Pipex is still crap

Even though I had thought my problems with pipex were over, the BT engineer had come out and supposedly fixed the line, it seems I am still paying over the odds for a non-existent service.

Thinkbroadband.com Speedtest results

I am aware ADSL is dependant on the number of subscribers at the local exchange but I also know that there are no new subscribers hanging off my exchange. From the chart you can see that in Jun and early July, the service was acceptable. In August it was non-existent (completely) and since it was restored it has been painfully slow.

Pipex is a terrible ISP. Pipex customer service is borderline incompetent. If you are looking for a new ISP, steer clear of Pipex.

Pipex: Farce upon Farce

Well, my opinion of Pipex was already very low. Before today I had them pegged as a terrible ISP with almost criminally poor customer service and basically inept technical support.

Today, they offended Forseti, and have managed to sink to a lower level on my opinion scale.

I wont fully repeat the tale of farce which has Pipex firmly in my “Bad Shop” category (in fact, I suspect they have more entries there than any other company), but in a nutshell after a month in which they were too inept to get BT out to fix my line (leaving me with no connection), they have still yet to get the service restored to the levels for which I am paying.

On Friday (four days ago), I spoke to technical support, who claimed to have carried out some tests and would now “escalate” the problem to BT. This is pretty much as far as I can push Pipex, as despite my only contract being with them, they do not have any form of service level agreement with BT – ineptitude, basically. Anyway, I was assured by the minimum wage arts student they have working as “technical support” that BT would respond to the fault within 1 – 6 days and get back to me.

Today, I had an SMS text message which informed me that Pipex Technical Support needed to carry out some more tests and could I ring them while I was sitting at the PC. This is a touch problematical, as I was at work miles from my PC, but never mind. Eventually I got home and had logged on by 1930 hrs to call Pipex as requested.

Now the farce got worse.

Every time I ring Pipex it annoys me. First off, it is an 0845 number so it costs money. Then the first thing they ask you is “if you are a residential customer, please enter your phone number now.” When you enter your phone number, you get presented with a list of options which runs “If you are a residential customer, press 1 now…” Why, in the name Kvasir do they ask you to enter your number first? Why?

When you finally get to press 2 for customer services, you are faced with an interminable wait, listening to some bored out of her head woman telling you “Thank you for holding the line. Your call is valuable to us.” Over and over. Why do companies think this is a good thing? What lunatic believes that the call is important or valuable, when you wait half the life of the universe for them to actually answer. And when they do, finally, answer it just gets worse!

After waiting a full 19 minutes (listening to how valuable my call is), the tech support arts student answered and went through the pointless list of “data protection act required verifications.” Finally, she asked me how she could help.

This left me a little confused, because she had just told me she’d called up my details and open tickets, so surely she should know I am calling in response to the text. Anyway, I explained I’d been asked to call and she went away. For four minutes. Eventually she came back and said that the “Technical Support” people (who was I speaking to?) had asked that I be contacted to confirm I wanted this escalating to BT. Slightly stunned, I said “yes” and she typed away and said, thanks – it will now be passed to BT. When I asked what had happened the last time they had promised it would be passed on to BT, she had no idea. She said it hadn’t been logged and didn’t know who had dealt with it. Now, I have the pleasure of another 1 – 6 day wait. Unless they text me half way through and ask if I want it to be sent to BT again…

This level of incompetence is mind boggling. I am at a loss to describe how frustrating, and how bad, Pipex customer service and technical support is. In August, I was given an identical run-around where over the course of a whole month they pretended to send the fault to BT, but never quite got round to it. It looks like this is going to happen again.

Showing that Loki really does have a monumental sense of humour, Pipex’s home page has a blurb which reads:

Pipex - Terrible Service - False Claims

Sadly, this leaves me speechless. If it really is their “customers that matter,” why am I being singled out for this poor treatment. What have I done wrong, which makes Pipex pick me as the only person they are happy to mess around month after month?

If so many people like them “so much they’d recommend” them, why dont they bloody recommend them. I wouldn’t recommend them to Bin Laden…

Pipex are a terrible ISP. Their technical support is so bad it has become funny. Their service is abysmal (for instance, what happened to NNTP access?). In short, Pipex is bad. Do not use Pipex.

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]

Pipex – Terrible ISP

Long rant – if you are reading this on Planet Atheism / Planet Humanism (or just aren’t interested) and you don’t want to know about my troubles with a UK based ISP please skip this 🙂 If you know anyone thinking of getting a new ISP, simply tell them to avoid Pipex at all costs.

My problems with Pipex continue unabated. I am in the process of trying to move away from them and get Sky Broadband but I am hitting hurdle after hurdle.

Following on from the fiasco where I had an entire month without internet connection, despite repeated false promises by the customer services staff and the only offer Pipex could make to placate me was to promise me an extra months connection for free – when this free month will be is anyone’s guess, I am still being billed each month – the connection still sucks. Pipex technical support have reached new levels of incompetence and it is getting to the point where I am tempted to simply cancel this phone line and get a new one…

Continue reading

Pipex Still Sucks

Following up from my previous rant about the terminally bad customer service experience I had with crappy Pipex, I have now had a letter from them explaining some of their “reasoning.” Even after reading this, I can confirm Pipex still suck and Pipex is still a “Bad Shop.”

There are two strands to my current annoyance. The first is a common one in the UK, in that I am paying for an “up to 8MB” broadband service and actually getting half a megabyte. Before this fiasco began, I was averaging around 4Mbps which was acceptable and there certainly have been no new broadband users on the exchange (the area is small enough that I would know). One of two things has happened – either BT have ****ed up when they tried to fix the connection or Pipex have spitefully changed my access without telling me. I have no way of knowing which it is, but before the problem the router I use reported its connection as “8192kbps” every time it connected (this was different to the actual speed I could get from the connection though). Now every time it connects, it reports a speed of “576kbps.” Upstream remains constant. Maybe some one who knows more about these things can tell me what is going on, at the moment I am waiting for Pipex support to come back to me over the problem. (I am not holding my breath…)

Secondly, the letter itself. This is a whole page basically telling me that Pipex pride themselves on their customer service but, basically, this is not Pipex’s fault. While this may well be true, it says nothing and answers none of my questions. Priding themselves on their customer service is irrelevant when their staff are rude and unable to help. It is a nice corporate slogan which looks good on advertisements, but the reality is they have a disgruntled customer and telling me I am in a minority does nothing to assuage that. As for it not being Pipex’s fault, why should I care? My contract is with Pipex not BT – it seems they were too lax (or too cheapskate) to negotiate a service level agreement with BT and as a result are unable to use any leverage with them. Pipex refused to give me any contact details of people at BT who I could complain to (or check on the status of the problem), so to all ends and purposes, Pipex are at fault. If you go to a restaurant and the food tastes poor, do you think the chef would turn round and say it wasn’t his fault the supplier sent bad tasting tomatoes?

The only sliver of light at the end of the tunnel is Pipex have given me a months free line rental, when the month will happen is beyond me as I have no intention of remaining with them. If anyone reading this works in a customer relations / retention type field, please take note. Hollow promises and corporate buzzwords do not make up for crappy service. Pipex should know better, but basically Pipex sucks.

[tags]Pipex, Bad Shops, Bad Customer Service, Technology, ADSL, Internet, ISP, Bad ISP, Bad Service, Internet Access[/tags]

Pipex – Terrible Service (long)

Well, I am back online now after over a month without any method of connecting to the internet. I would like to say about how my ISP (Pipex) provided some wonderful technical support and helped me through the process, going the extra mile to earn the money I pay them each month.

In reality, the opposite is true. I will try to keep this brief as I am angry enough to rant for months over this, and I have every intention of bringing this up on a regular basis to make sure it remains “current” in search engines.

Basically put, Pipex is a “bad shop.” It provides a moderate service which is no longer really cost-effective in the ISP market of the UK. The headline promise is 8mb connection speeds but, so far, I have never got over 3mb. Once upon a time it had a good standard of technical support services, not any more. Pipex technical support and customer services are so bad it defies belief. It is one thing having a hard time helping a customer, it is another to lie and be rude to them. Pipex are terrible. Needless to say I am in the process of changing ISP now. On to the back story for this rant.

On 5 Aug, my internet connection died. No warning, no indication. At first I thought it was a fault or something with the server (the log kept reporting “LCP Down” and “Failed to synchronise”), so I tried to see if this was the case. Sadly, due to the time of day, the only way to see if there was a problem was to log on to Pipex’s website. Hard to do without an internet connection… Continue reading

I should have known better

Rant time. Recently, I was foolish and naive enough to ignore my previously imposed ban on using Ebuyer and I bought some new tech from them. Stupidly, I assumed the problems I had with them (over a year ago now) would be a thing of the past and, as an “Online” company they would have everything sorted.

Yes, I am stupid.

I made the order last week (oddly using google checkout to pay, but that is another tale), and the first warning signs popped up when I had two confirmatory messages from Ebuyer with different delivery dates (tomorrow and wednesday…). Today, I had the “Your Order Has Been Shipped” email from both Ebuyer and Google Checkout. The message from Ebuyer only lists two of the three items I have bought (even though everything was in stock when I ordered and when I just checked the missing item again, it is still in stock…) and says delivery will be on Wednesday. At the same time I got an email from Google Checkout saying Ebuyer had shipped the order and it would be delivered on Tuesday (tomorrow). Sheer brilliance.

Both messages had a “check your order” link where I could go to Ebuyer and see what the delivery date is. When I followed the link, I was presented with a log on screen. Not having any log on details, I asked them to send me some to the email address Ebuyer had associated with the order. When they sent me the password, I logged in only to find there were no pending orders and no shipped orders.

Amazing. Just like last time, I am here with no real idea of when the order will be delivered and if the whole order will arrive. Despite being an e-commerce company, Ebuyer’s website is no use at all. Google are slightly more use, their email contained a link to check the tracking number on City Link, however the link from google reads: (I have replaced by order number with a place holder)

Track Other package No. City Link – [order number]

Which gets a “your search returned no matches” result from Google. Wonderful.  I have checked with City Link and it seems they think the order will be delivered tomorrow, so I suppose I will have to assume that is the correct one and wait in for it. It does make me wonder what the point in arranging a delivery date when you order is, if for what ever reason, I hadn’t check my email in time to take tomorrow off, I would have been stuck. Last time, Ebuyer showed it had no interest in customer retention after this happened – not even a “sorry for the confusion.” I suspect that, again, this will involve several days off work as each item arrives at random intervals. Bah. I hope I learn soon.

[tags]Ebuyer, bad shops, bad customer service, Google Checkout, Rant, Technology, Shops[/tags]