[GLLUG] Broadband/cable provider [OT]

Christopher Hunter cehunter at gb-x.org
Tue Feb 12 06:26:35 UTC 2013

On Mon, 2013-02-11 at 21:44 +0000, Nix wrote:
> On 9 Feb 2013, John Winters stated:
> > BT have upgraded our exchange (700m away) to FTTC, but incredibly they
> > haven't actually done the cabinets so we can't get it!
> They upgraded my cabinets, and then they phoned me asking about it. I
> said no, on the reasonable-to-me grounds that this would cost me more
> for a slower and less resilient service than my current bonded ADSL
> lines -- but they wouldn't take no for an answer, and until I got my ISP
> (A&A) to slap them around they were phoning me every flipping week,
> sometimes at oh-so-helpful times like 6am, to see if I wanted BT
> Infinity *this* week.
> It seems they have no way of distinguishing the cases of 'we asked him
> and he said no' and 'we didn't ask him'. Sigh.

BT upgraded the cabinets at the ends of my street almost two years ago
(we were a "trial" area).  My next door neighbour took up their offer of
"Infinity" when it became available some months later.  They proudly
trumpeted speeds of (up to) 80 Mb/s (carefully worded as usual, of
course).  He gets ~12 Mb/s on a good day for ~£30 per month.  I get ~21
Mb/s on ADSL from Be.com for £19 per month.

BT refused to acknowledge that there could be anything wrong with the
"service" he was receiving.  He's repeatedly complained, written to any
relevant contact point within BT, and even threatened to withhold their
payments, all to no avail.  They always point out the small print that
doesn't guarantee connection speeds.

My neighbour then decided to try Virgin Cable.  Their installers were
utterly inept, even cracking a window when they tried to drill through
its frame.  Despite it being a new installation, the speed was abysmal
and service was intermittent.  At this point he was paying just over £30
per month to BT and £35 per month to Virgin...

Neither "service provider" was prepared to admit that there's anything
wrong with the "service" they provide.  Neither could understand that he
didn't want their TV offerings, and continually pestered him with junk

He ceased Virgin after two months of fruitless argument, but they tried
to bill him for the whole year.  He took them to the Small Claims Court,
and the case was moved to the County Court because he was persuaded to
also sue for misappropriation of funds - Virgin simply took the money
out of his account!  He won, of course, and the only up-side to the
whole sorry tale is that the Court awarded him significant damages (for
damage to his property, misappropriation, nuisance and inept supply of
service).  Virgin had to pay him back the money they stole and damages
of just over £3500!

He still doesn't have a useful internet connection, however.  I'm going
to connect his network to mine and split the monthly bill with him.  His
(and his kids') usage is actually very low - they have Sky TV, so
there's no streaming needed - they're just interested in web browsing
and email....


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