When those nice people at BT installed Fibre at our local cabinet, I researched the market for providers, looking at BT and all the others who could offer me a FTTC package.
After a lot of thought and comparisons, I joined IDNet 14 months ago, and for all of that time experienced rock steady speeds - with DL 37 mbps, UL 8 mbps, varying by only decimal points during that period.
IDNet's tariff charges only on the maximum peak time download per month (no charges for uploads or overnight downloading) and after a couple of months I was on the correct tariff, with a pretty steady 30GB per month usage.
Downloads were amazingly fast, and even uploading pictures to Flickr or video to YouTube never seemed too bad.
However, IDNet are not cheap. OK I know a Merc or BMW costs more than a Mondeo, but the cost was high enough that I was aware of it.
So at the end of my one year contract I looked around and found another ISP (PlusNet) with which I had good experience in a rental property I look after. After a bit of calculation, I worked out that my 30 GB usage would cost far less on PlusNet so migrated.
Now, I was really sad to leave IDNet - I had loved the helpfulness of the team and the forum, but I thought that this was a positive move.
So - why am I posting this?
Well, firstly, I found out that PlusNet charge for both UL AND DL data, so my usage was going to push me into the next tariff up. That on its own largely erased the cost saving I had planned to make.
The download speeds were good but noticeably slower than my IDNet experience too. Speed tests on various sites showed it fluctuating between 30 mbps and 35 mbps but with real peaks and dips (on a line which had been totally stable in connect speeds for over a year).
And on my first day with PlusNet there was a huge service interruption, on a day when I critically needed good access. Cue working on my iPad on my Three contract.
Then I discovered that as PlusNet profile bandwidth, if I wanted to watch Netflix or download video that was shaped unless I paid another £5 per month!
THEN I found out that PlusNet also cap UL speeds at 2mbps, and I was only getting just over 1mbps UL - so my video and image uploads were suddenly going to not only be charged but take a long, long time!
So - back to my spreadsheet and it worked out that I was actually cheaper when I was on IDNet for my usage (which is not high, really) and I would get the whole bandwidth for which I was paying - no caps or profiling!
So a rapid cancellation later, I am returning to IDNet, wiser, chastened, and very unlikely to go after "greener grass" elsewhere again without a huge amount of research and a lot of thought.
And getting the MAC code? Well, when I left IDNet, I got the code by email and text within three minutes. PlusNet want a working week to produce a simple code. They really do know how to inflame things.
Had they just accepted my (virtually immediate) cancellation I would have left quietly. But now I am really angry - I was not given the correct information on the tariff when I signed up (no mention of the upload caps or upload charging) and am being tied to an ISP I do not want to be with.