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Is Post Office broadband any good?

Wednesday, March 12th 2014

The Post Office isn’t just for your stamps and letters; these days you can get broadband deals too. Everyone knows the Post Office; that's an established reputation few competitors can match.

But just because we all know the Post Office, that doesn’t automatically make it a good choice for your broadband. So, is it a good broadband provider or not? We take break down for you the pros and cons of snapping up a Post Office broadband deal.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Cheap line rental
  • Unlimited data on Broadband Premium
  • Short contracts

Cons

  • Fair use policy
  • No stated speeds
  • Customer service issues

What we like

Cheap line rental

Line rental is a necessary evil of fixed-line broadband: if you’re taking an ADSL or fibre optic service from a telecoms provider, you nearly always have to pay to rent your line.

You still have to pay line rental with the Post Office, but you’ll pay a lot less per month than with some competing broadband providers. Line rental fees are set at £13 per month, which is quite a bit below the industry average.

You can make it even cheaper if you take advantage of the Post Office’s line rental saver scheme. The line rental saver requires an up-front payment of a year’s line rental which equates to an even smaller £10 per month overall.

Unlimited downloads on Broadband Premium

There are two broadband options available with the Post Office: Broadband Essential and Broadband Premium.

Broadband Essential is the cheaper option, and subject to a usage cap. Broadband Premium is free of any such caps however, and boasts an unlimited download service to give you the freedom to download large files and stream movies without worrying about an allowance.

Short contracts

When you take broadband from the Post Office you’ll only have to sign up to a 12-month contract. For a fixed-line broadband provider, this is a relatively short term, and beats bigger providers like BT and Plusnet who require longer commitments.

As with all broadband contracts from telecom providers, early cancellation of a contract by the client will result in early termination fees. These are usually calculated by the number of months you have left on the contract, and can generate bills running into the hundreds in some circumstances. As ever, be sure you can commit to a contract before you sign, no matter how short the minimum term.

What we don’t like

Fair use policy

Despite the suggested unlimited nature of Broadband Premium, you’ll find that all of the Post Office’s broadband services are controlled by a strict fair usage policy.

On Broadband Premium, if your usage exceeds 100GB in a month you’ll find both your download and upload speeds considerably slowed. On Broadband Essentials, your connection will be tempered after 10GB, and you’ll be charged 75p for every gigabyte received in excess of this amount.

No stated download or upload speeds

Broadband providers usually tell you the maximum upload and download speeds you’ll get with their broadband services before you sign up. Not so with the Post Office. The provider doesn’t reveal its broadband speeds at all, only going as far as to vaguely claim that you’ll receive “speeds as fast as your phone line can support”.

This could be 8Mbps, or it could be 1Mbps. There’s no way to be sure, and no guarantee of receiving a particular speed either. Through data gathered by our independent speed test, we’ve found that average download speeds customers are receiving with the Post Office run to around 3.6Mbps, with the average upload speed at a shockingly slow 460.1Kbps. Not great.

Customer service issues

In the September of 2013, many Post Office broadband customers became frustrated when they could no longer access their Post Office email accounts. This was in part due to a change of network provider (the company was moving to TalkTalk’s network), and left many without access to their important emails for over a week.

When customers called to complain, very few were able to get through to a customer service representative, and customers found themselves sitting on hold for hours on end, unable to get through.

Package comparison

  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed8Mb
    Max Upload Speed0.2Mb
    Monthly Usage10GB
    Fair UsageYes
    Traffic ShapingNo
    IP AddressingDynamic
    Digital TV
    TV Channels-
    SD Channels-
    HD Channels-
    3D Channels-
    Radio Channels-
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls8.5ppm
    Evening Calls1ppm
    Weekend CallsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly Cost
    -
    £7
    Upfront CostFree
    Contract Length12 months
    Line Rental p/m£13
    Average Monthly£15.83
    First Year Cost£190
    Lifetime Cost£190
    See deal →
    or call 0800 840 5395
  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed8Mb
    Max Upload Speed0.2Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Fair UsageYes
    Traffic ShapingNo
    IP AddressingDynamic
    Digital TV
    TV Channels-
    SD Channels-
    HD Channels-
    3D Channels-
    Radio Channels-
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls8.5ppm
    Evening Calls1ppm
    Weekend CallsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly Cost
    -
    £10
    Upfront CostFree
    Contract Length12 months
    Line Rental p/m£13
    Average Monthly£18.83
    First Year Cost£226
    Lifetime Cost£226
    See deal →
    or call 0800 840 5395

Postcode checker

Now that you know whether or not the Post Office is the broadband provider for you, you’ll want to check to see if you can get broadband where you are. Pop your postcode into the checker below to find out.

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Conclusion

The Post Office doesn’t offer the best broadband service, and its coy avoidance of giving a definitive broadband speed seems suspect. Despite this, its line rental is one of the cheapest on the market, and its familiar reputation may be of comfort to some.

Visit Post Office →

Comments (105)

Nick
2 days ago

Shireen, At my previous address I was once cut off from internet. When I queried and complained, it seemed someone had taken it into his head to do this even though there was no dispute or late payment. I believe I eventually received £20. The problem with the PO is that they contract out everything, particularly to a call centre run by a company called Capita whose performance is totally appalling. Nor is it any good complaining to Capita, as they don't care, they would not, as they are not part of the Post Office. They refuse to give you details of how to contact the management of the Post Office, although by a very circuitous route, in fact the CEO of BT, I got the details of how to contact PO management and then after months of frustration, in this case over appalling broadband, things started moving.

Shireen
4 days ago

Would not recommend the Post Office Homephone as a provider. Service connection took too long, billing often incorrect, customer service extremely poor, staff give conflicting information and advice. Some staff extremely rude with customers who have valid complaints. Complaints not being handled satisfactorily and within a reasonable time frame. Threatening bailiffs and poor credit rating before looking into and responding to valid disputes over billing. I have felt very bullied by this Company who can cut your services before dealing with your complaints. Very stressful and a nightmare! Regret placing an order for a service.

Nick
13 days ago

Dom, thank you, but many companies now have seen through this and there is no alternative to 0871, at least 15p/minute and they keep you waiting to give you a horrendous phone bill.

denyse thompson
13 days ago

account in credit but it seems my lines been disconnected

Dom
19 days ago

Avoid 0844 and 0871 numbers by visiting www.saynoto0870.com,I have used it for years and works a treat.

CLIFF JONES
19 days ago

I have been with the Post Office for several years and apart from a few teething problems in the early stage have received a steady reliable service and with an improved download performance in recent months. I particularly value the free international calls at the weekend which enables me to talk regularly with my sister in Autralia and in recent years with my son in Spain.Also free calls at the weekend to U.K. mobiles is most welcome .I am not sure that other Companies provide a asimilar service.

M.partington
24 days ago

I agree with Reed that the main reason I am staying with the Post Office is that I get paper bills. I have been given another email to get my billing but it still won't work because of my flash player being the wrong type.

reed
27 days ago

Only reason I am with PO is I get paper bills. Otherwise, I wouldn't touch them with a barge-pole.

Nick
30 days ago

Beware the PO recent call hikes on 0844 and 0871 numbers. It is almost impossible to avoid these numbers as most companies have cottoned on to this scam to make money from their customers who merely want to ask them a question. PO now charges 15p/minute for 0871 and the companies themselves tell us these calls are 5p or 10p, so there is misleading advertising here which needs reporting. Add in the fact that that they keep you waiting, pressing various buttons before you get to speak to a human, and this works out very lucrative for telecom providers and the companies that use these numbers. I am taking this up with my MP, It is long overdue that Ofcom woke up and jumped on this scam as these rip off numbers cannot even be included in a call plan. And don't forget the extra 15p for the privilege of being connected!

Al
22nd March 2014

Just moved over to PO, have just sent the change of email addy to all my contacts and now I can't receive incoming mail. the PO help pages don't appear to be working. Wondering if I've made a big mistake here.

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