back to article Rebel without a clause: ISP promises broadband with no contract

A new ISP started by former BT execs claims to offer UK broadband customers a better deal with no contracts or installation fees, and "a Wi-Fi service that actually works." Rebel Internet officially launched today and, like the vast majority of ISPs, is selling a fiber broadband service via the Openreach network, which means …

  1. TJ1
    FAIL

    !no contract

    Of course there is a contract - what there may not be is a commitment to a minimum length of contract, with the minimum being what you pay in advance for, which is usually a month. In this case the cancellation notice required is 30 days (section 18).

    https://www.rebelinternet.uk/hubfs/TermsandConditions.pdf

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: !no contract

      Their T&Cs refer to https://rebelinternet.uk/knowledge which says: Page not found.

    2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: !no contract

      And I can name 1 company whose FTTH offers start at £25 per month on a rolling basis, so PP's assertion that all sub-30 providers force you into a (fixed-length) contract is false.

    3. Snowy Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: !no contract

      Always a contract and in this case I believe it is called a rolling contract.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: !no contract

        Annoyingly this distinction is not something the ASA understands, at least from a previous complaint about BritBox advertising "no contract" with an eye-full of Ts&Cs before you can even sign up: "Whilst we acknowledge that BritBox is a subscription service and consumers are required to pay to access it, we considered that the average consumer would understand, in the context of the ad, that the claim meant there was no long term commitment or minimum term associated with the product beyond the period already paid for (or subject to a free trial) and that there are no cancellation charges. We therefore did not consider the ad to be misleading on the basis you have suggested."

    4. Snowy Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: !no contract

      How can there be a minimum cancellation notice if there is no contract to cancel, what are they saying your cancelling!

      If there is no contract then the minimum should be a few days not a whole month!! and you should be able to cancel at anytime and get refunded the part of the month you did not use!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Translation

    We won't need price increases because we set it high enough to start with?

    1. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      Re: Translation

      Yes.

      In a fair world, they would charge a setup cost which matches their one-time costs (i.e. Openreach installation charge and supply of router), and then have a lower monthly cost for ever.

      Doing it their way, if someone sticks with them, they recoup the initial setup costs many times over. However, the risk to them is that they'll get many customers who only want service for a month or two; they are banking on these being subsidised by the loyal long-term customers.

    2. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Translation

      No, translation is: since you have no contract we can boil you slowly ("we won't raise the prices past inflation levels")

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Translation

        There may be other problems, but I don't think this is one of them while most of the larger incumbents are currently raising prices by current high inflation rates +4% or more with no promises of how long before the next increase.

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    Well - I'm not impressed

    I visited their web site https://rebelinternet.uk/ but it is almost devoid of useful information. It goes on about an app that I need to download** to do things and how good their WiFi is and lots of good reviews on trustpilot (I wonder how they get those on a completely new service ?).

    So I 'phoned their "Customer Success Team" and spoke to some bloke who wanted my contact information while his PC was loading, I gave up after 2 minutes when he still could not get connected.

    I asked him if they supported IPv6, if they gave static IP addresses and how many GB/month the $35 gave.

    He knew none of the answers to any of that but kept on wanting to know who I was.

    It might improve.

    ** Why an app on my 'phone ? What is wrong with a normal web site ? It this something built by clueless millenials ?

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Well - I'm not impressed

      A normal web site can't access all that juicy data the app will provide: who, when, where and to/with whom.

    2. Sp1z

      Re: Well - I'm not impressed

      And the "survey" on their website states:

      "* Please disable any ad blocker you are using"

      How about no.

    3. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Well - I'm not impressed

      I asked him if they supported IPv6, if they gave static IP addresses and how many GB/month the $35 gave.

      He knew none of the answers to any of that but kept on wanting to know who I was.

      That’s not worrying at all!

  4. msage

    Plume SuperPods

    I had a quick google and it appears they are using plume superpods, a brand and device that I've never come across, the reviews seems ok, but they require a subscription to manage (I guess that's the £15 fee)

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Plume SuperPods

      I looked up the HomePass by Plume as I’d never heard of it before.

      They have a nice website which you can find here https://www.plume.com/homepass

      I wondered if all this clever wifi stuff:

      HomePass adapts to your usage through network improvements. It runs more than 10 different types of improvements that work in the background 24/7, so you get fast and consistent WiFi to every corner of your home. For example, if a change occurs that would impact your WiFi performance, like an increase in connected devices or interference from a neighbor’s WiFi, HomePass will make the appropriate adjustments to maintain your WiFi experience.

      Would work on a closed loop system or would it use some cloudy back end system which I’m not fond of.

      Depending on your configuration, Plume HomePass services will continue to work in the event of an Internet or Plume Cloud outage allowing you to continue accessing the local network.

      Although, since the configuration is through the cloud, during the outage you will not be able to make any changes to the network during an outage.

      https://support.plume.com/hc/en-us/articles/222244107-Will-Plume-continue-to-function-when-the-Internet-or-Plume-Cloud-is-down-

      Now I realise it’s being offered by a broadband company in this case so not expected to work on a closed loop. I just don’t want any details about my network going into the cloud, nor my network traffic monitored by the Superpod or Gateway pod.

  5. fromxyzzy

    Had this for years in the states, Ting Fiber. Pay month to month, gigabit fiber, no contract, you could even bring your own fiber modem. Company is owned by Tucows (if you remember them from the early days of the internet, yes they're still around!) which gives them the buffer, and also does no contract mobile phone service. Frankly, the only reason for contracts is to try to trap people in to a bad product, so when you have a good product at a good price and your only competition offer a worse product at a much higher price (Xfinity and Centurylink) you don't really need them.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Frankly, the only reason for contracts is to try to trap people in to a bad product,"

      The T&Cs linked to above only say there's no long contract without defining "long". The T&Cs and the custoner's acceptance of them are the contract. Acceptance would appear to be implicit in using the service and paying for it.

      1. IvyKing

        I got Ting fiber a bit over 7 months ago and have been very pleased with it. Monthly cost is double what Rebel is charging, but am getting 930M down and 940M up. Ting's strategy appears to be focusing on small well to do cities where it doesn't involve an arm vast sums for the build-out and are likely to get enough subscribers to pay for the build-out.

        The PON (fiber modem) has a 2.5G Ethernet, so it seems that upgrading would be a matter of switching my fiber to a faster PON in the "central office.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In return for no contract

    you get no service.

  7. that one in the corner Silver badge

    If a customer lives in a fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) area

    FTTC - oh, don't make me laugh

    > However, if they live in an area where Openreach has built out fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP)

    Ha, ha, he, he, heee, <gasp> <sob> <presses submit and listens to the relays clicking, counting the bits as they sent up the line>

    1. ITMA Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: If a customer lives in a fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) area

      "<presses submit and listens to the relays clicking, counting the bits as they sent up the line>"

      Relays! You have relays!?!?!?

      F**king showoff LOL

      I'm still trying to find "wet string" switching "fabric"....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If a customer lives in a fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) area

        And there I was thinking that smoke signals were the latest..

        1. ITMA Silver badge

          Re: If a customer lives in a fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) area

          You have fire!?!?!?

          You lucky, lucky b******... LOL

  8. b1k3rdude

    Nothing to see here, most ISP's in the Uk offer the same speeds for the same price with a 1month contract, yawn.

    1. gryphon

      Rubbish.

      Apart from 1 isp that seems to get a very bad rep on HUKD the only 1 I can find doing a rolling 1 month contract is Now broadband, and that is with a £60 signup fee.

      There are a few doing 12 month contracts, vast majority are 18 or 24 months with cpi/rpi +3.9% every March.

      As I understand it for fttc at least openreach contract with the isp on a monthly basis, not sure about fttp.

  9. bootlesshacker
    Stop

    What

    A WiFi service that works? Can ISPs please stop assuming responsibility for people's home LANS...

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: What

      I'd appreciate it, but there are a lot of people who don't know how to run a home LAN, which means you get one of two things:

      1. The ISP's equipment, with dubious software updates and some weird installation choices.

      2. The router from 2003 that they still think is good because it still powers on, installed in the corner of the coverage area. No software updates.

      I don't have a solution to this, but if the ISP supplies somewhat modern equipment and sets it up in good places, it at least produces a slightly better or more secure result than if you rely on the user to do it on their own. My family get me to set up their networks for them, but I've seen what they're like before I do it and it's ugly.

  10. AndrueC Silver badge
    Unhappy

    A better wifi experience than other ISPs? All that means (if it means anything) is that they provide a slightly better router. As long as their users aren't tied into using the provided router it's pretty irrelevant. And given the nature of Wifi standards I doubt there's a great deal you can do to improve on what's already out there.

    You can ship a router with crap wifi but 'better'..questionable.

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      If you had bothered to read the article you would have seen they talk about wireless repeaters as part of the deal.

      But you didn't and chose to talk about something you don't understand instead.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      "As long as their users aren't tied into using the provided router it's pretty irrelevant."

      And for the 99.99% of the population that have no idea how to set one up?

      Examples like this are why techs, in any field, get bad reps.

      How many here have had their cars remapped?

      Swapped out the exhaust for a better designed and more efficient one?

      Changed the supplied locks on the patio door?

      Improved the sound proofing in the house?

      Why not?

      Simple, for most people it's to much hassle / the supplied version is just about good enough, or it's to scary a job to carry out.

  11. keiranfoster1

    Same old tech.

    They're running off the same open reach network as everyone else. It's old tech.

    What will be game changing is some of the newer smaller providers who are offering fiber broadband of 300 Mbps+ on their own networks.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Same old tech.

      Awesome. Where do people that don't live in major cities get such an installation?

      1. Mark White

        Re: Same old tech.

        I know there is a FTTP in the north... my mum lives miles from the nearest village and has it. (B4RN, Broadband for Rural North)

        It can be done, perhaps someone just needs to open bars in the south?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get used to it.

    “Is this really what the UK market needs right now, another player in an already hugely fragmented landscape? While competition might seem healthy from a retail perspective, can a market support so many players?”

    The government is subsiding companies to provide these services so many new companies are springing up. I worked for a few weeks with a company who were just throwing millions at end to end customer software and management solutions.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/project-gigabit-uk-subsidy-advice/gigabit_infrastructure_detailed_overview_v06

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/building-digital-uk

  13. oldbilbo

    I live 1 kilometre from the local exchange. For years we had ADSL2, which became steadily poorer and prone to faults due to the archaic 'twisted copper pair' joining us to 'Them'. There is a fibre cabinet sitting outside the exchange. That's as close as 'fibre' comes, leaving the corroding, failing 'TCP' cable to carry the service.

    I've kidnapped passing Openreach engineers, and techies from cable installation firm Truespeed, and they all agree there is close to zero chance of us getting a decent fibre service this side of the Last Trump. So we use a fairly stable 4G wifi service from '3'..... until affordable satellite comes along.

  14. xyz Silver badge

    80mbps...115mbps....

    How crap is UK broadband if those numbers are considered good?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: 80mbps...115mbps....

      You can get 1gbs in many places.

      But to be honest, I have no need for anything close to that, but I can see a family if four may need it

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £35 per month for 115 Mbps? Doesn’t seem like a very good deal.

    In France, my sister gets 2Gbps fiber + hundreds of TV channels and home phone service for that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: £35 per month for 115 Mbps? Doesn’t seem like a very good deal.

      But then compare the price of our offering to what people would pay for the same in the US and it seems like a great deal.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: £35 per month for 115 Mbps? Doesn’t seem like a very good deal.

      just got an offer through the door, 150Mbps/pm, 20 quid, 2 year contract. Sure, it's their own fibre, not over phone line. Nevertheless, while I'm not interested (already signed up to a 36Mbps and it's really fine for our needs), such offers give me real thrill: to think they're shafting Virgin, who charge about 45 quid for about the same speed.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We don't need to trap customers to force loyalty, says boss

    whenever I hear a business boss issue a soothing statement that appeals to me, I become VERY suspicious. That said, if their angle is going to bring them revenue that the BT-elephant can't be bothered to collect, good for them!

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: We don't need to trap customers to force loyalty, says boss

      Well GiffGaff have been using the exact same business model in the mobile arena for a long time now, and they seem to be doing OK.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In contrast, Rebel said it offers transparent pricing with no contracts

    in short, they collect upfront what other collect over a longer period.

  18. jpennycook
    Alien

    press release?

    This article read like a local newspaper article - i.e. like a press release!

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