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Technology

A tale of two ISPs

Last weekend, my ISP – Bulldog – wrote me a letter. Good news, they said. Now we’re owned by Pipex, we’re migrating all our services to Pipex ones. You’ll be getting 8MB broadband. Hurrah!

Hurrah? Arse, more like. I’m currently on a 20MB service, not an 8MB one. I tried calling, but tech support and customer service were closed. So I emailed Bulldog customer service asking why they were downgrading me and what I needed to do to continue with a 20MB service. To date, they haven’t replied.

So I’ve switched ISP to, of all people, O2.

The connection isn’t perfect – O2 appears to have the worst DNS servers in the world, but you can fix that by using OpenDNS instead; for no good reason my authenticated SMTP server was blocked, so I had to change a port number – but these are minor issues. My router’s reporting an 18MB connection and Speedtest.net tells me 14MB, which is pretty much what I was getting with Bulldog – but O2 is half the price of Bulldog.

Because I’m already an O2 customer, the 20MB service is £15 per month with free 24-hour customer service. And so far, the customer service has been brilliant. Text message to confirm that the service is being set up. Text message to tell me the activation date. Text message to tell me when my free router (which I didn’t want, but they send it anyway) was going to be delivered. Text message to tell me when activation was complete. Text message to confirm that they’ve tested the service and I should be getting what I’m paying for.

Of course, it may all go completely tits-up now I’m a customer, but I’m really quite impressed by O2 so far – they’ve done an excellent job of making me feel that they give a toss, whereas Bulldog has done the opposite.