Advantages Good connection speed, pretty reliable
Disadvantages Poor customer support, impossible to cancel Surftime over the phone, 50p per minute tech support
This used to be my ISP, and during the time I used it, was one of the better ISP's that I have subscribed to over the last 18 months.I signed up during the early part of 2000, to take advantage of the Quip offer. While the offer was active I was really impressed and the few times that it was down, were just par for the course. After all when you pay as little as £5 a month for 24/7 then you can't grumble when they are down every now and again.
I wasn't too surprised when the Quip deal finished, as anyone could see that it was in no way financially viable, but I stuck with them until Surftime became available in my area and signed up with Surftime. An advantage (or so I thought) of Lineone's Surftime deal is that they get BT (who part own LineOne & also Quip), to collect the money via your phone bill. £5.99 goes to BT for the Surtime Evening & Weekend package and £4.00 goes to Lineone as a service subscription fee.The first few months of Surftime were great. However, just after Christmas, BTInternet announced their new deal, based on FRIACO, which offered true unmetered calls for a flat fee. Great, I thought, and signed up almost immediately.
Once I had confirmed my subscription to BTInternet, I cancelled Surftime with BT and was told that I had to cancel the Lineone fee, through Lineone. I telephoned Lineone customer support and heres a transcription.ME - I'd like to cancel my Lineone account please.
LINEONE - Ok, but you can only cancel your Lineone Surftime account via e-mail.ME - What? Why can't you do it over the phone?
LINEONE - We don't have the facilities to cancel Surftime accounts.ME - (Incredulous) All right then can I have the e-mail address please?
LINEONE - email@example.comME - Thank you, goodbye.
I sent an e-mail within 5 minutes of putting the phone down (01/02/2001 @ 12.40), and eight minutes later received an auto-response from their e-mail server telling me that this was only for Surftime Cancellations. The very kind people at Lineone have set up their server so that you get a receipt when you send an e-mail to cancel your surftime account.I thought nothing more about it until my new phone bill arrived. Lo and behold they were asking me to pay my advance charges for Lineone. I telephoned them but had problems getting through. I then paid most of my phone bill (except a small amount to avoid paying for the Lineone bit) but just this week received a letter stating that unless I paid the outstanding balance BT were going to restrict my line. (NO INTERNET!! SCREAM!!)
I telephoned them again and had a very good conversation with one of their customer advisors. Surprise, surprise I was not the first Lineone customer he had spoken to about this, and he confirmed that the account was still active, according to BT's records, and that they would be asking for another three months subscription when my next phone bill arrives. As far as I am concerned this is fraud. They received an e-mail cancelling the subscription, but still presented their bill.I've sent another e-mail today, to Lineone, cancelling my Surftime account and will be telephoning their customer services tomorrow. From what the BT guy told me, most of the people he spoke to about Lineone didn't get it sorted out until they went to Citizens Advice.
I hope it doesn't go this far, but if it does, then I will be writing to every major UK website dealing with ISP's, all the major magazines and consumer websites like this.**UPDATED**
I've just received my telephone bill, and the Lineone fee has been refunded, after about eight e-mails. Although it was only £8.60 I have to question why I was over charged in the first place. Although LineOne was one of the more reliable ISPs that I have used, I have to say that I will never use it again, due to it's very poor customer services.
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