Three weeks ago our landline telephone stopped working, together with the broadband service. Last week we were told BT issues meant that it may remain unfixed until the middle of January 2021. We have had to chase Zen Customer Services for updates from the very beginning. We’ve been very patient up until now, but two months to restore even a basic level of service seems extraordinary in 2020. We live in a rural area with poor cellphone coverage, and here we are in December having to go out into the garden to make a phone call. Zen seems to have no way to get the repair expedited, and the Customer Services Department seems to have little interest in either keeping us appraised of progress us or suggesting an interim solution. Very shabby all round.
After a awful lot of trouble with BT infinity dropping out every day for 1 to 2 hours coupled with bad customer service I decided to go with a new provider. After searching around for about three weeks I decided to go with Zen Internet. After all I was out of contract with BT. I decided to go and get ultimate fibre 2 with every room included. I placed my order on the 27th of October. I was provided with an activation date for the 10th of November. Four days prior to my activation date my equipment arrived. One times fritz Box 7530+1 times fritz repeater 3000. Due to Covid no engineer would be installing the equipment I had to do that myself. It was very easy to install the night before BT was to be switched off I just plugged everything in place by the next morning my Internet with a Zen wasn’t activated it went seamlessly. At the moment speeds are very good although it is explained that he can take some time to settle down we are happy with the speed we are getting now and that May improve even more overtime. Most of the communication with them has been done via email they are very prompt in sending information which was all easy to follow and understand. I am current getting speeds off Download 115.5Mbps Upload 55Mbps. Which for some people may not be amazing but for us that is amazing considering with BT as speeds were nowhere Near the speed we were paying for. The average speed we received with BT was 17.5Mbps download and 10.0 Mbps upload. This is very bad considering we was paying for 34 meg Internet. Zen Internet for us is the best Internet we can get in our area good customer service good reliability top speeds. There’s nothing more we could ask for.
I 10 months later and I am still awaiting our business ethernet connection from Zen. It is a hopeless experience. They cannot get a grip of my order and deliver the service to save their lives, always blaming Openreach and forgetting that I am their customer who has paid them for a leased line. My business is especially suffering during the lockdown by the lack of connectivity to/from our office.
If you are a business customer, I strongly suggest steering well clear of Zen.
you can not believe the issues we had with this company since we hired them. We can not leave zen because we had 1 year contract but in fact internet never worked properly. they always made quick fix and issue is back few hours or days later. if you leave a review on trustpilot they will report it in order to get it removed , and that is why they got only good reviews so PLEASE BE AWARE they not provided a good service, for us always being a nightmare and also when wanted to leave Zen a manager call us and told us we dont have to pay any fee as we made 15 claims of not working internet in 7 months of contract!!! more than 2 per month!! so they were agreed to not pay a penny but now all is different and they are claiming us 83 £ for ending our contract earlier!!! so we will make formal complaints seeing they said one day one thing and next day a different thing so be aware about that, we are living around Camden and not working on this area!!!!!!!
I came to Zen on the basis of other reviews and they have not let me down. The only problem I've had was with the faceplate on the master socket and this was dealt with efficiently. Despite COVID 19 delay warnings my call was answered within seconds. I have been with Zen for over a year and I would highly recommend them
Went to Zen after another well-known supplier kept raising their prices. We joined something called 'The Big Switch' (which has transitioned into 'Look After My Bills'). As part of that they put out a collective bargaining and offered a great deal with Zen. Had never heard of them at the time, so asked my friends on Facebook and got positive feedback. Not long into the contract the speed dropped and it's been terrible ever since - I often hotspot my phone and use 4G as it's better!
The router looks like something out of the 90s, and although located in the front room reaches the loft room ok, although the back bedrooms can be intermittent.
I filled out a survey about the poor speed and Zen proactively contacted me, to their credit. Since then, however, I just get passed from person to person. If don't respond to their emails within a day I get hounded by the technical staff, yet they take best part of a week to respond to mine. They claim to phone and leave messages, yet this has only happened once - today the same, yet my phone has been beside me and not rung all day! To rectify the 'fault' (which one person tells me is external to my property, another tells me it's on my property) I have to agree to 'potential charges' when I've been paying for over a year for substandard broadband. My advice? Avoid these and go with a larger reputable company that has the 'Oomph' to get things done when they need doing.
ZERO stars would be a more apt rating for this utterly diabolical company who offer diabolical tech support, endlessly send threatening emails if you are late paying your extortionate bill which is for a service totally unfit for purpose, useless tech support, I think these guys read from flow charts, they are a bunch of cowboys and amateurs, they blame your equipment to cover up for their total incompetence, endless price hikes, service got worse by the month, hideously slow speeds, and to top it all I complained and was brutally insulted by email by their top guy who was as vile and obnoxious as the bullying billing staff and arrogant amateur tech guys, I was glad to escape them I had 7 years of help with them and ID net who resell for them are just as bad.
My advice - steer well clear they are diabolical and thanks to them I almost lost my home and business, I lose lots of money and clients because of these cowboys, endless outages bad phone lines, cannot say a good word about them sorry. Bad company, bad staff, bad service and all for a huge extortionate price. I paid £67.50 per month for a useless flakey outage ridden ADSL broadband and two landlines. They still wanted more but I left as they are not worth a carrot let alone hard earned cash.
If there's one thing we recommend above everything else it's that you should never stay on your old broadband deal once your contract has ended.
Now a new study from Zen Broadband has shown that people over 55 are the most likely to do exactly that - and they're leaving themselves open to being hit with massive price hikes.
The survey shows that 83% of over-55s haven't switched broadband providers in the last year, and in some cases have never switched at all. This contrasts to the under-24s who are much happier to shop around for a better deal - over half have moved to a new provider in the last 12 months alone.
Data from industry watchdog Ofcom shows that some 25 thousand people come to the end of their broadband deal every day. Anyone who remains on that same deal will be hit by an immediate price rise of as much as 60% as the introductory price they were offered comes to an end. And that's followed by further annual - and sometimes even mid-year - increases.
If you don't take action when your contract ends you can easily wind up wasting hundreds of pounds a year. It's estimated that as many as nine million of us are paying too much.
Ofcom changed the rules earlier this year to try and address the problem. Your broadband provider now has to contact you when your contract is coming to an end to let you know how much the price is about to go up, and to show you what better deals they've got to offer. The changes came into force in February, so it's still too early to know what impact they've had.
So why aren't people switching? The Zen survey shows that apathy plays a part for around a third of people. But the biggest worry for non-switchers - 43% of the over 55 group - is that they'll end up with a worse service if they move to another provider.
If you share this concern, it's worth remembering that you don't actually have to change ISPs to get a cheaper deal. At the very least you should give your existing provider a call to negotiate a better price. Have a look at what other providers are offering first, so you know the going rate, and you'll find that they'll be more than happy to give you something better in return for you committing yourself to them for another year or two.
You can also check out our customer reviews to get an idea of the kind of service you'll receive from all the main broadband suppliers.
You'll get the best deals if you're willing to change broadband suppliers, and switching is a lot easier than you might think. In most cases (the main exception being if you're moving from or to Virgin Media) your new provider will handle the entire process for you. The survey revealed that nearly half of those asked found the process easier than expected, and a huge 89% believed they had benefited from making the switch.
Are you coming to the end of your contract soon? Why not use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deals available in your area today. In just a few minutes you could easily save yourself £150 or more this year.
For lots of us, the internet is a major source of entertainment, or a tool that enables us to work from home. For millions of older people it's a lifeline, the main way to keep in touch with the family, and interact with the outside world at a time when this is otherwise not possible. A good broadband service is vital.
So whether you're shopping for yourself, or seeking out broadband for an elderly parent, what are the priorities you need to look out for?
Reliability and support
We're all a lot more reliant on online shopping at the moment, especially snagging those all too scarce supermarket delivery slots. For a lot of older people renewing prescriptions, managing state pensions, paying the TV license, and lots of other things are important online activities, too.
For this reason, reliability is perhaps the most important point to consider. You need a broadband service that works whenever you need it, and also one that won't cut you off when you hit a data limit. These limits are fortunately quite scarce now, though if you're shopping at the budget end of the market you might still encounter them.
Customer service is also important. If you do experience any problems you need to be confident that your provider will fix them as quickly as possible.
Our Customer Reviews page contains feedback and ratings from thousands of broadband users. It's an ideal way to find out what kind of service each provider offers, and what problems you might face with them. Right now, Zen Broadband top the list for customer satisfaction, although if you'd be more comfortable with a mainstream brand EE rate well, gaining the lowest level of complaints according to a recent Ofcom study.
Speed might be less important for a lot of older users, but it really depends on what they want to do online.
There's no one-size-fits-all solution. For every older person who is a reluctant technology user, you'll find others who are enthusiastic online shoppers and Facebook posters, alongside those happily working their way through the Netflix catalogue.
There are options for all groups. Anyone who receives pension credit and has minimal internet needs can apply for the BT Basic + Broadband plan. It's cheap, but comes with a very low data allowance so isn't suitable for anything more than the absolute basics.
Beyond that, a basic standard broadband package - which uses a BT phone line - will usually work out the cheapest. It's fine for simple things like email, browsing and shopping, as well as for video calls with the family. It's worth considering if you're in a one computer household. A basic fibre deal, which is faster and allows for a wider range of uses including watching TV, as well as more simultaneous users, typically starts at around £5 a month extra.
Phone calls and TV
The extras you can take with a broadband deal are also important to consider. Most broadband services need a phone line - with line rental included in the price - and many providers give the option to buy a call plan as part of the deal. The plans on offer usually allow a choice of either unlimited calls during evenings and weekends, or unlimited calls anytime.
These can be tempting during a time when staying in touch with family is so important, but don't assume it's a must-have. If you don't take a call plan you'll still be able to make calls. You just pay for them at a rate of a few pence per minute, just like we always used to.
And then there's the price and contract length, and the two often go hand in hand: sign up to a longer deal and you can shave a few pounds off your monthly bill. Anything shorter than 12 months is likely to cost you quite a bit more, while longer than that leaves you at risk of being stuck with a service you're not totally happy with.
Our price comparison guide will help you find the best broadband prices, and identify those deals that are within your budget. Make sure you check the 1st Year Cost column to see how much you'll pay in the initial 12 months - this includes those easy to overlook extras like postage or a setup fee.
Zen Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Zen right for you?
Can I get Zen Broadband?
Zen Broadband runs on the Openreach network, so their superfast fibre plans are available to over 95% of the UK population. If you can get the internet from providers like BT and Sky, then you'll be able to get Zen.
Use our postcode checker to make sure Zen is available where you are. You'll need a working phone line to sign up, and Zen are quite unusual in that they'll allow you to keep your line with a different provider (although this is likely to be more expensive). Should you only have basic internet needs, Zen also still offer a slower and cheaper standard broadband package.
For their ultrafast services, Zen use a combination of full fibre (also known as fibre-to-the-home or fibre-to-the-premises) and G.fast, both of which go up to a top speed of 300Mb on average. G.fast is available in upgraded street cabinets, while full fibre requires an extra installation step as the fibre cables need to run right up to the outside of your house.
Both are only available in select areas, although the latter is the focus of the Government's planned infrastructure investment - and should mean Zen will be able to offer much faster speeds in future.
What packages are available?
Zen Broadband offer one standard broadband plan, two superfast plans and two ultrafast plans. Your options may be limited depending on where you live.
For most users, the main packages to choose from will deliver superfast internet. These are:
Unlimited Fibre 1 - unlimited internet with average download speeds of 35Mb and average upload speeds of 6Mb. Includes a £19.99 set up fee.
Unlimited Fibre 2 - unlimited internet with average download speeds of 66Mb and average upload speeds of 17Mb. Comes with a £19.99 set up fee.
The two ultrafast packages are:
Unlimited Fibre 3 - average download speeds of 145Mb and uploads of 30Mb, with fully unlimited usage. The setup fee is £55. There's a 10-day cooling off period.
Unlimited Fibre 4 - the average speed is 300Mb for downloads and 50Mb for uploads, and includes a £55 set up fee. There's a 10-day cooling off period.
All four of these plans are fully unlimited and come on a 12 month contract. You can choose to take the plans with or without a phone line from Zen. If you choose to go without, you'll still need a phone line from another provider and the combined price is likely to work out more than getting it all from the same company.
You get a free router when you sign up, as well as a free static IP address. If Wi-Fi coverage is a problem in your house you can add the EveryRoom plan for an extra £7.99 a month, which includes a Wi-Fi extender to help make your signal reach further.
If you're happy to go with something more basic you can opt for the standard broadband package instead:
Unlimited Broadband - an average download speed of 10Mb and upload speed of 1Mb.
This plan is fully unlimited and, as with the other deals, you can get it without or without a phone line from Zen. You can get the package on a 12 month deal, with a £19.99 set up fee and a free router, or on a rolling one month contract. This has a £78 set up fee, and you have to supply your own Wi-Fi router.
Which package should I choose?
Zen have a range of broadband packages catering to their users' different needs. Given that all the plans come with the same length contracts and benefits, speed, price and availability will be the main factors in your decision.
The Unlimited Fibre 3 and 4 plans are ideal for more demanding households, with lots of people streaming 4K video, downloading large files, and maybe uploading large files, too. If you work from home, especially, this may be what you're looking for, although the speeds don't reach the lightning fast rates you can get from the likes of Virgin Media or the full fibre providers. Availability is also limited, so use our postcode checker to see what speeds you can get where you live.
Away from that, you've got a choice of which fibre speed you prefer. Larger, busier households (especially with kids) are likely to benefit more from the faster service, while those with only one or two people might be happy with the slower plan.
If you aren't a heavy internet user and only need a basic service, then you might be tempted to consider the slower Unlimited Broadband plan. However, it's hard to recommend over the Unlimited Fibre 1 deal given that the price difference between the two is so low.
Unlimited Broadband does come with the added option of a one month rolling contract if you aren't able to commit for a longer spell. Just make sure you factor in the high set up fee when you're deciding if it will actually save you any money.
On the question of whether to take Zen with or without a phone line, the only issue is whether you've got a phone deal elsewhere that's still mid-contract. If you haven't, you will almost certainly save money by switching your phone line to Zen when you sign up.
Points to consider
Do you need speeds beyond what you can get with a normal fibre deal?
Do live in a Zen ultrafast area?
How many internet users are there in your house, and what do they use it for?
Do you need a short term contract?
What do I get when I sign up?
Zen offer a range of interesting features when you choose one of their broadband packages.
FRITZ!Box 7530 router - a wireless AC-rated router worth £130, and comes as standard with all 12 and 18 month contracts. It includes Guest Access, parental controls, and even telephony features.
Static IP address - all Zen deals include a free static IP address. This won't mean much to most people, but for those who work from home and need to remotely access their computer or host a website it's a welcome extra that you'd normally have to pay for.
Award winning customer service - available over the phone or online between 8am and 6pm on weekdays, and 9am to 5pm on weekends.
Auto compensation - if you have faults that aren't fixed within two days you receive £8 a day in compensation; you'll get £25 if an engineer misses an appointment or cancels less than 24 hours before its scheduled time; and if your service doesn't go live on the agreed date you'll get £5 a day for each day it's late.
The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.
Ultrafast packages available in some areas - you can get speeds up to an average of 300Mb in some postcode areas.