A broadband customer from Leatherhead, Surrey, who was told to "speak to your MP" after his ISP failed to resolve repeated line disconnections has now been informed he can leave his contract without penalty after Openreach failed to resolve the problem.
Alan Brown, a network manager at a Russell Group University, got in touch with us in February exasperated at the poor service he was experiencing and the contradictory information he'd received from his ISP, Rochdale-based Zen Internet, and Openreach engineers.
On one day alone he told us he'd experienced no fewer than 28 breaks in service.
"I am paying for 80Mbps service and am currently getting 16Mb/s with loads of DSL carrier drops," he said.
In response, Zen Internet – which has scored relatively highly in customer satisfaction surveys – passed the buck to its infrastructure provider, Openreach.
When matters weren't resolved following Openreach intervention, Mr Brown was told by Zen: "The best way forward would be to report this to your local MP, who will hopefully be able to get this issue addressed."
Six months later and Mr Brown is still no better off, and his connectivity issues remain unresolved. Numerous emails and phone calls to his ISP – along with a number of callouts from Openreach engineers – have failed to achieve anything. In fact, things have worsened with Mr Brown telling us that last week he suffered more than 75 disconnections in one day alone.
Asked whether he had spoken to his MP, he replied rather dejectedly: "What's the point?"
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In one recent email, Zen Internet told Mr Brown: "We are doing everything within our power to get this latest issue resolved for you and we are applying pressure to Openreach with the intention of getting a full fix in place for you.
"With this being said, I understand that these issues have caused you frustration and that you have not been happy with the service from us, which has led to multiple complaints.
"Given this, if you would like to move provider, we will let you leave without penalty for ending our contract early. However, we would rather be able to get this fixed for you so that you can enjoy your services with ourselves."
Last Friday (23 July), yet another Openreach engineer was booked in to try and resolve Mr Brown's broadband issues. The problems persist.
In a statement today – more than six months after The Register first reported on the issue – Zen Internet told us that the matter had now been escalated to the highest level possible.
"Liaising closely with our partner Openreach, we are working on a case with Mr Brown which is now at DSO level – the highest level of escalation. This means representatives from both Zen and Openreach are working together as a priority to get to the root cause and resolve Mr Brown's connectivity issues.
"While we are always keen to resolve such issues on behalf of our customers, Zen advised Mr Brown that he could exit his contract penalty free as we believe it is important our customers are made aware of their contractual rights."
At this stage, The Register has received no indication when the problem might be identified let alone fixed. But since this is now "a priority" it should only be a matter of time. Right? ®