John Lewis has a long, illustrious history as one of the UK’s biggest retailers. The company expanded into the broadband market in 2012, and this John Lewis broadband review should help to determine whether the company’s products and services are right for your household.
While John Lewis is the brand displaying on monthly bills, internet connectivity is provided by Plusnet. Known for its affordably-priced broadband, Plusnet covers large swathes of the UK. It offers download speeds comparable to major broadband providers, at competitive prices.
One key difference from other internet service providers (ISPs) is that John Lewis broadband’s pricing is the same for all customers. Postcode searches won’t lead to you being quoted different prices, whether you live in the heart of a city or in a remote rural backwater.
John Lewis offers a variety of services, from standard ADSL broadband to fibre connections. Its deals also include phone plans, some with international calls.
Online security is included thanks to a collaboration with antivirus brand BullGuard. BullGuard provides its customers with a secure border, protecting you from harmful websites and ensuring safe online banking. Each John Lewis broadband plan comes with a router, while line rental is included in each monthly payment and there are no extra delivery fees.
The company’s ‘Unlimited broadband with phone’ offering comes as a 12-month fixed-price contract. Its Unlimited Broadband has average download speeds of 10Mbps. As the name implies, there is no usage limit, and therefore no need to worry about your internet connection being slowed down at peak times or if you’re constantly online.
John Lewis also offers a fibre broadband option for customers requiring faster internet and download speeds. In keeping with the ADSL option mentioned above, John Lewis fibre broadband guarantees its customers unlimited usage. It also includes the same customer service and BullGuard online security package.
The main difference centres on average download speeds of 36Mbps, using Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connectivity. John Lewis doesn’t provide Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband.
If 36Mbps still isn’t rapid enough, John Lewis has a Fibre Extra broadband package capable of achieving download speeds of 66Mbps. The offers and standard inclusions from Fibre Broadband are available here as well, attached to a faster connection.
Customers who want to include a calling plan in their broadband contract have a variety of options. With the Unlimited Broadband service, subscribers receive evening and weekend calls to UK landlines. For a small extra fee, an Anytime call plan includes UK landline calls at any time of day or week. An Anytime and International call plan delivers 300 minutes of call time to 35 other countries.
If you’re looking to add a mobile deal, you can upgrade to cover calls to any UK mobile number. However, this service is only available to customers who already have the Anytime or Anytime and International call plans.
Connection speeds range from 10Mbps for Unlimited standard (ADSL) broadband to 66Mbps for Fibre Extra broadband, while Fibre Broadband achieves typical download speeds of 36Mbps.
While these aren’t the fastest speeds available in the UK broadband market, they’re comparable to other FTTC services. They’re also offered at an affordable price when you consider that location isn’t a deciding factor.
Since John Lewis is supplied by BT-owned Plusnet, it harnesses the full BT network. BT extends coverage to more than 95% of the UK, though rural customers may find they don’t fall within the service area.
Ultimately, Plusnet and its BT parent charge different prices for the same service, depending on where you live. By contrast, John Lewis charges customers the same price for broadband regardless of location, which is unusual. It’s a USP you may want to benefit from if you live in a location that often gets quoted high fees.
John Lewis is a well-known and respected brand. Its staff are all stakeholders in the business, which has traditionally underpinned a very impressive reputation for customer service. For fans of the brand, going with John Lewis may represent a more reassuring option than signing up with another ISP.
John Lewis broadband offers plenty of benefits – price, free installation and delivery, and phone plans. However, there are some quite critical John Lewis fibre broadband reviews online. Trustpilot customers have complained that while John Lewis does offer its own customer service, it may not be the best.
John Lewis internet reviews often describe customers being unable to contact the customer service team about billing issues. Many customer reviews have also highlighted slow internet speeds, though these are among the industry average and may be restricted by the connectivity at a particular address.
These are the main advantages and drawbacks of John Lewis broadband:
|Affordable price regardless of location||No FTTP broadband packages|
|Unlimited broadband with no restrictions||No TV packages|
|No installation or delivery fees||Mixed customer service reviews|
|Router included with every subscription included|
|Free 24/7 UK customer support|
There are ISPs who offer more than John Lewis, but few can match its pricing. Taking this affordability into account, John Lewis offers quite a lot to its customers. Broadband is provided by a reputable business backed by the infrastructure of the UK’s former monopoly holder, while generous phone deals and standard pricing are available regardless of your location.
Nonetheless, other broadband providers can offer faster internet speeds, TV and streaming bundles, as well as FTTP connections to the home. They’re more expensive, but upload and download speeds will be significantly better in areas where these ISPs offer their services.
Last updated: 23 November 2020