the_constructor coughed up some electrons that declared:
Don't know. But I am with Andrews and Arnold (aaisp.co.uk) and they are
*very* clueful. Not the cheapest - but here are a couple of examples of
calls from me to them over the last few years:
a) Me: Phones AAISP, lady answers in 15 seconds:
Me: My links gone dead, is it you or me?
Her: We're having a problem, engineers are rebooting something.
Me: Ok, that's all I need to know, I'll wait it out.
10 minutes later, all is well.
b) [Upgrade to ADSL-MAX, the 2Mbit/s cap wasn't being removed after the
physical link settled down to 6Mbit/s - waited 3 days]
Me, by email: blah blah, cap still in place;
Them in a couple of hours: Could you wait one more day?
[Next day] Me [still by email]: Nope, still broken, could you ask BT to fix
Them [hour or two later]: Please bear with us.
[Later, within a day IIRC]: BT Engineer calls my mobile;
BT bloke: Yeah, this happens sometimes, I've reset some widget at our end.
Are you in a position to test it.
Me: Sure, give me a moment to ssh into my home system...
Me: Yes, that's running at about 6Mbit/s - thanks!
In summary - not cheap, not there outside of business hours, but when you do
call them, you do get to speak to intelligent people who don't ask you to
reboot Windows, which in itself is worth the cost!
Three of my experiences with AAISP:
1) At 17:20 on a Friday, decide I want an extra domain name. Email
support and ask to have 'xxx.org.uk'. Email received back at 17:32
saying that it's all registered and Nominet will update their servers
with my DNS server addresses shortly.
2) Decide I want more static IP addresses (32 instead of 16), so email
support. Email received back an hour later telling me of the new
32-address block, saying it's now being routed to me, and would I please
let them know (no hurry) when I've stopped using the old block.
3) At 08:30, discover that my ADSL is dead; ring support at 09:05 when I
get a chance. Out until 15:30, but when I return it is all working.
Subsequently discover that BT (it was a BT fault) closed the fault at
noon citing 'misconfigured customer router'. AAISP promptly reopened
fault with BT, basically telling them not to be so silly; no involvement
needed from me.
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poster, and specifically may not be published in, or used by
I had a good experience with Nildram. Despite being eligible for free
broadband with either Orange or TalkTalk, I've elected to stick with
Nildram and keep paying.
a) Me: phones Nildram and lady answers without delay.
Me: My link is still up to the exchange but I lost all connectivity,
now I seem to be disconnected to Nildram and can't log back in.
Nice Nildram lady : "Just a second ... Right they've just "dropped"
47,000 customers while they reboot a router. You should be back on in
less than 5 minutes.
And "back on" I was.
I am surprised that Talk Talk didn't go head to head with Tiscali on
No douibt that is because no one with the sense to use ISPreview would
So why would they use Tiscali?
These review sites are of relatively limited value for several reasons:
- ISPs with a larger customer base will experience larger numbers of
- There is no indication as to whether the problem related to a
complaint really is the ISP's fault or is that the customer has finger
trouble or expectations beyond what is being provided. That can be
because of over-marketing by the provider, or the customer not
understanding that speed and connectivity are not completely under the
- Like almost all things, the price that the customer pays heavily
influences what they get. For example, the entry level providers
tend to employ techniques such as traffic shaping, caching and other
contention methods. They don't invest in proper support. They
economise on peering and transit arrangements and go for poorer SLAs on
connectivity. All of this taken together adds up to poorer customer
satisfaction especially for customers who have been taken in by the
marketing, expect something for nothing, don't know any better and
have limited technical ability themselves.
- To some extent, the review sites drive the market. A provider
gets a good review or two or comes close to the top of a league. They
get lots more customers as a result. If they are then unable to step
up the provisioning and support, the service quality drops and people
migrate away. Then the provider gets acquired if they are lucky or
goes broke if they aren't
The other critical failure of many comparison sites is they take no
account of the package that the customer has purchased. This can have a
big impact on the level of performance and support that different users
get from the same ISP, leading to radically differing views and
experiences of them.
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