back to article Murdoch hate sparks mass bitchin', rapid evacuation from O2, BE

Boycotting Rupert Murdoch-owned stuff - such as the media baron's newspapers - is nothing new. But now that Telefónica UK has sold its O2 and BE home broadband businesses to BSkyB, customers are either fleeing the networks or moaning bitterly about who they perceive to be their looming "nasty old" overlord. O2 and BE punters …

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  1. Philip Cheeseman
    Thumb Down

    I'm going

    I'm going once I move. I'd have gone already if I wasn't just about to exchange contracts for the house move. Just wish I was moving somewhere with decent alternatives but it looks like its bt infinity, talk talk or sky so guess its BT infinity as the best of the worst....

    1. Snivelling Wretch

      Re: I'm going

      Ditto...

      1. CJ Bill

        Re: I'm going

        I'm waiting on the house sale to go through before ditching as well

    2. theblackhand

      Re: I'm going

      My opinion?

      Talk Talk - poor performance, terrible customer service, cheap

      Sky - free with Sky package, poor customer service, pretty good (16Mbps/1Mbps) DSL performance

      BT - expensive, poor customer service, average (10Mbps/1Mbps) DSL performance

      If you are going to get poor customer service, why pay for it?

      I can understand Be customers who were used to good customer service and business support being upset by the company being sold, but as the price people pay for their Internet connections continues to fall, smaller companies that provide niche services will find more profit in selling their user base than continuing to operate if they are just re-selling BT Wholesale products.

      1. elaar

        Re: I'm going

        Did you just pull those Sky Vs BT speeds out of thin air or do you have a source? Seeing as Sky uses BT copper then average sync speeds are going to be the same between the two. Strangely, BT offers "upto" 16Mbps the same as Sky, plus you have the option of fibre/Infinity, so your performance "statistics" are bizarre.

        1. orangepeel

          Re: I'm going

          Just an FYI, I moved from Be where I had 12mb dl & 1.2mb ul. I moved to Plus.net where I now get around 9mb dl and just under 1mb ul.

          I queried this with Plus.net and they tell me it's because Be are using their own equipment in the exchange while Plus.net use BT's.

          So where unbundling comes into it there can be a speed difference between ISP's.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'm going

            This was one of BE's better points - they are a LLU provider.

            When I was with them I was subscribed to 'Annex M' ASDL2+ which gave me a fatter upload band through their equipment at the local exchange.

        2. theblackhand

          elaar Re: I'm going

          Re: performance. It was my experience.

          I had BT for around 3 years using the first version of the Home Hub and I was quite happy with the performance at 10Mbps/1Mbps. BT upgraded their exchanges which resulted in 2-3 days loss of service for me on 3 separate occasions over the course of 3 months and I moved to Sky.

          Sky gave me a new router and I've had 16Mbps/1Mbps ever since.

          In all likelihood the same Sky router used on a BT line would yield the same result but from a service perspective, I saw a difference.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm going

        Good customer service should not be thought of as a "niche service"

        Really sad that we still expect to take shit from big companies and pay them for it without much of a second thought because we consider it normal.

    3. The obvious

      Re: I'm going

      I'd go find an infinity reseller. Back in the earlier days of DSL, BT support staff had (and perhaps still have) access to your login password in plain text (I managed to get it out of one of them once), I quit them there & then and have no plans to return.

      1. Vince

        Re: I'm going

        "Infinity Reseller"

        I think you mean just an alternative Fibre Broadband Provider.

        Infinity is a brand name of BT's for the Retail Fibre service they offer.

        FTTC (the fibre most people have that can get it) is a wholesale product many ISPs offer.

        Please don't help BT in making everyone believe Infinity IS fibre and thus they're the only game in town, they've already nabbed the majority of the business.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: I'm going

          Infinity is a brand name of BT's for the Retail Fibre service they offer.

          FTTC (the fibre most people have that can get it) is a wholesale product many ISPs offer.

          Please don't help BT in making everyone believe Infinity IS fibre and thus they're the only game in town, they've already nabbed the majority of the business.

          It's all FTTC from BT though, isn't it, regardless of what the badge says? It's a BT line from you to the cabinet, it's BT from the cabinet to the exchange, and it's BT from the exchange to your ISPs POP.

          BT make most of their money in broadband charging by the GB for backhaul from exchange to POP, I don't want to be exploited that way.

    4. IanzThingz

      Re: I'm going

      Already gone, told O2 it was because of the sale, fortunately I was out of contract with O2 anyway, so made the move to Plusnet, don't have sky at all, cancelled it when the phone hacking story broke.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: I'm going

        "so made the move to Plusnet"

        Plus net are now part of BT.

        1. druck Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: I'm going

          John Smith 19 wrote:

          Plus net are now part of BT.

          Yes they are, so you get the benefits such as FTTC as for Infinity, and when there are any line problems they don't just blame BT and leave you to fend for yourself.

          But also they still operate as separate company, and unlike BT they know how to run an ISP. They offer good, reliable and competitive priced products, and are open and honest about any traffic management and any service outages. I've been with them for over 10 years now, and wholeheartedly recommend them.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: I'm going

            Haven't plus.net always been part of BT? They are consistently #1 in customer satisfaction polls year after year.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I'm going

              No, Plusnet weren't part of BT for some years.

              Plusnet started out life as "Force 9 Internet" (IIRC) which was in turn an offshoot of Choice Peripherals, a PC parts company which used to be in Worksop. Insight then bought Choice Peripherals and spun off Force 9 as a company in its own right. Force 9 morphed into Plusnet, which BT bought in the middle of the last decade (2005?).

              That's why I always grin when Plusnet adverts bang on about "good honest Yorkshire" and all that guff. They started out life in a (very) small industrial unit in Nottinghamshire :)

              1. Benchops

                Re: I'm going

                To be fair Plusnet spent most of their independent years firmly based in Sheffield. I was with them then and they were excellent. Alas O2 LLUed in our exchange long before BT had any plans to so I switched (with a cashback equivalent to a year's subs) and had excellent service (both support and connection).

                When I rang to get my MAC after the Sky announcement they offered me another 12 months free and said the equipment's not going to change for 18 months.

                Being a bit of a sucker for a freeby I went for it on the grounds that I won't be lining any Murdoch pockets (Murdockets?) while it's free and I must remember to switch before the 12 month ends.

                I plan to go back to Plusnet who now have a BT 21CN line to play with.

    5. Tony Green

      Re: I'm going

      Can I suggest Andrews & Arnold instead?

      Slightly more expensive than some, but first-rate for speed, reliability and customer service. Recently came out in a big poll as the highest-rated ISP. I've been with them for years and never had anything about their service I wasn't happy with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm going

        I moved to plusnet, they're the only people with a comparable package and limited shaping to the be offering, throw in a £3 a month vpn and I don't even need to worry about the shaping they do have, plus I can watch shit that's only released in the US and get games earlier on digital distribution.

        Also the past year be have been pretty terrible and I can see it being far worse as they make the transition, and at the end of the day I just don't want to end up on one of the big 3 Sky,Virgin or BT. Though a lot of the time it's BT your line goes through at least the people on support are easier to get hold of and vaguely more competent with the second tier providers.

        1. madferret

          Re: I'm going

          But PlusNet are owned by BT.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm going

        I'd recommend AAISP if its for business or you don't have a family. The good reverend takes no crap from Openreach and has a quite informative/amusing blog too. I wonder if Shaun (IIRC) can spell any better though after all these years :)

    6. N2

      Re: I'm going

      IDNet or AAISP ?

    7. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I'm going

      At risk of being slapped about by the mods - You might want to look at the phone.coop. While they resell other companies' LLU services you can talk directly to the techs if need be.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Leaving, not because of Murdoch

    The whole point of me signing up to BE Broadband was that they were a good company with an excellent customer service team, and that they were going to be a million times better than Sky (previous provider) were. And in the times I had to call BE with a problem they bent over backwards to fix it, unlike Sky who were about as useful as a conscience is to Murdoch.

    I'm sad that BE will be no more, I'll miss those Bulgarians an awful lot.

    1. Trevor 3

      Re: Leaving, not because of Murdoch

      Same here.

      I left Sky as they were next to useless and I heard about this bunch of guys at BE, who did everything I wanted them to. Great support, static IPs..etc...etc... and if you want a laugh get on their BBS.

      Now I'm back at sodding sky and I'm expecting it to be as terrible as it was when I left.

      Can't help but notice that my internet isn't half as stable as it used to be already, or is that psychosomatic?

      1. Roo
        Unhappy

        Re: Leaving, not because of Murdoch

        Nah, it's not just you with respect to BE's QoS, I have had some very poor performance for about a month or so now to the point where I have given up on playing online games and watching online video. Sky's antipathy towards static IPs (to the point where the guy on the phone doesn't even know what one is) is forcing me to move.

        As soon as I get a quieter week or two I'm going to be moving ISP, keeping my cash away from Murdoch's grotty pockets will be a bonus. It would be nice if folks running companies had some alternate strategies to the now ubiquitous make our product as shit as the rest one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leaving, not because of Murdoch

      those bulgarians will be coming here next year anyway. So maybe they can get there jobs back, and get paid more as well :)

  3. Norphy

    If I hadn't already migrated from them because of their lack of fibre options, I would have done over the Sky buyout.

    Oh well, another one bites the dust.

  4. Bornhuetter
    Go

    Faith in Humanity: Restored

    If I were with O2/BE, I would unsubscribe too.

  5. Mike Pellatt
    Unhappy

    Sad to see them go

    Agree on the Bulgarians - the most helpful call centre you could hope to find.

    As I've bitched about far too often already, at the work location - no FTTC, exchange-only lines, no Virgin Media, too small for the ex-BE Hyperoptic peeps - a reasonably-priced bonded service from BE was an excellent solution.

    I'm quite sure this service will be discontinued by Sky - it's not as if they're into niche services. The only saving grace is that EFM prices are dropping, and rumoured to be descending further (so don't sign up to 3-year EFM contracts, people !!)

    1. Irongut Silver badge

      Re: Sad to see them go

      I'm in exactly the same boat with our head office having no FTTC, no Virgin, etc and BT have been putting the install date for FTTC back 3 months every time it gets close for over a year now. Bonded ADSL was our only option to get a half decent speed. For the moment we'll stick with BeSky but as soon as they drop the bonded product or we can get FTTC we'll be off.

      1. elaar

        Re: Sad to see them go

        How about a BT EFM circuit then? We have many customers taking this route, they're proving to be very good circuits if you have no fibre.

        1. Mike Pellatt

          Re: Sad to see them go

          Yabut - EFM is at a minimum 4 times the price of BE bonded. My need for 10Mbps uplink isn't valued at that, yet.

          As I mentioned, EFM prices are said to be dropping - they do seem to be, but not quite to the level that I'll jump, yet. And you need to sign for 3 years or pay >1K upfront - also not good.

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I understand that quite a large reseller is also moving off O2 and (somewhat astonishingly) moving to BT

  7. SteveM74

    I left O2 the day the buy-out was announced - mainly because of poor performance when I'd been with Sky previously (I have Sky TV so can't really claim an objection on moral grounds).

    I was also thoroughly pissed off that I found out about it from the BBC first, THEN received a message from O2 beginning "as you may have seen in the news"....

  8. John H Woods Silver badge

    Hmm....

    Might be in a tiny minority here, but (despite loathing Murdoch) I've never had a problem with SKY. Broadband often a bit sluggish in peak periods, but never any problem with Customer Service or the Engineers. That may be in part because the house has 3 boxes and everything-but-the-porn subscription, so my monthly bill is substantial, or perhaps I've just been very lucky. I just wish it wasn't part of the Evil Empire.

    1. GreggS

      Re: Hmm....

      But the adult "chat" channels are free!

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Hmm....

        Shh, your IP address may well have been harvested by some Blackmail merchant (see Prenda Law case in the US) who will no doubt be asking all your neighbors if they have downloaded any Pron using your BB connection.

  9. Shao

    Already going....

    Most people went to O2 because they got a discount with their mobile phone and that O2 were on BE which was the first to provide ADSL2+. That group of people were already thinking about fleeing O2 as O2 wasn't going to move to fibre.

    Then of course it doesn't help that Sky free broadband has been slated in the past by being slow and unreliable.

    So Murdoch or no Murdoch, a large proportion were going to flee. Murdoch just reminded people that it was something on their tick list.

    It is a good time to go....

  10. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Look before you leap

    Im less than eneamoured with going to Sky but look at the alternatives - are they any better?

    Virgin - NTL under a different name - never again.

    BT - Blood sucking monopoly who phormed us.

    Talk-Talk - all time achiever at top of the BB complaints tree.

    As far as the big boys go I think sky actually could the the lesser of 4 evils.

    1. GreggS

      Re: Look before you leap

      I've been Virgin-Sky and back to Virgin again (mostly due to Sky having terrible customer service as soon as i was out of contract) and can honestly say that I've not had a problem with Virgin and my cable service has been very reliable. In fact, I've just been upgraded to their 30MB service for which they are effectively paying me as they've given me a discount on what I was already paying for their 10MB service.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Look before you leap

        I'm glad Virgin's going well for you. I applied to get connected to Virgin broadband, and let my existing ISP/phone provider know I'd be cancelling.

        The engineer came, drilled holes in my walls and installed great big ugly boxes inside and out. At that point, he got a call from base to say they didn't have working cable to my house, and never would. So, he apologised and left.

        The reply to my complaining letter somehow managed to arrive on the same day I posted my letter and said, in effect, 'Tough shit, you're not even our customer. Why would we even think about checking we could connect you before attacking the fabric of your house? And as for removing our boxes, don't you know it's our to plaster the Virgin logo every object on the planet?'

        And still not a week goes by without their marketing junk mail begging me to become a subscriber.

        Virgin Customer Service Team, if you're reading this, you can't find your arses in your own trousers with an arse detector. I would like to personally remove your collective Virginity with a Tabasco-dipped Anne Summers Rampant Raptor (limited-edition sharktooth-and-cactus model).

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Look before you leap

      Those aren't the only alternatives. I can recommend IDNet but last I heard there are several dozen ISPs who resell BT's FTTC service.

      Some alternatives.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Look before you leap

      There's Plusnet, it is owned by BT, but run by a completely different customer service team and is actually pretty good.

    4. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Look before you leap

      I've found NTL(virgn/liberty/telewest/whatever's taken them over this month) to be a very good service

      Except when it goes wrong and you have to call 'customer sevice'

      I'd rather cut my right arm off with a chainsaw, then beat myself to death with it than spend another 2 $^£*%£ing hours trying to get a solution out of the outsourced call center, before they finally agree to transfer me back to their scottish help center who magically can sort any problem out and book you a service engineer call in 5 fooking minutes........

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Look before you leap

        Up to the point when they out-sourced the call centre I had quite good service from VM for my cable connection. Of course, it is different now but not quite so bad to jump. Zen anyone?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Look before you leap

          Or the point they look at their bill from BT for hauling data and go "err guys, we're going to have to rethink all these packages..."

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look before you leap

      FAIL. There are many more broadband providers in the UK than those few.

      As someone commented above, look for a FTTC reseller, if you have this rolled out to your area. Even if not there are reasonable alternatives - I used to get great service from Eclipse for example.

      1. Vic

        Re: Look before you leap

        > I used to get great service from Eclipse for example

        So did I. Now I get shite service from Eclipse.

        I was just about to migrate to Be :-(

        Vic.

  11. Haku

    I left BE end of last month - no way I'm getting foisted into Sky.

    I was getting just under 5mbit down and 1mbit up on BE, now on BT Infinity 2 I'm getting 73mbit down and 18mbit up :)

    I heard the BE helpline was pretty good, in my 3 years on BE I never had to call it.

    1. HamsterNet
      Happy

      Re: I left BE end of last month - no way I'm getting foisted into Sky.

      Same on TalkTalk's FTTC 76/19 - which is no surprise as its all BTs kit being re-sold on for less. As for support, no idea whats its like as I've never needed it, if you are reading this you should be capable of setting up a home router and dealing with everything bar a line outage.

  12. Tom 38 Silver badge
    Go

    Staying

    I'm staying. Sky have said they will keep existing agreements and add features that I currently have (static IP). My preference would be to stay with Be as a separate ISP, ie not merged with the rest of the riff raff on Sky, which is what we had with O2, but it is not to Be :/

    I can't get fibre in my central London location, and there is no way I'd move to a BT provisioned ADSL product, so my choices are BeSky, Sky, C&W (ADSL24 or other resellers), TalkTalk, PipexTalkTalk or TiscaliTalkTalk. Given that list, I'll take Sky.

    The problem with these sorts of surveys is that the majority of people staying on Be are not on the forums moaning about leaving, and therefore the survey is of an unrepresentative sample. It does show that lots of people are leaving though, perhaps not in the percentages inferred though.

  13. MJI Silver badge

    BT is not too bad

    Used them due to issues with previous ISP which was swallowed up and screwed my ISDN, BT mainly as quickest to change me from ISDN to ASDL.

    Stayed with them simply due to effort in changing, Threatened to move over Phorm.

    Infinity is a good package.

    No one is likely to buy them.

    BTW I am a Murdoch hater as well.

  14. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Sad to see them go.

    I used to be a customer with Be*.

    I can honestly say that from my first day until my last, the service from Be was never less than excellent. Right from the start, when BT refused to add ADSL to my line, and while Be themselves could not sort it out, they told me exactly what to say to BT to get it sorted.

    In fact, the only reason I left was that Virgin were threatening to double the speed of all their customers, and Be could not match the 100meg VM were offering.

    Would I be leaving Be if I were still a member? Not sure. Probably. I am not a massive fan of the Murdochs.

  15. colin79666

    Left

    We quit as soon as we could and jumped to BT infinity. It's not just Murdock. It's also the fact that they are migrating off the Be network (and no traffic shaping for legacy customers) to Sky/easynet which doesn't offer the same service levels.

    Even with a years free broadband and £50 mobile credit offered we weren't going to hang on and watch the service degrade.

  16. Peter Galbavy
    FAIL

    jumping ship ASAP

    I was in the process of leaving but Plusnet f****** up so badly I cancelled the cancellation. I didn't realise Plusnet were owned by BT else I would never have even started the process. Looks like I will be returning to Zen after many years, even for the premium, once I get back home for long enough to manage the process.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: jumping ship ASAP

      My transfer to Plusnet was smooth as - filled in form, picked some dates for an engineer from plusnet, phoned be, got mac, phoned plusnet told guy the mac he goes "hold on, let me check, we've had a load of rubbish macs of late from ISPs - yep all good - oh you're getting FTTC, let me just check the engineer, yep the first date you want they're available" "cool" "sorted"

      BT engineers turn up, install kit, connection went smoothely. However I'm still in the first few months, so I'm not holding my breath.

  17. Blane Bramble
    Go

    Waiting, but will be off

    The only reason I haven't moved yet is I don't want to get locked into a 12 month contract until I find out what's going on with FTTC around here (or not, as it seems BT have no interest in our cabinet even though the exchange is < 1.5km and cabled up nicely).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Left

    I left as soon as it was announced. I've nothing against Murdoch, but I was out of contract, had been with Be for years, and had seen the speed steadily dropping over time. I had been considering switching for a while but this made me make the change, partially because I knew I could get a faster connection elsewhere for not a great deal more, plus I feared that if I stayed I'd be bombarded with "join Sky!" emails and letters every week as I'm not a Sky customer. So I switched to BT Infinity 2, the move was completely painless, and my connection has gone from about 8mbps to 60 or so.

  19. BigAndos

    O2, great service but terrible speed. BT actually not that bad!

    I was with O2 for three years. The connect was steady as a rock, the support team was great but the speed... I was lucky to get 2.5M in the evening. This in central London less than half a mile from the exchange. I was sad to leave them, but when I could barely stream SD iPlayer and HD was an impossible dream I decided to move on. I would definitely be leaving now from what I've heard about Sky's service.

    Slight digression, but after O2 I signed up for BT infinity... and haven't looked back. I actually get the advertised speed of 40M which I don't think has ever happened with any provider. The connection has been very stable over a year at two different addresses.

    Not all rosy however, BT's customer services are a confusing mess. It took them three attempts to place my home move order - on the final attempt I had to speak to four different people but they did give me three months free service to apologise for making such a meal of it!

    1. Ray Merrall
      Devil

      Re: O2, great service but terrible speed. BT actually not that bad!

      Slightly OT, moved out of ING when Barclays took them over. Are people getting more rebellious of the Great Businesses "wot we should all be proud of" (duffing the cap, tugging the forelock, nose up the a**e, gratefully eating the s**t which is shoveled in our direction) taking over companies that actually do a good job?

      PS, Don't have Sky, will not knowingly ever buy any Murdoch Product as per previous paragraph.

  20. spidetfry
    WTF?

    Oh no!

    They might turn O2 and BE into affordable ISP's with truly unlimited bandwidth packages. Nooo!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh no!

      WTF? is indeed correct - you mean as opposed to the affordable and truly unlimited package I already had with Be?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh no!

      Yes, Be's pesky 'limited bandwidth':

      2.9 GB Today

      59.0 GB This week

      159.0 GB This month

      9.8 TB Total

      Such gits.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh no!

        Yeah, I hammered that connection day and night, oh well, and it was cheap, and the ping times were awesome low.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Oh no!

      O2 had unlimited usage and were charging £5.99 a month IIRC... hardly bad.

  21. Robbles
    FAIL

    Going, going, gone.

    Would the last person out please switch off the lights.

    Migrated last Friday, I'm sorry to go but there is absolutely no way I am giving any money to Sky again. I've been with Be since they lit my exchange in 2007.

    My reading would be that the eventual sale price / bonus is dependent on O2/Be transferring a certain amount of their users onto the Sky platform. Let's make that not happen eh. Perhaps then it will make other companies thinking of taking the Murdoch shilling consider their other options.

    Rgds,

    R.

    1. Nigel 11
      Flame

      Re: Going, going, gone.

      Thinking along those lines, it might be better if I stay with Sky for a while (3 months?) and THEN tell Murdoch where to stick his service. This way BE gets to walk off with more of Murdoch's cash and therefore Murdoch has less of it.

      Also my reason for leaving is made better-known to the cause thereof.

    2. Mudslinger
      Pint

      Re: Going, going, gone.

      @Robbies; "My reading would be that the eventual sale price / bonus is dependent on O2/Be transferring a certain amount of their users onto the Sky platform. Let's make that not happen eh. Perhaps then it will make other companies thinking of taking the Murdoch shilling consider their other options."

      Your reading would be absolutely correct: I rang for my MAC two days after the deal was announced and on telling retentions why I was leaving was offered free broadband for 12 months and £200 credit on my mobile.

  22. SMackay

    Me Too

    I phoned up to cancel and the nice man offered me a year at half-price to stay Be. I hadn't the heart to suggest he may be out of a job once the transfer to Sky is complete.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I left UK Online....

    because they were owned by Easynet who got swallowed by Merde-Och's evil empire.

    Dumped SKY TV too, now on Virgin, NOT going back.

  24. nigel 15

    So 0% are staying?

    Balls.

    The survey says that 0% of Be subscribers will stay with sky. and i call BS.

    Be always was a bit niche so it might have more leavers than O2. but people are lazy.

    1. Blane Bramble
      Alert

      Re: So 0% are staying?

      Might be unlikely, but it's possible. Bear in mind people actively chose Be rather than one of the bigger, cheaper providers because of what made them different, so it's not unexpected that those same people will look for an alternative.

  25. PowerSurge
    Happy

    Alternatives

    I cancelled the day the take-over was announced. A bit of a shame. I signed up with IdNet who have the most effective and easy to use support I've encountered. The unusual thing about them is they will give you a line using BE Wholesale (O2 Wholesale I think it is now) rather than BT. Apparently the transfer to Sky is for retail customers only. BE are keeping their wholesale business.

    The line performance with IdNet has been outstanding. I get max-throughput at all times of day and night. No sign of contention. More expensive though :-( but you do get ipv6 for what it's worth!

  26. Mike Richards Silver badge

    I left

    And following discussions on this fair site, set up with Xilo which has been faultless.

    BE/Sky continued billing me after telling me they'd discontinued my service and I've been added to all of Sky's mailing and email lists.

    I feel sorry for the poor buggers left on what is clearly a sinking ship, customers and BE's excellent support staff.

  27. ComfortablyNumb

    Lots of sky hate - not sure why...

    I'm certainly no fan of the Murdoch empire, but living somewhere that has (until recently) had no real alternatives to Sky for TV, I've got the full package, TV, Phone, Fibre Broadband.

    I don't recognise any of the poor service comments - like the poster somewhere above, I spend a fair bit every month, maybe that's why. All of my experiences with Sky customer services (and there haven't been many as nothing really ever goes wrong) have been genuinely first class.

    When I moved to them (from O2 incidentally) about a year ago, the change over was simple, and I got 38Mbps from my "upto 40Mbps" service - reliably, all day, every day (and it is genuinely unlimited as well) When I challenged them over charging a long standing customer £50 to have Openreach come out to install it, they waived the fee.

    The house move service was also flawless - If I'd have been able to give the 14 days notice they ask for, I'd probably have had the Fibre Broadband on the day I moved in, as it happened I gave them a days notice, and we were up and running again inside a week.

    My only complaint about Sky broadband is the router - whether it's the older ones or the new "sky hub", they are utter rubbish, and Sky don't make it easy to use your own kit but it is possible with a bit of effort.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I went as soon as they announced...

    I left BE as soon as the announcement was made, BE were a very good ISP a reliable network and they had excellent technical support.

    Fortunately, as I live in South Yorkshire I have been able to move to Origin Broadband http://www.origin-broadband.co.uk/ who are on the Digital Region network. The speed provided is exactly what I'm paying for, the support is excellent and, so far, it just works.

    1. snowlight
      Thumb Up

      Re: I went as soon as they announced...

      ^ This, signed up with Origin last year after we moved and I get consistent high speeds despite there being three in the house two of whom are heavy users, unlimited bandwidth, no traffic shaping (as far as I've noticed) and I've never had to get in touch with tech support yet. It is more expensive than most of the big ISP's but well worth the extra cost if you can get it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rumours on the BT share price forums of a massive spike in orders for BT Broadband/Infinity. Clearly, the free sport on BT Vision is going to be popular, but I wonder if some of it is emigres from O2?

  30. JDX Gold badge

    Not leaving, Murdoch not a factor

    In fact we just moved house and I was anxious to get the new contract signed before the takeover was finalised because O2 offered me free broadband for the contract duration (12 months) AND £200 credit to my mobile account. They also said they expect Sky to honour the terms/price of existing contract terms so most likely we will stay with O2/Sky for the 12 months and then move to Plus.net who were the obvious choice until O2 made their free internet offer.

  31. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    I wonder......

    How many of those who are leaving 'because of Murdoch' still subscribe to Sky TV?

    I bet there are a few whose principles don't extend as far as missing their favourite TV shows!

    1. Blane Bramble
      Thumb Down

      Re: I wonder......

      No Sky here, but a self-installed Freesat box. Would rather miss 1/2 the F1 then give money to Murdoch.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BAIL OUT!

    They're all a bit late to the party, I was already disillusioned with BE when it got swallowed by O2 originally, and finally bailed out when O2 go swallowed by Telefonica.

    Service was getting quite patchy already by then, and questionable decisions started happening like the car-crash web portal 'makeover' with the nasty garish blue/pink/yellow colour scheme.

    Have been blissfully unaware that yet another takeover was on the cards, since am currently enjoying a rock solid broadband connection though Goscomb.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: BAIL OUT!

      Funny, Goscomb offer broadband based either on BT, TTB or O2/Be, and recommend using O2/Be as their preferred supplier.

  33. JimRoyal

    Be Off!

    Joined BE to get away from Talk Talk who took over what was originally a pipex account and then gave me terrible download speeds which they refused to fix, apparently 650k was within acceptable parameters.

    Now need to leave BE to get away from Murdoch.

    This is no bandwagon jumping, I've been refusing any Murdoch product for over a decade and intend to continue doing so.

  34. King Jack

    Gone

    Left Be 2 months ago but it was only yesterday that they finally acknowledged that I was no longer their customer. This is a sign of the rot that is moving in. I want NOTHING to do with Sky.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Skys the Limit

    I wonder if this takeover was a done deal sometime ago because BE were contacting their customers over a year ago regarding a IP changeover. Their Bulgarian tech at the time said that their block of IP's were BT owned (BT wholesale) and that in moving away they could provide a better network infrastructure. Now i'm thinking this was all smoke.

  36. StripeyMiata
    Pirate

    I left O2 last year

    Because of this - http://acsbore.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/o2-sells-out-its-customers-to-pornographer-without-a-fight/

    If they had put up a fight after the ACS Law debacle I would have stayed.

  37. Craig Vaughton
    Thumb Up

    An El Reg survey?

    Come on El reg, all these people looking for a new ISP, surely its time for some investigative journalism and find us poor soon to be ex-O2/Be customers a new ISP with the same values as we've been used to?

    Totally unlimited broadband, really helpful support when needed, speeds as fast as BT's Victorian copper string can cope with and better still, not owned by a megalomaniac!

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: An El Reg survey?

      Surely the results are very location dependent... we find O2 excellent for speed and stability but others find them slow and crap.

  38. deadlift

    I've gone - got my MAC two days after the announcement. Switched everything to PlusNet FTTC, decision purely based on price but I have to say the customer service has been good.

    I did blame the sell-out, and immediately the person at O2 retentions offered me a year's free broadband plus £100, then £200 credit on my mobile bill. They were desperate even back then.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Why would O2 be desperate to keep you when they're losing the contract? Free BB & £200 on my mobile account is a brilliant deal for a 12 month contract which Sky will honour, after which I'll either leave or expect Sky to offer some crazy good deal to keep ex-O2 customers.

  39. Anonymous C0ward
    Devil

    Murdoch may be evil

    But so are your gas and electric companies.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Murdoch may be evil

      A company is a legal entity.

  40. Ian 5
    Go

    Another Plusnet refugee

    Yes, I can also attest to the exemplary service from BE. Always helpful, fast and accurate. I thanked the guy closing my account for the time they've served me well. I sincerely hope that they move on to jobs where they can excel again, as I doubt that they will be retained. Good staff don't seem to be required under Murdoch's group. And frankly I've little time for an organisation that fractures terrestrial rights to sporting events. F1 anybody?

    Go, because I got my MAC from BE within 5 minutes of asking for it.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Another Plusnet refugee

      The BBC fractured the rights, they could just have let it go like they do other things costing too much.

  41. onerob

    Sky – great so far

    I moved from IdNet, who are a good non-evil company to 'evil' Sky because Sky are the best price+quality unmetered deal I could find, and their speed is fine. It's been nearly two months and, so far, no complaints. I had to reboot the router once, but that's it.

    Most of the country is covered by their LLU network. Best to check, though, before purchasing.

  42. flearider
    Devil

    I left a few weeks back now .. went to ee fiber with phone cost's the same as bt/be so happy atm

    be were fantastic had them for yrs and 2 moves any problem sorted within a few days ..

    mac code took 10 mins to be sent thru was offered £9.99 a month .. but no way I would go to sky way to many problems ..and price hikes ..

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I Left Sky Broadband Because They UPGRADED Me.

    That is not quite the whole story. The upgrade (their words) consisted of INCREASING the upload speed from about 400KBits/Sec to 600KBits/Sec, DOUBLING the price and CUTTING my monthly allowance from 40GBytes/month to 10GBytes/month. Protestations to Customer Services were to no avail.

    I therefor joined O2 and what an excellent service it has been over nearly 4 years with near maximum speeds for my line. Clearly, I don't trust Sky Broadband and will move to another provider within the next 3 months.

  44. TakeTheSkyRoad

    One of those 40k was me

    I phoned to close my account the week after I first heard and I've now been happily on Plus Net for a couple of weeks now :)

    There was a couple of factors, first I didn't want anything to do with Sky but also I've been waiting for BE to do Fibre for over a year and nothing, no news. Even registered my interest a year ago and didn't get a single update. Now on PlusNet I'm getting a tested 60Mpbs down and 12Mpbs upload and I'm paying I think an extra fiver a month.

    That said I've never had a problem with BE over 7 years and their customer service was excellent even when quitting. Didn't have to send my modem back but then it was 7 years old lol

    It was the fibre that was my issue and sky the final nail in the coffin.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wait for the change over and tell Sky you're going to leave unless they give you a much lower price.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Telefonica and golden eye?

    I'm sure it isn't just crappy sky service that a lot of people jumped ship... Some crappy upper management decisions led to a lot of people leaving .I've already got my MAC code.. BT engineer due any day now.

    Pity, as I was with them for years, and still would be , apparently my loyalty was worth exactly £2.20 to them.

  47. Flakey

    Not so sweet

    The reason O2/Be are offering customers free broadband for a year or more if they stay is simple, they've been promised a £20million sweetener from Sky if they keep a certain percentage of their customer database. the more that leave, less chance of the sweetner. Im on O2 and plan to leave (not sure who to yet) as soon as my contract is up in a couple of months. At the rate customers are leaving Telefonica havent got a hope of the extra cash

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Not so sweet

      If you like O2 and hate Sky surely you should want Sky to get gouged for the extra £20m?

      Anyway I don't care about that, free BB is a great deal so why cut of my nose to spite my face?

      1. JC_

        @JDX

        True enough, but if you've been irritated by O2/Be's lack of FTTC and crappy iPlayer service then the move to Sky may be the final straw.

        We switched (to Plusnet), and when we said Murdoch was the reason for requesting the MAC, the O2 elf didn't sound even slightly surprised.

        Off-topic: it's nice that the loathing of Murdoch can unite us all, Windows, Linux and Mac users ;)

  48. Franco Silver badge

    I'm leaving too, although not explicitly because of Murdoch.

    I'm a Sky TV customer at present, and because I was on Be I also have a BT line. BT have offered me a really good deal to switch to Infinity (FTTC, 40mbps download estimated) which also gives me a free YouView box and access to the new BT Sport channels when they come on-stream.

    I was really happy with Be for years (Been with them since 2006, even before the O2 buyout) but I had a 2 week long outage this year and the service and after-incident care was awful. As an ADSL customer, never tell your ISP what you think is wrong (even if you are right) as they will assume you are incorrect.

  49. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    According to Dave's (current) favorite "net nanny" Cathy Perry

    There are just under 500 ISP's in the UK.

    Granted many of them will be quite regional but so what? The point is there are alternatives. Ideally people would go to the biggest of them. Hopefully allowing them to plough back their increased revenue (partly) into increased speed or expanded operating area.

    Of course that statistic was from the women who wanted to age rated every web site on the internet.

  50. Wilseus
    Facepalm

    People are being rather silly here

    I can't help but feel a lot of people are cutting off their nose to spite their face here. Sky's BB service is actually pretty good, especially for the money. In the last four years I have had exactly zero problems with it.

    Also, just because people state on a poll like that that they are going to jump ship does NOT mean that they actually will, after all, what's more British than moaning about something but not actually doing anything about it?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as an employee of Sky who deals with the idiot public, err, I mean dissatisfied customers on a daily basis, I'm pretty sure these polls are of little value.

    People threaten to go to other providers all the time, and probably about 5% of them will actually go through with it. It's just hot air. Then you need to take into account that they are a vocal minority. The majority of happy customers probably don't care. This is being blown out of proportion.

    All the major ISPs nowadays have big greedy corporations' fingers in their pies anyway.

  52. doowles

    I left because they didnt do fiber. Simple as that.

    Currently sitting on a 70mbit / 15mbit infinity line. Couldn't be happier :)

    BE was a pioneer that lost its way...

  53. Jon Smit
    WTF?

    Looking at previous posts, it's obvious there are a lot of clowns making a lot of noise. What's all this about customer service? I've been on Sky for 6 years and have called them once. The problem was fixed and I moved on. I have a steady connection and true unlimited downloads.

    Excluding Virgin, Talk Talk and other LLU providers, all of the other ISP's use the BT backbone, which struggles to cope and fails all the time. Best of luck to those running off to BT, but I fear most will regret it.

    1. JC_

      Best of luck to those running off to BT, but I fear most will regret it.

      After 16 months of using BT FTTC at work, absolutely no regrets here. Not a single outage and no traffic-shaping that we've ever seen. Fast, cheap and (touch-wood) 100% reliable - what's to regret?

  54. Rufusstan

    Rufusstan

    I've been dithering since I first heard about the sale.

    Was with BT for years, but when I bumped up against their (at the time) unadvertised softcap, I was gone within a couple of days. The delay was only to find a viable alternative.

    Now I am stuck. I LIKED Be/O2, and really want to have nothing to do with Sky, So unless things have seriously changed in 3-4 years, my only options are the providers I rejected last time, or go back to a company I never thought I'd deal with again. Decisions are bad.

  55. trafalgar

    It's not possible for the subscribers to buy the ISP?

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