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Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

sheridan
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 18-05-2009

Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

I am a new customer of less than one month who signed up for Plusnet Value Broadband.  Over the past weeks my line speed has become slower and slower and is now worse than my old dial-up connection with Tescos.  Apparently this is Ok with the Plusnet techies who are now saying that this is my problem and perhaps I should purchase new microfilters and a new router.  Plusnet provided these items for me when I signed up - should they not know if they were fit for purpose!!!
And why oh why do techies insist on using their own language when replying to customer queries? Is this in the vain hope that we will go away and stop bothering them?
The level of service I have received so far in trying to sort out the problem with line speed deficientcies is pretty poor and I am very unhappy Angry
17 REPLIES
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Hiya,
I'm sorry you've been experiencing a decreasing level of speed since you joined us.
Did you get two filters with your router?  If so try them individually plugging directly into your master socket, with *everything* else unplugged from your telephone sockets and see if you notice an improvement.
It would also help if you were able to post your router stats so that we could see how your line is behaving?  If you're not sure how to do this, let us know and we'll help Smiley
sheridan
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 18-05-2009

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Thank you for  a prompt reply Jamesh.  I have my telephone/answering machine (handsfree) plugged in to the microfilter along with the Thompson router.  I will try as you suggest unplugging the phone and swapping out the microfilter. 
And, yes, you will have to tell me how I post my router stats to you if you would be so kind.  I don't suppose you can tell me what my "dns" settings are and how I can change servers? I cannot make much sense of the reply from Mr *** who supposes that I am also a comms engineer.
Thank you.
jim:green agents name removed as per forum rules mod:end
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,028
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

This link may take you straight there http://192.168.1.254/cgi/b/dsl/dt/?ce=1&be=0&l0=1&l1=0
sheridan
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 18-05-2009

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Thanks Oldjim for trying to help.
I cannot get connected to site you posted a link for at the moment (says server timed out) but will continue to try. 
I am very concerned that I am going to be stuck with an unreasonably slow broadband connection that is of no use it's so slow Cry
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,028
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Try this route http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/frogstats.php#43 for instructions
However if it was a Plusnet suplied unit the username and password may be
username = admin
password: = admin
instead of (note they are case sensitive)
User Name = Administrator
Password = blank (don't type  it)
sheridan
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 18-05-2009

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Many thanks Oldjim,
However, the second site address you have kindly provided for me does not list the Thompson wireless router supplied by Plusnet. 
I thought I would cut/paste the comms engineer's reply to my "question".  I have no idea what my "dns" is and, quite frankly, I am appalled at the lack of help I am getting.  Why should I test my line speed after midnight? I don't the broadband after midnight, I want to use it at tea time until approx 10pm.  If the line speed is unacceptable then (38kbps) why should I be impressed at the line speed after midnight!!!!! Angry
From the "very helpful engineers" at Plusnet (I might have been slightly more impressed if he had bothered to check how long I have been a customer ie 2-3wks):
The line tests have completed and are showing your connection to the exchange (known as sync) is set at a high/normal rate for your line. Also all profiling has been checked and is also normal for your account/line.
Before all else restarting your router is recommended, especially if you have not done so for a while though only 1 restart is advised as doing so several times can be detrimental to your connection.
In general the line test has not been able to find any specific fault with the line, the exchange and copper line itself look fine at this time. As such we would recommend double checking everything at your end that can affect the actual throughput speed of your connection.
First of all we recommend that you ensure your equipment is plugged directly into the BT master socket. Try changing the microfilter and modem/router (if possible) as this is a common cause. Filters you may find as they are cheap can be easier to pick up from your nearest PC hardware stockist.
Also check for any sources of RF interference that are near the line, this can be anything that can give off an electrical field such as a radio/speakers, any cordless device etc (especially if the fault seems to happen when it gets dark or if a certain electrical devices are on at the time of the fault, even things such as heating can be known to cause problems in some cases).
Of critical importance also is that on the software side you check to make sure all is upto date and you are running the latest version of drivers for your modem or firmware for your router. As new technologies progress its more and more essential to keep yourself upto date. Go and research your hardware, A lot of equipment on the market can actually cause problems and you may find a fix for it, check that the makers of the router are not aware of any issues.
Also try disconnecting any other devices you have connected to your PC, such as scanners, printers or cameras to make sure they are not interfering.
Its also recommended to have your voice line checked by your telephone provider for any faults, any loss of dial tone or noise on the line can cause a severe reduction in speed. Even if you do not generally use the voice service it is important to ensure it is working correctly.
PC side its important to ensure when testing that the correct port forwarding is used if using a router to allow traffic to and from the internet to pass correctly, also check firewalls and antivirus are not affecting your connection adversely. A full virus/spyware scan should be done to ensure that nothing is using your connection unknown to you in the background, also at the time of testing make sure all unrequired applications on the pc used to test are closed down and that nothing else is using your connection.
Its also worth ensuring your dns is configured correctly, in most cases this setting would be in your router and would say get automatically from ISP, this can sometimes not work correctly however and may be worth trying a change to manual entry. The following servers should be tried:
Primary DNS server: 212.159.13.49
Secondary DNS server: 212.159.13.50
Alternate Primary: 212.159.6.9
Alternate Secondary: 212.159.6.10
We also recommend to go to the following link, and run the test, this will then check your connection and can identify if any of the settings on your computer and connection need altering. Please note Generally these checks are designed only for windows based machines.
http://www.dslreports.com/tweaks
If this test then advises you to download a program called DrTCP to adjust your settings, a guide on how to use this can be found here:-
http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/tweak.htm
The final thing which can be essential that you try is to plug into the engineer's test socket behind the master socket faceplate, this can rule out common master socket faults. To check this you will generally need to unscrew the lower half of the front plate of the master socket. In the event that a fault with this is found you can either replace the front plate yourself or we can raise it to BT to have them change it themselves however they would charge to do so as they consider the front of the master socket as being in your own maintenance remit. In some instances the master socket will not have a lower section that you can unscrew, this will mean that either you are not looking at the correct socket or that your main socket is one of the very old style ones without a test port. In this instance we generally recommend getting it replaced.
Failing all of this we do have the option to report your fault to BT to be investigated however this can come with the penalty that if BT to find and are able to prove the issue is caused by something at your end then they will bill for a false call out which will cost £144.00 + VAT. As such its often better to ensure all the above is checked first. Its also worth bearing in mind that speeds, especially at peak hours are subject to contention and often expected to be much lower than your actual line rate. As such its always best to test your speeds during off peak hours if possible (ie after 12 midnight).
PLEASE NOTE: All speed checks and diagnostics are designed to investigate generic throughput issues over http, they do not relate in anyway to specific websites or specific download types such as P2P, usenet or external FTB download as these are managed differently on our network. If you are having a problem with ONLY these type of download please advise our support team accordingly.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,028
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Plusnet provide the 585 v7 so these instructions should work
Quote
From the routers IP address which is usually http://192.168.1.254
Broadband Connection >
DSL Connection >
Details.
Just to add that is a remarkably comprehensive reply from the agent.
Once you respond to this post I, or another user will pick it up and take you through the diagnosis stages step by step.
I am going off line about 15 minutes for the remainder of the day but one thing is not clear which is what you are using to check the speeds.
If you can post the results from http://www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk/ it will help. I won't suggest a BT Speedtest as the results are notoriously dodgy at present.
sheridan
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 18-05-2009

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Thanks for your help Oldjim. 
You may think the reply was remarkably comprehensive, I thought it was unhelpful.  A customer's technical knowledge in these matters should not be assumed.  I will try your suggested routes later this evening.
Kind regards.
sheridan
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 18-05-2009

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Dear fellow "rants and ravers"
I have just had a call from Jamesh who very kindly offered to give me some practical help and talk me through process of tracing the fault thus causing my slow broadband speed.  He agreed stock reponse from former engineer was unhelpful in my case.
Thank you Jamesh and will try your suggestions and come back to you.  I will post a reading from www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk if think that will help.
kind regards
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Hiya,
It was nice to be able to have a proper chat on the phone about the problems you've been experiencing Smiley
As promised, I've replied to your ticket.  If you're not sure about anything I've put down, let me know.  I sometimes go into the techy mode and forget I have!
@Jim
No need in getting line stats.  Line is syncing perfectly at 8128Kbps and I suspect there is an issue from computer to router and my main concern would be the quality of the wireless signal.  So we're going to try making a change to the wireless channel, rebooting the router (which has abn uptime of 9 days) and try to wire via ethernet, which is a little difficult because of the positioning of the master socket, but there's an extension socket not far away which we can also try and because of the quality of the signal (sync) I don't think using an extension is going to be a massive issue.
sheridan
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 18-05-2009

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Hi there Jameseh
As I said on the phone, a broadband speed test performed on Friday 15/5 @18:13 confirmed download speed of 20Kbps. 
After taking your kind advice (rebooting the router and manually assigning a different wireless channel),  we have achieved an improvement: 5496Kbps download speed @19:23 tonight (Monday 18/5).  It is still not 8128Kbps but I am sure you will agree, must improved!!!
This is great customer service: to take the timeout to phone a customer in distress with reassuring advice that yes, we can help you.
I don't want to sound ungrateful, but if greater speed can achieved please let me know.
Thanks again Kiss
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

you might be able to get up to a profile of 7150 (there is an overheads loss) with a synch speed of about 6400, it is best to switch the router on towards mid day, not at 19:23,  any time from about 8am to 3 pm
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

p-p, I think you meant throughput speed of 6400,  but his line is syncing at 8128, no need to go playing with switching on & off.
Sheridan, if you reallly want to check out the maximum capability of your connection, your need to run the tests at an off-peak time eg.~ 3.am -9 .am. and use ehthernet to your computer rather than wireless.
You should check that your profile at the member centre https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed is 7150. If so, at an off-peak time you should see throughput approaching 7000 - use http://www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk/ to check.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Unhelpful comments from techies when reporting unacceptablly slow line speeds

Her Smiley
She already has a line profile of 7150Kbps in both our and BTs systems.
I suspect that it will be difficult to achieve much higher speeds without using an ethernet cable (which we have talked about), but we've definitely seen a massive improvement so far, which is good Smiley