Linux: Working as designed
yitz: I don't think any residential ISP will guarantee ping times to a particular destination.
While it's true we're not offering a guarantee here, and the service is within design limits, we still try to make things as good as practical (cost is of course a factor here). So although you may get brushed off by the call centre, there are a few people that keep an eye on posts here (and our own Community pages) and will do what they can to improve things. So please keep posting problem traceroutes, and any other useful information that can help us to troubleshoot (such as traces from other providers - ping is a start but trace is a heap better).