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Standard User Freo
(learned) Tue 29-Apr-14 21:29:14
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How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from O2


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I had O2 Broadband. It never dropped once in nearly 2 years, it was always my max speed, even at peak times (20Mbit), it never lagged or had any issues. They just took my direct debit each month, and in exchange I received reliable internet. Everyone's happy. But apparently O2 weren't happy, and they sold their broadband to Sky.

Is what they offered just impossible and unmaintainable? I get the impression the home broadband market is primarily price-oriented, and the companies just try to outdo each other on price, and they all provide a bad service as a result. I saw the other day Plusnet are offering broadband for £1.99 per month now - it's getting ridiculous. Bandwidth requirements have gone up, but prices are still dropping. The exchanges are oversubscribed, but consumers seem to still buy primarily on price and nothing else, so that's what the providers cater to. I also miss the times when you didn't have to also switch your phone line over to your broadband provider. It seems that's one of the ways they recoup their money now.

Anyway, I digress. This has been my Sky Broadband experience:

- Get an email telling me that I'll be told when I will be switched over in advance (along with how much I'll be paying etc.) so that I have time to switch. It said that I would not need to get Sky TV or Sky Talk and they'll try to offer me a package at the same price or less. It also said I'll receive a welcome pack. Over 1 year later, having received nothing at all in the post and no emails, I get switched over.
- Get charged £30 (previously was paying around £12). The only way I know is by text, which tells me I can check my bill on some URL.
- That URL requires me to log in, but I don't have an account and have had no instructions whatsoever.
- To use their contact form I also need an account.
- To phone them I have to pay because I don't have Sky Talk.
- I manage to get hold of an email address and write a complaint to ask them what's going on.
- Receive a reply explaining that I am paying a supplement for not having Sky TV and a supplement for not having Sky Talk. This is outrageous. I don't understand how this got past Ofcom. I have to pay for not having something? How is that a thing? I guess they really REALLY want people to get Sky TV, since you will pay either way. The thing is, I don't have a TV. It feels really unfair.
- I was charged for the next month as well because they're changing the billing date (without telling me, what if they caused me to go overdrawn?). But I discovered that my broadband is half price for a year, which means my monthly amount actually works out to be around £12. If it hadn't been, I would have left them on the spot.
- I still haven't received anything by post or anything with an account number on it, and the reply to my complaint didn't explain how I can view my bill or get an account, so I've still been unable to do that.

But regardless of the terrible switchover process and lack of communication, the worst thing is that my service has become much worse.

There have been a few drops, but I'm really frustrated that my speed has become much slower and highly variable. At 3am I might still be able to get my old 20Mbit, but most of the time I get around 10Mbit now. The upload has gone from over 1Mbit to mostly about 300Kbit/s. At peak times my download speed slows right down to below 1Mbit/sec and I am unable to stream things like iPlayer. It buffers every 10 seconds, which basically makes it unwatchable.

I guess I am sharing with all the Sky people now and it's massively oversubscribed. But if I can't stream iPlayer then I am not receiving the service that I pay for. Right now, I would even be willing to pay extra just to go back to what I had before: broadband that always works and is never slow. It's kind of sad that I've been reduced to wanting to pay more just to get what I had before. But when I look around, I see everyone offering super cheap broadband and I think it'll just be more of the same.

My contract for where I live doesn't end for another year, and at that point I think I'll move to a fibre area. Does fibre suffer less from congestion?
Standard User nredwood
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 30-Apr-14 01:16:50
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: Freo] [link to this post]
 
Very similar forced migration here from BE

No texts or emails apart from an email with my IP address details and a couple of letters

One of the letters appears to have had the critical information about charges for now having Sky TV or Sky Talk missing. Similar for many others

I knew the migration had happened only after I lost connection on BE

Luckily I remembered I'd had another letter. Opened it and it had my migration date

Re: connection, stats etc

Sky use DLM (Dynamic Line Management) to train your line to the optimal speed. This can last up to 20 days but usually lasts no more than 10 days. It's best to restart or power cycle the router when DLM is running
DLM may cause your connection to have restarts or reyncs usually during the night,

In my case, my stats were pretty much the same 5 mins after I was connected to 22 days later. No resyncs, restarts or anything notable to indicate any DLM was running

I had however noticed a much higher upstream SNR at 9b that the 6db I had on BE. This resulted in a lower upstream speed around 800kbps compared to 1300kbps on BE

My downstream SNR on SKy is 6db as it was on BE
On BE, I had around 9600kbps and on Sky around 9200kbps

I've since discovered the equipment in the exchange I'm connected to is as compatible with the router I have from BE which I it was said would work fine with Sky. It connects fine, but I have a slower connection now

I was offered a Skyhub, but declined as I would have then been locked into a 12 month contract with Sky instead of having no contract presently

The Pro support on the forums or via chat is OK

I'm looking elsewhere but if I do stay with Sky it will be for about 6 mins as that is when my 2nd phone line contract runs out and I can cancel altogether

Be* Unlimited
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 30-Apr-14 10:19:32
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: nredwood] [link to this post]
 
presume you meant don't switch off the modem a lot during the main DLM phase.

While the major part happens in the first few weeks, have seen the Sky system tweak over a longer period, and the usual SNR margin rules do not always apply, as they have been seen to use power back off if a line is capped, so SNR Margin may not be an absolute guide.

With Be you had a provider who had tweaked the DSLAM to within an inch of its life and tried to run a low latency network too. Sky is much more suited to stability rather than raw speed, i.e. reducing support calls

In terms of stability lots of Sky users will probably attest to the view the Sky Hub devices are slow on the wireless side but very stable devices for the ADSL side of things.

For those with big swings between peak and off peak, varies greatly from area to area and always double check for a big sports event that people might be streaming.

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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Standard User johnnycab
(regular) Thu 01-May-14 13:35:50
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: nredwood] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by nredwood:
The Pro support on the forums or via chat is OK

I generally agree with regards to the erratic correspondence after having had a similar experience. I have been with Sky for almost exactly 2 weeks today and found my connection swaying wildly over the course of first 7-10 days. Although, the speeds have stabilised somewhat close to the previous connection with BE. However, there are resets/reconnects happening on a daily basis and the connection stats change on every occasion; albeit close to the previous speeds and noise margin.

In my limited experience, one of the worst so far has been of their forums and the supposed help they provide in form of a 'community' with so many different products. Even where the sections are categorised; the 'co-ordinators' still use a scatter-gun approach to resolve problems, with most of them providing no solution or litter it with patronising remarks, added with a zeal to close these queries/threads almost instantly. IMO, this attitude is not just bad manners or ineptitude but masks the disdain they hold for some of their newer 'migrated' customers.

I still have a few issues remaining that need to be resolved and will most probably use this rolling-contract-free period to evaluate what Sky have to offer and how their service differs from what I was receiving @BE and how quickly I can resolve some of these problems.
Standard User Brian49
(regular) Thu 01-May-14 14:38:11
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: Freo] [link to this post]
 
A similar experience here. In addition, the Sky engineers managed to disconnect my phone line at the exchange while putting me onto their network, so I had to call in BT to sort it out.

Downstream connection speed is adequate at 18 meg, but I could consistently get over 21 meg with O2 as I have a good line and am fairly close to the exchange. I can't even use my Broadcom-based router to tweak the noise margin at my end, as the profile set by Sky overrides my router settings. Their policy is to impose a minimum noise margin of 6dB, whereas O2 was prepared to move it down to 3dB in suitable circumstances.

The people on the Sky support line try their best to be helpful, but I can't seem to get them to understand that I don't just want an adequate speed, I want the highest speed the line will sustain without dropping.

Alternatives are thin on the ground; essentially it's down to BT, TalkTalk or Virgin. I'd like a fibre connection, but although my exchange is enabled for it, my street isn't, and BT can't tell me when it will be, or indeed if it ever will be. Virgin is ready to provide a cable service, but my house is off the street so installation would mean digging up my garden and driveway. Ah well!
Standard User Freo
(learned) Sat 12-Jul-14 15:33:14
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: Freo] [link to this post]
 
I finally received my first bill from Sky today (the £30 one from months ago). It had been sent to my parents' address! I don't understand how they have managed this. I have not lived with my parents for over 7 years. I have never given O2 my parents address OR Sky. My parents do have Sky and we share a surname, so perhaps it's some kind of mix up on their behalf? I wonder what other correspondence I've missed due to it being sent to the wrong address. It's no wonder I've had no idea what's been going on.

I'm lucky that my parents still live there as they've been trying to move for the last 2 years. But at least now I have a letter from Sky with my customer account number on it, so I can register for MySky.

I'm pleased to say my connection has settled down a bit now. Whilst it is still a couple of MBit slower than it used to be, it's not as slow as it was during the switchover. I still occasionally have to buffer when streaming Netflix (particularly at peak times).

The building where I live are getting hyperoptic.com 1Gbit fibre to the building, so fingers crossed that it's sooner rather than later. Then I will be able to ditch Sky and enjoy truly super fast broadband.

Edited by Freo (Sat 12-Jul-14 15:34:29)

Standard User Stevenage_Neil
(member) Sat 12-Jul-14 15:48:17
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: Freo] [link to this post]
 
Sky this, Sky that........Isn't the real question "Why did O2/Be sell out"?

My suggestion would be that they had an unsustainable business plan and got out before customer service deteriorated.

I suspect what you are seeing now is "the real world".

Edited by Stevenage_Neil (Sat 12-Jul-14 15:49:15)

Standard User Oliver341
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 12-Jul-14 16:09:00
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: Stevenage_Neil] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Stevenage_Neil:
Sky this, Sky that........Isn't the real question "Why did O2/Be sell out"?

Telefonica tried to get the numbers but it didn't happen. If Sky had only managed 600,000 customers and O2 managed 3 million, we'd have seen the deal go the other way.

Oliver.
Standard User Stevenage_Neil
(committed) Sat 12-Jul-14 16:10:59
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: Oliver341] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Oliver341:
Telefonica tried to get the numbers but it didn't happen. If Sky had only managed 600,000 customers and O2 managed 3 million, we'd have seen the deal go the other way.


Totally agree, but why bash Sky?
Standard User Oliver341
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 12-Jul-14 16:15:35
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Re: How can Sky provide such a bad service? Transferred from


[re: Stevenage_Neil] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Stevenage_Neil:
Totally agree, but why bash Sky?

I don't. It's just how business works.

Oliver.
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