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Plusnet offer free broadband ...

kjaerligkatt
Grafter
Posts: 411
Registered: 02-09-2007

Plusnet offer free broadband ...

... thought that might get people's attention Wink

As many on the forums will know, I am currently involved in an ongoing discussion with PN CS regarding alleged inaccuracies with the VMBU. I have just received the latest update to my ticket (8th day). Apart from being told that UDP traffic does not go through my router, and so isn't measured, (I've queried how they suppose it does pass between me and PN if it's not through my ADSL router, and await the reply with interest Wink), this little gem was also included:

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Our vmbu & ellacoya software is new, it is pioneering & yes there are a few problems with it at the moment, As you are not charged for bandwidth then this is not a problem of finance.


So, I'm not charged for bandwidth then :shock: What, therefore is the £21.99/month I pay, and why do I have to keep an eye on the usage to make sure I stay below 10GB peak usage each month?

OK, so I lied Shocked , PN aren't about to begin offering free broadband, but I'm aghast at the suggestion that, since I'm not a PAYG customer, I shouldn't consider the VMBU assigning up to an extra 10% against my account a problem!!!

If this was a truly unmetered connection, then I would agree, but it's not - I pay, each month, for up to 10GB unthrottled peak time usage. If the PN systems assign too much usage to my account, I could be throttled before I should be - based on the differences I'm seeing, as early as 9GB peak usage. I could have my ftp access bared at 13.5GB, not 15GB.

Therefore, if the VMBU is inaccurate, and putting too much data against an account, then the customer would not be getting what they are paying for. So it IS potentially a problem of finance

I find these a relly strange response to my concerns.

Regards, Neil
15 REPLIES
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Plusnet offer free broadband ...

I agree.. that response you quoted from the CSC chap was pretty deplorable in my opinion Shocked
kjaerligkatt
Grafter
Posts: 411
Registered: 02-09-2007

Plusnet offer free broadband ...

I would like to publicly THANK Mand!!!!

I responded to my ticket @ 1:28pm with a number of point regarding the reply from CS, and by 1:44pm Mand had added a note to the ticket asking for all of my points to be addressed.

Once again, thank you :-) CS at its best!

Regards, Neil
N/A

Re: Plusnet offer free broadband ...

Quote
Quote
Our vmbu & ellacoya software is new, it is pioneering & yes there are a few problems with it at the moment, As you are not charged for bandwidth then this is not a problem of finance.

Therefore, if the VMBU is inaccurate, and putting too much data against an account, then the customer would not be getting what they are paying for. So it IS potentially a problem of finance

I find these a relly strange response to my concerns.

That's quite an interesting reply you got from your ticket, and I totally agree with you regarding it potentially is a problem of finance, amongst other things.

I'm on BB+ and have been pushed onto Level 2 Management, and more recently this week Level 3 Management because the VMBU is showing a much higher usage this billing month than previously, even though there haven't been any major changes in internet habits that would match this difference. And, as CSC agents say, there are faults with the new VMBU (and then continue this with) but your overall usage should be accurate - not very reassuring.

There have been quite a few people who have complained about the new VMBU, some of whom have been monitoring bandwith from their router like yourself. For the sake of customer service I think that plus.net should temporarily remove the new VMBU for a few months and thoroughly test it, only to reinstate it when discrepancies have been ironed out. It's been a stressful enough time for many customers in regards to policy changes with MaxDSL, compounded by BT's implementation of it - but adding on a VMBU/new bandwith measuring tool that has problems at the same time as Max issues results in a company putting paying customers into a ridiculous position, forcing many to change ISP or to look at changing ISP.
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I would like to publicly THANK Mand!!!!

I responded to my ticket @ 1:28pm with a number of point regarding the reply from CS, and by 1:44pm Mand had added a note to the ticket asking for all of my points to be addressed.

It's good to hear of a sign of good customer service, the deciding factor in this will be if they do get back to you on their next reply with all your points satisfactorily addressed. We'll have to wait and see on that one!

If plus.net want to get back to being #1 in customer service (which I believe they were a couple of years ago), then quickly addressing issues such as the new VMBU will be required - which includes admitting when things have problems, immediately taking them offline for a time of testing if appropriate, and listening to & acting upon their customers views and thoughts (including when a customers evidence of something contradicts the belief of the plus.net management).
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Plusnet offer free broadband ...

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OK, so I lied Shocked , PN aren't about to begin offering free broadband, but I'm aghast at the suggestion that, since I'm not a PAYG customer, I shouldn't consider the VMBU assigning up to an extra 10% against my account a problem!!!


Hi,

Remember that VMBU records usage using 1GB = 1000MB = 1,000,000KB = 1,000,000,000bytes. Where as most monitoring software will record 1GB = 1024MB = 1,048,576KB = 1,073,741,824bytes which is a difference of 7.4%.

You also need to remember that there will be a certain amount of overhead included within VMBU, not just TCP/IP overhead and ack packets but ATM data overheads. There will be keep alive data for the ADSL connection as well as all the random background traffic, pings, port scans and all the other noise that'll bounce off your firewall.

A 10% difference is probably about right all things considered.
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@ Dave

Dave.

With regards to the overheads issue.

People have also monitored the ATM cellcount as reported by their router given that the cell size is fixed your figures still dont stack up.
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Plusnet offer free broadband ...

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A 10% difference is probably about right all things considered.


How about a 10% extra on our allowence then?
kjaerligkatt
Grafter
Posts: 411
Registered: 02-09-2007

Re: Plusnet offer free broadband ...

Hi Dave,

I'm not sure if you've seen any of the other threads where I've reported my figures, or looked at my ticket, but this has been well discussed and your numbers don't add up for my situation:
Quote

Remember that VMBU records usage using 1GB = 1000MB = 1,000,000KB = 1,000,000,000bytes. Where as most monitoring software will record 1GB = 1024MB = 1,048,576KB = 1,073,741,824bytes which is a difference of 7.4%.

My set up (PRTG Traffic Grapher monitoring a Draytek Vigor router using SNMP) logs in KBytes, and all comparisons have been adjusted by a multiple of 1.024 so that I am comparing like with like. This immediately erases this possible 7.4% difference. This has been clarified on my ticket to take it out of the equation.

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You also need to remember that there will be a certain amount of overhead included within VMBU, not just TCP/IP overhead and ack packets but ATM data overheads. There will be keep alive data for the ADSL connection as well as all the random background traffic, pings, port scans and all the other noise that'll bounce off your firewall.

A 10% difference is probably about right all things considered.

I am monitoring the raw data entering and leaving the ATM port (ADSL) on my router. I am, in effect, counting the bytes that make up the ATM cells. We're talking near the bottom of the OSI stack here (as best you can fit ATM to the OSI model) - level 2 & 1, datalink & physical layer. This is below the protocol layer (level 4) where overheads such as you refer to exist.

By monitoring the SNMP ifInOctets & ifOutOctets, I will by logging all 53 ATM cell bytes that enter and leave - so the 5 byte overhead plus 48 byte data. I was initially relying on the SNMP bandwidth data, but to remove any doubt, added octet monitoring - which concured with the bandwidth data. If ATM overheads were not included, the minimum overhead would be 10.5% (fixed ATM overhead). I see between 3% and 10%, averaging 8%.

Also, note that all of the things you list have to be enveloped in an ATM cell before transmitting over an ATM, so by counting the byte level data before it's even reassembled, surely I'm counting all the traffic using the ATM?

Regards, Neil
GersFans
Grafter
Posts: 191
Registered: 30-07-2007

Plusnet offer free broadband ...

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Quote
A 10% difference is probably about right all things considered.


How about a 10% extra on our allowence then?



Sounds reasonable to me.
Sproglet
Grafter
Posts: 105
Registered: 30-09-2007

Plusnet offer free broadband ...

It does sound reasonable..... until you look at how often and where else this 1024/1000 defination from MB/GB come up in computing.

DVDs for example.

DVD5s are advertised as 4.7GB but you can only fit on 4.3 according to your computer, it's that definition thing again. DVD manufacturers use the 1000 definition so you are gettting 4.7 * 1000 MB but your computer shows it as 4.3 * 1024 MB.

Are you going to demand that DVD manufacturers fit on the extra bytes to your discs too?
kjaerligkatt
Grafter
Posts: 411
Registered: 02-09-2007

Plusnet offer free broadband ...

Quote
Quote
Quote
A 10% difference is probably about right all things considered.


How about a 10% extra on our allowence then?



Sounds reasonable to me.


There is a risk that we lose sight of the main issue here. If it were only to do with the difference in definitions, I would accept it as it is defined. After all, Plusnet do define their usage of KByte, MByte & GByte, and have done so for some time.

The issue I have is that the VMBU appears to have bugs, leading to inaccurate usage being reoprted for some customers, even after the definitions are accounted for. My figures are comparing like for like and I still see anything up to a 10% difference, and and average of 8%.

I went into a lot of detail in my response to Dave, and would like to hear his thought on what I had to say.

Regards, Neil
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Plusnet offer free broadband ...

hey sorry, I was just bringing it down to my level. Wink

good post btw, I also would like to hear this one explaned.

This usage limit thing is starting to dredge up memories of me counting whats left of my weeks pocket money!
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Plusnet offer free broadband ...

I was sure there was a different name for a gigabyte that had 1,000 megabytes in (cant be assed to look at it though -- that would require me doin work for plusnet)

strickly speaking, a gigabyte is 1024 megabytes and thus, unless it states in the EULA that they classify it differently (see a Harddrive website they say "we class 1gigabyte to be 1000 megabytes") they are surly breaking their own agreement as its not actualy what they are doing.. thus making the EULA totaly null and void. --- oooyea!
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Plusnet offer free broadband ...

Quote
I was sure there was a different name for a gigabyte that had 1,000 megabytes in (cant be assed to look at it though -- that would require me doin work for plusnet)

strickly speaking, a gigabyte is 1024 megabytes and thus, unless it states in the EULA that they classify it differently (see a Harddrive website they say "we class 1gigabyte to be 1000 megabytes") they are surly breaking their own agreement as its not actualy what they are doing.. thus making the EULA totaly null and void. --- oooyea!

This forum thread and this post on a different thread touches on the whole 1024/1000 megabyte issue. Also mentioned in various other threads too.
kjaerligkatt
Grafter
Posts: 411
Registered: 02-09-2007

Plusnet offer free broadband ...

No, both the IEC and SI agree that Gigabyte = 10^9.

These days it is recommended that 1024^3 be refered to as a gibibyte - no idea where the name comes from!!!

--
Neil