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protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 762
Thanks: 321
Registered: 05-04-2007

protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

I've started this in a separate thread as it needs to be discussed separately from the "nothing will change" assurances given when the portals began to be amalgamated.
reply #25 on the "One Portal Project" thread:
Quote from: Mand
We have numerous legacy products,
which still have lots of customers using them happily, and have no plans to change these.

Project HappyChild uses a 'Force 9 Legacy product' - NetStart Business 0800 - which has been in operation for several years now.
On 25th August - three days after Mand's post above - the 0800 access (midnight Friday to midnight Sunday) "stopped working". I didn't have chance to raise a ticket that weekend but did so the following Saturday, 1st September.  Since when there has been an endless succession of ticket posts, and no resolution to a problem which consisted simply of the username and password being rejected when the dial-up call logged into the server.
A somewhat exasperated reply today
Quote
this has been out four complete weekends now and all I get is that my username and password is being rejected. Surely such issues don't take that long to fix?

to the now-weekly standard Friday-ticket-update of:
Quote
The problem raised in relation to your issue is still open at our end so I will place this on hold fo a further week

elicited the following information on the ticket response at 1.05pm today (not including any reply to my request for details of the "cause" of the non-access):
Quote
The problem is currently with Comms, and personally assigned to Mand Beckett.


Standard (non-personalised) e-mail, subject line "Information about your Force9 product", sent out by Mand Beckett at 16.51 today:
Quote
We are contacting you regarding your current dial up product. The service you are currently using is a legacy product and will be discontinued as of 20/10/07.


To say I'm teed off right now would be a significant understatement.

Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
7 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 762
Thanks: 321
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

I'd actually like a (full) response from PN on why the decision has been made to scrap (any) Force 9 legacy products - given that it was specifically stated on 22nd August 2007, that there were "no plans" to change these.
and also some clarification on whether they're scrapping the hosting account or just the 0800 access aspect of it.  The two are bundled as one (NetStart 0800) though I have a vague recollection that accounts-without-0800 were also possible at the time of signing up, the addition of the 0800 facility costing around £60 per year.
So, at say £60 per year, the monthly cost of the 0800 access is £5.
For that, there is a straight 48 hours *per week* of free (0800) access.  Total on a 4-weekend month, 192 hours, significantly more on a 5-weekend-month.

I'll quote a few lines from the e-mail received:
>>We are contacting you regarding your current dial up product. The service you are currently using is a legacy product and will be discontinued as of 20/10/07.
It's not all bad news though! We now have many much more competitive products, depending on your required usage.
... If you continue to require dial up access you could take a look at our Anytime products.
Anytime Lite gives you 20 hours access per month for £4.99 or Anytime Standard gives you 160 hours per month for £14.99.

By what stretch of the imagination is that by any means a better deal  Huh?Huh
PN response requested, please, and also to the first paragraph of this post.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

Hi Penny,
We can no longer continue to provide the 0800 dial-up access element of that product. It's a culmination of things, and while there are literally a handful of people using that account type it's not something we can find a way round. Funademantally, that involves finding an alternative supplier and replacement kit, as the underlying fabric used to dleiver Premier 0800 is now obsolete.
We can speak on monday Penny and I am sure we can find a suitable solution for you (Without 0800 access though, as that is the specific issue). We have accounts that offer better value than that one, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Ian
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 762
Thanks: 321
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

Quote from: Ianwild
We can no longer continue to provide the 0800 dial-up access element of that product ... the underlying fabric used to dleiver Premier 0800 is now obsolete.

Appreciate the prompt reply, but very saddened to see the fabric of everything beginning to change.  As you'll have seen from the PUG post, I'm just concerned that this will be the beginning of a process where all the individuality and uniqueness of what has been, will gradually become eroded away.
Quote from: Ianwild
We can speak on monday Penny and I am sure we can find a suitable solution for you (Without 0800 access though, as that is the specific issue). We have accounts that offer better value than that one, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Monday sounds good Smiley and I'll pm you my mobile number.  I do hope it will be possible to find some practical solution that keeps everything viable.  For me, Force 9 was the bridge that brought a huge (but seemingly, initially, almost-impossible) project concept into being, and the huge amount of support and knowhow that was made available rendered the website creation for me - a very-much non-techie person - somehow viable, and it all happened.  I guess I have come to depend - very much - on the excellence and "safe hands" that have underpinned the Force 9 hosting, and I need the security of knowing that the parameters and goalposts are likely to stay enough as they are to make it viable to finally bring all the site areas fully together and complete the remaining integration work, over the next 2-3 years, probably.  Twelve years is a very long period of time for building one single website, and security/stability are of paramount importance in the overall scheme of things.
Couldn't have got this far with "just another ISP" Smiley  and you may perhaps understand why I would be wary of any developments which might seem gradually to be removing Force 9 from the overall picture.

Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

Quote from: Ian
We can no longer continue to provide the 0800 dial-up access element of that product. It's a culmination of things, and while there are literally a handful of people using that account type it's not something we can find a way round. Funademantally, that involves finding an alternative supplier and replacement kit, as the underlying fabric used to dleiver Premier 0800 is now obsolete.

One quickie, how is the free dialup access provided when you raise a Broadband Fault?  And how can that continue (I assume it will do?) when this free dialup access can't?
Are there fundamental differences?  Surely the platform is there (for the free dialup backup access)?
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

It's completely different. 99% of our free dial-up is providedd over FRIACO. 0800 Premier was provided by Telewest and hit some very old racks at Internet House 1. To upgrade those to meet our current network build standards required both us and Telewest to do a lot of work, and for literally 10s of customers it's just not worth the effort.
This in no way reflects anything to do with the force9 brand. Had this been an old Plus.net service, exactly the same decision would have been taken.
Ian
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
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Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

We could, hence the offer of one of the AnyTime accounts, but because it's 0800 rather than FRIACO some of the customers may not have BT lines, the 0800 number works the same on Telewest/NTL/etc. but FRIACO needs a BT line.
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: protection of Force 9 Legacy Products

Thanks for the clarification Ian - and Dave.