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Connection Drops Continue to Hit Relish’s London Fixed Wireless 4G Users

Monday, December 8th, 2014 (1:11 am) - Score 30,375

Customers of Relish’s new superfast 4G (LTE at 3.5 / 3.6GHz) based fixed wireless broadband service in central London, which offers an “unlimited” connection with Internet speeds of up to 50Mbps from just £20 per month (no line rental required), have continued to complain about frequent connection drops and unresponsive support.

The service, which is supplied by UK Broadband Ltd. (PCCW), has proven to be quite attractive, especially for homes that reside in areas where fixed line broadband has failed to deliver an even remotely comparable performance. Unfortunately it hasn’t always been a smooth ride and ISPreview.co.uk first reported teething problems with related connections in August 2014 (here).

At the time customers expressed frustration at the lack of stability, in particular the high frequency of disconnections (anything from a handful to several hundred a day) that seemed to plague some users of the service. Relished blamed the issue on a flaky software upgrade that had been applied to their network and they also advised that, save for a “small number of localised issues “, the problem had been resolved.

But since then customers of Relish’s service have continued to raise concerns and here’s just a small sample of the many complaints we’ve seen, which tend to come from all over their coverage and not just at the edges where you might expect the service to be a bit more patchy.

Mr H Ramus said:

I’m one of those who suffer from constant disconnects. Must have had 10 in the space of 2h. I mentioned these issues over a month ago and you’d expect they’d be keen to update you on their network developments and when this will be sorted.

In over one month I’ve received zero communication about the connection dropout issues, none, nada, rien, niente… It’s also not clear whether this is a “feature” rather than a flaw. All in all, good speeds but appalling reliability.

Craig said:

Who said that they have fixed the connection drops? I’m in west end oxford street and get at least 50 to 100 connection drops daily. I’m going to give up with relish it takes them 10 days to reply. Good bye.”

George said:

We’re in WC2 on the 3rd floor with no line of sight to any cell towers. We get between 2-3 bars out of 5. Most of the time we get about 20 down and 1-2 up, which is fine for £20/mo. But yeah, we get several connection drops a day. We can go for 2-3 hours pretty reliably, and then the connection drops for about 15 seconds. It makes video and gaming very tedious.”

Naturally we decided to contact Relish in the hope of getting an explanation for the continued problems. The good news is that their response was positive, although reading between the lines it’s also much the same as the original statement and the mention of there being “a small number of customers that are still experiencing” difficulties makes us nervous (there’s now a strong feeling among users that the issue is bigger than that).

Will Harnden, Chief Marketing Officer at Relish, told ISPreview.co.uk:

Following a number of complaints in the Autumn, our engineers identified and fixed a problem affecting some customers in specific locations on our network. These customers are now seeing a much improved service as a result.

We are aware of a small number of customers that are still experiencing an intermittent disconnection problem. This is our top priority as a business and we would like to apologise to the affected customers. The complications are caused by a variety of different issues and we are working through these on a case by case basis, as quickly as possible.

Additionally, following feedback from our customers, we realised we needed to be more responsive to customer issues and recently made considerable changes to our customer services department, which we believe are improving the service that our customers receive.

We are very sorry to all customers that have experienced a problem with their service and urge anyone experiencing any issues to contact us, if they have not already, so we can ensure that we fix this for everybody concerned.”

It’s unclear what the “considerable changes” represent, especially given that customers are currently still complaining about support problems and in particular a lack of response. At the same time Relish doesn’t offer any examples for what the “variety of different issues” are on their network, which had they done so might have at least given us and subscribers some confidence that they understood the problems.

We suppose all will become clear when we stop back to check up on the issue in a few months’ time and hopefully there will then be fewer complaints.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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