Product Type: Freeserve in Telecommunications Services
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Member Name: barzi
Date: 01/08/02, updated on 02/08/02 (533 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to set up, Generally good connection speeds.
Disadvantages: 2 hour limit on calls, Frequent Engaged tones so can't connect in., Poor customer services
I have used Freeserve as my ISP more or less since they started out and my subscription evolved from a standard dial up to moving to unlimited calls at weekends and evenings. Last December Freeserve emailed me about more changes to the service and it became a more economical option to switch to Freeserve Anytime which should have been unlimited access 24/7, they also offered 6 months at half price which was then £12.99/month.
Since switching to unlimited access I started hitting problems such as not being able to connect due to getting an engaged tone. At certain times of day I would get poor connection speeds and occasionally the line would drop which can be frustrating. A very annoying feature is it automatically disconnects you after 2 hours and you have to dial in again unlike if you paid standard rate to dial in. It was very frustrating as I could use my old dial up number and pay standard rate and the connection would be fine almost as if they were giving standard rate subscribers a better quality of service.
Towards the end of the 6 months I was notified that the price had increased to £13.99/month. I thought this was too much for the quality of service they provide so I ended up cancelling the service and ended up subscribing to broadband with PIPEX.
Beware when you choose to cancel a Freeserve package such as Freeserve Anytime. I phoned in advance to cancel when my offer period expired and was told to phone on the day it actually expired. I did this as requested and was told the servers were down and was to call again a few hours later. When I phoned a few hours later they then told me I had to pay for the next month as I had left it too late to cancel and it was now in a new billing period. They charged me £13.99 for a service I wasn't using and didn't want and would not refund the money under any circumstances. The customer services staff are arrogant and will not help you resolve an issue. They claim that
they can not issue refunds, you cannot speak to anyone senior about the problem to get a refund and their accounts department do not have phones, faxes or email so you can't communicate with them directly. In the end I had to get my credit card company to seek a refund for me (which they did) but it was a hassle.
Freeserve have a lot of terms & conditions which it is worth reading before you sign up with them such as you can't excessively use the service and they cut calls after 2 hours (hardly unlimited). They frequently increase prices yet the quality of service in terms of being able to connect appears to have gotten worse. I'd steer well clear of them as an ISP for unlimited access however as a bog standard dial up ISP they are OK.
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