When Tiscali bought Pipex (including Toucan, Bulldog, Nildram and Freedom2Surf) last summer there was speculation that customers would quickly be moved onto the Tiscali network. That is now happening, and it seems Tiscali are repeating many of the mistakes we made and learned from nearly two years ago.
The reasoning behind moving customers to the new network is simple: LLU saves over £5 a month per customer, and bandwidth costs also go down significantly. On that basis it's logical that any business would try to make these changes.
Unfortunately, the process of moving people to LLU can be very tricky. If anything goes wrong the issues can be hard to diagnose and take much customer co-operation to fix. The biggest lesson we learnt was that if you change a customer's network connection, not only do you have to tell them what to expect in advance, but you also have to carefully handhold people through the process.
We also found that some customers simply can't be moved easily, and needed the option to opt-out completely. To our knowledge, Tiscali aren't giving customers any notice of the changes or the chance to opt-out and as a result many are now reporting unexpected service problems in the ThinkBroadband forums.
Despite having an opt-out process in place we ultimately decided to stop moving customers to LLU as a result of the issues. Tiscali however, in a year when they're determined to post their first ever profit seem more likely to press on regardless. To quote one Pipex insider:
"The logic is that we'll save more money placing customers on the Tiscali backhaul per month than we will lose from customers migrating away."
Tiscali are having to compete firmly on price with the likes of Sky, TalkTalk and BT who are all growing fast. If they also plan to turn a profit it's no surprise to see them carrying on with the closure of the Pipex network as quickly as possible. It's just a shame that Tiscali didn't take our experience onboard and manage the process more elegantly.
Our question to Pipex customers who are looking for award winning service is simple: Why not try PlusNet? Over the last year we've invested heavily in our broadband network and deployed some of the most advanced and transparent traffic management techniques in the world. We've also just climbed to second place in Epitiro's ADSL broadband provider list, while Pipex have dropped out of the top 5 and Tiscali have slipped to fourth.
If you're a Pipex, Toucan, Bulldog, Nildram or Freedom2Surf customer you can switch to PlusNet and get your first month free. If you're already a PlusNet customer you can also get a monthly discount by introducing someone you know. If they are a Pipex customer we're pretty sure they will thank you for your efforts.