When you think of the Post Office the image that probably comes to mind is the Post Office of old which was all about letters, parcels, and your grandma getting her pension, but the Post Office has changed. They now offer a dizzying array of products and services, one of which is broadband. But with so much competition in this sector, can the Post Office deliver something special?
What’s on offer and value for money
Like most modern families, mine are always connected to the internet. At any one time we can have Teen playing online games on his xBox, Child watching YouTube while Skyping her friends, Grumpy Dad streaming movies, and me working on my blog. Each of us expects out internet service to be fast and reliable, but with our previous suppliers this has not been the case. On signing up with Post Office broadband I was hoping to have finally found a service that would deliver its promises.
I signed up for the Fibre Unlimited Broadband package which includes:
- Unlimited usage;
- Speeds of up to 38mbps;
- A fibre wifi router;
- Line rental;
- UK weekend calls;
- And, The promise of no price rises during the term of the contract (18 months).
At £28 this is a fairly competitive package when compared to their nearest competitors and has the added bonus of no set up fees.
It’s also worth noting that I was delighted to be able to order a fibre broadband service despite living in an area of Swindon which is well known for NOT having access to fibre broadband.
Placing the order
I placed my initial order on the Post Office website which I found to be very user friendly. The packages are easy to find and all of the details are laid out simply and without jargon or any of those sneaky hidden details that come back to bite you in the bum! I also noticed that you can order via phone if you would prefer.
The ordering process itself took about 10 minutes and I was provided with my activation date straight away.
Normally once you complete your order you just sit back, relax, and wait for your router to arrive, but unfortunately in my case BT had blocked my landline and then cut it off entirely two days later. Given that my land line wasn’t rented from BT I was completely baffled by this.
The knock on effect of my issues with BT was that the Post Office connections team were unable to proceed for several days as every time they tried to take over my line they were locked out. This was in no way their fault, but it did give me the opportunity to witness their customer service team in action.
Telephone Customer Service
Due to the issue caused by BTs mistake I needed to speak to the Post Office broadband customer service team on several occasions and on the whole I was impressed by their helpfulness, knowledge, and attitude. Without exception I felt that the team members genuinely wanted to help and provided a consistent service which is far rarer than it should be.
My only sight criticism (and it is splitting hairs) is that the automated system kept asking me for my home phone number. As a result, I had to wait for the system to go through requesting the number a couple of times before I could be put through. This was a little irritating but hardly the end of the world.
Luckily I didn’t have to go through the automated system too often as each time customer service hit a snag due to the BT mistake, they went to the trouble of trying to call me. This isn’t something I’ve experienced many suppliers doing in the past, and in my view it was excellent customer service.
It doesn’t matter how good your broadband is, if you have a poor wifi router than you are going to be disappointed with the service. Luckily the Fibre wifi router supplied by Post Office Broadband is excellent!
Conveniently packaged in a letter box friendly box, the wifi router is sleek, black, and importantly duel band. If you’re not tech savvy you may be wondering what duel band means and why it’s such a bonus.
Most wifi routers send out a signal at 2.5mhz, but with so many other routers broadcasting on this frequency your broadband speeds can plummet due to interference. In addition, household items such as microwaves and baby monitors also interfere with the signal, meaning you can end up with sluggish internet despite the super fast speeds you’re receiving.
A duel band router transmits at both 2.5mhz and 5mhz, with the latter being much less crowded and more reliable. Using this bandwidth can make a difference to your download speed of tens of Mbps. So the advantages of your new router being duel band is easy to see.
In addition to the hardware being very snazzy, it’s also easy to use with clear and easy to follow instructions and plug and play set-up. Most people will be able to set their new router up without a second thought.
If you’re more technically minded, loging into the router is simple and the control panels are fairly intuitive and easy to navigate. I was able to complete simple tasks such as changing my wifi channel to a less crowded one without further instructions.
Service and Speed
The instructions that come with your router warn you to be prepared for some variable service in the first week of use while they run diagnostics and optimisation. However I’m pleased to say that this has been the opposite of my experience.
In the past couple of weeks my broad band has been the most stable and reliable I have ever experienced. Even during peak times, when you should expect some loss of speed, regardless of your provider, I have been receiving between 30mbps and 40mbps which is more than enough to keep everyone happy.
Although the Post Office router is plug and play and simple to set up, the Post Office do offer a service called the Wifi Squad who can help with the initial install and much more. If you’d like help setting up your network, or you want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your wifi, you can arrange for an engineer to visit your home, install your router, connect your laptop and other gadgets, or trouble shoot any problems you may have.
In my case, the Wifi Squad engineer was able to troubleshoot, diagnose, and offer a solution to an issue I was having with my internet speed in just a few minutes. As this was a problem my previous supplier had been unable to get to the bottom of and eventually given up on, I was delighted.
In the past few months my experience of broadband suppliers has been shocking both in terms of service received and customer service, so the switch to Post Office broadband has been a breath of fresh air.
They have provided a good service from start to finish, despite some issues along the way. The hardware they provide is excellent, as are the download speeds and stability that I have experienced since my installation. I would highly recommend them to anyone who is less than satisfied with their current supplier.
- Competitively priced
- Duel band router
- Friendly and knowledgeable customer service team
- Easy to sign up by phone or internet
- Easy set-up
- No installation fee
- Waiting times on the customer service line can be up to 10 minutes
If you would like to experience Post Office broadband for yourself take a look at their website www.postoffice.co.uk
**This post was written in collaboration with post office broadband. All views and opinions are my own.