Whenever I research a supplier I evaluate not just the cost but also the customer service ethos, including how they have dealt with my complaints. I am not really convinced that UK suppliers know how to deal properly with complaints, so I will just say that all of them have been satisfactory on that front, apart from one who has been truly outstanding. And yes I do have very high standards when it comes to dealing with customer complaints. I think it comes from my many years in the Textiles Industry and my training within it, which means I am very critical when it comes to receiving customer service, especially when you are connected to foreign call centres, and are given the runaround.
Anyway let's get on with it;
Supplier no.1 is Plusnet
They are a telecoms and broadband company, supplying landline rental, calls and broadband. For the purpose of this article, I am only going to discuss the broadband.
BT have recently upgraded broadband services in the area where I live (Wyre Forest, Worcestershire) and have installed fibre to the green boxes on street corners. It's still copper from there to the house, so it's not cable like Virgin. I have kept looking out for fibre for a while and when I got confirmation that I could get it, I went for it.
So I have fibre broadband for the home/business at £19.99 per month, delivering 55mb download and 18mb upload with an allowance of a massive 250gb per month. This doesn't only satisfy my personal and business requirements, it copes with everyone in the household as well, including accessing internet with iPlayer through the TV, all my video education and my business requirement to upload a lot of videos quickly.
Plusnet are actually owned by BT and only use the BT network. Therefore any upgrades that BT make Plusnet will immediately benefit from this.
If I introduce customers, I can get discounts, so if you are interested, please follow this link.
Supplier no.2 is GiffGaff
GiffGaff are a mobile network and run by it's customers, an interesting concept, so as far as I know there are no call centres, but an excellent forum to post questions and interaction via the web with agents.
Freedom from the contract lock-in, when you buy a sim only agreement with a monthly top-up. Your phone does need to be unlocked. So this is what I went through.
I was with T-Mobile, who I haven't had major issues with, but I have just found them too expensive an not very forthcoming with deals. I have been with them for many years and loyalty counts really for nothing when you are in a lock-in contract with a mobile phone company.
- I requested T-Mobile to unlock my phone.
- I ordered a sim from GiffGaff.
- Phone was unlocked, which did take far too long with T-Mobile (30 days and it should only take 10-28 days and costs £15)
- I gave T-Mobile also 30 days notice and requested a PAC code, which they gave me straight away.
- I activated the SIM online with GiffGaff.
- I synched my iPhone with iTunes, plus changed some other settings, which GiffGaff sent via text, which was for MMS settings, although you can do those manually very easily.
- I gave GiffGaff via their website the PAC code and when I wanted my number ported across.
- They moved my number across on the day I requested and job done.
GiffGaff runs on the O2 network and I know you'll all be thinking, well that went down, but as you will agree that doesn't happen very often, well part from blackberry that is, oops!
Anyway the package I have got with them is just £10 per month, with 250 minutes, unlimited data and unlimited texts, which is a bargain!
If I introduce customers, they get some discount upfront and I can earn points too for discount.
Supplier no.3 is 1&1 Internet
1&1 are a hosting company, who provides hosting for my wordpress website, plus domains.
There is not a huge amount to say really apart from the fact that it's easy to use, great support and I mean great support and very good prices.
I also use them for my email against my own domain name and because I use and iPhone, iPad and Mac and they support IMAP for my emails (Internet Message Access Protocol), which means wherever I read my email or delete, its instantly updated on all my devices, which is brilliant.
Same with them, if I introduce customers, I can earn some discount on what I pay.
It's really interesting how these companies are very clever in suggesting introductions to others and thereby getting some discounts. With the advent of Social Media, this is really easy to do, as people like to investigate personal recommendations, as supposed to having to investigate from scratch.
I hope you check them all out and receive the same support and savings I have been able to achieve with these companies. Let me know how you get on!