Terrible Pipex Service – Fiasco Continues

Well, I will try to keep this short and I promise to try and find a new topic to complain about, but surfing the internet at snails pace is painful.

I mentioned yesterday the fiasco I was having with Pipex, and their final suggestion was to do some tests for 24 hours then call back. Well, I carried out the tests and called them back. If only it had been that simple.

After a short lifetime listening to a bored “we value your call” (obviously they value it, I am paying to call them….) I got through to an operator who went through the questions required by the data protection act (I assume if it wasn’t for that darned act, they would happily give my details out to every one…) and once more I was asked what the problem was.

I explained, in detail, what had happened and the tech support creature started to ask me the standard questions about “had I checked the filters…” (etc). Fighting the urge to scream, I reminded him that I had already gone through all this and I was just calling with the test data so they could escalate it to BT. Rather than ask what the data was, he asked me “what sort of speeds” I had been getting “over the last few weeks.” I was stunned. So much for the 24 hours worth of tests nonsense. Anyway, I told him that before the “fix,” I’d been getting a consistent 4 (and a bit) mbps downstream and the line reported it was an 8mb connection and since BT fixed the exchange I was now on a line which reported itself as 500kbps. Then it got really comical.

The “technician” asked what sort of download speeds I was getting. I said 350 – 400kbps on average. He then explained to me how 350 – 400kbps was “about 4 meg.” This jaw dropping announcement left me silent for a moment or two while it really sunk in that he thought three hundred and fifty kilobytes per second was “about” four megabytes per second. What abstract definition of about do they use at Pipex? When I, politely, explained that 400kbps was “about” half a mbps he went quiet for at least 30 seconds. The silence became painful after a while and I genuinely wasn’t sure if he was still there.

Eventually, he found his voice again and said he would carry out some tests. After a few (silent) minutes where all I could hear was his frantic typing on a keyboard he confirmed the line was reporting it was a 500kbps and he would escalate it to BT – who would deal with it “in 1 – 6 days.” Wonderful, now I know that this time next week I will call Pipex again, who will say “sorry, BT had a problem, they will investigate in 1-6 days” and so on, ad infinitum.

Fundamentally this shows yesterday’s tech “support” person was lying through his teeth when he asked for the tests to be carried out. Today’s person didn’t care about my results and ran the test himself before sending it on to BT.

It amazes me that Pipex is still getting such rave reviews from people when they, basically, have untrained buffoons running their call centres and spend more money getting a low-life Z-lister like David Hasslehoff to front their campaigns than they spend on providing a service. As far as I am concerned Pipex is the worst ISP I have ever used (it is now even worse than Tiscali who used to be top of my List of Hate, comically Pipex’s fall from grace came when Tiscali bought them…) and I have no idea why every few weeks I get an email telling me how popular they are, how good their service is (for everyone else, obviously) and how I should recommend them to my friends. To be honest, there isn’t anyone I hate enough to recommend Pipex to them.

Please, feel free to spread the word.

[tags]Pipex, Bad Shops, Bad Customer Service, Pipex Sucks, Pipex Bad ISP, Bad ISP, ISP, Internet, Rant, Technology, Network, Tiscali, David Hasslehoff, Internet Service Provider, BT, ADSL, DSL, Modem, Networking, Orders of Magnitude, Bad Mathematics, Bad Networking[/tags]

7 thoughts on “Terrible Pipex Service – Fiasco Continues

  1. I hate the quasi-monopoly of Internet companies. In my Chicago area there are only about 3 choices for broadband, and they’re all about the same (average quality). Some days I work from my home office and last week my cable went down the day before I was to work from home. I threw a fit of major proportions and was envisioning myself in an uncomfortable seat at the Starbucks around the corner using their wireless. I am a web marketer for Pete’s sake, I’m supposed to be wired in!!!! At the same time my phone doesn’t work because I’m using voip. Well, I turn on the wireless on my laptop and pick up about 5 different unprotected networks. So when the market economy fails, turn to hacking. Uhm no, I don’t truly advise that, but desperate times call for desperate measures. 😛

  2. You may be experiencing problems at the moment but you have fallen hook line and sinker and misunderstood the technology.

    You mention 4 megabytes as being the download speed when infact you would never get that, the Max on your line is 8 megabits, yes, megabits, do some research and post back. You might be interested in what you find.

  3. Misunderstood the technology?

    I don’t think you’ve understood TW’s point here. He may have written “megabytes” rather than megabits (as a typo, though i can’t spot it. I just see mbps).

    His point is that he is not getting within a tenth of the speed that he expects from his ADSL service. He is connecting to the Internet at basically dial-up speed. DIAL-UP Speed, call it what you will in megabits, megaflops or megastars.

    He is paying as much as I am paying for getting almost the full 20 megabits that I get with a cable connection. And he is getting treated like crap when he tries to get it sorted.

  4. Mike, thanks for your comment. I can certainly attest that I have not fallen hook line and sinker and misunderstood the technology. When I wrote:

    “This jaw dropping announcement left me silent for a moment or two while it really sunk in that he thought three hundred and fifty kilobytes per second was “about” four megabytes per second.”

    Was, as heather pointed out, a typo. When I was talking about the actual broadband speed I expect you can see I used the mbps and kbps.

    The fact the technical support person thought 400kbps was about “four megabytes per second” (his exact words) is the point I was trying to get across.

    I am more than aware of the difference between bits and bytes, and how the quoted speed of telecommunications systems are often different from the reality.

    I have never, ever, expected to get 4 megabytes per second on my line. At the moment it is not even rated at 8 megabits – it is rated at 500kilobits (as I said). Thank you for suggesting I do some research – I do try to ensure I do as much research as possible. Is there any particular thing you want me to look into?

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  7. I am suing pipex and the case is due to come to court in January 2007. They are a joke! Please feel free to email me.

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