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"Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Dom
Grafter
Posts: 277
Registered: 09-03-2010

"Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Just came across this in a Tweet by Sir Richard himself:
http://www.stopthebroadbandcon.org/letter.php
Quote
Virgin prides itself on being innovative and challenging the norms but my views on how to treat customers are pretty traditional. Whether it’s a topped up pint in the pub, the full forty miles-to-the–gallon or broadband speeds - we should all get what we pay for. At Virgin, we believe in being honest about the service we provide. But there’s something going on in broadband advertising that’s just plain wrong.
Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) just aren’t keeping up with their promises. Many of them are advertising superfast broadband speeds they know full well they cannot deliver, offering speeds of ‘up to’ 20Mb but delivering an average of just 6.5Mb. And what does this mean for the customer at the end of the line? Buffering, delays and not getting the broadband you are paying for.
...

I, for one, signed the petition. While some ISPs are better than others, they're all guilty of fooling the general public into thinking they're likely to get more than they actually are. Sure, they use words like "up to" in their marketing bumpf to cover their behinds, but I agree that things could be a little clearer, especially for the less technically-inclined people of the public.
So why not sign it, and let everyone know that things need to change?
PS. This isn't an attack on Plusnet, but I feel as though everyone would benefit if ISPs were a little stricter with their claims about how fast a service they provide etc, Plusnet included.
Smiley Smiley
59 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,482
Thanks: 246
Fixes: 68
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

During signup we give a speed estimates so we are doing our utmost with regards to setting an honest expectation.
With a view to providing more relevant information and to set clearer expectation with regards to speeds we will soon be changing this system to provide a speed range instead, this will adhere to new ofcom regulations: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/codes-of-practice/broadband-speeds-cop-2010/code-of-practi...
The way this will work is if a speed range is not available or the speed is below 2mb we will revert back to giving an estimated speed. This will only apply to our current products (up to 8 and up to 20mb) and not to any of the fibre trials which are taking place.
Any questions please let me know.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,817
Thanks: 315
Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Happily signed the petition and I urge everyone to do the same.
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Hmmm, I'm very sceptical about anything promoted by Virgin cable.
As we all know, apart from the "up to" issue, which is slowly being controlled we have:
1. Line length and quality affects ADSL speeds (but not cable) and this is still not widely clarified
2. Traffic management seriously affects real-world performance and usability on both cable and ADSL
3. Users own wiring is a major issue with ADSL
4. Wirless networks add a whole further complication
5. etc. etc.
So, it's not simple, as many of us here already know, and just picking on the "issue of the moment" is not, to my mind, being at all "genuine" - far from it!  Sad
Moderator
Moderator
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Quote
Virgin Media is already delivering the fastest broadband in the UK

Not on my estate they are not as the nearest cable is 2 miles away.
[Cynical point] This is just another advert for Virgin Cable [/Cynical point]

Customer and Forum Moderator.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,482
Thanks: 246
Fixes: 68
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Quote
[Cynical point] This is just another advert for Virgin Cable [/Cynical point]

Yep, its an advertising campaign made to resemble a press release.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

They seem happy to jump on the bt infinity advert line of make you believe there network is all fiber and no coax or copper is used
just another advert by VM disguised as a tweet, its not worth signing the petition in my view as rules are and have been in place for some time by the good honest isp's to insure a ordering customer gets an est of real speed.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Quote from: Strat
Quote
Virgin Media is already delivering the fastest broadband in the UK

Not on my estate they are not as the nearest cable is 2 miles away.
[Cynical point] This is just another advert for Virgin Cable [/Cynical point]

? lucky or not mine is a least ten miles, but BT cable is about 200Metre to the box - I am on Value, dont think I cam have it?
TicnTac
Grafter
Posts: 426
Registered: 03-08-2010

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

In regards to the OP, the Hook, Line, Sinker in adverts is upto 8Mb upto 20Mb etc, when the average is about 3.5Mb, however information won't appeal to the general public, so adverts really can't be honest in the first place! It would be a shock to the UK ISP world if an ISP stated the actual facts in an advert,  Shocked we'd all die of shock probably.
Adam is also right in saying that speed estimates are given out, and this isn't the case with every ISP most major players do now give a line estimate.
Think about it, you don't see a spotty chav in a perfume advert buying a bottle for his 16year old girlfriend and driving off into the smog in a clapt out Corsa do you? No, you see a sexy half undressed beautiful woman, nice scenery, super cars, models, all because the later appeals, when yes we all know the chav will buy said perfume and give to girlfriend and drive off in his clapt out Corsa probably without insurance MOT or licence  Roll eyes
It isn't really a con, it is glazed over to look nice and to appeal...........tis life. I just wish BT would do more to improve the lives of those on poor quality broadband and not fob off ISP's and their customers!  Roll eyes
Fletch
Grafter
Posts: 83
Registered: 08-08-2008

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

While this is a serious issue and the ASA are currently reviewing:  http://www.asa.org.uk/Resource-Centre/Hot-Topics/Broadband-advertising.aspx
I couldn't resist popping in my non cable Sheffield post code into the Virgin Media site to have a check what happens...  i got a page telling me I can get "Up to 20mb" Broadband!
So maybe rather than this:
Many of them are advertising superfast broadband speeds they know full well they cannot deliver, offering speeds of ‘up to’ 20Mb but delivering an average of just 6.5Mb.

It should read this:

Many of them (Include Virgin Media) are advertising superfast broadband speeds they know full well they cannot deliver, offering speeds of ‘up to’ 20Mb but delivering an average of just 6.5Mb.

Grin
Plusnet is signed-up to the OFCOM code of practice on speed, and I was delighted when we did well in our compliance to the code of practice following research by OFCOM.  http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/telecoms/cop/isp_compliance.pdf I'd ask why Virgin provided 35% of customers on there website with the Headline speed, and that 79% of advisors at Virgin media didn't explain it was an estimate?  We clearly have more to do in this space, and we have lessons to learn from the research, some of which we have implemented.   In January we are updating our sign-up process to give a range, and an estimate to set better expectations with customers.
Fletch
edit - Typo.
Dom
Grafter
Posts: 277
Registered: 09-03-2010

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Quote from: TicnTac
In regards to the OP, the Hook, Line, Sinker in adverts is upto 8Mb upto 20Mb etc, when the average is about 3.5Mb, however information won't appeal to the general public, so adverts really can't be honest in the first place! It would be a shock to the UK ISP world if an ISP stated the actual facts in an advert,  Shocked we'd all die of shock probably.

Yeah no doubt, but I'd rather they were honest. I just don't like the fact that advertising regulations etc can be so vague/have so many loopholes, that numbers like "20" can be throw around when really (as you say) it should be more like "3.5". A lot of people just wouldn't realise that they're not getting what they think they are, and the only reason they think they're getting it is because of the adverts and sales pitches they hear. Some people know better, but most don't, and I can't help but feel that advertising and marketing departments take advantage of that.
Quote from: Fletch
While this is a serious issue and the ASA are currently reviewing:  http://www.asa.org.uk/Resource-Centre/Hot-Topics/Broadband-advertising.aspx
I couldn't resist popping in my non cable Sheffield post code into the Virgin Media site to have a check what happens...  i got a page telling me I can get "Up to 20mb" Broadband!

In my experience Virgin gives exactly what it says it does. A friend of mine living in Cambridge at the time signed up for their 20Mb package, and got 20Mb consistently. They do curb your speeds if you go over their 7Gb daily limit, but I'm sure most people can live with that.
Before Virgin took over, I think they were called NTL, which myself and some housemates signed up with while at uni. Again, we signed up for the 10Mb package (which was the highest at the time) and got 10Mb all the time.
Ah, those were the days. Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Virgin Media are as bad or worse than the rest
This is what I get putting in my post code - just for the record I live 4km from the exchange in a straight line
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,297
Thanks: 30
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Article was on The Register not long ago with a nice Virgin screenshot...

Article
Sort of a "get your own house in order Virgin!" article.
Alxns
Grafter
Posts: 172
Registered: 18-05-2010

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Nearest cable from me is like 105 miles so...
guess this doesn't effect me  Crazy
TicnTac
Grafter
Posts: 426
Registered: 03-08-2010

Re: "Stop The Broadband Con" Campaign

Come back NTHell all is forgiven............. Sad  Grin Or Diamond Cable as they started out, the great thing about the service was that we started with a 1Mb connection, it went up to 2Mb, then 5Mb then 10Mb then 20Mb and it would now be on 50Mb, although we opted to go back down for a cheaper price.........750kbs min on transfer speeds, and unless a car had hit a little green box, or vandals had got in, there weren't the sort of issues you get with ADSL. I loved cable, it worked, or it didn't, no silly inbetween, no, sort of working, or sort of connecting, some say the Virgin cable service has gone down hill, but I still have family members on cable, and they have not yet had a complaint, we even know some businesses who have gone through the system Diamond - NTL - Virgin, and again they haven't had issues. Same can be said with BT and PN customers  Shocked Have to yet to meet one in person mind Wink I think all the positive feedback on here are just Adam, JoJo and Bob making up names just throw in some balance because they're bored Wink  Grin
However, Virgin isn't outside, so unless we uproot and move, it is never going to happen, and the Infinity service is never going to be a patch on what Virgin have on offer.
Back to advertising, as people keep saying, yes they throw around 20Mb here and upto 10 or 8Mb there, but the fact is advertising is what it is, or this forum probably wouldn't exist, and I doubt very much we'd be where we are now in terms of Broadband take up in the UK. You have to gloss, you have to hype, you have to cover over the ifs and buts..............otherwise it would be pointless.
There is nothing good, or honest about advertising, or BT / Plusnet even, Internet as a whole, apart from it employs people, makes money for people, and gets customers, which all in all, is a good thing! Yes, a lot of us on here know better, and feel frustrated about those that don't.........tis the way of the world, and it will always be like that.........otherwise, we'd all have a car, a job, free telephone and internet, decent equipment, and it'll all be free........no poverty, starvation, but then that's a whole different reality to what we live in, and since everyone with Plusnet is with BT..............all I can say is............welcome to hell! Wink  Mwuahahahaha!  Cheesy