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Post Office broadband review

By Emma Woollacott
Friday, February 1st 2019
3/5

Hear the words 'Post Office', and you probably think of stamps, bills and post rather than high-speed communications. In recent years it has brought in two fibre packages and now competes with other mainstream providers. So why choose Post Office broadband?

Overview

Average download speed 11Mbps, 36Mbps, 63Mbps
Average upload speed 9.5Mbps & 19Mbps
Broadband ADSL & fibre
Home Phone Yes
Prices from £15.90 per month

Broadband speeds

The Post Office's basic Unlimited Broadband package offers average download speeds of 11Mbps. This should be fine for – small households who are not constantly online. A film would take around seven minutes to download, while 200 photos would need one minute 40 seconds at that speed.

If you're regularly downloading large files, streaming movies or gaming, then you'll want a bit more speed. Especially if there are several devices on the go at the same time. The Post Office's Unlimited Fibre Broadband package offers average speeds of 35Mbps. This would halve the length of time it takes to download a movie or photos.

With the top of the range Unlimited Fibre Broadband Plus package, you get an average of 63Mbps. With this speed, you'll be able to download a movie in just 90 seconds or a couple of hundred photos in 21 seconds.

With all Post Office broadband services, you can choose from a contract length of 12, 18 or 24 months.

Remember the speeds advertised are an average – legally broadband providers can only advertise the average speed obtainable by at least 50% of their customers. So in theory you have a good chance of getting these speeds. You will be given an estimate of the true speed you can expect from the Post Office before you actually sign up.

Your actual speed could vary for the first 10 days or so of service. As with most networks, this happens as tests are run and the system tries to optimise itself.

Upload speeds

For most people, upload speed is rather less important than download. But if you're sending large files on a regular basis then it might matter to you. The Post Office's upload speeds are pretty average at up to 9.5Mbps with the Unlimited Fibre Broadband package and up to 19Mbps with Unlimited Fibre Broadband Plus. This means sending large files such as photos or video shouldn't be a problem.

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Deals and offers

The Post Office offers huge discounts on its basic broadband package, often making it one of the cheapest broadband deals available in the UK. You’re unlikely to get any free tech or cashback thrown in with any of its deals. You can see a few of the Post Office’s latest deals below.

Router and installation

Router

The basic router that comes with the Unlimited Broadband package comes with a built-in firewall to protect your home network. It supports both wireless and wired connections, as you would expect.

post office router

With the other packages you'll get the Post Office’s Fibre Wifi router, with a signal that's three times faster. The Post Office promises that both routers are easy to set up – just press a button and off you go.

Installation

When you sign up, you'll be sent a router, a welcome pack, your broadband account details and a date for your broadband to go live. If you're switching from another provider, this has to be a minimum of ten days thanks to Ofcom, which wants to make sure customers have a chance to change their minds.

On the changeover date, says the Post Office, simply plug in the router and follow the instructions in the quick-start guide. But be warned: according to Ofcom, the Post Office often drags its heels a little more than it should. As many as 48% of installations in rural areas take more than two weeks.

Customer service

The Post Office has a rocky past when it comes to customer service. When it first moved to the TalkTalk network, it switched its customer service to Capita – and things didn't go well. In October 2015, after Capita failed to meet a number of service level agreements, the Post Office terminated the contract. It moved to a company called HGS, which operates customer and technical support call centres from Scotland.

During 2016, according to Ofcom, the Post Office had 89 complaints per 100,000 subscribers, making it the most-complained about broadband service, along with Plusnet. For comparison, the best performer, Virgin Media, had a score of just 36 complaints per 100,000 subscribers.

When customers contact the Post Office about their broadband, they have an average minute and a half wait – better than the three-minute average. Nearly one in ten hang up before they've managed to speak to anyone, again close to the industry average.

Our final verdict

The good

  • Cheap deals
  • Decent speeds
  • Simple set-up

The bad

  • Poor customer service reputation
  • No frills offer
  • No TV bundles

The Post Office's broadband deals are pretty low cost. In fact its basic package is often among the cheapest on the market. The 35Mbps and 63Mbps packages are also reasonably priced. But, unlike some providers, the Post Office does charge an upfront set-up cost.

And it has to be said that the Post Office's services aren't particularly good. Partly because it uses the TalkTalk network, which isn't really the best.

Customers clearly aren't that happy with the service overall. All in all, unless you find a super-cheap offer, we reckon you could probably do better for your money elsewhere.

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