UFO - An Experience of the installation
I've been waiting patiently for the last 4 years for the York UFO to get installed near me. In my life I have lived in 6 properties - the first 5 have all had UFO installed but not the one I'm in now. It was like it was destined never to come near me until now.
From reading this forum for the last few months, I never really found much information about the install so thought I would write this for anyone looking to sign up.
I first got a flyer through my door mid-March 2019 to say they would start the building work in my street in a few days. It took them about a month to complete the street - I work from home a lot so got to see the cutting machine in action which was pretty cool. Obviously it does affect the street with the path getting dug up but to be honest you can't make an omlete without breaking some eggs. I didn't have a problem with the installers, they did come and tidy it up when they had finished and I think it is about as good as you could get it. It was far better than when we got Bell Cablemedia installed in York about 20 years ago - they made an incredible mess then and didn't put it right.
I then patiently waited, checking the online webpage to order it (the page is here if you don't know - https://www.talktalk.co.uk/shop/ufo/broadband). I literally checked this page twice a day for 6 months, it became a bit of a ritual. Finally on 28th September the page stated that I could order UFO. I immediately placed the order online and got an installation date of 4th October between 7am and 9am.
October the 4th came and I made sure I was up and ready for 7am, though as it was pitch black outside I couldn't see them arriving then. 7am went, then 8am, then 9am - no sign of the engineers.
I phoned the dedicated UFO helpline and spoke to a very nice chap who apologised but could see that my order had gone past "the point of no return" and an engineer was assigned and should be with me. He promised he'd phone me back and I was quite relaxed at this point.
Sure enough he phoned me back within 20 mins and said he was sorry but the engineer had got stuck on another job but would be with me in 20 minutes. I was happy with this - I know things can go wrong and it happens to all of us. The biggest thing is that he said he would phone back and he did - such a simple thing but it's amazing how many companies don't do that.
Within about 15 minutes two engineers arrived in a van and introduced themselves. They were apologetic and explained they had tried to phone me on my home talktalk phone. Up to now I didn't actually have a phone plugged in as my master socket is nowhere near power and not in the right place for a phone so I've never used it. I really should have thought of this, but I am happy that they did try and warn me.
One of the engineers worked on the outside and the second on the inside. The outside engineer took me through and made sure I was ok with how he was going to lay the cable. I really wanted it on the side of my house, through the wall and under the stairs. This was no problem for him at all and he agreed to lay the cable to the front of the house to a new box, and then have a cable going round the wall to where I wanted it. He was very polite and explained everything.
In the house, I showed the second engineer in the cupboard under the stairs. I've got power in there and a light and he said they'd be no problem. I am very interested in this sort of thing and asked him loads of questions of which he answered all of them. He'd been doing the installations since the very beginning 4 years ago and he really knew what he was doing. He installed the box and the phone line box and explained about the battery backup (this is so that if you lose all power to the house, the phone line will still work using AA rechargable batteries for quite a long time so you could phone 999 in an emergency etc).
He explained that the fibre itself was not actually at my house yet - it was just the trunking under the pavement. He went to my local new cabinet inside which is loads of trunking to every house - he then blew the fibre cabling down my house's trunking using a compressor. He showed me his iPad that details how far it is from my house to the cabinet so he would know how long a fibre cable would be needed.
This worked fine and the fibre cable made it way successfully to my house. He explained that if it got stuck he has a cap that he can send down which usually gets through any blockage like water or mud etc.
He then came in the house and fitted the fibre cable into the new box. He got it all working and installed the TalkTalk Super Router for me. We both got my laptop out and tested the internet and the speed. My laptop doesn't have a direct ethernet connection and it uses a USB-C network adapter. When we ran the test I only got 100mbps down, but strangely 900mbps up. I had a feeling it could be an adapter issue so he brought in his Lenovo laptop with a built in ethernet connection and tried that. It immediately went to 900mbps up and down. I was fully happy with this, though he really wanted to see it working on my equipment but I explained I was completely happy seeing it working on his.
He then got me to try my laptop, phone and iPad to connect. All worked fine and he offered to help connect any other wifi device I had which I appreciated but said I would be fine.
I then signed off the outside work to say I was happy - they take pictures and get you to sign. I then signed inside to say that I was happy with the speed etc. and that everything was working.
In all, they were a credit to talktalk. The whole installation process from the beginning was good and easy to follow, it couldn't have been much easier really.
I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to the engineers and also to TalkTalk for providing this service. I know that TalkTalk get a bad press but the fact is that they have taken a risk providing UFO to York, and I now have a very fast and reliable (so far, haha) service.
Thanks for that insight. I am toying with leaving Virgin Media (I've been with that company since it took over what was Cable and Wireless). I've had enough of poor internet and unreliable wifi, plus I pay them a bloody fortune(£100+ PM). The one thing that puts me off joining UFO is Talk Talks reputation for customer service. It is sooo bad. Your post has slightly assuaged that dread for me. If you have any further insight you might like to share on that subject, please let me know. Meanwhile I am going to post a question about it and see if I get any replies.
It's been a couple of months since I had UFO installed and it has been great. No problems at all which unfortunatley means I don't know what the customer services is like when things go wrong, haha.
However, when I had to phone up on the morning of the install when they were late, the guy who answered the phone on the special UFO support centre was great. He was very friendly, promised to phone me back to let me know what was going on and then 20 mins later did indeeed phone me and it was all resolved.
I replaced the provided TalkTalk router as I wanted to go Wifi 6 with my laptop so I can't comment on whether it was good or bad. All I can say is that the speed of the connection is so fast, I can download things from iPlayer in seconds. I use OneDrive quite a lot and if I am uploading family videos it takes seconds instead of the hours that it used to. It really is fantastic that they provide 1000mbps up as well as down and makes a big difference.
I've just done a speed test now using Fast.com and it shows 1.1 Gbps, incredible speeds for a home connection.