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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

Maybe I should have read the Ts & Cs more closely. It was only after I'd signed up a friend that I discovered the "free" activation & modem aren't free at all any more, or at least not free within the 12 months of the contract. They should be but apparently if you cancel after a year you'd still have to pay £57.60 to cancel. Details here: http://portal.plus.net/residential/broadband/bbplus_freesetup.shtml

So, I probably should have read the Ts & Cs more carefully, but really I think it should have been clearer during the subscription process that "free" wasn't really free.

The friend concerned is also seriously annoyed her connection keeps dropping out, so I'll go and check whether it's phone extensions or what, but if she decides to abandon ADSL altogether, can she get out without a whacking great cancellation fee?
32 REPLIES
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

yuiop,

Ever heard of the phrase "there are no free lunches", very few things in life are totally free.

I've looked over the page you provided the link for, and it's very obvious what your signing into, there is no ambiguity about it. If you friend’s connection is a problem, then either post the details of their setup and maybe I can help determine what is wrong. It would also be worth your friend contacting PN, either by phone or by a ticket (if that is possible)
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

Yes, that page is very clear indeed. However, there was no obvious reference to it during the signup process. That is what I'm annoyed about. There should have been.

As far as "there's no such thing as a free lunch" - well, there have frequently been times when activation was genuinely free and when modems have been given away. I (wrongly) assumed this was one of them.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

Quote
Yes, that page is very clear indeed. However, there was no obvious reference to it during the signup process. That is what I'm annoyed about. There should have been.


My mistake, I had assumped that page could be reached during signup. The costs of the modem etc, are factored into the costs of you (the customer) being with PN for at least a year or longer. I'll have to see how far I can go within the signup process, maybe PN need to make the link to this page or a page like it, more obvious.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

Hi there,

There is a very clear link on the product page

Special offer! Free setup now available - save up to £80 (Find out more)

Seems clear to me.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

From the product page - well, perhaps, but that's an advertising page, not part of the signup process.

I just tried the signup process. I picked "Annual contract - Activation included". It says underneath it "Standard 12-month contract with activation included." followed by only the word "more" as a link (to the details page). I didn't follow that link as I was expecting the included activation to be included within the annual contract, as has often been the case in the past. It isn't really included within the year's contract, so I think perhaps the option's inappropriately named.

I haven't gone any further with the sign-up process because I don't want to sign up for another ADSL line.

I still think that it should be clear that there would be a substantial cancellation fee even after the first year. Really, it's a five-year contract with free activation etc, not a one-year one.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

But surely a customer would visit the product page first in order to select the most suitable product. There is a wealth of products available and I would rather view the options than simply sign the bottom line.

We cant blame Plus Net if customers chose not to read what they are signing up for.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

I did say it was my fault for not reading the Ts & Cs more closely. I just expected "free" to mean free, like it did when I signed up to PlusNet myself.

I still think it should be clearer i.e. presented in your face not on another linked page during the signup process itself, because not all customers will bother with the advertising literature - after all if a product is recommended by a friend or you're buying a second one, you don't necessarily need to read the advertising literature.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

yuiop,

I do think your being a little unrealistic, no company is going to give you something for free and not have some expectation of return. Lots of companies do this sort of thing, a good example are mobile companies.

If they didn't do something like this, how would they protect their investment?

Secondly regardless of who recomends you etc, it always pays to read all the T&Cs etc, you can't really moan at PN for that.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

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If they didn't do something like this, how would they protect their investment?


Well, one way would be to offer a high-quality service which people don't want to leave. But I guess that's not very realistic..
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

Their expectation of return should be that I stay for the one year, as you'd expect from "Annual Contract".

Mobile phone companies do indeed do this, they heavily subsidise handsets from the monthly subscription, and expect you to stay for the year (sometimes longer) but you do NOT have to pay to cancel after the stated contract term.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

I have just tried the signup process as far as the payment stage. On the payment details page, we get to:
"Payment details for your PlusNet Broadband Plus - Up to 2Mb (Annual Contract, Activation and Modem Offer) account
Activation fee: £0.00
P&P £5.99 - P&P charges are applied to your initial payment
Subscription cost: £14.99 per month
All prices include VAT

Now, that directly contradicts what appears in "My Account - Account Summary" after you complete the payment stage where you're told the activation fee is now £47.00, deferred until cancellation.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

I see where you are coming from. But that is telling you what you have to pay now. IE the first months payment, which establishes that the payment method is correct and the delivery of the modem. You are not paying the activation up front, so it wont show in that page.


**edit for typo
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

Wrong. It says Activation fee zero, P&P once now, and subscription monthly. Not just what I have to pay now, but what I pay throughout. It may *mean* what I pay now but that's not what it says.
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"Free" activation & modem aren't really free?

Hi,

Sorry I disagree. I dont feel that I am wrong. Merely that you are interpreting what that means in a different way to me.

Perhaps there is an issue here. Nothing in the sign up process should cause confusion and as such maybe this needs to be looked at.

If a customer is in doubt about any item during signup then maybe those responsible need to look at that and see if it can be worded more clearly.

I think you and I will have to agree to disagree on this one. But perhaps Plus Net could take the points on board and see if clarification is possible. Smiley