Over the past few weeks we've noticed several ISPs being busy revamping their websites. Some have fresh new looks, a couple have shiny new logos, but what we have noticed is a growing trend of
- Charging 'Activation Fees' even if its a migration.
- It is becoming increasingly hard to find out what product speed you are being provisioned at.
For those that don't already know migration costs for moving a like to like product are tiny compared to brand new activation costs.
Openreach charges to the ISP are £11 for like-for-like migration, whilst a PCP install is £49 or £99 for a managed install with CP provided device.
Yet many ISPs are now charging new customers full activation fees regardless or not if its a move and pocketing the extra.Speed Provisioning
Speed of provisioning is important. For FTTC (fibre) there are 4 different products for the maximum speeds at which your line can run at
- Up to 38 Mbps - 40/2 - < 2 Mbps upstream
- Up to 38 Mbps - 40/10 - <10 Mbps upstream
- Up to 52 Mbps - 55/10 - <10 Mbps upstream
- Up to 76 Mbps - 80/20 - <20 Mbps upstream
Obviously the slower the connection speed, the less it costs the ISP ie £6.90pm for 40/2, £7.40 (40/10), £8.40 (55/10) & £9.95 (80/20). Yet many ISPs are not disclosing which product they are provisioning and some have withdrawn the higher speed products.
A new practice is emerging showing how much you can 'save' against competitor products not making it clear that you could be moving to an inferior product. We have already seen many customers who have migrated to other ISPs and surprised to find themselves with slower upload speeds than their previous supplier. :(When 'Faster' is slower.
One particularly good example is TalkTalk's advertising for "Faster Fibre", yet if you look at the figures in red appended by me you can see they are using a slower product which makes 'Faster Fibre' rather dubious advertising when they make no mention that theirs is the slowest of all products, nor do they mention in the small print they are using 40/2.
Interestingly TT also appear to have withdrawn sale of their 80/20 product and there is no mention of it anywhere on their site.
IMHO ISPs should be made to display the product they are selling you.ASA new guidelines - 31st Oct
ASA brings new guidelines into effect on 31st of October 2016 entitled "Tougher approach to broadband price claims", which may have been the trigger for what we are seeing. According to ASA Price claims should
- Show all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs; no more separating out line rental
- Give greater prominence for the contract length and any post-discount pricing
- Give greater prominence for up-front costs
Whilst this should hopefully end the practice of headline grabbing cheap broadband deals such as "Free Broadband" which upon close inspection of the small print may only be for say 3 months, and hiding the true cost in over-inflated line rental costs... it would appear that some ISPs have found a few new area's where they can mislead the unwary :(
ASA Broadband price claims
TalkTalk website 26/10/2016