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Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

If I look at Plusnet Value and compare it to Plusnet Extra, and make the assumption that both products have the same basic costings as each other, it could easily be concluded that a broadband connection is charged at £5.50 and that bandwidth is charged at £0.10 per GB.
Plusnet Extra £5.50 + (£0.10 * 60) = £11.50
Plusnet Value £5.50 + (£0.10 * 10) = £6.50
Pretty much on the nose for the actual prices, so it seems that Plusnet sell bandwidth for 10p per GB... yet when I look at extra usage, it's charged at £5.00 per 5GB or expressed a different way £1.00 per 1GB or 1000% of the bundled price.
Now, whats the sense in that?  Do Plusnet really really really not want me and you to purchase extra bandwidth, which would explain the punitive nature of the charges, or is extra bandwidth seen as a way to gouge customers?
There are great, and fully unlimited broadband packages available for £25pm to £30pm range available from "premium" providers.  Yet spending £31.49pm for a value customer would only get them 35GB of bandwidth, and for a Plusnet Extra customer spending £31.49 would get them 80GB of bandwidth.
This is a real problem for me.
I am constantly having to watch my bandwidth to make sure I don't exceed my allocation (I normally check 2 to 3 times a day) and normally at the end of each billing period I have to really cut back on my usage to ensure I say inside my allocation, I try as much as I can to use bandwidth in the "free" period, but what I really want is to purchase extra bandwidth at a reasonable rate, not 1000% of the bundled rate.  Heck, even £0.25 per GB, 250% of the bundled rate would be acceptable, but at £1 per 1GB I'm reaching the conclusion that both my sanity and my pocket would be better served by moving away from Plusnet and to a premium brand.   Since this would be motivated 100% on the basis of saving money, it seems very odd given that Plusnet is supposed to offer value for money service.
So Plusnet, please take a serious, long and hard look at extra bandwidth fees, and look at bringing them into line with the actual costs of providing the extra bandwidth.
50 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,852
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Not everybody gets Plusnet Value for £6.50.  If you are on a small exchange where BT has a monopoly then you pay more, £12.99 per month currently.  These small exchanges are frequently rural covering a wider geographical area so clients are liable to be further from the telephone exchange and so get a slower download speed.  Thus it's often the case that the people who get the worst service, in terms of download speed, pay the most for it!!! 
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

they dont have to be small places in the middle of nowhere  http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange/EAWRI  http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange/EMSKGNS
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Fair enough, some people pay more for their connection, it doesn't however change the basic maths (except that it makes the none Plusnet alternatives even better value) or my point.
Why is extra usage so hideously expensive?
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,852
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Quote from: fourfourdevon
.... it doesn't however change the basic maths ...

Doesn't it?  I pay £12.99 for my first 10 GB, that's £1.29 per GB.  Then only £1 per GB if I go over the limit.  Bargain!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Going on the premise of the first post:
£12.99 - £5.50 (connection cost) = £7.49 (Gb charge)
£7.49 / 10Gb = £0.75 (rounded off) per Gb
Not quite the same bargain as it once was for extra Gb.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Quote from: ReedRichards
Quote from: fourfourdevon
.... it doesn't however change the basic maths ...

Doesn't it?  I pay £12.99 for my first 10 GB, that's £1.29 per GB.  Then only £1 per GB if I go over the limit.  Bargain!
How does you paying increased cost for the service to exist, also increase its running costs?  The GB cost remains the same, its the rental price that increases, the maths stays the same.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Quote from: Spider
Going on the premise of the first post:
£12.99 - £5.50 (connection cost) = £7.49 (Gb charge)
£7.49 / 10Gb = £0.75 (rounded off) per Gb
Not quite the same bargain as it once was for extra Gb.
Which tarrif is this?  I just used the two you are always greeted with when you visit the Plusnet home page.
the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Personally I think £1 per Gig is a reasonable charge.
Plusnet's pricing model will have some fixed costs and some variable costs and in pricing the  products they  will have data on how much bandwidth gets used by the  average person.
I guess a lot of people remain well within their limit particulalrly on the high bandwidth allowance products and so the average amount determines the cost price. Plusnet will also need to make some profit - probably to give back into the BT group. The hardest part is predicting how that average usage is going to move in the future. I think back to my own experience in the early days of internet I found it hard to see how you could use much bandwidth at all. Contrast that with today  with multiple devices accessing the internet for gaming, streaming, iplayer, music downloads and richer web pages meaining I use around 60-70% of my 15 GB allowance each month - the biggest variable being school holidays.
In such a competitive market I would have thought Plus will have an interest in pricing this as keenly as possible.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,686
Thanks: 910
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

AAISP charge £3 per 1GB on 20CN for daytime usage. On 21CN or FTTC it is £3 for 2GB. Their prices are going up in January.
Makes PN look very reasonable!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Quote from: fourfourdevon
]Which tarrif is this?  I just used the two you are always greeted with when you visit the Plusnet home page.

Pass, I was just using ReedRichards price that he posted. My own tariff is higher than that, so here are the calculations based on what I pay
£19.99 (BBYW Pro) - £5.50 (connection charge) = £14.49 (Gb charge)
£14.49 / 20Gb = £0.73 (rounded up) per Gb
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Which market are you in?  The standing charge will be higher proportion of the fee for most, also if that's an old tariff I'm not sure it bears comparison.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

I've just done a Google spreadsheet which you can review here
For their prioritised traffic, Pro customers appear to be paying £0.55 per GB of traffic, Value and Extra appear to be paying £0.10 with the 3 business pages ranging from £0.19 to £0.45 (bear in mind Option 3 is "unlimited" and my calc was based on 100GB of usage, more usage would bring the GB cost down)
Looking at the prices in full now, I think I will be calling Plusnet about switching to Business Option 3.  I mean what's the point of the extra speed I apparently get if I can't actually use my broadband at all for significant parts of the month.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

Anyone for Plusnet care to comment?
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Extra usage, why so punitively expensive?

@44D
Please bear in mind that using a business product for a residential service would actually be a violation of our AUP.
I was trying to find our old broadband blueprint document (Jelv probably has it bookmarked) which actually show a breakdown of our costs, including tail (a bit like broadband line rental), bandwidth and support costs etc.
It costs us more than 10p per GB, I can assure you!