RedTen customers see red over service interruption
RedTen burst onto the news with what originally sounded like 'too good to be true' deals. Over time these have grown to provide a desktop PC bundled with broadband for £12.99 a month or two Toshiba laptops and broadband for £28.99. The service agreement of course required a three year commitment to RedTen's broadband service.
Alas RedTen customers who are connected via a BT Wholesale IPstream connection, the service has ceased working and the following message has been visible when they try to browse the web:
"BT Wholesale has stopped providing a service to RedTen Communications Ltd either because of repeated non-payment of invoices or because RedTen Communications Ltd has stopped trading. This means you will no longer be able to access your broadband service from RedTen Communications Ltd."BT Wholesale portal page message
BT Wholesale offers customers a migration code (MAC) at this point which would allow customers to move to a new supplier, but we would urge caution if you have entered into one of the free computer agreements. The payments are made to a separate finance company, so even if RedTen was to cease trading the agreement may still exist for payment of the computers. It would be advisable to contact someone like the Citizens Advice Bureau to find out your position.
The situation is further complicated as RedTen have issued statements to The Register suggesting this is part of a planned upgrade.
"upgrading the servers from 8 megabytes to 24 megabytes"Spokesperson in RedTen's technical department
We hope that the mismatch of units (Megabytes used when it should be Megabits per second) was a slip of the tongue rather than a true misunderstanding within the providers technical department.
Dinah Greek of ComputerActive is also chasing up on behalf of its readers and reveals the interesting snippet that the RedTen service was based on the white label managed services from BT Wholesale rather than a standard BT IPstream and BT Central arrangement.
An e-mail sent to RedTen customers on 6th March that warned of a loss of email stored on RedTen services, though why upgrading to a wholesale product that supports ADSL2+ connections in some places would do this is unclear, unless email is handled by their wholesale providers. Oddly it was just four days later that the BT Wholesale blocking page appeared.
It is believed a company called NJP Services is due to reconnect the RedTen customers on 18th March. Where this fits into a strategy of upgrading customers to an ADSL2+ network we are not sure. The carrot of 24Mbps speeds is dangled seductively around on the RedTen website, along with listing BT Wholesale, Cable & Wireless and Tiscali networks as ones they use. For those who have not heard of NJP Services before they may have heard of Fast4 which appears to be the retail arm of NJP Services.