Some ISPs would do anything to gain a new customer.
Last December, I switched ISPs. Although my previous one, Dommel, provided a good and stable internet connection, their customer service staff was totally broken. They seemed totally unwilling to answer any written question, be it in French, English or Dutch. Further, they used the oldish ADSL infrastructure from the incumbent, Belgacom, and thus could only provide a 4 Mbit/sec connection. With 6 computers at home, this proved to be slow at times.
Hence, I took the opportunity to move to another ISP, Scarlet, which promised 20 Mbit/sec. I was aware that theorical speeds may not always be reached due to different factors like copper line length, etc.
Much to my surprise, I was informed after the contract was signed that I would only get 6Mbit. Scarlet’s tech support confirmed today that the local phone exchange to which I am connected has not been upgraded to ADSL2+. This ISP knew at the time they presented the electronic contract to me that they were unable to deliver what they promised.
Their sign-in form stated “Congratulations, you can be connected to the ADSL20 network [...] The maximum download speed is dependent on the distance from the local exchange, your computer configuration and its cabling “. Nowhere does it state that it is dependent on the exchange infrastructure.
The tech support guy was not able either to tell me when they expect the local exchange to be upgraded. This looks like ultra confidential information. Actually, we know more about battle plans in the Middle East, Iraq or Afganisthan than about an ISP’s infrastructure upgrade strategy.
Belgium once prided itself to be at the forefront of broadband deployment. If only it could be done by professionals who care about customers …
The next step will be to file a complaint to the telecom ombudsman. I do not expect much of a improvement, though.