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  #1  
Old 9th February 2009, 19:02
Shipbuilder Shipbuilder is offline
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Broadband Internet Connections

Wondering about your opinion on this. I will not name the servers at this stage.

Have been with server "A" for several years and was getting a 2.2 mb per second connection speed, plus poor customer service. Decided to change to server "B" Server "B" checked my line and said it could support about 7 mb per second. I felt that was great and signed up. After a lot of messing about, I was finally connected and a quick check showed a connection speed of about 985 Kb per second, less than half as fast as where I had come from! Calling server "B" technical, I was told that I had a 1 mb per second package and that is what I am getting. Customer Service said "We don't have 1mb per second connection! I insited that was the speed and eventually they admitted it was. Am not getting anywhere with their complaints. Email to complaints department brings back a quick reply referring me to their website that doesn't help one bit!

What I think is that because of my age, they have thought "Pensioner, give the old fool 1 mb & he wont know the difference!" But I do, as I am an ex R/O of more than 33 years in telecommunications.

Today, I phoned again "undercover" posing as a potential new customer. "I want at least 4.5 mb per second connection", says I. They checks my line & says "we are the ones for you, our connection speed is 8 mb per second, but your line will only support 6 mb per second, but that is quite good!"

"Yes it is," says I, so why am I only getting 985 kb per seconds? "We will call you back tomorrow" they says!

Any of you had the same experience?

Bob
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  #2  
Old 9th February 2009, 19:24
K urgess K urgess is offline
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I've never been treated like that, Bob.
There's no excuse for such a slow speed if they say it can support a lot faster. I don't get the full advertised speed but normally I get at least 80%. Although it can sometimes fall to 50% for various reasons.
Your speed depends on how far you are from the local telephone exchange and what the connection is to the provider's hub.
Luckily I'm only about 200 yards from the phone exchange and from there to the hub is all fibre optics recently installed.
Even though I can probably communicate with the hub at the maximum advertised rate, it's from there on that it slows down.
If you're using http://www.speedtest.net/ then you will be getting a reasonably accurate representation if you use the recommended site.
Cheers
Kris
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  #3  
Old 9th February 2009, 19:42
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Bob, I dont know who the server is but I had a terrible time with a certain ISP who upped my speed without my knowledge which ruined my service because my line was not up to it. They then said that the problem was that I was dial up and should have a router instead and that would cure the problem. I was out of contract with them at this time and could have gone anywhere else without penalty - however being an oldster I believed them and signed up to a router.

The router arrived was duly connected and worked for approximately 30 minutes before going down. I rang the help desk who said they would look into it - seven days later still off - rang the help desk who said there was a fault on my line and they were looking into it. I rang BT who tested my line and told me that it was OK but could only take 6mb max possibly even less.

I then rang the Customer Service Department of this ISP and told them what I had learnt and asked for my MAC Code so I could go elsewhere. I was then told very rudely and abruptly that I was under contract to them for at least 12 months and I was going nowhere. I said I had no Internet Connection they said, " Tough".

It finally took a letter to the Ombudsman and his intervention which took some six weeks all told for them to release my line and allow me to go to another ISP. I hope you are not with them.

Chris.
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  #4  
Old 9th February 2009, 21:27
Shipbuilder Shipbuilder is offline
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Thanks for replies. I can speak to them easy enough, but the techinal help says I have a 1mb package, so I should speak to Customer care to upgrade. Customer care says they don't do a 1 Mb package and I should speak to Technical Support to get it speeded up, and so it just goes round and round. I sent a complaint to their complaint e-mail address and it replied very efficiently with an automated e-mail referring me to their website that just has a load of questions that "they" want me to ask and a set of standard answers - none of which are any help at all. When I was with Orange, the speed was 2.2mb, now I am with Tiscali it is 985kb.

By pretending to be a "potential customer," I got them to confirm that they did not do a 1Mb package and got them to say that it should be about 6.5mb because that is what my line can support (checked by them) They promised to phone me back tomorrow to sort it all out when I told them I was a new customer and hadn't got anything near like what they said. Proabably just a way of getting rid of me "short term," but I am not letting go on this.
Will let you know how I get on
Bob
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  #5  
Old 9th February 2009, 22:42
LizzieNo1 LizzieNo1 is offline  
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Shipbuilder (Bob), I know your pain. I had the insane misfortune to be involved with Tiscrapi for 6 months (living nightmare). It took me almost 5 months to be free of them, with some innovative tricks of my own.

Have a look at this link below on how I dealt with them. I can say that it got very sticky indeed!

Link for info
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  #6  
Old 9th February 2009, 22:53
gkh151 gkh151 is offline  
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Hi Bob

There was something on the news about this the other week and it seems a few companies are not giving what they say they can. The way I understand it is, they say that you can have 8mb but that is if all lines are up to speed and that does hardly ever happen. A lot of companies only rent their lines from another company and the company providing the line gives preferance to there customers and reduces the amount available to the companies that rent the lines (it happens with mobile phones as well). The best internet speeds are with fibre optic and as Kris has said the nearer you are to the exchange the better.

I have a friend who is an engineer with a well known internet provider and he says they are always getting calls regarding this.

Graham
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  #7  
Old 9th February 2009, 22:57
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You know, why is anyone surprised anymore! The level of service in the UK is abysmal and, even if something does "work", you are probably getting ripped off. I feel for you, Bob!
Good Luck!
Dave
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  #8  
Old 9th February 2009, 23:46
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Chris, with that kind of attitude I would give them all the free advertising on the INTERNET blogs and websites,let people know how bad they are. I have done it and it does get them to take another look at you,even put his name up as the customer service rep you contacted.

John.
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  #9  
Old 10th February 2009, 08:09
Shipbuilder Shipbuilder is offline
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Thanks for all your replies. Especially LizzieNo1 for the valuable link that will prepare me for the ongoing battle.
I will let you all kn ow how I get on.
Bob
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  #10  
Old 10th February 2009, 14:35
Shipbuilder Shipbuilder is offline
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They never phoned back between 1000 & 1300 as promised. After a great deal of trouble, I got through to them on the phone and spent about an hour arguing & demanding etc (all recorded). Finally, to get rid of me, I suppose, they said they would speed it up today and include a "goowill" adjustment to the bill when it comes. I will believe it when I see it, hasving heard it all before. But still hope for the best.
Bob
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  #11  
Old 10th February 2009, 14:44
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Good luck, Bob. And it is not just the broadband/telcomm companies. Almost everything in the good old UK is just as shoddy. When are people going to wake up to the fact that the service is just not good enough and press for change!
Rgds.
Dave
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  #12  
Old 10th February 2009, 15:06
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I've been with the same supplier since I first went onto the Internet in the early 90's. I have never had any cause whatsoever to complain even through the modem years (32 for a 56 modem was standard on my line), and get between 4.5 and 6.5 Mbits for an 8 Mbit service (this varies according to time and Internet loading). I live about 1.5 miles from the exchange and it's all on good old copper dropwires, so I've no complaints.

The price is cheap (by UK standards) and whenever they've lowered their prices, they've informed me automatically and asked if I am happy to take the reduction, or would I like to upgrade the service. This company got took over a couple of years ago by one of the biggies, Madasafish, and I feared the worst, but happily the service has remained at a high standard.

They also provide automatic online testing, diagnostics and a very good technical query service. You get a free domain name too.

By the looks of it, I just got lucky. From what I can see those early small outfits had very good reputations, but as they got gobbled up by the bigger concerns, that fell away. Doesn't that sound familiar ?
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  #13  
Old 10th February 2009, 15:49
LizzieNo1 LizzieNo1 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipbuilder View Post
Thanks for all your replies. Especially LizzieNo1 for the valuable link that will prepare me for the ongoing battle.
I will let you all kn ow how I get on.
Bob
Your very welcome Bob. No one should have to go through this firms utter incompetence. I hope you can get shot of them quickly.
If you need any additional info, PM me. I have saved saved all documents from them with addresses which may prove useful.
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  #14  
Old 10th February 2009, 18:42
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Originally Posted by Shipbuilder View Post
Customer care says they don't do a 1 Mb package
Bob,
Most Communications Providers (CPs) offer traditional broadband in the following fixed rate: 500Kb, 1Mb and 2 Mb. It is possible that you have been put on a 1Mb rate. You should be on DSL Max which is an up to 8Mb product (note that doesn't mean 8Mb but whatever your line will support up to the max of 8Mb. Even those who live next to the exchange will not get 8Meg due to transmission loss etc.

Could you run this test please and tell me what you get back.
http://www.speedtester.bt.com/

Regards
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  #15  
Old 12th February 2009, 16:02
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Hi Hugh,
They are currently busy at the moment (line test). I understand what you say, but my line was tested by them and shown to be capable of 7Mb per second. I would be more than happy with 4Mb per second. The contract they sent me in writing was 0-8Mb, but later they said (by phone) it was 0-1Mb, that I would never have agreed to in the first place.

Latest update.
Haven't got anywhere with them until now, they kept promising to phone back, but never did.

A few minutes ago, having found their Head Office number, I eventually got through and in my most demanding voice said "put me through to the Managing Director immediately, he's expecting me! Although I got a cheeky reply of "she's a woman, so obviously not expecting you!" Short pause, thinks better of it an puts me through to High Level Complaints. Still maintaining most arrogant, commanding and demanding tones, I stated I wanted "action this day." It seemed to bring about some sort of positive reaction, because I have been promised an immediate investigation and been given a direct phone number to the person in charge. When I phone them tomorrow they "say" they will give me an exact time and date for the upgrade. We will have to wait and see though.
Bob
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  #16  
Old 12th February 2009, 17:02
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Originally Posted by Shipbuilder View Post
When I phone them tomorrow they "say" they will give me an exact time and date for the upgrade. We will have to wait and see though.
Bob
Hello Bob,
So by that are they admitting that you are on a 1mB fixed rate?

Pity you cannot get any joy from the site I mentioned as I would like to see what your IP profile is set at. Hopefully all will be resolved soon.
Regards
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  #17  
Old 12th February 2009, 17:40
Shipbuilder Shipbuilder is offline
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Hello Hugh,
It is still showing Error when I last tried. It was only when I complained to Tiscali that it was only running at 985mb per second that they told me I was on a 1Mb package and that was all I would get. Since then it has been like speaking to either a brick wall or a parrot. Only today when I spoke to Tiscali Head Office that I "seem" to be getting somewhere.
Bob
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  #18  
Old 12th February 2009, 18:22
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I have just changed to a new ISP (part of a package involving cable TV/Telephone/Internet) as TV reception in my area through external aerial was abysmal.

The ISP part is sold as a fibre optic system with 'download speeds of up to 10Mb'. According to the speed test, as recommended above in Message No. 14 by Hugh MacLean, I have a performance of 3218 kilo bits per sec when downloading a 1.7 Mb file. According to my computer, the service is yiedling 54 Mbps.

Being the original Luddite, I haven't a scoobie what all this means, so if any kindly and wiser soul could advise me on whether that performance is reasonable, or otherwise, I would be grateful !

Last edited by eriskay; 12th February 2009 at 18:24.. Reason: spelling error
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  #19  
Old 12th February 2009, 21:52
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Eriskay, firstly, you appear to be on a fibre cable network which I am not familiar with so I can only give an opinion. Bob is on a traditional copper network which I am familiar with.

If you are on a fibre network then you are not limited in speed the same way that a traditional copper ADSL line is limited - mainly the distance away from the exchange and the guage of the serving cable. But you are limited in other ways. You mention "According to my computer, the service is yiedling 54 Mbps." this is only the connection speed of your wireless router, 54Mbps being the 802 11g standard. It is only the speed of connection between your pc and your router. The package you have from your CP will determine what max speeds you can theoretically achieve on the Internet but this is governed by many factors. So when you see CPs promising you speeds of up to 8Mbps or 10Mbps or faster dont look at the headline figure as realistically you are not going to get that.

I am on an up-to 8Mb copper ADSL line and I am three miles from my local exchange and my speed is about the same as yours which is pretty good for me so I cannot complain. Like I say, I cannot be specific enough on your fibre connection.

Regards
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  #20  
Old 12th February 2009, 22:23
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Hugh :

Thanks for that, much appreciated. Someone else recommended another online internet speed test and that one indicated :

9868 : download speed
340 : upload speed

I am not unhappy with the performance I am getting, it is more than sufficient for my simplistic needs, and an impossible dream when compared with the dreaded dial-up system of not that many years ago!

I just wondered how it checked out with what was sold to me - i.e. up to 10Mb.

Thanks again and best regards,

The Luddite!
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  #21  
Old 12th February 2009, 22:29
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That sounds excellent, eriskay.
I only wish I could get that close to my promised 16Mbps, It normally rocks around 13Mbps download and 800kbps upload.
I always check using the http://www.speedtest.net/ site.

Definitely an improvement on the 1200bps Compuserve connection I started with all those years ago.

Cheers
Kris
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  #22  
Old 12th February 2009, 22:43
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You guys are taking the p***. I can only dream of connection speeds like that.
Agree with Marconi - your connection is fine dont worry about it.

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Last edited by Hugh MacLean; 12th February 2009 at 22:46..
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  #23  
Old 13th February 2009, 12:16
Shipbuilder Shipbuilder is offline
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Spoke to Head Office again this morning, but got different person. It appears that they are not the High Level Complaints department, but the Customer Relations department. After the usual meaningless apologies, they said they will phone back on Monday with an update - in other words, they have reverted to the "parrot" procedure. Recorded Delivery letter to Managing Director confirms that it was delivered yesterday. I am now recording all calls to them. At least I can now phone them direct without having to Press 1 if.... Press 2 if....

Apart from all this, can any of you recommend a good server to transfer to. At the moment we have Line Rental, Phone Calls and Broadband all on Tiscali. We now have sufficient written and recorded evidence to show a high level of "connfusion" (that is a polite workd for it) at Tiscali. At the moment, Trading Standards will not help as we have to give them at least 21 days to put it right!

Bob
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  #24  
Old 13th February 2009, 12:44
LizzieNo1 LizzieNo1 is offline  
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Bob, I feared it may go this way for you. There are many more out there who have had the same.
I'm not sure I could recommend a different service, each person will use the interweb for different reasons and at different levels. I am myself considering ASDL24.

Have a look at the link below, there are a fair amount of ways others have dealt with Tiscali.

Link here
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  #25  
Old 13th February 2009, 14:00
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Thanks for reply, I have already found Scream and all the cases that are so similar to mine.
However, I have been relentlessly battering them with letters, e-mails and phone calls to their Head Office for several days now. At last, I am starting to get human replies and not their automated rubbish. I will not let up on them until it is sorted out and I really believe that they are at last beginning to realise this. They will soon be off for a week-end's rest after having done very little at all last week. Now that I have their Head Office phone number on a normal national line, I can badger them every hour at little cost. It is always a human that answers now and the Press 1 if... Press 2 if... scenario is now a thing of the past. Just got a real e-mail from them assuring me that they are now going to sort it out - can't wait for Monday to start going on at them again.
Bob
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