Is Post Office broadband any good?
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
- Cheap line rental
- Unlimited data on Broadband Premium
- Short contracts
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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