Zen Broadband Buyers Guide

Multi-award winning broadband with outstanding reliability and support

  • Award-winning customer service, based in the UK
  • Ultrafast speeds up to 300Mb available in some areas
  • Standalone broadband available
  • Rated the most reliable of all suppliers on Broadband.co.uk

01706 902 950   Go to site

Zen Unlimited Broadband with Line Rental
£37.98 per month
12 month contract

£29.94 upfront cost

  • AC-rated Wireless Router
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • N-rated Wireless Router
  • Static IP address
  • UK-based technical support
  • Top rated for reliability and service
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 12 month contract

01706 902 950   Buy now

Zen Unlimited Fibre 1 with Line Rental
£29.99 per month
12 month contract

£19.99 upfront cost

  • AC-rated Wireless Router
  • 35Mb average download speed
  • 6Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 12 month contract

01706 902 950   Buy now

Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 with Line Rental
£34.99 per month
12 month contract

£19.99 upfront cost

  • AC-rated Wireless Router
  • 66Mb average download speed
  • 17Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Static IP address
  • UK-based technical support
  • Zen line rental and calls
  • 12 month contract

01706 902 950   Buy now

Details last checked on 2021-10-18

Reasons to choose

  • Reliable - Zen rank highly for customer reliability and customer satisfaction
  • Excellent support - the UK-based tech support is award-winning
  • Ultrafast broadband available - in select areas you can get a service with speeds up to 300Mb
  • Short contracts on standard broadband - if you only need a basic internet service you can sign up for the 10Mb package on a one month rolling contract
  • Lifetime fixed price guarantee - no price rises for as long as you stay with Zen
  • Deals without a phone line are available if you'd rather get it from a different provider
  • Static IP address included as standard

Downsides

  • No short contracts on fibre - 12 months is the minimum period on all faster deals
  • No bundles - you can't add a calls package, TV or mobile with your broadband
  • No online signup - you can only sign up to some of the ultrafast plans by phone, which doesn't suit everyone
  • Premium service - Zen put performance and user experience ahead of competitive pricing

Features at a glance

  • Speeds range from 10Mb on Unlimited Broadband, up to an average of 300Mb on Unlimited Fibre 4

  • 1 month contracts on ADSL, 12 month on fibre

  • Download allowances truly unlimited on all packages

  • Set up fees are £19.99 for super fast fibre packages, or £55 for ultrafast fibre (plus £48 for new connections)

  • UK based customer and technical support

  • Free FRITZ!Box 7530 router worth £130 on all contracts of 12 months or more

  • Only pay for the calls you use with basic line rental, or opt for an Anytime package

  • Zen Broadband have published a Traffic Management Policy

4.2 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 217 customer ratings since 2020-10-26. See more Zen customer ratings and reviews.

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for Zen.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    4.2 stars
  • Customer Service
    4.3 stars
  • Speed
    3.8 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars

Based on 217 customer ratings since 2020-10-26

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of Zen

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
They've taken over two months and have still failed to hookup the fibre cable that was already in my property. I have been lied to about earlier engineer visits every time I've phoned them. I simply cannot believe how incompetent they have been.
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
London Zen  
I used to think Zen were excellent but having tried to cancel my service have found that their previous excellent customer care is no longer up to the same standard.

They are slow to reply to emails and things get dragged out. I initially contacted them about cancellation around a month ago and I'm still not sure if they've cancelled despite numerous emails and messages over Facebook and their contact form.

I don't think they're the company they once were which is a real shame.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Manchester Zen  
They are the interface between myself and Openreach. I have had a fault since 13th July 2021 and FIVE Openreach visits have failed to eradicate the fault (let alone isolate the reason). The fault symptoms are starting to appear again. I understand that ZEN rely on Openreach, but equally, I understand that it is their obligation to liaise with Openreach. So. My serice is crap, but I cannot move ISP because the infrastructure will still be the same. I cannot move to FTTH because it isn't available here (wouldn't give VM the time of day !!!). So. I am stuck with an ISP who cannot sort the problem, and are resting on the laurels of the WHICH accolades.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
Bournemouth Zen  
I have been a Zen Internet customer since 2004 and never had reason to doubt or complain. However, I recently switched over to the Fibre 900+ service after being informed it was now available. In short, it is not and Zen have not kept me updated on when it is likely the Fibre 900+ service will resume. I used to think this ISP were the best but now I'm not so sure!
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Ipswich Zen  
Had Zen for 10 days. First router failed after five days, new router failed after one day. Customer services went from good to stroppy and patronising. Also kept trying to blame Openreach. Accepted that the Fritzbox is a poor and fragile router but promised if we purchased one they recommend, they would pay for it. They then reneged on that too. Simply appalling.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
BRECON Zen  
We've been supporters of zen for 15 years or so. However this year we have been let down on two separate occasions on two different internet accounts. Shocking customer experience. We had our broadband disconnected over a month ago and we're still waiting for it to be reconnected. For the past two days been waiting to hear from the connection manager but still haven't heard anything. This is the second business account zen have inadvertently disconnected this year and the rigmoral waiting to be reconnected is painful. Not impressed at all!!!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Pickering Zen  
Fantastic broadband connection. Extremely reliable. Low latency times, average of 8ms. Excellent speeds at all times - normally get ~70Mbps. The package estimate is 72-73Mbps.

Cannot fault at this point.
Haven't had to use customer service yet.
Initial sales calls = a bit slow to answer, but perfectly friendly.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
London Zen  
An engineer went above and beyond to help me get connected. There was a mix up originally as I was moving into a new build and I was told it could be installed remotely so the installation date was prior to my moving date but that didn't matter. The engineer did what he could without visiting the property and talked me through what to do when I actually moved in. He also tried to re-arrange his schedules to ensure I was dealt with as priority. Very pleased with his efforts to help me
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
Freeland Zen  
I have been with Zen for 20 years. They have always provided excellent service and support. Customer service is expert but able to explain clearly and simply. I have had occasional transition problems to new gear. Technical people have always given all the time necessary to ensure I end up sorted. I would be impatient with me sometimes. They never are. The price is excellent too.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
West Yorkshire Zen  
Utter rubbish promised like 10 or 20 but get 0.005 absolute scam
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Prestwood Zen  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

Man with laptop on the phone

Broadband providers still need to improve support for vulnerable customers

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesEEBTPlusnetOnestreamSSEHyperopticTalkTalkVodafoneVirgin MediaNOW BroadbandSkyJohn LewisShell EnergyCommunity FibreKCOMZen

We've all got horror stories about bad customer service. But it's people with health, financial or emotional problems that are still having the most inconsistent experiences when they contact their broadband provider's customer service team.

That's the big finding from research by Ofcom, which looked at the progress the industry has made since the watchdog last year published its guidelines for treating vulnerable customers fairly.

They found that while some users received extra support due to their circumstances, and others reported positive experiences despite the provider not knowing about their vulnerability, the overall service was still patchy.

It suggested that people's experiences were heavily dependent on the member of staff they spoke to, with no guarantee they would get to deal with the same person twice.

It suggests there's still plenty of room for improvement in the training of customer support teams.

What makes a customer vulnerable?

Vulnerabilities come in many forms. They include physical and mental health problems, debt or unemployment, bereavement, or even becoming a victim of crime.

Unsurprisingly, the number of vulnerable customers has increased during the pandemic and its subsequent economic fallout.

While Ofcom rules require all providers to have policies in place for helping vulnerable customers, it isn't always easy for them to automatically tell if someone needs extra support. If you regard yourself as being in a vulnerable group, or if your circumstances have recently changed (you might have lost your job, for example), you should contact your broadband supplier and let them know.

They'll add that information to your account, and it should inform any relevant future interactions you have with them.

What kind of support can you get?

With the definition of vulnerable being quite broad and varied, the types of support you can get are also broad and varied.

  • You should have access to a range of communications channels to speak to customer support. This could include text relay services or support in different languages.
  • You should be given the time to get help, support and advice on managing debts without the threat of enforcement action.
  • Providers could consider giving you a payment holiday to help you manage cashflow issues.
  • Providers should give you information and advice on tariffs to ensure you don't end up paying more than you should. Vulnerable people are the most likely to remain on expensive out-of-contract deals.
  • Broadband providers should regard disconnection as a last resort.

Broadband providers' vulnerability policies

Ofcom's guidance expects a number of things from broadband suppliers. They should train their staff to be able to recognise the characteristics, behaviours and verbal cues of someone who might be vulnerable, so they can be proactive in offering support. They should identify vulnerable customers and record their needs. And they should make all of their customers aware of the kinds of support and services that they offer.

Many providers publish vulnerability policies. Some have specific support teams in place for vulnerable customers, and some make it easy for you to register your vulnerable status with them. This information will be treated in confidence, and is subject to all the usual data protection legislation.

Here are the relevant pages for many of the leading providers:

Some of the things you can expect include ways to improve access to support via text relay and NGT services or braille guides; simple instructions on using accessibility services like subtitles on TV; and specific policies and help for dealing with financial issues. Naturally, what's promised and what's delivered are not always the same thing, so check our user reviews to see our customers' experiences of their providers' tech support.

If you want to read the full Ofcom report, click here. Or if you want to compare the best broadband deals in your area today, use our postcode search tool to get started.

Comments

Elderly gentleman on a laptop

Over 55s most likely to be hit by broadband price hikes

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesZen

If there's one thing we recommend above everything else it's that you should never stay on your old broadband deal once your contract has ended.

Now a new study from Zen Broadband has shown that people over 55 are the most likely to do exactly that - and they're leaving themselves open to being hit with massive price hikes.

The survey shows that 83% of over-55s haven't switched broadband providers in the last year, and in some cases have never switched at all. This contrasts to the under-24s who are much happier to shop around for a better deal - over half have moved to a new provider in the last 12 months alone.

Data from industry watchdog Ofcom shows that some 25 thousand people come to the end of their broadband deal every day. Anyone who remains on that same deal will be hit by an immediate price rise of as much as 60% as the introductory price they were offered comes to an end. And that's followed by further annual - and sometimes even mid-year - increases.

If you don't take action when your contract ends you can easily wind up wasting hundreds of pounds a year. It's estimated that as many as nine million of us are paying too much.

Ofcom changed the rules earlier this year to try and address the problem. Your broadband provider now has to contact you when your contract is coming to an end to let you know how much the price is about to go up, and to show you what better deals they've got to offer. The changes came into force in February, so it's still too early to know what impact they've had.

So why aren't people switching? The Zen survey shows that apathy plays a part for around a third of people. But the biggest worry for non-switchers - 43% of the over 55 group - is that they'll end up with a worse service if they move to another provider.

If you share this concern, it's worth remembering that you don't actually have to change ISPs to get a cheaper deal. At the very least you should give your existing provider a call to negotiate a better price. Have a look at what other providers are offering first, so you know the going rate, and you'll find that they'll be more than happy to give you something better in return for you committing yourself to them for another year or two.

You can also check out our customer reviews to get an idea of the kind of service you'll receive from all the main broadband suppliers.

You'll get the best deals if you're willing to change broadband suppliers, and switching is a lot easier than you might think. In most cases (the main exception being if you're moving from or to Virgin Media) your new provider will handle the entire process for you. The survey revealed that nearly half of those asked found the process easier than expected, and a huge 89% believed they had benefited from making the switch.

Are you coming to the end of your contract soon? Why not use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deals available in your area today. In just a few minutes you could easily save yourself £150 or more this year.

Comments

Zen Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Zen right for you?

Can I get Zen Broadband?

Zen Broadband runs on the Openreach network, so their superfast fibre plans are available to over 95% of the UK population. If you can get the internet from providers like BT and Sky, then you'll be able to get Zen.

Use our postcode checker to make sure Zen is available where you are. You'll need a working phone line to sign up, and Zen are quite unusual in that they'll allow you to keep your line with a different provider (although this is likely to be more expensive). Should you only have basic internet needs, Zen also still offer a slower and cheaper standard broadband package.

For their ultrafast services, Zen use a combination of full fibre (also known as fibre-to-the-home or fibre-to-the-premises) and G.fast, both of which go up to a top speed of 300Mb on average. G.fast is available in upgraded street cabinets, while full fibre requires an extra installation step as the fibre cables need to run right up to the outside of your house.

Both are only available in select areas, although the latter is the focus of the Government's planned infrastructure investment - and should mean Zen will be able to offer much faster speeds in future.

What packages are available?

Zen Broadband offer one standard broadband plan, two superfast plans and two ultrafast plans. Your options may be limited depending on where you live.

For most users, the main packages to choose from will deliver superfast internet. These are:

  • Unlimited Fibre 1 - unlimited internet with average download speeds of 35Mb and average upload speeds of 6Mb. Includes a £19.99 set up fee.
  • Unlimited Fibre 2 - unlimited internet with average download speeds of 66Mb and average upload speeds of 17Mb. Comes with a £19.99 set up fee.

The two ultrafast packages are:

  • Unlimited Fibre 3 - average download speeds of 145Mb and uploads of 30Mb, with fully unlimited usage. The setup fee is £55. There's a 10-day cooling off period.
  • Unlimited Fibre 4 - the average speed is 300Mb for downloads and 50Mb for uploads, and includes a £55 set up fee. There's a 10-day cooling off period.

All four of these plans are fully unlimited and come on a 12 month contract. You can choose to take the plans with or without a phone line from Zen. If you choose to go without, you'll still need a phone line from another provider and the combined price is likely to work out more than getting it all from the same company.

You get a free router when you sign up, as well as a free static IP address. If Wi-Fi coverage is a problem in your house you can add the EveryRoom plan for an extra £7.99 a month, which includes a Wi-Fi extender to help make your signal reach further.

If you're happy to go with something more basic you can opt for the standard broadband package instead:

  • Unlimited Broadband - an average download speed of 10Mb and upload speed of 1Mb.

This plan is fully unlimited and, as with the other deals, you can get it without or without a phone line from Zen. You can get the package on a 12 month deal, with a £19.99 set up fee and a free router, or on a rolling one month contract. This has a £78 set up fee, and you have to supply your own Wi-Fi router.

Which package should I choose?

Zen have a range of broadband packages catering to their users' different needs. Given that all the plans come with the same length contracts and benefits, speed, price and availability will be the main factors in your decision.

The Unlimited Fibre 3 and 4 plans are ideal for more demanding households, with lots of people streaming 4K video, downloading large files, and maybe uploading large files, too. If you work from home, especially, this may be what you're looking for, although the speeds don't reach the lightning fast rates you can get from the likes of Virgin Media or the full fibre providers. Availability is also limited, so use our postcode checker to see what speeds you can get where you live.

Away from that, you've got a choice of which fibre speed you prefer. Larger, busier households (especially with kids) are likely to benefit more from the faster service, while those with only one or two people might be happy with the slower plan.

If you aren't a heavy internet user and only need a basic service, then you might be tempted to consider the slower Unlimited Broadband plan. However, it's hard to recommend over the Unlimited Fibre 1 deal given that the price difference between the two is so low.

Unlimited Broadband does come with the added option of a one month rolling contract if you aren't able to commit for a longer spell. Just make sure you factor in the high set up fee when you're deciding if it will actually save you any money.

On the question of whether to take Zen with or without a phone line, the only issue is whether you've got a phone deal elsewhere that's still mid-contract. If you haven't, you will almost certainly save money by switching your phone line to Zen when you sign up.

Points to consider

  • Do you need speeds beyond what you can get with a normal fibre deal?
  • Do live in a Zen ultrafast area?
  • How many internet users are there in your house, and what do they use it for?
  • Do you need a short term contract?

What do I get when I sign up?

Zen offer a range of interesting features when you choose one of their broadband packages.

  • FRITZ!Box 7530 router - a wireless AC-rated router worth £130, and comes as standard with all 12 and 18 month contracts. It includes Guest Access, parental controls, and even telephony features.
  • Static IP address - all Zen deals include a free static IP address. This won't mean much to most people, but for those who work from home and need to remotely access their computer or host a website it's a welcome extra that you'd normally have to pay for.
  • Award winning customer service - available over the phone or online between 8am and 6pm on weekdays, and 9am to 5pm on weekends.
  • Auto compensation - if you have faults that aren't fixed within two days you receive £8 a day in compensation; you'll get £25 if an engineer misses an appointment or cancels less than 24 hours before its scheduled time; and if your service doesn't go live on the agreed date you'll get £5 a day for each day it's late.

Benefits

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Ultrafast packages available in some areas - you can get speeds up to an average of 300Mb in some postcode areas.
  • High level of satisfaction - Zen sit at the top of our customer satisfaction charts.
  • UK-based customer service - if you need help you can get it over the phone or via the website seven days a week. It's based in the UK, too.
  • Free static IP address - Need a static IP address for your home business? You get one included for free with Zen Broadband.
  • Truly unlimited service - there are no limits to how much data you can download, so it's ideal to keep the whole family up online.

Drawbacks

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • Not the cheapest - Zen prioritise things like stability, performance and support over cheap prices. If cost is your main consideration you might want to look elsewhere.
  • Short contracts only on slowest plan - all deals require a 12 month contract. The only short contract available is on their 10Mb standard broadband package.
  • Some deals only available over the phone - if you want one of the full fibre options you might have to give them a call instead of signing up online.
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