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Proof: misleading advertising and services

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Proof: misleading advertising and services

I have now managed to establish that I am not delusional and I thought the people here in the forums would appreciate to see the evidence.

I am on broadband Plus and I have found these issues with Plusnets Policys and service.

1.Plusnet definitely claim to have "No Download Limits" on Broadband Plus and there is no mention of "Sustainable Usage Policy" or any such limits being applied.

look for yourself:
http://www.plus.net/residential/broadband/index.shtml

This is just misleading advertising and I was a victim of it, I would never have joined Plusnet if I knew there would be such harsh limits as 4GB a month.

which brings me to my second point.

2.Plusnet claims that under sustainable peak time usage I can download 10GB before I recieve a warning email and 12.5 before I enter restrictions.

see for yourself:
https://portal.plus.net/support/broadband/network/traffic_management.shtml#peaktime

I have recieved a warning email when I exceed 3.2GB and when I passed 4GB I was put under restrictions!!!

I have screenshots of the website and I have emails to prove this.
21 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Proof: misleading advertising and services

Hi,

The 4GB peak time usage allowance is detailed on the following page:

http://www.plus.net/residential/broadband/broadband_plus.shtml?link=resbb_pluslink

under Product Usage.

The Sustainable Usage Policy (SUP) is seperate to the peak time usage allowance. Once you reach the 4GB of peak time usage we don't just block the connection, you can still use it, the SUP is there as a safety net so to speak. The peak time usage is what we budget for on a per account basis whereas the SUP is the level at which usage on that account type becomes unsustainable.
N/A

Proof: misleading advertising and services

Firstly do you really think that potential customers are going to click the "more info" button and then the product usage button?...when they have already seen what they want to see it says "no download limits"!

About usage, are you saying that upon reaching 10 GB my connection would be blocked entirely? because that is not what your page on sustainable usage policy guide page says at all. It is quite clear. heres a quote from it:
"
Residential Broadband - sustainable peak-time usage
Product Warning email sent Restrictions applied
Premier Option 1 24GB 30GB
Premier Option 2 36GB 45GB
Premier Option 3 48GB 60GB
Plus 10GB 12.5GB


Peak-time is 4pm till Midnight. Peak-times and bandwidth values may change over time as usage patterns change.
"


I got to the policy guide when I went to the "my broadband usage screen and then clicked on the "level 2 management" button that has annoyingly been put there. For some reason accessing the policy guide in other ways doesnt seem to work.
docrobster
Grafter
Posts: 132
Registered: 04-09-2007

Proof: misleading advertising and services

Quote
Firstly do you really think that potential customers are going to click the "more info" button and then the product usage button?...when they have already seen what they want to see it says "no download limits"!


errr.... yes
If you can't be bothered to look 2 mouseclicks away from the main advert to read the small print then you deserve what you get.
Plusnet are the same as everyone else in the way they advertise their products, whether it be broadband, mobile phones, gas prices or whatever. If you don't check the (not even that small) small print it's not their fault.
Plus, it doesn't even say no dowbload limits. It says no FIXED download limits. I would take one look at that and think, "hang on what's the catch", not "ooh great I can download the whole internet every night for £15"
You're wasting your time chasing this one I'm afraid.
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Proof: misleading advertising and services

I NOW know this is the way all these services work, I came from south africa and we didnt even have so may providers and options as in the UK, so I didnt know what to look out for and there wasnt anything about a 4GB limit when I joined anyway even when I looked at "more info/product usage" pages.

regardless of wether it says "no download limits", "no fixed download limits" or "unlimited downloads" this should not be standard practice! If the advertising was honest there should not be any small print! Consumers have put up with this nonsense for too long. It is misleading advertising and thats a fact regardless of wether its Plusnet or other companies.

[Moderator's note by James - (sallyandjames): Full quote of preceding post removed as per the link:rules]
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Proof: misleading advertising and services

I have to agree the "no download limits" IS misleading , however I would actually press the more info button to see what more there is.
But... plusnets speeds are so poor that I dont think it would be possible to hit the peak time limit anyway.
docrobster
Grafter
Posts: 132
Registered: 04-09-2007

Proof: misleading advertising and services

All advertising is misleading! That is the nature of advertising. It is designed to get you to part with your money, so it will be putting a biased opinion across to get you to sign up. The old adage "buyer beware" I believe goes back to roman times, so this is hardly a 21st century problem....
I don't know what it's like in South Africa or anywhere else for that matter, but as a consumer in this country I adopt the position that the supplier is trying to rip me off until proven otherwise!
You wouldn't get a builder/plumber/electrician in to do work on your house without checking his work was good and he wasn't a cowboy first, so why sign a 12 month (or possibly longer with the lovely free set up option) with plusnet after just looking at 1 web page!
I am not particularly impressed with PN at the mo, speedwise things are pants which I am sure is down to them trying to screw as much money out of the customer base as possible before increasing capacity, but I just think that people are a little naive to sign up for something without thoroughly checking it out first.
A little cynicism goes a long way...
A year ago I would have signed my family up with Plus Net. I wouldn't now.
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Proof: misleading advertising and services

I understand what you are saying but thats almost like saying fpr example :
well people have been stealing things from other people from the beginning of time,we all know its wrong but we might as well make it legal cause all sorts of people do it.

No I believe this kind of advertising is wrong and theres no convincing me otherwise.

At the very least plusnet could own up and mention the sustainable usage policy and/or the 4GB current cap on Broadband Plus on this particular page of the Plusnet website: http://www.plus.net/residential/broadband/index.shtml
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Proof: misleading advertising and services

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At the very least plusnet could own up and mention the sustainable usage policy and/or the 4GB current cap on Broadband Plus on the website: http://www.plus.net/residential/broadband/index.shtml

I don't understand your point, the cap is mentioned when you click info and then Product Usage?
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Proof: misleading advertising and services

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I don't understand your point, the cap is mentioned when you click info and then Product Usage?


Hey there Ive clarified my post above. I am refering to that specific page because that is where all important info should be and the current download limit is definitely important info for potential customers.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Proof: misleading advertising and services

Even if you do miss it in the product pages, I'd hope you would notice it when you read the terms and conditions. You did read them during the signup process didn't you?
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Proof: misleading advertising and services

I signed up in october 2005 I cant remember if I did or didnt but I think I did as that would be my normal course of action anyway the policy seems to have changed many times since then and it doesnt altogether make sense to me even now.

I have already queried the things I dont understand, dont worry.

To be honest Im not saying there is something wrong with the terms and conditions...I am saying there is something wrong with the advertising which is a front for the terms and conditions.

[Moderator's note by James - (sallyandjames): Full quote of preceding post removed as per the link:rules]
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Proof: misleading advertising and services

There's misleading, then there's blatant lies.
Fixed limits apply to both peak and off peak.
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During off-peak periods you get up to a possible 50GB per month on Broadband Plus.

Wrong. At 8mb/s(1MB/s) you can theoretically download 57.6GB during one days off peak period if there are no fixed limits.
If you continue from "Product usage" to "read our guide" it states: 4GB of peak-time usage each month.
That is a fixed limit.

Even if you take it to be merely misleading, here's what the advertising standards authority has to say on the matter:
Quote
Advertisements are not allowed to mislead consumers. This means that advertisers must hold evidence to prove the claims they make about their products or services before an ad appears.


I would say that only the description of PAYG is not in breach. take a look at what is said about premier:
Quote
Great-value broadband. Perfect for downloads, gaming and connecting several computers.

It is far from perfect for downloads or gaming.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Proof: misleading advertising and services

The ASA does not cover advertising on company websites so the quote above does not apply. If PN were to say, advertise the same thing on TV, or in a newspaper, they could be held accountable if the ASA deems the adverts misleading, but not if the advert is on their own website.

OFCOM don't cover advertising so the only body left is trading standards, but even with them its a very grey area and you need absolute proof they are actually misleading people.

PN are very clever, like many other ISP, to ensure they don't break any laws in respect of what they state so this means its very difficult to prove. Product information and limits are available, just not in plain site.
ceridwen
Grafter
Posts: 937
Registered: 14-10-2007

Proof: misleading advertising and services

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The ASA does not cover advertising on company websites so the quote above does not apply.


Which is an inconsistency I still do not understand

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PN are very clever, like many other ISP, to ensure they don't break any laws in respect of what they state so this means its very difficult to prove. Product information and limits are available, just not in plain site.


Which is dissapointing for an ISP that once prided itself on its openess and honesty.

Matthew