back to article Brit broadband giants slammed as folk whinge about crap connections, underwhelming speeds

TalkTalk and Sky are still dismally disappointing their customers – but Vodafone saw the biggest drop in ratings, according to a broadband survey from consumer group Which?. The organisation carries out regular assessments of Brits' opinions on their broadband provider; the latest was carried out in January on a sample of 8, …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Anyone who is unhappy with their current provider should take back control and switch to a better deal – you could get better service and save hundreds of pounds a year."

    One thing that's probably keeping them locked in is that they're using ISP email addresses and it's just too difficult to change addresses, especially as they probably have it as the user ID on a lot of services.

    It would be useful if Which advised against this.

    1. djstardust


      When Bangalore Telecom charge something like £6 per month to keep your old email address after leaving.

      Just get a gmail address and it blocks all the spam too unlike some of the ISP ones.

      We currently get 70mbps plus during quiet times with Vodafone, and City fibre will be with us soon laying cables for Gigabit which is also cheaper than what we have just now.

      Happy days :)

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Gmail?

        Out of the frying pan and into the fire then?

        From fighting with BT to giving Google your emails... Oh decisions, decisions... which is the worst? which is the one to choose?

        TBH, I'd rather stick with BT than give anything to Google. Not in monetary terms but in data about me any my friends feeding the Evil One aka Google.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Gmail?

          "From fighting with BT to giving Google your emails"

          I checked my address book for a local community group. About a dozen or more gmail, a couple or so BT and three or fourTalkTalk. No Microsoft brands at all. One of the TT ones also has a address. In fact both the known Mac users have TT addresses.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gmail?

            "No Microsoft brands at all."

            Namesco uses the Office 365 email hosting for subdomains that were transferred when Demon withdrew email facilities for customers. It must be possible that other apparently non-Microsoft domains are being hosted in the same way.

        2. notamole

          Re: Gmail?

          Use an end-to-end encypted email provider then (no Google doesn't do this, allowing PGP to be used doesn't count). There are quite a few available now like Tutanota and Protonmail.

          1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

            Re: Gmail?

            Protonmail is only encrypted end to end if you compose your email from their web client, and send your email to another Protonmail user (of which their aren't many in my address book). It doesn't however whore all of your data to advertisers like other services. I do have an account with them BTW, I just don't use it that much yet.

            I'm with GMX for my primary mail account. I can't say it's been a bad experience and it seems quite reliable, although I may switch to a paid service like Startmail or such like fairly soon.

            1. //DLBL SYSRES

              Re: Gmail?

              I've a few GMX accounts, never had a problem with them. I use Microsoft for my primary email, again I've never had a problem. I've never used ISP emails, that way madness lies. Doesn't Yahoo! provide email hosting for BT?

            2. notamole

              Re: Gmail?

              I'm not sure about Protonmail but Tutanota encypts your entire mailbox and only decrypts it in your browser with a password that is never sent to them in its entirety, so they have no way to access it. Proper end-to-end mail encryption doesn't just cover it in transit (see my previous point on using Gmail with PGP), so it benefits even the most incompetent user.

          2. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Gmail?

            Generally, if someone is using an ISP supplied address, do you think they'll even understand what end-to-end encryption means? ("But it's got a green padlock on the internet screen!")

            1. notamole

              Re: Gmail?

              My point is that Gmail and Hotmail are not the defacto alternatives. Having an encrypted mailbox means your emails can only be read by you.

      2. N2
        Thumb Down

        Re: Especially


        F**k off, you are 'aving a larf.

      3. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Especially

        We currently get 70mbps plus during quiet times with Vodafone

        Yeah, but who wants to only browse the web at 4am.

    2. Broadband Slinger

      Locked In

      Except for the fact that they try to lock you in (each time your contact is expired) for another 2 year period (TalkTalk do) so you can obtain the lowest possible price (halves the monthly cost in many cases)...

      However, if you change your mind (say 6 months down the line) they charge you an early termination penalty (in the case of TalkTalk that is 16 Pounds per month remaining on the contract)!! This is in many cases enough discouragement to just stay put.

      So not exactly a competitive environment in which the customer can "take back control"...

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Locked In

        best approach is to go to someone who isnt shite. I cant recommend Zen enough.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Locked In

          "I cant recommend Zen enough."

          I looked at moving to them. A comparison site had customer reviews which appeared good overall. Then looked at the low rating entries. They appeared to be mostly in the last few months - complaining about poor customer service and faults not being resolved.

          1. SuccessCase

            Re: Locked In

            Zen are excellent. Head and shoulders above the rest as is reflected by the top spot they are awarded by Which. Which remember, are independently funded so have no particular axe to grind.

            Being more than 10% clear at the top end is quite a feat given the rest are within a few percent of each other.

            Zen 87%

            Utility Wharehouse 76%

            Plusnet 73%

            John Lewis 70%

            SSE 68%

            EE 64%

            Post Office 61%

            Virgin 58%

            Vodafone 58%

            BT 51%

            Sky 51%

            Talk Talk 50%

            I switched to Zen after being on Virgin because, even though Virgin theoretically offered superior speed, I found the speed patchy and then one day precipitously got worse. Turned out after many long calls that their installers, being lazy, had patched a neighbours service in over the same cabinet to home cable connection as mine with a simple splitter when it should have been separate. If the neighbour had done that without my permission it would have been theft.

            Then to add insult to injury, one day when I phoned to change away, they offered me a lower cost package “with exact same day rates” But afterwards the data rate had dropped by 20Mbps and there was more aggressive bandwidth shaping. Overall, too much lying and too many service outages.

            1. SuccessCase

              Re: Locked In

              “With exact same day rates” —> “with exact same data rates”

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Which independently funded? Which has plenty of conflicts of interest.

              Which? has had plenty of conflicts of interest, like reselling Cooperative Energy, Which? recommendations are often out of date, based on a period when the company did offer good service, but because of a system upgrade / poor implementation, no longer does offer good service.

              Which? is long past it's sell by date. Better to seek out Customer service comments on twitter. It'll show you Cooperative Energy for instance, has been having problems for 4 years now.

              Ofgem / Ofcom and especially Ombudsman services (expletive - useless), are the biggest waste of space ever, absolutely useless.

              Close them all down for a year and see if we are better off without them. Might concentrate the minds of these gravy trains somewhat in terms of regulating the market, in favour of consumers, not the industry.

              As an example,

              Why do we still have 'phone line rental' as £20 add-on other than obfuscate BT's prices?

              Why are line rental contracts 12 months and broadband contracts 18 months?

              Why do we have so few 12 month Fibre Broadband contracts other than to obfuscate when a contract finishes.

              The list is endless.

              1. rmason

                Re: Which independently funded? Which has plenty of conflicts of interest.

                Which? is absolutely useless. It's for the elderly, and those of all ages who can't go near a google search without inadvertently installing 15 toolbars in IE.

              2. Stefan 2

                Re: Which independently funded? Which has plenty of conflicts of interest.

                I evaluated PlusNet a few years ago and they were pulling this 18/12 month bullshit. Sat with the agent on the phone and Excel in front of me to calculate a true contract cost of broadband.

                It was no better than BT and BT were pretty bad.

                I went with Zen for £46.99/month all-in and I'm still with them today. I will never leave them unless absolutely forced to. They've also recently committed to a "no price rise" strategy for existing customers.

              3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Which independently funded? Which has plenty of conflicts of interest.

                "Which? is long past it's sell by date. Better to seek out Customer service comments on twitter. It'll show you Cooperative Energy for instance, has been having problems for 4 years now."

                The problem with that kind of "research" is most people only comments on goods or services when they have a problem. It's rare for people to comment on goods or services for getting what they paid for.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Locked In

              many of those have services running over TalkTalks infrastructure eg Zen, Utility Warehouse, Post Office, SSE

          2. Chloe Cresswell

            Re: Locked In

            I can only talk for Zen Business services, but I do find they will hound OR to get faults fixed and actually let you know updates (even if it's just "waiting for OR to get back to us") compared to most other ISPs we use.

          3. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

            Re: Locked In

            I've been with Zen since forever and have nothing but praise. A friend recently moved to their fttp and said the customer service was exemplary.

      2. rmason

        Re: Locked In

        It's not the ISPs fault that saving a few quid a month is more important to many/most than a reliable or usable connection. They're doing what a retentions team should do. The customer is fully able to be in control. If they're swayed by a few quid off a month, then that's what they wanted, they weren't truly dissatisfied with the service,.

        "My broadband is shit, I want to cancel"

        "Half price sir/madam?"

        "HELL YEAH, sign me up for another 2 years!

        That situation is not the fault of the ISP.

        It indicates that while people love a moan on a survey, or on FB etc, that's about all they'll do about it.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Locked In

          "My broadband is shit, I want to cancel"

          "Half price sir/madam?"

          "HELL YEAH, sign me up for another 2 years!

          That tells me that when people ring up to complain, there are a number of possible outcomes.

          1) the service is not worth the cost so will cancel and try elsewhere.

          2) The ISP offers a lower price for the same service and the customer decides the same crappy service is acceptable for the lower price point.

          3) the service is so crap that no price reduction will compel them to stay.

          The fact many people will go with option 2 isn't an indictment of the customer. It's customers being pragmatic and balancing cost and quality.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Happy Protonmail user here :)

    4. Ronome

      I learnt from the first time i ventured on to the net not to use emails of the company and never have. Got on the web with AOL never used their software to browse going back to 1997.

      1. paulf
        Thumb Up

        My first email address in 1995 was <something> which was an awful mouthful and reason enough not to use provided email addresses.

        Next up was <something> which was much easier to remember and tell people, although that became when I moved to one of their cheaper services.

        After trying some of the free services like Rocketmail/Yahoo and GMail I settled on my own domain.

    5. Wilseus

      "They're using ISP email addresses and it's just too difficult to change addresses, especially as they probably have it as the user ID on a lot of services."

      That's why I have my own domain name with email forwarding. I also have a $3 per month Fastmail account. I've considered moving to Zen, especially since my brother works for them, but PlusNet are pretty good.

  2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    but what if you local area has a choice between cable BB and something cooked up by BT openretch.

    I can go for the various vermin media packages upto (and it delivers) 200 meg BB.... or something running via the stone age(or at least copper/aluminium age)

    I'll give VM 5 stars for reliabity/speed, 3 stars for price, and minus 4 billion stars if you ever have to call what they laughingly call 'customer services' (basically... a bunch of poor indian peeps having to read a script(and risk getting fired if they stray from that script) that says "have you turned it on and off again?" until you get escalated to 2nd line support who actually have some idea of the problem)

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Switch

      Upvoted for "openretch" - most appropriate!

    2. Huw D

      Re: Switch

      Been with Diamond Cable > NTL > Virgin Media for almost 30 years. I've had to call them 6 times (4 of which were for moves and 2 for issues). Been jerked about once in all that time (and even that was resolved within 30 minutes).

      Horses for courses, your customer experience may differ to mine, etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Switch

      "[...] a bunch of poor indian peeps having to read a script [...]"

      Demon/Vodafone are insisting the only package they will offer me to migrate my Demon ADSL2 - is if I take a contract for FTTC bundled with my (currently BT) phone landline/calls.

      Talked to BT (a UK call centre) about the move - and explored their bundle costs etc. One of my objections to making BT my ISP was my previous problems with their Indian call centres. The affable man said that BT recognised that was a negative point and are going to be moving back to UK call centres.

      1. Cloud, what..... Sorry... Um... - you just made that up.

        Re: Switch

        Did you believe the sales guy?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Switch

        BT call centre staff actively, intentionally and repeatedly lie to you about things such as "your Internet will be installed on the 5th". That's just made up. They didn't set that up, nor did they read what somebody else had set up. They just picked a date and said "this will get him off the phone".

        This happened to me twice before I emailed the CEO's email address, which I'd been told ( and does ) gets you through to an English not-lying support. One chap then took over my order, phoned me occasionally to give me updates, etc.

        I'll never subscribe to their TV/Internet again, although I am forced to subscribe to BT sport since the EU decided that making football fans take out two subscriptions is good for them.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Switch

      Agree 100%, let's face it folks if your only choice is FTTC (my position) that means BT Opensewer with their ancient and not fit for purpose bell wiring from the cabinet which is why there are so many issues, roll on FTTP.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Switch

        Canada is not ahead of GB in much, but here on the Atlantic coast, we have FTTP (service provider is Bell Canada). It is a bit expensive but it is truly a great service.

        1. Huw D

          Re: Switch

          Mrs D had that in Halifax, NS.

          The prices were (to me) mind-bogglingly expensive.

  3. Andy Non Silver badge

    Vodaphone customer service

    is pretty crap. I spent twenty minutes stuck in a queue waiting to speak to someone, then ten minutes speaking to some guy with a heavy Indian accent who did some tests then eventually passed me onto someone else with supposedly more technical knowledge but very poor English. The strained conversation with him lasted over half an hour. After yet more tests he seriously suggested I buy a replacement cable for the telegraph pole outside my house! After explaining I was not allowed to mess with the lines up the pole, he spoke to someone else and finally said he'd raise the issue with OpenReach. Forty eight hours later still no phone or internet so got onto Vodaphone customer services again. After another twenty minutes stuck in a queue, I spoke to someone for a mere couple of minutes who was actually English and she said the previous guy had just closed the ticket and marked it no action. She actually did raise the issue with OpenReach and a few hours later everything was up and running again.

    When my contract is up, I'll be looking around at alternatives. Despite paying for the fastest broadband that Vodaphone do, there are still times when content pauses while it is buffering. It hasn't reached the level of annoyance yet required for me to face dealing with their customer services. I'll may just vote with me feet... if only the grass was greener elsewhere.

    1. Maverick

      Re: Vodaphone customer service

      get what you pay for, if they advertise a lot=terrible service, never heard of them? likely because they keep customers by offering good service

      of course as always ignore the 'industry' awards

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vodaphone customer service

      Thanks for flagging that experience of Vodafone.

      I'm currently being migrated from Demon - and Vodafone have already alienated me with their (English) sales teams' "take it or leave" attitude. Thinking of paying a lot more to go to A&A who have a good reputation for sorting problems. Just not sure whether to stay on ADSL2 or go to FTTC.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vodaphone customer service

        I'm also having my Demon service terminated and decided to go straight to A&A, the pricing is straightforward if not the cheapest. And they do know what they're doing. FWIW I decided to move the phone from BT at the same time.

      2. Chris King

        Re: Vodaphone customer service

        Depending on location, you may have a choice of BT or TalkTalk backhaul. TalkTalk Wholesale is actually quite good, because they don't over-commit, filter or throttle connections to death like their retail arm do - and either way, you don't have to deal with BT or TT call centres. A&A take no prisoners when dealing with either of them !

      3. farvoyages

        Re: Vodaphone customer service

        can't speak highly enough of A&A - i organised a connection with them from here in New Zealand for my elderly parents who were returning to Sussex, was able to program a spare work draytek router here, put it in my father's suitcase, he plugged it in when he got there and I have able to connect to the VPN immediately. I explained to the A&A staff at the beginning what we needed to do and they were very helpful. Every UK winter, we shut down the connection while my parents visit us here in warmer climates and then spark it back up again in spring. being doing this for the past 4yrs with no issues at all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vodaphone customer service

      These outsourced call centres get paid to keep costs down and resolve tickets or issues. So, they get a ticket, speak to someone and mark it resolved. I've seen that many times. Doesn't matter that the customer is still out of service or not getting the Internet or TV packages they're paying for, not in the least.

      The C suite managers get their fat bonuses for saving the ISP/Telco/TV provider money, which may not be an actual saving but rather a different accounting procedure, but the important thing is the Board members and other upper level managers get their fat bonuses. Does it feel like Corporations don't exist to provide a decent product but rather to strip wealth from us, the hoi polloi? If your coming to that conclusion you'd be on the right path.

      In my humble opinion, there are service and resource sectors that need to become Government run departments. I'd suggest Energy, Natural Resources, and ISP/Telco/TV.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vodaphone customer service


        In my humble opinion, there are service and resource sectors that need to become Government run departments."

        Back in the 1970s the UK Post Office telephone service was a government department - and starved of investment funding. Getting a telephone connected in some areas took at least months - even if there was a line and handset in the house from a previous connection. Creating British Telecom - and then privatisation - did improve things considerably.

        A government non-profit - with freedom to invest - might be the best compromise for many utility sectors.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having had to deal with people that fill in "which?" surveys, they generally say more about the person completing the survey than the subject of it.

    I suspect the respondents are setting alarm clocks for them to carry out speedtests and interrogate their Samknows results down to the minute....

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the sentiment of the results is wrong, rather these are probably results from career survey completers - and given the size of the market, a fairly small sample too.

    Which? Has also gradually moved from 'consumers champion' to a marketing company, carrying out carefully crafted surveys 'on behalf of' anyone that wants to wave some cash in their direction.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Which? Has also gradually moved from 'consumers champion' to a marketing company, [...]"

      In the past I found that Which? were not very good at recommendations outside of fairly simple things. For example there was a 35mm camera survey which basically plumped for a beginners' model that any competent photographer would dismiss as having a poor lens etc.

    2. rskurat

      in the US, Consumers Union has done the same. "Take the money and run" is the new 21st century work ethic.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sole reason BT aren’t at no 1

    Is that we’ve all got completely fucked off with complaining about them.

  6. The Dogs Meevonks

    I had diabolical service from both Vodafony and Vermin Media... the former led to a contract being terminated after just a couple of weeks and the latter... the termination of a contract 4 months early due to a complete (and admitted) ability to provide anywhere close to the advertised speeds (I was getting 25% of what I paid for).

    I would rather peel the skin from my feet and soak them in a bowl of salt and vinegar before recommending them to anyone... and I would have gladly ripped my own arm off just to beat their CS staff to death with.

    I'm lucky in that when I was actually with sky (several years ago now) I actually had reasonable service... and I've never been a BT or TT customer... So i've got that going for me.

    1. Nick Kew

      25%? You were lucky! I was getting less than 1% with Virgin, and frequent total drops.

      After several months of "boiling frog" putting up with it, I tried to contact them. That was January 2018. Over a year later, I still haven't got through. Thank goodness for EE 4G!

  7. Bronek Kozicki

    AA ISP

    I guess they are not on the list because there are exactly zero complains, so nothing to rate them on.

    Few weeks ago I lost my internet connection and after waiting half an hour for the modem to re-establish the connection I called them from my mobile - spoken to an actual techie right away (nothing scripted), they run the test on my line immediately and raised fault with OpenReach. The next day an OpenReach van appeared on the street and (after apparently checking the line outside first) arrived at our home, checking also the cables inside. The fault was fixed on that (second) day. The whole documentation of the incident and the fix published in the AA ISP control panel for me to follow, almost in the real time. Oh and when the connection is dropped, AA ISP typically sends me an SMS before I even notice this on my side. They also support IPv6 and give a decent sized /48 block to each customer, and if you ask nicely they will also give you small static IPv4 subnet. Both come with PTR records, which you can edit or delegate to own NS. They also check your IPs regularly for DDoS-amplifying DNS server in case you are running one (but you can disable it). Finally they are very transparent about the state of the network, with a separate site updated (almost) in the real time with anything that's going on, planned or not.

    My only regret is that the landlord won't allow me to get a second line from AA for backup (they support line bonding at no extra cost - but the appropriate router you will have to buy is expensive)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AA ISP

        Getting my new A&A account passwords set up was unnecessarily awkward. If appears that when you do "Set Password" to accept their mandatory text - the extant login prompt on that page does not recognise that new password. Very confusing - only worked after getting two more new passwords and then retrying a second login on the last one.

        The information required to request a password reset seems too easily known - if you know the person.

        After 20 years with Demon I am hoping all will go smoothly with the transfer to A&A.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    20 plus years with BT

    I was with BT for over twenty years, from dial up days through 512K ADSL through to FTTC at 75Mbit. Had very few issues in all that time. One lost connection for days when the underground connection on street corner was flooded. Twice on same day when our builders cut through our own phone line on the side of the house( idiot builders) BT fixed all problems quickly when they were informed.

    Only recurring issue was my wifes email account frequently locking her out for so called security reasons and forcing her to reset her password. But never my email account.

    Yes we started getting lots of calls about issues with the licencing on my computer that possibly originated from my details leaked out from their help desk.

    Apart from the annoyance in winter they gave some reason to have fun at their time/expense. All my Windows computers are fully licenced and my preference to use on the Internet is to use one of the Linux desktops - so no licencing issues anywhere.

    Leaving BT late last year when they wanted to up it to £65 a month - with all these things included for free sir!

    Things I don't use, will never use and dont want.

    So I bought a domain, pay £14 a year for hosting and now have my email account with my family name in the domain.

    Yes I had absolute Sh*t loads of things to change online not just Ebay an Amazon but my utilities company and my solar power etc. etc. However, having done it once for myself and all my wifes accounts online we never have to do so again. If my new ISP starts increasing the costs at end of contract and I can get a better deal elsewhere I will just switch again.

    Costs gone down from BT wanting £65 to now paying £27 for the same connection speed.

    The new ISP had everything set up quickly and my home phone was active from 00:01 on the switchover day. BT managed to drag their heals and took 36 hours to switch the Internet connection over.

    Who is my current ISP? that BT owned company Plusnet!

    No complaints so far, only issue is lack of IPV6 availability and that isnt really much of an issue at present. I use my own router and now have two homehub/hub one with Openwrt as secondary routers indoors.

    Over £300 pa quids in my pocket, thanks BT/Plusnet :)

  9. Mr Dogshit

    "take back control"

    Where have I heard that before?

  10. Milton

    Recommend the best

    These days I work from home so we have two broadband connections and a necessary if expensive Draytek¹* load-balancing/failover router. Downtime is simply not an option, and our household consumes Amazon and Netflix and my teenaged boy is a heavy gamer, so oodles of robust bandwidth is very nice to have. Contrary to my expectations, Sky broadband has been much more reliable than Virgin Media. With problems again this weekend, and tiresome hours spent listengin to someone with an impenetrable indian accent drool over a checklist he clearly doesn't understand—tell 'em a dozen times that yes, you've already done all that, including trying a separate, compatible router they themselves supplied, and they don't even understand you.

    So my question is an easy one: which provider would you, the assembled, experienced and wise Reg readers, recommend to me? I need an outfit that provides high bandwidth and the option either to fit my own router or at least switch theirs into Modem Mode.

    Any consensus?

    ¹* Is Draytek the only company on the planet that makes SOHO internet equipment of decent quality? Because I long, long ago got fed up with the "breaks after 2/3 years" level of the rest of them ....

  11. Korev Silver badge

    Recommendation for a cheap, but decent provider

    I've been asked to recommend someone a decent ISP in the UK. Plusnet have halved her speed (headline, apparently Netflix and Skype are poor in reality). She's very price sensitive as she's on disability benefits and has been summonsed to an assessment which suggests they might be cut. Any advice gladly received. She earns just enough to not qualify for any help with costs.

    1. Andy 97

      Re: Recommendation for a cheap, but decent provider

      I'm surprised about the Netflix problems on Plusnet, [they] have peering with BT (Plusnets' parent company).

      It's worth spending a few more pounds for a better provider, the bargain basement of ISP's are cheap for a reason and it certainly isn't because the directors have an altruistic streak.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Recommendation for a cheap, but decent provider

        TBH I don't know what the problem is (I'm in a different country). But everything appears to have stopped working properly after Plusnet halved her speed.

        As I mentioned she's on disability benefits and doesn't have much spare cash (or else I'd be recommending A&A etc.)

  12. Andy 97

    Damn you BT!

    My guaranteed 100Mbps connection currently pulling around 38Mbps.

    Who signed-off on this guarantee?

    I bet it was someone in marketing.

    Should I sell my shares?

  13. The C Man

    I'm with TalkTalk and, yes, we had our problems but they were caused by outdated and overloaded Open Reach/ex BT aluminium cabling to the home from the local box. Eventually TalkTalk gave me a link to bring in the Ombudsman which made it an official complaint. The problem was finally solved by the local Open Reach engineers, after two years of near weekly visits to my home, who took it upon themselves to add an additional copper cable from street box to pole for my (until now) exclusive use. TalkTalk was not at fault and did their utmost to solve the problem. Speeds now never drops below 70 mgb and there are 24 other connections available.

  14. MJI Silver badge

    On BT they are OK

    Why did I go with them?

    When I moved from ISDN to ASDL, the ISDN ISP were crap, I kept losing it as they were depreciating it for modems.

    At the time BT were best bet, so used them, went dialup for a few weeks (horrid) then got broadband.

    Stuck with them with occasional calls to get it cheaper via FTTC.

    I am on unmetered unrestricted BT Infinity now. And it appears regularly going over 500GB a month, one month 800GB.

    Only outages have been at my end (reboot kit).

    Paying over the odds but been fast and reliable (unlike colleague with internet so bad they use their phone as a hot spot, he was saving money by getting really cheap BB)

  15. rhydian

    To defend some of the big players...

    <dons flack jacket and tin(foil) hat>

    One thing to remember about the big players (Sky, TT, BT/EE, Virgin Media) is that compared to smaller providers such as Plusnet/Andrews and Arnold and the like they're going to have a much higher percentage of non-technical users, and so more complaints.

    For example, is the slow broadband speed actually because the ADSL/VDSL/Cable network itself slow, or because J. Doe has plugged their router in to a phone extension that's got a fault?. Are the dropouts because their home wifi install is on the same channel as their neighbour and can't deal with interference?

    Note: I'm not saying the big players are blameless (VM has well known contention issues and our local BT Wholesale backhaul was swamped when fibre whent live) but compared to more specialised providers they will have more users who don't have a clue.

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