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Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

Nocturne
Grafter
Posts: 140
Registered: 01-08-2007

Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

Like I'm sure others I have a problem with usage being incorrectly recorded by PN.
In my case some usage between midnight and 8 am is recorded by PN as Paid for Usage.

As per usual some the responses have being extremely helpful and courteous.
Others I think seem to be simply intended to wind me up.

I use PRTG Grapher which logs, to the second if need be, your usage.
Its free and whilst not as simple as it might be to set up its not that difficult.

This can when needed be saved as an Excel spreadsheet and I attach it to my comments to PN.

Not convinced PN take any notice of it but at least if I put a bit of effort in I know exactly what I've used and when.

There are obviously other such programmes out there but if you want to keep a detailed accurate log of your usage this will do it.

Just waiting now for them to bill me for exceeding my Paid for Usage - which I haven't of course.
Tomorrow seems likely.

Life shouldn't have to be like this.

Edit: Just to anticipate any problems I assume that on PAYG if you exceed your Paid for Usage PN simply debit a payment accordingly and you continue to use your connection without interruption.
9 REPLIES
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Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

I believe that the whole issue of metering ought the be taken further for clarification. Any other form of metering where payment or decisions are formed are covered by legalisation, i.e. from car speedo's, electric/gas meters to petrol pumps. So why not bandwidth metering be covered by some standards?
Nocturne
Grafter
Posts: 140
Registered: 01-08-2007

Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

I thought something similar myself.

It must be verging on illegal to charge people for something they haven't used [bandwidth] knowing that they haven't used it.

Makes me wish I was a lawyer.
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Re: Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

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Edit: Just to anticipate any problems I assume that on PAYG if you exceed your Paid for Usage PN simply debit a payment accordingly and you continue to use your connection without interruption.


Unless you set your Data Transfer Watch to cut you off at a set time, they automagically add another GB at a cost of £1.25.

But as all things in PlusNet land things are never that simple...

Linky link

Oh, and I agree with you: life shouldn't have to be like that... Smiley
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

Hi,

I've replied to your post in this thread, which is related to this.

As I've said there I suspect the reason is that the nature of how the data is processed (in batches rather than real time) means that it isn't accurate to the minute and could be out by 5, 10 or 15 minutes at the changeover from paid to free and free to paid because of this. In the long run it should balance out.
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Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

Quote
Hi,

I've replied to your post in this thread, which is related to this.

As I've said there I suspect the reason is that the nature of how the data is processed (in batches rather than real time) means that it isn't accurate to the minute and could be out by 5, 10 or 15 minutes at the changeover from paid to free and free to paid because of this. In the long run it should balance out.


I don't completely agree with the statement above because if you only use the internet at night to the early hours of the morning I can't see how this will balance out.

My recommedation will be for PN to change the switch over time to 23:45 so the customer will not suffer either through charges or traffic management.
Nocturne
Grafter
Posts: 140
Registered: 01-08-2007

Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

Sorry if this is getting a bit messy with the other thread I posted in.

In the other thread I have included an image of PRTG which shows the vast bulk of the downloads taking place from 00:18 through to 00:25 hrs.

If I understand the argument this might imply that usage somewhat later than 15 minutes after midnight is not being correctly recorded.

This would not I suggest balance out for people who wait until midnight to initiate some significant downloads.
It might if they continued downloading after 8 am but I'm in bed long before then as I suspect are many others.

As has been suggested this seems far from ideal nor is it what people think is happening.

A quick check suggests that on this particular occasion for usage immediately after midnight to be included in the Paid For Usage before midnight equates to approx 22 mins.

Thank you Dave

Edit: I've just looked at an earlier situation where this occurred and an initial check suggests:

31st May Paid
PRTG 47.1 Mb
VMBU 231.8 Mb
Difference 184.77

1st June Free Usage
PRTG 1,172 Mb
VMBU 992.7 Mb
Difference 179 Mb

Usage from midnight onwards on the 1st June through to:
00:45hrs 167.3 Mb
00:46hrs 186.1 Mb

It appears Free Usage well after midnight could be allocated to the previous days Paid Usage.
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Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

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As I've said there I suspect the reason is that the nature of how the data is processed

Hi

You may suspect this Dave but what measures are being taken to have your suspicions investigated to either eliminate or confirm them?

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...means that it isn't accurate to the minute and could be out by 5, 10 or 15 minutes at the changeover from paid to free and free to paid because of this. In the long run it should balance out.



What figure are we, the customer, supposed to accept as Gospel?

And, could it be out by as much as 2 hours or more on the odd occasion?

I do understand that there is much trial and error going on with the new changes forced on PlusNet because of the recent pressure placed on the company with the Talk Talk offer and the recent sell forecasts made about PlusNet shares, but surely such a simple matter as getting a couple of scripts working in unison should be priority in such difficult and turbulent times in PlusNet land? Wink
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Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

Quote
As I've said there I suspect the reason is that the nature of how the data is processed (in batches rather than real time) means that it isn't accurate to the minute and could be out by 5, 10 or 15 minutes at the changeover from paid to free and free to paid because of this. In the long run it should balance out.

I'm not sure how this will balance out in the long run.

PN have stated that downloads from midnight to 4pm are free and people should download during this period. If people time their downloads to start at midnight then every time a certain amount will be included in their "paid" amount,

What you're actually saying is that to be sure, don't start downloads until 00:20, or 00:30 to be safe that that data isn't included in the paid amount.

In this day and age I find this rather rediculous that PN can't record usage accurately - particularly when the information is used for billing purposes.

Isn't it possible to use data from the internal Ellacoya systems rather than relying on than the BT radius data?
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Incorrect Recording of Usage - PRTG Grapher

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I'm not sure how this will balance out in the long run.


This has me stumped also, especially if you balance Dave's last statement against what is stated here

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The data on this page may not include usage from the last 2 hours. Please bear this in mind if you are close to exceeding your account's allowance.


The figure of two hours discrepancy is a matter of concern to PlusNet customers, but to change it from the stated two hour update to 5 - 10 -15 minutes without an official posting just makes me despair.