Wanadoo admits broadband unbundling problems

Wanadoo has admitted customer service problems after a forum was launched to discuss its shortcomings. Disgruntled users may get compensation

Broadband provider Wanadoo admitted that it was suffering service problems on Thursday, after one user launched a Web site dedicated to Wanadoo customer complaints.

The forum — WanadooProblems.co.uk — was launched by a disgruntled Wanadoo user to discuss technical complaints and customer service problems. The user claims to have experienced problems migrating to Wanadoo's 8Mbps broadband service, and says he has been without Internet access since 7 February.

Several other disillusioned Wanadoo users have also complained of lack of service on the forum.

The France Telecom-owned company admitted to ZDNet UK that its customers had experienced technological problems, and attributed them to the rollout of its local-loop unbundled (LLU) network.

"We are aware of customer problems with the LLU network," a Wanadoo representative said.

Local-loop unbundling allows a rival telecoms operator to take control of BT telephone lines and offer its own services to businesses and consumers.

LLU has allowed operators such as Wanadoo to offer their own range of services, such as faster broadband services, ahead of BT rather than just reselling BT's range of wholesale products.

One ex-customer claimed that Wanadoo had rushed into LLU too quickly, leading to problems between the ISP and its third-party engineers.

But Wanadoo denied that third parties were to blame for service interruptions, and shouldered the responsibility itself.

"Effectively it's Wanadoo-related. We're not breaking it down into individual suppliers," said the Wanadoo representative. "We're working with third-party suppliers to rectify issues as and when they occur."

Wanadoo is aware of WanadooProblems.co.uk, and said it would endeavour to rectify any problems experienced by its customers.

"We have picked that up. We're looking to contact the individual to find out the particular problems he had. We investigate each individual complaint as it happens," the Wanadoo representative told ZDNet UK.

"We are looking to fully compensate any customer experiencing extended problems," he added.

Last year, rival LLU operator Bulldog suffered serious problems with its telecoms service, leading to an Ofcom investigation.