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Standard User Dibble
(regular) Thu 16-Feb-12 15:16:58
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Long time customer - think I might have to move on.

[link to this post]
I've been with Zen for at least 8 years now, the extra cost has always been a simple trade off for the features and quality of service but I can't justify it any more. A lot of it isn't really Zen's fault but if I have a problem with the service I have to report it to Zen - if they can't get BT to fix it then what else can I do?

I've been suffering from poor line quality for years - I get a number of disconnects every day and average around 2.5M down and 400k up on ADSL 2+. I use a Draytek 2820n and have tried various Cisco routers including an 877. This is in an area where the BT broadband checker says I should expect between 8.5 and 12M. I've raised a fair few tickets with Zen - sometimes I get fobbed off with the usual "internal wiring, change router/filters" etc but I have on one occasion received a thorough attempt at helping me. Eventually we got a BT engineer out who, predictably, found no fault but replaced the last leg of my copper because it looked a bit old. That briefly had me up to 4.5M but it didn't last. I work from home over a VPN so it's frustrating to be constantly cut off - especially when I'm on a conf call!

Last time I looked at the BT broadband diagnostic tool (via Zen's self help area) it declared that I was within the expected threshold of expected DS bandwidth - up to 4M (not 8.5 to 12 after all)! Great, so there seems to be no hope for my connection even if my neighbours are probably fine and BT have no compunction to fix it.

I decided a while back to sit tight and wait for FTTC which my town exchange had fairly early on... but of course provisioning my local cabinet ran into a number of planning permission problems (grrr). It has finally been installed though, nearly 18 months after they originally said I'd get it, so I've started looking at the Zen offerings... wow. Steep? Install costs and ongoing costs are crazy, plus I'll be locked into a longer contract too. All this and there's no guarantee that I'll get decent speeds - if the problem is the local copper then it's still going to use that to get from my house to the DSLAM cabinet, so I might not be much better off.

My options are limited too, we have Virgin locally and I can get 100M for less than I pay Zen - but the idea of moving to them makes me uneasy. Some people have no trouble with them, others have lots and support is woeful. Failing that, how long until FTTH? I'd probably be happy to pay for that level of connection but it might be years before it's available, so I'm stuffed frown

The worst part for me - I'm a network consultant for a telco. I feel like a Ferrari salesman who drives a Lada.

So I'm looking for ways to stay with Zen because quality is important to me. I'd probably swallow the high costs of going FTTC if I could be sure that I'd get good performance but I worry that my local copper is so cr@p that there's no point. Is there any way to get a laces-up assessment of my local copper? It looks like BT have too many loopholes they can use to leave it as bad as it is.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 16-Feb-12 15:29:08
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Re: Long time customer - think I might have to move on.

[re: Dibble] [link to this post]
Know someone who is probably connected to the same Virgin cabinet as you will be? Give their service a whiz.

Checker @ should give an estimate for FTTC if available on your line, but it often under estimates.

1km of copper to the cabinet should still allow 15 to 25 Meg from VDSL2

Andrew Ferguson, - formerly known as
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Dibble
(regular) Thu 16-Feb-12 15:53:23
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Re: Long time customer - think I might have to move on.

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

We get bombarded with VM letters almost daily but I'm not sure how many others in my area are already signed up. Might do a wardrive to see how many virgin ssids show up.

I'm about 170m from the new FTTC cab so should be getting good speeds - but I have a suspicion that my local copper and/or connections are so poor that I'll still be suffering diminished performance. It doesn't look like BT have any responsibility to ensure bandwidth is even close the the estimated speed so I'm concerned about forking out for an upgrade then being locked in for a year.

Edit: Also, BT are having a systems outage right now so no availability or estimated speed sites seem to work.

Edited by Dibble (Thu 16-Feb-12 15:56:18)

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ISP Representative mickbzen
(isp) Fri 17-Feb-12 11:39:43
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Re: Long time customer - think I might have to move on.

[re: Dibble] [link to this post]
Hi Dibble

Iím sorry to hear about all the issues you have been having, could you please kindly PM me your username or the phone number we provide the service over and ill look into this for you.

Kind Regards

Mick Bolton

ZeN Internet Customer Services
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The above post has been made by an ISP REPRESENTATIVE (although not necessarily the ISP being discussed in the post).
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