back to article Thus passes to C&W

Thus, the company formerly known as Scottish Telecom and owner of the Demon Internet brand so beloved by an aging demographic, has recommended its shareholders accept an 180 pence offer from Cable & Wireless that will result in the delisting of the business. Cable & Wireless originally offered 165 pence a share for the company …


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  1. K


    They're making this into a film, called Bulldog 2, the story line apparently picks up from immediately where Bulldog left off.

    the storyline appears much the same, but they're promising even more customer will get a royal shafting, though the running time will be signficantly less as CW are promising to jump ship a little sooner.

  2. Nick

    Oh Crap...

    I hope they dont blox things up. Demon are a fantastic ISP at the moment, even with Thus's influence. I hope Cable and Witless dont undo this excellent work.

  3. Paul Naylor
    Jobs Halo

    @ Nick

    Ditto Nick. I've been a Demon customer fr'ages (and, yes, I am part of the aged population; 40 next year) and they've been a great provider. I too hope that C&W don't bollox things up...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on...

    Ageing demographic? Fuck off!

    Oh, hang on, you may be right... ;)

    I have to agree with Nick - keep your hands off Demon, I've been a customer since 1994 (tenner a month dial up, those were the days!) and have no intention of taking a shafting from C&W. It was bad enough when their helldesk was moved to India and staffed by non-tech people.

  5. Saucerhead Tharpe

    43 at the end of the month

    Been a customer since 1996 connecting to the interweb with my Amiga

    And now I'm an aging demographic

    I agree with Fraser, f*** right off

  6. dave lawless

    bye bye demon

    and good riddance Trumpet Winsock !

  7. Havin_it

    not again

    Bloody hell. Barely a year since I had to leave Pipex due to Tiscali borging that once-great ISP. Okay, they were getting quite shit before that (probably due to their own acquisitive mania) but that was the last straw.

    Whither now? Zen? Any other suggestions welcome.

  8. Bill Cumming

    Oh Feldercarp!

    There goes my great Demon service down the River.

    I'll wait for a few months to see how bad the service gets before i decide to jump ship....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Zen are certainly a good provider, or you could consider Merula. I've been with them since 2003. They're still small and independent too.



  10. Dave

    Old Fogeys

    I guess that includes me, I was about #750 in the good old tenner-a-month dial-up days (based on assigned IP address). There have been ups and downs, but I'm not convinced they've been worse than anyone else, and when I was looking around for a second supplier, their data capping seems to be one of the best. Not the cheapest, but less howls of anguish from customers and less column inches about poor service than most.

  11. Blitheringeejit

    So beloved?

    As a proud ex-tenner-a-monther, I suggest that Bill looks at the demon.service newsgroup for a short sharp lesson on what Demon customers really think of them. Most of us ageing types are particularly grumpy because we can remember when you could call the Demon helpdesk and talk to someone who had the faintest idea how the internet works - but those days are long gone.

    We stay with Demon because everyone else is worse, not because we love them. And it's likely that a C&W takeover will drag Demon down below the current tolerable level, and we'll reluctantly jump ship - but no-one loves their ISP these days, because no ISP can provide a decent level of customer service for a standard ADSL connection at a competitive price. How can they, when they're just reselling a BT product in competition with BT?

    One other thing about us ageing demographic types - some of us can remember whose stupid fault it is that our internet infrastructure ended up being such a dog's breakfast in the first place. When they finally bury Mrs T, they're going to need one hell of a big dancefloor...



  12. John

    Oh Crap II

    Been with them a bunch of years now, and yes I'm nudging 40 so I am certainly concerened about future prospects of the service I have enjoyed.

    Really stinks as I had only just (6weeks ago) upgraded to one of their buisness line packages for (once more) truly unlimited and quota-less service. Maybe against all expectations and hopes they will keep Demon as a business/prestige brand... I can dream can't I ?

  13. MYOFB

    Hahahahaha . . . Etc. . .

    C & W take over Thus (THUS therefore taking over Demon . . . Geddit??) and you are all hoping they don't fuck up???!!!

    Don't make me laugh!!

    Two weeks ago Clowns & Wankers decided to change their DNS server IP's without telling anyone.

    First I (and the company I sysadmin for) knew about it, was when there was 4000 emails queued up on the mailserver and all feckin' T'Internet connectivity is down!!

    We are a BUSINESS customer FFS!! What chance do you DOMESTICS think you got??!!


  14. brian

    It's too late

    There used to be a good little dedicated platform specialist called DSVR which was bought by Legend plc which was absorbed by Thus and integrated into Demon. During this process the availability of the servers (especially email) went down the toilet and many customers f****d off into the sunset and took their hosting elsewhere. Nowadays the formerly vibrant DSVR forums are like a Welsh village on a rainy Sunday afternoon (thanks to Douglas Adams for that!!).

    I dread to think what the remaining customers are about to go through. I'm glad I've escaped and took all my hosting platforms elsewhere.

    Mine's the one with "Ex-Customer" on the back.

  15. Wayland Sothcott

    Malcom Mure

    There was a time when one of the directors would answer your technical problems personally. I think these things are cyclic. When the customers are getting good service then the business is struggling to make a profit but growing quite nicely. When they farm out support to an Indian call centre then the company makes money from the shear fact that it takes time for everyone to jump ship.

    Look at ebay at the moment. I expect they are making a bomb, but they seem to be running a vendetta against their loyal customers.

    BTW I am 43 and was a loyal demon customer from 1993 to 2003.

    I suggest people contact George at and chat about Broadband options, you may be amazed at the possibilities if you have £25 per month or more to spend.

  16. Ian Chard


    The demon.service newsgroup has *always* been full of whingers, at least in the fourteen years I've been a Demon customer. The difference is that in the early days, practically all their customers knew about the demon.* hierarchy. Now, with many times more patrons, hardly anyone does -- and yet the traffic level is about the same. As is the whinging level :-)

    I was nervous when they went to Thus, but I haven't really noticed a change in service (apart from the billing department debacle a few years ago)... although in all this time I've only ever phoned them twice. But C&W is a different story... a close eye is required I think, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the word 'Phorm' was mentioned in the next few months!

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Me too

    Again, been with Demon since 1996 and reasonably happy over that time - things do go wrong, but they've usually kept us informed via the various Finger services, though it has got a bit hit-and-miss in the last couple of years.

    As for jumping ship, well if I have to I will, and one place where I know a lot of ex-Demon, and specifically ex-RISC OS people have gone is the (apparently) rather splendid almost-one-man-band Orpheus

    run by the unique Paul Vigay who, while having some forthright opinions, does at least know what he is talking about, and has a wealth of cross-platform experience.

    Mine's the one with the nut-shaped logo discreetly on the pocket... probably just confirms me in the "ageing demographic".

  18. David Kelly

    Who's really providing the services?

    LOL, all these "loyal customers" moaning about C&W don't realise that a huge proportion of Demon/Thus' technical services are already outsourced.

  19. David Goadby

    Where else is there now?

    I'm over 50 (like it matters) and have been with Demon for over 14 years. If fact, ever since I realised that Pipex were ripping me off. More importantly I use Demon for my business and we have ten direct connections and five customers who use Demon on our recommendation.

    The reason we use Demon is fixed IP's, no usage caps and excellent uptime. When we get ADSL problems then Demon always manage to sort BT out when I can't.

    If CW decide the just take the Demons customers into their existing system then we are doomed.

    What CW should do is look at why Demon has so many faithful and satisfied users.

    It's a sad day for sure. Talk-Talk anyone?

  20. Neil Barker


    Oh dear.

    Demon USED to be a good ISP, in the days when Cliff Stanford owned it, but went downhill when THrUSh got their hands on it.

    Now C+W are buying them, it'll soon become another Carphone Warehouse type of ISP.

    How glad I am that I left them years ago.

  21. Keith Webley

    Oh dear!

    I'm only 56, does that count as ageing?

    Anyway, I've been with Demon for ever, even when using Virgin then BT as my main ISP. Currently have absolutely no issues with Demon broadband. 60Gb monthly limit + speeds of over 7Mb/s = very satisfied customer.

    I suppose I'll give C&W the benefit of the doubt for now but I'll not be holding my breath.


  22. Steven Snape

    This coud make my decision easier...

    This could make my decision easier. I have been thinking about leaving them to join TalkTalk for cheaper calls, line rental and internet.

    As for my age, I am 32 and I have only been with Demon for 3 years. I was with Claranet before but moved to Demon because of Claranets uncompetative packages.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fixed IP's

    I've been with Demon almost from the start, for the last 4-5 years as a business customer with a block of fixed IP's.

    My worry would be what happens with business users as in my situation. I've been happy with the cost which includes the IP's. Most other ISP's seem to charge per IP etc. Can anyone suggest a friendly ISP with regard to fixed IP blocks and unrestricted usage ?

    I have the usual 8Meg connection and it runs at 6.5meg most of the time. Except during school holidays !


  24. Matthew Malthouse
    IT Angle

    Where does one go...

    I've stuck with Demon to avoid the cycle of falling from one bad ISP to another that only looks better because it hasn't shafted you yet.

    Anticipation of Thus falling to Clueless and Witless's level of incompetence may be all very reasonable. But where can one go for anything better?

  25. MingFoo
    Thumb Up

    C&W and Demon veteran

    I've previously been a C&W and Demon customer but when my patience ran out I moved to an independant business to business provider called Internet For Business, fixed IP's, no download limits and UK based hands on tech support ... but not the cheapest

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Neil Barker

    Couldn't agree more matey! I still remember when I left Demon (2001 or so) that it caused great confusion as to why I didn't have any "security questions" setup - trying to explain that one almost caused me to lose the will to live :-)

    The hierarchy used to be great fun too and <R> saved my sanity with his "aggressive" dialer script which reduced the login time to mere minutes.

    I do agree that demon.service has always been full of whingers. Difference is that now they're clueless whingers :->

  27. David S

    Inertia may just be overcome now

    Being almost 55, I guess I'm in that old fogey category now: I must have been one of the first to sign up with Demon just after it started. I've kept with them because of inertia, and more pressing matters that meant I just didn't think I had the time or inclination to do the deed of changing ISP. However, in the past year, I've begun to move my email to a separate provider just in case this kind of thing happened. It looks like inertia will now be finally overcome if things go now as anticipated.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What's wrong

    I'd go with it. Privatisations and mergers have an excellent track record, trains/post/telecoms/exams all have seen massive reductions in our tax bills, increases in service and reliability and dropping costs.

    With Birtish Telecom as an obvious benchmark what possible arguments could there be for not?

    Still not convinced?

    Cable & Wireless will be at the helm, I think we'll see frontiers pushed and the suffering Demon service reclaim it's number one spot.

    PH? I checked my theories with her and she concurs.

  29. Steve Sutton

    I've got an idea...

    Right, I reckon that if I can get 500 of you, to pay me 25 quid a month (hey, inflation), I could set up a new ISP etc....

    anyone with me?

  30. Joel
    Thumb Down

    Still on tenner a month....

    Don't use Demon for access, but am still using it for some legacy email (as is my extended family) as well as inbound fax to email.

    Don't want to have to shift - been using the same email addresses since 1994, which is longer than I have been using the same mobile number.... and I've taken that through 3 companies and most networks....

  31. Soruk

    If connectivity remains solid

    I'll be staying put. They've only goofed my billing once (double-took a direct debit, which did get refunded). I know the email servers have had their issues, but I don't actually use my Demon addy. I run my own SMTP server, something most providers don't appear to like unless I take out a top-of-the-line business package. Demon's basic connectivity has been very hard to fault. The fact I only get 1.75Mbit is not their fault, it's the damp string from BT.

    If I were to move, a possibility is O2, though while I can get a static IP address I can't tell if they block ports or not, whether they throttle P2P (yes, I do use bittorrent) and whether they allow me to use SMTP and HTTP servers on my machine, all of which are permitted at Demon.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    CWA ATM Networtk

    Just so everyone knows CWA have now decommissioned there ATM network as of June 2008 and in turn there left wires hanging in exchanges where customers where disconnected.

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