be there workin

Here is another chapter of praise that I have to send out for things that just work. It has been a very strange week of customer service anomalies (as stated in the earlier posts). This continues with one more freakish happening. A few weeks ago our internet connection went out – due to some typical bad customer service on behalf of Virgin Internet and BT. This left us in the lurch with no connection at home apart from the 3g card that I have which is sufficient enough, but doesn’t allow me to log into Skype. Bah.

Since we were cut off, I thought it might be a good time to switch service providers. Choosing a service provider is always a risky game. Everyone has some horror story about their ISPs and you never really can tell what your connection speed will be until you get it installed. Then you are pretty much locked in because you don’t want to go through the hassle of not having internet in order to switch and then wait the estimated 2-4 weeks to get a connection back on. Well this time we didn’t have a choice so it was a good time to investigate new providers. I was never really that impressed with Virgin. Our connection speed was supposed to be “up to” 8 MB. In reality the speed was more like 500k. Seriously, if I tried to download a 1 hour tv episode (400mb) from itunes it would take up to 2 hours and also seemed to slow at a certain point to non existent. Annoying.

I went online and did my usual research. I had seen some billboards on taxis for BeThere with up to a 24 MB connection speed for something like £20. That sounded pretty damned good to me. I looked at a few reviews and found that many people actually had praise for the service. I was skeptical that we would even be able to get this connection – ADSL2 – at our house, but after checking their website it seemed possible. I decided to go for it. Keep in mind that BT and Virgin only go up to 8mb for about the same price. I completed the entire registration online. After I was done I received an instant text message welcoming me to the service and saying that I would receive installtion status updates on my phone. Cool, I like that. Don’t even have to read an email!

I ordered the service on Wednesday. On Friday I received a message informing me that my line would be connected on the following Tuesday. Holy smokes! 6 days after registering? Unheard of! My modem arrived – as they told me – 24 hours before the line was turned on.

Setting up the modem was completely easy – apart from some stupid mistake on my part – and all the settings were pre-configured with the WPA key on the bottom of the modem. Took about 5 minutes to get it working and the wifi connected.

And the most important part? The speed. Whooohoo! I knew that if it were advertised at 24 mb we would be looking at a more realistic speed of about 8 mb (which is way better than our 500k). I ran a few bandwidth detectors and the speed looks like it is a bit faster than 8 mb. Lovely. Works for me.

All in all the entire experience was painless. BeThere was awesome and didn’t require me to even call in for any issues. The speed is great and the package price at £18 a month is a good value. Another thing to note is that I really liked their marketing voice on the packaging and website, it was friendly and fun. I would defo recommend this service to anyone who is sick of BT bullshit and Virgin crap. It would even be worth disconnecting your crappy line and waiting the 6 days for the new connection.