BT, all good and the billing - credit on part month, new monthly fee etc. all transparent and accurate. Good to talk to real people in and around Rochdale.
 

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