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referrals and security

joeclem111
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 21-12-2007

referrals and security

I am a retired management consultant, specialising in IT and system security, but I still do some work now and again. My concerns at first were that the referrals web page, when attempting to enter a "word of mouth" referral, the fields were there but not accessible. This suggested to me that Plusnet did not want this kind of referral. Word of mouth is one of the biggest sellers in the world, second only to the use of sex in marketing. I have lately come to realise, however, there is a bigger problem. In order to do a referral, according to Plusnets rules, you must give your username to the person being referred. As we all know, your username and password is what gains you access to sites, accounts etc. For this reason, we never divulge them to anyone. Plusnet require us to give half of our security to the person being referred. OK, we probably know them well, but it does compromise 1 half of your security. In the case of referring a company, if your username is on their system, you have no idea who in that company can see it. I feel this is a potential disaster area and would be happier if this policy was discontinued in favour of something else less risky. Those whom we refer should know our real name so why cant this be given. In the old days, there were thousands of John Smiths so it was not the best plan, but now, there are so many different names, I fail to see why a real name is unacceptible. I believe Plusnet should behave like a professional IT business and change tier practice of demanding that we dish out our usernames to others. I would have hoped that a Plc IT company should have security as their FIRST priority. What do you think?
3 REPLIES
itbookworm
Grafter
Posts: 31
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: referrals and security

In general I don't have much argument with your comments.
There is one issue with what you say though - unless you you pay for a domain name your username is part of your plusnet email address (e.g. fred@username.plus.com). As such it is available to anyone who sends you email. Obviously in a business context it is more likely that you will have a registered domain for email and other purposes but I would guess (perhaps wrongly) that the majority of users won't.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: referrals and security

Hi there.
Thank you for your feedback. I understand what your saying and thats why we offer a number of ways to make a referral.
We do not insist that you give anyone your username in order to make a referral.
This page on the portal outlines the various means of referring.
LINK
The most popular is of course via word of mouth followed by website banners and lastly by email.
Many people refer people they know therefore have no difficulty providing their username. Others complete the signup themselves for the referral therefore no username is disclosed. Where none of these options are appropriate you can send the referral an email. If they commence the signup via the link embedded in the email then the referral is automatically credited to your account.
Similarly web banners automate the process. If the new customer clicks on a referral banner on your website (where applicable) and completes the sign up journey, the referral is automatically created.
Its purely down to choice and we would never ask a customer to compromise their security.
Quote
My concerns at first were that the referrals web page, when attempting to enter a "word of mouth" referral, the fields were there but not accessible.

That concerns me greatly. I have tried to replicate this internally and have successfully entered the referring username during sign up and experienced no difficulty. If you are still seeing this as a problem then please let me know and I'll have it raised as a problem.
One final point. If none of the above options suit your needs, then dont hesitate to raise a ticket on your account giving us details of the account you have referred and we will ensure that it is credited to you.
Hope that helps clarify things and thank you for referring our products and services. It is greatly appreciated.

Edit.
Ah I think I see what you mean now. If you are referring to the image at the bottom of the Word of mouth section then I understand. That is purely a guide to demonstrate where to input the username during the sign up journey. It is not meant to suggest that you enter the detail there. I have fed that aspect back to our content guys and we'll look at redesigning that page to make it more clear.


Not applicable

Re: referrals and security

Also worth noting that the fields disappear if you have an errant cookie on your machine, which has automatically submitted the details.
Fine if they are the right details, a royal PITA if they are wrong though...