Post Office broadband: stamp of approval?

post box

IS Post Office broadband as reliable as your local branch or as unreliable as... your local branch?

Our Rating

Value for money:

Customer service:

3.5 out of 5

They're good at closing down rural branches and ensuring their counter staff are as surly as possible but can the Post Office bring that same can-do attitude to the broadband world?

From the packages they offer, to their home phone service, to customer service and more, this guide looks at what anyone thinking of moving to Post Office Broadband needs to know.

Post Office: need to know

Here's what you really need to know, from prices to packages.

The deals

At the time of this update, the Post Office have not long ditched their capped Broadband Essential package, leaving just the one, really simple, unlimited deal:

Package Broadband
post office Broadband Premium Unlimited usage

As with most other providers these days, getting their broadband relies on also taking the Post Office's home phone service.

Unlike many other ISPs, however, at the time of this update, that phone line still comes with inclusive weekend calls.


It used to be that Post Office Broadband was priced just below BT broadband (reviewed here), but compared to the biggest provider, Post Office Broadband now looks quite the bargain.

That's helped by the fact that they keep things very simple, including the terms of any introductory offers they run, but there almost don't need to be.

Here's what they charge:

Package Limit Line Rental Price Total Cost
post office HomePhone + Broadband Premium Unlimited £16.99 £3
for 18 mths,
then £10
for 18 mths,
then £26.99

Now compare that package with its counterparts from BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Plusnet:

Package Price Line Rental Total cost
BT Unlimited Broadband + Weekend calls £5
for 12 mths,
then £18
£18.99 £23.99
for 12 mths,
then £36.99
Plusnet Unlimited + Line Only Free
for 18 mths,
then £9.99
£17.99 £17.99
for 18 mths,
then £27.98
Sky Broadband Unlimited + Talk Free
for 12 mths,
then £10
£17.40 £17.40
for 12 mths,
then £27.40

More on calls

As mentioned above, Post Office line rental is not an optional extra. But as BT and Virgin Media line rental is now at £19, £16.99 a month seems almost reasonable.

The provider also gives customers the chance to make that bill even more reasonable by offering an upfront option costing £179.88 for 12 months - or the equivalent of just £14.99 per month.

And as mentioned above, the Post Office's basic line rental still includes weekend calls to UK landlines, 0845, and 0870 numbers.

Note that the weekend, for the Post Office's purposes, runs from Friday 6pm to 6am on Monday.

This never used to be particularly noteworthy - everyone bundled weekend calls of some sort in with their line rental - but in the past year Sky and Plusnet have joined TalkTalk and some of the smaller ISPs in stripping inclusive calls of any sort from their basic line rental.

As well as offering weekend calls, there are various other call options:

Call Package Extra charge per month
Evenings and weekends£2.50
Anytime calls £7
International Saver: anytime calls to 40 top international destinations, and up to 50% off calls to all other destinations£4
Mobile 100: 100 anytime minutes to UK mobile numbers £2.50
Mobile 500: 500 anytime minutes to UK mobile numbers £7.50

Outside of any bundled calls, there's a flat rate fee of 10p per minute to UK landlines, with a call connection fee of 16p. Calls to most mobiles cost 13p per minute at all times.

The access charge for 08, 09 and 118 numbers is 10p per minute.

Customers can also choose calls to up to 10 of their favourite or most often used numbers to receive a 10% discount.

The "Loved Ones" package has no restrictions on the types of numbers included: mobile or landline, UK or international, in any combination.

As with the other phone service providers, the Post Office offer a number of call features; unlike some of the others they offer caller display, call barring, and basic voicemail free of charge - although users will need to request that they be activated.

Other features cost extra:

There are savings to be had for those who want more than one of the features that cost £2.50 a month: taking two will cost £4 a month, taking three will cost an extra £5 a month - which could well make blocking nuisance calls slightly more affordable.

Frequently asked questions

Now that we've got a handle on the basics, let's take a look at the questions we're most frequently asked about Post Office Broadband.

Isn't Post Office run by TalkTalk?

Since July 2013, the Post Office broadband network has been managed by TalkTalk.

It was time for a change: the Post Office were among very few ISPs still offering ADSL - which has a maximum connection speed of just 6-8Mb.

With the move to TalkTalk's ADSL2+ network came a speed boost - so customers now get the much more familiar up to 17Mb service.

Like the companies who resell BT broadband, the companies that resell TalkTalk's services only use the bigger ISP's network - the customer service, traffic management policies and pricing structures are all the Post Office's own.

For those who are interested in the Post Office's network provider, however, there's plenty of detail in our review of TalkTalk, available here.

How reliable is Post Office broadband?

It's difficult to see straight off what kind of speeds the Post Office actually offer their users, as they don't actually display any "up to" information on their website: would-be customers must click through to get an estimated download speed for their line.

This is in part a hangover from the days when they offered a slower connection, and in part as a result of changes to industry guidelines on advertised speeds.

As noted above, now that they use TalkTalk's network, they offer the same ADSL2+ "up to 17Mb" service as do the vast majority of UK ISPs.

The average speeds customers receive are still some way short of the "up to" mark - in February 2015, TalkTalk customers could expect an average speed of 7.5Mb to 9.5Mb over 24 hours.

But TalkTalk do offer a fairly reliable service - as in, always on, consistent speeds - so it's reasonable to expect the Post Office will do the same.

Didn't Post Office broadband have a 10GB data cap?

As mentioned above, until recently the Post Office were one of the few ISPs to still offer a capped data package - and the cap was one of the lowest around at just 10GB.

Data caps
How much is enough?

The 10GB limit was okay for light users - those who don't do much more than email and browse the web - but anyone who uses a service like BBC iPlayer or Spotify, or who can find themselves getting lost in Youtube, will find they'll easily exceed that limit.

Because the Essential package has only recently been scrapped, it's likely there are people reading this update who are still on it, and who'll be affected by excess charges if they do go over it - but at 75p per GB they are slightly cheaper than most.

However, we've heard in the past that people subscribed to the capped package who go over their allowance are often given a bit of a push to upgrade.

How unlimited is their unlimited broadband?

Then again, just like many other ISPs, the Post Office have realised the appeal of a good introductory offer - so signing up to Broadband Premium with its unlimited access often worked out at the same price, or cheaper, over the course of the first year.

That comes at the cost of a longer contract - unusually for a standard broadband provider, the Post Office insist that customers commit for at least 18 months.

At least unlimited customers are now subject to a much fairer fair use policy.

It used to be the case that users who exceeded 100GB a month would have their service throttled for the rest of that month - but the Post Office removed any mention of this limit in August 2014.

Users do need to keep an eye on the size of their email accounts, however. Should an email account exceed 10GB in size, incoming emails may be rejected.

In terms of traffic management the Post Office are a bit on the vague side: they say they keep an eye on "very high bandwidth users" and those using peer-to-peer services, and that they "may restrict the usage of those services at peak times" - but that's all the detail they give.

There's more detail in our guide to fair use policies on this page.

How's the customer service?

Customer service seems to be a continuing problem for Post Office Broadband.

We could expect them to have some issues as they moved from the BT network to TalkTalk's in 2013 - but it seemed to take them some time to settle. In fact, at the end of the year they published the following notice on their website:

"As a result of some changes being made to our Broadband and Phone service we are experiencing technical issues which are resulting in calls to our Customer Care Line taking longer than normal to answer."

Customers say that the representatives at the Northern Ireland call centre were helpful when they finally answered, but that was cold comfort for those who couldn't get through in the first place.

In Ofcom's latest complaints data at the time of this update, the results weren't great for the Post Office. They frequently receive more complaints than is average across the industry - and in the most recent three month period they were the most complained about provider, beating even TalkTalk.

Fixed line complaints per 100,000 connections, Q2 2014 - Q1 2016

Ofcom complaints 2016

SOURCE: Ofcom Telecoms and Pay TV Complaints Q1 2016. Available here.

Ofcom's data only looks at the largest providers of each service, so the fact that Post Office Broadband doesn't feature in the broadband complaints data doesn't mean there aren't grumbles.

TalkTalk lead the field there, although not by much - and of the providers listed everyone bar Sky and Virgin manage to generate far more than the average number of complaints.

As even "customer service champions" of the likes of Plusnet are included in that huddle, we'd be tempted to say the Post Office fits into roughly the same territory - not great, but not terrible.

So: is Post Office Broadband any good?

The name may well be reassuring to many, and compared with the big name providers the Post Office are competitively priced - helped in no small part by the cost of their home phone service.

On that note, it may be the case that we get what we pay for - so don't expect a first class service.

They win points for keeping things simple, their customer service does seem to have improved - and they garner far fewer complaints than some far bigger providers.

We'd say that rather than being first class, the Post Office are more Standard Delivery.


16 October 2016

They changed our phone number four times and disconnected our broadband for weeks at a time, admitting their mistake.
How can they make the same mistake 4 times??
You have been warned.

4 May 2016

I started the unlimited package at the start this year (2016) it's now May, so I can give you a clear review, I pay £19.20 a month (they told me £20 (16+4)) via cash top-up card. I didn't even have to start paying until 2 weeks after I got it, it's a self setup, easy to use box, that came through my post box haha, oh and for the nerds, I get 20-50ms ping, 10mb Down and that stays very steady, I get 0.75mb Up. I can run an Xbox one with better performance than people on virgin media fibre optic!! And this is while the Mrs is streaming video at upto 720p, in 2 weeks alone I downloaded 130GB on my XB1 plus ontold amounts updating and downloading like anyone does when they get WiFi installed lol, and no drop in performance, I've even been torrenting, virtual private networking to bypass PO content restrictions (+18 Game forums, YouTube license restrictions, etc) and I've been regularly downloading HD movies, huge software packages and system updates, and still no trouble! I can't recommend them enough, the only area I am not a heavy user is in uploads, but even at that, I still put up YouTube videos! And no complaints, my advice, get cheap PO unlimited broadband, and drink then dry like I do :)

11 January 2016
John Hunt

Don't join them. Post Office broadband are dysfunctional from top to bottom. 13 weeks to connect broadband, 6 of them with no landline either. They lie about appointments 'made' with openreach...and the internet speed is one fifth of what it was with BT, and that's after 7 promised openreach appointments, 6 of which never happened, but which I found out from one harassed customer services operator was because they'd cancelled them themselves. Truly diabolical. Avoid at any cost.

5 January 2016
Mark M

Joined the Post Office in early November. I was with BT before and my net speed was usually around 6-7mb. With the Post Office, it is rarely above 1mb, and from early afternoon till early am, it is usually around 0.2-0.4mb. I phoned them about it and had lots of hassle trying things out and testing it. They offered to send an engineer out, but I refused because i have read various stories of people being charged £144, sometime more, even though it was unclear whether anything was actually wrong. I did my homework, and found out they switched me to standard adsl, which can't get more than 2mb max, so they basically lied to me when I joined them because I was told I should get up to 6-7mb just like I did with BT.

They wont do anything unless I agree to an engineer coming out, but I am not taking the risk that they will use that as an opportunity to get more money out of me. The fault is clearly with them. So my warning to everyone out there is BEWARE - they may put you on a slow adsl service like me and then muck you around before suggesting they send out an engineer to you. My advice - ask your neighbours who they are with and don't take a risk like I did, even if it means paying a bit more. Having a uselessly slow internet service is painful!

29 December 2015

It's now December and we've been with the Post Office since June. I did shop around at the start and looked extensively at Martin Lewis's website advice. We had just moved back from abroad and needed a UK phone line installed for free too. This package ticked all the boxes. We have had no problems at all - yes, at the start, it took about three weeks to get it all set up and for the best financial deal, you pay £148 up front for the discounted annual line rental. But overall, the speeds are fine for streaming, YouTube and links through to my smart telly - and we live in the countryside. It' also a damn sight better than when we lived in the Middle East too!

If you just want a basic, no nonsense VERY WELL PRICED deal for the internet, then I would highly recommend the Post Office. I've only had reason to call them once and the service I got was fine.

The one downside? They seem to change their price at will. The good news is though that market competition (which sadly Thatcher missed the boat with railways, water companies and electricity) tends to work with internet service providers and means rises are not too excessive.

5 December 2015
Eliot Barrass

Anyone who gives money to Post Office broadband needs their head looking at. Terrible, terrible service. I had three weeks of hassle trying to get my phone and broadband installed. At one point the technical team asked me to contact BT myself and ask what the problem was. I replied that I wasn't a BT customer (this was news to them).
I kept being promised calls back which never came. In chasing I kept being sent around the houses.
Having cancelled my order I lodged a compensation claim for the hassle caused and the work forgone. The offer doesn't even cover the costs of calls to Post Office chasing up the problem.

11 November 2015
Chris Reynolds

Joined Post Office home phone with broadband premium 18 months ago, and I must say I've never had a problem. Download speeds consistent at 14Mb/s and has never dropped below 12. I may be lucky there because I'm only 800 yards from exchange. Prices very reasonable, plus every time I recommended a friend who gets connected, I get £10 off my bill.

28 December 2014

Phone service is good and good value but the broadband service and support is way below par. Speeds of 0.4Mbs are not unusual in busy evening periods or weekends. I have an ongoing wireless problem with my laptop that I am unable to use at home, it works fine everywhere else. I think the issue is with the firmware in the PO supplied router. The PO are unable to fix this, a lot of their problems are due to the fact that the support personnel are insufficiently trained and not technically skilled. It is cheap but I suppose you only get what you pay for. I shall be moving to an alternative ISP.

8 December 2014

When it's working it's OK. When there is a problem with the service Post Office Broadband are difficult to communicate with. Our phone line went down a few weeks ago. I rang BT to report the fault but they said we are not a customer so should report the fault to Post Office Broadband. I sent three e-mails to Post Office Broadband and a month later I am still waiting for a reply. I eventually rang Post Office Broadband Help Line from a neighbour's phone and waited 36 minutes for someone to answer. They checked the line and confirmed it wasn't working (thanks!) and
they would report the fault to the engineer. That was the last I heard from them.
The phone line was eventually reinstated about 10 days later.

Very poor communications.

7 February 2014

Well after seeing these reviews I'll stick with BT, sometimes cheaper is not always best. I did say to BT I am thinking of changing so they came up with a better deal which saves me 10 pound a month. I'll stick with them for now customer service and technical dept have always been very helpful and always sorted any problems I have had which is not very often.

10 October 2013

Post Office broadband is no longer provided by BT wholesale, it's now TalkTalk and the customer service centre has been farmed out.

15 October 2013
Choose team

Hey Paul, Sorry you saw our article before it'd been updated to reflect these changes. Now updated - Julia (Choose Ed).

23 September 2013

Whilst the Post Office would not be my immediate choice as a broadband provider, if you are not sure how long you require their service in a contract, they seem to be the only provider who will not make you pay the remaining line rental charges for their service when you incur the early disconnection fee. This makes it a lot more advantageous to people who might not need an entire 12 months of the service and/or in house sharing situations.

1 May 2012
Ant inchley

We recently changed our Internet provider to the Post Office as we thought it would be cheaper. Prices are better than BT but we have major problems.

Customer service is a complete joke. I got the broadband package mostly so that myself and my son can play Xbox live. With Post Office you can ATTEMPT to play online games but as soon as you try and join a party or play in games with friends you get a network error message. I've been told that this is a router problem and after 10 phone calls to the router manufacturers and 7 calls to the Post Office I just get told to buy a new router!!!

DO NOT join the Post Office, the broadband is an absolute joke :(

15 April 2014

I totally agree, Post Office broadband customer service is beyond joke! I am raging, they do not have a clue what they are talking about and no communication between their employees. I did a home move and still no internet after 10 days of promised date, may be I spent 10 hours on phone with them, at last I decided and cancelled it, I get a voice mail next days from someone else saying I will get connection in next 2 weeks! But I cancelled it last night!

7 January 2012

I've had a terrible time with the Post Office. 2 months since I ordered my home move, and still no broadband. Constant promises, excuses, and hollow apologies, but still no closer to being connected. I would never be able to recommend them to anyone.

6 October 2011
Jim Davies

I have a pensioner neighbour who has had nothing but a mere 0.2Mb (!) broadband, not the 8Mb promised and now after 3 months of investigations (and charging at full rate) the ISP is trying to wriggle out of their obligations.

I'm telling everyone I know. The ISP seems afraid to report faults to BT in case they pick up a bill but nevertheless consistently take payments for services that are not delivered. I thought this sort of thing got cleaned up decades ago! What is the Regulator doing?

25 August 2011

I have had dreadful trouble with both TalkTalk and BT and am very unsure where to go next. I currently get 3.5mb speeds with BT - would it be the same with the Post Office?

25 August 2011
Choose team

The Post Office's network is run by BT so speeds are likely to be very similar if not the same.

5 July 2011

This review seems a little out of date. Now 0845 & 0870 calls are included in the package, as are free weekend calls to mobiles and 40 International destinations. Along with NO minimun line rental tie-in, and NO penalty charge should you wish to pay your bill at the Post Office.

I find Home Phone & Broadband Extra an unbeatable package compared to BT.

5 July 2011
Choose team

Hi Alan, thanks for your comment - we've now updated this guide and included your comments.

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