March 2013. Got up, switched the computer on checked emails, a few came in all OK. Grab a cup of tea, write a couple of emails that need sending......can't send. Error message blah, blah..'Relay Not Permitted'. Oh no please, not DST email problems again, how many days is it going to be this time. Phoned DST spoke to a charming young lady. She didn't know why I should be getting that error message and she'll investigate and call me back. Four hours later no call and still no email send. Call DST again. Spoke to a different charming young lady. Please go to your email account, she said. Did that. What's your SMTP address she asked. The same as its been since I first signed up with you 3 years ago I said, I've never touched it since that very first day and it's smtp.directsave.net. Ah she said, it should be smtp.directsave.org. But I've never altered it since day 1 with you I said, when did it change? Oh it hasn't changed, she said, you've just got the wrong smtp address there. But I have been receiving emails perfectly well up until this morning, apart from the odd 5 day gap inserted by DST that is, so it must have changed I said. No it hasn't she said, and she was getting teasy with me now. OK, I said, I'll change it to .org. Did that and my email send came back. I don't know whether to love 'em or hate 'em !!!
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I think that the old principle of you get what you pay for, applies here. It is a very similar situation to that where you see on a television programme, passengers of a certain budget airline, demanding the same level of service as they would get far more expensively, from a non budget airline.
It is a good general rule that usually works, but the exceptions that exist, seem to be mostly among broadband and telephone providers. I was with BT for 41 years, but got utterly fed-up with the frustration trying to get someone with a limited grasp of the English language, to understand and therefore fix, my broadband or telephone problem. So five years ago I switched to Direct Save Telecom.
The only real problem that I have had since, is that I have to reset the router every couple of weeks or so. It is an easy job to do and is no more than a five minute inconvenience. The few times that I have had cause to ring them, have been stress free and promptly productive.
In February 3013 I had a total line failure involving both voice and broadband lines, which subsequenty proved to be due a BT line fault. Despite contacting DST twice daily on their premium help line from a remote mobile phone ( since there is no mobile reception where I live) it took them 12 days to repair this line fault, although they promised daily that the fault would definitely be rectified the following day. Altogether this cost me over £50 in PAYG mobile phone charges, in respect of which, including having been totally off-line for 12 days, DST offered me a total compensation of £32.
Subsequently the line worked for 3 weeks than failed again. When I reported this to DST they, once again, claimed that they could not trace any fault in the line. I can, because a section of it is lying on the ground near my house!!
Hey Craig - DST are not an Internet company, only a providor of third-party phone broadband etc. DST can no more improve your broadband speed than BT/Openreach themselves can - it all depends on your location & number of others using broadband on your section at any given time. Ask them to investigate - I've always found them more than willing to help if you have a problem.
this is this possibly the worst internet company i have ever been with it lags all the time it disconnects all the time people dial up is better then this company
My brother finally persuaded my 81 year old mother to try broadband, and unfortunately she ended up with this shower. For 6 months she had no sort of service. There were problems that were obviously external to the house, but DST wouldn't get BT to resolve them unless my mother indemnified them. So my mother decided to move to BT, whereupon DST stiffed her with £180 worth of additional charges. Which she gladly paid to never have to deal with them again!
Although DST may be cheap, and they seem able at least to take payments without problems, if you have a problem with your phone or broadband, the service is, in my opinion, commensurate with the Third World. There is evidently inadequate communication between different departments within DST, and even worse communication between BT OpenReach and DST. Ten days ago my phone was not working, but the broadband was. An engineer made a temporary fix so that the phone was working but he disconnected the broadband. Ten days later it's still not reconnected, despiute my calling DST twice a day. DST has not been sufficiently proactive about fixing this problem.
After hours there's nobody around to take your call except some poor receptionist, for whom I feel truly sorry. All calls are routed to her but she's not in a position to be able to do anything about anything.
In summary, I honestly could not recommend them at all.
No real problems with my home connection at all. Always polite when i need to call and try everything they can to solve any issues. I have more problems using my hotmail account and online banking than i ever have had with Directsave.
Yet another weekend without emails. I have been with DST for four years with no problems but this last few months have been a disaster. I would change provider tomorrow if it wasn't for all my clients knowing my email address. My advice, stay clear of DST they couldn't care less about your days of lost emails and without even an appologie.
To Peter B;
If this has happened before Peter, you could always solve the problem by using a web-based mail service such as Googles Gmail, Microsofts Hotmail, or BTs Yahoo mail. These rarely "go down" for long periods.
DST email server down again.........told yesterday it would be 24 hours, told this morning it would be 24 hours, I have no doubt whatsoever I will be told tomorrow it will be 24 hours. Last time this happend it was five days, I wonder if DST will break their own record this time
Direct Save Telecom - it was once a good company.
I signed up with DST 2 years ago for a line at work, and was so impressed that when I built a new house I got them in to do my new line & broadband. However the company has changed from what it was and the line/broadband is now very poor indeed and the customer service is not good at all.
I have gone from recommending them to people to thinking that they ought to give up and get proper jobs.
2/10 at best. Less on a bad day.
Yes, agree with you (see my last post) it all depends on the day! I just like to give praise where it's due, and luckily, I've had no reason in 4 years to complain!
Best of luck with your new contract!
Re: Peter B's numbers
You fail to note that 20% of the positives on DST are from the same poster.
My own experience when I had an outage was not nearly as positive as yours.
All 9 houses in my road were affected however 8 of them were returned to service reasonably quickly without any trouble from their respective service providers.
DST however spent days on end being evasive and unhelpful even when I had the direct contact number for the manager responsible I had to constantly chase. I never had proactive contact from them.
When I cancelled service sometime later it took weeks and multiple emails from me to get anyone to accept that they had erroneously charged for cancellation without notice when in fact notice had been given. They even threatened County Court Summons for non-payment of the spurious invoice.
I found them unhelpful and unpleasant to deal with in the extreme.
I'm very pleased for you that you have had no such difficulties, I hope it continues.
re Peter B;
No doubt a difficult market, but look at all the "top" names - they always come in the bottom sector when it comes to customer satisfaction. I've been with AOL, BT and Virgin and all 3 are diabolical for customer service AND they're expensive!
I can only speak as I find, and having moved house 3 times in 4 years, can only say that DST have always handled things brilliantly.
Not long ago I had an outage, so rang DST who answered the phone promptly, investigated, found a fault and informed me that they needed to contact "engineering" (Openreach?) to get the fault in my local exchange fixed. Later on that day, I got a phone call from DST telling me that the problem had been a failure of a piece of equipment that had now been replaced and my service was back to normal - how many other providors would have rung me back? Their staff genuinely do seem to want to provide a good service.
Hmmmm..........total of 60 reviews, 31 good 29 bad, (don't count the angels and devils, read the words. Lots of the bad reviews have angels for some inexplicable reason!!), so only 50% customer satisfaction. Do you want to buy into that?
I've been with DST for years and always found them quick to answer the phone and swift and efficient at fixing any problems. You never have to wait twenty minutes before being answered by an "idiot-card-reader" in Mumbai! Their confidence is in their rolling monthly contract - no other ISP offers a contract with no tie-in. Their prices are amongst the lowest out there too! What more could you want? They obviously resell other providors packages, but have just upgraded me automatically to another providor because they have installed new equipment in my local LLU exchange. My broadband download speed has now increased by over 20% - brilliant service!
I've been with Direct Save for several years. Initially they were pretty good, but I think they've got complacent recently. They seem to be OK as long as everything is working OK, but if they have server problems, watch out, you could have a long wait.
They've had several server problems over the years, and you could count their recovery times in days not hours, but this latest one takes the biscuit, and has convinced me that I need to ditch Direct Save and find another ISP.
This latest problem started 4 days ago when I lost my emails, could'nt send or receive. I phoned them and they said that their mail server was down and they were working on it. To cut a long story short, it's 4 days later and I still can't send or receive emails. I phoned them this morning and their Internet faults desk told me the email server had been fixed and I should have my emails back. It's not fixed, I told them. The faults desk then passed me over to customer services !!!!! The customer services girl told me that the email server was fixed. It's not fixed I told her. She asked me to hang on and she'd check with Internet Faults !!!!! Over 2 minutes later she came back to me and said no, sorry it's not fixed and she didn't know when it would be, is there anything else she could do for me. I resisted the temptation to answer that last question the way I would have liked to answer it.
So It's bye bye Direct Save telecom, you've lost the plot, and you deserve to lose all your customers too...I definitley would not recommend this ISP to anyone.
I could be filling this page for a long time...!!! to cut the history short, AVOID THEM!!, Too typically whilst your direct debit keeps rolling out to them "no problemo", but... when you need help with any problem.( & believe you me, you will.) That is something else!!
Unless you are prepared to wait and do as you been told, that is...
I strongly advise everyone to avoid signing up with this company.
I was with them from 2007 to August 2011 and whilst intitally I was pleased with the service and the customer service support they are definitely not to be recommended now. I don't know what went wrong but they need to look back at how they dealt with customers a few years ago and change back.
The same happened to me jonathan, but completely not in DST hands, my previous provider gave me many problems with my MAC code which you can appreciate, and if you was with virgin or talk talk then it could be delayed because of the transfer to a bt line, and in the few occasions when i have to call DST they promptly answer in the u.k and have no worries, obviously if you call out of hours team they might not be able handle the problem
I was promised that the "service" would be connected on 20th May 2011. On 27th May 2011 I returned home (I was away for a week) and the line rental was with DST, but the broadband was not working. It seems they botched up and it has been delayed till 2nd June.
Their customer "services" were useless. Calls that they promised to return weren't returned.
Avoid at all cost!
I have been with DST since 2007 and have been very happy with the service provided and their value for money. Broadband speed is usually about 6-8mb although it slows at peak times like all providers. When you phone them they answer!
n1 Jamie, well done for being fair!
As you can see from my 2nd March post, I've now been on the uncapped service for a month and no probs. The monthly bill is always under £30 (there's often a fivers worth of 0871 numbers we have to pay for!) so brilliant VFM!
After speaking with DST there are a couple of things i misunderstood, and i now do not blame them for.
Yes i was charged for 0845 numbers, but my particular package did not include them.
I will Still consider them for their home phone service as getting connected is fast, and geographical numbers are at a reasonable rate.
Called them today and i was even offered a free connection if i sign up for 18 months when i move back to the UK, which is looking ever more likely right now, i will definitely be taking them up on this.
DST is an outstanding company. completely U.K based and an amazing service to go along their low prices, im recieving 8mgb speed on my broadband and was only recieving 2mgb from my previous company. They saved me more than 50% on my bills and upgraded me to free evening and weekends to free calls 24/7 i know they charge £50 to leave within the first year with broadnband but only because they pay £90 to bt for the line :@ so stop with those complaints, they still make a loss, i spoke to customer services and the person who answers (first time) isnt only based in england but sorts the problem themselves withoutpassing me around the world. just wanna say thanks to DST for an amzing deal and service, i would recommend to everyone and anyone to try them out you WONT be disappointed.
Re Ian Boothby's response
"6) DST do not charge for calls to 0845 or 0870 numbers, not since 2009 at least!"
I agree that's what their website says, since 2009?
I have just received what i assume is my final bill, checked the call charges, and i have indeed been charged for calling an 0845 number.
I joined in 2010, i will be calling them on Monday because if this is an error, DST may end up owing me money.
Re Jamie Rox' comments
Good post, lots of details. I'd like to make a few comments please;-
1) The £50 they charge you to leave is because Openreach charge DST to connect a new setup (in fact I'm told Openreach charge nearly £90, so DST still lose @ £40 if you cancel within 12 months. But I agree - it SHOULD be more transparent and not in the small print.
2) Anyone can download a program that measures and records your broadband usage - you don't need to get this from your providor. (www.thinkbroadband.co.uk have a good one).
3) DST sell broadband not just from Opal, my service was via Eclipse - one of the top rated providors in the UK.
4) I, like you, exceeded my 45gb limit one month, but they moved me from Eclipse to a totally uncapped service, explaining that Eclipse had moved their goalposts because they were supposed to be not monitoring usage between midnight and 6p.m.
5) Line speeds are always subject to the quality of the copper line, distance from exchange and how many people are logged into it (and what they're doing too)
6) DST do not charge for calls to 0845 or 0870 numbers, not since 2009 at least!
7) Mine streams TV great and is never a problem Skyping Oz!
I'm really pleased with them.
To be frank, if you want speed and no caps this is NOT the company you want to go with.
They resell broadband from Opal Telecom (a talk-talk company) - So they’re basically reselling talk-talk.
The 28 day rolling contract is smoke and mirrors, as you get charged £50 if you want to leave within 12 months, I unfortunately found this out well after my first month and was given the excuse that because I got a small discount on my line “install” £20 or something in some promo at the time (for someone to flick a switch) im tied for a year.
You cant change to another ADSL broadband provider as the phone lines are provided with DST/Opal numbers and not recognised by the BT line checker used by other ISP’s, I found this out when i wanted to move to BE as DST charged me for going over my broadband allowance..
Was told by both BE,o2 & ukonline I would need to get the line cancelled and pay BT to install one of theirs before I could continue.
DST advertise their speeds are up to 24mb, tech support tell me i cant get more than 8 meg because of exchange distance, the router negotiates at 9 on occasion, speedtest reports 4 - 5mbit, spoke to BE who after doing a search on their end confirmed, like my next door neighbour, i could get around 17 meg.
Guys from BE told me its more than likely DST are not using adsl2+ max and are just using standard adsl similar to something called BT IPstream which isnt really used in my part of london anymore, im guessing they rent these lines cheaper (reselling the old crap basically).
Been with them for 10 months, they are charging me £50 for leaving 2 months early but im moving abroad for work otherwise i would stick it out .
Weird telephone numbers given to London customers instead of 0207 or 0208 i got 0200 00 - puts people off picking up the phone as they thinks its a service or VOIP number used by marketing companies.
They advertise they are cheaper on phone calls and their broadband
I am paying £12 a month line rental
I am also paying over £26 a month for 8 meg broadband with a crap 100gb cap.
Phone calls to mobiles and landlines averaged £15, would have been cheaper to call them from my mobile.
They charge £1.06 for a black and white paper bill, which has a very Amateur layout and explains the broadband service as "other", the bill looks so Amateur in fact my new bank thought I had printed it out myself when I tried to use it as a utility bill to open an account along with my passport.
My over usage letter did arrive on proper headed paper (in colour) ironically.
Last couple of bills came in at over £55 which is do think is expensive, more for the broadband than the actual calls.
I don’t own a TV set and stream most of the programs I want to watch with the likes of iPlayer, I also do lots of video editing and download large ISO files mainly, but not limited to, the early hours.
When I originally joined they said it would be unlimited off peak, was then told after my first warning letter unlimited meant 40gb.
After I complained when they called me about this, they changed the wording on their terms and told me that this phone call was to inform me i would be charged if it happened again.
So I upped it to the 100gb package, not wanting to incur futher charges, guess what?...Still incurred a charge again.
If I was with BE, it would have be truly unlimited, my line rental and my broadband would also be cheaper and i would have the option of a 3 month contract for both my phone and my broadband - for me this would have worked out cheaper as i could have a connection good enough for VOIP.
Good company if you only use your Internet for checking email and browsing.
Set up was relatively quick.
Would recommend to an elderly person as technical support is UK based and polite .
Very Slow Internet, especially in peak times
Not good for streaming at most times, youtube, iplayer, megavideo etc
Not good for using skype with or without video
If you are sharing this connection with other people who download and use p2p, watch out – they will not hesitate charging you for going over your limit and their poor website has no means for you to log in and check these kinds of things.
Slower than the big name ISP’s, as applications become more hungry for bandwidth in the near future, this is not an ISP you want to be with.
Expensive for 0845, 0870 or calls to mobiles.
Silly looking phone numbers 0200 00 etc
Cannot move to another ISP if you have one of their phone lines. – This is not explained anywhere.
Paper bill is chargeable for and is black & white bill that cannot be used as a proof of utility bill.
Did actually ask for broadband and phone to be terminated on the 28th of feb, after speaking to one of their managers about the £50 termination he informed me I would get a call from disconnections asking me if I wanted to proceed on the day, instead got cut off at 4am on the 28th, no call, no email, nothing.
Their loss, I was going to take an extra 2 weeks.
Dear Miss E Taylor
A thousand apologies for mistaking your gender, it's just that, from behind and wearing the trousers and cheesecutter, you looked like a bloke! (D'oh again)
Re BT (Bleedin' Terrible)
I sincerely wish you good luck now that you ARE tied into a long contract (ask yourself - WHY do they NEED to do that??)
The "well trained British person" you spoke to when setting up your long contract was no doubt from BT UK Sales, but you will find that when you need to speak to broadband support (and after pressing multiple choice buttons for five minutes and waiting another ten for someone to answer and immediately put the phone down on you) it will be in India where they have the mother of all call centres.
You have also misled readers by inferring that DST charged you £155 EVERY month - I'm sure they did not.
£11-95 for the line rental
£4-50 for anytime calls
£9-95 for (20gb pcm) broadband
It just CANNOT be beaten on a one month rolling contract!