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Broadband & ISPs

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

  1. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Broadband connection ...

    Thanks for info on PC, that helps. To return to the Broadband story ...
    Eclipse ordered 11pm, 2nd November 2009.
    6th November (10am); information pack arrived from Eclipse. A letter (dated 3rd) and a 16 page booklet, ALL details of access, set up and use of the service; email addresses for queries, technical support, customer services (they are closed on one day in the year); It is all written out in a professional manner and extremely clear and helpful. [Unlike the introductory letter from Orange, presumably written by a twelve year old on speed.]
    I have had my blood tests, and first reports are that I have some.
     
  2. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Eclipsed the whole lot of them

    As I said, registered 11pm on Monday. Router arrived Wednesday. Line Activated 5pm on Friday ... that is au jour d'hui, mes enfants.
    Four days. I guess there will be a speed check session for a few days, and even interruption to service. But I still reckon that is moving.
     
  3. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Just updating everyone on the Post Office broadband situation that we have.
    We thought we had the situation fixed after the engineer turned up here. The broad band speed was very good indeed and the Post Office was keen to close the dispute. We wanted to wait a little longer to to check. In the mean time I wanted to be compensated for the purchase of new equipment and for the four months of disconnections and seriously low speeds (often less than 200kb). Well they offered us £30 and told us that we couldn't walk away from our contract. Well we didn't accept the £30 and we have now broken our contract with the Post Office. Since they fixed the line disconnections, freezing and slow speeds have returned.

    You might be surprised to learn about LLU. Fed up with bad broadband services in Penzance I looked at the Penzance telephone exchange with the view to understanding why things are so bad.
    For those who don't know back in 2005 we lost our thriving computer business (been running for 12 years) because BT reconnected our phone lines to another business and completely destroyed our broadband connections. They quickly found the fault but only after some serious media exposure.... up until then it was our fault of course. Anyway, it took them another 6 weeks to sort things out but by then all of our web based clients, including John le Carre had left. Our business was closed down. We tried to sue for compensation, but under the telephone communications act we was offered the maximum of £110.00p We lost our staff, offices, contract and income. Needless to say I wont use BT ever again. Oh and they didn't pay the compensation in the end either!

    So getting back to my story. It was likely caused by over subscribed equipment at the Penzance exchange. Now most of the broadband suppliers here in Penzance (Post Office included) rent space on the equipment, and this equipment is shared with other ISP's (Internet Service Providers) as well as BT themselves.
    Space is money and I wonder if this is what is happening again and would explain a lot about my failing broadband.
    Anyway getting back to LLU. This is known as Local Loop Unbundled and means the the ISP has their own equipment installed in the exchange. It also means that the ISP has a dedicated line from that equipment right back to their server... no other exchanges are involved (that I know of) and this makes a better quality service.
    We have just signed up with Tiscali who is an LLU for the Penzance exchange. They have such quality lines that the BT engineer who came to fix our broadband highly recommended it.
    Tiscalli are able to offer 8mb here in Penzance, TV through your broadband allowing you to watch one channel and record two more at the same time.... so the quality of the system must be high.
    I'll let you all know how it goes from here... I'm quite sure that the Post Office won't be happy and I'll gladly go to court with the evidence I have amassed.
    How do you find out which ISP is operating an LLU service in your area?
    Go to this website: http://www.samknows.com/broadband/ and click on search exchange. In our case it would be Penzance. This website tells you a lot about your phone and broadband services and a lot of information that you wouldn't normally get to see.
     
  4. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for that I for one will certainly check it out.::15:
     
  5. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    And thanks for that from me too!

    I'm quite amazed by all this, when I started this topic, I didn't think there would be too much interest in it. No one really talks about broadband on a day to day basis, so I was assuming it was just me who had problems - and also assumed it must be something I had done - or not done as the case maybe - and everyone else was enjoying a fault free service.

    And a thanks to everyone who has chipped in. ::1:
     
  6. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    @tabtab13 yes it seems that we have a common problem... then again I suppose we were bound to what with all being members on PP.
    Did you secure your wireless connection on your router or are you still having problems?
     
  7. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Everything seems to be hunky dory re: the router, plus touch wood, my connection hasn't gone down for a while.

    Of course, now having said that, something's bound to go wrong! ::11:
     
  8. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Door Promotion

    I had a curious one today, which appears a little on the doubtful side.
    Young fellow introduces himself on the door step as representing Talktalk and as a part of present Government Policy is acting on their behalf in giving quote 'Free Telephone Calls and Free Broadband'; Each of the representatives has been given jurisdiction to offer 100 households this option. A leaflet will be shown to the prospective acceptant, and forms will be filled in the house, with the option of 14 days in which to choose whether or not to settle for that service. Apparently HMGovernment will be providing top of the range routers free of charge. Mentioning that I am with BT for the line, he said that will be free as well. I mention the present download speed of 5Mb (plus on occasion) and he said they will be able to better that. None of that agreed with my own experience or knowledge of the Government scheme proposed, so I declined the offer, as I could not figure Talktalk's part in this as being the arm of Her Majesty, or that Penzance would be allocated a proportion of services, when Southampton was not, or other areas in the North. Having now checked on both Talktalk (who do have a policy in hand since 2006 for the provision of free broadband, with limitations) and on Government Policy( where the current plan has been commenced in October 2009, for the introductory selection of 20,000 homes in Suffolk) neither gives the information that Penzance is a part of any Government Scheme. Limitations on any free service will be speed at 2Mb and service traffic at 2Gb per month, as far as I can tell from the information on line. Nor can I find any proposed involvement between HM Government and Talktalk. It does not appear to me to be what was said on the doorstep. It may well be it was genuine, but the balance of probability did not weigh in that direction for me to agree to 'trying the service'.
    Do you know anything?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  9. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Found an advert buried on the net ....
    Free Broad Band Talktalk forever. They reckon 8Mb speed (though many I know on Talktalk service would dispute that, at best 2Mb when the wind is towards the West); they state a traffic of 40Gb per month, this is free forever PROVIDED you switch your phone from BT to Talktalk via Carphone Warehouse (at £10.50 per month - stated as NOT an extra ), free calls come IF you agree to use internet phone call packages at £5.89 per month). Yes you get 15Mb webspace. Well, now I am getting line rental at £13 per THREE months.
    A free service for more than I pay now? Excuse me?
    How do I know who is or who is not a Talktalk customer so I get the free calls? The link from the add on line ... dead. Because Talktalk no longer publicise a free service on their website.
    Unless you know different?
     
  10. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    It seems that most deals that are 'free' always come at a cost - yes, they are free but only if you do or sign up for x,y & z. And funny how door to door salespeople can 'always offer you a better deal than what you have already'. More often than not, there always seems to be a catch.

    Another thing that annoys me is their habit of attempting to make you look stupid. 'What? You don't want to spend less more than you are now?! Always fun to point out to them that actually, what you have at the moment is cheaper/better than what they are offering.
     
  11. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Indeed, he grew quite narked under his bravado, when I told him that I did not believe that the Government was sponsoring this exercise and that I had grave doubts that they would choose Talktalk to operate on their behalf. I told him the 'whole thing smelt fishy' and that because his figures did not tally with what I knew, alarm bells were ringing about it all; he clearly got irritated when I said that I knew of the scheme and Gordon Brown's policy and that I could easily check online about the Scheme and about Talktalk. His initial failure was to introduce himself by asking if his colleague had dropped a leaflet in, without offering a replacement, when he had a bundle in his inside left coat pocket. Rattus Rattus smelt immediately.
    First Rule, do not believe anyone on your doorstep. ::6:
     
  12. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Taking treeves advise I will no longer be trusting the milkman ::11:::11:
    Anyway, I said I would post a comment or two about our new broadband, so here goes.
    Broadband was swapped over on 30th November 2009 and the broadband television services were installed 4th December 2009.

    Right so this is how it works. On the 30th November I set up my existing router for the new Tiscali broadband and all seemed fine. We received a phone call from Tiscali telling us that we are now using their services. The phone line was unusually clear and much louder than normal. At first I put this down to a one off but since then we've noticed that all of our phone conversations are clearer and the volume higher.
    Broadband is fast and we didn't have any problems with ports or being cut off.
    4th December the engineer arrived at 08:30 to install the Tiscali TV box and modem. He took an hour installing and checking the service and left shortly after 09:30. Now there are some strange characteristics to the broadband service with their modem.... namely when you first try to connect to the Internet it won't for about 2 minutes, after that it's fine. We have four intense Internet users in our house and we haven't experienced any lag, slowness and nor have we been disconnected.... I have to give this service 100% thumbs up so far.
    The Tiscali TV package isn't very well advertised, which is a shame because it is absolutely stunning!
    It's a hybrid consisting of broadband TV and freeview. It is high definition and has access to all Sky channels and more. We, being tight, decided on the very basic package at £24.99 a month. This gives us 60 channels including Sky 1,2 and 3.
    There is on demand that allows you to browse TV programs that have already been shown over the past week and replay them as if you had recorded them. You can pause live TV and record two channels at the same time whilst watching a third. The TV box is fitted with freeview and a hard drive that will allow 50 hours of recording. You can set up schedules that will remind you that your favourite program is on or you can simply choose to record the entire series.
    There are lots of features that you'll recognise if you have Sky tv... but a lot more.

    The picture quality is superb and we have recorded two sides at once and had all computers downloading at the same time and absolutely no lag or slowness at all.
    Just one final thing... the engineer asked me for my TV remote, he them programmed the Tiscalli remote to work all my appliances so I only need the one remote....
    So far so good ::7:::1:
     
  13. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    There was a milkman that delivered more than milk a while back, I know, an interesting discovery was made not too far from you. More milk at the house than at the depot. Well and truly creamed.

    Your Tiscali system sound good, has to be said. Good luck with it all.

    Considering just how easy it is to get things right, why are there so many companies that cannot seem to get it right.

    My grandfather had a maxim, and that was that it took as long to get something right as to get it wrong, and you did not have to waste your life in putting it right afterwards, in the bargain.
     
  14. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Mind you treeve, it's only been a few weeks.... I'll have to report back next year really to see if the system is still as good then as it is now.
    Wht I did forget to mention that other than broadband and broadband tv you get your phone with the system as well... the £24.99 includes line rental. If you consider the annual cost of this service that's a little shy of £300 but 01,02 and some 08 phone calls are free, unlimited broadband, wireless router, professionally installed (yes the engineer installs everything and sets up your pcs for you) the contract is only 12 months and the freeview, broadband tv and digital recorder box would cost about £200 in the shops, then it really isn't a bad deal.
    Let's hope it keeps working.
     
  15. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Thought I would post an update to our ISP problems. We've been with Tiscali (now TalkTalk) for several months now and haven't experienced a single problem. Internet access is fast and service is consistent. Remember that we have broadband TV as well... so that's four computers on all the time... two more laptops on some of the time and broadband TV downloading three channels at a time and absolutely fine!

    However, we received a letter from the Post Office our old ISP. They billed us £49 for line rental and a further £110.00 for leaving them before the contract was up.... as ask you!

    You'll remember that I took the case to Otelo (office of telecommunications ombudsman) who took nearly four months to conclude their investigation.
    Despite the denials from the Post Office who kept referring back to the terms of our contract and claiming that they did all they could, the ombusman had none of this.
    His conclusion was that the Post Office did not supply a satisfactory service for broadband or customer services. He particularly homed in on the "unacceptable" length of time made holding on the phone (remember over 2 hours) and the constant disconnection and slowness of the service.
    He has awarded us the following:
    £40 goodwill to be paid by the Post Office
    £10 goodwill to be paid by the Post Office
    £70 goodwill to be paid by the Post Office
    £110.34 plus VAT in repayment of our early contract closure
    Furthermore the Post Office must write to us a letter of apology

    The Post Office has also said that they will pay us £40 goodwill separate to the ombudsman findings... and this arrived a few days ago.

    Total £270.34 (we were only with them from August to November)

    So, the moral of this story is don't put up with shabby service and bad broadband. You have a right to the service that you pay for. Sure things go wrong and any ISP should be given the chance to put it right, but if they don't you have to exercise your rights!
     
  16. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    Good for you, glad you stuck to your guns. ::15:
     
  17. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Good for you HH!

    And I'm with S55 - you were in the right and you stuck to your guns. Bet they thought you'd just give up and go away in the end.

    Beers on you then, with the compensation?! ::10:
     
  18. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    'hop'ing for a yes, there.

    Good one, halfhidden, stick to the guns and keep firing, like I did.
    It is not about the money, in the end it is the principle and the principle is you got money out of them. ::6:
     
  19. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    I forgot to finish off this sorry story.
    You'll remember the terrible service that we had from Post Office Broad band... Well having been to the ombudsman and winning the case, you'd expect them to do what the ombudsman said? Well the deadline came and passed for the apology letter and the ombudsman had to remind them of their duty, so we eventually got the letter some days after the deadline.
    It gets worse... I can't believe that a multinational corporation like the Post Office would be so spiteful. First of all they paid the compensation in postal orders in £10 dominations, yeah 27 postal orders!... oh no it doesn't stop there. They post dated them so that the time we had to cash them was nearly expired! Now that's really bad because a postal order can be cashed up to 6 months from issue.
    But it doesn't stop there either..... I can't believe how spiteful this was either. We received a letter from the Post Office telling us that once our home insurance was ready for renewal... they wont allow us to renew it with them. They gave us no reason at all and nor have we ever claimed on our home insurance.
    Sad isn't it?
     
  20. BayOfPlenty

    BayOfPlenty Member

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    It's an object lesson to anyone thinking of buying services from the self-proclaimed "People's" Post Office. Maybe they should just concentrate on delivering the mail...
     

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