We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

PC Advisor publisher sings the broadband blues: part IV

Day 13: Fernando wins fight for fat pipe

When PC Advisor publisher David Fernando and his family moved into their palatial new home in South London they were dreaming of a new life in the broadband fast lane courtesy of cableco Telewest.

Thirteen days after moving to the bourgeois enclave of Sutton, bereft of communication with the outside world - save an intermittent mobile phone connection - Fernando and his family are finally enjoying life in the virtual fast lane.

Here in his fourth and final instalment, PC Advisor's publisher chronicles his fight for a fat pipe.

To read part I click here.
To read part II click here.
To read part III click here.

WICKED SPEEDS
Wednesday 11 June

I am working from home today to prepare for a big meeting next week. At 1.10pm, I get a call from Emma Latham at the chief exec's office to check if I am going to be in and to let me know that the engineers will be with me at about 2pm.

2.05pm - Two senior engineers arrive and say they will be overseeing the job as requested by the chief exec's department. Do they normally do this? "Only with complaints that are passed through from the top office." They are unaware of my status.

2.15pm - The actual installation crew has failed to arrive. A quick phone call from one of the senior engineers reveals that the crew is camped outside the other address, two miles away, which had caused so much confusion in the first place.

2.30pm - The installation crew arrive and over the next two hours install my telephone connection, my broadband access (up three floors to my loft conversion - they grinned and bore it) and two digital TV boxes. Throughout they were extremely polite and courteous, professional and kept me informed of everything they were doing. One chap, Junior Bulgin, was excellent at walking me through the TV system and the broadband setup.

My second digital box is found to be faulty, so it is replaced immediately.

Junior tells me he is installing up to five connections a day. "Everyone wants broadband," he says, adding, "people can't get enough of it." When we get the first connection on my PC I fire up the PC Advisor site and he read this story. "That's you? Wicked man."

In short, a faultless installation by a super bunch of blokes. As I've stated previously, Telewest seems to be recruiting the right people, it's just the appointments system that frustrates. So I had a model installation and they genuinely didn't know who I was.

4.30pm - Emma Latham calls back to see if I am satisfied with the work and then launches, unprompted, into a compensation conversation. After a bit of gentle haggling (mostly based around covering the costs of my mobile telephone calls over 12 days) we agree a suitable credit to be applied to my account. Sorted.

TIME FOR A BREWSKIE
5pm - I wander into the lounge and see that the TV is displaying an Attention dialog box on the cable channel. 'Smartcard is invalid, error 1008'. 5pm is early for me to start drinking, but I crack open a beer and retire to the loft where at least the broadband is in full swing.

9.30pm - Having left it until now to (a) calm down and (b) spend time with the kids rather than on the phone to my old mates at Telewest customer services; I finally call up and speak to Lisa Farmer in the National Help Centre. Blimey - I've done Dudley, Glasgow, Sheffield and Basildon. Now I've gone National. Lisa will investigate and call me back.

9.40pm - Lisa calls back. I love her. Seems the main operations centre still had the serial number of the faulty digital box. I am asked to read out the new serial number from the back of my smartcard. Lisa then resets the box remotely. Bingo - instant access!


IDG UK Sites

Very best Black Friday 2014 tech deals UK: Latest bargains on phones, tablets, laptops and more...

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday feeding frenzy infects the UK

IDG UK Sites

VAT MOSS: Will I be affected by the EU VAT changes? Here are the facts for designers and artists

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & Black Friday tech offers