I had a call from XLN telecom, to sell me their phone line services. This was a line rate of £11.99 on a 60 day trial. This sounded quite reasonable and I asked if they did a phone and broadband deal. I was looking to change my existing provider, Newnet, because their bandwidth limit was quite low, at 20GB. So I signed up for their “Total Business Standard” package for £26.95 + Vat. The telesales agent told me the call was being recorded and would form the basis of the contract, no need to sign anything. He then told me the deal came with a free wireless router, free setup and 50GB/month of bandwidth and that it was a 12 month contract. This sounded ideal, so I agreed. He told me they take two months’ payment in advance, which irked a little but I went along with it.
The first sign of a problem was when the ADSL switched from Newnet to XLN Telecom. The following day, You Tube was almost unusable, a 3 minute clip might take 7-8 minutes to watch, with frequent “buffering” ie freezing while it was downloading. I then tried to download something on BitTorrent. It didn’t work at all. When I called XLN Telecom about these issues, I was simply told that these aren’t business services and are either deprioritised or blocked in the case of BitTorrent.
Firstly, I work from home, so I use the PCs for business and home use.
Secondly, I often use You Tube for watching videos on laptop disassembly or software tutorials. I use BitTorrent occasionally for software, where I have genuine serial numbers but where customers have lost or not been provided with a software CD/DVD. I should add that I am opposed to software theft.
Thirdly, how dare XLN Telecom decide how I use the Internet! The phrase “net neutrality” is far too weak to describe this, it is this is censorship pure and simple.
With a broadband service that is crippled, I decided to cancel, and was told there was a £99 cancellation fee, but that this would be waived if I carried on with just their phone services.
Within 2 weeks of going live with them, I receive my first invoice for £119.41! I was shocked, as I was expecting it so be around double the monthly £26.95, i.e about £54. As it was about to be taken from my account, I called my bank and cancelled the direct debit. Upon checking the invoice, I see I have been charged £28.99 setup and £15 for a router. I already had a router and was only taking it as I was told it was free (as is normal for 12 month contracts.) I also checked the paper contract, and see it is for a 24 month contract.
So I called XLN telecom to ask for an explanation. I was told that the errors would be sorted out on my next invoice, but I had to pay this one. I said that was ridiculous, I had no intention of paying an incorrect invoice, and said I wanted a credit note for the items I hadn’t received.
I could continue, but I am now trapped in a 24 month contract with these people, where they have a £99 broadband cancellation fee, which I am still waiting to get a credit for. They have a £199 cancellation fee for their phone services. I would still be billed for setup fee and router, so would cost me over £400 to cancel.
Avoid XLN Telecom like the plague!