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VMBU and so-called free usage

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VMBU and so-called free usage

With the current mess that the VMBU appears to be in I have been waiting until after 1am to start any large downloads (and stopping before 7am), to make totally sure that it's not going to be counted as paid-for usage.

Yet at least twice this week over 100MB has showed up in my paid-for instead of free usage even when using this scheme (both times were the only times this week I've done any large downloads).

Do we still actually get free usage overnight or what? What times can we be guaranteed to receive free usage? In fact do we have any sort of guarantee that we shall receive free usage?

Until I get some sort of official assurance on this I am going to assume that the system has either been removed or is WHOLLY unreliable. Either way I shall not be scheduling any downloads to start overnight and would urge everyone else on PAYG to pay close attention to their usage logs (if there's anyone left that doesn't!)

As far as I'm concerned if a service is advertised as free between certain times then it is Free Between Certain Times. The current situation would be completely unacceptable in any other industry (electric, gas, phone etc) so I do not accept it from my ISP.
19 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

VMBU and so-called free usage

Hi,

Overnight usage on PAYG is still counted as free usage. However, limitations in how the data is collected from BT means that the overnight period isn't exact and VMBU isn't accurate to the minute.

Over the course of a month the periods should balance themselves out but it may mean that individual days have usage a little wrong (up to about 15 minutes).

Remember also that updates to VMBU can be about 2 hours behind, so if you look at midnight there will still be about 2 hours of usage to add on for that day.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,160
Thanks: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

VMBU and so-called free usage

Just recently for me and for some others VMU has delayed adding usage for some days till up to 24 hours later.
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls
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VMBU and so-called free usage

Shrike is not the first user that have pointed out that this 15 minutes overlap is not true and it will not balance out for users that manager downloads in the off-peak times. Is PN going to listen to the uers and come up with a solution?
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VMBU and so-called free usage

So, if what you say is true then we could guarantee that data transferred after 0015 would be counted as free. This begs two questions:

1) why then isn't the free period listed as 0015 to 0745, as that is the only time you could be assured of getting free usage. The whole issue of "balancing out over the month" is moot as so many people schedule their downloads to use the free period and so only ever experience the 15 minutes of extra paid-for usage, and never make use of the extra 15 minutes between 2345 and 0000.

2) why then do people (like me) still see usage after 0015 (up to 45 minutes later or more) showing up as paid-for?

I am glad the free usage still exists but I still find it unusable (at least for scheduling big downloads) as I simply cannot determine beforehand under what category it will be recorded under. After being stung for many extra GIGS of extra paid-for data over the past few months because of this problem, and 100s of meg this month even being extremely careful) I simply distrust the whole system.

Also VMBU data, at the moment, is also WAY more than 2 hours behind. More like 2 days behind!
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

VMBU and so-called free usage

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1) why then isn't the free period listed as 0015 to 0745, as that is the only time you could be assured of getting free usage. The whole issue of "balancing out over the month" is moot as so many people schedule their downloads to use the free period and so only ever experience the 15 minutes of extra paid-for usage, and never make use of the extra 15 minutes between 2345 and 0000.


I can raise this internally and see if we can update the pages. In the main though most people on PAYG haven't changed their usage patterns significantly since the introduction of free overnight usage. We also hope that the decrease in PAYG bandwidth charges and including 2GB by default for £14.99 will help to make up for the fact that VMBU isn't accurate to the minute and a guide to usage so that where you have a day when 50 or 100MB is counted in the wrong day and it doesn't balance out later in the month at the end of the month you don't actually pay any more.

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2) why then do people (like me) still see usage after 0015 (up to 45 minutes later or more) showing up as paid-for?


I'd like to look into this in more detail, my gut feeling is that VMBU is just behind and a bit longer than 2 hours and so the usage is the previous days usage but perhaps from earlier in the day and it's been catching up. If not then we probably need to do some testing to see, but to get an accurate figure would need a connection that was off completely one day and only connected the next day at say 12:45am. Might be able to ask nightshift to look at this next week.

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Also VMBU data, at the moment, is also WAY more than 2 hours behind. More like 2 days behind!


Looks OK at the moment, if it does start getting further behind give me a shout and I can take a look.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,160
Thanks: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

VMBU and so-called free usage

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Also VMBU data, at the moment, is also WAY more than 2 hours behind. More like 2 days behind!

Looks OK at the moment, if it does start getting further behind give me a shout and I can take a look.

There's been discussion about this here:
http://portal.plus.net/central/forums/viewtopic.php?t=44605

For me, most of Wednesday's 'paid-for' usage didn't appear till Thurs afternoon and there were similar things happening with Thurs and Friday's usage.
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls
Nocturne
Grafter
Posts: 140
Registered: 01-08-2007

VMBU and so-called free usage

dtomlinson
"Over the course of a month the periods should balance themselves out but it may mean that individual days have usage a little wrong (up to about 15 minutes)."


Your initial response to this was, as on previous occasions, totally dishonest and misleading.
You have made this sort of statement before and have had replies, as on this occasion, which refute this argument totally and yet you continue with this deception.
Some degree of integrity from Plusnet's representatives is appropriate.

How are Plusnet customers supposed to trust Plusnet when its representatives persist in making this sort of misleading statement which you must know is simply wrong and not true.

There are users who download shortly after midnight and rarely if ever also download shortly after 8 am for example. For them and many in other situations this will never balance itself out.

Separate from the main issue I have submitted detailed breakdowns using PRTG Grapher where the 'overlap' which you refer to is in the region of 45 minutes.

dtomlinson
"I can raise this internally and see if we can update the pages. In the main though most people on PAYG haven't changed their usage patterns significantly since the introduction of free overnight usage. We also hope that the decrease in PAYG bandwidth charges and including 2GB by default for £14.99 will help to make up for the fact that VMBU isn't accurate to the minute and a guide to usage so that where you have a day when 50 or 100MB is counted in the wrong day and it doesn't balance out later in the month at the end of the month you don't actually pay any more."


Your second response suggests that the problems with incorrectly recording Usage will be resolved by the new arrangement of 2 Gb Paid For Usage instead of the previous 1 Gb figure.

It is this sort of naive thinking which got Plusnet into this difficulty in the first place.

Irrespective of the Paid For Usage being increased it will not compensate for what should be Free Usage being recorded as Paid For Usage.

If this is Plusnet's understanding of how people view this sort of issue then they should not be in business and should take up something less demanding.
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VMBU and so-called free usage

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... to make up for the fact that VMBU isn't accurate to the minute and a guide to usage so that where you have a day when 50 or 100MB is counted in the wrong day and it doesn't balance out later in the month at the end of the month you don't actually pay any more.


Dave, it's not only inaccurate to the minute but, as other threads will testify, it's inaccurate for days.

How are PAYG Plusnet customers expected to keep an eye on their usage when they have inaccurate data from PlusNet?

The mind boggles... :?
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VMBU and so-called free usage

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Overnight usage on PAYG is still counted as free usage. However, limitations in how the data is collected from BT means that the overnight period isn't exact and VMBU isn't accurate to the minute.

Dave, there seems to be some contradictions in the statements from PN as to how data is gathered for the new VMBU, could you respond to my question in this topic http://portal.plus.net/central/forums/viewtopic.php?t=44528

Thanks.
xblade
Grafter
Posts: 129
Registered: 22-08-2007

VMBU and so-called free usage

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... to make up for the fact that VMBU isn't accurate to the minute and a guide to usage so that where you have a day when 50 or 100MB is counted in the wrong day and it doesn't balance out later in the month at the end of the month you don't actually pay any more.


Dave, it's not only inaccurate to the minute but, as other threads will testify, it's inaccurate for days.

How are PAYG Plusnet customers expected to keep an eye on their usage when they have inaccurate data from PlusNet?

The mind boggles... :?


Quite agree, I have done my best trying to make sure that I do not use more of my paid foe usage than I have too, but I often find that large chucks of usage suddenly appear in this section even though I have only had the router switched on for surfing for an hour or so.

I can only think that night time usage is being added to paid for usage

But I won't have to worry about it for long as I am leaving for Nildram soon
Simon
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VMBU and so-called free usage

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Overnight usage on PAYG is still counted as free usage. However, limitations in how the data is collected from BT means that the overnight period isn't exact and VMBU isn't accurate to the minute.


Another consideration is that the data does not only come from BT but also from the LLU provider. Will this data be more accurate :?:
lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: 05-04-2007

VMBU and so-called free usage

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Also VMBU data, at the moment, is also WAY more than 2 hours behind. More like 2 days behind!

Looks OK at the moment, if it does start getting further behind give me a shout and I can take a look.

There's been discussion about this here:
http://portal.plus.net/central/forums/viewtopic.php?t=44605

The matter has also been raised in this thread on the PUG.

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Martin
lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: 05-04-2007

VMBU and so-called free usage

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Over the course of a month the periods should balance themselves out but it may mean that individual days have usage a little wrong (up to about 15 minutes).

So, I can expect the VMBU to give me back the 500Mb of free usage which it stole from me at 7:30am last Saturday morning? :shock:

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

VMBU and so-called free usage

If PN cannot accurately record usage immediately after midnight they should simply change the commencement of Free Usage to 01:00 hrs or whatever time is appropriate to ensure the usage recorded thereafter is correctly shown as Free.

If some usage between midnight and say 01:00 hrs is recorded as Free instead of Paid For I can't see many people complaining.

They are not prepared to do this so I suspect the problem is deeper than this and yet Dave Tomlinson persists in making this type of statement

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Over the course of a month the periods should balance themselves out but it may mean that individual days have usage a little wrong (up to about 15 minutes).

which he and many are aware is simply not true.