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Author Topic: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?  (Read 1823 times)

ktz392837

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Have been with Plusnet for several years and happy with connection but tired of constant billing problems and customer support is not what it used to be especially the shutting down of the chat option. 

I am looking for something similar to how Plusnet used to be several years ago - a good value full speed connection with UK based customer service if you ever need it. 

80/20 product maximum of £30/month - ideally <£25/month (after discounts/cashback/reward cards).

Does this exist where could I look?

Out of curiosity I have looked at A&A and Zen these are significantly more expensive as a tinkerer do these give access to a really useful control panel options that I may find useful?  Also do you still apply activation costs (e.g. £19.99 for Zen) even if you migrating?

Thanks

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re0

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2020, 06:01:48 PM »

What other requirements do you have? Like for contract length, phone, etc.?

You've got the usual players offering budget prices for 80/20, such as Sky (£25/m), NowTV (£24/m) and TalkTalk (£23/m) with varying options and contract lengths. BT just misses the mark at £31.99/m, but would work out cheaper if there is cashback and because "3 months" free. I have no idea how these providers are compared to the old Plusnet.

£30/m is going to be a barrier for anything "premium" at 80/20, if you were interested in such options - the likes of Zen, IDNet, and AAISP are £34.99, £38, and £45 likewise when taking into account your 80/20 requirement. Don't forget there is also Pulse8 at £33/m, with zero cost for fibre to fibre migration - they are a decent middle ground between budget and premium in my opinion if you like a 1 month contract.

Talking of AAISP, when I was a subscriber with FTTC, they did have the option to set the rate at their end - this helped with bufferbloat a bit when downloading if I recall correctly. This was alongside their monitoring that could at least text and email you when your connection goes offline. Nice stuff, but wasn't too helpful for me. Pretty sure there were some other features, but it's been a while.

I'm currently with Zen, and there isn't much to tinker with. You can see your usage, line data, and you can also setup a reverse DNS. Not much else with it comes to technical stuff.

In reference to the activation costs for Zen, those should still be applicable even for a migration.
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maxheadroom

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2020, 07:16:42 PM »

Have been with Plusnet for several years and happy with connection but tired of constant billing problems and customer support is not what it used to be especially the shutting down of the chat option. 

I am looking for something similar to how Plusnet used to be several years ago - a good value full speed connection with UK based customer service if you ever need it. 

80/20 product maximum of £30/month - ideally <£25/month (after discounts/cashback/reward cards).

Does this exist where could I look?

Out of curiosity I have looked at A&A and Zen these are significantly more expensive as a tinkerer do these give access to a really useful control panel options that I may find useful?  Also do you still apply activation costs (e.g. £19.99 for Zen) even if you migrating?

Thanks

I have been a Talk Talk customer for many years and recently moved to FTTC i am very happy with the rock stready connection and speed - 

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ktz392837

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2020, 08:32:25 PM »

Thanks for replies - a great help.  A few more details and questions.

>Sky (£25/m), NowTV (£24/m) and TalkTalk (£23/m)
Does anyone know if Sky and NowTV still use the Standard profile instead of the Speed profile that Plusnet uses? https://kitz.co.uk/adsl/DLM.htm#dlm_stability_level

>Talktalk not BT network?
Are there costs involved if you want to switch between some providers?  Could moving to Talktalk cost money to migrate and cost again to get back to BT if required?

>Other Requirements
Line rental is required, speed profile (see above) unless significant savings can be made, not bothered about the contract length 12/18/24m is fine if the price/service is correct, not really keen on static IP address prefer dynamic allocation (I know!)
I could make do with a lesser speed if the cost saving is worth it but find paying just a "couple of quid" for 80/20 over 40/10 worth it.  If it was £10/month cheap that would be different argument.

>Pulse8
This might be a compromise but not sure it is worth the extra.  I find it strange there is no portal at all, call charges seem better than most but can't find any connection charge rate and not allowing indirect access codes although not a problem for me as I use VOIP 99% of the time it may be an issue for some.  Do Pulse8 use Speed profile like BT/Plusnet/AA/Zen?

Not sure but it may be a case of better the devil you know and try to get a decent retention deal with Plusnet unfortunately.

Thanks
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jaydub

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2020, 11:29:09 PM »

>Talktalk not BT network?
Are there costs involved if you want to switch between some providers?  Could moving to Talktalk cost money to migrate and cost again to get back to BT if required?

If you move to TalkTalk MPF which both TT and Pulse8 are, you will have a significant migration cost to get back to a BTw connection.  Cost varies between ISP, but usually £50-75.

Quote
>Pulse8
This might be a compromise but not sure it is worth the extra.  I find it strange there is no portal at all, call charges seem better than most but can't find any connection charge rate and not allowing indirect access codes although not a problem for me as I use VOIP 99% of the time it may be an issue for some.  Do Pulse8 use Speed profile like BT/Plusnet/AA/Zen?

Pulse8 don't have a connection fee to normal numbers - see here.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 12:11:54 AM by jaydub »
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Weaver

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2020, 01:39:46 AM »

AA has an incredible control panel called clueless.as.net.uk where you can see every moment of your line’s activity, get remote status reports and for ADSL you can change all the line settings and do an SNRM reset yourself, and you can see a log showing what’s going on with your line. Your line is tested every few seconds by using PPP LCP pings and timing the responses. IP addresses: You can have as many IPv4 and IPv6 addresses as you want free of charge, you start off with one IPv4 static address and more as you wish, and an IPv6 /48.
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tiffy

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2020, 09:53:49 AM »

Quote by ktz392837
Quote
Have been with Plusnet for several years and happy with connection but tired of constant billing problems and customer support is not what it used to be especially the shutting down of the chat option.

Add to the shutting down of the chat option:
No longer able to raise a fault ticket from PN members web site.
Existing long standing and unresolved fault tickets being closed out without notification.
Very, very long waits on telephone help line with very poor assistance if contact is actually achieved.
Very poor response from staff members on the PN members forum with the few remaining staff there reluctant to respond to or get involved with anything other than very simple first line support issues.
Second line tech support staff sighting OR covid restrictions as inability to further action virtually all perceived internal or external issues.

As a PN patron for over 11 years all of the listed issues are from personal experience over the last year, my administration issues date back to November 2018.

So, as per "ktz392837" I 'am also looking around for a new ISP with Zen currently at the top of my list, I do currently have an open thread on this forum to that effect.
https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,25387.msg425966.html#msg425966

Yes, Zen is more expensive than the budget providers and reviews are not as good as they used to be however, I will probably go with a yearly contract which in my case will be 40/10 VDSL service which is not that much more costly than my currently discounted PN rate even with line rental paid yearly in advance, remaining with PN at any cost is not an option I will currently consider.
   
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parkdale

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2020, 11:42:01 AM »

Have you looked at Vodafone (puts tin hat on :lol:) 80/40mb is £21.50 excluding phone calls, 80/40 £29.50 including phone calls and free Apple tv for a year.
I'm on the Apple Tv version but playing £24! ... although my original line speed should be 55mb+ due to faults and speed issues i'm now down to below the handback threshold 40mb so I get 15% off+Vodafone together £2.
My contracted price was for £31 9 months ago so still below todays offers..
Most of the support line conversations i've had have been good, no covid excuses.
In the last 9 months i've had Openreach out twice for noisy line then poor speeds..... still bad but stuck with the only working port, left/on it's last legs, in the cab :(, unless the line card is replaced. Cab13! is at 100% capacity.
https://www.vodafone.co.uk/broadband/deals/superfast

Added link
« Last Edit: November 27, 2020, 11:45:08 AM by parkdale »
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gt94sss2

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2020, 02:56:42 PM »

If I was you, I would seriously consider going to BT especially with their combination of free months and cashback (and going through a site like Topcashback).

Plus, they can be quite generous when negotiating on contract renewals.
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maxheadroom

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2020, 05:33:14 PM »

If you move to TalkTalk SMPF which both TT and Pulse8 are, you will have a significant migration cost to get back to a BTw connection.  Cost varies between ISP, but usually £50-75.

I hope i am not hijacking this thread too much (i did answer earlier) could you explain what this means to fellow noobs like myself, i moved to TT from BT with no cost that i can remember i assume this is something totally different.
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ktz392837

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2020, 07:21:51 PM »

Probably be a choice of one of these unless something better comes along or Zen/AA reduce their prices and activation costs:

>Vodafone
Price is great at £21.50/m the main issue is the DLM Stability Profile of only Standard and a few reports I have seen that there is congestion.  Black Friday pricing will not be available when I need to sign a new contract but I have noticed Vodafone deals reasonably regularly.

>BT
The main problem is cashback doesn't always get paid so I am always cautious when including in price calculations especially when the cashback is such a large part of the deal.

>Plusnet
I also have concerns that even when I leave Plusnet they will continue to bill me as their Billing is so dreadful.  My connection has been great it is a pity that customer service contact and billing has become so dreadful.  Renewing with them seems like I am rewarding mediocrity.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2020, 09:07:37 PM »

>BT
The main problem is cashback doesn't always get paid so I am always cautious when including in price calculations especially when the cashback is such a large part of the deal.

In my experience its pretty rare for cashback to fail though you're right, when it does it can be a real blow when you factored that into the price and it suddenly becomes a bad deal.

As for Vodafone, I was under the impression their support is pretty crap? (never used them so purely impression from complaints)  So while rewarding Plusnet for their mediocrity seems bad, I think moving to someone who might be worse is a bad idea.

As for Zen/AA deals I don't think its likely.  The whole point of Zen/AA is that you're paying for better support and so they absorb less of the costs.
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jaydub

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2020, 11:03:06 PM »

I hope i am not hijacking this thread too much (i did answer earlier) could you explain what this means to fellow noobs like myself, i moved to TT from BT with no cost that i can remember i assume this is something totally different.

In simple terms, Openreach charge ISPs for coming off a TT line back onto a BT line.  Just sampling some of the higher end ISPs - Uno would charge you £48; Aquiss £49.95; and IDNet £60.

If BT haven't charged you, they have subsidised the cost by the inflated price people pay at the end of their initial discount period.  Renogotiate or get ripped off. ;)

Edit:  @Max,  Apologies I misread your post.  TT typically don't charge for you to become their customer; it's the escape back to a BTw connection that costs.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 06:43:19 PM by jaydub »
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tiffy

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2020, 10:59:16 AM »

Quote
>Plusnet
I also have concerns that even when I leave Plusnet they will continue to bill me as their Billing is so dreadful.

Indeed, that's a concern I have as well which to be fair can happen with any ISP but certainly deemed more likely at present with PN considering the shambles with their administration systems.
Should the situation arise, DD's can be very difficult to permanently cancel, have found in the past that the receiving company appear to have the ability to reinstate a cancelled DD without account holder permission, can get very messy.

However, I feel I must take the risk at some point, better sooner than later to break free of PN and their abysmal administration systems.
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GigabitEthernet

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Re: Good budget alternative to Plusnet? Premium ISP/Activation Costs?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2020, 11:18:11 AM »

Imagine recommending A&A as a budget option lol, I am sorry but they're the opposite of budget.

You can get some pretty good deals with BT with the cashback card, worth looking into it if they're still running it.
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