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Virgin Media -> Sky Connect -> PlusNet (Feedback so far...)

r3fl3x
Grafter
Posts: 42
Registered: 28-04-2010

Virgin Media -> Sky Connect -> PlusNet (Feedback so far...)

OK this is going to be verbose... -deep breath-
Well I've recently moved to somewhere far more rural than my previous address, where I was comfortably enjoying Virgin Media's 20mb of fiber to my door. I have to say up until this move I'd been with VM for 10+ years - when they were CableTel, then NTL, then VM. In fact I worked for them in technical support when they started the cable modem 512kbps product.
So - to sum that up broadband for me has always been DSL. I was extremely happy with the service. In love with it I suppose. I was very very worried about moving as I knew there was no VM in the area I was moving to. I work from home, have a teenager who is internet hungry and my wife and I are heavy internet users and gamers.
OK. With Virgin Media it's all in one bill right? TV, phone and internet - Sky looked like the only option there. Called them up, start of the call was told I should be fine with 'up to' 20mb internet. Great. At the end of the call when I've given card details and arranged installation date the sales guy says 'Oh, sorry - looks like you can only have our Connect service - up to 8mb.' Run this past the wife - OK we'll go for it. How mind bogglingly naive - at this point I had no idea of LLU, capacity bought off BT at exchanges, contention, traffic shaping, Market 1/2/3 or anything. For me internet was fiber and fast.
Get phone line installed - call up for broadband activation. OK the agent I speak to there is saying 6mb. Getting a bit worried now but I suppose 6mb is OK...
...I get emailed a couple of days later (I have no broadband at this point!?) saying my connection is going to be 1.5mb.
So I start phoning and shouting at the lies I've been told. The agent I speak to this time said I -should- have been told the line can barely support 0.5mb and that it was borderline whether Sky were going to be able to offer me a service.
I'm skipping a lot of this out here.. mostly angry rantings at Sky - to the point where when I called their system picked up on my landline and routed me straight to a human with no queue and an apologetic message Wink
So I want my MAC code. I'm Googling - lots of people in my area getting good (5mb+) speeds with some people called PlusNet. PlusWho?
Look at their site - Pro package. Prioritised connection (cor). Static IP (cor - IpSec VPN to work coming up). Excellent monitoring tools. £20 a month, bargain.
I haven't got my MAC code yet as the person I asked for it started a cancellation process on my account which hadn't quite activated yet, so I couldn't get my MAC. I'd have to wait 14 days for the account to cancel.... still no internet.
<insert more screaming blue murder at the unbelievable ineptitude of Sky staff here>
I manage to get the MAC. I'm 3 weeks into my new home, with no broadband and no working from home at this point...
I call PlusNet on the Saturday of Easter weekend. Order is taken and I'm told line will activate on 13/04/10. The person I spoke to at sales (I guess) didn't lie at all to me. Told me it was going to take 7 days - and it did. Told me I could expect 6mb+ from the line and as I was on Pro I'd be essentially guaranteed line speed. Wonderful. Brilliant start =)
The 13th comes - I'm calling and checking beforehand - told yes it's going to go live on the 13th after midday. I call around 2 I think it was, 'I can activate it now for you' - gogogogo.
Home I go. Lo and behold (I still have the speedtest) - plug the router in, enter details and I'm online. Superb.
13/04/10 - 18:00
Download speed achieved during the test was - 6033 Kbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 600-7150 Kbps.
Additional Information:
Your DSL Connection Rate :7860 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 448 Kbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 6500 Kbps
-----------
Marvellous - unbelievably happy. However, I raise a fault as I didn't at all understand the relationship between sync rate and download and IP profile.
The turnaround was incredible - Alex (I believe it was) calls me back and explains how it all fits together: PlusNet / BT / bRAS / DLM etc, etc.
Absolutely superlative service. An extremely knowledgeable member of staff.
So my line starts to bed down but I'm still getting more disconnections than I felt I should. Turns out I have a telephone splitter connected to a 2nd Sky Box and not a microfilter. Oops =/
Buy some XF-e1 filters and I'm up to about 9mb!
However I'm still not happy with speeds and disconnections - Think I raise another fault or re-open it and this time I get Shawn (can't quite remember the spelling - in the tickets though). Another thoroughly intelligent and capable member of staff who even pastes graphs showing my router disconnects into the ticket so I can work out whether the d/cs are me tweaking, rebooting the router... unbelievable stuff! I finally 'get' that I need to leave the router on for days and days.
The service so far has been absolutely impeccable. Text messages informing of ticket updates... calls in the evening prefixed with 'Are you OK to talk now, is this convenient?'.
Minor hiccup with interleaving not being turned off when I asked initially but that's not even a fly in the soup.
Then there's the forum support too - which I've moved onto / started spamming now. And what top quality that is. Extremely responsive and professional (tin hats on). Can't fault it.
So - where am I heading with this?
I have to say PlusNet so far are the best ISP I've had in terms of the quality of the product (PlusNet Pro) and the quality of the staff. I'm going to regularly go over my 20gb but for line speed 24/7 including 6PM usenet binary downloads (if I want to). I'll happily pay for it. I know I can d/l all I want after midnight too... and prioritised traffic? Immense. I'd recommend to -anyone-. Hoping I get the chance for some referral $$$$s. Wink
I was dreading ADSL and in all honesty I thought I'd made a horrendous mistake moving when I saw what Sky Connect were going to offer me... I'm currently syncing at 14547 after some severe router tweaking.. which after a while should give me a 12mb IP profile. My gaming is frighteningly fast with interleaving turned off (I'm not sure if all ISPs offer that...) and with my 1mbps upload I'm quite often hosting the games. My teenager can use spotify and MSN cams whilst I'm working or gaming at the same time my wife is surfing and streaming internet radio. (This from probably a 1mb service on Sky Connect...)
I now understand how ADSL works (thanks guys), I have complete confidence that if I have a problem it'll be resolved, I have a static IP, and I'm just about to hit week 6 with PlusNet.
Thank you folks! Out-standing- stuff.
A very, very happy customer.
r3fl3x.
Edit: Typos.
Edit 2: Tweaked post title.
1 REPLY
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Virgin Media -> Sky Connect -> PlusNet (Feedback so far...)

Hi there,
Firstly, welcome to Plusnet and the forums.
Secondly, thanks for the feedback, we really do appreciate it, and I'll make sure the relevant managers see the praise for their team members. Smiley
Give us a shout if you need anything.