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cog (4665)

Journal of cog (4665)

Thursday September 22, 2005
04:37 AM

Why Portuguese ISP's suck and I'm tired of them

[ #26830 ]

In this post, I will mention the names of the companies involved.

So lately I've been having a couple of experiences with some Portuguese ISP's.

First, let me introduce you to those ISP's:

* Sapo

* Clix

* Oni

The first one belongs to Portugal Telecom (PT), which means they own the lines. You need a phone line to use their service. Having a phone line costs ~15 euros (+ calls). Their service costs ~35 euros. Total: ~50 euros/month.

The second has to use PT's lines too, so you're required to have a phone line too, but you're only required to pay ~20 euros and they cover the line cost for you (don't ask me how much they gain from all this, but that's the way it goes). Total: ~20 euros/month.

The third one works in a very similar to the second one. Note that they're also the ones I complained about, a while ago, regarding spyware. Total: ~20 euros/month.

Both Clix and Oni have a major disadvantage: by using the lines from PT, you are required to first have a contract with PT, and only then will they get in touch with PT and change the line ownership to them. This process usually takes a while... over four months, but YMMV. Word on the street is that PT deliberately delays this step to disencourage people from using the non-PT services. I wouldn't know about that, but... yes, it makes sense.

First experience:

We need internet access in Lisbon. We tried contacting Clix. After a dozen tries or so, we gave up. They wouldn't even pick up the phone (since the service is so cheap, they're getting more phone calls than they can handle). We tried with Oni. We got us a PT phone line, filled all the paperwork, got a lot of headaches, and finally gave up. We'll probably use a completely different service, but more on that later on. Meanwhile, despite the fact of Oni claiming the line's ownership has already been passed to them, we're still receiving bills from PT.

Second experience:

I've had the service from Sapo for about 20 months now, in Viana. It's not that it doesn't work well, it's just that it's expensive, so I've been thinking of switching to a different provider for some time now. While I was giving thought to this, I got a phone call from Clix, asking me whether I'd like to have their service. Since I was having a bad experience with Oni and not many alternatives were left, I said yes. And then I waited for a month or two. And now I've got a letter from them stating that they can't provide me access afterall because their service doesn't cover my area... WTF? I mean... they're the ones who called me, convinced me to sign a contract, made me wait, had both me and my father through a bunch of complications because the guy who was supposed to take the new contract for us to sign would never show up when he had agreed with us, made us wait again, and now this?

As you can imagine, I'm really pissed off with all these three ISP's.

But wait, that's not all.

Another alternative is NetCabo (Cable TV). The thing is: it's not very reliable, according to a bunch of people who used to have it. OTOH, you get cable... but I don't watch TV anyway... Total: ~25 euros/month.

So this is probably what we'll go with in Lisbon.

But I can't do the samething in Viana. Why? Because the cables don't go all the way up the country. At some point, the cable stops and there's some kind of "air connection" for some miles, I guess, and then there are cables back again. This means that communication can only be done in one way, so there's no internet access through NetCabo up the north of the country.

There are some other minor alternatives, like Interacesso, but these also use the PT lines and are even *more* expensive than Sapo.

So that's it...

Conclusions:

Lisbon: We're taking care of canceling the contract with Oni and making sure we have no pending issues with PT, and then we'll probably switch to NetCabo, just because.

Viana: I really don't know what I'll do...

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  • And people started contacting me...

    I will not point out my informers O:-)

    Fact #1: I already knew it, but I might not have explained it correctly. When you have one of those ~20 euros contracts with Clix/Oni, you have no contract with PT. Clix/Oni buy the lines from PT, apparently.

    Fact #2: Regarding the rumours that PT deliberately delays the process, somebody just told me the real delay with one of those two other ISP's is really due to their internal chaos. And I have to say I really trust this source O:-)
  • Not pushing you to move but I'm sure everywhere else in the civilized world (I do mean OUR side of the atlantic), there are tons and tons of cheap providers.. Their service all sucks to some extent but you get what you pay for!