Hi, I am considering moving from Virgin as their broadband/wifi around my home is awful and I pay a fortune for it. In trying to switch to another provider I was told I needed to have an Openreach line installed. I contacted Openreach and they told me they cannot ascertain what services they could provide UNLESS I have a new line from one of their affiliated providers (Vodafone, Sky, Plusnet etc). This is just to tell me if they could connect me to Fibre.
They say I have to do this first as they cannot access any information regarding my Virgin line. Has anyone else come across this? It seems ridiculous.
As a consumer, the "provisioning" of an Openreach connection is almost always arranged by your ISP, so whilst I think that the term "affiliated providers" is incorrect, the basic gist of what you were told is correct. When you've got an Openreach line that is connected, then (after any minimum term contract with the ISP) you're free to chop and change as you see fit.
If you're changing ISP I'd encourage you to seriously consider the smaller ISPs who offer better customer service and communication than the big ones (so names like AAISP, Zen Internet, uno, Aquiss, Cix, IDnet). They don't offer the massively discounted introductory deals of the big ISPs, but then they don't double your bill at the end of the fixed term. And it's much easier to speak to helpful, UK based humans than with the big companies. And in some cases (eg Zen) you can phone their provisioning team directly, and get a sensible answer on connection matters.
Before signing up with any ISP, check out customer feedback on Trustpilot and ISPReview - just because a company's marketing promises the earth, that doesn't mean a thing, and if you do have any need to speak to somebody, far better to choose an ISP that manages to provide decent customer service.
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