Broadband – A Scathing Attack on Simplify Digital, Orange, Ofcom and BT

This is a complaint letter sent in attacking not only BT but also Simplify Digital, Orange and Ofcom.

Dear BTcomplaint.com

I’ve spent 3 months trying to obtain a decent broadband speed from BT or Orange having purchased a new wireless laptop for Xmas, with Windows 7 64 bit O.S.

Having little or no experience of broadband use I made my first error by using the “Daily Mail” recommended “Simplify Digital”, a comparison company. If, as they profess, this is an Ofcom approved site, then Ofcom are as useless as Orange and BT.

They recommended I took an “Orange Home Max” package, which I agreed to. Email complaints and phonecalls were not replied to and I was treated with contempt, when I suggested they just picked from a list, with NO checking.

I was later to find out that this was just about the WORST option possible for my location in Boston, Lincs. Not only would I NEVER be able to receive 20mb Broadband speed, but after checking, I would be lucky to receive 3-4Mb. I managed to find this out by simple use of my browser. It also turned out that Orange was one of the worse companies for sorting problems and cancelling contracts, even though they operate as an “Unfit for Purpose” company (the only options they have are purchasing, changing or Technical Support [both UK and Mumbai], where nobody talks to each other or passes info or Emails).

Every time I have complained about my Broadband speed, they suggest I run “speedtester.bt.com”, I have run this in excess of 100 times. When you run speedtester, it always recommends that if there are problems “Contact your IP Provider”.

Since Jan 2010 my Broadband speeds have varied from 30Kbps to a best (and very short lived) 2.8Mbps. The majority of the time BT set my IP Profile at 135Kbps, even when they provide a DSL Download speed of up to 3776Kbps. An analysis of my readings shows that BT set the IP Profile @ 20% of what they are providing at their Test Socket (either via Wireless or LAN connection).

During this time, Orange called out BT Openreach thrice [and only after I threatened to cancel my monthly DD]. The 1st on 4/2/10 nobody turned up [no apology or contact being made), the 2nd time on 9/2/10, the engineer rewired my telephone lines internally (he said they were in “Star” connection and was causing the problem), moved my main socket to a bedroom [to cause less interference] and fitted an Openreach “Linebox”, ran some tests and showed me that BT were sending nearly 4Mb to my house.

He was baffled that my speedtester results confirmed the DSL @ 3778Kbps but my download speeds were 116Kbps Wireless and 98Kbps via LAN (not connected to the Test Socket). He said my speed would improve shortly as it needed time to settle down. Orange consider Openreach always do something to justify their £150 callout charge, even if it does nothing.

In between times (until 10/2/10 @ 17:00hrs) running speedtester showed my profile was still set @ 135Kbps even though my DSL Down was 3776Kbps. 4 of the runs ended as TEST ERROR, I assume because my DU Meter was showing my Broadband speed was between 30Kbps and 80Kbps, which was not allowing a connection to the BT site.

Finally I received Broadband speeds between 2.7 and 2.8Mbps [these however were only for late on 10/2/10 and middle of 12/2/10]. When speedtester was run on 13/2/10 @ 10:20 I was back to 108Kbps Download, DSL 768Kbps Down and an IP Profile of 135Kbps (you will note that this is the WEEKEND). This continued (only I never again saw the magic 3Mbps IP Profile) @ an IP Profile of 1750Kbps during weekdays and back to 135Kbps from Friday to Monday, making my Broadband Useless and Worthless.

After several torrid discussions and running umpteen tests, via LAN, Test socket connection and Emails to Orange & Tech Support? (Mumbai) [I had by then, sent enough Emails to comply with the very difficult to follow OFCOM and Orange Complaints procedures, to warn them that if my problems were not sorted by End of March, I would leave and they could sue me if they wanted, but I had compiled a word file of all my complaints], Orange booked another BT Openreach visit for 22/3/10. Orange Mumbai said my problems were noise and bad wiring (I told them that this was rubbish, as noise is random), but accepted the appointment.

The engineer duly arrived @ 09:00 on 22/3/10, and was totally unaware of the previous visit on 9/2/10. I had run speedtester @ 08:20 to prove to him what rubbish I was being sent. (My Download Speed was 99Kbps, my DSL Down was 160Kbps and IP Profile 135Kbps (the same that it had been all weekend). He connected to my test socket ran some tests and said that I was receiving 4Mbps at my main socket, he said there was a small amount of noise and that there were NO problems with wiring and, in essence, he should not have even been called out.

He told me that running Speedtester was basically a waste of time and that looking at what was happening at the router was more relevant and why hadn’t Orange Tech support told me about this? He said an input of “192.168.1.1” should work + password, and this would show the internet router inputs + other data. He also then phoned Openreach to get the OK (WHY?) to get BT Domestic to force set my IP Profile to 4Mbps (which he said was the max. I could get, considering my location).

He also queried as why the previous Openreach engineer didn’t fit an ADSL Adaptor, so he fitted one & said this should improve things as the “Ring” filter was removed and we didn’t need any ADSL Modem Filters for our 3 telephone extensions. He said it would take about 30mins to sort and got ready to leave. He asked me how I used my Orange D0266E Gigaset Router as the IP Profile man said I had a very high fault record for my line.

When I told him that I generally switched it OFF, when not in use, as it was useless, that the penny dropped. He said that BT Domestic would treat EVERY switch off as a Line Fault [to me this is inverse logic], which in turn would set my Profile at a minimum and reduce my DSL Download values. He did however say that he could not guarantee that my IP Profile would stay @ 4MB, as he said BT Domestic were a law unto themself.

From the above, I find it absolutely disgusting that when the “Orange Broadband Easy Set-Up CD” is run (note: Orange still do not appear to know that Windows 7 64bit O.S exists they think Vista is the Latest), it does not have a WARNING “After Set-up it is highly advisable that you DO NOT switch off your router, as it may cause a large reduction in your available Broadband Speed”. Considering the number of complaints I have made NOBODY has mentioned this as a reason for BT Domestic to assume you don’t warrant a decent speed and a reason for a minimum IP Profile setting.

Lo and behold for the 1st time in 3 months, I could finally download, from BBC iPlayer, an HD Programme in less than 23hours (40 mins in fact) @ a 4Gb download rate. I finally believed there must be a God and was looking forward to finally having a reasonable (if much lower that my 20Mb Home Max Package) broadband speed.

Oh, how short lived this was. When I tried today (23/3/10 @ 12:00) to download from BBC iPlayer all I got was a 1Mb download rate. So even if you DON’T switch off your router BT still cut your speed. Speedtester showed 1167Kbps Max download, with a DSL of 1600Kbps and an IP of 1250Kbps.This was also confirmed by a Router Internet check, which showed a Max. ADSL Line Rate of 1600Kbps.
I am willing to put money on it, that as I can only get 1Mb on a Tues. midday, that by Friday night and the weekend I am back to a Profile of 135Kbps (or maybe a bit higher @ 500Kbps).

HOW ARE BT ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH THIS?
WHY DON’T OFCOM GET THEIR FINGERS OUT AND STOP ALL THESE COMPANIES TREATING THEIR CUSTOMERS AS CASH COWS.
TO ME, BT HAVE A STRANGLEHOLD, ON NOT ONLY THEIR OWN CUSTOMERS BUT ANYONE WHO HAS TO USE THEIR OUTDATED AND USELESS BROADBAND SERVICES.

Looking at all my unpaid work, I have come to the conclusion that BT also use their NON-Customers, as a means to provide a better (if probably not much better) service to their Customers. You cannot complain to BT as a non-customer and if you try by phone, it costs a fortune in waiting, to get through.

If you have read all of this you must be very dedicated. You can do with it what you like. Most of all I want to warn other people of how useless all these “so-called” companies are and how ineffective OFCOM (like all these Quango’s) perform. They are just as bad as the MP’s; only interested in feathering their own nest and sod the public.

ALL LARGE COMPANIES MONOPOLIZE THE VERY PEOPLE WHO KEEP THEM IN BUISNESS WITHOUT REDRESS.

Regards,

Allan Westrup, Boston Lincs

P.S. A reply would be nice, to confirm receipt. However, if anyone gets fined or ever sorts this obvious very large problem out, I don’t think I will see it. I shall be dead (as I’m already retired).

Comments 0

  1. Seems Orange, BT and the engineers aren't seeing a problem, one note sticks out:

    "He connected to my test socket ran some tests and said that I was receiving 4Mbps at my main socket, he said there was a small amount of noise and that there were NO problems with wiring"

    if the above is true, and the speeds you are seeing are still terrible, then I'd check your PC out.

  2. I am a BT customer and have had exactly the same problem. 3 engineers have been to my home and all tell me that I should get 2.5M but the most I get is 0.678M. My IP is set at 0.75 m. download is 1024M. I don't understand this as my neighbour who gets the phone line off the same pole gets 4.5M with talk talk. I don't seem to be able to get the people in India to take responsibility and am very frustrated with the process. I have been in dispute with BT since Feb 2010. I have never been able to download iplayer and my bank has often timed me out in the 5 years I have had BT Broadband. It might sound niave but I didn't know what 4M looked like until I recently visited a friend. A customer services manager in India has now told me that BT doesn't guarantee either speed or quality. I can see from this email that if I change providers, my service might not be any better. So much for a 'digital Britain'. BT will single handedly scupper those plans!

  3. So after all your moaning it wasnt orange's bad service, BT's terrible line but the total idiot not using his equipment properly. Ignorance is not an excuse for stupidity.

  4. @ Anonymous (2)

    Maybe your neighbour has a big fat copper pair from the exchange to the cabinet/pole/both, & you have a thin, brittle ali cable?

    Next time a bt engineer calls, ask him to look up if you & your neighbour are on the same cables. If not, that may be the problem, but I don't know how to get them changed out (a cup of tea + slice of cake – maybe!)

  5. Peter Sutton's comment …continued to completion….ish:

    23rd Dec 2010….numerous lost Ebay auctions later i managed to talk to a guy in the UK…HURRAHH!!!…it was a breath of fresh air….i explained the whole sorry story, told him exactly what my symptoms were, readings, tests, fault descriptions and sequences of events and he was an ENGINEER like myself, and he knew what i was talking about, he understood the server problem and with a few key stroked notes to make sure the next BT engineer knew what the possible problem was at the exchange, i was visited within 24hrs by a BT guy who managed to make a call whilst on my property, get another BT guy to reset a corrupted login user account and hey presto, i was back and running again. I peaked at about a never before seen 2.3M over the holidays…Merry Christmas!

    Not so Happy New Year…last night it died….this time it says, 'Link Down'.
    I lost a whole days work, spending the majority of it with recollective shivers down my spine talking to the Indian call centre….my temper is shorter than it ever used to be and it is because of Orange.
    Today i have spoken to the Indian call centre five times and to five different people, I was on hold for so long i gave up on one occassion…each one said, 'you are experiencing slow speed yes?'…..NO, NO, NO…..i have nothing…no connectiion…ive done this and that and this and tested that and done the BT test socket tests…bla, bla bla…..and you know what they asked me?…..'can you look under your livebox and tell me what port you are plugged into please'

    AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

    I managed eventually to get put through to a UK engineer for BT later today (which was a first for being within 2 days of asking!)
    He asked what the problem was so Orange obviously dont talk to BT.

    Engineer due tomorrow between 8 and 1.
    I wait with bated breath.

    Sorry for the length but is almost theraputic

    Kindest Regards
    Peter Sutton

  6. Mainly Orange complaint but with some BT thrown in for good measure!

    I have learned quite a bit about the idiosyncrasies and inter-company communications under internet problem circumstances over the last few years.
    Im a chilled kind of guy, pretty technically savvy but no genious in the behind the scenes workings of my connection to the outside world.

    I am and have been for some years now, an Orange mobile customer. Never over the moon with any aspect but its kind of worked for me and the broadband was historically part of a mobile contract and i have been loyal (maybe misguidedly uopn reflection)

    This Christmas just gone, 2010, I actully lost my rag with Orange, which is akin to the Pope laughing at Frankie Boyle!

    I had always accepted that I would never get more than about 1M download speed since the beggining as an early Livebox adoptor. It was not until a couple of years ago, after a lost connection problem ended up in a BT engineers visit that he told me i should be faster and found bad connections where the line connected to my house under the eaves. From that point, speeds improved to a heady 1.5M…Woohoo!!
    Moving on a couple of years, about October 2010 time, my speeds became eratic and then toward November, they dropped to about 0.3 download.
    This was the start of a close relationship between me and probably 25 to 30 Mumbai Orange call centre reps.

    NEVER has a mass of automotons been gatherred in one place.
    Now you can not blame the call centre reps themselves, as the cause of the problems. It's the idiot who dreamt up the training course that put them on the other end of the phone when we call.

    The list of questions they have in front of them is to them, the be all and end all of a successful communication (beyond the instilled responces of concern and thanks for patience) and to give them 'The Human Factor'
    I must have spoken to dozens in reality and every one of them had to take me through the tests i said before we started talking each time ,that i had already carried out. Never the less, they had to make sure…bless 'em.

    Three BT engineers were depatched during this time. Each one confirming the BT line was fine and 'look, theres about 3.8M getting through, it must be Orange'
    ME: So you dont work together as such then, Orange send you to prove its them but you are not allowed to fix the Orange problem?
    BT: Well not exactly….we are not allowed to carry third party boxes so we can not prove it is or isnt your box but I can conform, your line is fine :-)'

    I will not go and on, suffice to say; Orange support in Mumbai or wherever they are , do not talk to each other. Orange and BT work 'together' (note the inverted commars) to fix your issues.

    about 2 weeks before Christmas, i got 'PPP Server down' on my live box and had no internet at all. I called Orange, went through the same rigmarole….put on hold, hold, hold ,hold, told that an engineer will have to visit and to make an appoinment for the following day. i said its not BT, they will turn up and tell me all is fine…never the less, that is what happened and true to form, know what?….'Your line is fine sir'

    After numerous more Indian call centre conversations and more texts telling me they have an update (this is to tell me I have a problem and an engineer needs to visit)…I LOST IT…….THE RAG WENT TOTALLY AWOL!!!

    See next post for outcome…

    Peter Sutton

  7. HAVING TRIED BOTH USELESS BT AND ORANGE I DIDN'T THINK ANYONE COULD POSSIBLY BE ANY WORSE – HOW WRONG I WAS, TRY VIRGIN, NOW THEY REALLY TAKE THE BISCUIT IN UTTER INCOMPETENCE, SINCE CHANGING TO THEM I HAVE HAD ENDLESS PROBLEMS WITH MY BROADBAND AND TELEPHONE, THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE MUST BE BY MONKEYS, MIND YOU I THINK A MONKEY HAS POSSIBLY MORE INTELLIGENCE THAN THE CUSTOMER SERVICE STAFF AT VIRGIN. AT THE END OF THE DAY MOST COMPANIES IN THE UK OFFERING ANY SORT OF PUBLIC SERVICE REALLY NEED TO WAKE-UP AND STOP RIPPING THE PUBLIC OFF AND GET BACK TO GOOD OLD FASHIONED PRINCIPLES WHERE THE CUSTOMER WAS ALWAYS RIGHT!!!!!

  8. I am having a problem involving my Orange Broadband + Home Phone and 02.

    When I received my last bill, there were lots of International calls listed. After checking around, I discover that my new neighbour moved in recently and has been allocated identical landline numbers as my own by 02. Both of us live in the same block of flats(private ones).

    I am still chasing Orange by phone and emails without much success so far and 02 has not respond to my emails.

    These phone companies are all the same, they will take your money willingly, but are extremely slow when problems arise.

    Regards,

    joe

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