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Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-02-2011

BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

First a little history...

 

I've worked in IT all my life and I've had an internet connection since 1994 when I started doing technical support for Windows 3.11 users over 14.4k modem dial-ups. When BT first started their commercial ADSL service I was an early adopter, however the phone lines in the area where terrible and my 4Mb line (the maximum at the time) was never getting above 2Mb. I ended up moving to Be to try and improve things but the fault was with the BT phone line, so no luck there. Eventually I ended up moving to NTL who were brilliant for the most part - my 8Mb line came up as being 8Mb. I got what I paid for and I stayed with them when they were taken over by Virgin Media, for about 10 years in total I think. Due to my career in IT I've always had an interest in BT's broadband strategy and it seemed a joke for the most part - they seemed to constantly be miles behind Virgin Media, talking about ADSL2 when Virgin were already using fibre optic lines.

 

However, in 2010 two things happened. BT started to offer 40Mb lines and my Virgin contention ratio went though the roof to the point where I was getting up to 50% packet loss on my line in the evenings. They accepted that it was a problem but in the end it took them two months to expand their capacity, so I finally decided to jump ship and felt it was about time I gave BT another try and so signed up for 'BT Infinity Option 2 and Unlimited Anytime Calling Plan'.

 

One of the biggest mistakes I've ever made I think.

 

BT were supposed to install my internet connection on the 17th December. The engineer never showed, with no warning or explanation as to why, and they couldn't install it until the 30th December, meaning my family had to do without a home internet connection over Christmas (a bit of a nightmare). BT have of course been charging me since the 17th December regardless. Calls to their support lines have been a complete waste of time. I also noticed that I didn't get the shiny new BT Home Hub (BT Home Hub 3?) but instead got one of the old BT Home Hubs (2?). No matter, I have my own routers so the home hub is little more than a gateway for my home network. Still, it would have been nice to receive what was advertised.

 

Around the middle of January I hit BT's Fair Usage policy. My 40Mb internet connection reduced to 2Mb in the evenings? Why? Because I was over the 300gb limit which BT considers to be excessive. That's a 95% throttle rate on my 40Mb connection - even Virgin only does a maximum of 75%. Nobody is an excessive internet user here but there are 5 of us + guests, and due to the nature of my work I have to download ISOs and other bits and pieces and it all adds up. Nobody here is a torrent user though to my knowledge. I monoitor all traffic so I'm reasonably sure I know who's using what. Regardless of which all of the big downloads I do are done overnight or during the day, so why is our evening use being throttled? It's totally illogical and just seems like a crude punishment.

 

Then there are the minor insanities - the small things that just don't seem to work with BT. I was given a BT email address to use but BT don't seem to support IMAP. Why are BT still using POP3? All ISPs support POP3 but it's generally a last resort for any mail client these days. Possibly some trick using yahoo.com for the servers? Why doesn't imap.btinternet.com work? I had to redo the settings a few times and all the email in there was wiped a few times. I hope none of it was important. It doesn't seem to work very well in any case. I had to subscribe to this forum using another email address because my btinternet.com email address doesn't appear to be receiving any mail at this point in time.

 

Tonight it got even worse. If throttling my peak time connection to 2Mb isn't bad enough the rest of the time at the moment I appear to have a dropped to 3Mb connection. This is how I found these forums. So I read a lot of the posts and fired up the BT Speed Tester (http://www.speedtester.bt.com/)... which doesn't seem to work.

 

It goes through the initial test fine. Tells me that my 40/10Mb connection is running at 3/1Mb and this is well below what it should be. Great, tell me something that Speedest (http://www.speedtest.net/) hasn't already told me. But there's a further test - the TAP3 test Configuration. What does this do? I'll never know apparently. It tells me to change my broadband login to speedtest@speedtest_domain which gets me connected:

 

Connection time    0 days, 00:06:00
Data Transmitted/Received (MB)    0.0 / 0.0
Broadband username    speedtest@speedtest_domain
Password    Not configured
 
TCP/IP settings
Broadband network IP address    172.16.2.214
Default gateway    81.146.161.6
Primary DNS    194.72.9.34
Secondary DNS    194.72.0.98

 

Only it then tries to connect to test3.speedtester.bt.com, a name which it can no longer resolve:

 

> test3.speedtester.bt.com
Server:  FWDR-34.FWDR-9.FWDR-72.FWDR-194
Address:  194.72.9.34

DNS request timed out.
    timeout was 2 seconds.

*** Request to FWDR-34.FWDR-9.FWDR-72.FWDR-194 timed-out

> test3.speedtester.bt.com
Server:  [194.72.0.98]
Address:  194.72.0.98

DNS request timed out.
    timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Request to [194.72.0.98] timed-out

 

Looks like DNS queries are now being stopped.

 

So that's where I'm up to. I came back to BT with the promise of a shiny new 40Mb line and instead it's just a litany of an incredibly bad, faulty, broken services. Why is the UK's main broadband provider still stuck in the dark ages with regards to policy and behind everyone else on service? I'm not expecting answers to these issues, although I thought it was only fair to offer BT (and the other users of this forum) the opportunity of some kind of rebuttal. As far as I'm concerned these problems I've been having are inexcusable in this day and age, I've never recommended BT as a Broadband provider and at this point I very much doubt I ever will.

 

The only question I'm really considering is whether I should go back to Virgin or try my luck with a BT "reseller" - BE, Plusnet, Andrews & Arnold etc. No doubt BT will try and get every last red cent out of me before I leave but ultimately the cost isn't an issue, the terrible service is something I need to get away from.

Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-02-2011

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

Small update...

I actually managed to get IMAP working through using the settings that were buried in this thread:

http://community.bt.com/t5/BB-Out-About/Re-IMAP-servers-on-BTInternet-email/td-p/3045/page/3

The emails regarding the registration on this forum were in a folder entitled 'Bulk Mail', presumably a standard folder for spam, but a folder that is of course unavailable through POP3.... hence I was unable to view them.

Rather tragic that automatically generated emails from BT's forums are regarded as spam by yahoo.com's mail servers, but at least it's one small problem solved.

Also, one of the missing emails was regarding BT's Fair Usage Policy. Better late than never.
Aspiring Expert
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎28-01-2010

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

I know how frustrating you feel. BT surely are the worst I have ever encountered. Lots of people I know have seen the wonderful adverts on TV and signed up, but only to find that their problems when they get them are never satisfactorily dealt with.

I myself have had experience with BT Support, just given up now and are waiting for my contract to end.

BT Customer service is in need of a overhaul, I think that is the right word.

Best of luck sorting out your problems!!   

Aspiring Expert
Posts: 183
Registered: ‎12-11-2010

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

[ Edited ]

Just following on from your original thread, there are a couple of things I'd like to pick up on.

 

You spoke about having fibre optic with NTL and BT being stuck with ADSL2. However, this isn't altogether accurate. VM (NTL) deliver(ed) their services to the home via coax and not fibre optic. Although ADSL2 is only delivered via copper, the same delivery of the pipe to BT is via fibre optic, so saying that you used to get fibre optic broadband and now it's only via copper is inaccurate.

 

Also, for most people, 300GB is extremely generous. I have been in the internet world for many years and I have found it impossible to locate an ISP that offers 300GB for such small prices. If you went to another ISP, the equivalent usage would give you roughly 40GB. If you are using more than 300GB, then clearly this isn't the right option for you, especially by using this for business purposes also. It also states in the T&Cs that usage above the quota will be throttled during peak hours.

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Aspiring Expert
Posts: 275
Registered: ‎10-11-2010

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

[ Edited ]

Soulvach you must be joking right?

BT are one of, if not the most expensive isp I have come accross.

£40 per month for option 3 with a 300gb fup is a rip off.

I was with BE PRO before, £17 per month, not throttled, 20meg day and night, no usage cap... amazing service.

 

I accepted BT's rip off charge in November, expecting to get a superior service for that price.

 

Boy was I wrong!!

------Marc------
Aspiring Expert
Posts: 183
Registered: ‎12-11-2010

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

[ Edited ]

Hi Marc,

 

BT Broadband Option 3 is £25.60 per month. Granted, this doesn't include line rental.

 

You must also appreciate that BE is LLU and so is not available to everybody.

 

Kyle

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Aspiring Expert
Posts: 183
Registered: ‎12-11-2010

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?


Alexander_Greenwich wrote:

I also noticed that I didn't get the shiny new BT Home Hub (BT Home Hub 3?) but instead got one of the old BT Home Hubs (2?). No matter, I have my own routers so the home hub is little more than a gateway for my home network. Still, it would have been nice to receive what was advertised.

 

 

The only question I'm really considering is whether I should go back to Virgin or try my luck with a BT "reseller" - BE, Plusnet, Andrews & Arnold etc. No doubt BT will try and get every last red cent out of me before I leave but ultimately the cost isn't an issue, the terrible service is something I need to get away from.


I forgot to add in my original post two further notes with your original post.

 

Firstly, you say that your services went live on 30th December. However, the HH3 was not out at this time.

 

Secondly, the companies you listed are not 'resellers'. They are customers of BT Wholesale and have nothing to do with BT Retail operations.

 

Understandably, I do understand your frustration with the installation and go-live issues and this does appear to be an all too real problem with Openreach provisioning.

 

Kyle

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Recognised Expert
Posts: 1,687
Registered: ‎20-02-2010

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

 


Alexander_Greenwich wrote:
Small update...

The emails regarding the registration on this forum were in a folder entitled 'Bulk Mail', presumably a standard folder for spam, but a folder that is of course unavailable through POP3.... hence I was unable to view them.

 

The choice as to whether or not the spam folder is downloaded via POP3 is configurable.

Log in at www.btinternet.com and look under Mail/Options

Aspiring Expert
Posts: 275
Registered: ‎10-11-2010

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

Soulvache, broadband option 3 is £40 for me per month.

My land line and vision take the price up to £61.99 per month.

 

Blimmin expensive for the rubbish we put up with wouldnt you say?

 

 

 

 

------Marc------
Aspiring Expert
Posts: 183
Registered: ‎12-11-2010

Re: BT - The UK's Worst Home Broadband Provider?

Granted, I wouldn't be too happy if I were paying that much per month for it.

 

Have you not 'tried to leave' to see what else they can offer you?

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