Ask Which? – compensation when my broadband goes down

by , Consumer Rights Producer Technology 5 September 2013
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Peter asks: We lost connection to our BT Broadband for 14 out of 18 days. We contacted them repeatedly, and an adviser asked my elderly wife to crawl on the floor to unscrew the plug and check all the connections!

Spanner on laptop

They told us the problem had to be in our flat. We said we’d had the same problem a number of times before and each time the problem was in the BT exchange. After several long and frustrating conversations, they sent out an engineer.

He spent a lot of time here and eventually concluded that the problem was at the exchange. At 4pm he returned and told us that we had had absolutely no connection at the exchange and was not surprised that we had no line. He created a new connection and now all is well.

We phoned and asked for compensation for the 14 days loss of internet, frequent visits to a coffee shop to use their internet, and for the amount of time we spent on the phone to BT customer services. After a lot of argument they offered us £4.52 in compensation.

I feel strongly that BT broke their contract with us to supply a full service and took exceptionally long to reconnect us and therefore for our time and inconvenience we should have got a fair compensation.

Emily Brunwin in our Consumer Rights team responds:

This sounds like a really frustrating situation. When you have a contract with a service provider, under the Supply of Goods and Services Act you’re entitled to get the services you were promised, provided with reasonable skill and care.

As you are unhappy with BT’s response to your problem, you could try making a formal complaint using their complaints procedure, if you haven’t already.

It’s rare for the law to require compensation be paid for inconvenience. In terms of the additional expenses that you occurred while visiting the coffee shop to use the internet, it really depends on what they were. If you paid a direct fee for use of the internet, BT may consider this. However, if internet was free but you needed to buy a coffee to use it, it is unlikely that this will be compensated for, as it can be argued that you could have gone to an internet café, or library, to replace the service.

When you are seeking reimbursement, you will not be able to claim for both the loss of your internet, and the additional cost of paying for the same service elsewhere.

In terms of the money spent on calls to BT, if you can itemise your phone bill and identify the amount you spent, in your situation it’s not unreasonable to request reimbursement for this.

If you’re still not happy, and choose not to accept the reimbursement offered from BT, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may help you settle your complaint. All broadband providers have to sign up to an ADR scheme. BT provide ADR through the Ombudsman Services: Communications. The Ombudsman has the additional right, above the law, to demand compensation be paid for inconvenience.

If your complaint has not been solved within eight weeks by BT, and it sounds like it hasn’t been, you can take it to the ombudsman, who will look at the evidence provided by both sides to come to a resolution.

Has your broadband ever gone down? Did your ISP treat you well and give you the compensation you felt you deserved?

36 comments

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Lee Beaumont

I normally start to tweet Plusnet if my broadband goes down for more than 30mins. (I am online pretty much all day and use my laptop for catch-up tv & for my music too).

If I am down for more than half a day I start to ask for credit and normally they agree (well 100% of the time really).

I have never been down for more than half a day apart from when I joined them a few months ago. I had no internet for 2 full days. I was tweeting plusnet and Which? and they offered to give me one month free. So that totally made up for the downtime.

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wavechange

My broadband connection goes down whenever there is a brief power cut, perhaps once every two months. Generally it’s working again in a short time but occasionally the service is not restored for hours. I just use mobile broadband if there is a problem. I would probably complain if I had no service for a couple of days, but that has not happened yet.

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richard

I am a happy Virgin customer – In the past roughly twenty years – I was the first customer in my area when NTL laid the cable ( As BT was so bad) It has been crystal clear ever since – The connection went down twice in all that time – rather than the five times a week under BT ( I was thrown off the internet by the net users as the BT connection was so bad) In each of the two disconnections it was repaired the NEXT DAY. Now BT put up posters locally stating the first broad band is now running – A total LIE – cable broadband has been with us locally for around 20 years – I wouldn’t trust BT for anything – not only was the connection appalling – but they tried to charge me for reverse charge calls when I was at work. Virgin forever.

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Lee Beaumont

I would love to move to Virgin, Richard. But the cost is a little bit too high for me :(

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richard

Can only say – BT and those companies using BT landlines were/are so bad locally that I did not have a proper local service at all – so I waited in eager anticipation until NTL laid their cable and applied the day NTL started work in 1995 – BT was often not working properly 4 days out of 5 – denied my connection was not working – and took ages to repair when they at last admitted it did not work – . From the Day NTL connected me the line was reliable and crystal clear and I had a telephone service and internet connection that BT were charging me for but did not deliver – it has gone wrong twice – both times due to the set top box which was replaced next day – It is more expensive but I use the internet about 6 hours a DAY and TV 24/7 due to dogs. So as far as I’m concerned it is a bargain – Can only add my friends opted to belong to Virgin when they compared my excellent service with whatever service they were using. Virgin’s help line is also good and FREE.

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william

Seems my experience of Virgin has been completely the opposite, only last month broadband was down for the best part of 24 years ( I too have been a customer since the days of NT-helL) . You ring up their overseas call centre and they’re so working from a script, it takes them ages to get to recognising you have an issue. Only last week the line dropped in the middle of the day, and if I didn’t know any better it was probably cos some engineer unplugged a cable from a cabinet and to connect a new customer. And when they doubled my speed I still end up ringing as they’d not even done that properly. And only having broadband with them ( I ditched phone and tv cos the service was so poor) I get to use an 0845 number when I have a problem. Unfortunately their the only proper broadband and not ADSL pretending to be broadband, so I’m stuck.

I’m glad to hear about your positive experiences with Virgin, Richard.

Lee, its really interesting that bringing your complaint into the public domain, using Twitter, has been so successful. Good work making your voice heard!

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Peter

While “making your voice heard” might be necessary if there has been a long-running problem and “normal channels” appear to be a dead end, I don’t think one is justified in demanding compensation if there as been a problem for only half a day.

If it had been over 36 hours, then yes, get more demanding, but if someone gets a month free then it pushes up costs for the ISP (and let’s face it, Plus.Net and others are really quite low cost – PN does unlimited broadband for well under 15 quid/month for urban users, and about half that goes to Openreach in rental anyway).

It’s also moving us more towards a compensation and litigation culture, while at the same time favouring those who use Twitter and disadvantages pensioners and others who may not dream of “airing their washing in public” in this way. It’s a bit of a “think only about number 1″ viewpoint and while we all want good service, it’s surely fairer to use the established methods of reporting (by phone or by submitting a ticket, in the case of Plus.Net). Tweeting to me seems like a way for someone to not only queue jump to get their problem dealt with ahead of the OAP who dials the 0800 number and has their problem put into the ticket queue) but also, because such tweets may be copied to Which? puts undue pressure on the ISP – it’s more justified if one has had a long-running problem, making the complaint public and copying in Which? or asking a consumer show on radio/TV to get answers, but if it gets used to excess, the times when it is justified (to make a bigger fuss over poor service) it will have been overshadowed by the nature of so many others using the same method… Bit like the boy saying there’s a wolf… and eventually no-one takes notice even if there is a wolf.

By all means insist on better customer service and use a method to give complaints more publicity, but please, make such complaints for serious problems, not broadband being down for half a day…

And for anyone who feels they really *need* it (working from home, as an example) then see my post from 11 October – have a second line, or alternative via mobile, as your own backup. The most that an ISP might be required to provide in compensation is for provable losses (and then only if that is what they have agreed in contract).

If a home user loses service for a few hours they are unlikely to have a justification for a claim (eg Small Claims court) but it seems we are now expected to moan about the smallest thing, and as I say, do this will (in the long run) lead to higher charges from companies.

Peter in the article is perfectly justified in being angry about poor service, and ridiculous compensation offer from BT, and in such a case I would make as big a fuss as possible, on something like BBC Watchdog, because a *really* public airing will likely result in a proper consideration by BT Broadband.

In the above examples, Peter might be justified in being paid say 50-75 pounds (2-3 months worth of compensation). I’m not going to comment on the month free that Lee got – I know I would not have expected that, but certainly, if I was in autority at Plus.Net I would place a ban on that level of compensation unless someone had had no service for at least 60 hours.

From memory, some 10 years ago, BT (line rental) compensation for late repairs only started if repair was 6-8 days later than promised, giving a months rental free, 2 months for being 9-11 days late and so on. Their promise was to have the line repaired within 3 days (unless you were paying extra for 24 callout, such as a GP might for his home line). In 2006 they switched to offer about 30p per day, or to divert your calls to a mobile and pay £1/day to compensate customer for any outgoing calls from their mobile.

I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be compensation, but a month free for half a day’s lost service seems very, very, generous (excessive, even), and I can only suggest people might get a month free for several days without service too (so don’t expect 3 or 4 months free, if you have no service for 2 or 3 days!)

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Lee Beaumont

“PN does unlimited broadband for well under 15 quid/month”

How do you get this please? I pay Plusnet £17.50. (£15.50 line rental £2 unlimited broadband). How have you managed to get both for under the price of line rental please? .

“it’s surely fairer to use the established methods of reporting (by phone or by submitting a ticket, in the case of Plus.Net)”

How do you do that when the internet /line is down? With Twitter / Facebook you can send a SMS text to update your status. This is how i contact Plusnet when my internet/line is down.

“And for anyone who feels they really *need* it (working from home, as an example) then see my post from 11 October – have a second line”

I do work from home. But I would not pay another £17.50 for a 2nd line when I can do all I need to on one. Total waste of money.

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Peter

regarding Plus.Net price for broadband:

The broadband charge from Plus.Net depends on a number of things. I was not including line rental (because you can have Plus.Net broadband on a line from Post Office, BT, Primus and probably other telecom firms, too).

Plus.Net are now charging a bit more (2.50) if you don’t take their line rental, but when I switched to their “unlimited” account in December 2012, it was 9.99 a month for their broadband service. I mentioned 15 pounds because some will be paying 12.49

If you are in an area with only BT based services (ie no EE, TalkTalk, Sky) then they have higher charges, but for those (mostly urban) users on exchanges with competition, Openreach is forced to charge ISPs a lower price and Plus.Net passes on that discount (I think they are the only ISP which does so). Hence my comment about broadband for urban users being under 15 pounds.

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Peter

>> (by phone or by submitting a ticket, in the case of Plus.Net)” …
> How do you do that when the internet /line is down?

Using the phone, landline or mobile, or 0800 at a friend / neighbour / phone box…

If your broadband (only) is down, dial 0800 432 0200 – they can do various tests.

If your phone line is down, dial 0345 140 0200 (specially for use from mobiles)

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Lee Beaumont

So it would cost over £15 including line rental?

“If your phone line is down, dial 0345 140 0200 (specially for use from mobiles) ”

So I would need to top-up my mobile by £10 to be able to call Plusnet? So i would be £10 out of pocket. 03 numbers are not free from mobiles. But 080 will be free from 2015.

No thank you. I would rather to Twitter as it’s free. Thanks anyway.

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Peter

> I do work from home. But I would not pay another £17.50 for a 2nd line when I can do all I need to on one. Total waste of money.

No, sorry, it’s not a “total waste of money” – if you are working from home, then it is simply taking precautions to ensure your livelihood. If my broadband was down for a week or two, it would affect some aspects of what I do, but I would not lose all my business clients, which is very important to me, and even if it cost me 50/month, better than “going bust”.

Sometimes (eg when there is major flooding), no matter how much one screams at the ISP, they cannot force Openreach to take engineers off some other job to fix my problem, and that’s going to get worse as big firms regularly “save money” by cutting staff and employing contractors “when needed” but also change from worrying about 1 day delay to only worrying when delay hits a week! IE they save more by dropping service level to customers, as well as having fewer full time staff.

Many people have both insurance (required) and breakdown cover (an option) on their car / van. If it is what you need to “do your job” the breakdown cover is not a luxury but provides you a bit of cover for an emergency. I don’t drive, but feel sure if I needed to for my job and could not do it without a vehicle, I’d take reasonable steps, so I would not be left stranded, nor without a vehicle for a week.

For my business, if my internet connection was down for a week or more, it would be a major problem, except for the fact I have unlimited internet access on my mobile. Since Three offers “tethering” and unlimited data on the One Plan, it is an obvious solution (at 15/month) as a (slow) broadband backup.

However it is inadequate as a complete backup, since I now need to monitor remote PCs and CCTV systems more often, so I will be getting a second line in this property and 30+ Mbps FTTC broadband. Unfortunately, I could not get Virgin Media (they serve 70% of this area and homes 50 feet from me can use it but not in my cul-de-sac, unfortunately).

Getting service from 2 different ISPs is a logical solution for many small businesses, and not using ISP-based e-mail (but having your own domain) means that even if one is down, the business can continue. It’s not that expensive and if my landline was dead for 2 weeks, at least I know I could still run my business efficiently (and as soon as I have fibre service, would be able to do all that I need, whereas using my mobile to link 4 of my PCs to the internet is a bit sluggish).

So in my view, a second connection is not a waste of money, but pays for itself, because otherwise I *could* go bust if I lost all customers (and even if I could get compensation for a few days without service, it would not be possible to regain my customers who moved to someone else, and the recommendations they make that puts more business my way).

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Lee Beaumont

I used to have my line & broadband with Talk Talk Business (well Opal) and I was down for just over 3 weeks.

I was close to getting a Virgin line but it was over £20, no thank you. All the money I make goes into my Self-Harm charity so I need to keep all costs down.

Instead I took my laptop/iphone and pretty much lived at mcdonalds for 3 weeks & used there Wi-Fi lol. Making sure I kept proof of money i paid out & TTB refunded it all for me.

I run websites so all i needed to-do was reply to e-mails and print off orders etc, then come home and ship the parcels.

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Peter

> So it would cost over £15 including line rental?

It certainly could cost more than £15 including line rental, though with Plus.Net one could be getting payments from them every month, just as easily (based on recommending it to friends and relatives). My monthly bill is well below 9.99, and I’ve had payments from Plus.Net in the past. My line rental is 5.99 with Primus.

> 03 numbers are not free from mobiles. But 080 will be free from 2015.

03 is covered the same as 01 and 02 (on contract, as “included minutes”) and should be charged at a similar cost as other landline calls on PAYG.

Topping up is not a very unusual event, is it? Why would you specially need to top up to call Plus.Net? If a mobile is left without topping up for too long, service is cancelled.

Will Twitter and texts still work if you don’t top up?
(I doubt it, at least not after a while when your credit runs down!)

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Lee Beaumont

“Topping up is not a very unusual event, is it? Why would you specially need to top up to call Plus.Net?”

I never to-up my mobile. I get free txt’s every month. But never top-up. So if i needed to make a call then yes. I would be out of pocket.

“Will Twitter and texts still work if you don’t top up?
(I doubt it, at least not after a while when your credit runs down!) ”

I get free txt’s per month.

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Peter

Curious as to which network gives free texts and never needs a top-up… perhaps you could enlighten us… please

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Lee Beaumont

They don’t “give you them”, you need to phone up and blag them. I change networks every few months. At the moment I am with network 3 after moving from Tesco mobile.

All you need to-do is phone up, moan about the signal and they offer you free txt’s. I have found network 3 offer me free mins too. But as I only get 1 bar of signal i don’t make calls as they cut off. So I use only use txt’s/whatsapp etc

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Peter

OK, Lee. Full credit for the anti- Self Harm work and what you’re doing.

Have to say that for many who are self employed, making calls to talk to clients is essential, so let’s just agree that your budget methods and requirements are rather different from those of many businesses. I can see that shipping out parcels and sending e-mail may be enough for many who sell on Amazon or Ebay, for example, but won’t meet the needs of many others.

It means that “blagging free texts” is out of the ordinary for your average plumber, etc, and while your motivation is to restrict costs as far as possible, and a second phone line and broadband isn’t a priority, plenty of others working from home might consider the option, to safeguard their business at a fairly low cost.

I’m hoping to be employing a number of staff in 2014 and onwards, working from home, in different regions and cities, and would ensure the lines I pay for are additional to any used for personal use, so they have a backup.

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Lee Beaumont

Oh Peter, I fully agree my life is by no means “normal” I will be the first to admit that lol.

I have 2 staff who work for me (In other parts of the UK) who work from home too. I run a website selling Heartbeat DVD’s (as i love Heartbeat), Amazon do all the back-end so I need to-do nothing & just make 10% per sale. Same with a Waterloo Road DVD website.

I run a web hosting company. But I have my 2 staff running that. I also run a website selling shampoo & hair gel. I run a few more, but you get the idea.

I try and keep my living costs as well as my companies cost as low as possible for the charity. Even when I do my TV / Radio work I do not make money. I ask the companies to make a donation to my charity.

So yep, I am by no means normal :)

Patrick: I understand this is way of topic. I just wanted to make clear why I do what I do with Plusnet/Broandband/Mobile etc.

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woodgreener

I am also a very happy Virgin Media customer. I have been with Virgin Media here in Norwich ever since broadband started in 2007. I have my broadband on almost 24/7/365-6 except when I am on holiday. It has only let me down once for a couple of hours a few years ago. I cannot believe how reliable and fast my service is. To be honest it has prevented me from moving out of Norwich into the countryside. I would be totally lost without it. One of my neighbour’s has had many problems with his BT line. I am so lucky and happy.

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Benny

Virgin’s Broadband based on their cable service frequently went down and they regularly denied there was a problem. I spent time on the last occasion phoning over 4 days getting persons from the Indian Sub-continent who I could not understand and I believe were out of their depth. Eventually I spoke to a lady in Scotland who fixed ,
matters and told me there had been a major local problem.

As this was the last of many dropped Broadband connections I cancelled the whole Virgin phone TV Broadband package and went to John Lewis on ADSL who have good support.

Virgin’s service was dreadful and I can only hope they provide better maintenance support for their aircraft operation. Their cable tv service gives the brand a really bad name.

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Malcolm R

I started with Waitrose dial up, transferred to Greenbee broadband which then became John Lewis broadband. I’ve had excellent service, from customer service and technical support on free phone lines in intelligible english. When I had a problem of download capacity I had a refund and free unlimited download while they sorted out their accounting problem. I understand JL broadband is operated by Plusnet who are part of BT? How incestuous is this industry. But while I hear criticism of BT (my daughter had a long standing problem of erratic connection) I hear none of Plusnet or JL – how do BT get it so wrong?

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Lee Beaumont

I agree Malcolm. When I first joined Plusnet I was worried as they are owned by BT. But after searching online and reading how fast they replied to tweets for support I gave them a chance & was not disappointed.

I would not go back to BT again. I would also not pay extra for Virgin. So right now I am happy with plusnet & there Yorkshire call center :)

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John Ward

I have never had a real problem with BT over many years of using broadband, one or two brief outages perhaps but normal service restored very quickly. I am surprised that Peter, who has raised the question, was not offered an extra free month – that is so easy for BT to do and costs them absolutely nothing while enhancing their reputation. I think there is a new aggressive generation of customer service employees around nowadays but it is also a corporate cultural problem.

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Caitlin

I changed from BT (blooming terrible) ten years ago and joined Tiscali. With them now being TalkTalk, the service is diabolical. They have one last chance to improve, before I change. This last month I have been offline more than on, intermittently every few minutes. A wait of 12 days before an engineer can come out and check; though the fault is known to be between the exchange and the house. I fail to understand what a house-call will achieve apart from wasting yet more of my time. My current download speed is 0.20Mbps and upload speed 0.09. Some service eh.

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Segya

Hope some Which staff will read these and give their opinions. Read down to the end of each one. Is compensation payable?

http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/talktalk/4267093-talktalk-fraudulently-moving-my-services-from-bt.html?fpart=all&vc=1

http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/unhappiness/4249489-avonline-tooway-skylogic.html?fpart=all

Also this from the first

“Damages in tort (including negligence) are usually limited to direct financial loss, so there appears to be no route to claim for consequential matters such as alternative broadband provision.”

Can you at Which do something about that? Start a campaign or include it in your next roundup? The law for damages isn’t good enough. If you loose your line and broadband, you don’t get replacement money to get another line and broadband while you wait for the first to be fixed. And you don’t get anything for lost earnings if you’re a home worker needing internet.

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Segya

Can someone at Which please say something about these?

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Peter Morgan

> you don’t get anything for lost earnings if you’re a home worker needing internet.

Sorry, but if you work from home, one could argue that having a backup (such a USB dongle and go out to get PAYG broadband SIM from the network that sold you the USB dongle) would be your responsibility.

There are enhanced levels of service (aimed at business users, and charged monthly) for an engineer to look into a problem with higher priority, and the next step (if using the internet was really important) would be to have a second phone line and a different ISP.

I know that “paying twice” is something few would want to consider, but with broadband on offer from time to time at as little as a fiver a month (and not just 1 GB, which from a mobile network might cost double), and a phone line for around a tenner, it’s hopefully affordable and might be classed as a business expense if you have a self-assessment tax form.

If the phone line is vital for both voice and data, then it seems to me that the more “online” the nature of our work, the more we should consider having a backup

(re Backup … If possible not using the same network… so if your line is with BT, and you also have Virgin available, use that rather than a second line with BT… if your ISP has a power fail, the exchange catches fire, or whatever, at least if your second connection is via mobile or Virgin, it’s not going to be affected like your main connection).

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Suze

I had always been happy with BT until this year when my home phone went down. It had last gone wrong over ten years ago and that only took a day to fix. Now all their help people are offshore and it took three weeks, four engineers and digging up my front lawn to fix. They badly need more people manning their fault report line as they say there is a 10 to 20 minute wait but that is a big understatement. The hold message keeps directing you to use the internet. If only I could have! They seem to assume everyone has a mobile phone on contract. The under £20 compensation offered doesn’t cover the amount I spent topping up my mobile so I could text friends. Apparently I am only entitled to a refund of my daily rental charges. My family and friends are disgusted and when I’ve calmed down enough to contemplate the trauma of moving suppliers, I’m off, though not to Virgin as my neighbour has to keep calling them out with problems.

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jjmmwgdupree

On Saturday the 30th of November I arrived home to find that my TalkTalk internet, which had been riunning at less than 1MBps since the previous Saturday, was now running so slowly that my modem didn’t know it was there. I only knew it was still there because once every few days it would update the notifications on my screen before disappearing again.

Two days ago I got the ultra-slow connection back so I looked up TalkTalk and what do you know? You can’t get in touch with them over the internet! They offer you an 0807 number if you want to ‘phone them.

I’ve decided I want out so I’ve just been looking in Which? for a new provider. Where have all the small companies gone? I’d just decided upon Be when I discovered they’d been taken over by Sky. Zetnet’s disappeared across the pond, Nildram’s been swallowed up by Opal (Who turned out to be Talk Talk Business who in turn shifted all their customers over to regular TalTalk)…

Don’t we have a monopolies Commission any more?

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Malcolm R

Have you tried Plusnet, who get consistently good reviews, (although I have a feeling they are part of BT) or John Lewis (who use Plusnet)? I’ve had very good service off the latter.

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Peter

Not sure that Zetnet ended up “across the pond” – yes there was some Canadian firm at one point, but Breathe Internet took over Zetnet in about 2008 and later on there was a major e-mail catastrophe so many users left.

I used to use ZIMACS in the 90s, then switched to Enterprise, used Clara.Net and later on Freeserve (all on dial-up in late 90s, and then got Home Highway so I had 3 lines). I moved to broadband in 2001 with Freeserve (as a trial user with USB Modem) and later had my second line with UKFSN and a proper (90 pounds, ouch!) router. I’ve been with Plus.Net since 2003 (though they have grown to about 750,000 customers, so not one of the smaller firms any more, but at least they have a UK call centre in Sheffield and plan another in Leeds for 2014, I think).

If you check ThinkBroadband.com or ISPreview.co.uk you will find many services offering ADSL broadband, though sadly many of the smaller ISPs (in my view) seem to have priced themselves well above what many want to pay… Meanwhile you’ll find there are cashback deals and massive discounts for 6 or more months (and you can sometimes get cashback as well as the discount prices, via TopCashBack or Quidco), but the discount prices mainly require taking broadband AND line rental + calls package.

Plus.Net and so on are offering line rental discounts if you pay a year in advance so instead of it being 15-16 pounds a month it is closer to 10-12 pounds equivalent. Since you want to leave TalkTalk you might be interested in checking Primus (run by New Call Telecom and has been a ‘recommended’ line rental firm on MoneySavingExpert site for a while). I’ve been using them for 2 years and pay 5.99 / month line rental (no included calls). I make calls with 1899.com to landlines on 01/02 and of course 0800 numbers… and use my mobile to call other mobiles. They are offering broadband for only 2 or 4 pounds (but you’d have to pay a higher line rental I think). I use Primus for the line rental and Plus.Net for the broadband at present. Plus.Net offer lower price broadband if you take their line rental too, but even paying a year in advance only drops the cost to about 11 pounds equivalent per month.

Worth checking the last comparison of ISPs that Which? carried out, too (though there may be a lot of smaller ISPs that aren’t mentioned).

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guy boxall

The service from BT is a disgrace. Having had no broadband for three weeks and more than 12 hours of calls from my mobile to the various 0800 numbers. … Still not connected. Promise after promise, all broken. I suggest you go elsewhere if you want any customer service. BT cannot deliver.

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PeterM

I would never dial an 0800 from a mobile (unless you are lucky enough for it to be included – if the calls are charged, I’d suggest you put in a claim to BT Broadband once things have been sorted out, to try to get the call charges refunded!), but would have tried other methods such as e-mail, if at all possible. Of course a lot depends on whether you have a smart mobile with internet access, but failing that, from a neighbour’s home, or friend’s, or the library, perhaps.

If e-mail seems impossible (or hidden away), I’d have used a phone box to call their 0800 number.
(Or maybe you were using the BT phone “App” that lets you call via the internet and have the call associated with your BT landline bill, ie free. Not clear why you would use a mobile otherwise…

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Amandrose

I have had a long running dispute with BT when they failed to connect my service in a brand new property last year some 75 miles from my previous location. They promised me three dates and connected on the final date but then I had to wait another week for Broadband.

On the first date I was still in my old property (75 miles away) and spent a whole day travelling and waiting for them to no avail. I work from home through the net. During the 20 days I was without service I had no work – I had to go some 75 miles away to a relatives to work (stayed over for 4 nights) – so that’s extra petrol, loss of earnings, down time travelling, extra boarding for my cat – all in all, I spent (including loss of potential earnings) close to £2K.

BT offered me £100 because they don’t recompense loss of earnings or costs associated with it (because they said it wasn’t a business line). So let’s get this straight – I work from home for a company using the internet – I am not running a business from home. That mattered not. I thought their offer was insulting so I took it to the Ombudsman. They too found in BTs favour (no surprise there then!). I had to use what little savings I had to get through that period, pay a month’s rent etc. I am now too far in debt to recover so I am having to go back to where I came from and lodge with a friend. Absolutely disgraceful. Someone has to stop these people from wrecking people’s livelihoods and getting away with it.

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