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Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
14-08-2015, 11:25 AM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2015 11:26 AM by essenby.)
Post: #21
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
I was with Origin prior to the DR collapse and, like @Ray_Von, never had any problem with the connection or the service and I actually stayed with them through the fiasco. The reasoning went something like - everyone knows what's coming and there is no way that any ISP, no matter how incompetent they may be, will sail into this without contingency plans. I firmly believe that those plans failed late on and not necessarily at the fault of Origin. Others may have different views and that is their perogative, just as my view is mine.

As I said - I stayed with Origin until reconnected to ADSL, using MiFi and cheap data SIMs from eBay in the interim. Since re-connection I have had no issues at all with either service or connection (apart from it being ADSL rather than fibre) and am seriously considering a new contract when the much vaunted BDUK offering comes around next year (fibre again yay Smile ).

One thing is worth mentioning is that I got a call from them out of the blue earlier this year to ask if I was experiencing any problems with my connection. I was actually on holiday, 2,500 metres up Sulphur Mountain just outside Banff in Canada at the time, so somewhat puzzled as to how I'd received the call I replied that I wasn't and asked why they were calling. They explained that they'd noticed a lack of usage recently and thought it worth following up! Is that good service?

@Ray_Von - have you looked at Superfast South Yorkshire recently. Fibre is a-comin' - Jan-March 2016 Big Grin

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15-08-2015, 03:12 AM
Post: #22
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
Or is it just creepy that they are keeping an eye on your activity? Wink

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15-08-2015, 03:33 PM
Post: #23
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
(15-08-2015 03:12 AM)alexatkin Wrote:  Or is it just creepy that they are keeping an eye on your activity? Wink

Great point! Probably got plenty of time to monitor their 10 remaining customers..
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15-08-2015, 03:51 PM
Post: #24
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
The only decent value product they have is their 2 year line rental saver. Would I bet £200 that they're still going in 2 years time? No.
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18-08-2015, 08:11 AM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2015 08:12 AM by Ray_Von.)
Post: #25
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
(15-08-2015 03:51 PM)WillPS Wrote:  The only decent value product they have is their 2 year line rental saver. Would I bet £200 that they're still going in 2 years time? No.

Well they have survived a year since it all went t*ts up with DR.Saying that I would be interested to find out how financially sound they are.
Also what is their c/s and technical support like now.Confused

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18-08-2015, 02:03 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2015 02:06 PM by WillPS.)
Post: #26
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
(18-08-2015 08:11 AM)Ray_Von Wrote:  
(15-08-2015 03:51 PM)WillPS Wrote:  The only decent value product they have is their 2 year line rental saver. Would I bet £200 that they're still going in 2 years time? No.

Well they have survived a year since it all went t*ts up with DR.Saying that I would be interested to find out how financially sound they are.
Also what is their c/s and technical support like now.Confused

They are still paying sub-adult minimum wage to "apprentices".

https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/594894 - £2.73/hour

Disgraceful.
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18-08-2015, 10:53 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2015 10:55 PM by alexatkin.)
Post: #27
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
Their C/S seems better, as I posted a question on their forum and actually got an answer.

Although maybe that was a fluke as I'm still waiting for a followup response.

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19-08-2015, 11:49 AM
Post: #28
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
(18-08-2015 02:03 PM)WillPS Wrote:  They are still paying sub-adult minimum wage to "apprentices".

https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/594894 - £2.73/hour

Disgraceful.

But they are not alone in that.
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/604493
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/598351
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/597699
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/601053

In fact it seems pretty standard for Doncaster so to brand them as "Disgraceful" for doing the same as the rest seems a little harsh. Unless of course you meant that the whole apprenticeship scheme is disgraceful.

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22-08-2015, 05:07 PM
Post: #29
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
(19-08-2015 11:49 AM)essenby Wrote:  
(18-08-2015 02:03 PM)WillPS Wrote:  They are still paying sub-adult minimum wage to "apprentices".

https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/594894 - £2.73/hour

Disgraceful.

But they are not alone in that.
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/604493
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/598351
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/597699
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/601053

In fact it seems pretty standard for Doncaster so to brand them as "Disgraceful" for doing the same as the rest seems a little harsh. Unless of course you meant that the whole apprenticeship scheme is disgraceful.
We're talking about the region's second city, not some far-away society. Exploitation in all its forms is wrong, but at least the cost of living in India is significantly lower than the cost of living in South Yorkshire.

Do you really think the cost of living in Doncaster for a young adult is that much less than the cost of living for me in Sheffield, or my parents in Nottingham, or my friends over in Birmingham/Manchester?

Just because it's legal (and I don't doubt it is with the way our country has been run for the last 36 years), and there are other unscrupulous companies willing to abuse a loophole and a neglected demographic, doesn't mean Origin are doing the right thing. Apprenticeships are supposed to be about equipping young people with skills which will enrich them and empower them in the job market for years to come. With the greatest amount of respect to those who do it, Customer Service/Support is not an arena with need for much more than a decent personality and a bit of training. That's why call centres up and down the country are:
  1. filled with unskilled young people
  2. generally have a high turnover of staff
  3. pay at or just over minimum wage
.

I have first hand experience of being the victim of a company using loopholes in Minimum Wage legislation to pay me pretty much nothing while expecting me to do literally all the development work the company had; it wasn't hard to work out how much the company was making given I was being charged out at ~£400/day and being paid ~£25/day. It was the most miserable time of my life.

Perhaps Origin isn't that bad a place to work. Perhaps they do provide some real training. Still, that doesn't defeat the fact that these "apprentices" are blatently spending the majority of their time working, not learning. A fair day's work deserve's a fair day's pay. £20.48 is not a fair day's pay. £20.48, for 7.5 hours in a call centre, is extortion.
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19-09-2015, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2015 04:35 PM by beermatt.)
Post: #30
RE: Would I be mad to consider returning to Origin?
(22-08-2015 05:07 PM)WillPS Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 11:49 AM)essenby Wrote:  
(18-08-2015 02:03 PM)WillPS Wrote:  They are still paying sub-adult minimum wage to "apprentices".

https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/594894 - £2.73/hour

Disgraceful.

But they are not alone in that.
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/604493
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/598351
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/597699
https://www.findapprenticeship.service.g...hip/601053

In fact it seems pretty standard for Doncaster so to brand them as "Disgraceful" for doing the same as the rest seems a little harsh. Unless of course you meant that the whole apprenticeship scheme is disgraceful.
We're talking about the region's second city, not some far-away society. Exploitation in all its forms is wrong, but at least the cost of living in India is significantly lower than the cost of living in South Yorkshire.

Do you really think the cost of living in Doncaster for a young adult is that much less than the cost of living for me in Sheffield, or my parents in Nottingham, or my friends over in Birmingham/Manchester?

Just because it's legal (and I don't doubt it is with the way our country has been run for the last 36 years), and there are other unscrupulous companies willing to abuse a loophole and a neglected demographic, doesn't mean Origin are doing the right thing. Apprenticeships are supposed to be about equipping young people with skills which will enrich them and empower them in the job market for years to come. With the greatest amount of respect to those who do it, Customer Service/Support is not an arena with need for much more than a decent personality and a bit of training. That's why call centres up and down the country are:
  1. filled with unskilled young people
  2. generally have a high turnover of staff
  3. pay at or just over minimum wage
.

I have first hand experience of being the victim of a company using loopholes in Minimum Wage legislation to pay me pretty much nothing while expecting me to do literally all the development work the company had; it wasn't hard to work out how much the company was making given I was being charged out at ~£400/day and being paid ~£25/day. It was the most miserable time of my life.

Perhaps Origin isn't that bad a place to work. Perhaps they do provide some real training. Still, that doesn't defeat the fact that these "apprentices" are blatently spending the majority of their time working, not learning. A fair day's work deserve's a fair day's pay. £20.48 is not a fair day's pay. £20.48, for 7.5 hours in a call centre, is extortion.


I agree with what you're saying but as you said yourself - businesses are doing this up and down the UK, including other ISPs. It's not just Origin, so this on its own isn't a good reason to Boycott them - in fact probably the opposite. If Origin was paying less than other businesses in the area for similar jobs then the staff would simply walk out and leave. The fact that they haven't done suggests that it's difficult finding similair employment in that area.

And although some costs are the same, overall the cost of living is pretty good in Doncaster. There's plenty of businesses paying min wage in more afluent cities where costs are much higher!

I agree that businesses should be encouraged to look after their staff well, including training and wages, but in an area that's struggling for work sometimes you've just got to be grateful that some employment is better than none at all.

As we've already said Origin will be doing well not to go bust after their disaster, they'll probably be struggling to turn a profit. It's difficult for small businesses to stay afloat, and very difficult for a small ISP to compete against big names (Sky, BT, etc) who will also probably be paying min wage to most of their staff.

(15-08-2015 03:33 PM)gribz_uk Wrote:  Great point! Probably got plenty of time to monitor their 10 remaining customers..
Lol!

(18-08-2015 08:11 AM)Ray_Von Wrote:  
(15-08-2015 03:51 PM)WillPS Wrote:  The only decent value product they have is their 2 year line rental saver. Would I bet £200 that they're still going in 2 years time? No.

Well they have survived a year since it all went t*ts up with DR.Saying that I would be interested to find out how financially sound they are.
Also what is their c/s and technical support like now.Confused

Yeah this is one of my main concerns too. As far as I know it's not that easy for an ISP to make money, which is why all the big providers scrimp and save at every opportunity (customer services, restricting content, etc); so after the Digital Region disaster I am wondering how Origin have managed to stay afloat. I'd also be very interested to look how their finances look - I'm worried about signing up to an ISP that might go bust... and then where does that leave you on downtime to get reconnected!?

----------------

Anyway back to the original question, I was also a victim of Origin's DR decommisioning fiasco which left me without broadband for 11 weeks. And was fuming.

I'm now moving house so looking for a new ISP and found myself asking the same question - would I be mad to reconsider Origin?

Excluding the DR disconnection balls up, they've been absolutely brilliant. Freephone technical support to people who know what their talking about (well compared to the "flow chart" staff at the big ISPs anyway), are quick to answer the phone, follow things up, and overall very helpful. I had one short disconnection since which was resolved within the hour, can't remember how long exactly, think it was back up by the time I phoned them, which was fairly late in an evening and still got straight through. I had another issue where it went down but this was a PSTN fault, and I have my land line with the Post Office (who were absolutely awful - steer well clear) so nothing to do with Orgin but when I phoned to check things at their end they were still helpful and ran line tests for me etc.

So should I go with them again?

Practically I'd say yes.... apart from a little bit concerned about their financial situation (see above).

Morally I don't mind the DR disconnection mess in itself - everyone makes mistakes and it was a difficult situation for any ISPs using DR. But what wound me up the most was the communication from their management. There was no explanation about what'd actually happened, no official statement, no apology. If they'd just come out and been honest and said "this was our plan but it all went royally f***ed up, extremely sorry, it's our mistake but please bare with us we're doing our best to resolve it". And then gave weekly updates on the progress on the overall situation. If they'd done all that then I wouldn't mind giving them another chance, it's the fact that we were left completly in the dark - no explanation, no updates. The staff on the phones sounded as much left in the dark as we were. Even afterwards no one ever came out and explained what happened. That's what is really putting me off going back. Mistakes happen which I don't mind, but the lack of information, almost like they were hiding something, wasn't.

So still considering it but finding it difficult to forgive.....
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