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