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[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

My :idea: is that customers would be able to pre-pay extra bandwidth for their websites. You see, though there are hundreds of people who will happily take my money for some of their web hosting, I like having everything managed "under one roof", so to speak. It would be nice to buy, say, an extra GB or dozen in advance, so that if bandwidth for my site goes over the 250MB a day limit, I won't get an e-mail asking me to remove files or whatever.

Actually, I wouldn't even mind if it isn't pre-pay... I'd be fine if it was just added to our monthly bill, as long as we could minitor how much the extra bandwidth was costing us each month.

Oh, and finally, I think it would be nice if we could easily buy extra server space, rather than having to buy a special +Net service package, then add £5 per 10MB on top of that.

Thomas
14 REPLIES
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

Hi,

The theory is that this should already happen. We wrote a policy on it some time ago but I don't think it has been implemented fully. At the time, we suggested a charge of £2.99 per extra GB of data transferred per month.

I have raised Internal idea 2192 with regard to the additional bandwidth charging. I can do a seperate one with regard to Server space, once you clarify what you mean?

Are you saying you would pay £5 per extra 10MB of webspace?

Regards,
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

Blimey, that was quick! :shock:

Anyway, what I'm saying is that I would like it if it was possible to buy extra server space, at a reasonable price, without having to purchase one of your service packages.

And is that £5 per month or for ever? If it was £5 per month for 10MB, forget it... if it's £5 for life then I think it'd be Ok.

Thomas
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

It's OK Mate - The term 'Server Space' is what's confusing me.

Do you mean extra space for storage for Web pages, Emails, CGI space, Frontpage Space, MySQL etc?

Don't we give you enough already?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

Yes..... I mean space on your web-servers. Wink

Anyway, yes, you do offer alot of space. The fact is that websites can grow... it'd just be nice to have the re-assurance that if we do need extra space, we can purchase it if required.

Thomas
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[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

This is one thing i miss from been a freeserve member, sure they only gave you 5 lots of 30meg of space, but they had no bandwidth limitations.

I try not to use my plus.net webspace, and i only use the unlimited space (within reason) and unlimited bandwidth that a friend from www.uberella.net gave me.

Bless him Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

To be honest, I think that plus.net's 250MB/day transfer quota is more than adequate for all the sites that I have on my account. Of course, I've never hit the bandwidth limit as yet, but if I do I'm sure I'll get a gentle reminder that I have and be given the opportunity to do somethign about it.

This is of course completely understandable - this is plus.net!

I've seen sites just stop being served when they hit their bandwidth limitation (big example - tripod). At least with pnet we'll most likely be told politely!

B.
N/A

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

Hmmm,

I have to say I've been having a really lousy time with PlusNet over the last couple of days because of this very issue.

I run my business from my PN website, I'm an artist and need to post up hundreds (in fact thousands) of images to generate interest, and therefore new customers. My webspace is 88% full, I just have a little breathing space at the top for new work that I post up now and then. To be able to purchase extra webspace would be useful for me.

But that's not the issue here, it's bandwidth we're talking about. Now my website has become quite popular, and I receive on average about 800 visits per day. This has pushed my bandwith (Daily Transfer) limit up well over 250MB. Call me naive, but I had no idea that any such limits existed, I don't remember reading about them when I signed up for ADSL Self Install, and have never seen any reference to them in my two and a half years trawling around the PlusNet Portal. I'm not much of a forum person so I've never checked in here before, (now I've found it I see what a useful resource it is), and it's only because of the events of the last couple of days that I'm here now. So I didn't know about bandwidth limits, and didn't know that I have been violating them. So I got an email from the abuse team stating that if I didn't reduce my bandwidth usage then my website would be removed. This initial contact from them was phrased quite rudely in my opinion, firstly I did not know what the person was talking about, and secondly there were no solutions or options offered to me as to how to resolve the problem, just a list of confusing numbers, and a threat. Feeling defensive, I wrote back immediately asking where in my contract it mentions about Daily Traffic limits, as I'd never come accross them before. I received a snotty reply a few hours later pointing me to information about webspace limits! I knew about webspace limits already, but that was not the issue, so I got really confused. I wrote back saying "I'm confused because..." and asked for any solutions. No answer.

The next thing I know my site was removed and I was pointed to the FAQ on how to get it restored. Just great. by now I was swearing and angry, how dare PlusNet treat me like this after all my loyalty, friendliness, referals, etc. So I blew off some steam (as I am now *ggg*) and followed the procedure to get my site up and running again. My business will die without it so I'm on the case, trying to get it sorted as quickly as possible.

In the grovelly form which I needed to fill in I promised to remove an offending large video file (it was 100px wide, 20 seconds long, compressed with sorenson squeeze) and to get an upgrade to an account with more bandwidth(Netstart business £27.99 - 500 MB bandwidth) Ok, so I've upped my subscription to solve the problem. Now, PN wrote on my ticket last night that my website would be restarted this morning, so good, they were happy with my steps, and at 8:57 this morning I got another message saying they were starting my website now. At 11:00 am I wrote to them saying that my site was still not up, and was there a problem. Waited a while, no reply, called the helpline and the ticket was escalated. At 12:10 received new message, "Site does not appear to have reinstated, Doing now". It's 2pm now and guess what, still no website! What the **** is going on PlusNet? Also my upgrade is not happening and I've received no information on this either so I'm getting really ****ed off now.

ARE YOU ACTUALLY GONNA HELP ME OR WHATHuh!!!!

What am I paying you all this money for??

Okay, enough ranting for the mo, what I intended to say when I started this post was about some possible good ideas that would stop this kind of thing happening to unsuspecting folks like me.

First of all idea 1: :idea:

In your Products and Services pages, under the Product Description/Product Features section, you should include information about Daily Transfer Bandwidth limits for each respective product. It should be clear for all to see when deciding to sign up, not invisible, so that it will come back and bite you on the bum two years later!

idea 2 : :idea:

You should include the Daily Transfer bandwidth limit on every account holder's Webspace page. There is information about your webspace there, how much is used, how much is free, etc, so why not add the daily transfer limit on to this page also? The two go hand in hand, and it would save a lot of confusion as people like me could see right there that these two thing are different, and that they need to keep an eye on the amount of traffic their website attracts.
Even better would be to add a graph showing the previous month's bandwidth usage figures, so that it would be clear as crystal to the user when this limit is violated or abused. As I say, I had no idea, and finding out from PlusNet what I was doing wrong was a nightmare of crossed wires and slow feedback.



Okay, the last idea is related, kind of..

When trying to locate any information about data transfer limits on the website, I drew a blank for ages. Couldn't find it anywhere. Searched customer support thoroughly but nope, nada. So then I tried to locate the FAQs, the general ones. I had followed the link from my down website to them, so I knew they existed, but where where where? Tried a search for FAQs and found them straight away, BUT, I wasn't happy as I wanted to see if I could find them just by clicking on links, by way of an experiment. Okay so next I clicked on Help and Support at the top. Right! Spent ages in the wrong area, customer support wrong, help and support, right. So where are the FAQs? looking looking, Help and Support FAQs, found them! Only took me about 40 minutes!

So my idea 3 :idea: is this:

Why not place an easier to find link to your general FAQs, to stop newbees and those with a dodgy memory wasting hours frantically searching for them.
It's pretty obscurely hidden as I personally rarely use the purple menu bar at the top, and mostly just use the Members Centre on the left. How about a nice, easy to see, direct link to your FAQs in there, or at least to the Help and Support pages. Again, maybe it's just me, but I did not differentiate in my mind any difference between Customer Support and Help and Support, not until I saw it, registered that it was different, and so clicked on it. Now I know where the FAQs are I will remember for next time, but phew, what a palava! Please can you make these things more obvious! If you don't like the idea of putting a direct link to the FAQs on the Member Centre menu, then how about one at the top, in the purple bar, next to Help and Support.

It would help and support me, and people like me, sooo much.


So, it's ten to three, let's look at my website, see if it's up yet...

OH B****X!!

COME ON GUYS!!!
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Agreed

I agree with Sacredart on this one.

1. There should be clearer information on the signup pages of what the daily transfer limits are ...

2. It would be great if PN could add transfer graphs to monitor the volume of traffic over say a monthly period - not much data needs to be stored in a database/file for that ... details could be toggled on or off (maybe off initially)

3. If a user is going over quota then make positive suggestions rather than send nasty e-mails (initially) i.e. "Have you considered upgrading to NetStart etc.?"

4. When the message "Site Removed" is seen I imagine that most people will think that the site has been deleted!! This is not the case as PN can restore the site via config files. Please make the message clearer i.e. "Temporarily blocked/redirected. Please come back later etc. ". This may also save the potential customer/viewer from perceiving the PN client as being a bit dodgy and may save some business for later (not to mention a few blood corpuscles.)

5. Yes, additional fees for additional b/w would be great, along with suggestions of upgrading depending on the b/w used e.g. you get between 250MB and 500MB so add another 250 for 2.99 or upgrade to NetStart etc. and making incremental upgrades automatic (and optional) would save your customers and PN a lot of hassle. That would also allow for incremental b/w upgrades beyond the current limit of 500MB/day.

6. How about a bandwidth free package? A bit more tricky but possible. May be better for registered businesses and sole-traders to avoid the possibilty of b/w abuse.

PN is one of the best ISPs available IMHO. By adding a little more functionality and (automated) customer friendly feedback you'll improve the overall perception of your company greatly.

Regards,

Frolic
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[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

Thanks frolic, very much appreciated, thanks for your support. You obviously know what you are talking about so thanks for your views on the subject. You have written more succinctly than me, and your suggestions are spot on
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

I think all the points raised are fair, now we need to catch the eye of Ian and see what he thinks!

B.
Novagal
Grafter
Posts: 54
Registered: 30-07-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

I found sacredart's posting somewhat disconcerting. It has made me think that with the 3 sites that I am constructing on my 250mb webspace, over time could easily fall foul of the 'exceeding your bandwidth' situation!

I must admit if Plusnet are mindful and aware of the potential pitfalls that its customers could fall into regarding bandwidth, then I would have thought that a clearer explaination together with a way in which we can help ourselves to avoid this problem would go along way in preventing customer ill feelings.

The only self help thing that comes to my mind is having a hitcount, but I have yet to investigate that area to see if it helps in managing bandwidth?

I have a way to go before I get to the bandwidth problem stage, but it has made me think .......how will I know if I have exceeded it?

It looks like sacredart was a victim of his own success!!

Regards,

K
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

There is a very useful facility that allows you to track bandwidth usage, and that is the Web stats. While I admit they don't solve the problem of a site going over bandwidth, they at least allow you to keep an eye on things to see if you might go over. Smiley

Thomas
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

If sacredart's business relies on the website then they should be using a proper business hosting service. Also if they are running a busines from their PlusNet account then they should be using one of the business products which offer higher webspace and bandwidth figures (500MBytes/day).

PlusNet are an ISP first and a hosting service 2nd or 3rd. If a business relies on their website to continue, they should be using a proper hosting service with the necessary webspace, bandwidth, backups and SLAs - which of course comes at a cost.
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[Idea 2192] Pre-Pay Exra Bandwidth

I am a sole trader with a small business with very limited funds. The Sacredart mural business started small, and the website only attracted minimal traffic, but in a year and a half my site has become quite popular with people looking for murals, and especially childrens murals, which has now pushed up the bandwidth usage to higher levels than my original self install package permits. I did not know how popular it would become, and never thought it would become as popular as it is now.

The whole issue of my abuse of the bandwidth limits only came about because I had no idea that any such limits existed. Some of the points made above by myself and also the points raised by frolic, would have prevented the whole problem from arising in the first place. If the ideas above were in place when I signed up, or had been added later, I would have known about the bandwidth limits and so would have taken steps to prevent my violation of these limits. When I learned about the bandidth limits a couple of days ago, I upgraded my account to a business package that allows 500MB of daily traffic, so indeed you are correct in saying that I should be using a business package. However that is only true now, and if I had upgraded in the past I would have been wasting money.

Also if I had known about the limits, I could have kept an eye on them using the webstats, which I view regularly. In my opinion though, ideally it would be better to implement the bandwidth usage graph idea and put that on the "My Webspace" page, to make the whole thing clearer to the layman.

I could transfer my website to a proper business hosting service, yes, but there has been no reason for me to do this before as PN's included webhosting is, in my opinion, extremely good, and has all the functionality I need, all the webspace I need, and up until recently all the bandwidth I need.

So now that I understand the bandwidth issue I have upgraded to a business account, I see no reason for me to go to the added expense of using a dedicated host, and indeed if I moved now it would take me months if not years to be recognised by the search engines to the same level that I am now. I could put a redirect from PN to the new host but this is new territory for me and I do not know how well this would work or the risks involved.

It seems a far better solution to keep PN as my host, and to use the appropriate package. If in the future I have another upsurge in traffic that pushes my bandwidth usage over the maximum 500MB limit, then I would hope that PN could allow the option to purchase extra bandwidth at a cost, which has been the main point being raised on this forum. If not then I would have no option but to change hosts.

The last point I wish to mention is that it was the manner in which PN dealt with me and my violation that really upset me. The first mail from them was rude and uninformative, and in their subsequent mails I felt like I was being treated like a pleb, not a valued customer. I think PN should really change their policy on how they treat their customers when situations like this arise. Once again I would like to draw your attention to frolic's entry, which seems to give very clear and easy to implement solutions to most of the points that have been raised here, and if PN implemented them it would improve their service, and their image.

Incidently the sacredart website is back up again, well most of it.. The index page still has their offensive "Site Removed" holding page, instead of my entry page, so I still have to talk to somebody at PN to sort that out.

It's all fun Wink