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Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

familycolvin
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 23-06-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

I know you are never going to get marketing types telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and inevitably they are going to try to get the maximum positive spin from any announcement, but when it comes to Regulatory Announcements
http://www.londonstockexchange.com/LSECWS/IFSPages/MarketNewsPopup.aspx?id=1185876&source=RNS
you would expect PN senior management to take above average care about the accuracy of their press release, particulary on a competitive issue like pricing.

Having just upped my PAYG usage allowance to 3GB, at a cost of £16.99, I was a tad miffed to find that seemingly if I had been a bit smarter I could have it for £14.99, and eventually at 8MB to boot (currently on 2MB), all on a fixed subscription.

So once again I tried ploughing through the convoluted PN web site wherein PN, unsurprisingly, plugs the advantages of each of its products but then fails to spell out all the other less appealing aspects even when you click on the “Product Specification” tab where you expect to get the full facts, warts and all. But no, you just get more puff with a link to the "Full Features" list very discreetly positioned at the bottom of the page. Even then it is by no means FULL. Nothing about Bandwith allowance (still applies to PAYG), or Shaping (doesn’t apply to PAYG), or Acceptable Peak Period Usage (again it doesn’t apply to PAYG – hopefully I have got that right), and so on. As to pricing detail that’s all tucked away elsewhere.

Am I sure that I can’t have 3GB for £14.99?
Fairly sure simply because I cannot figure out how, but clearly PN can*, so I await a barrage of responses explaining exactly how dim I have been to miss some obscure provision somewhere. Maybe there was a one day price reduction on 23rd Mar 06 that I missed Sad

Am I sure about anything with PlusNet when it comes to T&Cs?
Like, as I suspect for many other users, the answer is a resounding NO.

So PLEASE PlusNet can we have

• A little more upfront honesty and transparency
• Technical specs that spell out all aspects, warts and all, including ALL the relevant pricing detail, bandwidth, shaping, acceptable usage, and better still
• A spreadsheet detailing all aspects of all 8 product offerings so that we can sensibly compare them and ensure that we are each individually on the best product (Product Development must have it tucked away somewhere – the PN world has become so complicated that I doubt they can survive without it)

Not only would it be helpful to users but I suspect it will to your advantage since it reduce the number of unecessary calls to CS, as well as the volume on these discussion groups.

* It does rather look to me as though PN have tried just a tad too hard to show how much cheaper they are than other brand leaders and as a result have somewhat shot themselves in the foot. They talk about fixed subscription products delivering a bandwidth of at least 3GB and claim to have one delivering at up to 8MB for £14.99 but the closest I can find is the BB plus product at £34.99. So on that basis they are not the cheapest but the most expensive in their selected comparison! The only thing that comes vaguely near is PAYG 3GB at £16.99, but then they are talking fixed, not variable, subscription services, so it does not count.
11 REPLIES
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

The products that we're using for comparison in that release are those that are going to be in place after the upcoming product refresh. At which point the Broadband Plus package will be £14.99 a month for 3GB of peak time usage, with speeds of Up To 8mb depending on the quality of your telephone line and whether or not your exchange is Max enabled.

At first glance it can be a little confuising, but this is because we're getting very close to the refresh date now, which is why the official release went out mentioning the new packages.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

I don't usually get involved with threads like this but having looked at the announcement I really wonder how PlusNet think they can compare products where the PlusNet product has either 1GB included (PAYG) or a 3GB limit on peak before throttling(BB+) with Demon
Quote
Unlimited access with no restrictions. Our unlimited usage policy means you don’t have to worry about how long you stay online or how much you download.
BT where they only shout if you download over 200GB, AOL unlimited and Virgin (20GB download limit) Note that for £17.99 you get a 6GB download limit.
I've heard of sales spin but this is really comparing apples with pears.
familycolvin
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 23-06-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

Jon

That really won't wash.

The announcement makes it clear that it was comparing offerings " Max Speed as at 23rd March 2006" as they existed the day before the announcement

So you have just conformed that it really was a MONSTER great porkie. In any event you can't make a valid comparison by comparing your offering in the future with competitor's current offerings. Apart from being intellectually dishonest your competitors may have changed their offering by then.

But back to my major point, how about having ALL the factual information about each of the product offerings in an easily comparable form, AND kept up to date?
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

The release is compairing our products with those that other ISPs have announced or recently introduced in that price and usage band. 8mb speeds, under MaxDSL, aren't available yet and won't be until the end of the month. So I think the comparrison is a valid one.

All of the information is available on the website, the features of each package are all listed on one page so that they can be easilly compaired. Similarly, the usage for both the Plus and Premier packages is detailed on the same page with a cut down version given in the individual package descriptions.
N/A

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

Quote
...So I think the comparrison is a valid one.


On what grounds, for example, Jon, has Virgin.net Broadband - Plan Two, 2 Mbps download... (up to 8 Mbps coming soon).. 6 GB monthly download allowance..£17.99 been excluded from the comparison :?:
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

I'm unaware of the reasoning behind any one package being left out of the list, as I wasn't responsible for writing that particular release. However, I will raise this through internally to see if I can find out for you
N/A

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

It's a Press Release, it's all about marketing and spin and trying to make yourself look better than everyone else. Bottom line is that's what they're for and PlusNet are far from the only ones to use confusion complexity and half-truths to sell a product. It's just a shame that they have lowered themselves to this level as they have grown and become shareholder focussed instead of customer focussed.
familycolvin
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 23-06-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

Jon
Quote
The release is compairing our products with those that other ISPs have announced or recently introduced in that price and usage band. 8mb speeds, under MaxDSL, aren't available yet and won't be until the end of the month. So I think the comparrison is a valid one


It might have been if it had been labelled "Forthcoming MaxDSL products" but as I have already pointed out it was labelled "Max Speed as at 23rd March 2006".

And as others have pointed out it was somewhat lacking in objectivity, anyway.

Quote
All of the information is available on the website, the features of each package are all listed on one page so that they can be easilly compaired


As I have already pointed out in my first post, at some length, that is simply NOT true.

So for the third time of asking
Quote
How about having ALL the factual information about each of the product offerings in an easily comparable form, AND kept up to date?
shellsong
Grafter
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

Maybe they're counting the MaxDSL triallists! Wink
N/A

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

Technically there have been people on MaxDSL products for over a year. They just haven't been receiving the faster speeds that were promised to be arriving 'soon'.
10crawford
Grafter
Posts: 193
Registered: 19-08-2007

Is PlusNet telling serious porkies?

This is not a press release but a stock exchange annoucement.

If there are "porkies" in the annoucement I am sure the stock exchange regulators would take a dim view. Perhaps the concerns expressed within this thread should be forwarded to the stock exchange regulators for their consideration.