The ISP I was thinking about was Bulldog Communications. I quickly cancelled the deal after checking more into their T&C (I was in a hurry because their 2mbit deal ends on the 31st). They offer a 2mbit off-peak connection (512kbps at all other times) for Â£30 pcm. Sounds good, except when I was reading their Terms & Conditions, they don't specify what happens when you want out because of, say, a slow service on their part. Sidenote: When Terms & Conditions don't obviously state something - it is usually bad for you. Look harder for "fine print".
I called them up to clarify, and here's a transcript of what I said:
Me:"Can you clarify the duration of the initial term with regard to cancellation as stipulated in Clause 4.1? of the Terms & Conditions?"
Them:"You would have 7 days to cancel after commencement of the order."
Me:"What if I want to cancel after that?"
Them:"There is no cancelling after that. You are locked into a 12 month contract."
Me:"Ah, thanks. Thats all I needed to know."
Smells a lot like Tiscali's rosy deal where you pay nothing to join them. A little later they completely screw you over on connection speed because they know you can't quit without a lot of trouble or costs. Bloody conmen.
Bulldog's contention ratio for that package is also pretty bad, 50:1. Which means that up to 50 people may be attempting to use that 2mbps connection of yours, at the very worst reducing its speed down to 40kbps (although in all honesty this rarely happens).
Looks like I am back to searching for another broadband ISP. I am definitely going for one with a 1 month contract. If a company has its customers with such a short contract, they will know that customer satisfaction is vital or they may lose them very quickly - as such, they will act to maintain a good connection and service.
In short: Short contract = less risk for you = more risk to them = better service from them.