I have kind of a love-hate relationship with my ISP. Their speeds are pretty good (I think, anyway) and their culture (if you like) or their philosophy, is great. I like the wee touches like their community forum and blog and I love their geographic (01) phone numbers for support. I’ve never had to use them so I don’t know how good they are once you’re actually on the phone, but at least you don’t have to worry about the cost. 0p a minute works fine for me.
I know I always mention it, largely because it’s my only real complaint, but I do hate the peak-time usage limit of 8GB per month*. I understand bandwidth costs them money and I know I can get more for a relatively low cost either through additional bandwidth bundles, pay-as-you-go or a £5 package upgrade, but I don’t really fancy any of those options. It would seem I’m just expecting too much, but it does leave me feeling content or happy with the product, rather than delighted. I’ve suggested extending the unmetered/unlimited usage ‘off-peak’ period (currently midnight to 8am) through to 10am or midday, but it doesn’t seem likely (cost reasons, apparently).
I blame the big providers for spreading the myth of unlimited usage (while growing ever tighter in their so-called “fair use” policies). They’ve clearly set my expectations too high because Plus.net have come out top in a customer satisfaction survey of the UK’s top 10 ISPs; it’s always nice to have your choices reaffirmed. Bigger names like AOL, Orange, Tesco and BT didn’t come off quite so well.
I have also sent a strongly worded complaint to Broadband Choices regarding their unforgivable (they’re supposedly a consumer site after all) use of the headline figures provided by these companies (like BT’s infernal £8.95/month bullshit) instead of the actual charges. I find that behaviour scummy, but unsurprising, when the companies trying to sell you their own product do it (caveat emptor and all that) but for a self-proclaimed consumer site to take them at face value (possibly something to do with their affiliate/referral fees?) is a disgrace.
* Since the time of writing the peak time usage limit has increased to 15GB – which is much better. I still do the majority of downloading at night, but don’t need to worry if I decide to lie in at the weekend and let it run til noon or have to download the odd large file during the day.