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UPD Confusion as Chess Telecom Acquire South Yorkshire ISP LittleBigOne

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 (4:47 pm) - Score 1,776

South Yorkshire ISP LittleBigOne (LBO), which uses the largely independent but financially troubled Digital Region network, has without any prior notice informed customers that “with effect from 1st April 2013” (the message was only posted today!) their service is now owned by business ISP Chess Telecom.

The announcement has resulted in confusion since Chess typically supplies BT based services, which are different from the Digital Region products that LBO customers currently take. However LBO has been quick to stress that the “acquisition of your contract from littlebigone to chess will in no way affect the service you receive“.

Announcement – Telecom Service Migration from LittleBigOne

We are delighted to inform you that with effect from 1st April 2013 Chess Telecom has acquired your contract for Telecoms service from LittleBigOne. Chess is one of the leading telecoms service providers in the United Kingdom.

Chess now provide you with your services. You will still receive the same great service as well as benefiting from an even wider range of services and support available with Chess. All future communications will be from Chess. Chess Telecom terms and conditions will apply to your contract for your services, to view these please visit www.chesstelecom.com and go to Terms and Conditions.

You are in good company. Over the last 20 Years Chess has helped over 30,000 businesses and residential customers to significantly reduce their utility bills. Chess is proud to serve such names as Shell, DVLA, ASDA, Silverstone, Manchester Utd, Pizza Express, Fife Council, Care Quality Commission, Williams BMW, Buckingham Palace and the Cabinet Offices.

At Chess they pride themselves on their customer service, they are the first telecoms company in the UK to be awarded the prestigious Customer First award. If you would like to talk to them please do not hesitate to call the Customer Service Team on 0800 652 8288.

Finally, may we take the opportunity on behalf of the LittleBigOne team to thank you for your custom and to welcome you to Chess.

Last year saw another Digital Region based ISP, RiPWiRE, give up on the network after experiencing a host of “commercial and technical issues” (here). Its customers were eventually saved by Sheffield-based ISP Ask4 (one of the other Digital Region ISPs). It’s unclear whether LBO found itself in a similar situation, although recent announcements from the ISP have often boasted about growth (example).

Another rival Digital Region based ISP, Origin Broadband, has already offered to take LBO’s customers on, “anyone wishing to bring their service to Origin would simply need to request an INTERMAC and would be with us within a week,” said the ISP to the DRLForum. Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting this news first.

It’s worth pointing out that the Digital Region network itself, which looks set to be managed by French firm Bouygues Energies and Services (formerly ETDE SA), is still in financial turmoil and at risk of collapse (though that is the worst case scenario).

UPDATE 16th May 2013

LBO has reiterated to its customers that “all contracts you currently have with [LBO] will remain the same in terms of rates and usage” (i.e. the “unlimited” usage policy will remain unchanged).

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar Kyle says:

    Good news for those wishing to leave — I’m sure I would given that I should be asked whether I wish to accept the new company’s terms rather than them assuming that I am happy to continue (6 weeks earlier).

    Another company that feels it can get away with what it wants.

    1. Avatar TomL says:

      I agree with this. And to also enforce a change of T&Cs with no argument seems unlawful. Chess used to hide changes to their prices on the back of invoices in the middle of a size 8 font T&Cs paragraph. When questioned about this they advised that following customer research they believed this was where people wanted to be advised of price rises as opposed to somewhere boldly on the front page. I would check and double check any T&Cs of theirs very closely.

  2. Avatar TomL says:

    Good luck to anyone wishing to stay after this move. Personally I’d be requesting a transfer to ASK4 ASAP! We’ve had Chess as a business telephone provider previously and I don’t know how they could have solely won an award purely for customer service unless it stands for nothing and needs taking with a pinch of salt as the only reason we left them was based on outstandingly bad customer service.

  3. Avatar SpencerUk says:

    Mark, further update statement from LittleBigOne

    http://i.imgur.com/makbBml.png

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