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Broadband complaints aired on BBC Watchdog
Tuesday 27 February 2007 15:51:13 by Andrew Ferguson

We have all known someone who has had problems with broadband or have experienced broadband problems of our own, and BBC Watchdog is this evening looking at broadband complaints. The show will air at 7pm on Tuesday 27th February on BBC One.

For those that miss the transmission a synopsis will be published after transmission on the BBC Watchdog website.

Update 8pm, 27th February 2007: Watchdog has published its summary of the item which can be read at The show is also carrying out its own survey of providers which is due to be aired on March 14th.


Posted by pr100 over 10 years ago
Excellent publicity for Ofcom's new MAC regulations. The rest was rather predictably superficial but Watchdog did announce a consumer BB survey on their website at which should be more enlightening than previous surveys. Hopefully TBB will give it some prominence.
Posted by adslmax over 10 years ago
I was furious to see that my isp from entanet is not listed under bbc watchdog to tell them if my isp is best or worse. Very disappointed that entanet was not named on the list. See the link here:

You will not find entanet on it.
Posted by evilbond over 10 years ago
Indeed i was on pipex recently before i escaped to UKFSN so i chose pipex and put very dissatisfied with all and mentioned my new isp UKFSN was superb. Also gave idnet a mention(had them before pipex)as they were brilliant aswell.

So to sum it up quickly
Pipex sucks
Entanet is brill
Posted by munsy over 10 years ago
Nice to see broadband issues being raised like this, but who thinks most of complaints stem from the Max product and also quality of transport i.e the BT line. I for one spent 7 months with Zen getting nowhere with BT to be remotely interested in fixing it, switched to LLU and vast improvement still not fixed but at least I do not get any of the BT software if I suffer a low sync stuck with it for 3 days.
Posted by MrTAToad2 over 10 years ago
The watchdog link (not the survey one), currently points back to this site...
Posted by nredwood over 10 years ago
Have emailed Watchdog to complain about the survey as their list is limited mainly to the most known ISP's. I really wanted to rate Be Unlimited and show how excellent they are but they are not listed and there is no option to select "other"
Posted by nredwood over 10 years ago
Have emailed Watchdog to complain about the survey as their list is limited mainly to the most known ISP's. I really wanted to rate Be Unlimited and show how excellent they are but they are not listed and there is no option to select "other"
Posted by craig1234 over 10 years ago
Im with Tiscali, a name that is often unpopular on these types of environment. However im pleased to say that after 4 years im still getting good servie and all the people i recommended are enjoying a happy service. But im sure they will fair worse than most on this survey.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 10 years ago
Nobody on tv seems aware of the fact that there are a lot of people who can't get broadband whose numbers still show on the bt checker as being able to get it. This means the ISPs take out contracts with users, start to charge and then can't deliver the service. This isn't the fault of the ISP, it is the fault of the mis-information supplied by BT who assure us that over 99% of the population can get connected. The poor end user then spends hours on helplines costing a fortune and never does end up with a connection... it all gives broadband a bad name, which i am sure watchdog will expose.
Posted by cjyounguk over 10 years ago
I can't imagine Tiscali will fare worse than Orange. Since Wanadoo became Orange, customer service/technical support has gone out of the window. I've tried to ring once or twice a week to complain about connection speed at peak times (~100kb between 5 and 10pm weekdays on a supposed MAx 2Mb connection) and after holding 30mins at 0870 rates and not getting through to an adviser, I just give up. Very unsatisfactory.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 10 years ago
What won't be seen on watchdog are the small ISPs and community networks who pull out all the stops to serve their customers well. I have seen many of these and they knock the spots off the big boys for customer service.
The big ISPs are only interested in the easy customers near exchanges. They don't care about the difficult rural installs as they are not economic.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 10 years ago
In the case of long line activations that do not work the broadband provider should arrange for a visit by a BT engineer who will check that ADSL is or is not possible. This is often done by checking whether there is a signal present at the street cabinet, and verifying that the exchange work was done correctly.

I have come across cases in the past where providers simply refuse to send an engineer out. If you or anyone reading this is in a similar situation email me and we can take things from there.
Posted by hellsbells over 10 years ago
A good ISP will authorise an engineer, but of course there are dare I say it many engineers that just look at the property, do a tut tut and then leave without even looking, and many know well there are many things that can be done internally that can tip the balance on a long line as well.

I watched the programme and did a big sign when I saw U switch appear, but was releaved that they had invited Andrew F.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 10 years ago
The main point I was making is that the BT checker data says people can get a connection when they haven't a hope in hell. Therefore the figures quoted by BT of 99.6% coverage for adsl are faulty. I would be interested to know the accurate coverage of adsl should the whole country take up broadband...
Posted by mrohms2001 over 10 years ago
For 2 years have been asking B.T for broadband. Due to a cable fault at my house nothing happens. Have asked for a second line to go in. B.T say they still cannot guarantee connection.No one wants to know! How do I resolve?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 10 years ago
To mrohms2001 have you found out whether neighbours are in the same situation.

Emailing me with line details and a short synopsis means I can make enquires
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
"a lot of people who can't get broadband whose numbers still show on the bt checker as being able to get it." - that's the current regime in operation, you get the chance to try it and make it work. If it doesn't work no fees are payable. This IMO is better than being denied the chance by a checker which isn't fantastically reliable (and seems to be getting less so). People are a bit selective about reading words like "very unlikely" and "may need an engineer visit".
Posted by cannonfodder_uk over 10 years ago
Anyone else pick up on Watchdog's error.
IE. MAC code, which is like saying Migration Authorisation Code Code.

Also NamesCo (NDO)are not listed in the survey.
Posted by KeithJillings over 10 years ago
Like several others who have commented, I'm very disappointed that the smaller ISPs are deliberately excluded.

After several years with Pipex, my ADSL became more and more unreliable. The Pipex helpdesk was worse than useless - kept asking me to make the same tests over and over again, without reading the test results I'd sent them.

In the end, I left Pipex for UKFSN (an Entanet reseller) and have been delighted. They're not perfect, but dramatically better than Pipex. They deserve credit for that!
Posted by fernandez over 10 years ago
I have e-mailed the BBC with regard to the limited choice of ISPs on the list.
Neither my current ISP - UKFSN/Entanet or my previous ISP Newnet are given as choices.
Perhaps there should have been an 'Unlisted' or 'Other' option
Posted by SteveToplek over 10 years ago
Orange worse than Tiscali?
Basically, my line supports 8MB,I've checked and they would give me 8MB as an existing user, but their equipment at the exchange is old & only supports 2MB. So they refuse to change it.
Also, the only upgrades for existing customers all involve having to let Tiscali take over your phones as well.
New customers can choose broadband only.
Anyone else with the same problem?
All this and possibly the worst customer
Can Orange outdo that ?
I wait with baited breath.
And we're paying to be treated with this sort of contempt
Time they got their come-uppance.Long overdue.
Posted by SteveToplek over 10 years ago
Correction to my last post
Should read:
Tiscali would give me 8MB as a NEW customer,I rang & checked posing as a new customer - was told "no problem whatsoever", but have refused to upgrade me as an existing customer.
This is because their equipment at my exchange is old, and they won't go and change it.

Posted by redbod321 over 10 years ago
Unfortunatly I missed this program but would like to reply to a few comments made. As a ADSL engineer for well known service provider i am dissappointed to hear that people who are using the BT checker are given false information about ADSL avaliablity. When instructed we will do our upmost to provide a reliable service to end users which includes working on the copper pair from the exchange to the EU & any internal wiring issues. I am not aware of any engineers turning up onsite & just tutting.
Posted by plonkeroo over 10 years ago
Yes, I am aware that some ISPs are misleadingly advertising 8MB even though 8MB is only available in a few areas. Most of us are stuck with 2MB for the foreseeable future.

The sooner they lay cables here in Southport the better. Cable seems like a much better deal than the ordinary ISPs.
Posted by aciddave over 10 years ago
I swopped to pipex in october last year - and had nothing but problems with it. I have a Max adsl connection and can get around 4mbps (around 375kbps)at the moment. With Pipex the max i'd get was around 200kbps, and that was off peak. At peak times i was lucky to get 100kbps! I switched to orange at the end of January - Amazing!!!
Posted by aciddave over 10 years ago
Not only was I able to get full speed, there were no downtimes (sorry, I had one the other day when the router lost the connection), a free wireless router with VoIP and bluetooth built in, and no loss of speed, even during peak hours! and it's cheaper than pipex! (£20 a month compared to £28 with pipex)
They even rang me 3 weeks after it became live to check that everything was ok!
Posted by cleggie over 10 years ago
AOL are also useless now that carphone wharehouse(also owners of talktalk) bought them.They have introduced capping of downloads(when its supposed to be unlimited) and they are throttling speeds down on a regular daily basis for hours at a time.
AOL was very good for the last 9 years i have been with them,but no longer,there customer service is next to useless.
My advice is dont go anywhere near AOL.
i am migrating at the end of my present contract.
Posted by Keithbecca over 10 years ago
What is not been mentioned is that if like me you are with a provider and your line is LLU'd, the only way to change is to cease your subsciption with ones present compant ~ wait up to 10 days after the cease for the tag to be removed and then apply to a new company with up to 15 days before the new broadband is set up. this gives a broadband downtime of up to 3 weeks. Not very good!!!!
Posted by Claymore1314 over 10 years ago
TISCALI IS 4UCKING AWFUL. Their speeds are abysmal (I'm on 8Mbps MAX) rarely breaking the dial-up threshold. Also, their customer service would near drive you to suicide!
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