Consumer Forum

Consumer Information

  • Clear and Practical Consumer Advice
  •  
  •  
Consumer Direct

Support Us About Us


Go Back   Consumer Forum > Goods and Services > Technology > Internet Service Providers

Internet Service Providers For ADSL, cable and dial-up providers.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15th August 2009, 03:13 AM
Consumer Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Kmaid is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Desperate: AOL Broadband Fault

Hi All,

This is my first post here at the whatconsumer and it is in sheer desperation. I have been a customer of AOL for the past 4+ years and have received broadband for the past 7 and up until just over two and a half months ago have happily been receiving a 1.5mbs broadband connection.

The problem started with degradation of my service until the download speed became unacceptably low at just under 0.25mbs and mid June ground to complete halt. I reported the issue in the week commencing 29th June. After completing all the regular diagnostic tests was informed a new router/contract was required to receive further technical service. I accepted this and the subscription was duly increased from 14.99/month to 15.99. The new router made no difference. The issue was escalated BT and over the course of 6 weeks I have had four BT Open reach engineer visits to resolve the issue. They have not been completely unsuccessful and has managed to improve the quality of the line by changing the pairs and removing two instances of radio interference in my area. This means my service now ranges from 4mbs to 0.25mbs with occasional disconnections from the original 1.5mbs to 0.1mbs and constant disconnections/complete loss of service. My connection is still unacceptable as it still suffers regular disconnections and loading web pages grinds to a halt for no particular reason.

I am also not alone facing these issues. I have personally tested one of my neighbours connection a couple houses away from mine which as far as I can tell is facing the exact same issue. The 0.5mbs connections they pay for was receiving just under 0.09mbs with regular disconnections. I have heard from a friend that one of my other neighbours whom I intend to visit in the next few days has been suffering similar symptoms but would like to run my own speed test and check their configuration before confirming that it is the same issue.

I am not a computer novice. I am a third year computer science degree student and programmed a hosting system to sell online streaming media through my own hosting company in my spare time. Having gone through my phone bill I have accounted for over 8 hours of calls over the past 6 weeks to AOL technical support to try and resolve this issue. Following their formal complaints procedure I sent them a letter on the 4th of August via first class mail and called in disgust on the 14th having not received a response in the promised 5 working days timeframe. They put me through to my case manager who was very unhelpful and said they have paid 800 for the engineers and have done all they can, that it wasn’t their problem if there is an issue with the BT infrastructure and that they could provide me with a 0.25mbs service or can have my contract cancelled. I asked them to provide me a letter of deadlock as they stated there was nothing further they could resolve the issue so I could take this up with the broadband regulator otelo without waiting three months from the 4th of August and not the date the issue was originally reported. He refused saying it was against company policy for a complaint only opened a week ago. I then under the advice of Consumer Direct quoted the “Supply of goods and services act of 1982” in the hope to get a better response to which he replied “have your legal team speak to ours.”.

I could complain about their support of their tech support forever. You never speak to the same person twice and have to explain the entire situation to every person you speak with. Their level one support technicians seem to be trained to stop you getting through to second level support which is generally more helpful with a series of patronizing questions. Their level two support technicians range from helpful to telling me there are 10bits in a byte (there are 8). They have repeatedly failed to deliver on call backs and on two occasions flat out refused to put me through to a supervisor. There has been repeated disconnection mid call including one line test which disconnected the call just before the call centre closed. At least 40% of my 8 hours of time was wasted listening to the one song they have for hold music. If anyone is interested I will happily elaborate on these few topics as well as a few more.

I have a case number with both consumer direct and otelo however I have now exhausted all the options available to me without waiting three months to lodge a dispute with otelo which the AOL case manager assures me will take their side. I am not sure I should believe this as I cannot believe this is an acceptable level of service. I understand i can take them to court over the Supply of goods and services act of 1982 but I want a working internet connection not compensation.

I have gone well beyond what any regular consumer would attempt to resolve this issue and welcome any and all ideas. I’m desperate the internet is very important to me. Should I create a stink and contact local newspapers? Is there anywhere I should contact for further advice other than otelo and Consumer Direct? Should I just throw the towel in and move house?

A few technical details:
The new router I received is plugged directly into the test socket isolating it from my houses internal phone wiring. It is a new micro filter and cabling. The line attenuation is 56.0 dB and synchronises at 5120 kbps. My line is now rated by BT as only capable of 0.25mbs making moving to another provider impractical and will leave me in a worse situation without the history for getting this fault fixed. I have spoken with BT Faults department and there is nothing they can do. It is not a problem with the internal network and I have even tested with a Linux machine.

Last edited by Kmaid; 15th August 2009 at 03:22 AM. Reason: Formating was not carried over from Word. Adding more details.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 15th August 2009, 11:30 AM
Tony's Avatar
What Consumer Founder
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bolton
Posts: 18,467
Thanks: 138
Thanked 230 Times in 195 Posts
Blog Entries: 2
Tony is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Hi,

I don't think AOL can resolve this for you. I had a similar problem with PlusNet and nearly had my line limited to 512mb. The engineer told me it was due to my distance from the exchange and more noise on the line due to additional users. This was a few years ago now and I know the tech has moved on with RADSL.

The problem you and your neighbours have is that this problem will exist for you all unless some are using cable or broadband dongles.

Who has the power to force BT to upgrade it's infrastructure. AOL? Otelo? Your MP, the local press? Probably worth pursuing all options.

Moving house seems a bit extreme you can team broadband connections with Draytek routers, this would mean more expense though.

The press love human interest pieces e.g. You can't do your studies, neighbours can't work from home run their business etc.

Hth

Tony
__________________
Key Documents: Sale of Goods Act | Visa Chargeback | Section 75 | Small Claims Court

If you find the forum useful do us a favour and like us on facebook.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 15th August 2009, 06:27 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Debtors retreat
Posts: 1,595
Thanks: 123
Thanked 272 Times in 257 Posts
Blog Entries: 3
Witch consumer is on a distinguished road
Default

Is cable not an option?
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 15th August 2009, 07:03 PM
Tony's Avatar
What Consumer Founder
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bolton
Posts: 18,467
Thanks: 138
Thanked 230 Times in 195 Posts
Blog Entries: 2
Tony is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

If you try anther provider with your MAC code they will tell you what speed braodband is supported at your property/exchange.

Tony
__________________
Key Documents: Sale of Goods Act | Visa Chargeback | Section 75 | Small Claims Court

If you find the forum useful do us a favour and like us on facebook.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 19th August 2009, 07:31 PM
Consumer Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Kmaid is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Desperate: AOL Broadband Fault

Sorry for my slow reply I have been traveling the last few days.

Unfortunately cable is unavailable in my area and the signal is quite poor. I phoned up BT to see if there was anything they could do with me if I obtained a mac code but they were only able to offer the 0.25mbs so I am unsure if moving will help my case.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
aol, awful, isp, support


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New here and desperate to know my rights george48 Introductions 0 22nd January 2012 01:15 PM
Tesco Broadband. Get 4 months free with Tesco broadband from just 8 (end of validity Tony Shopping 0 26th May 2011 12:22 AM
newbie in desperate need for advise Debh86 Introductions 1 24th November 2009 11:58 PM
It's all our fault... Jorumian Off Topic 1 5th May 2009 06:32 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:09 PM.

The information on this website does not constitute professional advice. Advice is taken at your own risk.
Contact Us - UK Consumer Forum - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright Meanwhile Media Ltd 2008-2013

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93