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Thread: Those FTTH companies have issues (Community Fibre and Hyperoptic rant/reviews)

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    Those FTTH companies have issues (Community Fibre and Hyperoptic rant/reviews)

    So, I am currently in an apartment block serviced by two ISP offering FTTH (Community Fibre) / FTTB (Hyperoptic) and this is turning into quite a hassle, probably for all parties involved.

    It all started with my attempt to sign up with Community Fibre (I figured that FTTH > FTTB, and better router = win; and they also have an incredibly high score on TrustPilot which.. I am starting to doubt).

    I had some issues from the get go. Their engineer booking system doesn't seem to be updated live, so if you pick a slot that is already taken, you will get a message that *looks* like the order didn't go through, though within an hour you will get a confirmation email. Tip for potential customers. Do not try to place another order, but call them to book the engineer. If you place another order, you will end up having two direct debit setup, so make sure you let them know and cancel it. And if you not call them, thinking that it's all sorted on receipt of the confirmation email, the day you picked for the engineer will come and go, and you will find yourself wondering why no one showed up (I only found out after calling a few days later to confirm, only to find out that nothing was booked, delaying my booking).

    The engineer who came left me with a pretty poor impression. A big part of it was the way he spoke with the concierge which was kind of rude, complained about parking, and when he showed us the photos of his other work, another flat owner who happened to join in the conversation remarked that the work didn't -look- nice compared to what she got with Hyperoptic. And with the engineer saying that he didn't have enough time to complete the work that day, I decided to cancel my order with CF, and placed my order with Hyperoptic.

    Ordering with Hyperoptic was much smoother. You do need to sign up an account with a log-in etc. (no such thing with CF), and booking with the engineer appears to be done in real time. However, you also need to wait a lot longer to get an engineer visit (at least a whole week, while CF can do it in a few days).

    The engineer who came gave a better first impression manner wise. However there was two issues. The first one was, the place I wanted to place the router was too far, so I needed to pay for an extension fee. Which is fine, except that I couldn't just make a phone call, or get online to have it done, I would also have to rebook it for.. the following week as that is the earliest availability. But, and this is where it gets bizarre, it almost sounded like he wanted to sell me CF! I already knew that on paper CF had the more attractive product (fibre to flat, as opposed to building, then CAT5e; I am near the top floor of a high rise, it's still quite a lot of cooper). Guessing that he was a disgruntled employee, because he also talked about how he applied to work for CF, and how a lot of people he worked at HO already jumped ship etc. With CF being a tiny bit cheaper, providing reportedly a much better Mesh router (big flat, so I think I might need a wi-fi mesh network) and an engineer saying how he'd personally get CF, and a whole week of wait to set it up with HO.. I once again had second thought.

    So I decided to contact CF again, politely explaining exactly why I cancelled with the first time, and said I would give them another chance, -provided- that they can send a different engineer. I am not sure if this is that much of an unreasonable request, but being in central London, I figured that surely they must have more than -one- engineer doing installations and they can work something out. I even pointed out that I was happy to wait a bit longer if it means I could get someone with more experience, noting that my apartment isn't going to be the easiest job. Customer service made a note of the engineer I didn't want, and arranged for a different engineer (I got his name - let's call him Mr. Y) to come. All this can be done before my appointment with HO. But the day before installation day, I got a text message from Mr. X, the very engineer who came the first time, and wanted to avoid, confirming the appointment. Called customer service, asked what happened to Mr Y who was supposed to be the booked engineer, and pointed out that I explicitly mentioned didn't want Mr X, and after some apologies, customer service arranged for Mr Z to be the engineer). Specifically mentioned that I didn't mind if it wasn't the next day, but I would not be amused if Mr X, or both Mr X and Mr Z showed up, so to please relay the information properly. And what happens the next day? I get contacted by Mr X about the appointment.

    So at this point I am convinced that CF may have the theoretically better product, better value by virtue of the router they provide, but communication with customer service is completely and utterly hopeless. Polite yes? Keeping record of the conversations? Yes. Seemingly wanting to help? Yes. But they are simply not getting stuff done, and this is still the *sales* stage. What is going to happen when I have a genuine issue while on a 2 years contract? What is going to happen if I actually want to terminate the contract at the end of the term? They have glowing reviews on Trustpilot, yet some pretty damning feedback elsewhere, which makes me wonder too.

    So now, it is back to waiting for HO's second appointment (kind of glad I didn't cancel it). I am obviously concerned about the fact that the engineer who came last time was trying to sell me CF, but I do hope that whatever grievance he has with his company will not affect the work to be done. But his attitude towards his company did make me wonder, and I looked at Glassdoor to see what other employees are saying about HO, and it does seem like there are definitely complaints about pay and management. I do hope that the company takes notes, as I worry about the long term prospect if everyone capable jump ship since that could also negatively affect the service.

    There are a few more things I will point out between those two companies if anyone still want to sign up with one of them.
    In general, I think that CF have shorter queue for online chat and phone calls and based in the UK. However I have seen their chat support go down for extended period, and I have also been cut off while queueing on the phone. HO's support (or at least Chat support) is 24/7 AFAIK, though it isn't based in the UK AFAIK, and queues are longer. I do feel like they are more able to assist, but I haven't tested them as much as CF.

    This is as far as it goes for now. Frankly, if there was a -third- alternative offering high speed, symmetric high speed fibre connection, I would probably give them a go. But at the moment, I think I will end up with Hyperoptic. If I don't post back it will probably be because 1. Nothing work and I can't get online or 2. Everything works wonderfully and I can get back to life.

    If any Hexite have different thought about one or both those ISP, I'd love to hear it out. And even better if anyone with CF can show some photos of the installations. I would've thought that I could find -something- on Google, but there is nothing. Not much on Hyperoptic either, but at least I have seen a few. I am just whether the way they approach is cabling different (obviously they are using different kind of cable), given what the other flat owner mentioned.

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    Chaos Monkey Apex's Avatar
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    Re: Those FTTH companies have issues (Community Fibre and Hyperoptic rant/reviews)

    Re the cable run; are you more then 90m away from where the fibre will terminate if you go with Hyperoptic ?

    The reason i ask is that if the nte they provide has the option to for the customer side to be either a gbic or fibre transceiver you can then run a fibre cable from there upto your flat and then either a media converter to get it back to copper for your use or if the equipment you have has the option to take a sfp for the fibre. There are a number of ways to get the connection from point a to b just depends on what they are providing to start with



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    Re: Those FTTH companies have issues (Community Fibre and Hyperoptic rant/reviews)

    I am pretty high in a high rise, probably just under the 90m mark from ground floor, so depending on where exactly the fibre terminates, and how the cable get routed, I don't think it will reach my flat.

    I also do not really understand the things you have said (I must be losing it lol), but is there anything that might be worth asking customer service before the engineer comes? I imagine that extra work would be extra time and potentially extra charge, but what matters the most to me at the moment is that it won't be another extra week of waiting because it is not what they were preferred to do.

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    Re: Those FTTH companies have issues (Community Fibre and Hyperoptic rant/reviews)

    Just to assist with Apex's post - Ethernet/copper has a limit of 100m, not to say you wont get a connection at 101m but signal will degrade, so best to be slightly under the 100m from wherever the fibre terminates.

    NTE - Network Termination Equipment - basically where they connect the fiber to in your building.
    SFP - small form-factor pluggable - its a module you can plug a fibre cable into, generally found on networking switches

    Pretty much its the options available for extending the connection/signal from wherever they bring the fiber connection into your building (basement or ground floor usually) up to your penthouse suite.

    If they have the relevant connections on their equipment you could end up with a really good connection if you can be supplied with or buy the correct equipment.
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