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Is this like a protection racket ?


Is this like a protection racket ?

yeah, I know its an unusual title, but hopefully the next paragraph should explain all ..

I was surfing the web yesterday morning, as I do, when for no apparent reason I decided to check out the Force9 homepage (haven't done so in a long while). Upon arrival I noticed a link showcasing some of the new packages on offer. I clicked through.

It turns out that now F9 do Broadband Plus (2mb from 14.99), and Broadband Premier (2mb from 21.99) .. other than Pay as you go, that is the only broadband packages (perhaps other than wireless too) .. I was shocked. For 2 years now, I have paid 25.99 to F9, for my broadband easystart account.

At first I was shocked that nobody from F9 had contacted me telling me I was using an outdated package, that is no longer offered, and taht I was paying £4 a month extra than everyone else, for less bandwidth (damn .. 4x less in most cases .. 512<>2mb) .. wow ..

After the initial shock, I began to get a bit excited .. cool .. that meant .. 4x the speed (2mb possibly) .. at £4 less a month .. £21.99 !!! BONUS .. so I actioned a ticket pointing out this situation, and sat back to await the good news ..

I waited not very long (godd response time there), and got a ticket in reply. It said '... login, click 'Upgrade' at the top of screen, and go through the process there. .. I wondered why the person who answered the ticket and typed me a reply, had not just done it, I had obviously asked, but no matter. I loaded up the F9 homepage, pressed upgrade, and began to go through the process.

I then came to the submit part, and low and behold in little red text, it said (you will be charged £29.99 for this) .. I couldn't believe it .!!! I phoned Customer services straight away, and the representative on the other end agreed i should get a free regrade, considering. He urged me to action a ticket requesting it, as for some unknown reason, he could not set it up for me over the phone. (eh ?) .. I said nothing and went away to the ticket place .. and actioned the ticket .. I am waiting a reply on that ticket and will post here when I have it ..

Is it just me, or is this really bad business practice? Its like say .. BT having dialup for £5, then 3 months later lowering it to £2. There is not a chance in the world they wouldn't change their existing customers accoutns to follow suit. They would never say, you shoudl ahve noticec yourseld .. and then, when you do .. pay us £30 .. and we'll let you pay the same as everyone else for more bandwidth , liek everyone else .. I feel like F9 are running a protection racket, and each month they take my extra £4, I wonder how many others ?

Is this like a protection racket ?

I can totally sympathise.

I've been paying 40 pounds a month for 2mb when the same product is now available for only 22 pounds a month.

What's worse is that they are now asking me to pay an extra 10 a month to prevent my line being regraded from a 20:1 to 50:1 .... the bl**dy cheek of it.

Is this like a protection racket ?

if your current contract is less than 12 months then you're tied to it, but as easystart packages are either nearing or have ended their contractual agreements, then you should have no problems in asking for a regrade.

as for not being notified by f9 about whats happening, etc, they always post info on these forums, and people were sent emails regarding the new packages.

Granted they may not have said swap packages and save you money, why should they, its upto the customer to monitor their own account, and work out which is best deal for them.

there have also been many discussions on these pages for over a year now, its not F9's fault if you do regularly check the forums or its website, to see what they are up too.

I would say most people who have internet access will probably look at their ISP's webpages, and check out the competition to see how well they are performing both in service and cost.


Is this like a protection racket ?

woodviews, i don't think you get the gist of what I was saying, bud .. For the record, I have well finished my easystart contract with F9 by about 7 months, so that is no issue either .. :shock:

I am not asking F9 to keep me informed of everything they do .. just to not rip me off, and give me what i have paid for, the same as every other customer .. is that too much to ask ? Its called something like .. erm .. oh, yes .. equal rights .. If someone is paying 21.99 for 'unlimited' 2mb connection, and taht same connection is available for me, then why am I paying 25.99 for a 512k connection?? If you cannot see how that is wrong, and also do not see why F9 should auto regrade, or at least compensate the exploited customers, then you really should not be posting a reply here, anyway, for you don't understand what is going on here .. :?

It is the same situation, as if BT suddenly lowered their line rental for customers by 50%, from £30 to £15 !!, but they still charged Mr jones £30 a month for an extra 6 months, before he realised it and pointed it out.. of course, they refunded him straight-away .. :roll:

What I'm getting at is, it should really have been automatic re-pricing across the board (and if anyone disagrees with that, then they have never run or been in a business environment, for that is simply , the law.) Now, F9 have been quite clever in this, for they did not 'reprice' the packages, they 're-invented' new packages .. (well names at least .. ie./ no longer easystart, but premier and PAYG, etc..), so that covers them there (if not a little immoral, and cowboy-ish, it is still legal). As such, I am not even complaining about that, or even had mentioned it before now. But, when I did finally notice ,'myself', on their homepage, the new 'cheaper' packages (yet strangely faster than what i currently had?!?), I realised I could have saved myself some money and gotten a faster connection, a fair while back. So, I applied immediately. .. :?: :!:

The thing I am disgruntled at, is the fact, they then want me to pay £30, thats more than the monthly cost of any package, just to change my 'outdated' account, to one of the modern ones, even though it is cheaper money, and they DONT even sell easystart package anymore ... !! :shock:

Is this like a protection racket ?

In fairness, this is not exactly uncomon practice in the industry. Mobile phone operators use this tactic all the time.... they never lower the prices of existing price plans, they only ever invent new ones and existing customers have to ask to be moved to the new lower priced tariffs.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Is this like a protection racket ?


The £29.99 regrade fee is two charges, one to change from EasyStart to Premier and the second to change the speed. You will have a free speed regrade in progress so if you just want to change to Premier you can do for £14.99 and wait for the speed increase.

Is this like a protection racket ?

lol .. you are 100% wrong .. and Ofcom agree with me .. I also gto an email today from F9 sdaying, cause I'm one of the 0.1% that downlaoded 24/7, I am niot allowed to change to any other account type .. and must continue to pay £25.99 for my (currently 200kbs line, because f the contetntion rate brought in) .. Ofcom say this is what will turn it for me .. that is your big mistake .. it is iilegal to charge me that for something you no longer provide to others, and not offer me any alternative .. .. lol .. excellent ..

now you can say what you want, I really dont care one bit .. because all I know is Ofcom are taking up my case, and I will no doubt get a fair bit of money out of this, and may just fold (according to the Ofcom and ISPa ppl I spoke to.. it apparently happened with ezesurf the same way ..)

.. especially when I post it everywhere and a lot of other, F9 customers decide they want some cash too ..

lol .. l8r
Posts: 38
Registered: 02-08-2007

Is this like a protection racket ?

u been eating too much ganja cake mate haha (resincake!) :lol: