Friday, July 18, 2008

Broadband: the homeworker's dilemma

Following today's earlier post, Shedworking reader Martin Doyle (see his guide to making yours a solar powered shed here) has written in with his - unhappy - experiences of broadband as a homeworker:
One thing about working from home/shed that people might not be aware of is the 'need' to tell your broadband supplier that you are using the connection to do real work.

I was caught out last year - I have a home phone/broadband package deal with Virgin (formerly Telewest), plus a dedicated business phone line. I got one of the regular 'we're just reviewing your account' calls on the business line and the guy was checking all was OK and asked me if I used the internet. Yes, I said - I have broadband with my home phone and use that connection - "Oh dear" he said, "that puts me in a difficult position - you are not allowed to use the home broadband for business use, except for checking the odd email perhaps, but if you work from home most of the time, you are supposed to have business broadband".

They put me into a corner and in a nice way forced me to have business broadband, otherwise with the knowledge that I was using a domestic connection for business use, may be forced to terminate my contract for mis-use.The moral of the tale is either get a business broadband line (you get better response times to problems) or make sure you never tell anyone from your broadband provider that it's being used for business!

The other big issue I had was that they charged me £60 to install the business broadband, despite me insisting they would use the existing connection - I had two visits from engineers who looked at the connection and agreed that nothing needed doing - all the changes were 'virtual' ones.
Have other readers had similar experiences? Please do comment below.


  1. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Business users get stuffed... it's no big shocker. BT charge you 10 quid a month line rental for a phone line that costs Joe (or Jane) Public 7 quid a quarter. Mobile phone companys stick VAT on top of the prices they quote for consumers and call it a Business Package all the while offering services you never want nor need. I get 'free' technical support for computer issues as part of my telecommunication package... what do I do for a living? I'm an IT consultant!

    It gets better... if you have a business broadband package and you put the costs through the company... ask your accountant if it's ok to use it for personal use?

  2. Anonymous5:21 PM

    Oh, yes: it's the same over here in the States. My attitude: keep yer yap shut. Or lie through your teeth.

  3. That's an amusing story. I understand the same rules apply here in Aus, but in my experience they're not pushed with quite so much enthusiasm. I recently changed the billing details on my phone, mobile and broadband accounts from personal to a company name. Needless to say if there had been an issue i would have churned in flash.

    BTW, nice sheds.

  4. Even I am a Broadband user and it seems to be very amusing story.You are right, In such a case we have to be very careful and we should use the business broadband for business purpose only rather than lying or using it for home purpose.