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Standard User ByteTraveller
(newbie) Wed 14-Dec-16 20:40:14
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Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[link to this post]
 
Subject line is very limited so here is the real one:

Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Unlimited Fibre Office VS Unlimited Fibre 2

With GCHQ and the NSA making a mockery of what was supposed to be the free(dom)/secure/private internet, and the Snooper's Charter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigatory_Powers_Bill) now law, I can no longer justify paying >£90/month for the Zen Fibre Office Plus package I've been on for years.

I've had a quick look at the other packages available - comparables seem to be Unlimited Fibre Office (£76.20/mo, I'm assuming this is the 'modern' version of the package I'm on?) and Unlimited Fibre 2 (£35.40/mo) - all three packages are uncapped and capable of using all available VDSL2 bandwidth, does anyone know what the real differences between them are (e.g. the business line is over twice as expensive as the comparable residential line)?

Thanks for any help.

ZeN / Zen Fibre Office Plus (VDSL2)
Standard User therioman
(knowledge is power) Thu 15-Dec-16 00:15:50
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: ByteTraveller] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ByteTraveller:
I've had a quick look at the other packages available - comparables seem to be Unlimited Fibre Office (£76.20/mo, I'm assuming this is the 'modern' version of the package I'm on?) and Unlimited Fibre 2 (£35.40/mo) - all three packages are uncapped and capable of using all available VDSL2 bandwidth, does anyone know what the real differences between them are (e.g. the business line is over twice as expensive as the comparable residential line)?


Unlimited Fibre Office includes 24/7 support... might be of value, I assume Zen pay Openreach and/or BT Wholesale as appropriate to repair issues that Zen itself cannot resolve to make this an end to end 24/7 service, and service credits/SLA although the latter offers a £25 credit for issues which obviously isn't amazing since the premium to start with is huge but obviously does mean you do get something back (no different to other SLAs mind).

It is less clear to me what value may, or may not exist other than that or with the other package options.
Standard User tommy45
(knowledge is power) Thu 15-Dec-16 00:58:58
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: therioman] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by therioman:
In reply to a post by ByteTraveller:
I've had a quick look at the other packages available - comparables seem to be Unlimited Fibre Office (£76.20/mo, I'm assuming this is the 'modern' version of the package I'm on?) and Unlimited Fibre 2 (£35.40/mo) - all three packages are uncapped and capable of using all available VDSL2 bandwidth, does anyone know what the real differences between them are (e.g. the business line is over twice as expensive as the comparable residential line)?


Unlimited Fibre Office includes 24/7 support... might be of value, I assume Zen pay Openreach and/or BT Wholesale as appropriate to repair issues that Zen itself cannot resolve to make this an end to end 24/7 service, and service credits/SLA although the latter offers a £25 credit for issues which obviously isn't amazing since the premium to start with is huge but obviously does mean you do get something back (no different to other SLAs mind).

It is less clear to me what value may, or may not exist other than that or with the other package options.
bt critical care thats why the hike in price from the standard residential offerings

Edited by tommy45 (Thu 15-Dec-16 01:05:23)


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Standard User therioman
(knowledge is power) Thu 15-Dec-16 09:18:15
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: tommy45] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by tommy45:
bt critical care thats why the hike in price from the standard residential offerings


Yes I'm familiar with the care options - but it isn't stated as such (well in the bit on the Zen site I read) which level of care is provided - they'd need it on both the Broadband AND the PSTN Line for the circuit to get to that point - I didn't check if the line rental is required to make it possible for them to do this.
Standard User 23Prince
(experienced) Thu 15-Dec-16 11:35:47
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: therioman] [link to this post]
 
Well the critical care offered by other ISP's is 1 hour response and 4 hour fix time - with access required 24/7 at the EU. I've had an Engineer fixing my line at 3am in the past.

Not really sure if there is another level to that outside of leased line territory.
Standard User therioman
(knowledge is power) Thu 15-Dec-16 12:31:29
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: 23Prince] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by 23Prince:
Well the critical care offered by other ISP's is 1 hour response and 4 hour fix time - with access required 24/7 at the EU. I've had an Engineer fixing my line at 3am in the past.

Not really sure if there is another level to that outside of leased line territory.


I think you're missing my point. As I say I fully understand the various care levels available. I'm querying/questioning what you get in practice.

Zen claims 24/7 technical support
It offers a credit of £25 if fix time exceeds 12 hours

It is not clear:

(a) If they actually pay the various bits of BT plc for enhanced care (they could offer 24/7 support by answering the phone, and accept occasionally without paying BT plc more that once in a while when the fault isn't on Zen's side, they'll pay out £25).

(b) If they do pay BT plc more, if they get the enhanced level of care for both Broadband and Phone Line faults (because BOTH are required to get the complete level of care from BT plc) - and if a customer does not take a Zen phone line rental agreement as part of it - which seems to be possible) if the customer is advised of the reduced level of care if so, unless the customer pays whoever is providing line rental for the same care level.

It's not at all clear and I didn't spot anything on a very quick skim of the main terms/conditions either - although certainly I haven't read it thoroughly.
Standard User 23Prince
(experienced) Thu 15-Dec-16 12:37:12
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: therioman] [link to this post]
 
Well they wouldn't get the service from BTOpenreach if they didn't or wouldn't want to pay for what they charge.

Of course they won't be paying BT more than they charge you - they would be out of business of that was common practice.Stands to reason Zen would advise of reduced cover and advise the new provider does it - Spent years at an ISP having my ear bent over phone faults with other providers, people thought because their ADSL was with that ISP then it was also our job to sort the rest out.

BT recently enhanced the fix time anyway - but also after the 12 hours Zen can and I am sure do claim the £35 per 24 hour compensation that BTO pay.
Standard User therioman
(knowledge is power) Thu 15-Dec-16 16:00:11
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: 23Prince] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by 23Prince:
Well they wouldn't get the service from BTOpenreach if they didn't or wouldn't want to pay for what they charge.

Of course they won't be paying BT more than they charge you - they would be out of business of that was common practice.Stands to reason Zen would advise of reduced cover and advise the new provider does it - Spent years at an ISP having my ear bent over phone faults with other providers, people thought because their ADSL was with that ISP then it was also our job to sort the rest out.

BT recently enhanced the fix time anyway - but also after the 12 hours Zen can and I am sure do claim the £35 per 24 hour compensation that BTO pay.


Sorry, you're still talking at cross purposes.

ZEN are saying they provide 24/7 Technical Support. Not 24/7 fix. They have said that if it takes them longer than 12 hours to fix a line they'll give you a £25 credit.

This is NOT the same as them saying you can have it fixed on a 24/7 basis. For example, Plusnet offers Business customers 24/7 technical support, but it is not all inclusive and does not include line fixes - and even doesn't include fixing all types of issues that might be reported.

It is also not as simple as you make out that Zen must be paying BT for this service - there's absolutely nothing to say they do that I could see, as there are 4 care levels for example on the PSTN, it could be on ANY of those 4 levels. If the customer chooses not to use Zen for the line rental, unless that customer has had the line provider (eg the company paying Openreach for the WLR3 service), provide a suitable enhanced care a fault that takes out the PSTN line will NOT be something Zen could get fixed.

Equally, as there is both an enhanced care available for the WLR3 (eg the copper pair, PSTN line) *AND* another enhanced care for the broadband part (that Zen may or may not be able to use since it will sometimes not use the BT Wholesale service), a further complexity and difference may exist.

It is entirely possible that Zen might choose (as could any other provider) to offer a service that includes a compensatory element (eg the £25 credit) if they can't get you sorted in 12 hours but without needing or choosing to pay for enhanced care levels upstream. For the simple reason, it is likely commercially cheaper for them NOT to do so. Whether they do so or not in practice is a different matter, and which care level they do or do not use for each component is not clear.

For example, care level 3 offers clear by end of same day if reported by 12:59, or 12:29 the next day if reported after that.

Care level 2 offers response within 4 working hours (not all hours!), and clear by end of next working day.

Critical Care offers a 6 hour fix on a 24/7/365 basis.

...but Openreach exclude all manner of events - and it is not clear from the Zen stuff I've read what they do or do not include - for example if a major flood takes out service, Openreach will declare an MBORC and will not compensate... does Zen??

There are many questions not answered and I merely am trying to answer the OPs question but suggest a level of caution in taking the words as printed.
Standard User 23Prince
(experienced) Thu 15-Dec-16 16:27:32
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: therioman] [link to this post]
 
I suggest if the OP wants to pick the website wording apart they ring Zen and do it wth them.

I've told you how it works, even if Zen have chosen not to publish that - But clearly that's not being accepted so I will bid you and the OP good day.
Standard User ByteTraveller
(newbie) Thu 15-Dec-16 17:14:37
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: 23Prince] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your feedback - yes, I remember reading elsewhere in this forum that the 'critical care' isn't really worth much (i.e. the brain reads that and thinks 'SLA for everything involved in the broadband service' but of course it is far from that).

So it sounds like 'Unlimited Fibre 2' would be a sensible option - I bet the regrade will start another 12 month lockin period even though I've been on rolling month contract for a few some years now wink

ZeN / Zen Fibre Office Plus (VDSL2)
Standard User 23Prince
(experienced) Thu 15-Dec-16 17:21:57
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: ByteTraveller] [link to this post]
 
You are welcome and yes it probably will :/
Standard User therioman
(knowledge is power) Sat 17-Dec-16 10:06:44
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: 23Prince] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by 23Prince:
I suggest if the OP wants to pick the website wording apart they ring Zen and do it wth them.

I've told you how it works, even if Zen have chosen not to publish that - But clearly that's not being accepted so I will bid you and the OP good day.


Unfortunately you've not clarified how it works - you've clarified your ASSUMPTIONS I'm afraid. You are trying to align some products/services offered by BT Openreach and/or BT Wholesale and assume that Zen's service must include the same features. It is not clear either way in reality.

The purpose of my commentary was to assist in the OP in giving them a way to help understand the differences and potential extras - or non-extras as the case may be.

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, but you're making a statement as if you have some authoritative ability to do so, but in reality you do not.

If nothing else, as this product from Zen is available WITH and WITHOUT a phone line, there is absolutely a degree of variance in the service level they can purchase in the first place from the various parts of BT plc - Zen could not order Critical Care on a PSTN/WLR3 line they do not provide, and there is no discussion to be had on that point - only the CP that "owns" that circuit can do so.
Standard User therioman
(knowledge is power) Sat 17-Dec-16 10:11:21
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: ByteTraveller] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ByteTraveller:
Thanks for your feedback - yes, I remember reading elsewhere in this forum that the 'critical care' isn't really worth much (i.e. the brain reads that and thinks 'SLA for everything involved in the broadband service' but of course it is far from that).

So it sounds like 'Unlimited Fibre 2' would be a sensible option - I bet the regrade will start another 12 month lockin period even though I've been on rolling month contract for a few some years now wink


An SLA is only an "agreement" (the "A" bit) - and not a guarantee although people get confused as they're similar. The SLA in this case offers some guidelines on what they'll try, but doesn't guarantee it, except that they say should they fail to meet the guideline they'll give you a sum of money in credit. However as you'll see the credit is not close to the significant uplift in monthly cost, and in reality even if you had a fault every single month, you'd not be in a cost neutral position to the package sans SLA.

In reality, I would always suggest if for some reason you did want to have the best chance of keeping connected, the money spent on the uplift to the SLA package would be better spent on a second connection. It still does't help with some types of fault of course, but my experience shows (bearing in mind I do this for a living) that multiple connections from different providers - and preferably via different carriers/wholesalers will normally deliver a much better protection level - the "hit rate" of that saving you is pretty good - and relatively inexpensive.

As you seem to have determined in any case, the SLA is probably not worth it - and I'd save the money smile

Also - yep, a new Fibre contract with Zen does start a new 12 month term.
Standard User ByteTraveller
(newbie) Sat 17-Dec-16 11:08:32
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: therioman] [link to this post]
 
Thanks - I would expect that the line itself with the normal rental cost gets me an acceptable uptime, otherwise that would be grounds for getting a different ISP (not including stuff like idiots cutting cables in roadworks etc). The only meaning of SLA for me would be a guarantee to either keep things up, or be able to motivate/move the stakeholders to fix any problems swiftly. I interpret anything else to be marketing lies.

So far Zen does a good job maintaining uptime - I do get d/c'd now and then even with the business line, but its not prolonged.

The money is better spent on a remote server maintaining a VPN to get me the internet access I'm trying to buy in the first place.

Yes, I'm waiting to phone Zen up next week due to the following:

'If you decide to regrade your service within your minimum service period, early termination charges will apply'

I'm on a rolling month contract but I need to ensure they don't fine me for any reason (I'm just after a smooth transition from one month to the next).

ZeN / Zen Fibre Office Plus (VDSL2)
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 17-Dec-16 11:50:25
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: ByteTraveller] [link to this post]
 
I used to run 1xADSL2+ and 1xFTTC, but taking a gamble on 2xVDSL these days, reason being that 4G has improved such that this is now an option. Though I generally see more power outages than broadband ones.

Plenty of CPE do failover to the 4G USB stick too.

A lot depends on the costs of not having access, or whether you can simply grab laptop go elsewhere and carry on working

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User ByteTraveller
(newbie) Sat 17-Dec-16 12:06:02
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
I do have access to another Zen line (not mine), but its likely that would go down at the same time I bet (same house, same cab, etc).

ZeN / Zen Fibre Office Plus (VDSL2)
Standard User 23Prince
(experienced) Sat 17-Dec-16 14:43:47
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
I used to run 1xADSL2+ and 1xFTTC, but taking a gamble on 2xVDSL these days, reason being that 4G has improved such that this is now an option. Though I generally see more power outages than broadband ones.

Plenty of CPE do failover to the 4G USB stick too.

A lot depends on the costs of not having access, or whether you can simply grab laptop go elsewhere and carry on working


So far (for me) the gamble hasen't fallen foul. I know there's less resiliance and ADSL was something I considered but the price point isn't much more than FTTC these days.

Cable, just couldn't bring myself to go there until the future sorts everything network wise (hopefully)

I have NGA's at either end of the street and it was hope to have my new line put onto the other (and closer) one - but they said no it had to go to the NGA that was currently in use for my other line.

That, I think would have made the redundancy a bit better but they wouldn't play ball. I should have waited until the NGA was full again, I might have had some leverage then.

Edited by 23Prince (Sat 17-Dec-16 14:45:11)

Standard User 23Prince
(experienced) Sat 17-Dec-16 14:46:06
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: ByteTraveller] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ByteTraveller:
I do have access to another Zen line (not mine), but its likely that would go down at the same time I bet (same house, same cab, etc).


Depends, it's been known for a wire/line to be knocked in the PCP and others be affected, but on an NGA that chance should be less as there's less clutter in them.
Standard User therioman
(knowledge is power) Sat 17-Dec-16 22:13:54
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Re: Zen Fibre Office Plus VS Recent Packages


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
I used to run 1xADSL2+ and 1xFTTC, but taking a gamble on 2xVDSL these days, reason being that 4G has improved such that this is now an option. Though I generally see more power outages than broadband ones.

Plenty of CPE do failover to the 4G USB stick too.

A lot depends on the costs of not having access, or whether you can simply grab laptop go elsewhere and carry on working


Whereas I have FTTC + FTTC + FTTC plus an ADSL Backup + 4G Backup.

I keep ADSL backup because the risk with FTTC is higher of something happening to the cab - floods, theft, vehicle in the cab, and 4G whilst worth having is too restrictive in usage if the issue was prolonged (and ADSL is cheap).
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