After a long time looking I’ve finally left Tiscali with whom I had broadband and phone for over 2 years and I can’t believe I lasted that long.
For the last 6 months (probably a lot longer) I’ve not been able to do anything but basic web browsing and emails from mid-afternoon until about midnight, each and every day. This means no Peer-2-Peer downloads (I couldn’t use the BBC iPlayer, for example, and I’m fairly sure Channel 4’s On Demand service uses the same technology). It means no online gaming on my PlayStation 2 or, more recently, my Nintendo Wii. For other users it seems they have problems with PC gaming.
I’d be a little annoyed that Tiscali offered me “unlimited” 2MB broadband and then deliberately restricted the speeds during peak times. I’d be quite a lot more annoyed that they weren’t even honest about it at first, denying that they used traffic-shaping. But the fact that their traffic shaping stops me from using a lot of these services altogether (they say it’s a problem, I’m not sure whether it might be deliberate) is an outrage. Tiscali’s forums have seen reports flooding in from other users being affected and yet this has been ongoing for months.
As if that’s not bad enough, Tiscali “customer service” staff don’t want to know. In fact, Tiscali don’t even want you to contact them, so they make you call a rip-off 0871 number. This would be fine if I needed advice about what to plug in where to get my broadband going, but why should I line their pockets by calling their premium rate number to report a network problem that they have caused?
Pastures New – PlusNet
Anyway, as of Wednesday, I’m out. I’m now with Plus net on a 90-day trial (offer runs until 20/12/07), so we’ll see how that goes. At least they’re honest about their traffic-shaping and say that they limit speeds from P2P software during peak hours. That I can live with, as long as it’s not blocked altogether. They also have an 01 geographic number so I know I can phone them if I have a problem and not run up a big phone bill doing so. Since it’s a trial, if their traffic-shaping is anything like as broke as Tiscali’s I know I can leave without penalty. My main worry is that their 8GB package won’t be enough since it covers both uploads and downloads during the day (8am to midnight). Hopefully I can get any big downloads I need done overnight (downloads from midnight to 8AM are unlimited – they don’t count towards your allowance) and even if I can’t, I can find out without worrying about being stuck in a 12-month contract thanks to their trial offer.
This probably sounds a bit like an advertorial (I would get a referral bonus if anyone did sign up from my site) but the whole thing all sounds a bit too good to be true, when you factor in that you can get a free Static IP and a user survey by Uswitch.com rated them number 1 on customer satisfaction as well.
I’ve only starting with Plus.net 2 days ago and the speeds don’t seem tremendous (but still better than the 1.5-ish Mb/s I was getting with Tiscali) so I can’t say too much about my own experience yet, but as a company they’re already looking a whole lot better than Tiscali. I’ll post a follow-up after I’ve had a couple of weeks to find out how good they are.
If you decide to sign up, please make sure and tell them you were recommended by “ferson” (no quotes). Cheers.