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.

6 thoughts on “A tale of two ISPs

  1. Squander Two says:

    Yeah, O2 still seem to be good. I think they’re still very aware that they used to be utter shite and so try hard to disprove that reputation. I’m sure they’ll get complacent one day and do an Orange, but it hasn’t happened yet (fingers crossed).

    That being said, I’m thinking of ringing them to ask, in the light of all this free access they’re throwing at Iphone customers, what they’ll do for a lowly E90 owner like me. Hey, worth a try.

  2. mupwangle says:

    I have to admit that this time I’ve been quite impressed with o2 in general. I was first on o2 when they were still Cellnet and have been to and fro a couple of times. Even since the last time, which was about 2 years ago, there’s a marked improvement in their customer service. I’m starting not to hate them any more.

    Still hate Vodafone though. Bastards.

  3. Mike Robinson says:

    I’ve only be on o2 for my mobile but they’ve been great to me and I’ve been curious about their broadband service. I remember hearing about Bulldog’s terrible customer service when I was ISP shopping a while ago though, it’s a shame you didn’t see the same reviews!

  4. Ben says:

    If you can’t get 20MB broadband (like me… cue sniffing and wailing) then the ISP I’m currently with is brilliant.

    Used to be with Pipex and couldn’t get anything out of them via email – and a phonecall was always at least an hour long due to waiting and being on hold.

    I’m now with http://adsl24.co.uk and they are brilliant. Love the fact you can see your usage in their custom CP and even check which “pipe” your connected too and it’s status.

    Just utterly brilliant.

  5. Gary says:

    > I seem to remember Gary wrote one of them.

    Yeah, I’ve slagged ’em off once or twice. You put up with it when there isn’t a viable alternative (which, for a long time, there wasn’t here).

    > then the ISP I’m currently with is brilliant.

    Glad to hear it. Anybody else think a service provider (of any description) is brilliant? This blog isn’t just here for the nasty things in life :)

    British Airways surprised me by being brilliant this week – we discovered our baby car seat had been broken in transit, but we didn’t discover it until we’d already left the airport. BA were great, didn’t dick us about, are sending a cheque for a like-for-like replacement (without deducting for age, wear and tear etc) and are apparently sending some wine to say sorry for the inconvenience. Nice.

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