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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 22nd, 2015
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Join Date: May 30th, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,866
ukbobboy01 will become famous soon enough
Default Constantly Changing ISPs

Dear Forum Members

I have a belly aching gripe to make and it's not my fault.

This morning I had just heard that my ISP, Tesco Broadband & Homephone, has sold out to TalkTalk and that my account is in the process of being transferred over, which should be completed by 9th June 2015.

Now, I had no warning of this, no letter or email, letting me know this was going to happen, especially as the sale of my ISP happened in January this year. And what is worse, I do not want to be a TalkTalk customer, their customer service is appalling plus their Indian call centre was denounced recently for leaking customer's data to (dodgy) third parties.

Above all, I hate the fact that I now have to start looking for my eleventh (yes, 11th) ISP.

I have been through BT, Virgin, WHSmith (when they had an ISP), Bulldog, Pipex, Tiscali, Global 4, O2, something called World Com (but I can't exactly remember) and currently, the best of the bunch, Tesco B&H.

I have a lot more to gripe about but now I shall go and sit in a corner and slowly simmer.

UK Bob
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 22nd, 2015
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Join Date: June 30th, 2004
Location: Middle of the ocean apparently (middle earth)
Posts: 590
Lord of the Rings has a distinguished reputationLord of the Rings has a distinguished reputationLord of the Rings has a distinguished reputation

I know what you mean. The NBN, The Myth Of Choice, And Australia's Rubbish Internet Future | Lifehacker Australia
The 4rth largest company buying out the 3rd largest. However in regards to the NBN, TPG owns/controls a notable amount of the NBN infrastructure/hardware, etc.

The final decision of the takeover is up to the shareholders. This month TPG increased it's shares from 6.7 to 18.6% of Amcom whom own a 19.96% stake in iiNet, thus highly biasing a shareholder vote. TPG already owns 6.25% of iiNet shares.

Although M2 counter-offered iiNet recommends improved TPG takeover offer after this M2 lobs competing bid for iiNet worth a claimed $2.25b - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). TPG's positioning this month with Amcom was no doubt an effort to bias the result in their favor.
So, lots of money going to the shareholders, lots of money going to the board members. And where is that money going to come from? Cuts in services no doubt. Losses of jobs, loss of customer respect; bleed it to death for quick money? I recently saw the story of Steve Jobs, which gives an insight about what 'potential' damage board members and shareholders can do to a company. (Off-topic: Now their Mac Pro is a skeleton of what it was. And their OSX operating system appears to have some designers of MS Windows origin. Why change the simplest keyboard shortcut after 10 years to something that requires two fingers. OSX is becoming less attractive with each release.)

NBN will not reach my area for another few years at least.

iiNet is reknown for user privacy and high quality customer support. TPG on the other hand is known for terrible customer support. It's been suggested TPG might keep iiNet as a premium service. Will TPG maintain the user-privacy record of iiNet after a take-over?
Even if TPG keeps iiNet mostly untouched for now, I can envisage TPG eventually downgrading its services in one way or another. Including iiNet's incredibly good customer support.

I've been with iiNet since iiNet took over iHug last decade. I don't have much choice for changing. So much for democratic choice in this country.

Telstra is dishonest. Twice I worked on contract with the earlier incarnation of the company and the second occasion in a different region discovered about their attitudes toward customers. And noted their dishonesty ever since Telstra had competition. Telstra were fined on multiple occasions for false advertising. When I moved house my phone was shifted to Telstra without my permission, which the Ombudsman apparently had many equivalent reports of at the time. I've since had Telstra sales persons lie to me on multitudes of occasions. There's lots of stories of Telstra's negative approaches that almost require a novel to mention them all in any great detail. Telstra is a company with executives from the USA, so you can guess the company's attitude toward file-sharing and user-privacy. Likewise Optus also have at least one major executive originating from the USA. It's fishy that neither Telstra or Optus (Australia's two largest internet companies) were targeted in the recent Dallas Buyers Club LLC court case. (Dallas Buyers Club LLC reasons given for this were not logical and appeared dishonest, as though they were hiding something.) USA versus Australia's free will?
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Old May 23rd, 2015
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Join Date: May 30th, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,866
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You are right, whenever a native company is taken over by, bought out by or run by an American head company then quality of service goes down and dodgy practices (aka milking the customer) goes up.

And yes, little by little our freedom of choice is being diminished by "so-call" bigger companies swallowing up the smaller ones.

Take for example my list of ISPs, the bigger ones are just plain arrogant, they treat their customers like cattle, are doing you a favour by allowing you to use their network and think they have the absolute right to try and hack into your computer.

Of all the ISPs I have dealt with only is the one I would wholeheartedly recommend but by September 2015 they will cease to exist.

However, I would certainly NOT recommend any ISP that uses an Indian call centre, it just too fraught with hidden costs and security problems.

Finally, as you have noticed, ordinary guys like us are being turned into sheep, the services we use are being bought up so that we can be sheared. I wonder if our "so-called" political leaders will do something about this approaching debacle.

Mind you, they did nothing to avert the financial crises that hit us in 2008, they were too busy looking the other way.

UK Bob
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old August 12th, 2015
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Join Date: May 30th, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,866
ukbobboy01 will become famous soon enough
Default Changing ISP & Modem Routers

Dear Forum Members

I have finally managed to change ISPs, from TalkTalk to John Lewis Broadband, the change over took longer than it should because I got a support person, at the new ISP, that was a "Fairy Tale teller" rather than someone who knew the ropes.

Anyway, putting that unpleasantness aside, I want to mention the new modem/router that I got from my new ISP, the Sagemcom F@st 2407n.

First off, this machine is very easy to set up and if you are using broadband for the first time it is a breeze to get going.

However, if you are not a new user and have wireless equipment to set up, e.g. NAS units, printers or any equipment needing a static IP address then your goose is cooked.

The firmware/setup screens are so basic they are practically useless. And what is worse, the ISP support staff have no way of helping you to get around or provide a solution to this imposed simplicity.

EDIT: I now believe that this imposed simplicity was commissioned by the ISP to replace the modem/routers normal manufacturer's set-up screens. I guess this imposes strict conformity across all of their customers, i.e. less problems for the ISP and more simplicity for the inexperienced.

As a side issue, I understand that only two ISPs in the UK at the moment are sending these crippled modems out to their new and current users, Plusnet and John Lewis Broadband. The official reasoning is that the Sagemcom F@st 2407n conforms to EU regulations on power consumption (but no reason for crippling the modem). So it seems likely that more UK ISPs, with the exception of BT and Virgin, are going to change over their current modem/routers.

Back to the Sagemcom F@st 2407n, there is, however, a solution to this "imposed simplicity". Plusnet, in their wisdom, have enabled a little known facility called:

Sagemcom GUI (aka Expert User)

which is one of the "Advance set-up" screens the ISP has replaced.

And you can only access this facility by using the following URL:

Now, although this facility turns the modem from being "practically useless" to something an experienced user can use. But caution is required because there are no notes or guidance on what some of the options, within the facility, may or may not do.

Now I've got this modem working as I would like it.

UK Bob
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Last edited by ukbobboy01; August 14th, 2015 at 12:23 PM.
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