* Prices may differ from that shown
hii,ve had so much problem since it's gone virgin to get thru to cancel various package as i don't utalise themyou can put thru so many different recorded messages by this time uget fed up so i put the phone downplease make our lives easier than this!It's not time consuming or cost effectivefinally i told someone to cancel my package yet they've charged me full for this month!shobhna
I have already done a review on NTL when I first joined dooyoo, so why another one? Well, firstly, my other review was rather poor, only covering a couple of areas, and was more of a rant than anything else. Secondly, a lot has changed since then, so I feel it only fair to re-review NTL as it is now.
A very brief history of NTL
NTL is a digital cable service provider offering landlines, internet and digital tv. NTL combined with Telewest some time ago. The two operated as separate companies and in separate areas, but have now amalgamated their resources and have started to homogenise the services that both companies offers. NTL and Telewest are not available in the same areas as each other its one or the other.
NTL offers broadband at speeds of 1mb, 4mb and 10 mb, though as is usual with these stated speeds they are optimal and not always (if ever) achievable. The beauty of broadband with NTL is that, as it is a cable service, you do not need to have a phone line - a requirement that is more common with people now thanks to mobile phones and VOIP (the only other solution for those not wanting a phoneline is to use satellite which costs a fortune, or wireless which is not readily available). Because other companies require a BT phonline, you have the additional cost of line rental to pay, but not so with NTL broadband. Also, there are no usage limits unlike most service providers, so you can surf and download for as long as you want. NTL also provides its own free internet security suite (NTLGuard) which is currently being upgraded to meet that provided to Telewest customers (which at the moment is a pain because it is really slowing my computer down). A bit of a problem is that they now have activated a half finished service annoying when you get a message saying that spyware has been found, but the removal facility is not yet ready! Although not brilliant, I have not had any trouble with viruses, and you can always complement NTLGuard with other security packages (all mine are free and better than the ones you pay for!). Other freebies include online support, webspace, email accounts and lots more.
Prices for Broadband are (monthly) : £17.99 for 1mb, £24.99 for 4mb and £34.99 for 10mb.
Dial-up internet does require a phone line, and is also incredibly slow and riddled with dangers (diallers that divert you to a premium number, for example), and you also cannot use your phone at the same time. The dial-up service costs 1p per minute or you can have unlimited dial-up for £14.99 (plus telephone line rental) a month, but you cant stay online for more than two hours at a time and you have to wait for 20 minutes before reconnecting (so its not really unlimited then!). I was previously on this when I first joined NTL, and I can only say that, for an extra £3 per month, you might as well get broadband.
NTL and Telewest have a cheek in forcing customers to take out line rental as well (included in the overall price). But it can be understood from their point of view they simply do not make money from TV alone. Still cheeky, though.
NTL are introducing free OnDemand TV, a facility that allows you to watch selected programs at any time, with the ability to rewind, fast forward or pause play. There is also TV internet (which is basically useless) as well as TV email (equally as useless if you dont buy a special keyboard, it can takes ages to type out a message). The interactive (the red button) section does not seem to be as good as Skys version, and it is also a bit slow. You can also re-arrange channels in an order to suit you (but this reverts back to normal when NTL do an update, so there is little point). Setup and installation of the set-top box required is free.
This costs £5.99 (£16.50 with compulsory line rental) a month for 22 non terrestrial channels (including Sky 1 and Sky 1 Mix, Living TV (for Boston Legal fans), UKTV Gold, E4, CBeebies, Sky News, BBC News 24, The Hits, MTF to name a few). Shopping channels are QVC and Bid-up TV, and digital radio is included to suit all tastes. Basically, its Freeview with a few more channels chucked in. Ideal for those who dont watch that much, but find most of what they want is on Sky 1 (pity Freeview dont offer this channel).
This costs £11.50 (£22.50 with compulsory line rental) a month. You get all the channels in the Select Pack, but you also get the likes of Cartoon Network, MTV, VH1, Discovery channels, British Eurosport and about a dozen more shopping channels. Great if you have kids (or are a kid yourself)
This costs £19.50 (£30.50 with compulsory line rental) a month. This contains too many channels to list, and you must really love your tv programs to have this pack there just arent enough hours in the day to watch so much. Perfect for those with too much time (and money) on their hands.
Additional channels are also available, such as Sky Sports channels, Movie Channels. Prices vary as do the channels available with each pack you may find that you have to take more than one out to get all the ones you want (you cant select individual channels they come in packs). You can also pay to watch on demand movies prices vary again.
NTL allows you to have two landlines if you want with just one bill. Free messaging (1571) is available on all tariffs, as are usual extra chargeable features such as call barring, caller display, call divert etc. If you call mobile phones a lot, you can also take out a subscription (£2 / month) which reduces costs of calls to mobiles by nearly 2 thirds. Tariffs for each price plan are too lengthy to go into for this review, but the prices arent too bad.
This is the basic package. Line rental costs £11.00 per month, and you get unlimited local landline calls at weekends. Ideal for light users or those with no mates.
This allows you to make unlimited free weekend and evening calls to any UK landline. For this privilege, you pay the £11.00 line rental plus £5.50 per month. Good for gabbing after a hard days work.
Talk Unlimited 24
For those who can talk the hind legs of a donkey. This costs a total of £25 per month including line rental, and allows for unlimited calls to UK landlines all day, any day.
Mix and matches.
With NTL you can combine TV, Internet and Telephone and get discounted rates. As I have said before, choosing a TV package means you must also have a landline, but you can have Internet alone or combined with a landline.
Offers and charges
NTL usually gives a discount for the first few months, usually half price. You also get discounts for ordering on-line.
Paying bills should be done by Direct Debit, else you face a hefty £4 additional per month charge on top of your bill. Having an itemised bill also increases your costs by £1.50 per month.
This has improved significantly since I joined NTL. There are still many problems (see my call centre review and rate!!!), but they do seem to be getting their act together. Gone now (thank God) is the Indian call centre, now relocated it seems to Newcastle. One HUGE gripe is that they have scrapped the freephone number for their customer services department which is a huge mistake (but must be earning them loads). NTHell (www.NTHell.com) is launching a petition to get it back.
My most recent encounter with the customer service staff seemed to go OK at first, but took a few more phone calls to finally get an issue sorted out, though apologies from the staff, never heard of before, were sincere (I got a £5 credit for an operators failure to take off itemised billing!). Help is also available online, though it can be a bit of a slow process. Visiting NTHell is quite good, as a few of their staff (the ones who care and know what they are doing) work the forum and help customers having problems with the company.
NTL has a bit of a way to go to get top marks from me, though it is making a valiant effort possibly in recognition of its previous piss-poor performance? Current updates and changes are slow, but I suppose it is a big operation to perform. I have found that prices are competitive but I suppose it depends on what you want. A big step forward may be to offer TV without having to take out a landline. A bit more clarity on prices would not go amiss, and speeding up the TV services would be welcome to. I think the TV component really lets NTL down. For those just wanting TV, Sky may be a better option, but for cheap internet, NTL wins hands down, especially as line rental is not needed.
If NTL carry on the way they are, and are sincere about their promises for the future, then they should see a lot more business coming their way. Recommended? A wary yes.
p.s, I dont work for NTL.
p.p.s, nor do I have shares!
Due to my satisfaction with our NTL Telephone and Digital TV Service, we decided to change our Broadband provider.
We had been unhappy with Supanet for some time (see previous review) and therefore NTL seemed the natural choice. However, I didn't enter into the decision lightly - the last thing I wanted was for us to be stuck with another under achieving Broadband supplier and so I looked into what NTL could offer me and took the time to understand my options.
As with my Telephone and TV, I looked into NTL Broadband via their website, ntl.co.uk. Before viewing the Broadband options available to you, you must enter your Postcode to ensure that Broadband is available in your area. Once you have done this, you are then able to view the Broadband packages that NTL currently offer.
There are currently 3 Broadband options available:
1mb Broadband Internet - £9.99 per month (Usually £17.99)
2mb Broadband Internet - £24.99 per month
3mb Broadband Internet - £37.99 per month
Our previous Broadband connection with Supanet was 1mb and this suited our needs entirely so I again opted for the 1mb connection with NTL.
As we are already an NTL telephone and Digital TV customer, the sign up process was maybe easier than if I were a new Customer. For example, when placing the order, I simply entered my account number and my details came up on the screen. I then chose the Broadband service that I wanted. In this case, they were offering the 1mb Broadband for £9.99 per month for 12 months. This would usually cost £17.99 per month. I was then able to choose a date for installation. I chose 24th June - this was around 2 weeks later but this was to ensure I would be able to get the time off from work. I was then able to choose am (8am - 12pm) or pm (12.30pm - 5.30pm) installation. I chose the morning - I would then have the whole afternoon with the computer and internet all to myself!
I was then able to review my order, to ensure that what I had selected was correct. I was given the choice to amend or add to the order if necessary. In this case, I was happy to proceed.
Once the order had been placed, I received an email shortly afterwards, advising me of my order number and details. Should I need to contact Customer Services at any point before installation, the order number would ensure I would be dealt with by the appropriate department.
This proved to be quite handy! Two days before the installation was due, I was asked to cancel my Holiday for Friday, due to some urgent work that had to be done. I couldn't very well say no - after all, work do pay my wages, so I agreed and rang NTL immediately to advise them that I would have to re-arrange the installation.
After only being on hold for a few minutes, I gave the order number I had received in the email from NTL. My order was quickly located and I explained to them that I couldn't make the installation date and asked to rearrange. However, instead of simply rearranging, the customer services agent asked me to hold the line whilst they contact the Supervisor of the Engineers that would be attending the property. She came back quickly and told me that the Supervisor had agreed for the Engineers to call before we went to work in the morning. I agreed to this and was left feeling a bit confused - would NTL really do that for me? There was only one way to find out ..
The Installation date finally arrived. I got up at 6.30, in preparation for the Engineer who was scheduled to call at 7.30am. After pottering around for a while, my bell rang at 7.15 - it was the NTL Engineer come to install my Broadband!
I apologised to the Engineer for him having to attend so early - I'm not sure if they make a habit of installing Broadband at 7.30am in the morning! He got straight to work. I had already been told that the installation wouldn't take long - we already had the cable boxes installed, as we have TV and telephone so it was just a matter of routing some thick white cable from the cable box at the back of the TV to the Cable Modem by the PC.
Once the Engineer had completed this, rather than leave the cable on the floor, he secured it to my skirting boards - now it's very hard to even see the cable.
NTL provide the Cable Modem and the Installation disk - these are brought with the Engineer. The rest of the installation was up to me which meant installing the Modem driver. The instructions for installation are clear and easy - instructions are provided with the disk are for PC's and Apple PC's so whichever type of PC you have, you'll know exactly what to do.
Installation took around 5 minutes - in this time, I was required to validate my details by entering my username and password which is sent via a letter from NTL before installation takes place. I can then choose my username for my main email address.
Once fully installed, unlike other providers, there isn't an icon you need to click on to connect to the internet - NTL Broadband is on all of the time and by simply clicking on the Internet Explorer icon, you are immediately taken to your home page. It doesn't disconnect, you can't reconnect - it's a constant connection.
So far, my NTL Broadband connection has remained constant - I've never been 'thrown off' the internet like Supanet used to do. There are added bonus's to NTL Broadband as well which includes:
Free modem and set-up
Free anti-spam & anti-virus
Free 15 email addresses
Free online support
Upon completing my installation, I then downloaded NTL's free antivirus. This took 5 minutes to download and includes a Firewall, Spam Blocker, Antivirus and Pop up Blocker. It also has a 'Privacy' Blocker' which warns you when potentially dangerous sites are trying to access your PC - you can choose to approve or block these addresses.
To obtain NTL Broadband, you have to sign up to NTL's basic telephone service at a cost of £9.99 per month if you don't already have it. You also have to be in a cabled area - if the cables for NTL are not in your street, chances are you won't be able to get NTL Broadband for a very long time.
Of course, as with any other Broadband provider, NTL require that when you sign up to their Broadband service, you do so for 12 months. However, NTL has just announced that they will be upgrading their speeds - 1mb customers will be upgraded to 2mb at no extra charge - it definitely seems worth it!
The broadband speed seems consistent - I do a regular speed check to ensure I'm not getting short changed! Downloads are also much quicker with NTL - on average things that took around 2 hours are taking half the time.
I'm very happy with NTL's Broadband service - from order to installation, the service has been excellent. Everything seemed to have a 'personal touch' to it - something I felt bereft of when I signed up with Supanet. I would highly recommend them - especially to existing customers.
Again, as with TV and Telephone packages, it is best to sign up online for the best deals - NTL are currently offering £10 cash back until 31st August 2005. I had a quick look around on the internet and can't find any similar deals from alternative providers.
I cannot recommend NTL enough - their service for me has been superb - I'm only sorry I didn't sign up with them sooner!
If you?re not used to the internet its best to look at all the companies available to you and the best offer for you. Unfortunately we did not do this and decided on AOL this cost us far too much, as it charged us pence per minute on a dial up connection. Then one day an NTL envelope came through our letterbox containing an NTL CD for the internet. Dial up connection I might add. And basically the deal was great for us ~~~The Package~~~ The one that we have involves dial up connection for £15 per month. And that?s all we pay for the internet, no pay per minute fees, no connection fees nothing else. Also because we?ve converted to NTL phone line, included in that £15 internet fee we get our first £15 worth of calls free. OK that does sound a little complicated, but it is hard to explain. I?ll try and make it as easy as possible to understand, cause I found It a little bit hard to understand, me being dim and all for £15 you get dial up internet access, and £15 worth of phone calls free, a right bargain we though, so we signed up for it. ~~~Services~~~ I might warn you that not all areas can receive NTL, as it is a cable service. So to change our phone line we got a little adaptor that fits into the phone socket. Charging all our phone calls , (and internet dial up) through NTL service and not BT, which is our original phone line, although we still have to pay BT line rental, but the benefits we receive are still worth it. The only thing is we can?t get broadband through the adaptor, so I can?t tell you much about the broadband service as we haven?t got it ~~~Features~~~~ Its not exactly your all flashy AOL service, with all your special log in screen instant messenger and user names, but that?s not to say the NTL service is pants because its not. You don?t get any special browser, and is loaded up through internet explorer and the starting homepage is the NTL website, but you can change
this through internet options on your computer. It allows you all the internet access you want (dial up mind) and all it will cost you is £15. You also get a number of email accounts with this service as well, I think its up to six, although its nothing exciting and the features are pretty basic. ~~~THE WEBSITE~~~ Thought I?d tell you about this as this is one of the main parts of the service, seeing as you?re connected to them and all. ~~your account~~~ I would think this is the main part of the website that all NTL subscribers would be interested in. This is quite useful as you can see all the phone calls you ever made since you joined there service. Also you can see how much your current bill is adding up and a statement is sent through every three months. ~~~Channels~~~ Like many internet providers you can access a number of channels on here these are Film special, Auctions, Classified, Entertainment, Food and Drink, Games, Knowledge, Lifestyle, Local, Mobile, Money, News and Weather, Shopping, sport and travel. I?ll be honest with you this is not one of the best designed websites, it is badly laid out, and isn?t that easy to navigate around. The website is pretty basic with mainly text and pictures with a little bit of colour, we don?t usually spend that much time on it the only thing we use it for is to check our account. But all in all this is a great service if you went cheep and simple dial up access internet, I?m sorry I haven?t provided you with information about their broadband service, but theres not much point me informing you if I don?t know much about it myself.
I've been using NTL's unmetered dial-up internet service for around three years now. Overall it has worked fairly well. It's not the fastest, but it is mostly reliable. The problems come during the times when there *are* problems. NTL used to have their own newsgroup, ntl.support.dialup, where knowledgable tech support staff answered questions. Without any announcement, these tech support people left the newsgroup never to return. The newsgroup is now frequented only by users now. It's better than nothing, but sometimes a case of the blind leading the blind. NTL's email technical support is also non-existant. I am still waiting for a reply to a message sent at the beginning of May, and resent a few times since then. They *never* reply to messages sent to their technical support department. Perhaps there is nobody there. The final straw is NTL's insistance that users now download and install a program called "Freedom" which reportedly screws your computer's settings, forces changes to the default page in internet explorer, makes the computer's internal clock incorrect, and probably a lot of other stuff nobody wants. Such dictatorial software can hardly be accurately named "Freedom", can it?! Thank the lord that finally broadband access is around the corner on my phone exchange, and I can finally ditch these pillocks and their pitiful customer service.
dont go online shopping with Sainburystoyou - Advantages: appart fom the disadvatnges its a good service, keeps the kids happy when online, 17.99 per month - Disadvantages: you dont get to to see any buy one get one free offers, you dont get to see any free nectar poits offers, secure check out takes a long time and often fails
Why would you want to get Broadband? -------------------------------------------- Its ten times, two times or even twenty times faster than a normal 56kbps connection. Depending on which package you choose. So you will be able to download songs, films etc much faster It also lets calls to be made and receive on your on your land line phone. So no more busy signals when someone phones. Your also always connected to the internet so no more having to dial up to the net. How much does this cost? ------------------------------- First of all like i said there are three packages to choose from. All three packages give you a free modem but the cheaper one you need to pay a connection fee for. The cheaper one costs £14.99 a month and is two times faster speed. You also need to pay a connection fee of £25. The next Broadband package costs £24.99 a month and is ten times faster speed with free connection. The third package is the biggest at £34.99 with free connection and boasts of speed of up to over twenty times faster. With all three packages you get 24/7 access on the net aswell. How to get Broadband -------------------------- Like i said you need to get a Broadband modem. Which is free from NTL. Then simply log onto www.ntl.co.uk and follow the instructions to sign up.You connect the modem to your USB socket, and plug it into your phone point.Your highspeed connection should be up and running within 10 working days of placing the order. Overall it seems a great idea. Especially if you have got a slow pc. Most films take days to download but with this they will only take hours. Bad point is its gonna cost £14.99, £24.99 or even £34.99 a month. Which might be too expensive for some folk. Another bad point is that Broadband isnt available in every area. So if you live in a Hamlet or Village you might not get it. I live in the third biggest city in Scotland and even i cant get it. Compared to BT this offer is much be
tter. As BT only have one package available which is the ten times faster package at £29.99 a month. With NTL if you pick the ten times faster package you are £5 cheaper a month. Also BT charge for the modem which is £84.99. The two times faster package costs about the same as just 24/7 acces from most ISP companies out there so you might aswell go for that one. One thing i would like to point out is that ive heard from a few people that are having trouble from this company with their ISP. Such as they need to hav a BT line etc
When NTL first launched broadband, I was very excited of the prospect of being able to download at very high speeds opposed to my crappy 33k modem. I recently subscribed to the 600k, which comes with free installation and only costs 25 quid a month. I was able to download around 6 to7 GB a day of Games, Movies, Music and Software. But now I have been warned that NTL now only allows 1gb a day of download time. This to e is only around 3 to 5 hours of broadband use. Here is a look at the packages available Connection Cost Average Download Speed 128kbps £14.99 12k a sec 600kbps £24.99 55k a sec 1024kbps £34.99 90k a sec My friend who has a 1mb connection has been affected even worse than I have. He pays 35 quid a month and used to download round 9 to 12 gb a day. However he has been warned twice not to exceed the 1gb limit which effectively is only 2-3 hours of use. He has been warned that if he exceeds the limit ore than 3 times a week then his membership may be considered terminated which seems outrageous. This cap on broadband defies the whole point of broadband and their policy of unlimited access. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for using more than 1GB a day like video streaming and software updates. There are also pay services that use high bandwidth connections to watch movies (500-700kbps) and sports events, but under these new NTL terms customers will have to go and do something else other than use their internet connection. Families or couples who have ore than one PC in their house but share broadband through a network will need even more bandwidth which they cannot get due to the restrictions. But the real question now is can anything be done? Will it stop there or in the future will they cut it to 500mb a day or lower? Compare NTL broadband to other countries such as Sweden and Japan who get 10 to 12mbps broadband for
around 10 to 27 quid which makes NTL look very inadequate than it already does. If you were using one of these 10 to 12bps broadband you would only be using it for a few minutes a day before being cut off. I recommend for the mean time going to other competitors such as Telewest who are UK’s other main cable operator and have no user limits and don’t plan to install any. They are considering expanding their 1 to connection to a 2mb connection.
Being a customer support enginner myself, I have to handle a lot of phone calls per day. Including clueless and angry people. Since I moved to Swindon to work here as a contractor, I was having heavy thoughts about increasing my quality of life... Digital television and broadband access were in my checklist of consumer desires. I opt for NTL because suposely, I could get ditital TV, telephone and broadband internet all in on package. WOW... nice one! With digital dish you have the weather factor which can be a pain if you want to stay home in a bad weather day (he... bad weather? In UK? Naahh! don't be silly ;). With my mind sticked with NTL, I ring their customer number 0800 0522351... From that moment on, a very sureal adventure began... An answer frontline prompts you to follow the instructions on the menu... Umm.. 4 choices... But this one is easy... "press 1 new custommer"... Not one of the Chris' 1,000.000 bucks question. Then it prompts me to press ** twice to find out which kind of telephone I have... OK... Simon says "press ** twice". Then... it asks me for my telephone number including are code... Uhhh... I don't have one! OK... Let me invent one... "This number is not available... goodbye!" Ok... let's call again and put my previous home number "This number is not available, goodbye!" OK OK! Let's try my company number at Swindon... umm finally they're putting me trhough! Uhh... Manchester office? No... I'm in Swindon mate... "OK! I'll put you through..." ... wait wait... 5 minutes... 10... umm... another frontline menu "if you want to upgrade to digital press 1", "if you have a claim press 2", "if you have an issue with your bill press 3", "if you want to tell us you're moving home press 4", "if you want to order a pizza press 5"... OK... I called once again... 1, **, then my work'
s number.... NO! NO! I'm not in Manchester... SWIN-DON! You little done done! "OK... I'll put you through...." ... z... ZZZZ... ZZZZZZZ... "... if you want to order a pizza press 5".
I have been an NTL customer for 3 years now for TV and telephone and 1 year for internet. As soon as the NTLworld was launched I applied for a disc , in fact I ordered again after recieving no confirmation in the first week of April. Every promise for delivery was broken until I wrote an email direct to the Product Manager whose name was at the bottom of each promisary letter. This was at the end of June when the latest deadline was about to be passed. I got a reply from his secretary asking me to call her which I did and the CD was delivered the following week. When I was first a customer with NTL (Cabletel as they were then ) the phrase used was underpromise and overdeliver, this seems to me to be slipping. Now the Services. TV Digital The digital channels are well presented but we are still waiting for the service to be interactive after yet more broken promises. The channel ranges are competitive to Sky but as they vary quite dramatically from region to region and even month to month it would be safer to check their website for channel packages available. The basic though that is included with the £14 per month line rental is quite good. BBC1,BBC2,ITV,C4,C5,SKY1,MTV2,ITV2,BBCNEWS24,BBCKNOWLEDGE,PARLIAMENT,EUROSPORT,THE STUDIO film channel and a guest channel that changes each month, there are also 40 movies to choose from on a pay per view basis. The PHONE, Well the calls in UK are cheaper than BT nad simpler to understand 3P per min Daytime, 2P Evenings, 1P Weekends. International calls I find are better priced by indirect such as ONE-TEL.Line quality is good. All the usual services available. CUSTOMER SERVICE. APPALLING, average wait time recently of 40 minutes to get a reply!!!!, when I got through they had to reboot the TV system which was done efficiently, but you really have to need to them to bother with waiting times as long as that.
I am disappointed with ntl. They have let me down in several areas they include 1. The price of there digital/cable services- They offer less channels than SKY and its costs far more. For example all the packages on sky (sky world plus kids, music, sport and movies) cost £34 and ntl is at least £42 for the same package. 2. The customer service or lack of- If you ever try to ring them about technical help or just to upgrade something you are left in a queuing system for about 10 min. I can understand they must get a large volume of calls but other company’s with similar intake have no problems dealing with it. 3. The advertising- The man on the adverts is increasing to annoy me just by talking for 20 seconds and the call prices on those ads are generally inaccurate. 4. However they do redeem themselves somewhat by offering there free internet, this has drawbacks i.e. 2 hour auto kick off. But well done for this NTL.
Some of you will probably have gathered from my ramblings that I am no longer an NTL customer, this was not from choice, but because of silly government legislation that prevents them installing in new properties, although after my experiences of the last few months will NTL, would I go back if I had the choice? Good question. Sit down and let me tell you a story......... It began one light evening on 21st July, when being the dutiful citizen that I am, I rang NTL to advise them that I was soon to be moving to a new property and that I would no longer require their services, they didn't seem to concerned as I was not even asked why I was leaving, but they agreed to disconnect my line on 24th August, the last possible date that I had for moving, all within the terms of my contract which, as is usual in the industry, contains a one month notice clause. At this point I also notified them of my forwarding address so that they could forward a bill for any monies still outstanding. Great should be easy. On the 23rd August, another light summer evening, my telephone was suddenly changed to receive incoming calls only, I contacted NTL who confirmed that the line had been downgraded and would be disconnected on the night of the 24th, not bad, they remembered. In all honesty after this, I thought little of it and got on with the hapless chore of packing. All was well until I received a bill from NTL on 27th September requesting quite a large sum of money and advising me that I was overdue with my payments. The bill contained rental for the month up to and including the end of October for the telephone and TV package, and yep you've guessed it, was sent to my old address. I duly contacted NTL who apologised and assured me that someone would contact me at work that day. The day came and went, no phone call. Today (supposed to be a holiday), I again contacted NTL and after being diverted to Belfast and having to re-ring t
hrough actually managed to speak to a manager, who advised me that I had never told them I was moving out, at which point I became very frustrated after finding that the new owners of my old property were still enjoying the telephone and TV package at my expense, the same people who had been only too keen to close my Gas, Electricity, water and council tax accounts without my permission (yes, BE WARNED - it is possible to do this). He promised to phone me back upon my request within half an hour and tell me what was going on, although one hour later I had heard nothing. I again contacted NTL, and was advised that every single manager and team leader was in a meeting, I was put through to a customer services operator who put the phone down on me when I told her I wanted to speak to a manager. I rang the Cardiff Office of NTL a further 5 times before contacting their Head office in Hook, only to be advised that it would take 48 working hours (not 2 working days) for a response from them at which point my blood pressure was going into overdrive. I was told I was making personal references to the company and would just have to accept their policy which was put in place for the benefit of the customer. I again contacted the Cardiff Office and eventually spoke to an customer service operator whose favourite phrase was, "no comment", but to be fair was probably the most rational and competent member of staff I have ever spoken to in the company, but could do with a little training on how to handle an irate customer. He initially tried to tell me that I would be responsible for the line rental for a month after leaving the property and then intimated that I would have to pay the outstanding bill before I could be reimbursed with the credits, as it is not NTL's policy to re-issue bills, needless to say I put him straight on that front and hopefully I will be re-issued with a bill in the not too distant future. Ironically when I cam
e off the telephone, the manager I had spoken to earlier had rung, advised me that the line had now been disconnected, apoligised for ringing 5 minutes late (doesn't he realise that calls to 1571 are dated and timestamped?) and asked for the same new forwarding address that I had already provided them with three times. Needless to say, at this point in time, if NTL installed on the estate tomorrow with the promise of free installation and services for a year, my response would be somewhat negative. ON THE PLUS SIDE Thought I'd better put something about the product in - for £13.99 you get a phone line and a handful of TV channels, and they offer a variety of packages for extra, including kids, music, history, sports and films. They now offer digital TV, but when we contacted them to upgrade before we moved, they promised me a call back, and then wrote to us 4 weeks later saying that had been trying for weeks to contact us without success, at a time when the partner was actually at home recovering from cancer and therefore completely immobilised. THE MORAL OF THE STORY If you are giving notice and moving on to a non NTL property, if you tell them by telephone (assuming you are fortunate enough to get through), back it up with a letter send by recorded delivery, including details of your forwarding address so that they cannot accuse you of not providing this and thus put a debt collection agency onto you. I was with NTL for the best part of 6 years (even when they were cable-tel), and the service has never been good ranging from taking down my debt card details wrongly and then ringing me with threatening calls accusing me of not having paid, and telling me it doesn't look good that my card bounced when in fact it was their error, to being left without a telephone because they couldn't flick a switch at a property when I moved previously without a weeks notice (taking your number with you requires
even more notice). On the up-side, if you are moving property to an NTL area and require installation, you will only ever have to pay one fee the first time you sign up with them, unlike BT who sting you every which way they possibly can. If you are with NTL - good luck if you ever have to leave them. SUE