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The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

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The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

What a nonsense this has all become. By all means implement a FUP, but why try to do it before you can provide the facilities that users need to monitor their usage properly. If PN had an iota of sense and forward planning then the updated VMU would have been in place a week or so ago, allowing time for users to become accustomed to the new system, and for any glitches to be ironed out. What becomes of the F***ed Up Plan now?
15 REPLIES
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LOL

Now why am I not surprised at this? Cheesy

"During the roll out of the new VMU pages early this morning, we encountered a problem with the way the VMU tool is displaying usage data.

Until we have resolved this problem, we have chosen to delay Fair Usage.

To minimise inconvenience, necessary changes are usually made overnight, so we will not be introducing the new VMU or Fair Usage today.

We will keep you posted with more information as soon as it becomes available.

Kind Regards,

Ben Brown
Customer Support"

LOL!
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

Shocking Wink
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The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

I guess they haven't heard of the idea of testing! Wink
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The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

Even when you test things don't always go to plan when you do things for real.
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Testing VMU

Maybe not, but PN expecting that they could put the new VMU system live on the very day the FUP came into force was, how shall we say, somewhat fanciful thinking? The whole FUP debacle has been handled appallingly by PN, and this VMU snafu is just the latest attempt by PN to make themselves look like bungling amateurs.
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

I must admit, I kind of agree with you that the system should have been brought into service before the 14th to ensure problems were all ironed out.

Quite why Plusnet didn't do this I'm unsure. But it didnt happen, and now we have a little while longer without the FUP, so why should we complain?
Graeme
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 05-04-2007

The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

The situation is unfortunate, but sh*t sometimes happens when you move as fast as Plusnet development does. The project to refresh VMU was subject to stringent QA and testing as always, but the real test is always the live environment, with a hundred-thousand users worth of data. To test all possible data-sets before rollout is impossible. Some compromise has to be reached to allow us to deliver as fast as the industry and our customers demand. You as customers have felt the benefit of this reactive delivery and of Plusnet developers' dedication and comittment to their roles many times in the past.
I think it is often underestimated by customers what is required to make changes to complex systems in a relatively short space of time. It doesn't always go 100% to plan, but the measures taken in live testing during rollout caught the issues in this case. That to me is reasurance of the control systems that are in place in our development department and of the dedication, thouroughness and skill of our testing team.
I assure you my colleagues are working their socks off, as always, on the issue. Constructive criticism is always welcome, and we've always felt proud that our customers care enought to get involved in these forums, but a little more patience and a little less insulting opinion is appreciated from time to time. There are no "bungling amateurs" at Plusnet. I look around and I see talent, vision and plain hard work in abundance, and 101% commitment to you and to the company.

Thanks for your time,
Graeme Fraser
Core Systems Developer
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

I think a direct response from a developer deserves an applause.

As I stated in the other thread, you can't truely test an application until it is in it's live environment.

Though, I would have expected PN to bring it live before the 14th to make sure things were ready, I understand that time restraints don't always make it that easy
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

Quote
. Some compromise has to be reached to allow us to deliver as fast as the industry and our customers demand.


So we customers were demanding the FUP to be rolled out quickly then :?:

But well done to gfraser anyway for trying to defend his team.
I'm sure it's not full of incompetents either, but on project planning they seem to need extra help.

What it might be, and i've seen before, is the team pressed to agree to deadlines they don't believe in. It takes a strong manager to say "No" to the establishment, and there aren't many of those about. Silly really, as it just means you get more grief later on when it doesn't work.
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The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

Oh dear, someone seems to have taken this somewhat personally. I was not having a dig at the developers as this would be ill-informed, since I'm not privvy to the specs, timescales etc. that, judging from your posting, appear to have been foisted upon you. What I was talking about is just how poorly PN have handled the whole issue of FUP and dealing with heavy users, of which the 'Let's launch the new VMU and FUP on the same day and see what happens' exercise is just the latest sorry and entirely predictable episode.

If it was clear that the new VMU system was not going to be ready for testing in the field until the 14th, then whoever is responsible for making such decisions should have had the presence of mind to push the introduction of the FUP back at least a week or so to allow 'bedding in'. Instead, we have a situation whereby no one is sure when the FUP will be introduced, and PN is losing evermore the confidence of its customers.

Looking around you, you may not see bungling amateurs, and probably rightly so, but what if you look above you? Am I getting warmer?

On a personal note, I'm pleased that the FUP has been postponed. However, this pleasure is minor compared to my misgivings about what this bungling says about PN's ability to plan ahead and execute such projects in a professional manner, as well as its will to do what's right by the customers, and not just as it pleases.
Graeme
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 05-04-2007

The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

Quote
Quote
. Some compromise has to be reached to allow us to deliver as fast as the industry and our customers demand.


So we customers were demanding the FUP to be rolled out quickly then :?:


No, in the case of Fair Usage, we are reacting to the industry and the way BT has based charging on usage, and how this has affected us as a company, but very often our projects are focused on delivering improvements or new features for our customers.

I'll admit that deadlines are incredible at Plusnet. Some Plusnetters go weeks without a day off, and believe me, the days can be long! It's not enforced by a slave-driver culture; it's simply unquestionable commitment to keeping Plusnet ahead of the field.

This 'whatever-it-takes' attitude does raise the business' expectations of the development department and can, on occasion, lead to commitment to some very difficult deadlines. I'm not saying that's what happened here in this case, but it does happen. This is not the fault of the project managers, as developers are always consulted on timescales. In fact, it's nobody's 'fault'. Whatever-it-takes is what built Plusnet in the early days, and what keeps Plusnet 10 steps ahead of the game today. We thrive on it, and survive on it, and when it doesn't go 100% right, we can't beat oursleves up about it, because without the silly deadlines, and sheer detemination, we'd be JustAnother ISP(tm), and if I thought for one second we were JustAnother ISP(tm), we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Graeme Fraser
Core Systems Developer for the hardest working ISP on the planet Cool
Graeme
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 05-04-2007

The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

Quote
Oh dear, someone seems to have taken this somewhat personally.


Not at all. I didn't actually work on this particular project.

I don't think it's any secret that Plusnet wishes it could turn back time on the FUP thing, but it's too late now. There is no better solution than FUP, even knowing what we know now, and it was the right decision to make. The communication was all screwed up, and I've heard the Big Man himself admit that, but I think the sterling efforts of the Comms Team over the last few months has gone a long way to setting straight that particular warzone. I hope so anyway...

Quote

If it was clear that the new VMU system was not going to be ready for testing in the field until the 14th, then whoever is responsible for making such decisions should have had the presence of mind to push the introduction of the FUP back at least a week or so to allow 'bedding in'. Instead, we have a situation whereby no one is sure when the FUP will be introduced, and PN is losing evermore the confidence of its customers.


Enjoy the extra time non-FUP time, and put your feet up. Smiley

Quote

Looking around you, you may not see bungling amateurs, and probably rightly so, but what if you look above you? Am I getting warmer?


You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment. Smiley
Seriously? Right...
This company didn't exist not too long ago. Now it has floated as a PLC. It has the lowest cost operating model which is the envy of the industry. It has doubled it's share price. It has 100,000 broadband customers and at least the same in narrowband customers, all gained without advertising. It has exclusive deals with BT, because BT knows we can deliver where others will fail. It has industry and consumer awards on every mantlepiece. It has the most dedicated team of employees I've ever seen, who go the extra mile time after time after time. It has a plan for the future that would blow you mind. It has a CEO of the Year leading the way, and it has absolute customer focus at all times.

Define bungling?

Graeme Fraser
Core Systems Developer
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The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

Define bungling?

bungle: to act or work clumsily and awkwardly

Now tell me that this isn't an almost perfect description of how PN have conducted the FUP rollout. Cheesy
Graeme
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 05-04-2007

The 14th is here, and no updated View My Usage

Would you believe me if I did?

Smiley

Graeme Fraser
Core Systems Developer.