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Author Topic: Zen for BB & Phone ?  (Read 2764 times)

tiffy

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Zen for BB & Phone ?
« on: November 23, 2020, 09:07:05 PM »

Wondering what the current feeling is regarding Zen as a BB & phone provider ?

Have been waiting patiently for my current 12 month contract and advance line rental payments to run out with Plusnet at the end of December, however, have just come to the end of my tether as PN has closed out my very long standing ticket, unresolved which originated in November 2018 (yes 2018) just after the edvent of their disastrous new billing system.
What really annoyed me was the second last entry on the ticket stated it was on hold until the next billing date 27/11/20 and the last entry (by the same person on the same date) stated the ticket was closed out !

So, have decided to take the hit on line rental and early contract exit to preserve my sanity, only a month at most and leave PN.

I don't currently have a FTTP option, not likely in the near future due to my location.
40/10 FTTC service is the best my line can do.
I do have Virgin service on the footpath outside my property, co-ax cabling dating back to NTL days with the dist. box at the bottom of the street, however, have always been suspicious of Virgin despite the fact that I could get much higher speeds on cable than FTTC.
To be honest 40/10 service is sufficient for my requirements at present.

Zen is currently at the top of my preference list with respect to price versus service expectations, wise choice or otherwise ?
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Chunkers

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2020, 09:32:08 PM »

Hi tiffy,

I have two FTTC lines, one with Zen and up until 6 months ago the other with PlusNet.  When the contract expired with PlusNet I switched the line to Zen.

The main reason I did this was because on the (few) occasions I had problems or wanted to speak to someone at PlusNet it was incredibly difficult and frustrating to get support and the waiting times were long and the support fairly poor. The PlusNet connection itself, speed and reliability was OK and comparable to Zen in most respects.

My other line has been with Zen for many years and in general I have always had good support from them, with responsive support and knowledge people - I decided its worth the extra couple of quid a month.

So, I like Zen, but to be honest if I had the option of a faster cable or fibre connection at comparable prices then I would probably go for that in preference to any FTTC connection, what speed would your Virgin cable connection be at?

C
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Weaver

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2020, 11:38:44 PM »

I think Zen are good. I used to use them and then switched to Andrews and Arnold.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 04:50:23 AM »

I will be sticking with Zen and dropping Plusnet once I can get FTTP.  Its kinda hard to judge either ISP conclusively due to load-balancing across the two though I was having issues with YouTube stalling earlier which seemed to be going over the Plusnet line.

I do not have calls with Zen though, as I have BT Basic.
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INTAKE (ECI) 2xHome Hub 5A (OpenWRT) on Zen/Plusnet, 1xHauwei B535-232 on Voxi 4G, 1xHauwei H122-373 on Three 5G Router: pfSense (i5-7200U) WiFi: nanoHD (OpenWRT) + Honor Router 3
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tiffy

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 12:05:32 PM »

Thanks to all for the interest and advice.

I know Weaver is a big fan of A & A, I have no doubt their support is very likely the best currently available however, just out of my price range.

I've been with Plusnet for over 11 years ADSL/VDSL, never had any issues until the new billing system was introduced, nothing but issues since then which they seem totally incapable of fixing at source, just go around in circles month after month, must have cost them very heavily in lost customers.
Never really needed tech support until April this year when I feel I was was badly let down, yes, was in the middle of the major covid lock down but I felt they used the situation to opt out of responsibility and could have done much more to help.
All support has become even poorer now, can't raise a support ticket on line any more, chat line is closed, only leaves the very frustrating and time consuming telephone support (not 24 hour).
In response to my unresolved closed out ticket issue reported in the first post, I managed to raise an on line complaint ticket which did produce a telephone call the next day from a very polite lady who I felt genuinly tried to help but sounded more frustrated with the situation than myself and in the end was not in a position to provide any answers or solutions!

Quote
So, I like Zen, but to be honest if I had the option of a faster cable or fibre connection at comparable prices then I would probably go for that in preference to any FTTC connection, what speed would your Virgin cable connection be at?
By post code indicates up to M350 service with Virgin Media with current offers available.
Yes, I know it would make sense to consider that option but I just have a bad feeling about Virgin Media which I can't really substantiate!
Perhaps my perception of cable will change after a short contract with another ISP, inevitable further degradation of OR FTTC service with cross talk and the frustration of FTTP non-availability in my area?

I like the 12 month contract availability with Zen, fewer ISP's now provide this with 18/24 months becoming the norm, if things don't work out it's cumforting to know that the choice of trying another ISP is never that far away without the hassle of trying to negotiate around contract early exit charges. 
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re0

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2020, 04:13:49 PM »

I like the 12 month contract availability with Zen, fewer ISP's now provide this with 18/24 months becoming the norm, if things don't work out it's cumforting to know that the choice of trying another ISP is never that far away without the hassle of trying to negotiate around contract early exit charges.
While that may be true for the "superfast" services at Zen (which are relevant to you), that doesn't apply to their "ultrafast" services which are now 24 months. It's a shame they cranked up the contract length for their ultrafast services - and the 160/30 has been abolished, so for someone on G.fast I would have to opt for 330/50. After my contract ended, I told them 160/30 is enough and 24 months was too long, and I was told they don't sell the service anymore. After a bit of back and forth, I managed to renegotiate ultrafast 330/50 on a 12 month term at a 10% discount with them instead of leaving, which isn't going to be an option to new customers - this worked out not being too much more expensive over a year when factoring in costs of switching provider for a 160/30 service.

Apologies if this isn't relevant to you, since I do not think they are going to touch the contracts for superfast options soon. But it's just my experience. Otherwise, can't really say much other than this. They've been solid for me, except the fact I think there is a fault or high degree of external interference on my line and they don't agree - but I would imagine it would be the same with any ISP.
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GigabitEthernet

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2020, 04:18:03 PM »

Sorry to butt in but does Plusnet still have that line profile thing where it inevitably gets stuck and your speed is capped for no apparent reason
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RealAleMadrid

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2020, 05:05:20 PM »

Yes the Plusnet "Current line speed" still exists but only affects those who have purchased a static WAN IP address.
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tiffy

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2020, 05:48:25 PM »

@re0:
Thanks for the informtion found interesting.
G.Fast only ever came to one very small area of N.I. and will obviously never progress any further now with the FTTP roll out, would never have been an option for me anyway with a 26dB DS attenuation line.
Yes, excessive line interference/noise can be an issue which is very hard to prove and as you say most ISP's are very reluctant to get too involved as they in turn probably have difficulty in getting OR interested as long as the service is above the hand back threshold speed.

@GigabitEthernet:
Sorry can't really comment on your question or been aware of the issue even though I do have a static WAN IP address from PN.
Hopefully re0 has provided an answer.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2020, 02:42:14 AM »

I guess mine is probably stuck on Zen but with zero impact as Your current maximum download speed is 77421Kbps but current sync is 67.000 Mb/s / 20.000 Mb/s.
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INTAKE (ECI) 2xHome Hub 5A (OpenWRT) on Zen/Plusnet, 1xHauwei B535-232 on Voxi 4G, 1xHauwei H122-373 on Three 5G Router: pfSense (i5-7200U) WiFi: nanoHD (OpenWRT) + Honor Router 3
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tiffy

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2020, 05:45:56 PM »

Decided to sign up with Zen yesterday, certainly not the cheapest option available but on a 1 year contract I'am willing to take the chance that the service and support is as good as the majority of patrons claim.

Signed up by phone, bit of a delay on the sales line but I'am willing to accept that's currently acceptable with the majority of their staff working from home with reduced numbers.
40/10 VDSL and phone service, migration scheduled for 15/12/20, normal 2 weeks.

Obviously, very early days but everything has happened as promised to date including members access to their portal and termination notification received from my current ISP, Plusnet after Zen's contact.

Spent quite some time today copying my Plusnet question history from the last 2 years when things started to go badly wrong, was surprised at the size of the archive produced, the longest question snapshots produced a 40 page Word document, this question had been closed out by PN unresolved as had quite a few others.
Thought it best to have this information to hand in case there are any billing issues after departure when portal access would no longer be possible and OFCOM involvement might possibly be required.
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tiffy

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2020, 11:49:38 AM »

PN to Zen BB & phone changeover took place today shortly after midnight completely on schedule.
Event recorded on DSLStats via my ZyXEL 1312-B10A modem (and RPi), obviously had to enter new Zen ID & PW into the ZyXEL 3925-B10B router, PPP session quickly re-established.
Have received the Fritz!Box 7530 modem/router on schedule a few days ago but have not utilised as yet, thought it best to retain the existing setup for a better like for like ISP comparison.

Initial observations:
Latency has increased slightly, not a gamer & don't use VOIP so not a big issue.
DS G.Inp & re-tx low profile have been retained.
DS SNRM has increased from approx 3 to 6dB with associated DS synch speed & BRAS IP profile decrease, likely DLM reset as expected.

As my line was already performing to it's full potential with PN and it's very unlikely that anything has changed with the OR infrastructure, I have no expectation of increased performance with Zen even when 3dB DS SNRM is re-established, the object of the exercise being to escape from the abismal PN administrative system all be it with a hit on cost.
Hopefully won't get any surprises from PN regarding final billing  :fingers:

Obviously very early days with Zen but nothing but praise to date  ;D
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2020, 05:14:59 PM »

Apparently theres a WiFi 6 version of the 7530, shame Zen haven't adopted it.
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INTAKE (ECI) 2xHome Hub 5A (OpenWRT) on Zen/Plusnet, 1xHauwei B535-232 on Voxi 4G, 1xHauwei H122-373 on Three 5G Router: pfSense (i5-7200U) WiFi: nanoHD (OpenWRT) + Honor Router 3
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j0hn

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2020, 06:18:23 PM »

Apparently theres a WiFi 6 version of the 7530, shame Zen haven't adopted it.

That'll be the Fritzbox 7530 AX.

I'm not aware of any ISP's providing WiFi 6 routers/Hubs.

The 7530 is 1 of the better ISP provided devices.

I'm more inclined to praise Zen for providing such a good modem/router than to criticize them for not supplying the AX variant.
With such little adoption of WiFi 6 it seems a bit overkill to supply it by default to all customers.
Making it an option during sign-up for a fee (it cost around 160) would be good for those who would utilize it.
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tiffy

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Re: Zen for BB & Phone ?
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2020, 08:42:22 PM »

I've had a little play with the supplied Ftitz!Box 7530's GUI off line, lots of features, may give it a go at some stage in router only mode, won't be parting with my trusty ZyXEL 1312-B10A as modem, works very well on my line and of course provides a good interface with DSLStats via RPi, I know j0hn was a big fan also back in his DSL FTTC days.
Enhanced Wi-Fi's not a big issue for me as most of the house is LAN hard wired.

Certainly won't be "rocking the boat" for a few weeks until at or near DS 3dB SNRM is again achieved. 
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