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BE launches controversial new website
Friday 24 July 2009 12:54:29 by John Hunt

Broadband provider BE have launched a new brand identity and website, and it's certainly got people talking. The new design is retro styled and in our opinion is quite horrible. It also has the option to allow you to add to the garishness with personalisation of the background from some of their options so you can make the site look like this:

One has to wonder what they are thinking allowing the site to look like that. BE have always had a quirky design with their pink-styled asterisk and 'floating heads', however the new site is quite a contrast, sparking questions like "has the website been hacked?", partly compounded by SSL certificate errors seen when visiting the website.

"The brand idea is a call to arms, aimed to drive our members to be bold, provocative and inspiring, mirroring the co-creation, user-generated content and social networking aspects of the evolution of internet use.

"In a world of corporate control, we are trying to understand how a peer-to-peer relationship between members and the business can work. The end result has come from a process of speaking to our members.

"Our new identity's artwork is stripped back and raw, providing the platform for members to express themselves, something we know they already do across the web."

Felix Geyr, (CEO) BE

Some areas of the site haven't made it in to the new style yet, and other problems have raised concerns- with the launch of the new site, details about other customers was leaked out via the members area including addresses, telephone numbers and names. No payment details were leaked, and this bug has since been fixed.

One has to wonder if this new brand identity is a marketing ploy to get people talking and the new site will evolve in to something more sane in the coming days/weeks. If it is then bravo to BE, however, we're worried that they think this looks good! At least they are listening to their customers and critics. An update via BE's twitter feed reads:

"We get the gist of the feedback; our new website is live and you don’t like the look of it. We’ll listen and learn over the next few days."

Indeed there already have been some changes to the original layout. One step with this new brand identity is an attempt to embrace new media and get users more involved via twitter, Facebook and online forums. We can say they've certainly achieved that- see what our users are saying about their new site on our forums. You can of course explore the BE website more if you dare.


Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 8 years ago
I want what the manager who approved this **** was taking..

Makes me feel quite sick tbh..
Posted by nmg196 over 8 years ago
Wow. That's the ugliest website I've ever seen! It looks like it was designed in about 10 minutes by a teenager. I think that would actually put me off signing switching to them now. The CEO must have been smoking something when he approved that to go live.
Posted by MCM999 over 8 years ago
"The brand idea is a call to arms, aimed to drive our members to be bold, provocative and inspiring, mirroring the co-creation, user-generated content and social networking aspects of the evolution of internet use."
What a load of crap. This is one CEO who needs to get out a bit rather than show himself as an ill-informed and ridiculous twat.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
Bwahaha what a POS ! Be have struggled through being completely unknown, now they're unknown *and* unattractive.
Posted by Capn over 8 years ago
This is the reason people in marketing shouldn't be allowed to live! They're an ISP, not a post modern thinktank.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
On the plus side it's not as pink as it used to be :)
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
'In a world of corporate control, we are trying to understand how a peer-to-peer relationship between members and the business can work. The end result has come from a process of speaking to our members.'

'BE is an ISP, owned by O2' 'pushing ADSL +2 technology to its limits'

ADSL +2, woo.
Posted by lloydio over 8 years ago
i thought i was hallucinating on visiting there website.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
I'm wondering if we are the fools here, falling for a marketing stunt intended to raise their profile for free !
Posted by joelee38 over 8 years ago
Be ADSL2 service is as crappy as their new web site design. I only managed to get around 15Meg of their advertise 24Meg, even my Phone Exchange is less than 100 metres away.

They are a lot better before O2 took over.
Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 8 years ago
weird, coz with sky I got just over 16Mb, with Bulldog I managed 14Mb and with BE I get 19Mb, go figure..
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
@ joelee38:
Because everyone can get 15mb easily...
There is a lot of factors to be considered before your line can even reach 24mbps (your attenuation needs to be less than 18db) and its BT that lay your line not Be, so if it's noisy how can you blame that on Be?

New website is probably a cover for something much more sinister to come.
Posted by nredwood over 8 years ago
The Member Centre isn't yet fixed

BE have rolled back to the old version and expect it to be fixed next week
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
By fixed you mean deleted permanently right Ms Redwood?
Posted by bosie over 8 years ago
The BE site is great, I love it.
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
The men in white coats will be with you shortly bosie :D
Posted by timmay over 8 years ago
How any board of directors could sign-off a web site design like that baffles me. Maybe Telefonica is trying to let be scare customers away to O2.
Posted by sdariani over 8 years ago
Looks cool!
Posted by nredwood over 8 years ago
Dixinormous lol

Was a great fan of the pink and the Be* avatar

However, I've found myself on the site a few times today and it's an improvement on what it was, but still not keen

The cyan BE and yellow makes me reach for the sunglasses, I'm no fan fn black backgrounds as a whole, the fonts still look wrong and it's still got a load of errors

Also, I have no interest in the CONNECT WITH BE links at all, especially Twitter

And I'm in a state of confusion
Posted by philipd over 8 years ago
It is terrible, never seen anything so bad. In a reduced image of a screen shot as shown here it looks "almost" borderline okay, however it's a different matter faced with it full size and having to navigate around it.

I'm with others in that I don't want to connect with Be, there are enough social networking sites around with mediocre content and gossip we don’t need another one funded by my subscriptions for broadband access, I just want Be to connect me to the internet, and have a website that invites me to go to find help with my connection if I should need it.
Posted by inigochamerberlin over 8 years ago
You mean an ISP that WORKS (I'm stuck with them at 8/1.3Mb best - 450/350k <yes - KILO> worst until they either sort it out or my 3 months is up!) and has a usable website?

I had the misfortune to activate as they perpetrated this mess!

Far better if they fixed the PRODUCT before inflicting this mess on their users...
Posted by TGVrecord over 8 years ago
I am more interested in the service that Be offers than their website. I am more than happy with the service I get from them. Miles better than Nldram and cheaper.

I do not visit the website on a regular basis but I decided to take a look. I don't think it is a bad idea to have a retro look site provided it is well designed. Unfortunately Be have missed the mark by miles. It just looks cheap and nasty.
Posted by Richard_Hancock over 8 years ago
I was more concerned by the comment, in the email that announced the new website, that they would be making "minor" changes to the T&Cs. Had me somewhat worried that the changes (yet to be communicated?) may not be minor. (I'm a very happy Be user; BT->Bulldog->Be)
Posted by Great_Bridge over 8 years ago
Reminds me of my first ever website attempt using frontpage on Geocities in mid 1990s. Guess they're right with retro.
Posted by BAC999 over 8 years ago
OMG what have they done to the logo and site! We spent months and years devloping that perhaps not to everyones taste but at least it looked OK. This is a mess and damm ugly to look at, gone to O2 cheaper as O2 mob customer same speed as BE. Brett formal @Be :-)
Posted by thexyone over 8 years ago
Well I hated the smug faces on the old site, so this is better, clean and easy to navigate, but the colours make it look cheap and fly-by-night. And cheap they are not and in my experience 24 megs is something you'll never get, and they've certainly been ripping me off for 4 years, so why have I been with them so long, maybe it's time I changed too.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 8 years ago
Hmm, does remind me of certain '80's games or maybe Ceefax/Teletext - maybe they didn't know Teletext was about to get the boot when they "designed" the new site.

I don't know why people slag Be off about their connections, the main culprit of poor sync rates is the quality/length of the line between home and exchange and the household internal phone wiring and those are things Be have no control over.

Unlike with PlusNet, I have never noticed contention problems - during the evening peak period, for instance - and it's a pleasure not to suffer traffic management or capping
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 8 years ago
I get a pretty consistent sync rate of about 15Mb/s at a distance of around 1km from the exchange which is just about spot on the theoretical rate and there are plenty close to the exchange who get 24Mb/s as near as dammit. If you're close to the exchange and aren't getting close to 24Mb/s either your line is taking the pretty route (some have been known to live 100 metres from the exchange and have a mile long line because of the routing), or it might be aluminium or your household phone wiring looks like it was put in by a gibbering idiot
Posted by doughnut77 over 8 years ago
Be* can do whatever they like with the look of their website - as long as they continue to provide me with 15Meg down, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, with absolutely no traffic management, with excellent customer service (which one hardly needs to use), etc... which they have done solidly for the last 2 years.

In a funny sort of way I'm quite pleased that the new site is so garish. Such an off-putting POS means less customers, which means less potential network contention for me : )
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