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Elderly AOL ADSL filters

Bazmonster

Member
I had the misfortune to contact AOL customer services today - I'm trying to get them to do something about my drop in throughput from 5Mbps in the day to 50kbps in the evening. Anyway, I went through the usual script with them and then was asked how old the ADSL filters on my BT line were. I said about 12 months. "Well that will be the problem then, ADSL filters usually need replacing before they're a year old"... WTF, do they think it's clogged up with dirty ones and zeroes and needs replacing? Or is there some subtlety in the way ADSL filters work that I'm missing?

Anybody else had this from them or am I just unfortunate?:shrug: Seriously thinking of ditching them.
 

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
....

by the sounds of it they are being throttled, let me ask you this "you said at day times you get a reasonable speed of 5meg correct? the times l would expect an ISP to start throttling are at peak times so speed would start to deteriorate around 4pm til around or shortly after midnight, if so this would mean that your being hit by a Fair Usage Policy, however it maybe worth checking to see if the exchange is congested as there is a slight possibility of it being so"

indian call centres l find are unhelpful and unneeded since all they do is read scripts and generally dont fix any problems, there is no way in hell this is a filter issue because the problem wouldnt affect you just at peak times it would be constant, so if you want to fix this issue, just move to an ISP that is more vocal about limitations if its not exchange congestion, in any case if its FUP related my suggestion is to move to a better ISP, lm currently with Aquiss which have been excellent however its worth checking to see if the exchange is unbundled to get the best out of them however there are many other good ISPs within the top 10 here.

heres the link if you do decide to change ISP
http://www.ispreview.co.uk/review/top10.php
 

Agrajag

ULTIMATE Member
My rantings about AOL's speed throttling can still be found in this forum somewhere, they are a nightmare of an ISP IMHO. :crap:

If your speed drops at the same time every evening, then we can say with some certainty that they are throttling your speed. It took quite few calls to customer services to get them to admit that they were indeed throttling my speeds.

I'm now with Talk Talk (which of course is owned by the same people as AOL) but what's surprising to me is how two companies who are so closely related can be so very different.

My evening speeds were throttled constantly by AOL, but with Talk Talk's "unlimited" "Pro" package, there is no throttling and no complaints about my high usage (yet).

 

Bazmonster

Member
Thanks for the responses, I did think they might be throttling me (even though I'm on an "unlimited" package and probably use less than 10G per month) but was somewhat thrown by the fact that the speeds were slow all day last week when the local schools were on holiday and have now gone back to fast in the morning and slow in the evening. That made me think it may be more of a straightforward capacity issue somewhere (on an AOL proxy maybe?). Either way it's not acceptable, Xilo are looking attractive if the good reports on their customer service are true. AOL customer service is not good for my blood pressure!:mad:

AOL say they've escalated the issue and will get back in 48 hours; otherwise I'll be moving.
 

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
heh, when l was with AOL a few years back l was told to leave...

from what l believe 60GB is their limit before they start being annoying, tho that depends on if your LLU'd they tend to be less of a problem when they have you on an unbundled connection.

in any case l was asked to leave because they felt anything above 60GB was over the top, they also went on to tell me that "unlimited" didnt stand for unlimited downloads but "unlimited" time online, lve found that with quite a few ISPs, they tout unlimited in their terms but they hide the fact that unlimited doesnt always mean data but the state of the connection lve found.

earlier l mentioned Aquiss as l use them, lm on one of the Premium packages, yes it may cost slightly more (l think) than AOL may however even tho l generally download allot lve not been throttled, they dont use that type of restriction opting for contention based restrictions meaning bandwidth is shared, there is downsides to it but so far lve not felt any..

the only other ISP l liked was Virgin, but my suggestion with them is to keep heavy usage outside of peak times as one tends to start being throttled after passing more than a gig at peak times (tho that was a year or two back)
 

Mel

ULTIMATE Member
Thanks for the responses, I did think they might be throttling me (even though I'm on an "unlimited" package and probably use less than 10G per month)
I was throttled when I was using far less than that on AOL, although that was several years ago. I must admit I didn't bother complain about it, and just left a month early, as I had found my previous dealings with AOL suckport trying to get the advertised 1mbps package with a working aol login totally exasperating - broken promises, having to go through the entire support procedure from the start every time I rang, agents trying to palm me off, or transferring me to another agent and having to start from scratch yet again. After weeks and numerous calls being patient and very polite as I normally am, that failed to work, I only got my issue sorted after having read of someone else's success with the opposite approach by being very pushy and angry and insisting that the poor support person I was moaning at place the order to fix it while I was on the phone: which they did. I do hope they've improved since Talktalk took them over.


As far as ADSL filters go, they can go wrong like any electronics, but I'm still using the first one I got about 5+ years ago. Maybe I should stick mine in a wash with some Surf automatic to get all those dirty bits out ;)
 

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
heh lm still using the filter l installed 5 years back as well, l did have another but if it wasnt for a storm that blew it l would likely be still using it... tho back then l was with a no dead ISP Fast24, l really liked them, somehow l was put on a 2meg connection even tho l was paying just for 1meg suffice to say, maybe it was a little bad of me but l didnt inform them about it :)
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Mine are a lot more than 5 years old, and they were cheap £1 ones from the PC fair as well!!
 

Bazmonster

Member
Still waiting for AOL to get back to me on my problems. Does anyone know much about throttling - I can imagine them throttling to say 1Mbps but to go from 5Mbps to 50kbps seems a bit extreme - a factor of 100. Is this normal? I'm planning to ask them for a 99% reduction in what I pay if they can only provide 1% of the service.:crap:
 

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
ld consider it normal on a large ISP who touts unlimited and fair usage policies, tho generally to hit one you need to be within a percentage of high downloaders or there is some sort of download limitation at peak times before ones hits any FUPs

problem l find is that most of the big players are pretty cryptic in their meanings of limitations, and it takes some finding out what limits are, with Virgin l had conflicting responces of hitting a gig at peak times or being in the top 5% around then so l couldnt say with certainty. when l was with AOL it was much the same however l was asked to leave because l passed more than 60GB a month and was told unlimited didnt mean how much data l passed but how much time l could stay connected tho l hear users on LLU based technoligies arent usually moaned at as much for passing too much data (basically they expect residentual users to not use more than 60GB from what l was told)

in hindsight l regret choosing them as an ISP but it gave me more knowledge and has allowed me to move onto more trustworthy and up front ISPs.
 

Bazmonster

Member
I'm fascinated (and appalled) by the idea that an ISP could consider the time you're connected as "usage". My router is on all the time so I guess I'm connected all the time. For much of that time the only traffic is a dribble from my iphone, or nothing at all during the night. This isn't loading their network so calling that "unfair use" would be grossly unfair, IMHO.

Still waiting for AOL's response, they have another 12 hours. I might ask them what to wash the filters in just to wind them up...
 

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
tbh what gets me is the perspective, from ours unlimited means unlimited, however from their point of view or at least what l was told when l was asked to leave a few years back was that unlimited didnt mean that my download wasnt limited it just meant that l could spend unlimited time online in an always connected fashion, the moment they started getting a little stricter on non-LLU based connections l was the first to go asked to leave because of the above reasons and the fact they didnt consider my usage as that of a residential customer...

as said previously most ISPs that offer AOLs type of service only expect you to browse a few emails and pages and download little every month (in my case they started complaining when l passed 60GB) l guess the consolation was the fact l was able to leave the contract early but l do feel that contracts should be more transparent especially when limits are concerned as too many tout unlimited when there are limits and when users complain money still goes into their pockets when considering some ISPs premium rate phone lines, tho l expect little to change sadly since BT holds the record and the monopoly of being the least transparent about what they do and how they do it to customers
 
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