cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

Laser
Grafter
Posts: 206
Registered: 23-09-2007

Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

I'm on the legacy PAYG package. For the very first time ever last month I hit my 2GB transfer limit! Roll eyes Unfortunately it wasn't quite the smooth experience I would have hoped.
I had no idea I'd hit the limit. At first, websites became intermittent, then nearly inaccessible. I checked the Service Status and saw there were issues, so assumed that may be it. Checked some hours later and the web was basically dead. Couldn't even traceroute anywhere. The fact I could still intermittently access all PlusNet pages (including this forum!) started to dawn on me that I may have run out of transfer allowance. Unfortunately it seems that the system blocks even the PN site if any access is made outside it, so a virus killer or other software update check, or the router getting an SNTP check would block the PN site for a minute or two...
In my email I found a message which began:
Quote
You've now reached your Broadband Price Limit that you set on our website. Your
broadband will be blocked until the end of your billing month.
Your Broadband Price Limit is currently set to £.

OK, so I now know what the problem is. Shame it doesn't tell me what my Price Limit is actually set to. And I did, specifically, have it set to £14.99.
Now it gets weird... Huh
I couldn't recall what the per-GB pricing was, so I upped my Limit from £14.99 (default) to £15.99. That told me that it would give me a 4.5GB limit. Now I know that is nonsense because it wont do half gigabytes, I seemed to recall it had to be in 2GB increments, and that would cost more than £1. So I tried £17.99 and got exactly the same answer. Fine, whatever! So I put it back to £15.99.
I then received an email:
Quote
You've now used up your product's broadband usage allowance of  for this month.
We've added a further 2 GB of usage for the month to your account, which will add a
£2 charge to your next subscription charge.

(Note it still doesn't tell me my previous allowance.)
Now, when I was at school 2GB + 2GB = 4GB, not 4.5GB. And £14.99+£2.00=£16.99 not £15.99, but at this point I was curious so let it ride...
On the help pages for legacy PAYG it tells me extra GBs are priced at £1.80 per 2GB. On the View My Usage page it told me I can buy more for £1.76/2GB (which is £1.80 adjusted for the VAT change). It doesn't seem to mention that any more, so maybe it only says that after I've bought some.
A couple of days later I checked my Account Summary, and it had my monthly subscription down as £15.99(monthly). Clearly this was tracking my Transfer Watch. So I changed my Watch limit back to £14.99. That prompted another "You've now reached your Broadband Price Limit" email, telling me my connection was blocked. Which, of course, it wasn't.
I've waited until I actually received my invoice email, and I have indeed been correctly charged at £1.76 for the extra 2GB, so no harm done, but really, the experience would have been a confused call to your Customer Service from someone less computer literate or wise to the ways of the PlusNet machine.
So I think you really ought to consider:
1) When I originally signed up to the package ISTR there were terms suggesting it would redirect any web access to the Portal with a message to the effect of "Buy more gigabytes!", rather than just sort of mostly stop working. That seems like a pretty good idea.
2) The auto-emails could at least contain the price content they were intended to have.
3) Something needs reviewing to get pricing consistency between the mail, the portal and the help pages.
4) The Data Transfer Watch tool appears to be a bit inventive with its maths. And although I can't tell if it was reacting to the £15.99 or £17.99 limit, I do have the suspicion it thought £15.99 was enough to cover the 4GB. (Or 4.5GB as it put it...)

And not directly related to the above issue, but the thought is raised by it: 5) Since the PAYG package is very expensive in comparison to more recent products, maybe it wouldn't hurt to have it, like those current products, revert to 128kpbs bronze traffic once the limit is reached, so offering an alternative to buying a further full month's transfer a couple of days before the end of the month. Or have the extra capacity roll into the next month.
9 REPLIES
Laser
Grafter
Posts: 206
Registered: 23-09-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

Hmm... No comments. Cry
I would have thought someone from PN would have at least a passing interest in ensuring that a customer who wants to spend more money with them can do so easily... Roll eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 900
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

I don't think there's any chance of changes or improvements being made to such an old product (PAYG was replaced by BBYW Pro and that's been replaced by Plusnet Pro).
I'd suggest your best bet would be to switch to Pro which is the current equivalent of PAYG. It costs £19.99, comes with up to 20MB speeds if your exchange is enabled and gives 20GB usage allowance.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Laser
Grafter
Posts: 206
Registered: 23-09-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

I agree it's an old product, but I bet that some of the problems I saw aren't specific to it, just the buying more usage system in general.
I could go Pro, but it's £5 more per month for what would be a very excessive usage. Note how this is the first month I've ever hit the limit (though it's likely to happen more in future). It's for that reason I was one of those disappointed by the lack of a PN package of late which addresses high performance low use needs.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 900
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

There's a long discussion somewhere about a Pro Lite product which sounds as if its what you need - I can't find it at the moment. Sad
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

Hi there,
Data Transfer Watch is applicable to many accounts, so we need to investigate that. I'll set up some test accounts and play around on Monday.
The content needs to be sorted, can you PM me the emails in full, including the reference numbers at the bottom?
Re 1), and 5) for that matter, you should be restricted to Plusnet pages only, but I remember discussions a while ago about restricting to 128k, I'll kick that off again with the relevant people. Wink
Laser
Grafter
Posts: 206
Registered: 23-09-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

Thanks for taking the time, Mand. PM sent.
With regards to (1), my point was it isn't obvious what's happening, so a customer could bumble around for ages trying to figure out why "the internet has stopped working" and, as I said, an access to a non-PN site appears to block even the PN site for a short while.
(5) is incidental, and the discussion has been done before. If it would be possible to allow some degree of limited function that would be nice, but if you want to encourage the customer to spend more money, allowing the purchased balance to roll over one month would be better.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,169
Thanks: 7
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

I've just had something similar happen to me except that we haven't as yet reached our limit.
On BBYW2 with 15 GB limit. Got the email saying we're getting close to our limit and so went to account and changed it to PAYG rather than fixed cost and upped the Maximum Broadband price. BTW it didn't show me how much extra usage the price I put in will give me like it used to do.
Then I got an email saying we'd reached our usage limit (which we hadn't) and that Broadband would be blocked (which it obviously hadn't been!), so rang Customer services, who told me to ignore it.
I remember reading on the forums ages ago about these latter emails being sent out when they shouldn't be, so as this is a logstanding problem I was surprised to find it's still happening.
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls
Zap
Grafter
Posts: 284
Registered: 22-11-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

Quote from: Mad
I've just had something similar happen to me except that we haven't as yet reached our limit.
On BBYW2 with 15 GB limit. Got the email saying we're getting close to our limit and so went to account and changed it to PAYG rather than fixed cost and upped the Maximum Broadband price. BTW it didn't show me how much extra usage the price I put in will give me like it used to do.
Then I got an email saying we'd reached our usage limit (which we hadn't) and that Broadband would be blocked (which it obviously hadn't been!), so rang Customer services, who told me to ignore it.
I remember reading on the forums ages ago about these latter emails being sent out when they shouldn't be, so as this is a logstanding problem I was surprised to find it's still happening.

I gather the usage figures are about 2 hours behind the time.
I had a similar problem, my limit is 15gb and downloading a Win7 ISO (without thinking) last October took me to 20gb, I was confused by the messages and the forum promise that if I upgraded it would be restored but that was inaccurate.  So I put up with the speed restriction for six days and was not charged for the excess usage because I had set a maximum charge to the same as my monthly fee.  I will never be happy to have automatic billing, far too easy for bots or other things to generate traffic that I am not aware of.
I still think they should put say 50% of your unused allowance in a "reserve" which you can draw on if you go over,
Period            Paid-for  Free      Total
22 Dec - 21 Jan 6.5GB 284.35MB 6.79GB
22 Nov - 21 Dec 7.54GB 11.63GB 19.17GB
22 Oct - 21 Nov 19.51GB 1.11GB 20.62GB


So for December I would get 50% of the 8gb I did not use and this could be stuck in a reserve to be drawn upon.  This would encourage responsible usage.
As we move forward with 21cn these limits are going to have to be increased 10 fold but remain at the current price levels.


Community Veteran
Posts: 1,169
Thanks: 7
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Experience hitting the transfer limit.Room for improvement.

Nothing to do with VMU being behind in our case! Still a little under 13GB when I checked just now (was only 12GB when we were sent the email saying we were coming up to the 15GB limit), so we can use a bit more tomorrow, which is the last day of the current billing month, without needing to pay extra.
Anyway, I've bitten the bullet and should be going over to Premium on Monday. Am on the 21CN 'trial' so already able to download stuff that much faster than before.
We have Macs so are more or less immune to bots and stuff like that ..... currently at least.  Cool
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls