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Standard User eponym
(newbie) Mon 17-Feb-14 22:07:54
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Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/cisas


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I have been advised by my ISP that it is not worth referring a performance related problem to ofcom/cisas as the ISP has a 'deadlock' with BTW. While I could ask for compensation nothing will be done that could improve performance due to the deadlock situation.

It seems a bit strange as surely the ombudsman type services are in place to mediate in such matters and if the ISP's suppliers are not included in any arbitration process there is little point in them pursuing issues on behalf of consumers.

Can anyone confirm that this is the case?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 17-Feb-14 22:14:15
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: eponym] [link to this post]
 
Specifics of the case will be needed, but as your contract is with the retailer not the wholesaler then if the retailer cannot meet the contracted speeds/conditions and wholesaler refuses to play then the usual remedy is to let you leave.

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 eponym
(newbie) Mon 17-Feb-14 23:01:25
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Andrew, many thanks for the response.

So, given that my contract is with the ISP and not their suppliers, all the ombudsman can do is to require the ISP to take specified action, but if the ISP's suppliers decide not to cooperate, the ombudsman can only suggest that the consumer leaves?

I imagine that, as BTW/OR have a near monopoly on the delivery side, there is little an ISP can do to persuade them to collaborate in providing a reasonable service, so if the ombudsman is not able to intervene further the customer will inevitably lose out.

That does not sound too encouraging.


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 17-Feb-14 23:11:20
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: eponym] [link to this post]
 
A lot depends on the actual problem, a great many problems are resolved once the right people in an ISP or the wholesaler finally get to hear about the issue and solve it quickly.

BT Wholesale only has a monopoly in around 4% of UK households.

Without knowing the issue its impossible to say either

1. Save the hassle and switch providers
2. Pursue it further

ISP live to avoid ADR because it costs them money even if they do win.

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 ian72
(knowledge is power) Tue 18-Feb-14 10:04:32
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: eponym] [link to this post]
 
One thing you have to consider is that BTW (or anyone else) are not required to provide you with a broadband service of any type. Therefore if it is not economical for them to provide the quality/speed of service you want then they are within their rights to refuse to supply - and no-one has the powers to make them.

All BTW have to do is provide you with a voice line capable of supporting dial up modem capabilities.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 18-Feb-14 10:49:28
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
Or to be even blunter

What does your contract say your committed bit rate for the service is?

99.9% chance it is not mentioned, as consumer broadband services are so cheap they cannot afford to guarantee speeds.

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 eponym
(newbie) Tue 18-Feb-14 12:37:14
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Andrew , you suggested that a summary of the issue may be useful. I have kept it as succinct as possible.

When my FTTC connection was enabled last year the download speed was 68% lower than the estimate. I raised this as a fault with my ISP who in turn raised it with BTW/OR.

Following a series of visits by OR engineers probable causes for the low performance were suggested and then dropped (eg REIN, aluminium wiring) before it was established that a line length of 1400 metres from the cabinet was the prime reason. The engineers suggested that a speed of 15-20 Mbps was probably the limit.

It was suggested that the condition of the local wiring was suspect and various engineers tested, remade joints and swapped pairs. This resulted at first in a further decrease in upload speed to 7.5 Mbps and then a welcome increase to 16 Mbps.

I was happy with the 16 Mbps but an attempt was then made on 20 November to improve my upload speed which had been around 0.5 Mbps since connection. This resulted in a drop in down speed to 12 Mbps (and no improvement in upload speed) where it has remained for the past 3 months.

I have endeavored to get my ISP to arrange for the adjustments made on the 20 November to be reversed but it would appear that there are no records of any adjustments having been made.

I have been reasonably happy with my ISP for the past 10 years, however, the support service has been unable to cope with the level of demand during the past six months, as indicated by numerous posts on their forum. This initially lead to me dealing with 12 different people with no progress. When the fault was eventually passed to the complaints team it rapidly became clear that the poor chap handling my case was absolutely swamped and was unable to give it the necessary level of commitment. When it became evident that the issue needed to be escalated it became evident that the ISP's senior management were unwilling to have anything to do with customers or their problems.

Communications between the ISP, BTW and OR have been abysmal. The ISP has repeatedly had to struggle to find someone willing to carry out tasks and then it has often been necessary to repeat the requests several times to obtain any action. Communications are particularly bad within OR as the engineers apparently now rarely keep notes of their actions. This resulted in each visiting engineer having to waste hours duplicating the tests carried out during previous visits. I started to ask the engineers to give me a summary of their work and kept my own notes to pass on to the next engineer which did seem to be quite useful.

Yesterday an engineer visited and following some lengthy checks discovered that changing ports at the cabinet resulted in significantly higher output and he asked for the necessary remote switching to be carried out. This was refused as BTW had apparently decided that no further work was to be carried out on my line.

My ISP have now emailed me to say that nothing more would be done and suggested that either I change to another ISP or refer the matter to CISAS.
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Tue 18-Feb-14 12:48:55
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: eponym] [link to this post]
 
Change ISP.


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Standard User eponym
(newbie) Tue 18-Feb-14 12:55:18
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Andrew

Whilst I originally attempted to seek an improvement in the large disparity between the estimated and delivered performance I soon realised that 30 Mbps was completely out of the question due to line length and was happy with the 16 Mbps that was delivered for five weeks until the 20 November.

It is a return to this performance I have been looking for. I have completely given up on an improvement on the 0.5 Mbps upload speed.

I understand that the 16 Mbps is not contractually enforceable. All I have said is that as they were able to deliver 16 Mbps for five weeks it is not unreasonable to ask for it to be delivered now.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 18-Feb-14 12:55:28
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Re: Not worth referring refer performance problem to ofcom/c


[re: eponym] [link to this post]
 
If the line distance is really 1400 metres, then yes downstream of 15-20 Mbps is to be expected.
Upstream speed wise something around 4 to 6 Mbps.

Local conditions could easily mean it is less and there be little that Openreach can do, apart from running thicker copper cable to the property.

Changing ISP is not likely to improve the line, since it will still be the same line to the cabinet. So question then is what do you hope as a positive outcome from the ADR?

Annoying, but not sure what else can be done, ISP seems to have arranged engineer visits, but if the line length is what they say, then you are getting reasonable speeds.

So unless the ISP sold the connection on a guaranteed speed that was higher, then there is no comeback.

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.
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