The Phone Co-op

Product Ratings
Services
63%
Support
58%
Speed
63%
Value
63%
Summary: Declining service
January 10th, 2017 (Last Edited: February 22nd, 2017)
Impressions of the company are declining levels of ability and customer service.

Whilst they're a reseller of TalkTalk business, I signed into this company on the recommendation of a colleague in the industry on the basis of sound technical and managerial ability - which was demonstrated well for a while.

More recently it's clear that customer "support" are utterly clueless and even the techs are being forced to work through checklists _and not deviate_ from them, even when the areas they insist be tested have already been eliminated as a problem - and every iteration of a problem is being restarted from scratch.

Here's a clue: If you start being as useless as Talktalk's helpdesk, then there's no advantage in using the company. A declining DSL speed and intermittent line noise during wet weather is not going to be fixed by repeatedly rebooting my router (In fact, thanks to DLM it will make the problem WORSE)


Edit:

Feb 22 2017 - I'm going to mark the Phone Coop down even further, having had my broadband down for 5 days and counting - with a hard PPPoE failure (no response to PPPoE discovery packets) following on from weeks of PPPoE dropouts.

The problem is (of course) inside TalkTalk's network (TalkTalk have apparently blamed spanning tree problems inside their networks).

To cap it off, PPPoE authentication and handling is contracted out by TalkTalk to a 3rd party which the Phone.coop is unable to talk to, resulting in multiple layers of obfuscation to get through when things break in this way.


The Phone.Coop are completely unable to make any headway with getting this fixed.

THERE IS NO POINT IN BEING WITH AN ISP WHICH CANNOT MANAGE ITS SUPPLIERS.




Review Ratings
Services
Support
Speed
Value
Summary: Bye Bye Phone Co-op (or should I say Talk Talk?)
November 29th, 2016 (Last Edited: November 29th, 2016)
For: co-operative ethos, transparent pricing, UK-based customer service.
Against: buying in services from Talk Talk.

I write this review reluctantly but, having endured 12 months of often dire Internet connectivity at home, feel the need to share.

We joined The Phone Co-op (TPC) last year, attracted by a fair price and the chance to support a co-operatively run provider. Before joining TPC we had been with Plusnet for years (long enough that we joined Force9 which later became part of Plusnet) and had no quibbles with the Plusnet service.

The changeover process from Plusnet was smooth, with good communications from TPC and initial performance was excellent. But then the issues started. At times the speed is great, the best we've ever had on our ADSL connection, but too often it can be dreadful. Dial-up/ISDN dreadful.

I won't bore you with the various attempts to resolve the problem. TPC's helpdesk have tried their best, but as far as I can see there's a limit to what they can do. It seems that TPC buy in Internet services from Talk Talk. If I'd known this to begin with then I wouldn't have touched TPC with a barge pole. I should have done my research before I signed up.

Having great customer service is one thing, but when you're buying in connectivity from one of the worst regarded providers in the country then I can't help but see a conflict.

Review Ratings
Services
Support
Speed
Value
Summary: Simply the best
November 25th, 2016 (Last Edited: November 25th, 2016)
To think I put up with TalkTalk for more years than I care to remember, big mistake switch now and get the benefit of an excellent customer service team all in the UK. The following is just one example of the difference;

TalkTalk; I needed to know if a telephone number was free to me or not.
Result after 40 minutes an uncertain ‘it should be’

Phone Coop; My internet was dropping out, within minutes of phoning I was speaking to an assistant who said they would check the line and get back to me, which they did. It transpired that it was the fault of an old TalkTalk router, I couldn't even find a firmware update for it. I purchased a new router and although everything seems to working well for me, I have just received a call from them telling me that it did drop out through the night. They are going to investigate and get back to me.

I quit TalkTalk in March of this year and every month since I have received an email demanding payment from 50p to £11 then October I am in credit by £1.42. I have phoned, chatted online all to no avail. If I get a bill this month it is going to the ombudsman.
Review Ratings
Services
Support
Speed
Value
Summary: Dire!
December 27th, 2015 (Last Edited: December 27th, 2015)
Edit: Phone Coop now known as The Co-operative Phone & Broadband...

Similar to another member's comments, Namesco migrated all their broadband customers over to Phone Coop a few years ago so my joining was by default. Connection was OK to begin with but then for months, speeds would plummet to dial up speed at times! It took a lot of painstaking effort before they finally investigated, acknowledged a wholesale fault and resolved it. Their status page didn't even report any issues. I even asked them why they haven't updated their status page to inform other customers, but they didn't seem to think it was an issue.

After only a couple of months of stability, things have taken a turn yet again and both speed and stability have returned to dire! There are dropouts on a daily basis and reconnection often results in no DNS servers assigned, speeds dropping again in the evening and high ping latencies, even in BT test socket. Routerstats trace was up and down every day, all evening and for months, there was never a clean trace.

After attempting to request Support for the second time, they responded with the usual checklist spiel. The same spiel that they tried during the first fault that ended up being a fault at the wholesaler.

Granted it helps to rule out points of contact, but not everyone has a constant supply of modems, filters and cables whenever there's a connectivity problem. Phone Coop don't supply any modems whatsoever for troubleshooting, but apparently their wholesalers do, not that they once considered asking. Nor do they offer any assistance with BT engineer costs to help troubleshoot. At least Namesco (and some ISPs) used to send replacement modem to troubleshoot and cover BT engineer charges out of goodwill. Phone Coop did not budge at all. When they start asking you if you're willing to accept BT engineer visit charges, it's exasperating and you know you have reached a deadlock.

Much to my surprise, just before Christmas - two months later from when I told them there was a problem, they finally reported on their status page that they were aware of a problem and that it has been resolved. Ever since that fix, the connection has been stable and consistent again. So much for the spiel about issues at my premises and REIN or SHINE!

Rather than waste further time and expense, I will be migrating away to an ISP that takes troubleshooting seriously and one that has a technical online support portal! Both times, it felt like I knew about impending network faults before they did.

You may be thinking, if it is fixed and working fine, why leave? All I can say is I have no faith in Support. Two fairly major connectivity and performance faults not down to issues at my premises completely disregarded. I would have ended up with buying spare hardware unnecessarily. No apologies or recompense for the inconvenience.

Phone Coop has a caption on their broadband page. It says "For people who give a damn"... Do you?
Review Ratings
Services
Support
Speed
Value
Summary: Reliable, ethical and a human answers the phone
November 12th, 2015 (Last Edited: November 12th, 2015)
I've got their 'supafast' FTTC product. Installation was smooth, they even managed to take over the ex AOL router for the few days before the engineer could call. They are not the cheapest and can't afford the sort of lossleader deals the big boys offer. But the price is fair and includes free international calls which saves my family lots.

Whenever I ring, a human in the Cotswolds answers in 5 rings - and knows what she is talking about.

Only problem so far was BT managing to mess up some cabling at the street box: Phone Coop managed to get Openreach out on a Saturday to fix this.

You can join the coop & so part own the business, but I haven't yet done this.

They do need to redesign their bills: all the detail is there, but very old-school & hard to decode in places.

I'm basically very pleased. Such a relief after AOL torture!
Review Ratings
Services
Support
Speed
Value

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms  ,  Privacy and Cookie Policy  ,  Links  ,  Website Rules