Getting temporary broadband
BT cocks up my order
I needed to temporarily relocate my office for a few months. I need fast broadband and a ‘landline’ telephone. I already have this in my present office, provided by BT. My clients must not be affected by this move in any way, shape or form. The obvious thing is to ask if BT would transfer my contract to my temporary location, and move it back when my office has been refurbished.
‘Yes’, they say, ‘No problem, and we won’t charge you.’ That’s fantastic. The new location is only a short distance away. ‘Sorry, Sir, that is on a different exchange. We will have to give you a new phone number’. ‘OK, no problem, it’s only for a couple of months.’ ‘Sorry, Sir, but when you move back, we will have to give you another new number, because we only hold them for 60 days!’
‘Oh, sugar! I exclaim, ‘So to keep my number, I need to take out a new contract and redirect my old number to the new one?’
‘Yes, that’s right. And the minimum term for the new contract is only 12 months!’
I can’t waste time on this, so through gritted teeth, I say, ‘OK, sign me up to the new contract’. The firm will pay and it’s one of the costs of refurbishment.
After a few days, I haven’t heard anything from them, so I ring up again.
‘Sorry Sir, but we have no record of any order from you! However, if it is only for a few months, have you considered mobile broadband? Go into an EE shop and ask them!’
EE Mobile broadband
Well, I know that EE was bought by BT, but even so this was quite unexpected. Off I went to the EE shop and bought a 4G Broadband Router with 100 GB of data per month for £35 per month. Minimum term 2 months, plus £100 up front for the router. This is very competitive with fixed-line broadband and I have to say that I’m entirely delighted with it. I’m getting about 10 MB/s download and about 3 MB/s upload, but my router is located on a window-sill in a weak-signal part of the building. Even so, it is fast enough to stream TV and to do normal office work. I can get a strong signal in another location, and the data rate is faster, but it isn’t convenient for me to use that location. I could have an external aerial, but it isn’t necessary.
Update on EE mobile connection quality
I have found that at certain times, the 4G signal can drop out. This is very irritating when streaming a film, as it seems to upset my streaming device. I’ve relocated my EE box but it hasn’t eliminated the problem entirely. Although the authorities can find out which mast you are connected to, the public can’t do this, presumably for security reasons. I presumably the data signal drops when the network is saturated, and this happens when everyone wants to use it!
Keeping your landline number
EE even said that if I hadn’t been in contract with BT, I could have transferred my landline number to EE and then it would have been portable. I’m not 100 % sure about this, but I have kept my landline number for mainly sentimental reasons, as I use VOIP for business calls, which is working well with the router.
One thing I particularly dislike about BT is that they keep changing the name of the package, but this isn’t shown on the bill, nor is the contract termination date. Indeed, whilst I got sales calls from them at the contract termination date, none of them said that my contract was coming to an end. They simply tried (and succeeded) to inveigle me into a new contract.
Just as I moved to my new location, I got an email on my mobile from ryml.me saying that Royal Mail had a parcel for me from BT. Obviously a scam email coming from an address like that. Then in the entrance lobby, I saw a package addressed to me from BT. It was clearly a home hub. They had spelt my name wrongly, though. Yes, the twerps had actually placed an order from me, but owing to the incorrect spelling, I never received the confirmatory email (and I never will) which also explains why they couldn’t find my order. Needless to say, I have cancelled it. I asked whether the email to my incorrect address had bounced, but they said they don’t check! Shriek! Scream!! What a way to run a business!!!
BT’s new website
When writing this post, I thought I’d check the BT website and I saw that everything has changed without warning. They have replaced their ‘connected world’ logo with a boring BT in a circle and they have changed the names of everything again. For new contracts, landline UK phone calls are now at a flat rate of 20 p a minute on top of the line rental charge of £20 a month, but you can now buy a package of calls – 500 minutes is £5 a month extra (the cost of 25 minutes ‘pay as you go’.) This is not cheap, but I think much more sensible than all the pesky ‘add-ons’ which put the prices up too much.
However, if you want unlimited everything, including landline and mobile calls and fast broadband, this will set you back an eye-watering £85 a month on a 24-month contract!! That is expensive, although maybe I could have got an unlimited data sim and an unlocked 4G router.
Anyway, I absolutely HATE their new website. They haven’t fixed all the links, so unless you go into it from a particular direction, it’s entirely sales orientated and you inevitably end up on the ordering page, even though you are trying to find information. All these daft names, yet I can’t find basic information about my contract.
Bottom line – 4G mobile broadband seems to be the way to go, especially as an upgrade to 5G is already coming down the street.