TPG faces customer backlash over slowed net speeds

ISP forums go into overdrive as customers claim to seek TIO action

TPG is facing the prospect of a major customer backlash following numerous reports of slow network speeds and a lack of customer service.

The reports, posted on the internet service provider’s (ISP) support site and on community portal Whirlpool, also warn of potential official complaints to Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

“My average connection speed is 100 kbps and less,” user Alexc123 posted on TPG’s site. “Websites are timing out all the time. I can't use a wireless router anymore due to the pathetic speeds, I have to restart the modem and do the ten second dance like ten times a day and I am sick and tired of this.”

The networking issues, discussed on the Whirlpool forum date back as far as April this year and have generated more than 1500 posts in November alone.

“It's just not good enough – I've given them two weeks to fix the problems and I've had nothing but smoke and mirrors put up,” user Belated posted last week. “…How long till it all happens again?”

“I've just been reconnected from being offline for the past three hours,” user BurnedOutWriter wrote. “My modem was telling me ‘Authentication Failed’. Between this and only being able to download right now at a ludicrous 117 kbps, I am far from impressed.”

At the time of publication, Whirlpool's most recent TPG TIO complaint thread had 75 replies with forum user F. Pinkus claiming that the ISP isn't responding to customer enquires.

"It's obvious TPG don't think too highly of their user-base since naturally you'd release some information regarding the issue," F. Pinkus claimed. "I think it's time people submit a TIO complaint, since it's probably the only way TPG will listen and start taking the business they run seriously."

The posts follow calls this month from iiNet that ISPs must place more of an emphasis on customer service or risk high customer churn levels, and as Australian ISPs and telcos were recently warned that they must lift customer service standards following a call from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

TPG was unavailable for comment at time of writing.

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Tags Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)Internet speedsTPGISP

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57 Comments

john

1

Since when has whirlpool posts made news?

phil

2

$60 unlimited internet will do that to a network. Why is *anyone* surprised. TANSTAAFL. You Get What You Pay For.

Jon

3

Exactly like Phil said, the TPG network has been crippled by the release of the unlimited plans. I considered a switch to a TPG 'Off-Net Unlimited' plan myself, but after reading the whirlpool forums it was clear what I'd be getting myself into......nothing but laggy, low performance trouble!!!

Rather than offering unlimited plans, TPG would have been better off to simply beat competitors quotas. This would have meant that TPG were still the best value, but without opening up their network to the mercy of endless leechers.

Jason

4

If TPG blocked/limited P2P/Torrents/Usenet, Unlimited plan would be enough for everyone.
Sadly, TPG is just full of kiddie leechers now.

Gav

5

Should probably mention those complaining are mostly in Queensland, and off-net customers therefor are at the mercy of Telstra's processes.

Very few people in QLD who are on-net are reporting problems, and furthermore very few people in other states.

I'm with TPG in Perth and have no issues, if TPG was as slow as some seem to think they would not have over half a million customers.

I was with iiNet for 4 years before churning to TPG about 6 months ago, I'm incredibly impressed so far - the TPG network is better than the iiNet network as far as pings and throughput are concerned by far, and their VoIP is crystal clear whereas iiNet's echo'd all the time and was poor quality.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1041445015.png

My only gripe is TPG are incredibly unprofessional, eg performing maintenance in peak time, but I really can't fault the speeds I get.

Greg

6

john, I'd suggest you read the article again, since it also mentions TPG's own forums where the complaints have surfaced.

Sadly I also suffered problems with one of these 'Unlimited' (sic) plans from TPG with congestion every single night after 6pm. Speeds of up to 50kb/s was the norm. (Less than shaped speed from most ISP's)

TPG's technicians (sic) who are not in Australia and find it very difficult to understand our Australian accent, have suggested to change my log in password (How that helps with speed, I have no idea) send out a technician (Who found the line to be perfect) purchase a new modem (What was wrong with the Cisco 877 that was being used?) reboot, Etc etc.

In the end they (TPG) said it was congestion at my exchange, it will affect every other ISP connected to that exchange.

Interesting since I am running a secondary line into the house with a Telstra Bigpond connection that does not suffer from this so called 'Exchange congestion'

Both ADSL lines run directly to the exchange, according to the Telstra tech who came out to check the lines.

TPG bit off more than they can chew, oversubscribing and under delivering.

You'll read on both forums (TPG and Whirlpool) there are a handful of customers who surprisingly have no issues what so ever, when many others do, and have proven there are issues time and time again.

TPG you've just lost another customer!

James

7

Naturally you will only see complaints on a place like Whirlpool. There are lots of customers such as myself and friends of mine that are on unlimited TPG plans and have perfectly fine speeds and pings. I have no problem maxing out my connection whenever I try.

Shaun

8

Oh for goodness sake. I'm in Brisbane, been on TPG for 8 years, maybe a 1 week in 2004 when there were speed issues. Got lots of friends running the unlimited plan with speeds maxing their sync rate. Drastic difference to my grandpa out at Ipswich on Optus cable that has had max overseas speeds of 100Kbit/sec (East Coast USA), where as I get 4 - 7 Mbit to the same server on TPG, plus 14+Mbit (basically my sync speed) to any Australian server. Welcome to real life, but seriously - I doubt it's any more than a small percentage of customers having issues.

Jeff

9

This is why I left TPG. Before they had $40 unlimited plans, they had constant speed and congestion issues in my exchange. They kept blaming my equipment, they had a tech came out and they couldn't find anything wrong with my line, charge to me $99 for them forcing a tech on me. The tech even looked at the traceroute output and said there was exchange congestion but TPG's tech support default response is "it has to be a problem from the customers end"... I got fed up with their constant promises to fix issues and went to the TIO after giving them 4 weeks. It then took them another 2 weeks to acknowledge there was a resolvable issue but required capital purchases and they released me from contract. This is why I stick with iiNet & Internode, they give me non contract options so I'm not locked in if something goes wrong.

BigAl

10

To add a differnt viewpoint (although similar to @5 Gav) - I churned to TPG from BigPond Cable, which I would not go back to in a million years, mostly because of repeated loss-of-service, and then the appalling customer service associated with those outages. Since going to TPG about two years ago, I've had two outages, and both of those were resolved quickly. Line speed is great - about 10.5 Mbps. So for me, in metro Melbourne, no problems, and no reason to move from TPG.

three_pineapples

11

Been with TPG for 2 years (in VIC). I think I've had two service outages in that time. Neither lasted for more than a few hours, and were the nationwide failures I believe.

Other than that, the service has been great. I'm now on their unlimited plan and loving the freedom. I downloaded 50GB of steam games in 2 days that I hadn't previously been able to grab because of limited quota.

My connections syncs at 4mbps, which is what you expect living 3km from the exchange. Next time I move I'll be sure to locate myself closer to an exchange.

Couldn't be happier!

P.S. When are you going to fix your site so readers can post from Google Chrome? I hate having to fire up IE...

Ex TPG user

12

You get what you pay for and my experience with TPG was not a good one I am glad that I left them for a better ISP that actually works..........

Hutchinson James

13

@three_pineapples

The site should work fine with Chrome (in fact this comment was posted using Chrome), but I'll pass it onto our devs to see if there are any problems

Thanks

TPGuser

14

I also use TPG (three years - Sydney based - Glenbrook exchange). For the last 6 months performance has been woeful. I am out of contract and tried to churn - TPG seems to have stopped playing ball with churns. Yhe only way I can churn is to cancel tpg, wait 2 weeks for my codes to be lifted and then wait on Bigpond to schedule me in.

I have a 50G plan - use 10G at best and have woeful performance and forget ever calling TPG for support on a performance related issue.

william evans

15

Been with TPG (Sydney) for about 12 months & I have only had one problem that was resolved quickly. I'm very happy with my service & haven't looked back since leaving iiNet.

I too have friends with TPG and none are having problems... What James said above if you are going to use whirlpool as your source of course you are going to have a story based on complaints.

Just browsing over the forums at whirlpool now produces (And this is just from the 3 subjects posted under each company from the main page)

Optus - Optus speeds suddenly slow for days
iiNet - Speed issues
Netspace - Why so slow? Part 2
Exetel - Exetel slow between 2am-12pm
Iprimus - Slower speeds at night?

Maybe you can fill up the rest of the week writing glorified hype story's about those ISP's too!

luke

16

the off-net internet is so slow right now

at times it's like dial-up

lorro

17

If you look at the forums TPG are not the only ones with speed issues.
I am on TPG's unlimited 59.99 plan getting maximum speed 24/7 to the entire world. It was just QLD off-net, not TPG's actual network.

Matt

18

TPG = Junk I am one of the off net customers in Queensland I had no problems with Westnet until I joined TPG.

I am going to break my contract and go back to Westnet TPG you have lost another angry customer.

TPG does not care or they would of atleast sorted their network out before offering such plans.

To the users that have no problems thats good but I am not wasting my time with TPG anymore I give up on the support which constantly telling me the same things.

If my modem and phone line was fine before I joined TPG and then everything went down the plug hole IT ISN"T MY END ITS YOUR END TPG.

Kevin

19

I havent had many speed issues with TPG and neither has my bro or any of my friends with them Barring the occasional hiccup like a line being half chewed / broken or water logged lines etc. Saying that we are all in sydney. I think a lot of the issues are so random it is probably a bit tricky to figure out like modem incompatibilities or old line issues (my bro's issue took several weeks to figure out because it was random and in the end a telstra guy came out and saw the issue in the roof). Then there is also software issues that can cause these problems too as i have found out personally myself...

Ben

20

I am currently with TPG ADSL2+ Offnet unlimited plan, and i have not had one single problems in terms of lag, performance, or download speed issues?

I think most of there user base is all from one area where the internet is bad in general. ie Queensland

I am in Melbourne.

deonast

21

@TPGuser

Odd as I'm also on the Glenbrook exchange and I've had no problems. Sure speed is not as good as some people get but I'm a fair way from the exchange and I've not noticed it get worse in the 4-5 years I've been with TPG. I'm on a 70/60GB plan so I'm not complaining. Perhaps your problems are more localised to Telstra issues in the exchange or line problems. I have a spare router I use for backup and diagnostic purposes so you can always do a process of elimination.

Jeremy

22

Another good point brought out in the article was the lack of acknowledgment from TPG of the problem and and hence no news of any potential solution.

I've been a TPG customer for the past six months and only in the last six weeks has my connection been anything other than perfect. Recently however my connection has been borderline unusable during peak periods with many dropouts and an international latency that makes online gaming impossible.

Many line tests, tracerts and hardware replacements later I was also told it was "congestion on your exchange". How mystified I was when I ran synchronised bandwidth tests with friends on the same exhange when they pulled in 1.2mbps to my 65kbps. Bizarre....

Fed-up Too

23

Unfortunately I went to TPG about three months ago and have had nothing but problems since. Started with their sales people lying about their plans. Currently have a dispute lodged with the TIO.
Technical support? Doesn't exist, apart from the scripted "have you restarted the router" suggestions. Haven't spoken to one person you has any command of the English language, and no matter what time of the day you call the office telephone number you get a recorded "reception is currently un-attended" message.
Worst mistake I've made was to sign up with them.
Steer clear people!! For the rest of us, Churn Baby Churn.

Mark

24

Even the cheapest worst brothels in Australia deliver better service than TPG.

TPG's CEO is taking people as fools take your money and give you piss poor service.

Raymond

25

@ 24 and your basis of comparision is ? pray tell, what city have you found the better service than TPG, could it be Canberra, nothing works well there I am told! but please share with us so the Crayfish from here can perhaps move to accommodate his little things of interest!

Sedition

26

1500 posts ... hmm, divided by the posts per user... oh then subtract all the rep posts and other saying they aint got a problem... oh dam, also subtract the people just posting speed tests and the posts of people offering advice.

Okay, somebody wana do the math ?

Michael Kolotripa

27

Yeah man, I agree with William Evans 100%

Bob

28

After reading this article I am happy to see that I am not alone as growing community of disappointed TPG customer, I have been with TPG now for 6 month, I would have to say the worst 6 months I have experienced, I have changed plans now twice paying more for a very poor service quality.
TPG's outsourced customer service is OK having to clean up the mess of some executives who really cannot get the business right.

Overall, Australia's broadband network is a joke expecting consumers to pay high prices for poor quality speeds, they should take a trip to Sweden and learn what BroadBand is really supposed to be and then and only then will Australia have a BB penetration rate of more than 80%

Thank you for listening

Chris

29

The service I receive from TPM is consistent, fast and better than I expected. I have been with TPG for 18 months and cannot fault them.

Richard

30

TPG ADSL2+ is only good for people having extremely stable phone lines (that doesn't suffer from cable corrosion, bad socket and not getting any interference from the back to base alarm systems or similar).
If you are a TPG ADSL 2+ customer and experiencing slow speed even if you are not far from the exchange, I would suggest installing Central splitter, changing sockets and phone lines to new ones - Call the Cable technician for the installation. TPG ADSL 2+ demand really good quality phone lines.
TPG customers who are getting good download speed because they are close to exchange and have new phone lines) cannot understand why other customers are complaining.

I strongly disrecommend TPG ADSL2+ If you download files from the Asian "Pay per file" sites (that do not allow download managers such as FlashGet)
Currently TPG's overseas (especially Far-East Asian site) download speed is only about 10~20% of IINET.
I could download a movie from one of South Korean site at a speed of 9000 mbit per second when I was with IINET but after changing to TPG I could only download at a speed of1000 mbit per second, X-(

Richard

31

Sorry, 9000kbps and 1000kbps not 9000mbps and 1000mbps. ha ha

Alex

32

Its happening on my end as well. NSW Chatswood location. Speed is abismal. However here are some funny bits I've noted.

Traffic seems to be slow outside Australia.

Chached files like Tech Net downloads do fine e.g. 1.6 MB per second, but things like Youtube are about 30KBps. Its ridiculous

Barbaros

33

I agree 100% this blog as I also experiencing same issues since 2 moths. My house distance to exchange point only 120 mt. ADSL connection speed 20 Mb but actual speed just disaster!! Ive called TPG customer service and they redirected me countless times and ofcourse no result. Obviously they have more customer whihc they cannot handle. Now I looking for new ISP as TPg internet became very useless. Modem power cylcle also very common method in my house aswell. I cannot watch any video or have to wait 5-6 min to buffer.

Chris

34

I've been with TPG since 2004 and had no problems until I switched to ADSL+2 last year and have nothing but sloooooow speeds ever since.
I can actually go and make a cup of tea while I wait for it to load but mostly it just times out.
Reading your article and the TPG Forums I'm beginning to think it's time to change providors.
For those interested I live on the South Coast of NSW.

Ketan

35

TPG has been the worst internet provider in the market with Slow speed, crappy customer service and customer complaint resolution department that calls customers to dictate terms rather than agreeing on a resolution. They cannot provide any satisfactory replies on the service down time and even after giving them instructions and advance notice on when to disconnect your service they take the liberty of disconnecting your service days in advance and leaving you to worry about it.
I have had nothing but bad, worse and worst experience with this provider.
I have also raised complaint with TIO and it looks like TPG just doesn't care as I just received a call from TPG and they have the guts to say that my service was working all the time even though it wasn't.
They have lots of customer and think they can take them for granted. Their customer service department lacks the skill set to support the customers and not upto the industry standards.
I will not recommend TPG to anyone and will strongly recommend people to start raising complaints with the TIO on

http://www.tio.com.au/ComplaintForm/ComplaintFormS1.asp

Vitman

36

TPG are scam artists they take your money and give you as little service as they possibly can.

They shouldn't be allowed to even be in business if they cannot offer a decent service.

Just look at the TPG support forum its rife with unhappy customers.

J from Bris

37

I've been with TPG for a number of years after being with BigPond and Dodo.

My TPG is great compared to them, though not ideal.

I've worked on other networks too, including Telstra and I must say they are slow, expecially in the evening,.

this has nothing to do with your line speed (which is what they "sell") but with downstream networks. As a fictional example, they sell 10MB lines, you connect at 10MB speed.

But, then they bring 20 of these 10MB connections together on a 100MB line. and then 20 of these 100MB lines togher on ... etc. so it goes on.

So in the evening when everyone Australia jump on their home connections, these pipes suddenly becomes very slow.

This is what the NBN (at conception stage) was supposed to solve.

User

38

As a onsite computer technician for years. It is almost a user or user's computer issue. Eg. you have very fast connection speed, however the programs you installed silently running with computer startup are taking all your bandwith.And you said it slow then blame TPG. Lot of P2P programs have a agent or so-call accelarator runnig at background and using all your bandwidth.

One thing for sure is that TGP doesn't have good customer service and reset password will make even more trouble if the network is a little complicated.

Vitman

39

Well well well well, TPG drops their other unlimited plan the 8M for a 200gb plan.

Peter

40

TPG is worst ISP i have ever seen ... I got naked dsl and paid the price for connection and all.. spend almost $169.. Download speed is terrible, the plan they said was 512KB download, cnet speed tests comes up with 5KB... rip-off..
After 11 calls with them; they said they cant help and asked me to move up the speed etc... So now we go out of naked to ADSL2+... apparently speed i get is < 512k - just ok not as promised in the plan and now the VOIP... no incoming calls, it says lines are congested..
What the hell is TPG.. i would go with ExeTel... its ok anytime compared to this sh.th.le company

gh

41

Been with tpg for 4 years with only 2 notable outages, both resolved same day. Occasionally have to restart the router, but overall pretty happy. V good speeds - 2mins to grab 400Mb video file. Their telephone helpdesk is crap though :(

Jack

42

In general, I've found TPG to be very good. There are times when the speed becomes so slow (regardless of time of day) that I can't use the Internet (email and web pages time out). Had the problem for the past week but seems to be running a little better this afternoon.

Looking forward to fiber-optic but that's some time away despited living in Australia's capital.

Garry

43

I'm with TPG at the moment - and a few months back my net started to cut out for short bursts of bout 30mins, then reconnect with no problems for about 3 hours, then start the disconnects again. And when it did reconnect the speeds were very slow to what I normally get. Its not to do with off net, since I'm 1km from one of the biggest exchanges in brisbane.. soo im quite stumbed on this... Ive had them switch my 'filters' and 'profiles', all it does it change the speed it seems. Just like one of the other guys that posted on here - Technician came out, lines were perfect.. oh well. moving out of this place in a month. but thought i'd post my problems as well :)

MM9898

44

Live in Lane Cove. Been with TPG for 4 years on $49.00 plan. No issues. Helpful support - only 4 occasions to call them in last 4 years.

Rundle

45

TPG has some of the worst routing I have ever come across. They are by far the biggest conmen of the industry with countless people being duped by their cheap pricing.

2 years ago I lasted no more than 2 weeks on their network before I made an official complaint and cancelled my contract. I took them to the TIO in relation to the huge termination fee they expected me to pay which was later waived when TPG was found to have misrepresented their product availability.

TPG is pure smoke and mirrors, when is the ACCC or even the TIO actually going to do something about it, rather than spending years putting out little fires.

Its people like MM9898 (above poster) who pay to use their internet for mail only who are misleading the public by telling people they haven't had an issue.

Just moved from Sweden

46

Australian internet is crap in general (several years behind the nordic countries) no matter what ISP you chose.

DKAngel

47

ive also had no problems with tpg, swapped from amnet as they were charging me 110 for crap speeds and a low cap, now 60$ later im on tpg unlimited and have a house phone, only problem i had was from disconnections and tha was because my netgear router was a piece of crap, now ive got my linksys it hasnt dropped out

SWatson

48

Hi,

Been with TPG for 3 years everything was fine until 3 weeks ago, when I started getting slow speeds. I had their tech out last week and even he got slow speeds connecting to the box just outside my house. He logged a call with Telstra to check for a line fault.
Telstra says everthing is OK. TPG got back to me today - I now get 1.01Mbps and thats the best they can offer. I used to get 5.4 Mbps a few weeks ago. I am 900 metres from the exchange according to their map.
Basically they are telling me they want me to churn away from them, so I will.
My experience with them is that they are good for the good times, but if something goes wrong - you are up the creek without a paddle

bootha

49

ive just changed to these clowns and its the worst decision i have ever made. was perfectly happy with aapt, but at a mates suggestion (fast speeds blah blah blah for him) made the switch to these crooks. nothing but trouble. slow net speeds, constant disconnects when gaming or watching a vid on line. my phone line in the kitchen is unusable now. never was with aapt. and just like all the above posts have had the "tech" do line speeds and check phone lines etc. how can i get out of this? because i am clearly not getting what im paying for.

dan h

50

Wish I had of read this sooner.

Just moved house, haven't had any internet for around 2 years besides the 2 gb on my phone, I had tpg in the past and had no problems.

This is sooooo terrible, paying 70 a month for speeds of a whooping 100kbs max.

Going to try get someone to check my lines soon.

Kat

51

what the hell kind of article is this? Is journalism dead? Do some bloody research Lisa and write something meaningful. This is the quality of a school-aged blog not of a so called professional industry publication. Shame on you!!

I thought computerworld was a real industry publication but I am mistaken.

Might have to check out Crikey and see what they have to say about this drivel.

Jerry

52

TPG is dodgy........that is all I can say. I bought a voip device and tried to configure it to work with their VOIP service I had paid for. It would not work and even after support gave it a try, they failed and told me to purchase their supported router with built in VOIP functionality for <$200!!!!.
So I opened an account with Engin VOIP. After 15mins, the VOIP device I purchased jUST WORKED! And it was a TPG internet connections.
TPG is one of the WORST for misleading their customers. Others like DODO should have been SHUT down a long time ago.

dj

53

All,

FYI. I have no issue with TPG as I am getting between 8-12 megabits per second. Just my 2 cents.

TPG Employees

54

It seems TPG is in damage control and have lots of different account names posting on this topic at present on here, i would say a quarter of the positive posts on here are real ppl the rest...

I am with TPG unlimited and have been watching their forums (they constantly delete threads on there and always ask the complainer ot email the tech support or the moderator) instead of using the forum when they ahve issues which seems a conveniant way of using smoke and mirrors as TPG seem to do.

I had issues numerous times with them in the last 18 months and it took them 5 weeks just to get my Net working after i had signed up with them and that was only because i kept mentioning the TIO and other legal avenues i could use, prior to that they always blamed my equipment in the end guess what it was their own fault surprise surprise.

wazza

55

i have a tpg unlimited account. it works great , i download HEAPS. sometimes its slow - its not a Rolls Royce unlimited account, its a TPG unlimited account - of COURSE it isnt perfect. grow up - pay a million bucks for your internet THEN complain, dont shop bargain basement and whine that you didnt get Rolls Royce service. and NO i dont work for TPG

Vitman

56

TPG just sucks they are useless at almost everything.
Apart from them denying there is an issue at their end.
Stupid of me to join them at all glad I left them for a reliable provider with actual decent customer service and service that actually works...

TPG's CEO is taking peoples money and giving the most pathetic internet access there is.

TPG never again...

cylon

57

#56 'Pay a million bucks for your internet THEN complain' -- your m*frackin serious??? Legit complaining isn't whining mate!!! Grow a pair and start calling a spade a spade!!

#45 My experience with them is that they are good for the good times, but if something goes wrong - you are up the creek without a paddle

Totally agree with you here mate! Their customer service is a joke! Chicks not knowing how to send a attachment! Chinese apologizing after every sentence and Aussies so bored out of their mind, I wish somebody would put a bullet in their brains and lay them to RIP.

I currently have problems with frequent drop outs and slow speeds all starting after I tried to change my debit card details and somehow the payment didn't made through. Its been resolved for a week now and some how the accounts problem has transferred itself to technical side and I am tired of explaining to the Tech support how and why this started? They don't listen or have no IQ to understand! I am heading towards the TIO if this doesn't solves till the end of this week.

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