So much choice

Broadband choice part 1

So much choice … so much pain! Has anyone else changed their Internet Service Provider recently? Trying to make sense of it all and compare plans and understand all the choices, and of course every provider has slightly different conditions so that its impossible to do a straight comparison, and working out the differences between ADSL, ADS2 ,ADSL2+, Naked ADSL,and then you decide on a provider and their website says its available and then you apply and then they tell you that they can’t supply a service because you’re connected to the wong telcos infrastructure and then you search again and find a provider who is connected to the ‘right’ infrastructure and then you start to apply and then they tell you that getting a broadband service from them will cause your telephone account to be disconnected and then you query that assertion and then they tell you that they don’t really mean it, (cos you’re connected to the ‘right’ telco) but they have that warning just in case they really do mean that your phone will get disconnected, and in the meantime the other ISP you’re interested in won’t tell you on their website whether they can provide a service so you fill in a form asking them to contact you and then they never get back to you, ….Sigh. I’m beginning to think I’m happy with my current ISP and plan.

Dene Hughes – That sounds so familiar! Here in Andrew Close we applied with Exetel first and were denied. Then we got a Telstra line connected and applied with Exetel again (using the newly provisioned line to identify us instead of just our address). This second time Exetel sent an Optus guy who left the new Telstra line dormant in the box and connected us with an Optus data and phone line. No cost to us! I’m really not sure why it happened this way, but I can highly recommend Exetel as having good value plans (this is why I was determined enough to apply a second time). And don’t take their first rejection (especially if it’s an Optus reported “pair gain” problem) as complete.19 Apr 2010.

Update 29 Apr 210: – Broadband choice rant. Part #2
Other ISP finally rings back, but then says I would have to change my phone number to use their service, and having had the same phone number for 16 yrs, that’s no minor change, so I eventually pluck up the courage to apply to a different ISP that won’t force a change of number, and then 5 days later before I’m even connected to the new ISP, my original ISP offers a new range of plans with 7x the monthly limit they previously had and for the same price, and for less than the ISP I’ve just signed up with!Ouch! I wish I had a time machine that could take me back 2 weeks.

Christopher Webb – AHHHH!!! Ouchy!1 May 2010.

Update 5 June 2010: ISP switching: Part #3
After waiting an extraordinary 5 weeks, I finally get notification that I am about to be switched to the new ISP. By this stage I am not very optimistic, so I set myself very low expectations. I expect that the process will result in me losing phone service and internet service for 3 weeks. As it turns out I didn’t lose phone service at all, but I had no internet service for 5 days – impossible to tell whether that was the fault of my old or new ISP though – a combination of both I suspect.I rang my old ISP to confirm that I had cancelled with them to make sure they don’t keep billing me. When I explained that my phone service was with them, but my internet service was with another provider they said that if I change to another ISP I’ll lose my phone service and number. What?!? Fortunately it took me only a few seconds to realise that I was speaking with a particularly uninformed customer service operator who was blithely ignorant that the company she works for resells internet access via 3rd party providers. (At least I hope this is the case.)One bit of good news is that since signing up with the new ISP, they have changed their plans, so I can upgrade to a plan with an extra 20GB/month for no extra cost.

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #16]

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