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Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 29-Sep-13 10:49:29
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Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[link to this post]
 
As the previous thread on unlimited FTTx has got a bit rambling and some of the information has been invalidated over time, I thought I'd use the 1000th thread in the Zen forum to deal with the one question that keeps being asked: Can you have Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line?

The only options available online are combined broadband and phone packages.

What follows is what has been established this far. It would be helpful if people who've spoken to Zen sales about their situation reply in this thread to update our collective knowledge.


Existing Zen FTTx customers

During the soft-launch phase, AndrewW was able to switch to Unlimited Fibre 2 without moving his phone to Zen. I followed his example and was also able to switch. The price is the old Fibre Active price: £29.50/month plus VAT (£35.40 including VAT).

This switch could only be done by phoning Zen sales on 01706 902000. I don't know if it is still possible to make this switch now that the packages have been publicly launched.


I was within my 12 month minimum contract period, having paid for my FTTC install in January. By changing package I entered into a new 12 month commitment, but was not told about any early-termination fee for my Fibre Active deal (so, applying a long string of case law on onerous contract terms, especially Interfoto, it would be impossible for Zen to hold me to one).

I do not know how Zen will handle those people who took up the later offer of free installation in return for a 24 month minimum contract period. It's possible Zen may impose some sort of fee on these customers for changing package.

Phil Long has indicated (in Zen's own forum) that those on the old FTTx products with a cap of 400GB/month or more (the old Zen Office and Zen Office Plus products) who switch to the new unlimited products are moved from premium prioritisation to standard. As this involves a change of the underlying wholesale product, I would expect this option to involves early-termination fees if within a minimum contract period. Phil has also indicated that there is unlikely to be any difference in observed quality of service.


Those who do not already have Zen broadband

If I understand jez9999's post correctly, Zen have said they will not offer the new broadband deals to new customers without taking a broadband and phone package. This is is accordance with the Zen FTTx web site - if you press the "Show broadband products" link at the bottom of the page, you are offered the old Zen Lite / Zen Active / Zen Pro products at a new, lower, price. Edit: As Andrew has pointed out, the "Show broadband products" link at the bottom of the Zen FTTx and phone packages page shows the Zen ADSL products - this is extremely misleading on an FTTx page despite clearly saying 'up to 16Mbps', which I'd missed. I suggest Zen replace this roll-down section with a link direct to the Zen ADSL product page to avoid others being misled.


Those who are currently Zen ADSL customers

At the moment, nobody in this category has asked Zen sales and reported back. Who will be the first?

Edited by David_W (Sun 29-Sep-13 12:30:54)

Standard User AndrewW
(member) Sun 29-Sep-13 11:24:33
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Nice Write up

I too noticed the section at the bottom the the new page where you commented

"This is is accordance with the Zen FTTx web site - if you press the "Show broadband products" link at the bottom of the page, you are offered the old Zen Lite / Zen Active / Zen Pro products at a new, lower, price."

This to me looks like the ADSL type products and not FTTC?

Had a little discussion with BT again this morning, when i realised i was no longer on their line saver product, and could find no notification of end of the 12 month period AGAIN.

This and the recent BT statement about price increases, I may well switch to zen.

I do have one question about use of alternate international voice providers. which i will ask zen about next week.

Andrew


Andrew
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 29-Sep-13 12:51:52
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: AndrewW] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by AndrewW:
I too noticed the section at the bottom the the new page where you commented

"This is is accordance with the Zen FTTx web site - if you press the "Show broadband products" link at the bottom of the page, you are offered the old Zen Lite / Zen Active / Zen Pro products at a new, lower, price."

This to me looks like the ADSL type products and not FTTC?
I was misled by this being on an FTTx page. These are the ADSL packages. I've edited my post accordingly.

In reply to a post by AndrewW:
Had a little discussion with BT again this morning, when i realised i was no longer on their line saver product, and could find no notification of end of the 12 month period AGAIN.

This and the recent BT statement about price increases, I may well switch to zen.
I'd happily switch our voice service to Zen, but their prices are uncompetitive for us, as we have two voice lines each with unlimited calls. BT Retail's any time calls package covers the entire account, whereas with Zen we'd need two calls packages. We've also got some unexpired Line Rental Saver on one line (BT Retail will only let you have Line Rental Saver on one line, you have to pay full-price monthly rental on further lines).

The recently announced BT Retail price rises reduce the price gap between BT and Zen significantly for us, as we will land up paying the new BT Retail £1.75/month caller display charge on top of extra line rental. It may well be that we eventually switch to Zen for voice.


I would like Zen to look again at what they can do for those with multiple phone lines. VoIP may be a solution - at the moment Zen have a residential Broadband Voice product which is outgoing only (no good to us) and a business SIP trunking product (which allows incoming and number ports, but the minimum tier is £30/month for up to 8 channels).

Is there any hope of a VoIP product that blends the two to become the equivalent of a residential phone line, with:
  • incoming calls on a geographic phone number
  • number porting in, return to donor and number porting out to other providers supporting porting
  • similar call features to a BT WLR3 line
  • residential call packages
Zen likely have all the elements of this available to them - they just need to put them together as a product. I would certainly be interested in such a solution and can't find anything like it at any of the VoIP providers I've looked at, including Gradwell, who I use for other services. Every VoIP provider I've checked jumps straight from a low feature residential offering (with no incoming calls or no porting) to a full multi-line business offering with nothing in between.


My last BT Retail customer support experience was poor, which is further reason to switch to Zen, but the price increase by doing so (even taking into account the Zen FTTx discount I'd get for taking the package) irks me.


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Standard User trolleybus
(member) Sun 29-Sep-13 13:55:05
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by David_W:
In reply to a post by AndrewW:
I too noticed the section at the bottom the the new page where you commented

"This is is accordance with the Zen FTTx web site - if you press the "Show broadband products" link at the bottom of the page, you are offered the old Zen Lite / Zen Active / Zen Pro products at a new, lower, price."

This to me looks like the ADSL type products and not FTTC?
I was misled by this being on an FTTx page. These are the ADSL packages. I've edited my post accordingly.

In reply to a post by AndrewW:
Had a little discussion with BT again this morning, when i realised i was no longer on their line saver product, and could find no notification of end of the 12 month period AGAIN.

This and the recent BT statement about price increases, I may well switch to zen.
I'd happily switch our voice service to Zen, but their prices are uncompetitive for us, as we have two voice lines each with unlimited calls. BT Retail's any time calls package covers the entire account, whereas with Zen we'd need two calls packages. We've also got some unexpired Line Rental Saver on one line (BT Retail will only let you have Line Rental Saver on one line, you have to pay full-price monthly rental on further lines).

The recently announced BT Retail price rises reduce the price gap between BT and Zen significantly for us, as we will land up paying the new BT Retail £1.75/month caller display charge on top of extra line rental. It may well be that we eventually switch to Zen for voice.


I would like Zen to look again at what they can do for those with multiple phone lines. VoIP may be a solution - at the moment Zen have a residential Broadband Voice product which is outgoing only (no good to us) and a business SIP trunking product (which allows incoming and number ports, but the minimum tier is £30/month for up to 8 channels).

Is there any hope of a VoIP product that blends the two to become the equivalent of a residential phone line, with:
  • incoming calls on a geographic phone number
  • number porting in, return to donor and number porting out to other providers supporting porting
  • similar call features to a BT WLR3 line
  • residential call packages
Zen likely have all the elements of this available to them - they just need to put them together as a product. I would certainly be interested in such a solution and can't find anything like it at any of the VoIP providers I've looked at, including Gradwell, who I use for other services. Every VoIP provider I've checked jumps straight from a low feature residential offering (with no incoming calls or no porting) to a full multi-line business offering with nothing in between.


My last BT Retail customer support experience was poor, which is further reason to switch to Zen, but the price increase by doing so (even taking into account the Zen FTTx discount I'd get for taking the package) irks me.


Re Searching for a VoIP provider meeting your requirements. Do your stumble upon http://www.callmaster.co.uk/ because I believe they can supply what you want.
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 29-Sep-13 14:26:45
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by trolleybus:
Do your stumble upon http://www.callmaster.co.uk/ because I believe they can supply what you want.
They may do. Unfortunately their minimal web site is silent about pricing and number porting, which are two crucial elements in what I'm looking for.

Standard User trolleybus
(member) Sun 29-Sep-13 15:12:58
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by David_W:
In reply to a post by trolleybus:
Do your stumble upon http://www.callmaster.co.uk/ because I believe they can supply what you want.
They may do. Unfortunately their minimal web site is silent about pricing and number porting, which are two crucial elements in what I'm looking for.


I am a sole trader subscriber to their service. I obviously need a traditional land line for the Broadband service but ported over my other line number with ease. The cost ex VAT is £10 for a fully featured service on that number and £5 for fax to email a month. 01/02/03 numbers at 1.2ppm using monthly credit account. No set up costs but you have to buy the hardware. Now what else do you want to know?
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Sun 29-Sep-13 15:25:21
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
Excellent information. Can you give more detail about the hardware and costs please?


__________________________________________________________________________a bit harsh and a tad childish__________________
Standard User trolleybus
(member) Sun 29-Sep-13 15:42:32
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by BatBoy:
Excellent information. Can you give more detail about the hardware and costs please?


You are free to source any SIP bit of kit you fancy from any supplier. Just shop around for the best deal. Used the service with ATAs, Gigaset, VoIP router and snom360 - it just worked with then all. Never thought I would need conference and call transfer facilities before being a VoIP user but now use that frequently. Gave my son and daughter a Gigaset as an Xmas present and got an on-going benefit of free calls to them for years to come!
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Sun 29-Sep-13 15:48:48
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
Thanks. What would be ideal would be to have a VOIP app on my iPhone and use that with my landline number for making and receiving calls. Do you know if that's possible?


__________________________________________________________________________a bit harsh and a tad childish__________________
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 29-Sep-13 16:00:45
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Re: Zen unlimited FTTx without a Zen phone line


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by BatBoy:
Thanks. What would be ideal would be to have a VOIP app on my iPhone and use that with my landline number for making and receiving calls. Do you know if that's possible?

Only gotcha with the iPhone (doesn't apply to iPad and iPod Touch) is the WiFi turns off when the screen is off. So the VoIP app would have to be permitted to register over the mobile data connection. Some 3G services don't allow this.

James BT Infinity 2 19/09/2012 - Sold 42/6 - Getting 46/8 - Sync 50 / 9 Mbps @ 470m approx
14 years of broadband (ntl: cable to BT FTTC) - Router: Asus RT-N66U - Modem: Huawei HG612 speedtest
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