ISP with a difference?

  Djohn 17:16 20 Jun 2005

Four weeks back just after upgrading to a 2mb service with my current ISP, I was looking round the ISP Review site to see what was on offer and who they recommended. Found this site and had a good look round. click here

I sent them an email to enquire what they could offer me in comparison to my ISP, didn’t really expect a reply but to my surprise I received an email later that evening offering advice and telling me the ISP I was already with was a first class provider. They could offer me the same but doubted they could offer better, if I had any comments or questions then not to hesitate in contacting them. I found this a very refreshing change from the run of the mill service that we sometimes get these days.

I thought about it for a couple of days and mailed again, received a very helpful and informative reply, so I phoned them to have a chat. They could not do enough to help – advise over the phone, then offered to send me an active ADSL faceplate instead of the passive micro-filter I was using. Quality faceplate arrived a couple of days later completely free of charge, followed by a phone call to me checking on its arrival and if I needed any help in connecting it up.

During the conversation I was told that if the faceplate helped to improve the signal/noise ratio then trying a decent modem router such as the Draytek Vigor instead of Speedtouch 330 USB modem may improve matters even more. I agreed but said it was a lot of money to lay out just to try something. Not a problem, we will send you a Draytek on loan for a couple of weeks if you wish and then you can either purchase or return to us.

I really didn’t know how to respond to this very helpful and attractive offer. I was/am not a customer of their company, yet they were prepared to spend time giving advice and loan of hardware to help see if I could improve my performance with my current ISP.

I have no connection with this company in anyway except as outlined above. FE is aware of the service offered to me, and has seen full details of mail exchanged between myself and Rural internet. This was with the full consent of the management of Rural internet. I think that any company offering this level of service to a member let alone a non-member deserves praise, and be brought to the attention of members of this forum.

The ISP is also rated and reviewed on the ISP website, [Second frame down] click here

  leo49 17:53 20 Jun 2005

Interesting John and makes a pleasant change from the usual whinge threads[not yours, I hasten to add], but the only reason I'd change would be for a major £ saving and I'd only save £2.49 a month for unlimited which I don't consider to be worth the hassle.

  ventanas 08:53 21 Jun 2005

Morning John, very interesting. I am about to go BB at home. (She who holds the purse strings is fed up with my moaning about speed) I was going to stick with Wanadoo, but this certainly deserves an investigation. Thank you very much.

  Djohn 14:02 21 Jun 2005

Nice to hear from both of you and I hope your keeping well.

I can't vouch for the Broadband service supplied by this company simply because I have not used them and it would be wrong to do so to the many people that know me.

What I can say is that I was astounded by the helpfulness and courtesy shown to me when enquiring about their service and a slight problem I had that has been narrowed down to a fault on BT's side and not my ISP. Any company that is prepared to go to this length of trouble to help a non-customer really does deserve praise.

Interesting point I found in my upgrade to 2mb connection is that although your ISP sets standards they feel you should not fall below, BT's interpretation is completely different.

Example. If you have a 512k service, your ISP would expect you to achieve speeds of 450 - 470 kbps and for 2mb service 1800 - 1950 kbps.

Drop below 450 or 1800 kbps respectively and your ISP will on most occasions help to find a way of increasing your speed. Fall below 400 or 1600 on the 2mb service and your ISP will raise the fault with BT on your behalf. BT will then carry out various line test to establish your average speed.

Unless their is something really obvious that they can find in these initial test and your speeds are within 80 - 85% of those expected or advised by your ISP, they [BT] will not look any further into the issue.

BT's minimum acceptable speed is as low as 100 kbps for a 512k service and 400kbps for a 2mb service. So as long as your speeds are above these figures, BT is still supplying you with an acceptable service...

  Djohn 03:20 26 Jun 2005

Though I'm a little surprised that more people have not commented on the service supplied by this ISP.

  Forum Editor 11:22 26 Jun 2005

as are all reports of outstanding customer service. Companies like this have - in my view - a major hurdle to overcome, which is that many customers are reticent about migrating from an existing (possibly major)ISP to a smaller, relatively unknown service provider. The danger they perceive is that of the small company going under at worst, or being unable to maintain service levels at best, and it stops may of us from taking the plunge.

In addition, most people have heard or read horror stories about the difficulties of migration - being days or weeks without any broadband service at all - and it deters them.

My home office broadband connection is provided by BT; I've been with them ever since the service was first launched, and apart from one small billing glitch early on the service has been flawless. I could certainly get a cheaper connection, but I doubt if I could get a better one in terms of reliability, so I stay put. I can't afford to be without a connection for even a day, so I'm one of the ditherers - I'm nervous about a migration.

That's the size of the problem facing providers like Rural Internet - they'll attract new broadband customers but they'll have trouble getting migrations, and as broadband penetration reaches saturation point they'll need those if they are to see real success. I wish them well - they certainly seem to be trying hard, and in the end that should bring its own reward.

  CurlyWhirly 23:02 26 Jun 2005

I just had a read of the Rural Internet rating on your link of the ISPreview website and was amazed that ALL marks were 10 out of 10.

This (small) ISP deserves to go a long way that's for sure.

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