For ISP owners

August 29th, 2012

I’ve been getting a lot of ISP owners contacting me lately. Their opening complaint is always the same: we’ve checked our records and we don’t have a “John Doe” on our accounts. So I’m writing this blog post to save me writing the same email over and over.

I always have to explain that there are many instances where people who do NOT pay the bill can leave a legitimate review.  Spouses, partners, children, and tenants of the bill payer are some obvious examples. Given that there are many more people who use a service than actually pay the bill, it’s statistically much more likely that the reviewer will NOT be the account holder.

Some other points

  • Asking me to checking the IP address of the reviewer is not relevant either. They may be writing the review at work, college or from the new ISP they have switched to because they were so unhappy with yours.
  • Please don’t ask me for their contact details people have submitted to the site.  That’s never going to happen.
  • I have my own methods for checking fake reviews and in my experience, glowing reviews with 5 stars are the ones that are much more likely to be fake than the bad ones (despite some of the more paranoid claims that some ISPS have about their competitors).

So what will I do if you think a review is fake, taking all of the above into account?

  • In some circumstances, I will contact the reviewer and ask if they would like to confirm they are a customer and back up their review. If the email address bounces, or they don’t reply, I may remove the reviewer. But saying their name isn’t on the records is not a good enough reason.
  • I also sometimes remove reviews that really bring down the tone of the site or are quite slanderous, or in one case racist.

Future plans?

  • I want to add a forum which would give ISP owners a better forum to state their cases against some bad reviews.
  • I also want to add a reply to comment feature at some stage.

Unfortunately I find it very hard to find the time to do more development on the site.

What can you do?

  • If you are getting a lot of bad reviews and not many good ones, can I recommend that you engage with your happy customers and tell them about the site. Get onto your Facebook, Twitter etc and tell them about ratemyisp
  • Some ISPS have even had competitions encouraging people to leave a review to enter a draw. If you are doing this PLEASE stipulate that the review does not have to be a good review to enter the draw. I may have to dismiss reviews that are 5 stars just because people are trying to win a competition.

Ending on a good note

Thank you to the ISP owners who have been in touch to let me know that ratemyisp has completely grown their business. I’m delighted to hear that.

Dear Carol/Antone/Igor etc

February 20th, 2010

For some reason the people who try leave multiple reviews under different guises always have terrible grammar and worse punctuation. It’s a much bigger giveaway than their ip address. Seems Vodafone just can’t get the staff these days.

carol lawlor
95.45.252.58
“its fine cant give out about it”

antone eright
95.45.252.58
“all good for what i pay”

damian doddy
95.45.252.58
“i,am from cork .i got 24mb just came out iam like a pig in s### .”

brenda
95.45.252.58
“on 3mb offpeak 35 pm happy out and my bills are staying at that prices .the rep that call to my door said 35 i said no way. i was paying 52 with eircom”

michael
95.45.252.58
“not bad at all”

igor
95.45.252.58
“value for money its good speed is ok not as good as back home but fine for ireland”

mary leen
95.45.252.58
“the best speed i ever got and i,am saving alot of money”

tom
95.45.252.58
“i fine vodafone very gud have 7mb geting 5.5 day time nite time 6.4 .gaming very good .get that for 42 eicom 67 my 4 mothers have it too all fine it very good”

ricky
95.45.252.58
“35 eur for 3mb very good 2.6 .iwas with eircom lift them 10 weeks ago because singapore telcom took them over customer service in inda”

ricky
95.45.252.58
“eircom a joke speed is gone down since singapore telcom took over eircom .vvvvvvery bad .customerservice inda joke. with vodafone now 35 eur pm.3mb cant go wrong”

Not a very Smart cap

January 24th, 2010

There’s a lot of very unhappy Smart  Telecom customers giving out about a new cap that apparently isn’t very transparent and is actually being touted as unlimited. Recent ratings here have made them drop from a close second to 3rd place over the last few days.

unlimited_uploads_downloads

sifromLucan says

“I am with Smart for the last few years and I had nothing but good things to say about them. I would have given 5 stars for all areas, that is until this week. Digiweb have taken over and already broken the Unlimited download agreement I signed up for. The shut off everyones broadband because of high usage and have now upset all their customers. They now have a cap of 170GB a month which is not value compared to someone like UPC 270GB a month and for less money and faster speeds.

Well I will be canceling my service as soon as UPC install my new broadband and I know of loads of people doing the same. Its a shame since they were the best broadband in Ireland and their customers knew and raved about them so much. As for digiweb, pfff, I wouldn’t touch them if they offered free broadband. Eircom resellers tend to be totally crap and they are the worst of a bad bunch.”

There is much discussion over at the Smarttelecom forums, and a small campaign to leave ratings on ratemyisp but one member on this thread thinks “Not really a good method to complain its just rankings and can be easilly manipulated.” But that’s not true and may even be missing the point of this site. A campaign to get people to leave bad ratings is not manipulating anything, I have deleted and blocked reviewers pretending to be several different people before, but I’ve only seen authentic ratings from unhappy smart customers in the last few days. And that’s exactly what this site is for, as well as good reviews from happy customers.

Smart has recently been taken over by Digiweb. Just as Vodafone has recently taken over BT. I can’t merge ratings, so I guess I’ll just have to see if Smart continues to trade under that name. But I suppose I’ll eventually delete BT which is oddly enough in 2nd place at the moment.

Eircombay

September 20th, 2009

http://www.eircombay.com/ provides a workaround for Eircom’s ban on pirate bay.

Our internet providers shouldn’t decide what we can and can’t access. Yet, Eircom agreed—without legal contest—to block access to thepiratebay.org at the request of the music industry. Luckily, their methods of blocking access are juvenile.

Latest ratings published at last!

August 3rd, 2009

Eek! I thought things had gotten quiet around here but it turned out I had my “Notify me when a comment is held for moderation” turned off. So I didn’t realise there were quite a few reviews/ratings being held for moderation for a couple of weeks. Sorry! All published now.

*****

The order of the top 3 is still the same though:

  1. Smart Telecom
  2. Magnet
  3. BT

There’s still definitely more people wading in to leave comments about bad service they’ve received. Great – but don’t forget to give praise where it’s due too. If you’ve left a bad review, don’t forget to come back and leave a good one when you find a better service. They matter too.

*****

There’s a good post over on the Save a few bob blog about weighing up your options for Broadband.

*****

Alan left a useful comment on the previous blog post. To summarise, a broadband site comparing results from http://www.irishisptest.com/ would be much more technically accurate, but I think think factors like customer service are very impoortant too.

There was a broadband speed surve done in the UK recently, the largest of it’s kind see:Broadband rates ‘not up to speed’.

Smart Telecom V Magnet

June 16th, 2009

I set this site up for two reasons. One – it seemed really obvious that it would be useful – I was surprised it hadn’t been done before. But I also decided I was going to choose my next ISP based on reviews here. I waited for 100 reviews and then chose who was top of the list, which was Magnet. They’ve just recently been overtaken in the number one spot by Smart Telecom, when a review for Magnet didn’t quite have 5 stars all round.

To be honest, when (top technology blogger!) Justin mason left a glowing review of Magnet, that was the real clincher. I still haven’t left a review of Magnet. Service has been really really good, and no comparison to Eircom (surprise surprise) but it hasn’t been perfect. There have been a few dropouts and for some reason lots of trouble connecting on Mac some days but I’ll wait a bit longer before giving full review. Let’s see how long Smart can hold the top spot.