2011 was a big year for Plusnet. We bagged some top broadband awards and made our broadband and phone packages even better. But that's not all - we announced some TV sponsorships, improved our webmail and customer services, outgrew our offices and helped more people in Yorkshire and beyond onto the web with a little of our honest, broadband-savvy, straight-talking. From all of us at Plusnet we’d like to thank all of our customers and staff for the last 12 months and we look forward to another successful year in 2012. Read on to find out what we did last year …
We launched lots of new products
We introduced a lot of new products in 2011, improved many others and even helped facilitate the world’s first IPv6-enabled cat feeder! The most significant change to our product line-up was the launch of our very own fibre optic broadband products, celebrated by a rather unique pigeon race. Our Home Phone customers have been able to call us for free for a while now, and last year we opened this up to everybody by introducing our 0800 and 0345 numbers. It wasn’t just the telephone number we changed though. We also improved the interactive call menu you’re greeted with when you get in touch so that your enquiry is dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. In September we brought back our Talk Anytime International 300 inclusive calls package, which offers 300 inclusive minutes of calls to a list of top 20 international call destinations. If you don’t make international calls but still want the comfort of having an anytime package, fear not, as we still have our Talk Anytime or Evenings & Weekends in our phone and broadband packages. Staying on the theme of phone calls, 2011 also saw the launch of our Line Rental Saver product saving you a healthy £42 over the course of a year by choosing to pay 12 months of line rental up front. We understand that things go wrong from time to time, so to help you out when they do, we created Plusnet Assist. More than 40,000 of you are already using the software to help diagnose connection problems, fix wireless connections and set up your Plusnet email using Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail. It’s also got loads of useful links to the most useful parts of our website so you can quickly check on your broadband usage and online bills. Last year we also improved our email anti-spam filters and introduced new webmail platform to make checking your Plusnet email account easier when you’re on the move. Not so much a new service, but worth a mention none-the-less, was our involvement in World IPv6 day on 8th June where, with the help of some of you, we tested our network for the inevitable transition from IPv4 to IPv6. One inventive customer even took the opportunity to unveil the worlds first (and only?) IPv6-enabled Internet cat-feeder!
We got involved
We're all about communicating, so it's no surprise that last year we were slapping our gums together in a bid to help more people online. A number Plusnet’s finest volunteered for the GO ON Sheffield campaign, to encourage Sheffielders who’ve never tried it to get connected to the internet to get stuck in and find out what all the fuss is about. For ten days we attended many of the 60 events to encourage people to give it a go – with great results. A large number of people learned how to sign up for their first email address, to go shopping online or even learned how to use a keyboard and mouse for the first time. Our charity of the year was The Alzheimer’s Society, and we held a number of activities both in and out of the office to raise money for this excellent cause. We were lucky enough to be given some signed cricket equipment which was auctioned earlier this year. A few brave members of our team also took part in the York 10Km run (sponsored, of course). We’ve also held various charity events for our staff including a quiz night, several raffles, sweepstakes on Eurovision and the Grand National… anyway, to cut a long story short we handed over more than £5,000 with the help of Emmerdale’s Roxanne Pallett. Now, what’s ten times better than a man with a moustache? Yes, it’s ten men with moustaches! Take a look at our triumphant Movember ‘taches that helped raise over £1200 in aid of prostate cancer awareness. More than a few of our staff also volunteered to man the phones for Red Nose Day. Of course this went alongside all the usual tomfoolery – cake sales, dressing up and pouring buckets of cold water over your boss’s head.
We took to the TV
When you weren't busy chatting away using your Plusnet landline or surfing the web using your Plusnet broadband, you might have seen us pop up on your TV, as we sponsored the 2011 Gillette Four Nations rugby league tournament and released a bunch of new adverts seeing Joe, his dad and the Plusnet big band get into the swing of things.
We won lots of awards
We’ve had to make extra space in our trophy cabinet to make way for all of the awards we won throughout 2011. Last year, we were pleased as punch to walk away with the following ...
Which? Recommended ProviderWhich? the independent consumer watch-dog, gave us a five star ‘value for money’ recommendation, as well as a four star recommendation for connection speed, connection reliability, customer service and technical support.
2011 Broadband Choices Customer Satisfaction Awards We were highly commended in 13 of Broadband Choices’ 14 award categories. And our broadband and phone packages got showered with praise too.
uSwitch Awards 2011 We took home four of uSwitch‘s prestigious awards – best customer service, best quality connection, best overall customer satisfaction and most likely to be recommended.
Broadband Genie Awards2011 Broadband Genie also awarded us their best budget broadband trophy – and even had us blushing when they said that we’ve shown bigger and more expensive broadband providers that it’s possible to offer cheap home broadband and great customer service.
PC Advisor ISP Awards 2011 Our first award of 2011, the PC Advisor ISP Awards recommended Plusnet home broadband – noting 96 per cent of the Plusnet customers they surveyed gave us a massive thumbs up.
We’ve started the new year with a bang too, just last week we took home four of the customer-voted gongs at the recent uSwitch awards ...
Best Customer Rated Broadband Provider
Best Value Home Broadband
Most Reliable Service
Most Likely to be recommended
Winning awards doesn’t just mean we’ve more on the mantelpiece to polish. It also means we’re getting it right and helping to keep more people online and happy, for less. And that’s definitely something to keep smiling about into the New Year.
And … we outgrew our offices
Last but not least, we outgrew our offices – and not because of our fondness for a good roast. - We decided to move to a bigger pad so we can help take good honest broadband to even more people. But don't worry, we'll be staying in Sheffield. Overall, 2011 has been another great year for us, cementing our status as a true rival to some of our larger competitors. How would you like to see our services improve this year? What would you like to see us do more of in 2012? Please let us know by leaving a comment below …