Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 09 Mar 2015 19:32

After seeing a billboard outside the EE shop in Boston this afternoon, promoting 18 MB Broadband at "2.50 per month (plus Line Rental), I enquired inside and discovered that there is an EE bundle, consisting of broadband, Freeview TV (including HD, pause, rewind and record live TV with a 1TB box) a landline, plus a tablet as a free gift, all for just £30 per month. This package includes a lot more than our current Sky package. It all sounds very good.

1) I anticipate a problem leaving Sky so I don't know quite how to get around this. Our contract has just run out and we only started a new six month contract a few days ago. Hopefully there is a cooling off period. Any tips or inside knowledge would be appreciated.

2) I don't know how the EE system works, technically. From what I could gather, it's not a PLT system, or at least I don't think it is. Maybe somebody here knows more about this. Any help appreciated as I know this is not going to be as straight-forward as it should be. It never is.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by satnipper » 09 Mar 2015 22:17

(1) Need to read your contract.

(2) EE resell either regular ADSL or the BT fibre high speed solution. The live TV is Freeview via your TV antenna with Internet for catch-up.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 09 Mar 2015 22:48

satnipper wrote:(1) Need to read your contract.
Not sure where that is.
satnipper wrote:(2) EE resell either regular ADSL or the BT fibre high speed solution. The live TV is Freeview via your TV antenna with Internet for catch-up.
I just need to know if any of the service they provide is via a potentially noisy PLT device.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by satnipper » 10 Mar 2015 08:22

PLT is used as an alternative to wifi. Looks like by default you get a wireless router - http://ee.co.uk/help/phones-and-device/ ... box-router

Stuart

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 10 Mar 2015 11:31

Thanks for that Stuart. I hadn't seen that page.

This is a lot more tricky than simply changing providers. I remember the problems we had last time with Virgin. They refused to release the MAC code to Sky. We had to get OFCOM on to them in the end and we were released within half an hour of contacting them. (That's twice OFCOM have provided a useful service to us. Pity they weren't as good regarding noise levels at our previous address.)

EE have told us not to leave Sky but to go about this in a certain way (the detail of which I forget), because if Sky disconnect us, we will receive large bills and delays getting getting reconnected.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by satnipper » 10 Mar 2015 11:40

Normally the company you are moving to manages the migration process.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 10 Mar 2015 12:07

Yes, that's right. Maybe the girl at EE over complicated things yesterday. She tried to explain a few things which sounded slightly suspicious or even not quite correct. Obviously they are looking at a sale, but I just need to ensure a smooth changeover and a lack of QRN afterwards. We had changed our minds this morning but will might check the EE shop in town later just in case. The 18 month EE contract is attractive in what it offers and the fact that it should save us money.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 10 Mar 2015 18:31

Well that's shot that one down. Sky say we are in a contract, despite this only being a verbal agreement. When did a verbal agreement made over the phone become a legally binding contract?

There is no cooling off period either. The only cooling off period given by Sky is when you are a new customer. After that forget cooling off periods.

If this is legal it's definitely wrong. Or, as with everything these days, it's legal only because there is no law against it. There still isn't a law saying it's actually legal.

So we are forced to stay with Sky until next February. The sooner we get rid of these long-duration contracts the better.

Sky give us 17MB ADSL2, Talk 24, Sky+ and the basic Sky TV channels for £36 per month. EE are offering more in the way of talk time, the same unlimited broadband and TV channels, plus a proper internet service by TV service, plus a few other useful bits and pieces for £30 per month. I suppose neither of these are particularly expensive, but there would have been a useful saving to be made.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by satnipper » 10 Mar 2015 19:14

Verbal agreements are legally binding in English law. Of course you may have said "no we want to cancel" and they made the wrong entry into their system. Ask them to produce the recording of the conversation to verify...

Above you say "we only started a new six month contract a few days ago" so surely this present contract expires August this year and not February next year?

What do you mean by "plus a proper internet service by TV service"? Both Sky and EE offer catch-up TV via internet whilst Sky live TV is delivered via satellite and EE by terrestrial signal.

Stuart

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 10 Mar 2015 20:46

As I am doing ten things at once at the moment, much of what I write may be clear. I am struggling to focus on the computer screen at the moment as the centre of my vision is disturbed with an ongoing migraine, so please excuse any discrepancies.

I spoke to Sky a few hours ago and they said the new contract was for a year and expires in February 2016. I'm sure they said November 2015 on the phone the other day. It must have been last month when I spoke to them. Bear in mind I don't know what day it is right now. :roll:

With our current Sky package we can't watch the internet for some reason. I don't tend to bother much with the TV. It is Jane who does all the technical stuff there. My brain cell just switches off when it comes to films and TV programmes. There are very few programmes I enjoy watching. So, let's say, Jane wants to watch a video on YouTube, the Sky system does not render the video properly. In fact it tends to make a total mess of most websites and web applications. Facebook is a no-go as it just doesn't work on the Sky system. EE tell us, and gave us a demonstration, that all internet sites such as these render normally when browsing via their system.

You have to realise that my brain cell can only handle so much data. When it comes to some things, it just goes into "overload/switch off" mode. The TV falls into that category. As you know Stuart, I have enough problems with computing, let alone anything else. I would be happier if we didn't have a TV at all! As for mobile phones? Give me an old brick! I like to make phone calls on my phones, not browse the internet. I got rid of my old Galaxy Note 3 and now have a cheap PAYG £9 Tesco job.

There are many aspects of modern technology I would rather do without.

I hope that makes sense. Now then, if I can find another brain cell I'll put them together and see if I can get them to breed. They'll probably be the same sex knowing my luck. :lol:

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by daveB » 10 Mar 2015 22:39

EE catchup service appears to be a lot more restrictive than Sky's as does their on-demand service. If you go to the EE package you will need a TV aerial for the Freeview channels. You will need to record live broadcasts to watch later - which requires a TV licence as the current loophole only applies if you watch streamed catch-up sevices like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD etc.

Overall probably cheaper to stick to what you have got as getting a TV aerial installed will probably wipe out the monthly savings of switching provider (if you could).

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 10 Mar 2015 23:34

I think you're right Dave. We're tied into the Sky contract anyway it seems. Had this contract not been in force we would have made further enquiries in the EE shop in town.

So it's Sky for the next year. It's a decent enough service though and The Sky+ system is excellent.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by daveB » 05 May 2015 23:39

I'll bring this one back to life. TalkTalk.

I signed up for a two year contract in order to maximise my return on investment. How - by getting a 'free' YouView box for HD recording. I didn't need it as we had/have a perfectly good Humax SD box. But as part of their tinkering with things TalkTalk had re-vamped their package so that broadband became 'free' and you got TV as well - with no option to drop the TV bit. Again I didn't need the extra channels streamed over the internet - I have probably watched less than half a dozen programmes from the Sky basic channels and very rarely use anything other than BBC iPlayer catchup as swmbo records everything.

In the last six months TalkTalk have increased their phone rental by 28% [from £141 for a year to £181 for a year]. They have increased the broadband+tv+anytime phone calls from £15.50 p.m. to £18.50 p.m. and raising it to £20 in June (28% increase in total). They have reduced the prompt payment discount from 15% to 10%. And in June the free local calls between TalkTalk customers is being withdrawn. And all the phone companies have a single price for landline calls outside the free package - which is going up to 11p per minute whatever time of day. It wasn't too long ago that a weekend call was 1.5p per minute.

Ofcom has at least, as I understand it, made it possible to cancel a contract without penalty if changes part way through disadvantage the customer - but the phone/broadband companies are all doing the same thing - so I may find a cheaper deal now - but in six months time it's likely to go up again. And the hassle of changing....

But how can they justify such huge price hikes - I reckon it all boils down to paying obscene prices for sports/entertainment packagesand loading the cost onto existing customers. And I also reckon BT has done this to their wholesale customers who of course have to pass the cost on

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David
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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 06 May 2015 00:26

This is interesting to me. I used to work for British telecom International (as they used to be known). This was from 1989 to 1993. Even then there was talk about all inter-UK phone calls all becoming unmetered and free by the year 2000 with all customers only paying for monthly line rental. Good news! At the time they said that all the telephone infrastructure would be in place, paid for, and maintained with the money made from the line rental, and probably other related services too I would imagine, but there was going to be this phone revolution and prices would fall.

Come 2000, this expected free, unmetered phone call thing didn't materialise. I understood this was because BT still had too much power and control over the other telecoms companies that were springing up and they wanted to make sure these companies weren't able to offer the unmetered calls as they had planned to. BT didn't want to lose the revenue.

So, this is the first I have heard about all these prices going up Dave. Very bad news. I thought they would have been coming down by now. The cost of the phone/broadband/TV packages is extortionate as it is. And now it's going to increase? The cost of living continues to shoot skyward while our incomes plummet.

I would be happy to drop TV completely, but the missus wouldn't want that. We would buy a hard drive recorder if they were cheaper and just have freeview. Problem is, Sky keep offering you 'bundle' deals which mean that if you drop any single service and retain the other two, the price rockets! It's all about control rather than choice.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by Andrew Webster,Wigan » 06 May 2015 11:23

I am on Virgin Media they have recently put there prices up £4 a month so I needed reduce the price so rang them and said I have been looking at SKY offers and I can get a recordable box for what I am paying Virgin.

So they said ok we will give you a Tivo box and they have reduced the price so I am paying less now.
I have an SD (crappy vision) PVR and wanted a HD PVR which is all I mentioned when I contacted Virgin but they wanted to give me more.
I don't watch a great deal of TV but my wife does so she can watch what she wants while I DX lol.
Come next year I will do the same unless the price stays the same.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by satnipper » 06 May 2015 13:30

"The cost of living continues to shoot skyward while our incomes plummet. "

The official UK inflation rate is zero. Of course, some things go up and others come down. Services in general seem to be increasing whilst products are falling. I paid £1,000 for a 42" plasma wide-screen 7 years ago - today a 42" LED/LCD would be around £300 if not less.

I also remember when ADSL was first introduced back in 2001 - a 2MB sub was £2,000 a year. BT has delayed and delayed introducing ADSL to protect its ISDN business.

This is the flip side of consumer choice - you have to shop around and be prepared to bargain and migrate provider.

Stuart

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 06 May 2015 13:41

Yes, very true. But we know from the money which leaves our pockets that our own financial situation is getting worse each year. Debts continue to rise and there's only so much we can do about it. What is true for some people is not true for others.

As for shopping around - we can't! Not until the contract runs out.

I understand that businesses need to protect their interests, but at what expense to the general public?

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by satnipper » 06 May 2015 13:55

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cheap-broadband

Some excellent broadband/telephony deals here. If money were tight *I* would not be paying for TV services - there are enough free channels available and you can always download stuff you really want to see; e.g. Game of Thrones.

Stuart

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 06 May 2015 14:01

Never watched an episode of Game of Thrones ans have no intention of doing. Sounds dreadful! ;) I wish they'd bring back the test card and music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtzMBSWLIJs

Thanks for the link.

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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 21 Dec 2015 13:56

Issues with our ISP, Sky, have come to a head, over and over again in 2015.

Since April we have not had 24 hour internet. Our 18 MB internet has reduced to 10 MB at best, usually falling to 7 MB at night. I know that's superfast for Skegness as, a mile or two out in the sticks, 0.5 MB is the norm.

All Sky can tell us (depending on which operator you speak to) is that our local exchange go into a constant re-boot mode overnight. This has usually been between 0100 and 0500, but the problems often start around 2300. We have internet for five minutes, then it's off for five minutes. This is not acceptable in this age and certainly not for the money we are paying.

After months of complaint, some operators seeing the problem very clearly, other operators stating there isn't a problem and that our internet has been faultless, Sky issued a replacement router, which did not solve the problem. The fault was clearly with the exchange, as confessed to by most of the operators I spoke to. A second router mysteriously appeared one day too, so I tried that. Still no improvement.

I conducted various tests on the line, as directed by Sky. They did some tests and they confirmed there was a problem.

Finally, an engineer visited and checked the line. He confirmed the same, more or less, without giving too much information. He was very helpful though and said there was a problem but it wasn't here.

Furthermore, this seems to be a very common problems, affecting everybody around here. It's a popular topic on internet forums too. Why is our internet going backwards?

Last month I gave the usual three months notice that I intended to leave Sky. Yet more of the usual nonsense followed - they gave some excuse that I had to phone back on a certain day the following week at a certain time to cancel and I would be able to leave them in March 2016. I did this. They offered more of the usual price reductions.

I insisted that no amount of their sales talk would persuade me to stay and insisted that they end my contract next year. The operator seemed to be human and intelligent enough to side with me regarding my problems, but this could still be his method of sales talk. I made it clear I was not taking any more nonsense. Within five minutes of the call he agreed to cancel the contract. I could have insisted he end it there and then but, as always with Sky, you can often end up with an offer of a better deal, which is usually worth considering - and easier than setting up with a new and equally unpredictable ISP. Sky may be the lesser of all the evils in this.

45 minutes later, the operator had found a deal which seemed to be too good to be true and it was one i was keen to take. He agreed to offer us all the usual phone and television services, plus he would upgrade is from ADSL2 to superfast fibre! Furthermore, our monthly bill would come down from £36 per month to £24 per month, with no catches. At last, a decent offer and a possible straight-forward solution.

The fibre speeds were said to be a guaranteed 36 MB, but should not be less than 41 MB for this area. I found this rather odd, as fibre is up around 100 MB these days. Perhaps this is not fibre. Anyway, today is our first day on this superfast fibre service. Downloads are running at 29.9 MB and uploads at 9 MB.

Have I been conned? I think the bill is good and the service is reasonable, if it is reliable, but something tells me this is not fibre.

What have I been conned into? I'm fairly sure this is not "fibre" as such. I didn't even have to change my modem/router. Should I expect the usual overnight losses in service? Only time will tell.

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