Well, like the best laid plans of mice and men, it all seemed like a good idea at the time. BT were offering dial up internet connection between 6pm and 8am every week night and all day Saturday and Sunday for only £9.99 a month. And so it was, that a few years ago, we made our enquiries and got our installation disc through the post. We'd never had internet access at home before, so we skipped up to our computer to get it all up and running. It should have been easy. I mean, you'd think a company like BT would spell it all out for you on their disc, but no, not at all. It took us three days to get the whole thing up and running, and numerous phone calls to BT (which we had to pay through the nose for, no less). The problem first of all lay in the fact that when the CD Rom started up it offered you lots of little choices such as a presentation of what BT Internet could offer you etc. Well, we watched the little presentation and were biting at the bit to actually get online, but there was no icon entitled 'installation'. It took us quite a while to find it hidden in some obscure folder, and by us, I mean my two fully grown completely sane parents, my elder sister and I, a handful of family friends, my church minister, and the BT guy on the phone (who, by the way, was about as much use as a psychotic platypus duck). Finally, we clicked on the icon and started the process of filling in our information. This, too, seemed to take about 3 weeks. I think they asked for our complete family tree as far back as 1453 at one point, or at least it felt like that. Even after that, it still wouldn't let us finish the registration. If I remember right it was a problem with accepting our postcode at first, but then I think the problems started breeding with each other, and it took my big sister to have
the bright idea of sitting on the keyboard while swinging the mouse around in her right hand for the flamin' thing to finally submit and work. Again, BT were about as much use as giant flying turds through the whole process. So when we finally got things up and running, we were so relieved to finally have internet access that we ignored all the problems such as the fact that it took about 4 attempts to connect usually and we were constantly being disconnected. We were supposed to be disconnected once every two hours, but somedays we were being disconnected once every 10 or 15 minutes. After we'd been using BT Surftime for about 6 months we weren't able to connect at all and thus the great phone battle begun. Everyday my dad would come in from work and phone BT asking them for help. Everyday the BT person on the other end of the line would panic and insist on passing him around the whole of the company. Usually after 20 minutes they'd ask my dad to phone back, which he'd do and be on the phone for another 20 minutes and still the problem would remain unsolved. We tried to reinstall the software BT had sent us, and had to go through the whole hullaballoo we'd went through originally again. However, we had been planning on getting a new computer anyway, so when this arrived we used a new BT internet CD ROM, and to our glee, found this one was actually user-friendly and effective. We were getting cut off less and it was easier to connect. Hallelujah! We'd found the Holy Grail at last! Eh, well not quite, because then BT became BT/Yahoo. I didn't expect any problems, but we got plenty. Now we often get connected to the internet only to be taken directly to a page saying that there is a problem with our connection. We can't surf the 'n
et until we sort the problem, which usually involves them wanting you to change your password. It is getting beyond a joke, especially if you're just wanting on to quickly check your email and have to go through the whole rigmarole they put you through. It is also exceptionally slow. I know it is a dial-up connection, but I'm often sitting twiddling my thumbs for ages waiting on pages to load. I did a survey a few days ago that was only supposed to last 5 minutes, and lasted me 40 because of the time it was taking my pages to load. However, in the interest of fairness I suppose I should try and talk up some of BT's good points. Well, uh...I suppose when they are working smoothly they are a fairly decent ISP for a fair price. They also give you some free email addresses to use, although I've never used them (after all, there's plenty of better free email providers on the internet). I suppose it is also convenient for BT customers just to sign up with a company they already know and trust and just have their internet fees added to their phone bills. Also, the staff on the helplines are friendly and polite, even if they are generally rather useless. Providing internet access is getting big business these days, and I think BT could do much better than it does if it wants to attract customers. It's not doing anything special, or giving services that other ISPs don't provide. My family are considering stepping up to broadband next, and we'll probably be steering well clear of BT this time. Capital letters courtesy of: http://www.chuckleweb.co.uk/fixit.php
You have probably seen that BT and other companies that rely on BT lines are heavily pushing broadband at the moment and I feel that this could be a reason why the `dial up` packages may be being neglected at the moment. BT has now reduced the `anytime` hours to 150 a month which I feel is slightly a breech of advertising. since when does having unlimited access have any restrictions. The BT surf package for off-peak that is available is a slight rip-off as unlimited is only a few pounds more and these and the little known pay-as-you-go package only offer 10 meg of web space. Siging up for dial up services is easy enough on-line, if the forms are on the lengthy side. The process can configure your machine automatically and there is no option to manually change options. The portal and help are pretty good but the large amount of pages and sites may lead to information overload when coupled with the pop-up adverts. The telephone support is available 24/7 but is sometimes difficult to get through as BT has a large percentage of customers and doesn;t seem to have the resources to cope. If you are going to go with BT go for a broadband package, if your line is compatable that is. Because openworld dial-up is more expensive than most others it isn`t going to win many customers.
BT Anytime, what a laugh. They have just decided to terminate my account for over usage (What does 24/7 mean?). With a wife and three children going through college the internet time soon runs out. Living out in the sticks they cannot provide ADSL so what other choice do I have...NONE (unless I want to fork out a fortune for Satalite Broadband). I have decided that enough is enough and I am now seeking to take BT to court for DISCRIMINATION. Why should the not so well off or those who live in Rural areas have to make do with second best, when if they spent half of the payout to the fatcats on improving hardware, we should all be able to use the internet 24 hours 7 days without any limitations or cutoffs
This for once is a serious opinion by Paradox Man, this is about why internet ads should be aboloished. In this I am not talking about ads which are actully part of the page itself but of the ones which pop up so frequently and continue to pop up even if you just use the back button to go back to the last page you looked at. I relise that the web pages concerned get money from letter these "hangers on" put ads on these pages, but what is more important to a business it sponcers or its customers? I think the web pages concerned should put there customers or views first, if web sites take the "non-pop up way" the would be creating a user friendly environment that people would want to come back to. I hope all you web site designers out there take heed to this opinion and create the environment that your users want.
I have been on the internet for 5 1/2 years approximately,the first 2 years with virgin.net,then a brief spell on freeserves early attempt at free access.and finally ending up with BT. At first BT were excellent,quick connections,16hrs uninterupted surfing!,quick e-mails.This all changed however when BT really started to catch on,they simply failed to upgrade quick enough to cope with demand. They have had 4 price increases in 3 yrs,having gone from £9.99 to £15.99,while at the same time the service has become a joke.No more than 12 hrs in any one 24hr period,10 minutes to connect,getting dropped after 10 minutes online,a support service that is laughable to say the least,and now the final insult,annoying,unwanted pop up ads everytime you log on. If it wasn`t for the fact that BT are probably the best of a rather poor selection we have in the UK i would change ISP tomorrow. In the Oxford Dictionary the word "Any" is described as "unspecified quantity or amount" so how can "Anytime" be limited to 12 hrs in any 24!!
Sorry, BT, but I've had nothing but hassle from you. The words "misleading advertising" spring prominently to mind.... I ordered BT Surftime and phone line a while back, and I've had no problem with the phone side of things. The net access however... thats a whole new story... When I signed up for BT Surftime, it was being touted as "unlimited access", and free at weekends and evenings. I stress the "unlimited access" part, I believe I still have some BT literature still which uses those exact words... I'm NOT getting mixed up between "unlimited" and "unmetered"... First problem with BT was when the ISP I was signed up with (which participated in the Suftime deal) sold out to Tiscali, an Italian company. I received mail to notify me of changes, but NONE of that stated that the service was about to become a pay-as-you-go ISP, and I ended up with a whopping £150 bill for my internet usage. BT said that they couldn't help, as they weren't responsible for what happened with other ISPs. Fair enough, but they're charging me, and the company was still on their list of participating Surftime ISPs... OK, so I payed up. Wasn't happy about it, but payed up... A couple of weeks later, I got an email from BT saying that I was breaking the user agrement by spending too much time online. Huh? Breaking the license agreement by spending too much time online? When I'd signed up for UNLIMITED access??? A call to their customer services was no help. The lady on the other end said that it was in their terms and conditions... I checked, and what the terms and conditions actually SAID was that BT reserves the right to change their user agreement at any time... All very legal and everything, but y'know, it SUCKS. They seem to use this clause in the agreement to hide behind instead of coming clear. its NOT unlimited acces (I'm glad to
see they're not actively advertising it as such anymore), but I feel that they're treating their customers with something approaching contempt here.... Another niggle... my connection speeds have steadily been dropping, from around 50.6kbps to 45.3 now. Personally, I'm voting with my feet and I've signed up for an ADSL service ( NOT BTs one)... Theres plenty of other ISPs out there which are far more competitive, and work out cheaper even without the Surftime package. NUTS to you, BT.
Bt Internet isn’t of the better, ISP’s currently available, infact its getting worse by the day, and you’ve guessed it Btinternet isn’t free, you have to pay for it. The connection is rubbish, basically, sorry to be so blunt but it is. The speed is constantly slow, and you can forget any speedy surfing, at any time of the day any day. Games playing over the net with BT is another no go area, pings are just terrible, its just not worth the hassle. Its just become a falure of it's own success. It was a good service in the begining, but as got worse as more join up. Good points being that there are free internet calls after 6 pm til 8 am in the morning, and all weekend, all for £11.99 a month. Not bad, but there are others available that can cope with internet access better. BT INTERNET, is S_L_O_W
I had just moved house, setup my phone line with BT easily enough, lady on the phone asked if I wanted BT internet added to my account for an additional charge. I figured what the heck, why not. Disk duly arrived in the post, popped it in, Liked the idea of paying £12.99 for evenings and weekends (apologies if some of the figures are wrong, this happened a while ago and I may have miss-remembered) so I started the sign up process. All went through easily enough. And I started using the service, it was ok, didn’t really like the fact it dropped you out after a couple of hours but I could live with it, I seemed able to connect with minimal difficulties at even the peak periods so was generally happy. Then however my first phone bill arrived... Wow I figured, must be some mistake, I seem to be paying my line rental+ an internet supplement (6.99) + 12.99 for the Surftime package each month... So I phoned up BT (the phone people as opposed to BT Internet) and asked how this was, the woman on the line said she didn’t know, I should phone BT Internet, so I did. Woman there said she didn’t know but they only charged 12.99 for my package and I should talk to BT... I phoned BT back and said that BT Internet had told me it was their responsibility. The man this time said this was true, I was charged 6.99 on top of my line rental to access the BT Internet services, the package I then chose from them was an additional charge. But no one told me about that at the time I said... sorry but its BT Internets responsibility he said. Getting more than a bit annoyed now I phoned BT Internet back and explained that I had been led to believe I would be able to pay 12.99 a month for internet access and that would be it. He said "but you can sir, our surftime package does that..." I explained what BT had told me and he said "must be some mistake, phone them back". Fuming now I phoned them back and just said look forget abou
t it I want everything taken off my account other than the bog standard line rental, I will sort out my own internet access! Phoned Bt Internet back and cancelled my account with them (the man said I still had a week internet time left paid for but it would be cancelled after then, which was a lie, the next day my account was dead, couldn’t be bothered to complain though). Have since gone with freeserve, pay 12.99 a month and no additional charge from BT am very happy with their service as well, had to make one support call to their 50p a min line and there was no queue, and the man was very fast, gave me a few things to try and said he wouldn’t wait on the line to save me money but if there were any problems to phone back and ask for him. I've also moved my phone calls to British Gas who are much cheaper than BT, so all BT get from me now is line rental! :) What seems to be the major problem with the whole thing is how the two companies BT and BT Internet seem to be completely devoid of any link in either policy of product knowledge. I know that in the true business sense they are separate companies, but they share the same brand and should at least understand how the other half works and be able to offer advice rather than hiding costs in the mess of administration.
Yep, that's right. I'm not looking for a VU, or even a U. And if I were not an Aberdonian by birth, I would have done this as a Short Opinion. A wee while back, I wrote in less than complimentary terms about BT Openworld. I have watched and waited. I have even tried to communicate with the Great God BT. Which/Who clearly does not demean itself by replying to mere mortals. I took on board the advice of those who commented on the previous op. Including the suggestion that I should contact BT and ask for the "gain" on my line to be increased. I don't know who was more technophobic, me or the lassie at the BT call centre. Anyway, "Sorry, but I don't know what you're talking about" sums it up for me. Meantime, I have been trying to relay a complaint to BT Internet. This is really a fun game, because it is a race against time. The challenge is to click on the "Contact Us" button, which doesn't. But only takes you to another help screen (with "Contact Us in a side bar) And if you spot it, and click on it, it takes you to another help screen . . . . And all before BT disconnects you, again. Hey, guys, this is the biggest race-against-time game ever devised. Find the BT "Contact Us" which works before you get disconnected. And the conclusion of this customer service announcement, for which I expect no ratings whatsoever, is this. If you are using an ISP which does not contain the letters B or T, stick with it. If, like me, you have been duped into believing that because it's big; because it's BT; it must be OK - Join me in my protest. Eventually, after many expensive online minutes using another ISP, I tracked down a BT Customer Service email address. I won't bore you w
ith the details, but the expression "Trading Standards" cropped up more than once. You have been warned.
Tired of generating quarterly phone bills of over £200, BT's new all-inclusive service which launched about 18 months ago was like a god-send from heaven. The thought of getting unlimited internet access at evenings and weekends for £9.99 a month proved too tempting, so without any feeling of guilt or remorse, I ended my two-year relationship with AOL to switch to BT. Inititally, it worked wonders, I got just about everything I wanted, an email address, free webspace and most importantly, unlimited time. It was about 9 months later that BT brought out a new initiative which enabled you to get unlimited access around the clock with no exceptions at all. The downside was that you would get automatically signed off after being on for two hours to prevent you from simply leaving the computer on and costing them money, making long downloads difficult to complete, but this was nevertheless an excellent scheme, which was keeping ahead of it's competitors. Finally, the AOL's and Freeserves of this world decided to switch and offered similar rates to BT, but I did not switch back because I was happy with the quality of the product, confident in BT's future initiatives and more importantly, they had won my loyalty. Sadly, this was to change as around three months ago, I started to experience problems with my software. Frequently, webpages would stop loading and the whole thing would just freeze, yet despite making several calls to their "helpline" and having to wait for what seemed like hours for an answer, they were unable to help me rectify the problem. Furthermore, it began to take longer and longer to sign on as it kept on disconnecting at the final hurdle and then when I did get on, it would only be 5 or 10 minutes before I would be either disconnected or the page freezing would commence. Therefore, I took the decision to return to AOL and promptly deleted by BT account. Even then it is causing me pro
blems as it keeps trying to sign onto BT even when I am not in the same room as the computer, a very frustrating problem which I solved by permanantly deleting the software. I'd urge you to delete the notion of joining BT Surftime.
BT surf time is actually pretty good for a BT product. I was gutted when my 24hour freeserve services kicked the bucket so I had no choice but to go for this as I don't have a credit card which is needed for the 24 x 7 package they offer, however im not dissappointed with the service. There customer service is pretty good and there home page is also pretty informative which you would expect from BT. I would recommend this service to anyone who uses the net alot just like myself, good e-mail service, good customer service and generally not bad overall. A good product from BT, now theres a novelty. P.S. ADSL is now available which means high speed and also you don't need another line installed if you are worried about incoming calls because its a constant connection and your phone line works even when your connected. NICE ONE!
...they are far far FAR worse than that. Seriously. It's a miracle that I am actually writing this article at all as I am on the internet WITH BT!! On the face of it BT offers a convenient service, the price of the"service" per month is simply added to your phone bill, dead simple. When I first signed up to BT I wasn't using the internet much at all, probably an hour a day, nothing too major as I was trying to get my new PC up and running. Once it was up and running, my sister wanted to use the net too, fair enough, and we would be on the internet from 6pm to probably about 12am, well that was the plan. BT CONSTANTLY cut the connection off at around 9:20pm which is infuriating seeing as it will not reconnect until around 10pm. This happened for about a week then the connection seemed to fine. However, at the weekend it often takes me 30+ attempts to connect, and when I do I often get booted straight away. BT's ISP is neither or service, nor a provider of anything apart from frustration. The customer service number is always engaged (from the many complaints?), or on the odd occasion when I get through I am handed from person to person and end up giving up. If you are a heavy net user then only consider BT if you feel you need to be punished in someway.
So there I was about six months ago needing a phone line and an ISP, and I figured it would be less hassle to both sorted at the same time. Wishful thinking! Due to its monopolising of a number of years ago, BT has been forced to split its operations into separate businesses. If like me, you want to find out about what the best deal is, whether you can get broadband, how much everything costs and what packages go with what others, be prepared to phone at least three or four different numbers, most of them at least three times. Eventually you get yourself connected (the phone line part went very smoothly as always, and even installing the internet software was pretty straightforward). I went for SurfTime (free at weekends and evenings). And, by and large, it's been fine, although they did up the price a couple of months after I started. Connection is fairly reliable - quite often you need two or three attempts to log in, but once there I haven't had a connection dropped other than through timeout or the 2hr limit. Although the connection speed won't go above 40kbps for some reason. If all you want to do is surf some web pages, this is fine. If, however, you use email a lot, you'll be disappointed. Sending from non-BT SMTP servers is blocked (and of course, you can only use BT email when dialled into BT, so I can't use that at work). I even started using a nonstandard port number on my web server so I could send from my own domain - it worked for a while, but they seem to have spotted it and blocked that as well. Emails asking why they need to do this initially produced the template 'dear sir/madam, please read the FAQ... etc' reply, yes I have read the FAQ, there's nothing on it... haven't yet had a genuine reply. If you use newsgroups you'll be disappointed. Yes you can see them, yes you can post to them (you don't even need to use your BT email address) but after a while it becomes obvi
ous that you can only see about half the messages that ever get posted. You get web space with the SurfTime package. Seems to work fine. Except you can only access it via FTP if you're logged in via BT. I'd quite like to be able to upload files from work when I have a faster connection, but that's not possible. In short, it's all quite a simple affair. If you want simple, that's fine. If you want a flexible and more useful web connection, look elsewhere - I think I will.
I first joined the BT Surftime package during June of the year 2000, about that time there was all the buzz of BT creating unmetered packages available for a set price. Probaly a good move as more and more households were accessing the worldwide web. If my memory serves me correct, sign up was a breeze. All I had to do was visit the btinternet site and have my phone bill handy, the step by step options took me through the rest. One of the reasons I found this package suitable for me is because its charged through the phone bill. Also the off peak times suit me as I only use the net at night anyway. The unmetered access times are Mon-Fri 18.00-8.00 and all weekend. Quite good for £10, theorectically thats about 504 hours of free net surfing a month. Daytime charges are 2p a minute. The dial in software can be downloaded after sign up so you can get connected straight away. There are also helpful prompts incase you pick the daytime dialup during off peak hours, how honest of BT for once. One thing that suprised me was that my full name was available as an email address, something I rarely experience, with the online web based mail, you can easily add more accounts and check your inbox and compose etc. The 10meg webspace that BT provide is also very good, the servers are very fast so your pages are displayed very quickly, a definate plus. Although they could be a bit more generous with the amount of space they allocate you. My connection speeds with BT are usually 46,667bps with it sometimes dropping to 45,333bps. This is a drastic speed improvement to my previous isp where i only managed to obtain a snail paced 33,600bps. I always seem to hear about people bashing BT and their service, I myself have only suffered once during the whole time I have used them. Only one night the damn thing wouldn't connect at all, but apart from that perfect first time connection 99% of the time. Admitibally sometimes the sp
eed can low but hey we can't have everything to be perfect, although the recent price rise to £11.99 is probaly unjustified. Still a pretty good deal though methinks. Another bad thing is the two hour cut off, although I understand that this stops those who like to remain connected for as long as possible. Well done BT, continue the service.
BT Surf Time is another one of many internet packages offered by BT. It allows you to surf the interbet off-peak (6pm to 8am weekdays and 6pm till 8am Monday at weekends). ***CONNECTION /RELIABILITY*** Connection to Bt internet is always relatively good, every time it connects. There have been a few instances over the year in which it just wouldn’t connect, but a few times in a year is nothing much to complain about. Connection is always quick, and the dial-up software never has to re-dial. This is one impressive point about BT internet, it’s never says that it’s too busy for you to connect. Pleasing to know if you have just come from using ISP’s which offer a completely free service, in which it takes you 20 to 30 connection attempts to get connected (That is if you haven’t given up by then). ***PRICE*** Price of BT Internet is completely up to you, in my ways. There are several differing tariffs available so the internet and the price suit you needs down to a tee. This is the cost for BT Internet Surftime; * DAYTIME ACCESS RATE; BT Standard local call rates (minimum charge 5p) * EVENING AND WEEKEND ACCESS RATE; Unlimited weekday evenings (6pm - 8am) & all weekend (6pm Friday - 8am Monday) * PRICING; £11.99 a month * EMAIL; 5 e-mail addresses (POP3 & Web-based) * WEBSPACE; 10MB ***CONNECTION SPEED*** Connection to the BT internet server is relatively fast, but there have been instances where it has been running a little slow for my liking. I am on the ‘Free off-peak’ internet package and so I never connect before six. So I am probably using the internet at one of it’s busiest times, but it usually copes very well. My usual connection speed is around 38/40,000 KPS. ***WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?*** In terms of the future, I am afraid that modem/dial-up internet access is
on it’s way out. But it’s replacement ASDL is very expensive at the moment and many wouldn’t even consider it. It offers internet at supreme speed, and newer features like streaming video along the connection. This is the future in my opinion, but is at lease a few years away. Only some areas of the country support it, BT will let you know when you order it, but be warned, Don’t get your hopes up! Cost wise at the moment, is completely out of some peoples reach. IT looks like it’s about £60 to fit the new technology an then about £39.99 a month there after. For me Modem connection is the much cheaper alternative, and works relatively well. ***SUMMARY*** BT Surf time gives you access to the internet off-peak (6pm to 8am weekdays and 6pm till 8am Monday at weekends). It provides access at high speed at reliable connections. The pricing system is what we would expect it generally matches all other countries offering internet access, toll free off-peak access.. So it’s £11.99 a month, if you bill cost more than £35.97 and you don’t mind limited access then this package may be suited more for you, switching across will save you money. Want to know more? Then that’s another opinion.