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why use plusnet?

salt
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 13-06-2007

why use plusnet?

I recommended someone to plusnet and they pointed out that other ISPs do a better deal.
With the talktalk package for £20.49 you get 40gb usage allowance and their International Call Plan.
Pipex give 15gb usage allowance for the basic £10pm.
What are the advantages of Plusnet in these cases?
39 REPLIES
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

Hi Salt,
Nice to see you posting on our Community Site!  You raise a very valid question!
Firstly, I would definitely suggest looking at the reputations of both TalkTalk and PIPEX against ourselves. This link is normally pretty helpful:
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/isp/compare.html?isp_20=1&isp_77=1&isp_22=1&commit=Compare
Secondly, there's a rumour floating around that Tiscali are having a very big sniff around PIPEX with a potential intention of taking them over.  With acquisitions you can never really be sure how they will develop.  When we were taken over by BT a number of our customers were quite rightly concerned, but they stayed with us to see how things would pan out. I think generally they've been pretty happy arring isolated incidents.
I'd also look at the additional services that we can offer.  I think that our Business Support (although not appropriate in this instance) and our online community are two fantastic resources, especially with the online community where our customers can talk to us on forums and share views with other customers and gain feedback from us in various different avenues.
There is definitely an aspect of "you get what you pay for". We're not a "budget" ISP, but our aim is to be one of the best value ISPs in the UK.  That doesn't mean that we're cheap though!  It means that we're looking to be the best value for money ISP in the UK that gives you what you pay for with quality support and additional services.  Yes, there are "free" ISPs out there and those that offer Unlimited (terms apply) services, but I firmly believe that we offer a high quality service and we have a fantastic community that we only wish to develop.
Look forward to seeing you on here more often.
N/A

Re: why use plusnet?

If you are only considering finance you certainly have a point. I pay about £3 per month more (for a similar package i.e. BB, line rental and calls) than my friend who uses TalkTalk.  However, I have restrictions of 1GB broadband and 1000 minutes call time.  She, on the other hand, has none.
Even though with my telephone usage it wouldn't be 'broadband for free' I would move to TT tomorrow but having had terrible hassle when I initially tried to get on the service last year, I daren't risk it.  At that time the customer service left a lot to be desired, although I am told that it is better now. 
Anyway, just think - no Plusnet forum to have a moan and groan - that's got to be worth something!
sponge
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 28-06-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

unfortunately most of the people that I know that used to be plus netters , including the ones that referred me, many have moved to the likes of sky, with more reliable and better service for less money. I personally leaving in a couple of weeks for ADSL2.My connection to the exchange is now almost 6MB , but I have recently experienced my slowest interenet performance for 7 years, inclusing when I was on 512.The only people that are still with plus net are the ones that just use email once or twice a week and might take a quick look at the bbc website. Unfortunately I think it is now going to be hard work to convince people to move to PN when they can get the likes of sky tv and internet for £15 a month, the same price as the lower priced PN packages. Maybe when sky starts to get over subscribed things may look more favorable to PN, but until that time things may be a struggle
dusty_bin
Grafter
Posts: 138
Registered: 12-06-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

Possibly not relevant to the OP, but the things that were important to me were:
- free fixed IP
- free domain hosting
and since I've been with PN the cost has come down from £22.99 to £14.99, speed has gone from 0.5 to 4 Mbps.
With BBYW, the allowance of 8 GB is more that adequate for me and I could now have an extra 2 domains hosted for free (not that I need it atm)
Last time I looked, admittidly a while ago, I didn't find anything that would have made it worth the effort of moving.
pdavidson
Grafter
Posts: 147
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

Another very big benefit of being with PN is the fact that you're never locked into a contract for more than 1 month at a time. It's becoming increasingly common for providers such as Sky and TalkTalk to lock you in for 18 months with penalties if you leave.
Personally, I'd rather know that I can leave at any time than be stuck with a single supplier who's performance could hit rock bottom without me being entitled to back out of my contract.
PN never takes it's customers for granted because nobody is tied to us; everyone subscribing to PN is here because they want to be and not because they are 'locked in' to a contract.
sponge
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 28-06-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

I agree the short contract is a big selling point, the other ISP's such as Virgin and AOL are now 12 month contracts instead of 1 month. Services such as BT Fusion and BT vision will be big selling points if they become available. BT customers have a nice benefit of having some included wifi minutes. It would be good if PN could include say 15 mins a month of free minutes.
TimW
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 01-07-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

A first posting , so apologies for inadvertant etiquette breaches.
I have referred several friends to Plusnet, and they are fairly happy with the service. The problem is as "casual" users, price is all important. I expect all to move in the near future - either to Sky or TalkTalk.
I am writing this on a free "dial up" account provided by Plusnet when I reported intermittant problems with my ADSL (the first real problem I have had in two years or so since I joined). I have been very impressed by this little touch - it is the sort of service that will keep me a member, but for the majority of my friends, it is not worth the extra.
One negative comment about the post earlier pointing out that with aquisitions, things can change. Things change frequently without takeovers. The plusnet service I have now is not the one I signed up for - It is still worthwhile for me, but traffic shaping and download limits at peak times have severly "downgraded" the package I signed up for.
N/A

Re: why use plusnet?

Welcome to the forum Tim.  I agree with your comments about Plusnet. As you said, it is the small things that often are important in keeping customers. For me, it is not only a reliable service but the fact that I can telephone someone for advise in this country and (usually) get my problems sorted.  The big companies like Sky and TalkTalk can't offer the personal touch that a smaller, dedicated Internet Service Provider can. 
HSNetwork
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

Quote from: Paula
Another very big benefit of being with PN is the fact that you're never locked into a contract for more than 1 month at a time.

Not wanting to dampen anything here, but what you failed to mention on this point is that in order to have a month by motnh basis a new sign up would have to pay ofr activation charges (if needed) etc up front (or did last time I looked). If migrating in I ams ure though if you leave within the first year its still a £15 fee to migrate out, or have I got this wrong?
Anyway in the end of the day it really boils down to what each individual needs and is looking for. If your looking at saving every last penny you can keep your hands on then a package deal would be better suited perhaps but shop around. If your not bothered about the cost but want reliability and fine tuning as to what you can and cant do then I would say look at only the broadband packages and shop about. Although Plusnet would suit most people it is by no means perfect for all, everyone has individual needs, its a case of which ISP supplies the ones that fit yours.
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

This is quite an interesting post.  I think that it mostly comes down to how much value you put on your broadband connection.  And that is something you really have to think hard about.  It's easy to assume that broadband is all the same... but really that couldn't be further from the truth.
Working in this industry, I absolutely know how expensive broadband is to deliver.  Usage is growing, consumer pricing is coming down - and wholesale costs aren't really budging in line with this. 
Every broadband provider in this land has to buy bandwidth and pay port-costs for getting customers online - and in this country bandwidth is not cheap.  Whether it's from BT as Central Capacity, or whether it's an LLU provider purchasing backhaul from a wholesaler.
With this knowledge in mind, I know that free broadband simply cannot be delivered without a massive subsidy from elsewhere, huge investment and cut-backs in other areas.  I am quite happy to say that companies who offer free broadband - are losing money on broadband.  How long can they sustain the loss, though?  How long can they continue to invest while losing money?  How long can they continue to cross-subsidise before the revenue dries up?  I think it’s a ticking time-bomb.
But, enough about the economics - it's also about quality of service.  Can free broadband really be a quality service?  This quote, in response to TalkTalk’s poor show in uSwitch’s survey results (which, by the way, we won ) The Reg had this to say (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/03/uswitch_survey/) :
"When it became first to offer "free" service, TalkTalk promised it would change broadband forever. On this evidence, let's hope not.”
It's not just about getting the customer online and providing them with a connection.  It's about the quality and speed of the connection.  It's about how you support these customers when it goes wrong or they need help.  It's about providing them with an email service that works. 
The connection is only part of the service - but it's all the other bits that make up the full package.
Here are just some of the reasons why I believe PlusNet is the right choice :
- Highly Skilled Support Staff
- - We always try to ensure that the knowledge within our Support Centre is as spread as possible.  Our analysts are continually trained and developed to a defined skills matrix.  We don’t operate a usual call-centre setup where you could be passed between 2nd and 3rd line agents. 
- Sheffield Based Support
- - All our support staff are sat right here in our Sheffield office.  We’ve not outsourced our support overseas to cut costs and we have no plans to do so.  If you call us, you will always speak to someone in this country.
- Geographical Support Number, if it helps
- - We’ve introduced a Sheffield 0114 support number to benefit customers who get an inclusive call bundle (such as those using our Home Phone service) and customers calling on their mobile phones.
- One Office, One Team
- - From our CEO down, we’re all based in one building.  It allows us to be a lot more ‘joined up’ in our approach and be a lot more agile in our development.  It means the people that deal with our customers can feedback straight into the business.  Any network problems which may occur from time to time are quickly responded to by our networks team within this building - rather than having a networks team based in a different part of the world.
- Community Approach
- - We interact with our customers online through communities and forums, taking onboard feedback from customers and influencing our developments internally based on this feedback.
- Monthly Contract Products
- - The free providers will tie you in to a lengthy contract and charge you large cancellation fees to move.  All our products are based on monthly contracts, which gives our customers the flexibility they need.  It’s also because we’re confident that we provide a good service.  With the free providers, if they’re not up to scratch – you’re tied to them.  We don’t hold customers hostage like that, and that means that we’re always striving to provide the best service possible.
- Clearly defined usage and traffic management policies
- - We know that broadband networks have to be carefully managed to ensure that customers get a decent quality of service at all times.  Because of the economics mentioned above, it’s just not possible to throw expensive bandwidth at the network willy-nilly.  We budget a certain amount of bandwidth into the design of each of our products, and then we consistently ensure that we are providing enough to meet, or exceed, this design. 
With this bandwidth, we then have to ensure that interactive and latency-sensitive applications always run at as fast a speed as possible.  We prioritise Gaming and VoIP traffic on our network, for example, to ensure that Gamers get the best experience in the industry and VoIP calls are crystal clear with no dropouts or fluctuations in sound quality.
We fairly distribute our available bandwidth between and ensure that customers who wish to download large amounts via P2P or Usenet at the busiest times do not affect performance for the majority of our customers.
- Open and honest policies
- - We have an ethos of being completely transparent and open and honest with our customers.  We publish more about how we design our products and manage our network than all the other ISPs in this country put together!  In addition, we have areas on our Portal where you can see our currently open Priority 1 problems (http://www.plus.net/support/service/problems/index.php?supporta=priorityproblems) we regularly update our service status pages (http://status.plus.net) and, more recently, we’ve been adding internal policies to our Portal so that customers understand exactly how we will react in certain situations (http://www.plus.net/support/service/policies/overview.shtml?supporta=policies).
We even publish our call stats on the Portal so customers can see exactly how we’re performing on incoming calls and customer query responses : http://csc.plus.net
- Referrals Programme
- - We reward customers who recommend our service to their friends and family.  Our business was built by word-of mouth referral by customers who enjoy our service.  We don’t spend thousands on TV adverts; instead we reward customers who recommend our services with monthly discounts on their own service – as well as special offers such as our current Referrals Promotion where customers can earn upto £25 cash for each successful recommendation.
- Bob Pullen
- - Bob is a legend – and he works for PlusNet!

- Comms Cat

- - You can always be sure that the Comms Cat is monitoring the network : http://community.plus.net/trafficmanagement/files/2007/06/commscat2.jpg
Well - that was a long post!
N/A

Re: why use plusnet?

Have you come up for breath yet Liam?
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

:-)  Just about.....
Fingers went wild!
sponge
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 28-06-2007

Re: why use plusnet?

Quote from: poppy
Welcome to the forum Tim.  I agree with your comments about Plusnet. As you said, it is the small things that often are important in keeping customers. For me, it is not only a reliable service but the fact that I can telephone someone for advise in this country and (usually) get my problems sorted.  The big companies like Sky and TalkTalk can't offer the personal touch that a smaller, dedicated Internet Service Provider can. 

smallerHuh Since when has BT been a small company? Will be interesting to see how long PN keeps away from the BT influence. I have now unfortunately had to leave PN as I have to use BB for work on occasions and PN was like using dialup , am now a much happier bunny not having to drive into the office.
I think unfortunately PN spent a lot of time and resources on stuff like email when most of the people I know dont use ISP email any more and use the likes of hotmail and gmail. These services also have the advantages of being able to be used away from home where as PN email can only be used via a web browser when away from home, so no offline emailing is allowed. Maybe this money would have been better spent in other areas
N/A

Re: why use plusnet?

By 'small things' I wasn't referring to the size of the company.  But yes, you are quite right, BT is huge so it is a credit to Plusnet that despite being 'taken over' they have still managed to retain the individuality that they had before.  I haven't noticed any changes for the worse apart from the security breach and measures are being taken to improve the situation.