General Discussion
  >> Which ISP? (Residential)


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.


Pages in this thread: 1 | 2 | (show all)   Print Thread
Standard User BigAde
(newbie) Mon 21-Jul-14 11:24:41
Print Post

ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[link to this post]
 
Hi everyone,
I'm getting a little confused with what to do here, so would appreciate any advice.

Was with ADSL24 for a few years, but since they were taken over by Coms, the service has gone downhill and I'm consequently looking at a switch.

Presently use BT for line rental together with TalkTalk as a CPS on the line. Also user 18185 for the odd mobile call when we remember to use it. BT is around £18 a month with line rental and caller display, TalkTalk is anything from £10 to £50 for calls. Mixed daytime, mobile, evening and weekend calls. 18185 is less than £5/month typically.

I live literally 50 yards from the Exchange, so get 16-20 Mbps on ADSL2+. Exchange has been fibre enabled recently, but because I'm very close to the Exchange, I'm on an Exchange Only (EO) line, so no FTTC/FTTP for at least 6 months I'm told.

I should have done something about all this years ago, but with a hectic life, it's something I've never got around to.

What I'm looking for is a way of reducing bills and improving service. I need a reliable phone and internet service as I just can't afford the hassle of dealing with problems, so I'm happy to pay a little more if I get good service in return.

Tempted by Zen's Home Phone Plus at £17.35 (with 5000 inclusive minutes to landlines). I'm told by Zen it will still work with 18185, so mobile calls will still go through that. Plus Zen's £18.37 Zen Lite ADSL2+ package (50GB limit). Total would be £35.72 per month plus say £5-10/month on mobile calls.

I generally prefer to avoid the big companies as service levels seem to suffer. Plus I like the idea of a 1 month rolling contract with the likes of Zen. Slighly put off by the latest reviews of Zen suggesting that customer service recently has been bad.

The only other option which seems appealing price wise is the EE package deal which allows you to add 1000 minutes of mobile calls a month for just £5. Total for 20Gb download limit (a bit too tight) and line rental is £40.70 per month. (There do appear to be good new customer offers/cashback etc about that would sweeten the deal though). Obvious downsides appear to be EE's customer service and general 'big ISP' packet shaping etc.

Anything I've missed out, or not considered?
Would appreciate any advice here.
Thanks in advance!

Edited by BigAde (Mon 21-Jul-14 11:42:16)

Standard User zrerz
(committed) Mon 21-Jul-14 19:13:56
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: BigAde] [link to this post]
 
Take a look at www.plus.net

Got Fibre broadband and phone with them, very happy!

zrerz.
PlusnetFibre
Standard User BigAde
(newbie) Mon 21-Jul-14 21:42:33
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: zrerz] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by zrerz:
Take a look at www.plus.net

Got Fibre broadband and phone with them, very happy!


Thanks for the response zrerz

Ok, I've looked at the PlusNet website.
Package sounds reasonable.
Works out at £2.50 broadband (for first 12 months, thereafter £10), £5 anytime calls, £15.95 line rental, so £21.50, plus the cost of mobile calls... Just read that 18185 still works from PlusNet lines too which is a big bonus.

I'm rather put off by the negative reviews here though:
http://www.ispreview.co.uk/review/products/244.html

Plus I'm tied in for 12 months, so when FTTC/FTTP becomes available my options will be limited.
Can't afford to be stuck with a cruddy connection for a whole year.


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.

Standard User Xplosion
(member) Mon 21-Jul-14 21:46:32
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: BigAde] [link to this post]
 
Plusnet sounds like a good bet for you, they provide decent customer service and their traffic shaping policy is quite fair.

Unlimited ADSL broadband and weekend calls would work out at about £25 a month (that includes line rental) so you'd save a fair bit. You could also opt for unlimited anytime calls for an extra fiver a month.

There's a no contract option with Plusnet, providing you pay up front for broadband activation, which proves they are confident in their ability to provide a half decent service.

TalkTalk Plus TV with Fibre Large
Standard User trolleybus
(committed) Mon 21-Jul-14 22:22:30
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: BigAde] [link to this post]
 
Looking after a number of companies where the ISP can be quite a mixed bag and as I usually have to sort out problems, frequently dealing with their sales are customer service departments however they are all business packages so speaking from that perspective and not a residential offering that the OP is seeking. However the business packages ought to figure in your researches.

I have to say I have had my fill with the incompetence of TalkTalk in getting even the basics right so their no longer on my Christmas Card list. Bucking the trend I find BT to be pretty good in resolving technical issues but have an incomprehensible pricing policy with line feature extras and line rental that add up to an alarming amount.

I personally would recommend Zen if you want a sold reliable service with decent CS support. Not in the same price league as bargain basement, or even run of the mill, ISPs but if the Internet is the pivotal point of your life, then why compromise with second best?
Standard User BigAde
(newbie) Mon 21-Jul-14 22:31:05
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Xplosion and trolleybus, appreciate your comments.

Curious what would be the advantage of me getting a business package on a residential line?

Will look into PlusNet some more as a serious option, particularly if there is a no contract option.
I will have to weigh up whether it's worth paying the extra for Zen. The concern there is that the latest reviews seem to suggest that they may be resting on their laurels a little.
Standard User trolleybus
(committed) Tue 22-Jul-14 08:52:43
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: BigAde] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by BigAde:
Thanks Xplosion and trolleybus, appreciate your comments.

Curious what would be the advantage of me getting a business package on a residential line?

Will look into PlusNet some more as a serious option, particularly if there is a no contract option.
I will have to weigh up whether it's worth paying the extra for Zen. The concern there is that the latest reviews seem to suggest that they may be resting on their laurels a little.


I only speak as I find and by observation of unhappiness reports on TBB when things go badly wrong. What you have is the vast majority of subscribers to any ISP having absolutely no problems at all and feeling quite smug that the are either getting "a quality service at half the price" or happy to pay a premium for a perceived advantage. Then there are those Internet users who won't even do any research in the market place preferring to stick with BT ignoring well documented instances of subscribers loosing the will to live when to trying to resolve a problem with their resident service, me included.

Asking here who you should run with can only be a useful pointer of which ISP may be suitable for you. It is the equivalent of deciding which car insurance company to take out a policy with. In the event of a claim, you don't want to find out that your event is excluded from cover or there is no temporary use of another car.

If you are happy to have a contract that exceeds 12 months, then fine. If you are seduced with introductory offers, then fine. If you are happy to be forced to use an ISP supplied router, then fine. If you are prepared to put up with administration errors by your chosen ISP, then fine. If you are prepared to put up with insane security questions before you can even talk about your service, then fine.

Your gut feeling of considering Zen should not be lightly swept aside. If all things considered they don't tick all your boxes, then fine. But I really do believe that you won't be disappointed with Zen on all counts except, maybe, pricing.
Standard User BigAde
(newbie) Tue 22-Jul-14 09:16:05
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
Thanks again trolleybus.
All very valid points and noted.

I certainly won't dismiss Zen out of hand... I'd also strongly considered Xilo until I found out that they don't have any inclusive minutes call packages.
Standard User BigAde
(newbie) Tue 22-Jul-14 15:03:06
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: BigAde] [link to this post]
 
Just done some of the maths based on my estimated expected usage of calls etc.
Note: This includes an estimate of mobile calls I'll have to put through 18185 if there are no inclusive minutes.

Total charges for everything bring my monthly charge with
EE to £38.45,
Zen to £45.72 and
PlusNet to £38.95

Little to choose between EE and PlusNet price wise so based purely on a low data limit and poorer customer reviews I'm eliminating EE at this point. That leaves PlusNet vs Zen. PlusNet is clearly £7 cheaper, but that includes a £7.49 discount for the first 12 months. Given that I don't like the hassle of changing providers every 12 months, I'm steering firmly towards Zen at this point.

Will sleep on it before making a final decision, but just thought I'd post my thinking to date.

Edited by BigAde (Tue 22-Jul-14 15:25:32)

Standard User zrerz
(committed) Tue 22-Jul-14 16:27:41
Print Post

Re: ISP and home phone inclusive package with good service?


[re: BigAde] [link to this post]
 
Just read those reviews too, but in all fairness, the ones who have troubles shout the loudest, but those who are very happy seldom speak!

Have you tried www.samknows.com to see what's available to you at your address?

I was with Sky (too pricey, BT worst service ever) then to plusnet, where I've been very happy, getting 33 meg down on a max of 35 possible, and nearly 9 meg upload, so my sons are very happy on games consoles, plus now, my PS4 no longer buffers on watching movies from sony, on the old BT home hub 5, all it ever did was buffer, and the overseas call centres were just script monkeys, I ended up with six homehub 5's, crazy.

The simple basic router supplied by plusnet works 100% perfectly.

zrerz.
PlusnetFibre
Pages in this thread: 1 | 2 | (show all)   Print Thread

Jump to