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Plusnet wins three Moneywise Home Finances Awards

October 31st, 2014 at 09:00 by Chris Parr

Plusnet wins 3 Moneywise home finance awards

We’re delighted to announce that Plusnet have won three awards at the inaugural Moneywise Home Finances Awards. The awards were voted for by Moneywise readers and we’re extremely proud to have come out on top in three categories.

Moneywise have built a reputation as the go to place to find providers that are rated highly by other consumers, so to win an award voted for by their readers is something we’re immensely proud of.

Over 5,500 people took part in the recent survey to vote for the best providers and we’re ecstatic that Plusnet came out as winners in the following three categories:

  • Most Recommended Broadband
  • Best Broadband for Service
  • Best Broadband for Value for Money

Andy Baker, CEO of Plusnet commented:

“We believe our customers are entitled to both great value and customer service, without compromise, so it is truly encouraging to have won these awards through a public vote.   We continue to invest in both our product offering and customer service;  we are recruiting more service advisors to our team on a daily basis and will be launching new products next year. 

“We’re really happy to also receive the “most recommended” title too.  It’s fitting because this year we have reached a significant milestone with our unique My Referrals scheme, rewarding over £6m to customers who recommend our service to family and friends in order to earn money back off their monthly bill.”

We’re really happy at winning these awards and we hope that we can continue to grow and offer great deals to customers.

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Plusnet rewards over £6 million to customers

October 30th, 2014 at 09:00 by Chris Parr

Here at Plusnet we like to give our customers something back for recommending us to their friends and family.

So far over 110,000 customers have received a discount or money back on their monthly bills simply by referring someone to Plusnet home phone and broadband. Since we started the My Referrals programme we’ve given out over £6million!

Are you interested in joining in and saving some money? Simply recommend a friend and ensure they enter your Plusnet username at the relevant point during their sign-up. Once their account is activated you’ll received discounts from your bill as long as they remain a paying Plusnet customer.

The value of the discount varies dependent on the package taken but the referred account, but they are currently as follows:

Plusnet Unlimited – 50p per month/per customer

Plusnet Unlimited Fibre – 75p per month/per customer

All phone products – 50p per month/per customer

There’s no limit to the amount of people you refer, this means there are some customers receiving their Plusnet services completely free!

Paula refers friends and family to PlusnetPaula Harvey-Wilson is one of the Plusnet customers benefitting from the My Referrals programme, she currently enjoys discounts of £30.50 per month. She had this to say:

“For the past ten years or so I have been recommending Plusnet to different friends and family members as I feel Plusnet is the best broadband provider around and the service is always brilliant.”

Andy Baker, CEO at Plusnet commented:

“Word of mouth continues to be the strongest recommendation you can get, and the strength of this referrals programme is real testament to this. We are very proud of our award-winning customer service and competitive pricing and it is great to see that our customers are pleased enough to recommend this service to others. Saving our customers over £6million is a milestone we are thrilled to have reached and really shows that it pays to recommend Plusnet.”

Find out how to get started referring your friends and family to Plusnet here.

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The Rise and Demise of MSN Messenger

October 29th, 2014 at 15:25 by Chris Parr

MSN Messenger login screen

At the end of this month, MSN Messenger will be no more. After fifteen years of operation since its launch in July 1999, Microsoft will finally switch off the service in China, the last country still to be using the service.

MSN Messenger has been replaced by Skype, which they acquired for £5.2 billion back in 2011, which incorporates a messenger service with video functionality and the ability to call people.

Whilst instant messaging still exists and is used, MSN’s disappearance follows in the footsteps of other services popular in the nineties that are no longer in the public eye such as AIM and ICQ.

The MSN login screen

The Rise of MSN in the Nineties

From the era that brought us Take That, Spice Girls, Oasis, Jurassic Park and countless other great things in pop culture, the nineties was arguably the best generation for technology.

Instant messaging appeared at a time when computers had grown in popularity with more families buying them for personal use. Mobile phones were very basic in terms of features – to make you feel old, 1999 also signalled the birth of the Nokia 3210 – and so the instantaneous nature of MSN was undoubtedly advantageous to users.

At the launch of MSN Messenger, the then Vice President of the Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft, Brad Chase, said: “Communications continues to be the cornerstone of the Internet, and instant messaging is becoming a more prevalent way for people to communicate.”

From humble beginnings of a simple chat service that allowed users to communicate with others using Hotmail or AOL, popularity soared as newer services were added.

For families, it presented the chance to communicate quickly and conveniently with each other at very little cost (aside from internet usage, which was penny a minute or alike on dial-up) in comparison to contracts of 10p per text for mobile phones, which weren’t good for serial texters.

From a business perspective, it allowed quick and easy communication between offices across the world, with wider benefits than post, telephone and fax.

The Ultimate Demise of MSN

Windows Live carried on growing and even in 2010 it had a user-base of over 300 million people.

Even so, new kids on the block such as Skype were fresh offering potential and newer capabilities. It seemed a logical decision to merge the two for Microsoft despite the nostalgia and popularity of the service.

MSN MessengerIn a blog, only visible through using the Internet Wayback Archive now, Jeff Kunins, the Group Program Manager of Microsoft in 2010, explained that changes in technology merely complemented existing communication methods.

He said: “Like every major new communications paradigm over the past 20+ years, the thirst and demand that people have to connect, communicate, and share with one another is nearly limitless.

“E-mail didn’t disrupt or reduce phone usage – it added to it.  IM didn’t disrupt or reduce e-mail – it added to it.  The same goes for mobile phones and text messaging, and the same too, for social networking over the past 5 years.”

It almost seems prophetic: e-mail is still a primary method of communication, just as texting and social networking co-exist peacefully. Invariably though, the growth in mobile technology has had an impact on instant messaging clients in that they are no longer standalone services.

Apps such as Snapchat allow the sharing of pictures immediately with small messages and social media sites such as Facebook have incorporated instant messaging services into the website. It merely reminds us that technology is constantly evolving. Nothing can last forever.

Five Nostalgic Moments You May Remember from MSN

As a way of recognising the importance of MSN Messenger, we have put together five nostalgic moments you may remember from using it.

5. Saving custom emoticons to your MSN

Emoticons arguably gained their popularity from days using MSN. The best feature was being able to download your own moving emoticons or pictures and saving them as a random text combination. This made them pop up in the mJdle of sentences like this.

4. Adding the music link in your status

msn music pluginArguably one of the best things about MSN was that you could show just how cool you were with the extension that allowed people talking to you to see the music you were currently listening to in Windows Media Player. Although it may have raised eyebrows if anyone was paying close enough attention to see you skip past ‘Spice Girls’ in your library between Linkin’ Park and Korn. Or if you were so in love with one song that you played it repetitively and the same song status showed for hours.

3. The Nudge Function

The nudge function was useful and incredibly annoying by the same token. The incessant wobbling was a pain and the fact that it always popped up at the front of your screen didn’t help to ignore it either. On the other hand, if you were impatient and needed an urgent response you could nudge the person you were talking to 500 times. Or you could just get nudged 500 times. Or you and your mate could have one of those ‘nudging wars’ where one person nudged, and the other nudged back repetitively.

2. Those repetitive ‘same old’ conversations

If you – or the other person – coming online wasn’t particularly enthused by the thought of conversation (or you just found them a massive pain), it seemed that the back and forth of responses took the same turn every time. Hands up if you had one of these:

Friend: Hi

You: Hi

Friend: How r u?

You: Good thanks, u?

Friend: Yeah, good thanks.

Friend: What u upto?

You: Nothing much, u?

Friend: Nothing much either.

*silence for several hours*

 

Wow, the real humdrum of chit-chat!

1.       Pressing enter loads of times/typing the alphabet to hide conversation from parents

When parents were keeping an eye on you, you had two options: 1) quickly flick between windows, arousing further suspicions you were looking at something you shouldn’t. Or 2) keep the conversation open but press enter loads of times so your previous messages disappeared, or you would type the alphabet (much to the confusion of your mate) just to post a load of messages to clear the screen. Incidentally, this was also a method of getting attention of your mate like nudging.

We are really sad to see MSN go, mainly because it was a major part of what we did growing up. It just follows a trend of things being ruined from our childhood *cough* Bob the Builder *cough*? Pure sacrilege.


Do you have any more nostalgic memories of MSN? What was the best memory from nineties internet you remember?

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obLIVEon wins Plusnet’s Life As A Game Competition

October 28th, 2014 at 10:05 by Chris Parr

Gaming Week 2014

We are pleased to announce that after much deliberation and discussion within the office that the winner of our #lifeasagame competition from Plusnet Gaming Week 2014 was Ian Flory with his obLIVEon entry.

Ian created the five-minute long video based on Bethesda Game Studios popular game, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, re-enacted with the help of friends and colleagues (and his wife, who apparently let him spend so much time on it).

The video was fully deserving of taking the top prize of a Playstation 4 and a copy of Destiny. You can view it in all its glory below:

Numerous other entries pushed Ian all the way as they fought the second prize of a copy of Destiny for the console of their choice. Second prize went to Emma Barnes on her unconventional blog entry, in which she wrote about life as a game and using pictures to illustrate this.

Here are some of the other entries we received:

Fruit Ninja

@GeekPointDesign

Tea Simulator

@Fancywookiee

 

Kite Fighter

@Alex_1397

 

Tree Swinging

@redmeister81

 

Angry Birds

@leinadteerts

 

Mario

@stunpest

And if you haven’t yet watched our video that started this whole competition then please take a moment to do so:

 

You can read some of our other gaming week content at the links below:

Thank you to everyone who took part and we hope you all had great fun!

What do you think to the entries sent in? Do you agree with our winner?

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