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Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

I've been on the full (£6) Anytime deal for years now and only made three (I think) overseas calls.  I see that there is now a cheaper (£4) middle option for Anytime.  Before I downgrade, is there any possibility of the Philippines being added any time soon to the list of countries with free calls included in the Anytime package?  My brother lives there and it is the only country that would be of interest to me.
14 REPLIES 14
orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

Hi EmpireCad,
The countries with free calls are the 20 most popular destinations on the planet, if the Philippines becomes one of those countries then I believe we'd include it - though I'm afraid I'm not sure how that decision is made.
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

Thanks for your reply and comments, Matt.  More or less what I expected.  However, I think you mean the top 35 destinations not top 20 don't you?  And as for the "most popular destinations on the planet" you know, such telephony hot-spots as the Azores, Christmas Islands, Cocos Islands, Korea Republic and Madeira.  Well I'm getting my atlas out as I type!!
Also, on a more serious note I think your "Call Costs" page is a little confusing.  Your link near the top of the page to the top 35 destinations takes you to the right list but the note BELOW the list stating that you get 300 minutes free then refers to the list BELOW which is in fact the 43 countries where you get a 25% discount on the £4 package.  Some clarification and corrections needed?
And I wonder how many calls there are from UK to the Vatican City?Huh
Anyway, Happy Christmas to you all at PlusNet and a prosperous New Year.
orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

Some good points raised, I'm afraid I can't answer them though as I wasn't party to those decisions. I'll make sure to flag this thread up though and you'll get an answer soon.
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

OK. Thanks, Matt.  Over to you and the team.  BTW I would love to know where you got the list of most popular countries from.  I have just spent a happy 90 minutes looking to see if I can find any relevant stats for UK landline calls overseas by country and came up with zip!
Cheers.
BenTrimble
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 2,106
Registered: ‎06-02-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

The old top 20 were crated by people who have since left Plusnet so I can't dig out the details for those. The new destinations were based mainly on usage volumes and a couple of factors which might make a particular county more enticing to a UK resident.
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

Thanks for the reply, Ben.  Perhaps it's time to review the list and/or maybe ask for input from your customers?  Like I said I could not find a source for the usage volumes you mention.  If you do take another look maybe you could publish your source for that information?  Transparency and all that!
Anyway I'll have a little 50p bet with you that the UK makes more calls to the Philippines than to the Cocos Isalnds and Christmas Islands combined!!  Remember all those hospital, hotel staff etc working here, not to mention Brits married to Philippinas!
Grin  Roll_eyes  Wink
BenTrimble
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 2,106
Registered: ‎06-02-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

The list has only just been reviewed when we changed it to the top 25 and the countries are chosen for commercial reasons - I don't think that asking a limited sample of customers for their perceptions of usage would be counted as a more worthwhile exercise than viewing the entire base's actual usage figures.
The source for all the figures I quote for telephone usage comes directly from our calls database which holds 13 months' of data. I always break things into proportions in order to protect commercially sensitive information so I can take a look at Cocos / Christmas vs. Philippines for you - no bet though!
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

Hi Ben.  If I understand you correctly, you are only looking at usage by your own PlusNet Phone customers.  This surely gives you an unbalanced view if things especially if you are comparing countries on the free and discounted lists against the full price list??  For example, anyone using a PN phone but not signed up to a free/discounted package might possibly make the odd call to the Cocos/Christmas Islands at 28.1/12.6p/min daytime/evening rate.  But how many would call the Philippines at 84.5/79.8p/min?  And calls to a mobile there even worse at a horrific 111.8/107.1p/min!!  When I do call the Philippines I now have to use Justcall at 9p/min for a landline and 13p/min to a mobile but the whole rigmarole of calling a premium rate number first then your destination number is just a faff.
When I was searching for the relevant stats by country I did come across a European Union site (where else?) which showed a link to data on international calls by destination country but could not fathom out how to get to the actual document.  Perhaps this would provide more representative data for your top 35 (not 25) countries?  Or, since you are owned by BT, surely they should have the data and just for traffic from UK?
BenTrimble
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 2,106
Registered: ‎06-02-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

Yeah, I only ever look at the processed calls for Plusnet (and, if necessary, MAAF, etc.). It's obviously skewed to customers which would opt to use our phone service but considering the size of the base (hundreds of thousands) I'd say it was a fairer assessment than any reasonable survey of non-customers which would maybe number into the hundreds. I don't have access to any data from other telephone providers - I doubt this would be released due to a mixture of DPA and competition regulations.
I've run the numbers by our Propositions team and they're going to look into them further but on first glance I don't think the Philippines would be added to the top 35 due to the wholesale costs of the calls.
P.S. Calls to the Philippines outnumber those to Cocos / Christmas Islands by more than 100:1!
Edit: Props have confirmed, wholesale costs are too high to add Philippines, sorry!
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

Hi Ben
Happy New Year to you and your colleagues and thanks for your reply and your candour.  I mistakenly took your "top 35 international destinations" as being the most called or most popular (same thing).  As indeed did your colleague Matt Taylor in his reply #1 above where he refers to the list as being of the "most POPULAR destinations on the planet".  Your marketing guys seem to have been very clever with the wording here.  So your TOP 35 are not your most POPULAR 35 but the CHEAPEST 35??  Perhaps the good honest straight-talking Yorkshire folk at PlusNet could make this a little clearer on the website?  Then we would not be so puzzled by the appearance in the list of our old friends the Cocos Islands and Christmas Islands!  I notice your job title is in Revenue Assurance so perhaps I should not be surprised at your explanation.  (BTW I think it should read "formerly" not "formally").
But seriously, if Justcall and other similar outfits can make a profit out of calls to the Philippines at 9p/13p land/mobile surely PN/BT can do something similar?  Worth a look? Please?
BenTrimble
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 2,106
Registered: ‎06-02-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

Happy New Year to you too! The wording on any page is always open to interpretation and we have used "Top 35" / "Top 20" for many years without needing to re-brand so I don't think that will be changed now due to the number of references on different pages that would need to be changed, staff training, etc.
Other providers are able to negotiate their own terms with wholesalers and the price that Justcall sell calls for would not be viable for us. Whilst I have no knowledge of the workings of these sort of call providers, I expect they negotiate low cost VoIP routes to trunk providers. Unfortunately this isn't something that we are able to do.
P.S. It is 'formerly', I like to make myself look stupid from time to time 😛
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

OK Ben, I give up.  I will just downgrade from Anytime International 300 to Anytime and save a couple of quid a month to spend with Justcall.  While I am at it I will also change from Value to Essentials and save a few more pennies.  It would have been nice to have been told about the change though.  I don't often look at the website as don't many others I suspect.
Re: "stupid".  Sorry.  Just once an editor always an editor. So please get the note at the bottom of the top 35 list changed to read "above" not "below" or leave the text as is and move the whole note to the top of the list!  Wink
One more thing.  Are the prices in the list of discounted countries the gross prices or the discounted ones?  I assume they are gross but it does not say as far as I can see.
Thanks for your replies anyway.
BenTrimble
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 2,106
Registered: ‎06-02-2008

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

All residential prices are net and inclusive of VAT - you'll notice the destinations listed in the top 35 are again listed in the main country list with the higher price applicable to Talk E&W customers. I'll also get the text incorrectly stating 'below' fixed too - might take a while though!
Anotherone
Champion
Posts: 19,107
Thanks: 455
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Adding any new "free call" countries to Anytime package?

If my moans are anything to go by, it will be years  Shocked  - which is why I haven't rushed to update my ticket yet Ben, but I will  Wink  Happy New Year btw.