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Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

kreynolds
Grafter
Posts: 433
Registered: 05-04-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Currently on easystart 1 Mb @ 44.99 pm. From the new pricing structure unless I want to have and pay for the 49.99 package, with download limits that will never be reached I'll be forced to pay the 14.99 downgrade charge, if I change now I'll still be hit.

Ok I understand there will be a switch to CBC and I'll probably get a speed increase to 2 Mb., the max sustainable on my line but how can +net justify this to customers such as myself and no doubt many others?
19 REPLIES
N/A

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Who's forcing you to downgrade? there isn't going to be any change in cost's or extra fee's if you dont change the amount you are paying now.

Andy.
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Pn don't bother to try and justify it.
Ian Wild (on ADSL Guide!) says that they charge it because Pn need the money, and effectively they make you pay it because they can.

It's disgraceful, but Pn seem to be relying on inertia and hope that customers will pay up rather than go through the hassle of moving.
N/A

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

gpattison,

I'm not sure Ian Wild would have phrased it exactly like that. If your going to quote people, don't alter or re-phrase it, to mean something else.

You wouldn't like the same thing being done to you.
N/A

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Hi there,

the post he is refering to is about a totlally different subject. Ian was being question about the need for a fee when moving between some FUP products when they are released.


His response was not "we need the money" but was actually centered about the need for the network to be upgraded amongst other things.

At the end of the day most companies dont provide any more of an explanation that "it's an admin fee"

I personally would love to know how a DD bouncing causes a bank £30 quids worth of "admin"

Regards,

Rich
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Sorry GB, you're right of course.
I should have said that I was paraphrasing.
However, leaving aside all spin and euphemism, I do believe that he is effectively saying just that.
Downgrading will cost Pn nothing in terms actually doing it, and it is simply the sudden loss of revenue that he is trying to make up for. As such I would normally regard it as indefensible in business terms and companies who treat their customers in this way normally come unstuck in the long run.

That said, there are also a lot of good points about Pn - it's just that PR and the £14.99 charge aren't among them.
N/A

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Hi there,

It not a simple matter of loss of revenue. The other thing to consider is that if someone signs up for 75GB per month and then downgrades to 30GB per month we have made provision on our network for the higher rate.

If all our customers where to downgrade we'd have a lot of redundant BT centrals that we have paid for.

Regards,

Rich
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Quote



His response was not "we need the money" but was actually centered about the need for the network to be upgraded amongst other things.




Thanks Rich, my point exactly.
He wasn't saying "we need the money", he was saying WHY he needs the money. And unless you're Tony Blair, that amounts to the same thing. What he needs the money for doesn't relate in any way to what the charge is for.

As I said above, Pn is far from all bad and I wouldn't bother staying with Pn, or even telling you if I thought it was. But I don't like the £14.99, and in a way would have preferred it if Ian had simply called it an admin fee as the banks do and not tried to justify it.

And when you get like the banks, then I'll definitely start looking around.
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Quote


If all our customers where to downgrade we'd have a lot of redundant BT centrals that we have paid for.



That's what your forecasting people are for. It shouldn't be rocket science to predict well in advance the effect of something like Pn are going to do. After all you've got the usage figures of everybody on the system, and you've got a large enough customer base to absorb quite a lot of downsizing.
And you expect a certain degree of churn, which amounts to the same thing, and hopefully you'll also be attracting a large number of new customers.

And if the answer is that you've only just decided to do what you've just announced, then maybe you need to look at your forecasting and planning procedures. Something with such a potentially huge effect on your business shouldn't jump out on you when you're not looking.
N/A

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

what annoyed me is as I wanted a faster connection I upgraded to 1mb premier in November last year for free, now if I want a faster connection it's gonna cost £14.99 because I move to a cheaper monthly cost. If I'd stayed on 512k I'd have been upgraded for free, I'm sure there aren't many users out there who would turn down a speeds uograde for a fairly lenient cap and a chepaer monthly cost.

What would have been nice is Plusnet would have said ok as is this a fundamental change to the way we're running our accounts on this one off occasion the regrade fee's will be waived as we move over from 1mb/2mb premier accounts to the MaxDSL ones.
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Agreed with thewallaces.

It makes no sense for Pn to charge you for moving from a Gb usage that is allocated to you simply on the basis of how much you were paying before.

You went on 1Mb or 2Mb for the speed, not because you used anything like the 55Gb or whatever they've allocated to the price bracket.

That's why the initial Gb allocation you choose should be at no charge - if they want to charge for further ones, then OK. Just like the banks.
kreynolds
Grafter
Posts: 433
Registered: 05-04-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Mmm! Still no real answer from any +net staff. Looks like a "put up and shut up" situation.

Looks like I'll either have to stay with a legacy acoount, pay the nearly double the equivalent price for the new product and still have the limit imposed, or go for the cheaper option with the same limit and pay the admin fee. Either way it's a win-win situation for +net. The other alternative is to migrate, which would be a shame as I've never had any real problems with the service and when I have had a problem +net has been very good in the customer service; that is up to now!!
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Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

Quote
Mmm! Still no real answer from any +net staff. Looks like a "put up and shut up" situation.


I'm not sure that's really fair, just because a member of staff doesn't give you the answer you want to hear, doesn't mean they are telling you to "put up" and "shut up".
kreynolds
Grafter
Posts: 433
Registered: 05-04-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

gadgetboy

In reply to your post

I'm not having a go at the +net guys for saying something I don't want to hear, but I am having a go at the business model and the way in which it has been planned and rolled out.

I agree with the FUP +net have introduced even though it has always been in +net's T&C, however what I do disagree with is the unequivocal admin fee to downgrade to a cheaper price plan, with a cap that is more than I'll ever use in a month just because I am on a legacy account, yet should I chose a more expensive package with an even higher cap I won't be charged

Fair enough I may get a 'free' regrade to 2Mb but based on current figures that is unlikely as my SNR figures are just within the current limits for 1Mb.

From what has been, and more importantly what has not been said in relation to certain groups of customer like myself, I think it only fair that someone at +net gives a final and definitive answer.
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Being forced into paying the downgrade fee?

I've spoken a lot about this on AG, and certainly the point revolves around investment in our network and the forward planning that has to go to this.

The issue is that, by releasing a product that means thousands of people can halve their subscriptions, we would risk everyone doing that, even if they later realised they probably needed to be paying more. If our revenues were suddenly halved, we woulden't be here next month to argue about it anyway!

The choice comes down to a simple one:

- We can offer all of our customers access to our new products, at the same time providing everyone with a free speed upgrade (Which will cost us in excess of £500,000 by the way!), but making a charge for customers who intend to reduce their subscription payments.

- We could only make these products available to new customers, and not allow people to downgrade (At least not within their contract periods). Lots of other ISPs do it that way and to me, that is much more unfair.

- We could just forget new products and speed upgrades, and give everyone £1 or so off their subscriptions - That is again what others are currently doing to try and stay competitive, but we took a decision that faster speeds, free of charge, would provide a lot more benefit for a lot more people.

The charge has two purposes. One is that it really makes people consider fully their requirements before they downgrade, the other is that it provides us with a cushion to ensure we can continue to maintain our and invest in our platform and people. As I say, without that there is simply no way we could be offering these products at all.

Regards,

Ian