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Broadband & ISPs

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by tabtab13, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Ah yes, along with digital tv, broadband and ISPs are another pet peeve.

    Over the past 6 months or so, my connection just goes, perhaps once every 3 weeks, certainly once a month. The first time it happened, I tried rebooting the router, rebooting my computer, checking the cable in the phone socket etc but to no avail. My ISP was fairly reluctant to inform BT, as according to them, my phone line was fine, but did so in the end and BT found there was a problem with the line after all and sorted the problem out. Result!

    But now when it happens, I get all excuses under the sun from them - 'your settings must be wrong' (ah no - I haven't touched them), 'try it with a different router' (ah no - like I have a spare one around), 'try taking your phone socket apart and looking inside (ah no - I'm not a phone socket engineer and I don't want to make things worse and lose my phone line as well).

    There's a number of others as well - literally any excuse to say the problem's my end and that's that. So I wait ... and hey presto, the connection comes back, sometimes within an hour, sometimes longer, sometimes overnight. This is without me doing anything anymore - I've given up ringing my ISP as I'm sure many of you have experienced the amount of time you have to spend ringing and ringing a help line trying to get through.

    Question - if it takes so long, doesn't that indicate that there are many, many people trying to get through so there must be a problem with the service they are providing - or do these places just have one person and a phone in a tiny office to deal with such calls?!

    Anyone else experience this on a fairly regular basis - or are you happy and problem free with your internet connection and ISP?

    Obviously, I'm thinking of changing my ISP, but not wishing to jump out of the frying pan into the fire, I thought I'd sound you all out first and see if it's just me - as although I know my way around my Mac, I wouldn't say I was super techno minded.
     
  2. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Call Centres are not staffed by fully trained personnel; they are the 'my light is not working' - 'have you switched it on, sir' category; they have a list of possible things that could go wong with your equipment, other people's services and equipment, in fact anything other than the service they are supposed to provide. This is a fact. If you look through many other forums, you will see the same going on all over. They know absolutely nothing about computers or modems or routers or the internet in any way shape or form. They will tell you any lie to pass the buck. I have had proof of that so many times, I actually told mine that - I am now with another provider, who have been honest, but I have made up my mind to sort out everything myself, if there is a problem. It is easier and less stress. My personal experience is based on dial up only, but I have heard so many stories and complaints from so many people on so many different services, my opinion of service providers is that they are all a shambles. Example - I complained of blocked service - they reckoned it was my new modem. They then told me there was nothing wrong with the connection - I had a route check software in operation, so I could trace the whole route and knew exactly where the break in their system was - they refused to believe me. 'You need a new driver' - for a new modem?!!. Worra bunch. The stories I have heard about Broadband have freaked me out of ever considering it. If you have a problem in connections - your simplest and best bet is to note it all down. Then do a search on Google or your preferred search engine for various phrases that 'fit the bill'. There are bound to be others out there with the same problem on various forums, and on various help sites, technical databases. To dial endless numbers or to wait in an endless queue with a scratchy screetching endless loop of Greensleeves, waiting for a cross between a Morlock and Eccles to answer is not my idea of intelligent communication.
     
  3. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Yes, been having a bit of a browse on the web this evening about this - no surprise to find many, many people unhappy with the response from their ISPs - "Everything is fine at our end - the problem must be at your end"

    It would also appear that generally speaking, ISPs Customer Service departments take a real battering on other aspects of their services as well.

    Am I surprised?

    Nope, can't say I am.
     
  4. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Get yourself a 'Ping Plotter', very useful.
     
  5. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    He he, I wrote a reply and forgot to post it. duh. What I said was that in about 5years and two addresses I have had no problem whatsoever with broadband, all that time I have been with the same provider Eclipse, I sometimes have a problem remembering the name as I never have to contact them.
     
  6. msp14

    msp14 Member

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    I`ve been with BT for 18 months and i am about to sign another contract for 12 months with them.
    I had a problem with their Norton anti virus, but once that was removed it was all ok again.
    My speed with them is 6 kbps.
    When i phoned them with the problem with Norton they were quick in sorting the problem out and that was the only problem, 18 months ago now.
     
  7. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Well, well, well! after three weeks of punishment I'm back on line. We migrated from our business ISP to the Post Office to save money..... Ha!
    It all seemed to be going ok... until the dreaded router arrived.
    The Post Office router is the ZyXEL P-660HW-T1 v2 sounds impressive hugh! well that's because it is. When the braodband switched over we immediately noticed a drop in speed but this is normal if you switch ISP's, or at least for the first 10 days until a stable line speed can be established. However the speed got worse and worse and finally we found that surfing at 1/4 meg was quite normal. We couldn't port forward and was cut off the internet every ten minutes and couldn't connect again for 20
    Customer services was a joke and being placed on hold for two and a quarter hours was not unusual. After many a phone call, letters of complaints (sent recorded) and email I gave up trying it their way. I spoke with Ofcom and Otel a solution was born..... Dump the ZyXEL P-660HW-T1 v2 and buy a new router...
    Well I did and all of my problems went away. In fact I was surfing faster on he net as well.
    So I wondered why this was. After all the Post Office had supplied three of these routers to me over the past three weeks.
    I decided to look a little closer at the ZyXEL P-660HW-T1 v2 and found the following (or at least with the Post Office version)
    The firmware was locked to prevent users from updating firmware to the router.
    The IP stack was set at 100 and not the standard 1024 per client
    Port forwarding on certain ports was blocked even though you could add the ports it didn't work... namely Company of heroes and a few others like port UDP 6112 and port 30260

    I have discovered that the Post Office have locked the firmware to prevent the user from upgrading their router. If they did then they would over right their bandwidth shaping policy built into the very router they supplied to you. The rules are so slim that in our case the routers all spanned out and that was why we had the problems we did....... Pretty sure this is an illegal move as they offer unlimited access.
     
  8. rrrrrrichie

    rrrrrrichie Member

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    Unbelievable! I stick to Draytek routers as I need VPN capabilities without spending the kind of money Cisco would have me spend. :D It does sound illegal to me too, glad you sorted it!
     
  9. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    In any case they will be expecting my bill for professional services and of course the cost of the modem ::1:
     
  10. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Here is part of a copy of the letter drafted to Post Office broadband services...... You'll get the jist I think

    I have already written a letter of complaint and sent several emails but haven’t had a reply. I have receipts for both the letter sent and the automated receipts sent by your mail servers.
    I have spent countless hours on the phone to technical support and was once placed on hold for 2 hours 13 minutes and 39 seconds!!!!!
    We migrated from our ISP on Wednesday 22nd July 2009 and started to get problems with the broadband service almost immediately. At first the broadband was slow but we were told to wait 10 days whilst the broadband speed checks were completed. After the 10th day the speed reduced daily until a recorded speed of ¼ of a meg was not unusual. You can see the record of this from your BT Speed check site.
    All Technical support offered was a firmware upgrade. This created yet more problems and we found that the wireless network was being dropped every few minutes. Yet another firmware upgrade later and the problems had escalated to the point that the router was unable to be used. A new router was dispatched and we enjoyed almost normal internet access for the best part of two days. After the two days were up we noticed that web pages weren’t being displayed (as if we were cut off from the internet, but the router was still connected). We couldn’t open any web pages at all but we were still able to send and receive emails. All the computers in the house suffered this at the same time. We would need to reboot the router and after a few minutes things were back to normal. As the days went on this problem would occur more and more. In the end we found that we could only surf the internet for about 10 minutes and the problem would occur.
    On Saturday the 8th August we couldn’t use the router at all and decided to phone technical support once again. I rang at 10 am and was told to leave my name and number and someone would ring me back. At 16:40 I rang back because I was disgusted by the amount f time I was kept waiting for a call back. I was told to leave my name and number and someone would ring me back. I rang again at 18:50 and was told to leave my name and number. I rang again at 19:44 and was told the same thing. Nobody ever rang me back. Frustrated and annoyed I borrowed a router from a neighbour and put my family back on the internet.
    On Monday 10th August I rang technical support once again and to my amazement was told to leave my name and number and someone would ring me back and this time I insisted on speaking with a supervisor. I was placed on hold for 14 minutes and then put through to Ronan who sympathised with my position and insisted that he could help.
    I explained the problem to him on a technical level (as I am a Cisco engineer) As I thought it would help with the diagnostics of the router. He offered a firmware upgrade but as I stated we were on the latest it was pointless. He then offered to send out a replacement router. I insisted that he sent a different brand of router as I believed that the firmware was faulty in that kind of router. He agreed to replace he router with a different make and model. He also said that he would phone at 8pm on Wednesday 12th August to see how we got on with the new router and that he would take a personal interest in this case.
    The new router arrived on Wednesday 12th August, I opened it and noted that it was the same make and model as the one I had already received. This was in fact the third router all the same make and model. Still I plugged it in and tried it out. By the early evening the new router was acting just the same as the others. Every few minutes we had to reboot the router or we couldn’t see and web pages. Emails were unaffected. Personally I think that the router mishandles dns.
    8pm came and went and no call from Ronan!
    On Monday 17th of August I rang the complaints department of the Post Office and spoke with Teresa at 11:33 am I insisted on making a serious complaint and she put me through to Kirsten on extension 4037.
    I explained the situation to her and she insisted that the complaints department have no record of the letter of complaint, no emails and no record of any phone calls. I have the evidence that these were sent to the Post Office so I cannot imagine why they don’t have copies of my complaint.
    She insisted that I should talk with technical support and put me through.... but whilst on hold (22 minutes) she came back on the line and said that she would get technical support to ring me instead. She offered to phone me back at 17:00 the same day to see if I had been contacted.
    At 17:14 Kirsten rang me back and asked if technical support had rang.... of course they haven’t. Her suggestion was to wait as they are busy and she would ring back on Wednesday 19th of August to see if I had been contacted by then. Well it’s Wednesday the 19th at 5pm and no call from technical support and no call from the complaints department.
    I have been in contact with OFCOM (reference 1125025843) and also Otel who have also logged the case.
    To be frank they were both shocked at the level of service offered to me....I have since fixed the problem by going down to Argos and buying a new router. Nothing fancy. Set it up and it has been running now for two days and not a problem at all.
    This isn’t a matter of compatibility, this is a matter of faulty goods. I have also studied various on line forums and have print outs of hundreds of others who are experiencing the same problems with that particular make and model of router .
     
  11. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    If someone like you is having all these problems, what chance has poor old joe Bloggs who knows nothing about PC's have, We're supposed to put our trust int companies like this. ::13: ::13:
     
  12. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    It isn't a good advert for the Post Office is it.
    I mean my letter of complaint was lost by the very company whom I was complaining about..... complex when I try to claim compensation.
    Thing is that the complaints department seem helpless. They are quite prepared to wash my car, mow my lawn and be my best friend but when it comes down to good old fashion service.... I might as well be speaking woggahumtamuth at them ::11:
    Just going to pop out for a short while as I had this email inviting me down to the Battery Rocks to meet up with Mounts Bay Harriers who meet up at 7pm every Wednesday at Battery Rocks for a swim.
     
  13. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    Have a nice swim. ::11: ::11: ::11:
     
  14. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Good grief, Halfhidden - and I thought I had it bad ....

    It's just ridiculous, isn't it - how many times have you all seen the phrase ' plug in and play' in regards to computer related equipment? Plug in and play my a**!

    It seems now that unless you're a computer boffin, you're at the mercy of these companies who take your money, sell you the gear and then you're left on your own if anything goes wrong as the companies are too busy looking for new suckers and their money to worry about what's already been sold.

    Certainly it seems from what I've read, seen or heard talked about, Broadband customer service stinks!

    Anyone who has had good experience should thank their lucky stars - I'm sure you're in the minority.
     
  15. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Halfhidden's story is typical of all that I have heard elsewhere ... me, I am happy with the modem I forked out the sum of £9 for, and plug it straight into the telephone socket, and set the connection at 45Kb/sec; simple. 24/7 no limit on up/download. Great at £6.99/month.
     
  16. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    @ tabtab13 "plug and play" yeh! we called it "plug and pray" ::11: seriously the Microsoft platform is a terrible platform. If the internet was based on Windows we would be rebooting servers left right and centre.
    I use XP only because of cost.... And like many others have downgraded from Vista.... for sanity purposes. if I could afford a different platform I would use that.....and that's a sad statement from a Microsoft certified gold partner.

    @ treeve
    shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh blip blip shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ::11:
    Loved the sound of my 56k. The external ones have a better life expectation as they handle the static from the phone line much better.
    Just out of curiosity what make is your modem?
     
  17. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    It is an Agere 2.0, external USB jobby. Never not a sound from the modem, I have all sounds turned off and speakers off, as well as modem sound anyway. Do I want to hear all the MS trashy blips when I have the best music there is playing on my HiFi? Oh No.
     
  18. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Not heard of that one... I was a Zoom guy myself. ::15:
     
  19. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    As a first time explorer into the realms of broad beans .. no, broadband ....
    I thought it may be of interest to keep a dairy ... no, a diary ...
    Orange Broadband - an adventure.
    I have been on the Internet since 1996; providers have been zoom.co.uk; tesco.net; whsmith.net; v21.co.uk (a particularly good provider that was killed
    off by a mad purchase and gross mismangement) - I was then ditched into the hands of breathe.com, who followed the same route of too big too quick, offering all service except the required on, namely an internet provision. It was intermittent, yet there was masses of storage space online for heaven knows what, gradually the ISP became more of a joke than made any fun, offering lies upon lies about their problems, which were always described as being a problem with my line, or my modem, or my pc, or the drivers, anything except the fact that their servers were not working and were well below par - the fact that I could follow the route via a ping plotter seemed not to faze them in their total ignorance as to just what the internet was and how it worked, nor had they any comprehension as to just what a computer was and how any of the browsers worked. Eventually I searched for another, and found 'fast4' ... it was later in the week that I discovered that they were one and the same people. Gradually the service got worse and the lies increased until I could take it no more. Filled with endless tales of broadband horrors and nightmares, it was my only option. Speed to me was an unimportant factor, reliablity and no hassle is an important issue. I therefore walked into the outlet in Market Jew Street for Orange, purely on offchance and having been advised it was reliable. So many others were laden with either cost or problems that I did not want to face. I just want a connection that works, nothing fancy. After 13 years at 44 kb/sec ... matter do uh?
    Stage 1: Forms completed in the shop on their console, which incidentally was dead for an hour just before I arrived, with no queries possible. Ordered 2pm 5th September 2009; the delivery of the router was estimated to be in 10 working days (whatever they are).
    Stage 2: It actually arrived on the 16th September at 1330 ... but hang on a minute, the white van driver came to the door, with a package sequestered
    under his arm, for which I was asked to sign. Such as one can with a stick on a plastic spring on a sensor box, that I duly did, and off he waltzed with a
    sweeping pass of the package. I looked at the package and wondered why it felt like a lady's cardigan? By now he was entering his van up the road, I realised the label did not read my name, unless I had been changed by some evil operation overnight, as he revved the engine, I managed to waylay his window with the package and shouted to him, just who was this addressed to? Oh Sorry Mate, I picked up the wrong one. Another waving of the plastic stick was requested.
    Stage 3: Open the box (I'll take the money!!).... Curious .. why are there two filters? Ah well, then there are the grossly simplistic instructions. However, the letter leaves a great deal to be desired in compensation. Password? What password, Sent to your email, but, hang on a minute if I need a password to get the connection to the router, how do I see the email in which there is the magic password???? And... what is this, 50 pence a minute call charges for service queries, for a product which is not even online yet?? I do not think so. Oh yes, phone us as long as you like at that price, we are quids in thank you.
    Stage 3a... a walk to the shop, a query, the young lady was most concerned and offered that I could use the shop phone to make contact; I thought that I would give it another go later. The contact was noted, as they were unaware that it costs 50 pence per minute to phone Orange to get advice as to how to make the first broadband connection.
    Stage 3b; yes indeed the DSL came on that evening ... so I set it all up, and lo and behold, for there was the sign in the sky of the need for a Password, the mystery password. This is getting more intelligent by the minute. It would have been decidedly better if the software was better written and presented in order that a clear picture of what was happening was being presented. I wrote better displays than that on the old 64k computers, with screen memory switching.
    Stage 4: Try Online via my old steam dial up ... the site is raised with no problems, and loook!!! Orange offers advice by email form ... so it takes up to 48 hours for a reply. Wassa probs? Some places do not even reply. And it does not cost 50 pence per minute. Why did the shop not know that?
    In the meantime, I have sent a realtime email, with my queries and concerns, which is all I wanted to do ... why can't I just Talk to someOne?
    So, the Saga conitinues .. awaiting the Oracle of Orange ....
     
  20. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Most ISP's actually set the router up for you before you get it.... That way you simply plug it in.
    Pitty Orange didn't..... If I can help just shout!
     

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