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Be Careful.

spuddler
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 02-05-2007

Be Careful.

Bit of Background, been with Plusnet since June 2005. Used to read on old forum, bit on this one. Do not post much.
Come on here once in a while now.
Hi, just got caught out, extra £25 at least on this months bill (if i go to too much of a crawl before 6th March, might have to make it £30).
Been on a few Plusnet packages, still on a old one now, 'Plusnet Extra with included 60GB bandwidth'
Adequate for me (i thought) nowadays (last 3 mths, 5GB, 12GB, 10GB approx), if doing a bit, check my usage.
So never set any limit (if i even knew about it yonks ago).
When i looked at my email account Wed 26th Feb, i'd 4 emails from Plusnet, each one adding 5GB at £5 (first email 11pm 25th, 4th 12:22PM 26th).
While finding out what it was, now 5 x £5 (5th email 2:07pm 26th).
What the hecks this !!!!  . Not run many apps for a while or really any downloads, just web browsing.
Phoned Plusnet (Paying number now 03 ?), guy said unplug every thing from your router, just leave connected to phoneline, for 5 or 6 hrs.
So i did do. But couple of hours later i clicked on, i'd had a couple of webcams running on internet, must be them, or one in particular.
' The Lowther' Pub York,  River Ouse, web cam (should be easy to find). Thought nothing, because pic small on my 24" monitor, & pic only refreshs every 10 secs.
But looks like that & since found it could be Hi Def stream, i was getting. Or will std def or iPlayer etc do it as well.
Full Virus scan found nothing etc.
So prob only day or so, i'd gone up to 50GB,. 60GB (no email warnings, soon come after 60GB thou).
So from say hour or so before 11:00pm 25th to 12:22pm 26th, iv'e used near 25GB (not including prob loads more overnight useage).
So about 11pm 26th, phoned Plusnet, ended up with a manager.
No we don't want to cut your speed (negative made into positive, did laugh at this).  They let you pay extra (prob be mega if you, don't look at your email account much), you can set a cap.
I didn't because of my usage, Doh, but how many non PC savvy Plusnet customers will have anyway.
Even if you don't set a cap, default should be, slow to crawl (you will see that & phone em up), & adequate warnings when nearing max (but it can happen very fast, as for me, but could stop £100 etc pound bill for some). .
I looked at email acc next day, £25, somebody could end up with hundreds of £s.
Ain't mobile phone Co's, had to protect customers with data charges/ bills ? ie defaults not to keep banging data to your phone if your at youre limit. 
Cut it short, 2 options. Option 1 pay up (Plusnet have payed for bandwidth, yeh at £5 for every 5GB).
Option 2 move to unlimited on 18mths contract (cheaper for 6mths or whatever)  & we will waver £25.
Ain't been on a contract for years, & really don't want to be on one now (whatever bonus's, £x for so many months, forgot actual figure), after this (peeved off at mo, so on Principle as well).
What Trapdoor will i fall through next ? Yeh unlimited, will be unlimited, with no sanctions whatever or speed drops, blocks etc.

Yes my fault bandwidth exceeded, but defaults stink IMO (like they did with mobile phone data).
Yes been with Plusnet nearly 9yrs & should have changed my package more. Bet i'm not only one thou. So watch out.
Lot on here prob PC savvy, but IMO you can still get caught out. And maybe not just on old packages.

Cheers Bob
ps sorry for the long post.
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 4
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Be Careful.

It's good to get it off your chest and you're not the only one who has been caught out by unexpected usage on a capped package.
With the speed of t'internet these days and the size of some pages and videos etc, it is very easy to rapidly use more than you bargained on.
I was using my phone while waiting for the stepson to finish an interview and found a single webpage which ate nearly 2Mb of my mobile data while looking for bearings.
I also caught my stepson downloading a game for his Xbox - nearly 6Gb ! I'm not that worried as I'm on unlimited but it does soon add up.
Even a misbehaving application that tries to download an update, fails, tries again - repeat etc etc.
Personally I like being on the Unlimited package - far less of a worry and well worth considering if you're generally happy with Plusnets service Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
Thanks: 86
Fixes: 3
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Be Careful.

Quote from: spuddler
What Trapdoor will i fall through next ? Yeh unlimited, will be unlimited, with no sanctions whatever or speed drops, blocks etc.

Well, PN Unlimited really is what it says.
Quote
Ain't been on a contract for years, & really don't want to be on one now (whatever bonus's, £x for so many months, forgot actual figure),

There is an option for no (minimum term) contract though, of course, the price is higher.
Quote
ps sorry for the long post

No need to apologise, your post was clear and explained your position perfectly.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
DaveG
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 19-02-2013

Re: Be Careful.

Hi spuddler,
Interesting post - I had an email from plusnet  at 9:09 Monday morning telling me I had exceeded my usage and were charging me another £5.
When I checked my usage it would seem I had used over 12Gb since 8AM that morning, that is more than I had used in a week for the current billing period.
The odd thing is the only device turned on before that was my smartphone.
After phoning plusnet got asked to turn off every device for an hour and to phone back.
After phoning back the usage had gone up a bit more so was asked to turn of the router for an hour.
Phoned again and said nothing had been used so there was no problem their end and it must have been my actual usage at my end.
It does make you wonder if there was a problem!!
Dave
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 4
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Be Careful.

Dave - I'd check who is connected to your wireless - it may be that someone nearby has "compromised" your password and is enjoying your bandwidth.
12Gb from a smartphone is extremely excessive !
DaveG
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 19-02-2013

Re: Be Careful.

Hi DomS,
I checked the routers dhcp table and logs -  there was definitely no external access.
As an extra security measure my wireless connections are limited to known MAC address's so definitely no unwanted access.
spuddler
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 02-05-2007

Re: Be Careful.

Hi, i closed webcam page & router lights near enough stopped. Know theres progs to (prob have one), but CBA.
Worse thing, it all happened over that short of time ie 6hrs for £20.
We have all seen it over the years, speed, bandwith ( mind bandwith never got much advertising, like speed), exchange capacity/ sharing etc. Traffic managing/ shaping, heavby users, dropping your speed etc etc, most will know what i'm getting at.
Now we have this 'Unlimted' that throws the past out of the Window ? Call me a Cynic, but..................., some on here will know (always been good & helpful in the past, knew they were there when i needed them. Plus mods etc).
Only thought, post in forum ? i might not be be only person susceptable. Its sad i'm not the only one. Plus theres all those, who don't even use this forum, non PC savvy etc etc.
Cheers Bob
ps few mins before coming on here, web slow as a constipated snail (knew i only had few hundred MB after last Plusnet email). Took a bit to check emaIs ie one from Plusnet, then PN acc & make my overspend now £30.
I'll cruise to 6th Feb on 5GB, as said one month only used 5GB.
DougMa
Grafter
Posts: 115
Thanks: 3
Registered: 09-09-2011

Re: Be Careful.

FYI, 03 numbers are a very good thing:
http://www.aa.net.uk/kb-telecoms-03.html
Unlike 08 numbers, they are charged the same as 01 and 02 and providers are required to treat them the same when it comes to inclusive minutes, etc.  As companies and government departments are pressured into replacing their premium 0845/0870 numbers, they are mostly replaced with 03.
Doug
spuddler
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 02-05-2007

Re: Be Careful.

Hi, but as far as i know, 0845  & 0870 numbers are totally free, at least with my Tariff ?
Cheers Bob
dragon2611
Grafter
Posts: 283
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: Be Careful.

Quote from: DomS
Even a misbehaving application that tries to download an update, fails, tries again - repeat etc etc.

Been there done that, Burned through a crazy amount of bandwidth with a Very large download that was failing and auto restarting thankfully it was on my Plusnet FTTC line which is unlimited usage.
If that had been on my other connection it could have been rather expensive, once got a bandwidth excess in the region of £75 due to forgetting to throttle an offsite backup (Have some kit in a Co-location facility, pay per Mbit/s based on my 95%ile)
DougMa
Grafter
Posts: 115
Thanks: 3
Registered: 09-09-2011

Re: Be Careful.

A number of providers have begun discounting 0845/0870 numbers and/or including them in inclusive minutes, but that is the exception rather than the norm because the recipient earns a % of the call charge, inflating the cost relative to 01/02/03 numbers.
More details on: http://www.saynoto0870.com
spuddler
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 02-05-2007

Re: Be Careful.

Hi, thanks for all the info.  I'll work out all my options, weigh stuff up, won't rush etc.
Agree on 03 numbers as such, good move to protect the vunerable or unlucky. Shame everything ain't that way, well sometimes complete opposite.
Looked at Plusnet Tariffs & couldn't see 03's free,  like you say, theres Saynoto0870 etc.

Cheers Bob
IngeJones
Rising Star
Posts: 90
Thanks: 2
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-01-2014

Re: Be Careful.

These days I wouldn't dream of going onto a capped data package, for precisely this type of reason.
spuddler
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 02-05-2007

Re: Be Careful.

Hi, i used a 0845 number, but like you say Doug, 03 numbers free as well with Plusnet.  (rushing a bit when i looked).

Cheers Bob
tazmaniandevil
Grafter
Posts: 85
Thanks: 3
Registered: 07-02-2014

Re: Be Careful.

I had a very similar experience with my long term ISP. I would exceed my allowance, increase my payment to upgrade, and useage would drop to below 25% for a period of time. Suddenly bandwidth would spike again (50Gb one weekend was most notable)  Pay more, useage drops to below 25% again. It got to the stage where they wanted me to go unlimited, which would be £44/month. This incidentally did not include telephone services & charges. Each time I upgraded my package I was tied in to another contract.
Non, mes amis. I may be a cynic too, but I recognise the pattern.
That said, I am now with PlusNet on an unlimited service. The unlimited service, including telephone services is still better value than my original fibre service so I'm quite happy.