Category Archives: ISP

Broadband Providers — Who Loves Them As Much As We Do?

Changing to a new ISP or broadband provider seems to be an incredible hassle in the UK. From our own personal experience, we can certainly attest to this problem.

Having a reliable and uninterrupted broadband connection is essential for anyone in the Internet marketing or affiliate marketing business. Therefore, before we decided to move from British Telecom, we did a great deal of research into the marketplace, and combed the forums to find out who had good reviews and of course who had bad reviews.

Armed with this information, we signed up lock stock and barrel to a company called Toucan or as we call them Toucannot. I think you know what’s coming! Not only were we persuaded into signing up for one year of broadband service, but were also persuaded into letting them handle our telephone calls and line rental as well. A bold move! One which we have lived to regret as time has gone on.

The telephone service in itself seems to be okay. You do get reasonable rates for national calls and international calls, but sometimes the the line quality to places such as Ukraine can be appalling. Not the first time have we found ourselves dialing an 0871 number to obtain a cheaper rate per minute and also a better line. One point in their favour though is that the line rental each month is substantially cheaper than British Telecom.

Now as far as the broadband is concerned, when we signed up, we had our own router, manufactured by a company called Zoom, which functioned perfectly for about three weeks and then suddenly gave up the ghost one day. This forced us into taking emergency measures by installing the modem provided by Toucan. And this is where the problems began. First of all, the modem had to be installed twice, which was strange by itself. Then the modem decided to switch itself off at any time of the day or night. This interrupted all programs that we had going on each occasion. Very frustrating indeed.

We know a bit about modems and routers, so of course we went through the usual remedial procedures of switching the modem off, disconnecting it, reconnecting it — you know the drill. Of course we were convinced that the modem itself was at fault and we were later proven to be correct. However, we were then forced to call the broadband technical support of Toucan.

Rather frustratingly, Toucan have outsourced their technical support to a third party company and they charge 30p a minute for any kind of technical support. Now this particular call centre is located in India. Frequently the lines can be bad and hearing each other can be difficult. So this adds to the delays and expense. To make matters worse, it seems as though these agents who answer the telephones are trained to prolong the conversation as long as possible. They seem to ask you a bunch of unnecessary questions and then eventually get down to business. They then go through the same old questions and answers that you have already addressed yourself and that is that.

One agent put down the phone on me because I had hinted that he was taking far too long to get to the root of the problem. When I called back, I was of course made to answer the usual questions and repeat myself once again. After waiting three minutes at 30p a minute, with the agent having left me on hold, I decided that enough was enough. I had already spent six pounds on the telephone without any kind of resolution. I have to say that I find it intensely irritating and extremely unfair that I should have to pay Toucan 30p per minute, so that they can establish that there is a fault in the modem that they have supplied to me as part of my contract. Suffice to say I was not going to let the matter rest and escalated the problem within the organisation.

After several phone calls and much protestation, I eventually received a call back from two managers within the organisation. One manager agreed to give me a refund of £10 against the charges I had incurred and in addition to this, another manager agreed to pay £40 towards the new router, which I had to buy because the modem did not work properly. I have to say that I was extremely pleasantly surprised by the latter gesture. After all, if I choose to buy an expensive £99 rooter and according to the contract, Toucan only have to provide me with a functional modem, this was indeed a decent gesture.

There is no question about it, you really need to choose your broadband provider very carefully and read all the small print that may go with your contract. I wonder who else has had similar experience to us? Please feel free to send us your comments on your favourite broadband provider!