New site launched for disconnected Wanadoo punters
This is no LLU laughing matter
Wanadoo punters in the UK who've lost their broadband connection after being migrated to the ISP's LLU platform are being urged to air their problems on a new online forum.
Wanadoo Problems has been set up by fed-up Wanadoo punter Kevin Ellis, who has been without broadband now for eight weeks. As well as paying for a service he cannot use, he's also spent around £35 on calls to Wanadoo's helpline to try and resolve his problem.
Instead, London-based Kevin has been given the runaround by Wanadoo staff who have told him to uninstall and reinstall kit in the hope that might fix the problem. They've also carried out numerous line checks and also blamed BT for his problems. Despite all this, Kevin is still without broadband.
"I despair with them," he told The Register. "I've been told one thing and then another. They're not helping customers in the slightest. It's cost me a fortune in calls to support.
"Each time I phone up I have to explain the whole story over and over again. Wanadoo's staff never read my notes - either that or they can't be bothered to.
"I've been eight weeks without broadband and told to wait another three weeks. We just don't know how big this problem is. I'm still paying for the service each month and get nothing. I'm told I'll get compensation, but when? I want my broadband connection.
"That's why I set up the site - to highlight the problem. I want Wanadoo to sit up and take notice. I want people to post their stories on the forum to put pressure on Wanadoo to so something."
Kevin's story is not unique. In February The Register reported how a Wanadoo punter from Manchester had been left without broadband after his line was migrated to Wanadoo's local loop unbundling (LLU) platform. The upgrade is part of Wanadoo's investment in local loop unbundling (LLU) enabling it to offer increased speeds to users up to eight meg.
After almost three months, Wanadoo has finally reconnected that broadband user, so we're told. But he is not alone. Ever since El Reg highlighted the problem two months ago, we've received a steady stream of emails from Wanadoo users who've lost their broadband connection and failed to get any sense from Wanadoo's customer support.
Like this one, whose service fell over at the end of January following Wanadoo's attempted LLU upgrade: "Since then,- I've made at least 40 calls and spent at least 20 hours being given conflicting stories," he told us.
"At first they [Wanadoo customer support] blamed my PC, then software conflicts, then Windows. I ended up removing and reinstalling the modem about 10 times.
"What's more, because of LLU and the outstanding tech problem, I can't switch ISP's without taking about 10 days to completely cancel my account, losing email addresses etc, then another 10 days or so to get service from another provider. Wanadoo tell me they will not remove the LLU to give me a migration code while there is an outstanding fault. If I can't get a migration code I have a minimum further break of service of 20 days."
And this one: "I was apparently migrated to LLU at the beginning of February and I have not had a broadband connection from Wanadoo since. I struggled to make contact with them, they were very reluctant initially to acknowledge the problem, but even now that they have they are unable to give me any idea when I will be reconnected - HELP!"
For its part, Wanadoo claims it has "successfully migrated tens of thousands of customers to the new Wanadoo network", but admits that "only a very small number of customers have experienced any problems". And the ISP maintains that it is "fully equipped to deal with these [problems]" and is working with its suppliers to "resolve any problems as soon as they are brought to our attention".
That may be so. Clearly Kevin Ellis and the people who are beginning to post their experiences on the Wanadoo Problem website don't agree. ®