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Standard User burk
(newbie) Mon 04-Oct-10 15:28:41
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Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice users


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Since early September, I've been having serious daytime issues with Demon. I'm on their (legacy) HomeOffice 8000 ADSLMax product as our exchange isn't C&W LLU enabled. Basically from about 09:30 to 18:30 weekdays, my latency increases massively, and packet loss shoots up. From 18:00 and over weekends it's almost as good as it used to be.

I initially logged this as a fault way back in September, and have been chasing this with the abysmal Indian callcentre almost daily - all to no avail. Demon never phone back when they promise, you can never speak with anyone other than the useless drone who just reads from a script.

I have been monitoring my link with PingPlotter standard into www.demon.net (not even to an outside domain which gives worse stats), and have some cracking graphs that show as soon as 'normal business hours' start, I loose effectively 90% of my bandwidth due to high latency and lost packets - yet demon claim there is no issue.

So, today I phoned their Business Sales line as a prospective customer, and the sales guy I spoke with in Glasgow admitted that they will effectively 'chuck' Resedential and HomeOffice ADSL users off (he said their packets are discarded to make way for the business traffic) to prioritise business 8000 and business pro (and Gamer) users.

To say this is shoddy and potentially fradulent practice is an understatement. The only thing Demon have offered me is to upgrade to their Business package which will miraculously make things right, though they can't GUARANTEE this, and there is no 'cooling off' or backing out period in case it doesn't resolve the issue ... all at a price increase of an additional £20+VAT/month (total £40+VAT/month) to be locked in on another 12 month contract.

I now have a MAC - just trying to find an alternative ISP but after 15 years with Demon, it just isn't an easy decision to make. So, any suggestions anyone?
Standard User alangl52
(newbie) Wed 06-Oct-10 20:25:32
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: burk] [link to this post]
 
For many months now I've been having speed problems on Homeoffice 8000. With a good ADSL line speed (7Mbps) and decent BT Speedtester speed (3Mbps) I get 2Mbps download (ThinkBroadband and Broadband Choices end-to-end speed tests) - but only at nights and weekends. During the business day I get 0.2-0.5Mbps. After stringing me along for many weeks, the script bunnies on the Indian help desk have now asserted that, because the BT speedtest is adequate, they are unable to escalate the issue to the network engineers. I too am a 15-year customer, and I've been vary patient and understanding, but now I'm angry and frustrated.
Standard User burk
(newbie) Wed 06-Oct-10 21:04:08
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: alangl52] [link to this post]
 
Suggest you download 'PingPlotter Standard' (30 day free trial should be enough - don't go with the freeware version as it isn't as detailed) - run a constant test to www.demon.net with sampling set to 'unlimited', trace interval at 1 second and samples to include 'all'. Then set up each hop to show a timeline graph (there will only be about 8 hops) and run for 24/48 hours. The graph will show latency (round trip ping time) and also will show the number of dropped packets, both superimposed on the timeline.

It was damning in my case .... from between 08:30 to 09:30, latency would rise and packet loss increase. Some packet loss running at 40%

I logged a complaint with the ISPA (www.ispa.org.uk) on Monday 4th, and miraculously had a phone call from one of the THUS CMC techies based in the UK - he asked me to email the pingplotter traces to him which I did - my daytime packet loss has (at the moment) improved quite a lot, though latency is still quite high.

Suggest you log a complaint via ISPA (Demon are a member) and Demon then get 5 days to reply to the complaint.

I'm still not 100% convinced they have resolved my issue, but it looks more hopeful. I am considering switching to their Business Broadband package (they have given me a much reduced rate as I threatened to leave and report them to OTELO and OFCOM) as this gives you at least a UK support number - but I don't want to pull the trigger on this and be stuck with a 12 month contract until I am happy the issue on my serice is resolved.


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Standard User docn
(newbie) Sun 10-Oct-10 17:07:33
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: burk] [link to this post]
 
Similar problems here - started just under a fortnight ago. Demon blaming everyone but themselves, as usual. Speed's fine first thing in the morning (2.7mbps) but tails off as the day goes by. Afternoon/evening (including weekends) it's down to around 0.3/0.4 (ping currently 171ms).

This was once a very good ISP and now it's been trashed by Cable and Wireless.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 11-Oct-10 12:44:14
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: docn] [link to this post]
 
For almost ten years now, people have been saying Demon is going downhill - its obviously a very large hill

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User burk
(newbie) Tue 12-Oct-10 12:14:53
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
It's only when you get an issue that you realise just how bad things have got, and what a huge hill Demon are now at the bottom of!

I haven't had to phone demon support often since becoming a customer back in 1995 as mostly the 'outages' have been short-lived. I no longer use Demon SMTP service for outgoing emails as it was unreliable 6 or 7 years ago (use AuthSMTP), and havent used Demon webspace for over 10 years. I use OpenDNS for my DNS lookups since Demon DNS servers started acting up, so I only really use them as my carrier.

Demon used to be truly unlimited, now it's a measly 60Gb - even BT Option 3 is 300Gb. They won't use BT Wholesale for ADSL2+ so you have to have a C&W LLU exchange to benefit from this technology, and it appears they now prioritise business and games traffic to the detriment of their cheap (hardly considering what you can get elsewhere) HomeOffice package. And as for their 'technical support' ... I mean, I have never agreed with offshoring as a principle, but their Indian callcentre is truly something else. Think 'phonejacker' and you'll be starting off along the right lines.

As I see it, the only benefit now is their free (included) Fax to Email service and a static IP address, but ISP's such as BE/O2, ZEN etc all offer this too. Oh, and of course the real biggie of the nightmare and angst of changing your email address after 15 years
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 12-Oct-10 12:30:57
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: burk] [link to this post]
 
Was lucky had a free domain as part of the year 2000 ADSL trials, and was able to move domain away when I left in 2001 or was it 2002 - hard to remember. Had been with Demon since 95 prior to that.

My advice is get a domain name that is independent of ISP for email, or is at least portable, and use that. Looks a lot better for business, I find that plumbers vans with fred.plumber@yahoo.co.uk just seem too tacky.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User RobertoS
(legend) Wed 13-Oct-10 11:24:34
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: burk] [link to this post]
 
I suggest if you are seriously thinking of a new ISP, you ask in the Which ISP? (Residential) or (Business) forum.

Details of your line stats (see here for help) and expected download/upload amounts would be very useful when you ask.

As MrSaffron says, ISP-independent email (and web hosting) is a good idea. That could be set up immediately and the transfers done while you ponder. You can also continue to read the Demon emails al least until you leave, to ensure you haven't missed notifying anyone that matters.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - O2 Standard.
Standard User alangl52
(newbie) Thu 14-Oct-10 15:14:45
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: burk] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the tip. Pingplotter shows that the latency is tolerable, but the packet loss rate is worrying (30-40% at times). Oh, and the throughput gets slower and slower.
Surprisingly, it also shows that occasionally the latency from my laptop to my Speedtouch 585 router (3ft away over Ethernet cable) can get up to 400ms!
Standard User k3nnyc
(newbie) Thu 21-Oct-10 18:51:38
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Re: Demon prioritising traffic at expense of HomeOffice user


[re: alangl52] [link to this post]
 
I've also complained to Demon about the HomeOffice service, they definitely prioritise the traffic at the expense of HomeOffice users, the sales guy I spoke to was quite happy to admit it.

I've also done a latency test using pingplotter. Ping to www.demon.net for me is averaging ~160ms during the day then around 6pm it drops to ~35ms.

You would be better off either moving ISP completely or at least switch to one of the Business products (e.g. Business 2+). Contention ratio is 1:20 for the business products compared to 1:50 for the HomeOffice plus obviously the Business product has priority during the day.

I've been with Demon close on 10 years now and service just gets worse as time goes by, also the "helpdesk" in India is utterly dire! One more point, they never tell you the product price is going down, I am currently paying £22.99/month for HomeOffice 2+, I could get Business 2+ for less if I took out a new contract!!
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