Patronise me about swapping ISPs

cheb
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Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by cheb »

My time with BT is coming to and end, yay, much woot. I used them for simplicity when we first got our internet via the telephone line a year or so ago, previously we were on a giant wireless network.

I've switched electricity companies seamlessly a couple of years ago, is switching ISPs as simple?

I'm looking to transfer to Zen as they do well in customer service surveys.
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weeksy
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by weeksy »

BT for me, because it always works.

Think about who 'owns' the lines etc, they're often BT lines that they lease out to 3rd party ISPs, so you get some of their cast-offs.

I'v seen many stories of weeks and weeks without internet when swapping which isn't viable for me.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by cheb »

That's one of the reasons I don't want to stay with BT. I'll bore you with just one story of trying to get faults fixed on a line with a contracted 4 hour response time. Their suggestion was to get a cherry picker in from the mainland, that might 10 days or so. I pointed out the 4 hour timeslot and the response was a dumb sounding 'Oh, I didn't see that bit'. Their customer service is lamentable and has been for as long as I've been with them.

It's the bit without internet that the household can't do, not just for cat pictures, but for emergency response work.

The actions that prompted me are emails suggesting I upgrade to a faster package when they aren't delivering the speeds for the current package*, and they've turned on some net nanny function without my asking. It's free of course, but I wonder what happens when this contract expires.

In theory it should be as easy as switching mobile phone providers, I've found that seamless too.

*We don't need the extra speed, nobody games and there's only two of us in the house.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by weeksy »

cheb wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:42 am That's one of the reasons I don't want to stay with BT. I'll bore you with just one story of trying to get faults fixed on a line with a contracted 4 hour response time. Their suggestion was to get a cherry picker in from the mainland, that might 10 days or so.
Without being harsh, your circumstances are slightly far from the norm and the contract will be a generic one. You think it'll be different with another ISP when they work out you're 4,000 miles from civilisation?
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by KungFooBob »

When I moved house 8 years ago, I kept my contract with Sky, however the previous owners had been with TalkTalk and it required an openreach engineer to visit the house to ensure we had a BT line for the Sky ADSL rather than a TalkTalk owned line.

There was a two week period without any tinternet. I used used the Hotspot on my phone.

The outlaws built an off grid house on some farmland, the costs to get them a telephone line is astonishing, I got them a TP-Link Archer router that takes a sim card. They've got an unlimited data sim from Virgin for £20. It works great. It helps that they get good 4g coverage.

The only drawback is their WAN IP is actually a Vodafone internal network not a true internet IP so they can't use DDNS to view the CCTV externally.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by Le_Fromage_Grande »

All ISPs have shit customer service
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by cheb »

weeksy wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:44 am
cheb wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:42 am That's one of the reasons I don't want to stay with BT. I'll bore you with just one story of trying to get faults fixed on a line with a contracted 4 hour response time. Their suggestion was to get a cherry picker in from the mainland, that might 10 days or so.
Without being harsh, your circumstances are slightly far from the norm and the contract will be a generic one. You think it'll be different with another ISP when they work out you're 4,000 miles from civilisation?

True, but I think only reasonable to give another company the opportunity to have my spleen vented at them.

I've tried logging in the my BT account. I can't with FF on Linux, I had to use a deliberately untweaked installation of chromium. It maybe a temporary problem 'twixt BT and FF, but it's the only account that doesn't work.

The Openreach people out here are generally good, but they aren't BT AFAIK.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by MrLongbeard »

I chop n change provider every year to get the best deal / gift cards etc.

Switch overs have always been painless and I've never needed to use any customer support with any of them, just avoid Vodafone as they suck balls.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by cheb »

Julian_Boolean wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:13 am All ISPs have shit customer service
Amusing ironically true about most communications providers.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by inewham »

In my old job I used Zen for our company broadband and they were brilliant.
Mind you that was 6 years ago so they have probably been bought by god know who since
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by chutzpah »

Zen are still privately owned and the founder Richard Tang is currently chairman. I used to work with them closely in a previous life on the wholesale side and would have no qualms recommending them.

When dealing with ISPs, park most issues with the 'line' and separate that from the broadband provider. Your line (save for oddities like Hull, or if you're with a setup like Virgin cable or a true full fibre provider) is provided and maintained by Openreach. Forget the word BT, Openreach. It took ages for an engineer to come and fix your line? That was Openreach. The person that turned up tells you they aren't flat roof trained so can't get to the bit of the line they think is broken? That was Openreach. The fault was water ingress on your line, but it was a sunny day when the engineer turned up, tested it, said "right when tested" and got back in the van and drove off, then the next rainfall sees your broadband go to pot again? That was Openreach.

There are a few times that maybe your ISP was lax getting the engineer out, or did shoddy diagnostics, but from the second they're booking an appointment they are all at the mercy of Openreach.

Now... back to the ISP. Where they can differ:
  • Interconnect and capacity at core
  • Peering arrangements with key content providers (although to be fair, none of them should stuff this up)
  • Billing
  • Support
  • If you want to use their modem/router, how this performs
Some other aspects, but that's the main ones. Most of the time when I hear people moaning about their ISP, it's an Openreach issue. Another chunk of the time it's unrealistic expectations of the supplied modem (especially WiFi)

My broadband here is pretty stable, so I'm happy to go cheap and with TalkTalk. I never need to call them so I'm happy.

If you're someone that has issues with your line, go with someone like Andrews and Arnold. You'll pay more but by jove they'll kick Openreach to get your line resolved.

Otherwise Plusnet (owned by BT but separate) seem to get the plaudits.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by cheb »

Thanks, the BT/Openreach thing is about as I understood it. Similar to who maintains the electricity network and who bills you for power used.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by asmethurst99 »

We changed BT to EE - Painless and cut our bill from 56 quid to 27 quid .
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by the_priest »

Plus.net here. Have been for 17 years. It works. I've been on full fat fibre for as long as it has existed and moved it three times. At the moment on a 2 year contract at £23/month, but don't use the phone at all. We also have Plus.net sims for our mobiles and get a decent enough rate on those for what we use. Customer service has been good and fixes (three times of this period of time) have been quick and painless. One was running a new line to the house from the pole.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by Kneerly Down »

You are probably on a 'market 1' exchange, same as us.
Check by putting your phone number in at:
https://availability.samknows.com/broad ... nge_search
Then clicking on the exchange.
That'll give you an idea of who operates their own presence at the exchange (prob just BT) and what types of DSL/fibre are enabled.

I was with Zen for about 6 years but the price premium really wasn't worth the nice people on the end of the line.
No matter how nice they are, on a Market 1 exchange there isn't all that much they can do better than many other (decent) providers.

I have just switched our 2nd line to Origin.
I have also purchased Draytek DSL modem/routers.
The first (VIgor 2860) is just used as the DSL modem that connects to a PoE router that then goes out to a half-dozen 2nd hand Ruckus access points for Wifi,
The second one is a Vigor 2860ln, that arrives tomorrow.
It includes a 4G modem and external 4G antennas that will allow load-balancing/fallback between the DSL and 4G (and even the other DSL router).

On the subject of 4G, I'm doing all my Zoom conferences and streaming FROM the house using GiffGaff now as the upstream bandwidth is much better than the DSL lines...normally.
I'd see what data speeds you can get with a decent 4G modem and possibly port your fixed-line number to someone like SIPGATE given how relatively little load you put on your comms.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by wheelnut »

Haven’t read the whole thread, but Zen will buy the service from BT wholesale. Strangely, BT retail will also buy the same service from BT wholesale.

The difference to you is that it may well be easier to talk to Zen if you have any issues, and that sometimes can be well worth the premium.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by chutzpah »

Not exactly true, Zen have unbundled heaps of exchanges so more often than not (especially for fttc) they don't buy via BT Wholesale.
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Re: Patronise me about swapping ISPs

Post by Mussels »

I'm another frequent swapper and have had no problems with that part. Any trouble has mainly been when Openreach gets involved "That's a power and phone pole, Openreach didn't tell me that when they booked me and they need to arrange a team with special equipment". Openreach also dropped a screw for the master socket on one visit and instead of picking it up took one out of a new box and tried charging £80 for the supply of a new master socket.
I have little real choice here, the exchange is LLU and only talktalk have their own equipment which is no different to the Openreach stuff. The only difference is price, I phoned talktalk and told them I could get a good deal on comparison sites but didn't like the voucher thing so they offered me the same deal for a flat rate.