Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 22 Dec 2015 12:37

41 MB? Down to 28 MB today! Should have come to a complete standstill by January 19th. :lol:

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

Post by Julian Hardstone » 22 Dec 2015 15:25

'Fibre' normally runs as far as the local roadside equipment cabinet, with your normal wire cable bringing it into the home
I think you can expect a settling period during which the speed may vary, but it should come good soon.
Hope so: we changed to BT Infinity a few weeks ago and the speed immediately increased 10 times to 30+MBPS but I haven't checked it since

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

Post by Julian Hardstone » 22 Dec 2015 16:43

Tested again with BT speed test: it has improved slightly, now 37MBS download, 8M up, which is fine for our uses. On the internet most delays are now at the server end - eg 123-reg :(

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 22 Dec 2015 18:06

Thanks for this Julian.

When I have changed internet in the past, the provider has always clipped the speed and I have had to complain. The speed has always been increased when I have done this. It was 3 MB when we moved to Sky. I complained it was still slower than the 'guaranteed' 12 MB. They immediately increased it to 18 MB.

I am uploading and downloading furiously at the moment so they hopefully increase my speed to the maximum. I know that low users will have their speeds cut, so they can offer the higher speeds to those who use them. Seems fair to me. Problem is I am starting to upload and download the same files now.

The speed has now increased to 37.4 MB on the download and 9.3 on the upload. It's more than I really need, but the main thing is the reliability - far more important than being superfast.

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 22 Dec 2015 18:40

After a few bits of minor tweaking I am now getting 39.9 MB. Let's hope this proves to be constant.

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 11 Jan 2017 19:50

It's that dreaded time of year when the contract comes to an end and we are forced to examine our internet/TV/phone options.

This year, Sky are not able to give us any good offers and prices have almost trebled! We are considering dropping our landline. The TV has already been cancelled, otherwise the monthly outlay for these services will more than double and I cannot justify paying £50+ for basic TV, phone and 36 MB fibre. This seems to be the going rate though.

Virgin are out of the question as they do not serve this area.

The cheapest option we have found is Talk Talk, a company I have heard nothing good about, but they are cheaper than the competition. My fear is that we are going to get some BT type 'home hub' or router which emits RF across the bands. Does anybody have any knowledge about this from Talk Talk?

We may opt for a Kodi box for TV. Again, my concern is about RF/QRM.

Any info on RF or other providers I may not have considered would be welcome.

Thanks.

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

Post by daveB » 13 Jan 2017 10:05

The router I've got from TalkTalk is for ADSL2 - made by Huawei - there is no sign of interference.

Apart from the hacking incident I've not had any problems with them which aren't common to most big utility companies eg answering the phone and overseas call centres operating from a fixed script.
When the router broke down ages ago I had to insist on speaking to a manager as the script she was working from was totally irrelevant - that sorted it on 5 minutes!

For me it is Car Insurance that is the bug-bear. Last year I had to let my insurance lapse and take out a new policy with the same insurer to get a competitive rate. It's more than unbelievable that they are willing to go through all the rigmarole of raising a new policy rather than match the price on their existing policy. Then there is always the worry that you might not have got like for like.

I wonder how much they add to their costs, and our bills, by all their messing about.

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 13 Jan 2017 12:51

Thanks Dave.

Will try and post in more detail later. The army are evacuating us.

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 14 Jan 2017 00:22

Thanks again David.

The flood risk has now passed. We decided to stick it out. All signs were that the flooding would not be as severe as forecast. We had a telephone message advising us to evacuate the area as flooding was *expected*, But the storm surge peaked two hours before high tide. The winds were not as severe as forecast either, plus they arrived several hours later than forecast, so the morning surge didn't materialise. A worrying day though.

So, good news on the interference, or lack of. Talk Talk were probably the last company I would have chosen, but their pricing is reasonable and not everybody has problems with them. It's always a risk, no matter who you go with.

We are tempted to stick with our 36 MB fibre, but 17 MB ADSL2 is quite adequate for anything we would use. It's the upload speed which is poor - 2MB on ADSL2 and 9.5 MB on fibre.

At least I discovered that I could provide my own router if theirs caused QRM. An expensive fix perhaps but a last ditch possibility to get out of a noisy situation.

I have experienced the very same thing with car insurance. It must be done for a reason.

Our annual renewal with Sky reached new lows this year. And that's not to mention the ridiculous price increases. I think they were trying to recuperate the money they would have made had the last 'agent' not put us on a really cheap tariff - something he apparently got into trouble for.

My biggest bug-bear is with the energy companies. We have never enjoyed a pleasant or simple experience with any of them. I always have a case running with the ombudsman and nothing ever gets sorted in the long-term. They all extract the urine. First Utility have been a nightmare. Bailiffs visiting us for money we don't even owe because we are fully up-to-date, etc.

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

Post by daveB » 14 Jan 2017 22:32

I'm glad you didn't get affected by the storm - I was thinking about your location earlier that evening when watching the news.

Having to constantly chase after 'a good deal' is just annoying and it is wearing me down! After 15 yrs with Scottish Power - during which time their deals were competitive, I had to change to avoid a huge price hike. Sainsbury's were cheap and assured me that it was a new customer offer. A year late I has to switch to Eon. The renewal came up - and again a huge price hike. So I started looking around, there were a few 'cheaper' suppliers but some, such as OVO and Coop energy weren't that much cheaper than say nPower. Another failed my 'acid test' - not answering the phone after a 10 minute delay. Then Eon came up with a new offer for existing customers a £100 e-code to swop for £100 worth of on-line vouchers with various retailers which effectively makes them the cheapest deal. Honestly - I'd rather have cheaper energy - but I do want a couple of items that I could use the voucher on (eg a 2nd external hard drive for the wav files) and as the retailers include have long expiry dates of the gift vouchers I won't lose out.

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

Post by daveB » 24 Jan 2017 14:26

Ha! I've managed to come out better off with the new TalkTalk offers. Yonks ago when had been with them for a while they decided to re-engineer their offers so you HAD to pay for TV in with the broadband - it wasn't a price increase as such. So I had to take the free YouView HD recorder box which included Sky1 and a few other channels. I think we've watched Sky1 twice since then. That contract period ended - and I own the box. Now the latest shuffle means you pay for Broadband and connection (£22.95) and buy add-ons including the TV entertainment package which I could have for a discounted £8.00 pm. Don't need it - all I need is their Supersafe boost (£2 pm to cover eight devices) and their anytime calls (£7.50 pm). So I'm paying £32.45 for the package instead of around £37.00 with the previous contract which would rise to £40.45 late in the year.

The anytime calls package has been upgraded to include calls to UK mobiles. And the package itself entitles you to a free SIM with 500Mb data, 200 minutes talk and unlimited texts.
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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 24 Jan 2017 16:03

That's right. The offers TalkTalk have are very tempting. They always have been. But their reputation suffered a few years ago thanks to their shoddy service. They were notorious for it. I'm hearing that they have cleaned up their act a little. I also know a few people who use TalkTalk and they've never had a problem, which would seem to back that up.

Sky were very keen to inform me how superior they are to TalkTalk and that I should avoid them because they are useless and won't provide me with a reliable service!!! This was when I was ping-ponging backwards and forwards between Sky and TalkTalk on the phone recently. I challenged this and reminded Sky how useless they have been over the last few years regarding several aspects of their service. Not to mention them charging me £86 randomly when it should have been £20 (when we first joined them).

I have spent hours on the phone thanks to this ping-ponging and it's not over yet! Sky are still trying to undercut TalkTalk, offering me more services for less money. Then I go back to TalkTalk and they do the same. This constant undercutting can only go so far and Sky bucked first, though they did keep trying. It's all resulted in a nice deal with TalkTalk of £30 per month, 24 years contract (Which stinks. There shouldn't be any contracts.), unlimited 'Anytime' phone package which includes 0845 and 0870 and unlimited calls to mobiles 'anytime' (The usual one hour duration, hang up and redial to avoid charges still exists.), 40 MB broadband (10 MB upload), basic TV channels with box, record, pause, etc., a waiving of the £50 installation fee and no price increases for two years!

Sky said they would undercut the £30, but realised that they couldn't/weren't prepared to.

I need to phone TalkTalk to confirm this £30 deal still stands as I honestly can't remember where I am in all of this. i.e. with Sky or TalkTalk, so a couple more phone calls are necessary.

Our initial plan was to have just the fibre and basic phone package, which came to £27 per month, then get a Kodi box, but the recent crackdown on the use of these boxes for the illegal downloading of films has put me off. I know the boxes themselves are completely legal, but I can't say that we wouldn't accidentally download the odd film or two. :oops: 8-) ;) Funny how these Cease & Desist letters they are sending out coincide with the price increases companies like BT, Sky, Virgin, etc. are about to introduce. B'tards! Don't they already make enough money out of us? And they call us scroungers! It's pure greed.

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 24 Jan 2017 19:14

Hopefully this post will help me let off steam following two very frustrating calls to TalkTalk. Neither of which have actually got me anywhere other than back to square 1.

Today, I received a letter from TalkTalk to advise me that my direct debit had been set up. This letter was also supposed to give me a full breakdown of costs and the services they were going to provide. It didn't. It simply said that the direct debit had been set up with my bank, but no payment amounts or dates were given. Time to phone them.

The (South African) operator was unhelpful. All I got were 'salutations', as we used to call them at BT. He read from the book. There was no indication that he was a real human being.

The first thing he told me was that my TalkTalk account had been cancelled, even though he confirmed that the direct debit was in place. He assured me that no money was going to be taken. Hmm. So, I have a direct debit and no services. From this point, I knew it was all downhill, even though this call started right down there at the very bottom.

Thinking about my last call to TalkTalk, I remember very clearly that everything was set up for their services to commence at the beginning of February. I had completed the Voice Recognition system that you have to do as a new customer.

Another thing: He also informed me that the "Cease" on my line had not been lifted. This was necessary so I could transfer my phone number to TalkTalk. I had to phone Sky to ask them to lift the Cease. Sky told me they had already done this. Nice one Sky! (Sky didn't even let me transfer my old number when we moved just a few hundred yards to a new property three years ago!)

So, time to start everything again from scratch. Try as I did, I found it hard not to raise my voice to the operator. He would not listen to a word I said. He ignored all the details I gave him concerning the fact that a contract had already been set up and a price agreed. You've guessed it, my £30 per month suddenly became £65 for the same. He wasn't bending. Or listening!

I hung up.

Two minutes later, he phoned back. He said there was a misunderstanding on their part and that the £30 would still stand. He needed to go through the terms and conditions of the contract once again so it could be set back up. 30 minutes later, the £65 price re-emerged. There was not going to be any £30 contract. I had to get even firmer with him. I have him an ultimatum and told him to check those "recorded calls so we can keep improving our services", find the last conversation I had with TalkTalk which included details of the £30 contract and call me back to set it up again, otherwise I was not interested. He said he would and that he would phone me back tomorrow. I won't hold my breath.

So, in a little over a week we are going to lose our phone, our internet and our TV. I don't know what there is I can do about it, but I will not pay through the nose for the services we have enjoyed for the last few years.

Do people in other countries have the same problems? Is it just a 'British' thing? I suspect not. The annoying thing is that these kind of things happen not just with our internet/TV/phone providers, but with gas and electricity suppliers, water companies, mobile phone providers, etc. The list goes on.

:evil:

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

Post by satnipper » 24 Jan 2017 22:29

Just a point. With kodi you are streaming material - not downloading as in there is no copy of the "offending" file on your device. AFAIK streaming is legal in the UK.

Stuart

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 25 Jan 2017 00:38

I don't know how that stands legally Stuart, but I think I have heard this argument before. Thanks for this. However, when you are supposed to pay for streaming of these films, the streaming must still be illegal if you haven't paid to do so. This is why ISPs are sending out the letters.

I suppose I am somewhere in the middle when it comes to piracy. I suspect most of us are. I don't condone piracy, but I'm not completely against it either. I have always bought my own Windows software and a fair amount of other software over the years, VAC being one of the most recent, but I genuinely believe it often helps *some* of the industries concerned. I am also a strong supporter of buying local and supporting the smaller business. Two wrongs don't make a right though. The other 'wrong' being the unfathomably immense profits made by large corporations at our expenses.

I witnessed some of my own work getting pirated a few years ago when I discovered a neighbour was copying and selling some of my own work and selling it for his own financial gain. It did not bother me one bit. I would have been a hypocrite had I reported him. It wasn't for me to drop him in it. I knew of his circumstances and people sometimes have to make ends meet in the only way they can.

There we go. I just rambled again, this time attempting to excuse myself for downloading films illegally while trying to make out what a nice guy I am. :lol:

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 26 Jan 2017 14:20

I could go on. I probably shouldn't, but this saga is going from bad to worse and I am documenting this.

Predictably, TalkTalk did not return my call. I phoned back yesterday evening. The call lasted just over an hour.

The operator was very helpful and understanding this time. She explained that my contract had been cancelled because Sky would not lift the Cease on the line. It would have helped had they let me know this. Instead, I just assumed everything was "go" for February 3rd. I even received a letter stating that the direct debit had been set up successfully. Good job I phoned again.

So, was I still going to be able to get them to stick to the £30 per month deal they had previously set up? YES! However, the £30 deal had finished, so I couldn't have it now, yet I could still have it. What I had to do was agree verbally, over the phone, to accept the standard fees for the services we would be taking. The cost of these would be £44. The, I had to phone back when the services go live on February 9th now (Grrrr!) and the £30 discount would be put back. ??? VERY odd. Should I take the risk? Should I trust them? I know the answer, but I decided to go ahead, nonetheless. I have thought things through as carefully as I can, plus there is also a cooling off period which takes us towards the end of February.

So we are now going to be offline for a week, thanks to their cock-up.

In the meantime, I am going to call Sky and see if they can still come in with something reasonable. I do not like Sky. I don't like any of these companies. But it makes sense to stay with the evil we already know, despite their failures.

Oh yes, during the conversation with the operator at TalkTalk, she informed me that my details will not be passed to any third party for marketing purposes. I'm just wondering if this morning's call from somebody called "RS", asking me if I had been having any problems with my internet or phone service was a result of my dealings with TalkTalk.

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

Post by daveB » 26 Jan 2017 15:03

No doubt you will be asking Sky why they refused to lift the Cease.
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Re: Changing ISP/Landline/TV Provider - Some Questions

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 28 Jan 2017 13:59

I did! Yesterday evening. Two more phone calls = almost another hour.

Sky said they did not lift the Cease, but TalkTalk took over control of the line, so Sky had no power to do anything with the number. That's not what TalkTalk OR Sky said the other day. They are making this up as they go along - or are simply working to a different plan, whatever that might be.

So, after being promised that we could keep our number, we have now been given a new one and definitely cannot keep the current number. Why?

As things stood, TalkTalk were taking over on February 9th and Sky were disconnecting on February 3rd. Now it seems Sky are continuing their service until February 9th. Now I'm sure they should have told me this as they have extended the contract without me knowing about it, albeit just for six days. I can't say I am disappointed to find that we are not going to be without services, but wouldn't it have been the done thing to have informed me?

I am getting a step closer to involving OFCOM. What should I do?

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 29 Jan 2017 16:09

Continuing in the fascinating drama called "The Day I Switched To TalkTalk":

I just saw my first month's bill. Not £30, but £111.50! I wasted even more of my life with yet another phone call to TalkTalk. This time the call lasted 45 minutes, bringing the total amount of life wasted on the phone to TalkTalk and Sky this month to 10 hours!

There was an additional £67 fee for the engineer which I wasn't told about. Nice! I challenged this as we hadn't been informed about this one. Nobody was budging again. The operator checked with the TalkTalk Loyalty Team to see if an offer had been put in place. It hadn't! No record of the £30 per month deal existed. I asked to cancel.

Then I asked to cancel again as the operator was not listening to me, yet again. I raised my voice, at which point he told me he was going to end the call, so I was forced to listen to the endless spiel for yet another time. He insisted on putting me through to the "Loyalty Team" as my custom was SO valuable to TalkTalk and oh how I was assured that the Loyalty Team had been working SO HARD to get me the lowest possible deal. It was not inconceivable that there was now a John Faulkner department at TalkTalk HQ!

So I was forced to go through to the Loyalty Team. On it goes! I am losing the will to live. The chirpy female voice I heard next lifted my spirits a little. Especially when she said that she would record the deal on their system and give me her name and an offer reference number. Hmm. Should I trust them? We both decided that we should give it a go. This sounded more convincing.

The only condition of getting this offer is that we strictly MUST phone the Loyalty Team on one of two dates next month to request the offer. If we don't, the offer will not stand and the monthly £30 increases to £44. Oh yes - we also MUST have the Entertainment Booth for one month at an additional £8 in order to qualify for this offer.

THIS IS QUITE NORMAL in the everyday world of paying for many kinds of services in the UK. How did we get to this stage? Why can't we live in a world of fixed prices, without the need for complicated deals? Energy companies are even more complicated.

And all this is because of our determination to leave Sky due to their enormous price increases. We were just about resigned to the fact that we would have to continue to fund that poor Mr Murdoch. I mean, he can't be well off anymore if he has to put prices up this much. Can he?

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

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 04 Feb 2017 01:14

So, right on cue, as expected, Sky have disconnected or phone line, SIX days ahead of schedule.

TalkTalk didn't deliver our new router either.

Ho hum! Mind you, I didn't expect a UK company to actually get things right. When does that ever happen?

I expect the internet will follow suit any minute. Useless twunts!

// Edit: I phoned Sky on my mobile. They said everything *should* still be connected until the 9th. They did a line test - it tested OK. Then the phone started working again. Funny! :twisted:

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