back to article People of Britain: You know that you're not locked into using the same ISP forever, right?

Long-suffering customers of internet providers are most likely to leave if they find a better deal elsewhere, although crappy customer service is also a major push factor. A survey by UK consumer charity Which? found that out of 8,000 customers surveyed, only around half had ever switched. Of the 4,000-odd folk who did take …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    move to a better deal

    I have a choice between excellent speed Virgin media leech with their yearly price increases, OR an adsl + phone crap deals with (relatively) crap speeds which, when you add up all their fees and strip all their promo discounts, comes up to higher price than (...) Virgin. That's what a quarter of a century of competition in the capitol city of the first world has done to us.

    p.s. yes, I might be complaining, but then, comparing with "rural" choice (crap internet v. no internet) I'm still in the privileged minority.

    1. Patrician

      Re: move to a better deal

      Same choice here, decent Virgin Media connection, but expensive and increasing yearly or ADSL+ with crap speeds. So, no choice really.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: move to a better deal

      When I moved to Germany, I automatically went to Telekom, it was pretty much the only choice back in 2002. I had a standard ISDN with ADSL package, with 2mbps. I stuck with that for about a decade. Then, after moving, I found out my local telco could offer me 50mbps for the same price.

      After being a customer for over a decade, I went back to Telekom and asked them what they could offer. The answer was 3mbps + satellite TV!

      I had luck, the local telco had run their own cables throughout the town. In the meantime, I could also switch to cable, but they have repeatedly, falsely accused my wife of watching illegal cable TV (she had freeview satellite), so she won't let them anywhere near the house.

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: move to a better deal

      "a century of competition in the capitol city of the first world"


      Nah, I'm kidding, you mean Paris right?

      1. Ochib

        Re: move to a better deal

        "a century of competition in the capitol city of the first world"


        Nah, I'm kidding, you mean Paris right?

        Shurley you mean Birmingham

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: move to a better deal

        Capitol[sic] rather than "Capital" means Washington DC.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: move to a better deal

          To an American maybe. In general the word means the building where the government meets (eg the Palace of Westminster [aka the Houses of Parliament] is the British capitol).

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: move to a better deal



            1 The seat of the US Congress in Washington DC.

            2 The temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill in ancient Rome.

            I’ve never seen it used to describe anything in Britain

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: move to a better deal

      "...comes up to higher price than (...) Virgin"

      Really. I switched away from Virgin due to expense and have equivalent service (TV, Broadband and Phone) for a 1/3 price.

      1. Huw D

        Re: move to a better deal

        Where have you got 350Mbs Broadband from if it';s not VM?

        Every tech I know (including me) is concerned about the speed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: move to a better deal

        so where do you get an "equivalent" of Virgin 100 Mbps over a a phone line for 1/3 price, eh? Cause it ain't in Britain...

  2. 0laf Silver badge

    Or maybe they're like me; move supplier, get terrible service making the moving process awful and protracted and then still be locked into the bastards for two years unless you fight tooth and nail to get out of your contract.

    Who would want to risk that twice?

    Ok I still did but I'm clearly a borderline sociopath with a masochistic streak.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      O2 Back in the day.

      Wen with O2 back in the day and their "30 day money back happiness guarantee". I kinda knew they had 2 products. A direct one, which was amazing. And a reselling BT ADSL which was massively over subscribed (congestion and slow connections).

      It crawled and crashed at 5pm every day. So I complained. They sent a new router. I played along. They gave loads of excuses... got up to the higher customer support engineer, was told "we are sure to fix it later, in about 1 months time", me being savvy, said "sorry, it just dies in the evenings, probably congestion, you need to buy more service off of BT", and to my suprise the engineer agreed. "I game on my Xbox, and get the same problem" he said... but then reverted back to the "script" saying it must be me/my router/etc. ;)

      So after 29 days, I got my refund, moved to another supplier, oh and did not have to pay a connection fee a setup fee or cancellation (I technically made a profit, as the setup fee for an old connection is generally needed when re-installing the line).

      But I guess, the other 1000s of customers... those I feel sorry for.

  3. MJI Silver badge

    Sometimes simply the devil you know

    And would anyone want a family who managed 800GB a few months ago.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Sometimes simply the devil you know

      With Amazon Prime and the media libraries for the various TV channels, we get through over 500GB most months.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Sometimes simply the devil you know

        Found a son was streaming on Twitch as well!!!!

    2. Grooke

      Re: Sometimes simply the devil you know

      You should have seen the month where I started downloading VR... uh... documentaries. Those things are like 10Gb/20 mins. And when downloading... documentaries... you always get more than you can reasonably watch (soreness from all the learning, of course).

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Sometimes simply the devil you know

        Giggidy, giggidy... I would have thought that 20 mins or so in a session was stretching things abit thin? Maybe you need to crack on with it abit quicker?

        Mines the one with the handcream....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sometimes simply the devil you know

      Why not so long as you pay for it. aaisp will give you 2TB for £45 for 80/20 FTTC. Not the cheapest but you won’t suffer from capacity issues with them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have two options, Virgin or ADSL, that's it, price wise they are all pretty much the same when you ignore their sneaky introductory offers. Customer service doesn't really matter, it's like Electric or Gas these days, once it's working you don't have to have contact with them (usually). Once you threaten to leave they give you a discount and you just keep getting them to apply that every year or so when the contract is up. Therefore other than speed/quality/service which can change over time I don't really see much point in switching.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Much the same here: a BT cabinet which is as far as the fibre goes, then copper for the last half mile that stops working when it rains, or the Virgin cabinet at the end of the garden.

      No brainer, and only the occasional call to find out why new customers get more than I do for less pennies...

      1. dogcatcher

        Those of us in the blighted countryside have no chance of finding a Virgin at the end of the garden, a rough old BT cabinet and a copper wire, supplies my amusement.

        1. mrmond

          Not even in the countryside

          Try getting virgin to install cables in a housing estate that's classed as private. 47 homes here , 4 years and they aren't interested, bang in the middle of a city surrounded by streets with virgin cable. We are stuck with adsl. Apparently the cabinet is fibre about a mile away but max speed to the house is 29mbps

    2. gotes

      Customer service doesn't matter, until you actually need to use them.

      1. Nick Kew

        Exactly. And Virgin's is so nonexistent that they've even trained their high street shop staff to see off customers whose connection has died.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Customer service is not geared towards customers, it's geared to those that want to join or those that want to leave.

        1. Mike007

          You mean those who want to join, and those who need help to realise that they want to stay...

  5. Fazal Majid

    Unless you are lucky enough to have Hyperoptic, all you have is a Hobson's choice of fake-fibre warmed-over DSL from BT or expensive cable with spotty reliability from Virgin. Switching from one lousy OpenReach reseller to another is not going to improve service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, I'm lucky to have Hyperoptic in the flats I live. It's really good fortunately, but the only choice I realistically have and I can't ever change. The ADSL available is only guaranteed to do 1 Mbps during peak hours, and this is from a London postcode. BT never bothered to bring fibre FTTC here (but it still wouldn't be as good as the Hyperoptic FTTP anyway)

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      "Switching from one lousy OpenReach reseller to another is not going to improve service."

      Actually, it can. A lot of the big providers over-sell capacity and thus you get congestion and slowdowns. It's only the last mile that is openreach, beyond that it's down to your supplier and if your supplier is stuffing 5000 customers down a 100Mb circuit to the internet at large, you're going to see some congestion.

      The smaller providers generally don't try to maximise profits quite the same.

  6. andy 103

    Sometimes it's the customers fault

    I have a phone line and fibre package with Virgin. Over 3 years it went up to 49/month

    I phoned them last week to ask to get rid of the phone part of the package. I was told that I was on a "package" that no longer existed and that I could keep everything I had for 32/month as that was an equivalent deal if I was a new customer.

    They had tried to phone me several times and I'd always ignored their calls, assuming they wanted to sell me something extra.

    The guy on the phone did me a favour but also made out it was my fault for not listening to them about offers they had. Seems to me they make their prices up on the spot. But hey ho, that's quite a saving so happy days.

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      Re: Sometimes it's the customers fault

      IMHE It's the disconnection team that have the authority to apply discounts not the sales team.

      1. Allan 1

        Re: Sometimes it's the customers fault

        Not anymore. Since being taken over by liberty global, they can no longer negotiate on the price.

        I recently phoned to see if I could get a better price for my 100mbps/tv (which has never worked and they don't wanna fix it)/phone line, which currently costs just shy of £60 a month after this years price rises.

        I was told that they can no longer negotiate a new price, that ability has been removed from them. When I asked about removing the tv package as its never worked, I was told it'd break the package bundle I am on, and would end up actually costing me more. So I complained about the tv package never working, they just transferred me to technical support in india, whom I could no longer understand, and gave up.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Sometimes it's the customers fault

      Sorry so they couldn't call you and they didn't have an address to send you a letter?

      Smells like typical Sales BS to me.

      1. andy 103

        Re: Sometimes it's the customers fault

        "so they couldn't call you"

        They did call me and that was their point. Every time they phoned I said I was happy with the service I had before they could get into whatever spiel because I assumed it would be to sell me something extra when it was already expensive.

        Their point being that sometimes they might phone to tell you you can have the same service for less and I could have taken advantage of that months before I did.

        But I'm very dubious that they would have actually told me. It was only when I called to remove part of my package for cost reasons that they were able to offer this deal.

        1. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Sometimes it's the customers fault

          "They did call me and that was their point. Every time they phoned I said I was happy with the service I had before they could get into whatever spiel because I assumed it would be to sell me something extra when it was already expensive."

          Which still makes it their fault. If they annoy you to the point that you are no longer interested in talking to them, they can't complain if one time it would actually be to your benefit. That is the entire point of the story of the boy who cried "wolf".

        2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Sometimes it's the customers fault

          Ok my point was why couldn't they send you a letter, not to bothered about the call bit (I would probably have slammed the phone down on them).

  7. spold Silver badge

    "Cost" of switching

    Many average folk will still likely use their provider's email service with the domain of their provider as opposed to web email - the "cost" of switching providers in terms of hassle to them, and to manage transitioning everyone and every organisation they deal with to a new email address is likely a barrier. All your utilities and banks etc. are not going to accept an email change by email! So I'd have to call them all up and wait for ages while they tell me that my call is really important.

    1. Neil Alexander

      Re: "Cost" of switching

      This is the exact same argument I've had with my father when he complains about paying too much to BT. He has a email address which he's had for years, doesn't like the idea of having to update everything/everyone to use a new email address and therefore won't switch ISP.

      I've been trying to coax him onto Outlook/Gmail/anything-that's-not-BT for a while now so that he can transition over time so that eventually this may not be a problem. It's not going well.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: "Cost" of switching

        Yup similar here, its infuriating giving advice when someone complains about costs only to be told oh no its to much hassle. Most won't even threaten to cancel where you get the typical we'll give you 10% off to get you to stay.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "Cost" of switching

      "the domain of their provider as opposed to web email"

      They may well be using the web mail of their ISP but I know what you mean.

      One reason for moving ISP not listed was the ISP being taken over, perhaps repeatedly with downward steps in customer service and service provision until, as happened to me, it ended up in the hands of an ISP whose name has a couple of Ts in it. At that point I realised it was a good idea to shift the email domain first and, rather than get to depend on a branded email provider*, get my own domain with a registrar who would also provide an email server. That made it easier to move ISP again.It also made it easier to move the domain registrar when they kept having a lot of outages.

      So I now have ISP, email domain and MSP independent of each other. In addition it's possible to give different companies their own email address so you can see who leaks (hi there, eBay, hi there PayPal) and temporary addresses for one-offs.

      It would have been easier to start off this way but otherwise you only have to bite the bullet of changing email addresses once.

      * Actually it's just as well to have a free branded provider as well, even if it's only to provide cover whilst the MSP is being swapped or to give out to people you don't even want to go near your domain addresses.

    3. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: "Cost" of switching - email addy

      Yes, this. In fact I could probably manage my transition away from the email domain originally provided to me by Telewest, but my son and my mother both have alias addresses on my account, and it would be harder for both of them (for different reasons), so I continue to bung large amounts monthly to Virgin Media. There's no portability of email address. Maybe there could be mandatory forwarding of mail for a fixed period of time?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Cost" of switching

      That's an excellent point, I remember back in the day I had the option to take a provider email and I opted for webmail. I have my own domain mail but the pain of moving it all puts me off...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      btinternet email

      If you leave BT then the email address continues to work (send and receive) since this is via a third party, still have mine though I left a few years ago

    6. Mike007

      Re: "Cost" of switching

      One of the few situations where I felt justified to give misleading information - knew someone like this. She got a new android phone and needed help setting it up. I set her up with a gmail account and added her ISP account as an external account. Told her it was because her phone was a google phone and didn't support the ISP email, but any email to her old address would still come through and she could select to send from her ISP address when needed by changing the from address when writing an email.

      After several years of every outbound message coming from her gmail address, very few people are still sending to her ISP address which means switching would not be as much hassle as it used to be...

      Dishonest? Yes. If she told someone "with a clue" about why her address changed, would they call me clueless and incompetent for such bad advice? Probably... was it the right thing to do? Definately!

      (And before anyone comments on the choice of gmail, her ISP email is hosted by google anyway...)

  8. Ochib

    I could move, but I would lose access to my @compuserve email address

  9. Esme

    The trouble with choice is what kind of choices you're given. No, I'm not trying to imply that choice is a bad thing - it shouldn't be, in a sane world. But we don't seem to be in a terribly sane world in a lot of ways.

    Take electricity and gas supply, for example. It used to be that for either your only option was to speak to the Electricity Board or the Gas Board. You could walk into their shops and get things sorted. Simple. I liked that. Now we have multiple choices, all with differing charging regimes and all to supply the same electrons or gas molecules. In essence, the only thing that you're doing is choosing which set of admin staff you want to send you your bills. WTF?! And you have no option but to phone or email them.

    Then there's 'phones. Oh my.. - I positively HATE mobile phone companies - all of them. Every single one that I've encountered seems to be positively trying to confuse one with their charging regimes. All of them insist on the inclusion of crap that I have no interest in, and some things - like an ansaphone facility - that I REALLY do not want. All of which leads me to feel that my only choice is between which set of rip-off merchants I give my money to, as none of them provides the simple service that is all that I want or need. Don't even get me started on 'phone manufacturers.. REALLY don't.

    The situations with trains is both as bizarre as with power utilities (no real choice if you need to catch a train from A to B) and even more frustrating because when things go wrong, its not that uncommon for the people owning the actual rail, the people owning the trains and the people running the stations to be different companies, and you can bet your boots they'll do their best to blame each other for any problems when they can get away with doing so. Long gone are the halcyon days when you can just send British Rail a stiff letter from Mrs A Cantankerous-Biddy expressing ones displeasure at the poor service the previous day.

    Choice is good when it enables you to actually get a difference in quality of service, or to choose a service that gives you what you want no more, no less. In these days of featuritis, buck passing and regarding customers as marks rather than, well, valued customers, a lot of the choices we're presented with nowadays seem pretty bogus and meaningless to me.

    Personally, I've stuck with the same ISP for, well, durn, over 20 years now because they supplied me with a service adequate to my needs at a price I don't mind paying, and the very few times I've had problems, their customer support has been excellent, so why would I bother looking elsewhere or going through the hassle of switching? I have plenty of things to do in life besides trying to choose between suppliers of stuff and services, switching, and dealing with the fallout therefrom!

    Right, I'm off back to the old biddy's home!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      " Long gone are the halcyon days when you can just send British Rail a stiff letter from Mrs A Cantankerous-Biddy expressing ones displeasure at the poor service the previous day."

      And be ignored.

      1. Nick Kew
        Thumb Up

        If Esme has the force of personality of her celebrated discworld namesake, they won't ignore her.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who supplies

    A lot comes down to who supplies the area.

    If you have VirginMedia via cable in the area then BT will not invest and visa versa.

    So if you have Virgin cable you are pretty much stuck. If you are using a DSL, then you can change who supplies you, but will that actually be any better especially if they are piggy backing on BT ?

    From memory a lot of BT issues were/are DNS related - just change to a google / opendns server

    1. Neil Alexander

      Re: Who supplies

      I am one of the lucky ones covered by Virgin Media and BT FTTC. I had Virgin service originally, which was fairly terrible, but ultimately moved to IDnet. I'm close to the cabinet so I get pretty much the full 80/20, which in real world usage, is much better than Virgin's supposed 100/6. No idea why I didn't switch sooner.

    2. Nick Kew

      Re: Who supplies

      When I moved here, Virgin was the only option. So I signed up.

      When my Virgin connection died, fortunately EE 4G had arrived. I was uncertain about a 4G connection, but it turned out a lot more reliable than the sick joke of Virgin.

  11. anothercynic Silver badge

    I've moved several times over the years...

    ... From BT to Eclipse. From Eclipse (locked to BT network at the time) to Bulldog. In a new location, from Bulldog (who didn't serve it) back to Eclipse, and then after a decade there to A&A. I don't regret any of the moves. As much as the Exeter bunch were lovely (and their tech support truly was great at the time), A&A gives me what I want... raw wire for DSL only, none of this "100 minutes of phone service and all the bundled goodies that I pay for and I'll never use" crap!

  12. The Pi Man

    Customer Service?

    I don't understand why customer service would be cited as a reason to leave. If I have to talk to any customer services on a regular basis then something else is amiss such as service or billing, I'm not inclined to just call them for a chat. As with many suppliers I have right now, I wouldn't be able to rate how good my ISP's customer service is because I've never needed to call them.

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: Customer Service?

      Who said anything about calling them on a regular basis? If your service dies, you need to contact them. If you can't contact them, it doesn't matter that it's a one-off.

      1. LochNessMonster

        Re: Customer Service?

        "If your service dies, you need to contact them. If you can't contact them, it doesn't matter that it's a one-off."

        And, if you can contact them, how you're dealt with.

        "Hello, my router's refusing to sync and there's heavy interference on the voice line,"

        "Are you using our supplied router?"

        "I wasn't, but I've swapped it in and the problem persists. I've even connected an old wired handset to the master socket, and it sounds like a fish fryer."

        "Okay, that's enough for me... obviously a line fault.... yup, I'll raise it with BTOR. Please allow 2-3 working days for rectification."

        7hrs later I get a call from a BTOR engineer.."That's your fault cleared... I was asked to let you know."

        Sh*t happens... how you deal with it defines how you're regarded by your customers.

        1. Nick Kew

          Re: Customer Service?

          Ah, those were the days.

          There was even one occasion when I had no phone line at all and went to find a 'phone box. Got the kind of menus that can be infuriating, but these ones made sense, and ended with them promising a next-day fix - which they duly delivered.

          That was when I lived in an area of decent ADSL. Before moving to an area without it but with Virgin cable, in blissful ignorance of the nightmare to come.

    2. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Customer Service?

      As far as I remember if you rang SKY to tell them their broadband was down they would keep you on hold whilst telling one it was quicker and easier to contact them on broadband.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I too, switched recently

    Years ago I signed up for the Post Office's "Broadband Premium" then last week I looked at their website and the same service is now called "Broadband Unlimited". Buried in the account section is an option to "upgrade" to the new service and even though it may be identical it still counts as switching so I get the half price introductory offer for 12 months. However, as an existing customer, nothing needs to change at my end. Instead I get to hit one button, sit back, and enjoy my £170 off.

    I urge all of you to check your own providers for similar loopholes. Or failing that threaten to leave and get your discount that way.

    1. Graham 32

      Re: I too, switched recently

      You will probably be locked in for that 12 months though. If you're happy with the service and don't plan moving home then that's ok.

      Being in-contract can be expensive if you rent your home as you can be kicked out with only a few weeks notice and have to pay off many months of unused broadband. And it can be expensive being out of contract too because they put the prices up! Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Citizen Advice's "super complaint" is most welcome.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re:Post Office

      Isn't that BT?

      If not it should be.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tip for VM customers - go business

    Like many here, VM are the only game in town (300MBs down pure fibre, while BT and it's camp followers won't guarantee 5).

    If you get a VM business broadband-only line, it's £30 flat rate (well, mine is, but I have a historic contract). No TV shit. No landline. Just broadband.

    They offer it for homeworkers ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tip for VM customers - go business

      business adsl from virgin would be fine, but I'm absolutely positive that the BT c***s would charge me up to £150 just to "re-connect" my telephone line. And I'd get up to 20-30Mbs MAYBE for 30 quid, when I get 100Mbs with Virgin for 38 quid. Which will come up to 41 quid next year, sure. And yes, I don't need 100Mbs, not really, but with two kids turning into teen-internet-monsters, it surely is... convenient to have faster speed.

    2. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

      Re: Tip for VM customers - go business

      That's a good tip. I actually cut my teeth in the Telewest days on tech support where we'd explain to the usual customers that only business customers get guaranteed uptime or certain compo.

      Worth enquiring about at least.

      1. defiler

        Re: Tip for VM customers - go business

        Oh god - *you* were one of the script-pixies?

        I was one of the few people to bother getting an MCP in Internet Explorer. I know, I know, but it served me well each and every time I had to call Telewest because I could be doing other things and still recite the settings from each box in the IE config window. And then I'd be escalated no second-line.

        Same questions every time. I could have written an answer sheet, I suppose.

        I only once managed to get first-line to go off script when I stopped him mid-sentence and explained that we'd accidentally put a saw through the cable and it was now in two very separate parts. That was clear enough to short-circuit his questions. :)

    3. CliveS
      Thumb Up

      Re: Tip for VM customers - go business

      300MBs from Virgin or 18MBs via FTTC (via lousy aluminium cable dating back to the 70s for the circuitous 1.5km to the cabinet which is a mere 250m as the crow flies) is a no brainer. Business broadband from Virgin at £30 with a guaranteed SLA (48 hours, but the only time there was an issue they were already fixing it when I rang), guaranteed compensation, and decent customer service (compared to their residential service).

      1. The C Man

        Re: Tip for VM customers - go business

        Another tip for those with aluminium cabling to the house is to take your complaint about your supplier to the Ombudsman. They can then take your complaint to OpenReach and press them to install copper cabling at minimum.

  15. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Some of us change once a year roughly, as soon as the prices go up.

    I have about half a dozen free routers in a cupboard, quite apart from my stupendous Billion --- which I can't use at present, since Vodafone like SKY, make it not worth the hassle of switching from their gear; one day, my pet, one day...

  16. romandog

    No choice

    Reliable internet access is the only choice, if you can get it. Here it cost $93.99 USD monthly for 200Mbps and it's the only game in town (small town usa)... is it 2019 ?

    1. Updraft102

      Re: No choice

      Where I live (rural-ish USA), 40 Mbps up is the fastest anyone offers, and it's only a little cheaper than what you cite above. I was lucky to get the 40, as the telco only has a limited number of connections for DSL service on any given street... anyone else around me who wants it has to wait until someone else disconnects.

      No cable service exists at all here.

      1. FlossyThePig

        Re: No choice

        To misquote Mart Feldman

        "You are lucky. I get 8Meg on a sunny day with a slight breeze from the South"

  17. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    What's the point?

    You just end up moving to another virtual ISP as ALL of them (except Virgin and a few local providers) provide the connection via OpenRetch. So, you are stuck with twisted copper cables unless you live in one of the VERY few places that have real Fibre (FTTP) rather than the crap that is marketed as Fibre (FTTC). I may soon have the choice of Virgin as they are finally cabling up my street, but if they are in the eternal price rise mode, then they can stuff it too. I already get that shit from Sky and several insurance companies. Competition my arse. Too many people with their snouts in the trough for that to ever happen. I currently pay Sky £25 per month for 36Mb/s but when I do real tests (file transfers) it's rare I get anywhere near that, even though reports 34Mb/s.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the point?

      > I currently pay Sky £25 per month for 36Mb/s but when I do real tests (file transfers) it's rare I get anywhere near that, even though reports 34Mb/s.

      Same here, I get a reported 16 mbps, but try and watch a video and download at the same time and the video goes jittery and pauses. How about elReg organizes a real speed test:

  18. MJI Silver badge

    Saving money can cost money

    Someone I know always goes for cheapest he can, changed his internet from a reasonable company to the cheapest he can get. Then complains about a bad connection, people near him are getting fast speeds but they are using middle of road ISPs.

    So he used his mobile phone as a hot spot, and it overheated.

  19. chivo243 Silver badge

    Can't complain

    Here in NL, my employer pays my "internet" cost, not our VOIP phone or TV, which we have only to get a big discount on our mobile plans (the TV box has been unplugged and boxed up). When new modems are available, they are free for upping your contract for a year too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't complain

      So what do you recommend for everyone else?

    2. defiler

      Re: Can't complain

      My brother got a good plan when he was working in NL. Pretty cheap too. He's not "into" computery things, so he went for something basic. It was still 40Mb/sec.

      I suppose we could all do worse than learning Dutch...

  20. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Where’s the fibre?

    Until we get fibre to every premises, we are stuck with this antiquated fallback to using copper, and trying more and more ingenious ways of squeezing bandwidth from it. And even then, most of openreach’s Fibre is connected to old equipment that can’t handle more than 330mbps!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry what planet you on?

    I have a choice between outrageously overpriced Virginmedia and having to deal with BT fucktards both being so abjectly pisspoor that I have even considered multiple mobile hotspots... so no choice at all. If I wanted to change my provider it would be easier to move house - to France maybe or Switzerland.

  22. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

    Virgin Media on NL/TW cable with staff deal

    Even though I've not worked there for like a decade...

    If it can be beat I'd like another company name if I "should" move.

  23. The C Man

    Been with TalkTalk as a follow up to Tiscali as a follow up to One2One. Suffered from slow speeds for a couple years until TalkTalk said "Please take us to the Ombudsman so we can then take your complaint to OpenReach. One month later OpenReach laid in a new copper cable from their junction box to the mast and I now have the highest speeds in the area. Comes the end of each contract period I phone TalkTalk's customer loyalty team who then find me the latest discount offerings. I also keep an eye out for special offerings for new customers and if their is a really good one I'll renew my contract to take advantage of it. (You don't need to be a new customer to take advantage of special offers). Results: I now have a speed to house of 70Mb at a lower cost (£27.25) than over five years ago although slightly higher than it was on the last contract. I'm now waiting for the next special offer to get the price down again.

  24. Andy Livingstone

    Be careful

    I don't mind switching ISPs but last time I did so all use of Gmail was scrubbed because they though I as an intruder to my own accounts. Pleased to say that there is life after Gmail.

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