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http://www.gadgetspeak.com/blog/detail.rhtm/255107
Jan 12, 2006

Fun and games with NTL 'Broadband Plus' 

I don't usually find the time to 'have a play', but I happened to be checking the NTL web site and noticed that because I subscribe to their 2M broadband product I get free access to their 'broadband plus' area. I'm sure they used to charge for this and I really couldn't see the point. Now it's included in my package I thought I may as well see what all the fuss is about (you still have to pay 3.99 per month for it if you're on NTLs 1M broadband tariff).

This isn't meant to be a formal review of their product, just first impressions. Maybe if I stick with it I will do a full review. We'll see!

I haven't found a formal description of this product on their site, but it seems to comprise 4 main areas : Music plus, Photos plus, Games plus and Kids plus.

First of all - getting into it! The sign-up page simply requires you to enter your name and NTL email address and accept the terms and conditions. First problem - the link to open the terms and conditions uses JavaScript to pop-up a little window. It doesn't work. So if you want to proceed you have to check that you've read the T&Cs, cross your fingers  and hope you're not signing away your life!

The homepage for Broadband Central (http://www.ntlworld.com/broadbandcentral) shows a cluttered screen with links to the various services offered. Unfortunately each one of these that you click on brings up a new window with a biggish delay telling you that you are being signed in. This doesn't really give a very good impression for broadband, the whole point of which is to be fast! That said, the various services are offered by different vendors, with NTL providing the glue. You seem to get a good selection.

At least some of the services only work with Internet Explorer, which personally I take offense at being a dedicated FireFox user.

Unfortunately a number of the other services just seem to generate the message :

A system error has occurred within Broadband Plus. Please try again

again, not a very good advert. On the whole a somewhat frustrating experience so far. Maybe I'll have another go sometime when I've nothing better to do.

The list of features supposedly offered does seem pretty good, if only they worked.

Now - where's my glass of wine?

Comments

1.  What you've written so far is nothing compared to what I've gone through. Last year I told NTHell to disconnect the landline because we were moving elsewhere, which as far as I can tell they did. However about 3 months went by before they stopped by to reconnect the service in my flat. However, what came as a shock was the fact that they kept sending bills to my new address now charging me for the time between they disconnected the service until they reconnected it (about 2 to 3 months). They were literally trying to steal money from me. And then I started to receive final reminder letters saying pay up or else. I bent over backwards trying to reach a real person through customer harras?er service. They never gave a solution and letters from them kept piling up in my rubbish bin.

On the other hand, by the time we were expecting someone from NTHell to show up for reconnection, some female executive called me up and offered me a deal in which I'd have to pay only 7.25 as a month charge, provided I made a payment of 25 upfront. The case is I wouldn't have to pay a single p during the first 3 months. I accepted, but as soon as the line became ready for use, they started sending bills for 11.50 as a month charge. What they are doing is illegal right? They've been doing this since we started this new contract. I desperately tried to get help and advice from somewhere but it was fruitless.
Then they sent the "debt" to a debt recovery company, and after trying to contact those guys, they forced me into pay like 100 of which I owed about 50 according to my estimates. I have the whole paperwork to prove what I'm saying. However they got away with it. I'm sure these sharks do the same to other hard working people and nobody does a thing about it.
As they have disconnected the line, they have the nerves to tell me I have to pay a further fee to have the line back, and the month charges are still running. So I have to pay to have the service back and furthermore I have to keep paying what they say I owe until the end of the contract. Can somebody tell me is there anything
I can do to expose these rats? I'm sharing this in the hope that somebody who reads this will have an idea that can help start stopping these swindlers, or organize a group and together expose these fraudsters, legally. They have been in breach of a contract and don't care what I say.

Comment by marie - Sep 20, 2006 16:11

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