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New business package descriptions

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,761
Thanks: 4,020
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

New business package descriptions

Hi,
These new packages look quite attractive... still got to read the details in full, however I suggest that the following needs changing less someone claims that the details are misleading...
"+£10.50 line rental" should read "+line rental from £10.50" as the original text implies a single fixed charge.  OK the mouse over box does say "Line rental is available from £10.50 a month" when clicked but why make this obscure?
Cheers,
Kevin
9 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: New business package descriptions

Hi townman,
Agreed - problem 75603 raised to get that sorted, cheers for the heads up.
EDIT: Apologies, I got that wrong - it's not a problem. Reason it's on there as that is because it's part of the 6 months half price offer that's there at the moment as explained in the legal bit underneath. If the 24 month contract and £10.50 line rental options aren't taken up there's a warning pops up and advises that the offer will be removed.
It'll go back to "from £10.50" at the end of the offer period, hope that helps explain.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,761
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: New business package descriptions

Hi Matt,
I think that PN could make the attention grabbing promo page (https://portal.plus.net/business/broadband/phone-and-broadband/) pricing info a bit more transparent and easier to follow.
For example the Business Broadband and phone section clearly states "from £8 £4.00 a month for 6 months +£10.50 line rental"
I read this to say that normally the BB service is from £8 per month (so it could be more in given circumstances) but regardless of ANY circumstance the phone line charge is £10.50 per month in ALL circumstances.  However, the legal bit makes plain that this is not the case...
Quote from: Here
Our landline phone service line rental costs £10.50 on a 24 month contract, £12.50 on a 12 month contract and £14.50 with no contract.

Clearly the phone line charge is from £10.50 depending on the duration of the contract.
For the broadband element of the costs, the from £8 is made clearly understandable (and transparent) as this is related to 'Market Areas' and is variable irrespective of the contract period...
Quote from: Here
Business Broadband
•On a 24 month contract, it costs £10.00 a month in a low cost area and £15.00 outside of one of these areas
•On a 12 month contract, it costs £12.00 a month in a low cost area and £17.00 a month outside of one of these areas
•With no contract, it costs £14.00 a month in a low cost area and £19.00 a month outside of one of these areas

Add to that...
Quote from: Here
If you take this [landline phone service] along with one of our broadband products we'll give you a £2 discount on your monthly [broadband] fee

Then you end up with the broadband charge of £8 being reduced to £4 for 6 months under the terms of the promotion.
Though the 6 months discount is not available outside of a 24 month contract...
Quote from: Here
6.This offer is only available to customers signing up for a 24 month minimum term

...the other headline figures still remain applicable.
I therefore suggest that the line rental figure is indeed from £10.50 depending upon the contract period.  If this is not the case (and intention of the promo page) why does the linked to pop-up box state
Quote from: Here
When you switch your phone service to Plusnet you'll pay line rental to us, instead of your current provider. Line rental is available from £10.50 a month.
My added italics
At best the content of the promo page and help texts are not consistent.  If this makes no material difference and ultimately avoids the potential to claim that it is misleading, why not simply change the text as suggested for the sake of clarity?  The £10.50 phone line charge only applies in the context of a 24 months contract - I see nothing to suggest that this price is limited or joined to the 6 month offer.  The 6 month discount is (as I read the promo and legal bit) related to the BB charges within a 24 month contract.
Cheers,
Kevin
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: New business package descriptions

I agree with townman, when I looked at this last week, it was only when I looked at the small print which I eventually found that this £10.50 is related to a 24month contract. Therefore the headline rate should read from £10.50.
Also whilst it may be common practise to advertise Business prices exclusive of VAT, in this day and age of transparent advertising, I think your headline advertising should state "all prices exclusive of VAT". A lot of your competitors do state that without resorting to drop down boxes or information on another page.
Highlighted
Plusnet Leader
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Re: New business package descriptions

Afternoon guys,
Thanks for the feedback and apologies if the page is seemingly not clear.
The offer that is being promoted across the new business pages of the website is available on 24 month contracts only. It isn't dependent on whether you take Business Phone and gives the first 6 months broadband or fibre half price.
The broadband pricing is shown as from because of the different pricing in different market areas. The line rental price, however, does not vary based on market area.
As a result, for anyone taking advantage of the special offer and adding Business Phone they will be paying £10.50 a month for their line rental. They cannot take the offer which is advertised on those pages and not pay £10.50 for their line rental.
So, whilst I completely agree that the line rental is from £10.50 depending on contract period it is not from £10.50 for the special offer.
In terms of the references to the line rental pricing in the legal section and also in the pop up box these are indeed inconsistent with the main page content and I will speak to the web team and see if we can update these to make it more clear. Once the offer ends standard line rental pricing will absolutely be promoted as from £10.50 in line with the broadband pricing messaging. 
Quote from: Townman
The £10.50 phone line charge only applies in the context of a 24 months contract - I see nothing to suggest that this price is limited or joined to the 6 month offer.  The 6 month discount is (as I read the promo and legal bit) related to the BB charges within a 24 month contract

The discount is related to the BB charges within the contract, however you are not able to sign up to a different contract length for your broadband and phone. Therefore, to take advantage of the special offer and to add Business Phone then the only contract length option is 24 months.
Once people click through to the signup journey they have the option to review their selection and to change their product choices [as well as add or remove phone, calling plans etc]. They can also amend the contract length they have selected. Contract length will default to 24 months [the cheapest price] and anyone who wants to change this will receive a notification about the fact that this will increase their monthly pricing [and the prices in the basket will be updated to reflect the changes made].
Quote from: Anotherone
Also whilst it may be common practise to advertise Business prices exclusive of VAT, in this day and age of transparent advertising, I think your headline advertising should state "all prices exclusive of VAT". A lot of your competitors do state that without resorting to drop down boxes or information on another page.

I'll pick this up with the team internally. It is certainly not our intention to hide this away or make it difficult to find. Our business prices have always been advertised Ex. Vat and that has continued following the refresh. I'll see if we can look to make this clearer.
Thanks,
Chris

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,761
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: New business package descriptions

Hi Chris,
Sorry to labour this... It seems that the purpose of this page (the only page on the new business tariffs) is somewhat confused.  As an existing business account holder, the 6 month discount offer is not available to me, however the new tariffs I assume are available for me to switched to?  In which case where do I find clear and transparent details of the business tariff?  This feedback seeks to suggest that simply being open and honest (you remember "honest broadband"?) about what the charges are (will be) after the promotion / to those not eligible for the promotion would be a good thing to do NOW.  You could then 'put a cherry on top' aimed at new customers with "and we'll do you first 6 months at half price".
I would like to be sure that this is not the case, but the response here seems to be justifying not being completely clear as a consequence of the information being exclusively aimed at new business accounts.
The new tariffs look quite attractive, even if I'm not eligible for the discount... so why not make it clear and transparent for those of us who might consider swapping.  TBH if I knew for sure what is likely to happen to my premises lease renewal in 9 months time, I'd have no hesitation in taking a 24 month contract.  Undecided
Regards,
Kevin
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: New business package descriptions

Hi Townman,
Existing customers should find the relevant product details on the 'Change my Product' pages? If you click that link from the member's centre when you're logged in you should be able to see what's available and find out the costs. If you're not taken with them for any reason you could always talk to our COT team to arrange something mutually beneficial?
Plusnet Leader
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Re: New business package descriptions

Quote from: townman
Hi Chris,
Sorry to labour this... It seems that the purpose of this page (the only page on the new business tariffs) is somewhat confused.  As an existing business account holder, the 6 month discount offer is not available to me, however the new tariffs I assume are available for me to switched to?  In which case where do I find clear and transparent details of the business tariff?  This feedback seeks to suggest that simply being open and honest (you remember "honest broadband"?) about what the charges are (will be) after the promotion / to those not eligible for the promotion would be a good thing to do NOW.  You could then 'put a cherry on top' aimed at new customers with "and we'll do you first 6 months at half price".
I would like to be sure that this is not the case, but the response here seems to be justifying not being completely clear as a consequence of the information being exclusively aimed at new business accounts.
The new tariffs look quite attractive, even if I'm not eligible for the discount... so why not make it clear and transparent for those of us who might consider swapping.  TBH if I knew for sure what is likely to happen to my premises lease renewal in 9 months time, I'd have no hesitation in taking a 24 month contract.  Undecided
Regards,
Kevin


Hi Kevin,
Thanks for this.
The purpose of this page is primarily to promote our product set to new customers. This is why the focus of the page is on the launch offer. Existing customers can find out the details of the new products via the Member Centre as Matt has alluded to in the previous post.
I appreciate that the product change journey in Member Centre isn't the greatest experience in the world and it is something that we are looking to improve but it will give accurate pricing information for existing customers looking to switch to one of the new products. When we are not on offer then I agree that the sales pages are probably the easiest place to get information [even existing customers] but we will always have a case where the information presented on this page may not be as useful for existing customers when we are on offer.
I'd argue that the page would become more confusing if we tried to message the details for both new and existing customers when we are on offer given the differences. Whilst adding 'from £10.50' would make this clearer for existing customers it wouldn't be accurate for new customers as the offer is dependent on taking the £10.50 line rental price if you choose to add phone [It's only available on 24 months].
I'm absolutely not dismissing your feedback and we will look closely at the way we message offers in the future to make sure that everything is as clear as possible.
We will also be contacting our existing customers who are opted in to marketing in the near future with details of the new products that we have so that people can make an informed choice about whether they want to move to one of the new products.
Chris
Superuser
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Re: New business package descriptions

Quote from: chrisc
I appreciate that the product change journey in Member Centre isn't the greatest experience in the world and it is something that we are looking to improve but it will give accurate pricing information for existing customers looking to switch to one of the new products.

Chris,
Going down the product change journey is not the route I'd consider taking to find out what the accurate pricing information is.  I'd first seek to be informed about the new pricing options as they apply to me as an existing user, then use the change product journey.  As an existing business user, these new packages do look more beneficial for slightly less - this could be communicated much clearer.  I'm trying not to be cynical, but I can understand any business giving priority to attracting new customers and being a little less concerned about helping existing customers to get more for less money.
Personally I would have promoted the new services as what they are - Broadband from £8 (depending on market area, contract duration, product type and phone service take up) and phone service from £10.50 (depending on contract duration).  Then add the "new customer" puller - "If you're new* to PlusNet and take these offerings on a 24 month contract, we'll do your broadband for half price for six months".  Its a clear message about what the packages are, what they really cost without loosing the attention grabbing deal for new users taking a 24 month contract.
*An aside from the thread topic - In this context does "new" mean a completely new customer (that is one with whom you do not already do business) or simply a new provision of service?  In other words would a cease of present PN BB service (without phone line) and a new BB provide to same user / line with PN take over of phone line, or provision of additional lines & BB service constitute being a 'new' customer in the context of the promotion?

When reading a product offering (from anyone) finding the caveats hidden in the small print always deflates and disappoints me... I got excited by the message, I got warm expectations of a great deal only to have them dashed by the 'small print'.  A 24 month contract might be a big deal for a residential user, but for the majority of business users, this is the norm, so why appear to be trying to hide the conditions?
Regards,
Kevin
Plusnet Leader
Plusnet Leader
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Re: New business package descriptions

Thanks again Kevin,
Let me take your comments away and review how we look to message our next special offer. I fully appreciate that the first place you are likely to look for new product information is the main sales pages and, when we are on a special offer, these may not be the clearest to understand for existing customers.
[quote=townman]
As an existing business user, these new packages do look more beneficial for slightly less - this could be communicated much clearer.  I'm trying not to be cynical, but I can understand any business giving priority to attracting new customers and being a little less concerned about helping existing customers to get more for less money.
As mentioned previously, we will be contacting our opted in base to inform them about the new products - so we will definitely be helping some existing customers to get more for less. This activity will be kicking off in early July and will be an ongoing campaign.
[quote=townman]
Personally I would have promoted the new services as what they are - Broadband from £8 (depending on market area, contract duration, product type and phone service take up) and phone service from £10.50 (depending on contract duration).  Then add the "new customer" puller - "If you're new* to PlusNet and take these offerings on a 24 month contract, we'll do your broadband for half price for six months".  Its a clear message about what the packages are, what they really cost without loosing the attention grabbing deal for new users taking a 24 month contract.
I think what this thread has highlighted is that when we are on special offer we don't have an informative 'sales' type page about our products for existing customers. This is something I'll take away as I understand that the product change journey wouldn't necessarily be the first stop for finding this information.
[quote=townman]
*An aside from the thread topic - In this context does "new" mean a completely new customer (that is one with whom you do not already do business) or simply a new provision of service?  In other words would a cease of present PN BB service (without phone line) and a new BB provide to same user / line with PN take over of phone line, or provision of additional lines & BB service constitute being a 'new' customer in the context of the promotion?
New means a new customer to Plusnet. We would obviously always want to avoid customers going down the route of ceasing a service and signing up again so it would probably be better to give our COT team a call and they can talk through the options in more detail.
[quote=townman]
When reading a product offering (from anyone) finding the caveats hidden in the small print always deflates and disappoints me... I got excited by the message, I got warm expectations of a great deal only to have them dashed by the 'small print'.  A 24 month contract might be a big deal for a residential user, but for the majority of business users, this is the norm, so why appear to be trying to hide the conditions?
This isn't a case of trying to hide the conditions but get the balance right so we can give a compelling sales message without listing all of the conditions in the main body of the page. As you've said, for business users a 24 month contract is less of a big deal than for residential customers so I'd think this is less of an issue than if we were 'hiding' a 24 month contract term in residential small print. As per my comment above, I'll make sure all of your comments are fed back to the right areas ahead of the next promotion we run.
Cheers,
Chris