Is Post Office broadband any good?
If there’s one institution that we all believe we can rely on, it’s the Post Office. A constant of (nearly) every high street, that characteristic red, egg-shaped sign has been the bastion of local services, stamps, mint humbugs and a quick gossip for years.
However, the modern Post Office has evolved beyond that cosy image, and is now mixing it up with the big boys for everything from car insurance and banking to broadband provision.
So does the Post Office broadband provision get our stamp of approval, or has it got lost in the post? Our guide gives you the inside story, while our handy comparison checker tool lets you compare prices of the different broadband options in your area.
Post Office broadband
One of the big selling points for the Post Office is its brand identity. Just about every single person in the UK has used the Post Office at some point in their lives, even if it’s just to stick a letter in a post box.
So brand awareness is exceptionally high, as is public trust in that brand. But if you dig a little deeper you’ll find out that it’s not the Post Office per se that is providing your broadband – it’s actually TalkTalk. While that may be another household name, it helps to know exactly who is providing a service so that you can do a fair and equal comparison with other ISPs.
The Post Office broadband provision comes with some nice additional extras such as inclusive weekend calls to landlines, but again, so do other providers such as Sky. But there are some unique provisions too that will attract those with family and friends overseas.
But as many other so-called ‘established’ organisations have found to their cost, you cannot rely on past glories alone to support your reputation in what is a rapidly changing market filled with very demanding and savvy customers.
Pros and cons
The Post Office does have its flaws, but is its broadband good enough to compete? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.
- Well-trusted high street brand that’s easily accessible
- Inclusive weekend calls to UK mobiles and to landlines in the UK and 40 international destinations
- Inclusive security software
- No wireless router with the basic package
- Poor customer support
- Not the cheapest deal available
Use our handy package comparison tool to compare the latest Post Office broadband prices and features.
Brand trust and accessibility
The thing that sets the Post Office’s service apart from almost every other provider is that brand awareness amongst consumers – the Post Office is trusted and easily accessed by everyone.
However, you shouldn’t go into a broadband deal with the Post Office thinking that if you do have a problem then you can just pop down to the local high street or tell your Postie about it and they’ll sort it out for you. Like any other provider, you need to go through their customer service department if you have any queries. Fortunately, there’s 24-hour technical support available.
Deals, deals and more deals…
The Post Office loves offering deals, especially if you bundle your broadband and phone packages together. Savvy consumers can get inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, mobiles and 0845/0870 numbers.
But the real headline grabber is the fact that choose the Post Office for your broadband and phone package and they’ll give you the same deal to 40 international destinations – an offer that’s unique amongst budget deals and a big plus for anyone with friends and family overseas. Download numbers are average – 5GB/month which is fine for most applications, unless you’re a heavy user or seriously into downloading films.
You also get inclusive calls of up to 60 minutes to other Post Office home phone customers, and 10% off the price of calls to your favourite 10 numbers. Their basic broadband deal also gives you up to five email addresses and up to 50MB of webspace; a worthwhile extra if you’re building your own website.
Safe and secure
The Post Office has always had a reputation for being a secure way to send a message, and their broadband is no exception to that. Even the basic package will give you a very good level of security that includes anti-spam and anti-virus protection.
Upgrade to the Extra package and as well as unlimited downloads, you’ll also get parental control security software – great if you want to keep an eye on what the kids are accessing online.
No wireless router with the basic package
A small quibble, perhaps, but with almost every other provider offering this for free, it seems odd that the router you get with the basic package is a real entry-level one and not a wireless router. Most homes now use multiple devices to access the internet (everything from a PC or laptop to a tablet) so a wireless system is the minimum you would expect.
Reports of poor customer support
While they may offer 24-hour technical support (as, to be honest, does almost every other major provider), anecdotal evidence is that their customer support leaves an awful lot to be desired. Whilst this may be just reports of a few negative personal experiences, there does seem to be a lot of these reports, and you have to ask some questions when such a strong pattern starts to emerge.
Not the cheapest deal available
A quick check on our comparison checker tool will show that the Post Office broadband package isn’t the cheapest available, and that compared to some of the other large brands, the Post Office is quite a costly choice. Granted, those who take up the phone and broadband package deal do get a clutch of good freebies thrown in too - but if you’re just looking for a broadband supplier there are cheaper options out there.
The bottom line
If you’re a firm believer in the adage ‘better the devil you know’ then the Post Office is probably amongst the best-known ‘devils’ on the block. A high awareness amongst consumers and a strong brand identity gives it an air of respectability and dependability.
Its service is reported to be average to good, with a relatively good network ‘up’ time percentage. But then, it is piggybacking off an already-established broadband provider (namely BT), so you would expect it to be reliable.
There are some issues regarding the quality of their customer service and the cost, but if you’re a savvy consumer you use our comparison tool to find out about the price of deals in your area.
Remember that the bottom-line cost isn’t the only consideration, and the Post Office broadband deal does have a lot in its favour that could really make a big difference to your monthly communications budget if you have friends and family abroad, for example. Overall, the Post Office represents a fairly middle-of-the-road service price-wise.
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