Product Type: BT in Telecommunications Services
Newest Review: ... platypus duck). Finally, we clicked on the icon and started the process of filling in our information. This, too, seemed to t... more
They Should Stick To Phones
BT SurfTime/Surf Together
Member Name: GuruOnAMountain
BT SurfTime/Surf Together
Date: 08/09/04, updated on 18/09/04 (207 review reads)
Advantages: Quite a reasonable price.
Disadvantages: Helplines are expensive and usually useless., Connection problems are quite frequent.
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
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