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What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

CavemanJoe
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 13-05-2009

What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

"Looks like the line in that property is fine." = "The line in that property is not fine at all, by any stretch of the imagination - but that's okay, the provisioning department will tell you that.  After I've confirmed the sale."
Organizing broadband support for a new home is a doozy sometimes.  Our tale begins on the 21st of April, when I was making arrangements to move out.  PlusNet could provide my phone line and broadband in one call - I was expecting to have to ring BT, sort out a phone line, and then call around various broadband folks once the line was ready.  PlusNet's efficiency startled me.
Their policy of disclosing exactly which ports were throttled at which times, and their reluctance to provide a dishonest "unlimited but actually very limited" broadband package like other ISP's was what convinced me of PlusNet's honesty and technical expertise, and convinced me to go with them.  I like it when a company doesn't lie to me, and PlusNet seem very forthcoming and no-nonsense.
Ha.  Hahahah.
"Six quid a month - you're in one of our low-cost areas, so it won't go up." = "Six quid a month for the first three months, then double that.  Bend over."
Do I live in a low-cost area?  By "Low-Cost Area," do you mean "Redneck Town?"  To be honest, Winsford _is_ pretty redneck.
"Whatever you do, don't miss the engineer's appointment, 'cause it'll cost you £105 if you're not there when he calls." = "This is gonna cost a hundred and five quid either way."
"An engineer?  What?  I need an engineer now?" says I.  "Yes, there's no line in the premises" responds the call center worker.  "But you said... Oh, never mind.  Okay, you'd better set it up," says I.  Another couple of phone calls later while I sort out a date, I jokingly say "I can be in all day - just so long as this doesn't cost me any more money, I'm happy!" chuckle chuckle.
"Umm... Hold please."
Ominous hold music.
Well, not really ominous.  It might have been Kylie.  But it _felt_ ominous.
"Hello again.  Actually there's a charge of a hundred and five pounds." says the voice.
"..." says I.
"..." says I again, for good measure.
"...when," I sigh, "exactly, were you planning on telling me this?"
He couldn't really give me an answer to that question.
"What's this engineer _for?_" I ask.  He couldn't really give me an answer to that question either, but he could tell I was upset at this sudden and unannounced charge - so he cut me a deal!  How awesome!  Here it is:
"When the engineer comes, if all he has to do is turn on the line, then it'll be free.  If he has to change the wiring inside, it'll be £105, but that'll be money well spent.  He'll report back to us on what he did, and we'll bill you accordingly - probably the day after he's been." = "Expect to be a hundred and five quid poorer the day before the engineer comes out."
Oh, those wacky chaps!  Maybe the engineer got a bad feeling about my place the day before he came.  Perhaps it was a vision, or a prophecy of some sort.  Maybe he read it in his tea leaves.  Who knows, phone lines are pretty arcane things.
Anyway.
I get on the phone after he's gone.  This was on a Thursday.  "Right, the engineer's just been," I say, "and there's a dial tone now.  I have a phone line, like a proper grownup.  Like a _real_ person.  I'm just letting you guys know, so you can start your procedure to turn the broadband on, place your order or whatever."
"Okay, I'll pass that along and you should receive a final completion date in a few hours' time, after the engineer's done his rounds and reported back to us." = "Yeah, I'll sit on that for a few days.  I'll let the provisioning department know on Monday."
Oho, those practical jokers!  They must know that I enjoy using my mobile phone as a modem, with my staggering speeds of 800 bytes a second.  E-mail correspondance and PHP coding for three seperate businesses without any FTP support is fun!  It made me feel nostalgic.  It was like the olden days.  I really did appreciate the Zen-like self-restraint I had to show in only having one browser tab open at a time.  And given that Google Chat wouldn't load, I got used to an old friend of a chat client called Miranda, weighing in at under two megs.  'cause that's the only one I could download in less than a day.
"Five to seven days - yes, actual days, not working days" = "Twenty-One marvellous, dialup-filled days for you, my friend!"
Given that PlusNet knew I was enjoying myself reminiscing about the good old-fashioned dialup modems we had in the 1990's, you can hardly blame them for deciding to issue me one last surprise!
"Meanwhile, I'll get your router sent out" = "Heheh, watch what I'm gonna do to this guy next!"
Tuesday the 12th rolls by.  My turnon date.  The "Showtime" light on my router glowed a steady, reassuring green... wait.  No, no it didn't.
"Hello - you're supposed to be turning my service on today, but the router hasn't shown up yet."
"Yes.  It doesn't appear that the order was placed."
"Of course."
"I can get it to you by the day after tomorrow?"
I pick up my car keys.  "Whereabouts are you, physically, right now?"
"South Africa."
I put my car keys down again.  "Then I guess you'd better put it in the post."
Meanwhile, I took matters into my own hands.  Borrowed a friend's old BT Voyager modem/router.  I sighed as it refused to accept my PlusNet credentials, opening as it did a little JavaScript alert box saying that I was very naughty for trying to use anyone other than BT with a BT modem.  Two hours later and the 2.2 megabyte download of the hacked firmware was completed - a couple of quick commands through Telnet later and my BT router thought it was a DynaLink router.  It was half funny, half sad - my poor abused router didn't know what it was, like a cat trapped in a pigeon's body.  But it succumbed.  It relented.  It took my orders without question, as its will had been so thoroughly broken.
I had broadband.
On this note of happiness and relief, thus ends my saga.
...
OH WAIT NO IT DOESN'T.
Given that the PlusNet website takes ten million years to load, I hadn't noticed until I had my broadband connected through my friend's now hacked-to-hell router that PlusNet had left for me one more little white lie:
"Ten Gigabyte Usage Limit." = "9.3 Gigabyte Usage Limit."
As discovered in their Member Center available once PlusNet had my money, when PlusNet talk about kilobytes and megabytes and gigabytes they're actually using the *decimal* definitions, not the binary definitions as most people use.
And, more importantly, as my computer uses.  Along with all the software on it.  As do all of the computers in the whole wide world.
And I quote:
"How we measure data:
1000 Kilobytes = 1MB (Megabyte), 1000 MB = 1 GB (Gigabyte)"
Because as we all know, in the marvellous, wonderful kingom of PlusNetLand all computers operate on a decimal system 'cause, y'know, Nicola Tesla and Charles Babbage got together once and dropped a whole truckload of acid.
In PlusNetLand, one gigabyte is one trillion bytes.  A nice, round number.  Clearly in PlusNetLand, everything is so much simpler than it is in real life.  Sounds like a nice place to visit.
One eighteen-month contract, please.
In the meantime, I'm going to create my own ISP.  I'm going to call it CavemanJoeNet.  We'll offer download speeds of eight terabytes* per second**, with a 10 exabyte fair usage policy***, and immediate connection****, for five***** quid****** a month*******.
* CavemanJoeNet measures "One Terabyte" as "8.5 Bits"
** CavemanJoeNet measures "One Second" as "Never"
*** CavemanJoeNet measures "Exabyte" as "Two and a half Terabytes" (see above)
**** CavemanJoeNet measures "Immediate" as "When the sun goes supernova and all life on Earth is extinguished"
***** CavemanJoeNet measures "Five" as "Four to the power of Nine"
****** CavemanJoeNet measures "one pound" as "4096 pennies and a Malteser"
******* CavemanJoeNet measures "one month" as "monkey pirate shrimp wobble"
Will I be recommending PlusNet to my web hosting and design clients?  Nah.
Will I be recommending PlusNet to the nine hundred to two thousand regular players on my PBBG?  Given that I haven't been able to upload new content to the game for the past three weeks?  Nah.
Will I be telling my players exactly _why_ their experience has been lacking of late?  Maybe by simply posting this message to them?
I think I'll leave that as a surprise.

I wish I could say "And with that, goodbye and good riddance!"  But there's that pesky eighteen-month contract.  I don't know whether that'd be enforceable given that you've wasted my time and lied to me every step of the way.  I don't know if it's enforceable given that I haven't signed a damn thing.  I don't know if I have the time or energy to find out, in which case, you win.
Maybe when the first bill arrives, I'll pay it in binary pennies.  Maybe if I make a nuisance of myself, waste your time, waste your money, tell you lies - you'll want out of this relationship as badly as I do, and you'll agree to release me from the contract so we can both call it a day and move on.
But I don't think I can bring myself to be that dishonest.  So, for better or worse, we're stuck with each other.
It's a bloody good thing I've got a sense of humour.
Love and kisses,
- Dan Hall, AKA Caveman Joe, ImprobableIsland.com
(PS: one positive note:
Cheesy
This is the best smiley ever.)
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,656
Thanks: 883
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

Quote from: CavemanJoe
Given that the PlusNet website takes ten million years to load, I hadn't noticed until I had my broadband connected through my friend's now hacked-to-hell router that PlusNet had left for me one more little white lie:
"Ten Gigabyte Usage Limit." = "9.3 Gigabyte Usage Limit."
As discovered in their Member Center available once PlusNet had my money, when PlusNet talk about kilobytes and megabytes and gigabytes they're actually using the *decimal* definitions, not the binary definitions as most people use.
And, more importantly, as my computer uses.  Along with all the software on it.  As do all of the computers in the whole wide world.
And I quote:
"How we measure data:
1000 Kilobytes = 1MB (Megabyte), 1000 MB = 1 GB (Gigabyte)"
Because as we all know, in the marvellous, wonderful kingom of PlusNetLand all computers operate on a decimal system 'cause, y'know, Nicola Tesla and Charles Babbage got together once and dropped a whole truckload of acid.
In PlusNetLand, one gigabyte is one trillion bytes.  A nice, round number.  Clearly in PlusNetLand, everything is so much simpler than it is in real life.  Sounds like a nice place to visit.

Plusnet's definition is correct (and is the value that is used by disk drive manufacturers which is the nearest equivalent usage).
I suggest you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigabyte
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)
Moderator
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Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

Quote from: CavemanJoe

"Six quid a month - you're in one of our low-cost areas, so it won't go up." = "Six quid a month for the first three months, then double that.  Bend over."
Do I live in a low-cost area?  By "Low-Cost Area," do you mean "Redneck Town?"  To be honest, Winsford _is_ pretty redneck.

Is that Winsford in Somerset?

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

If he's in Somerset, I bet the Sales agent looked at Winsford Cheshire which is market 3, and didn't check the address properly Shocked
Moderator
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Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

Yep that was my thought too. If so. Oooops

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

itsme
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Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

Wouldn't CS used telephone number or postcode to determine which exchange the OP was on? It's no good me telling CS the town that I live in to determine which exchange I'm on., there is a choice of 4.
CavemanJoe
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 13-05-2009

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

It's Winsford in Cheshire.
@Jelv - no, the definition of one gigabyte as one trillion bytes is incorrect, but you're right in that it's still the standard for selling hard drives.  The fact that it's the wrong definition - and the fact that when you install a new hard drive, no operating system in the world will report free space as equivalent to what it says on the box - doesn't stop hard drive manufacturers from continuing this charade.
Geese are white.  Crows are black.  Computers are binary.  One kilobyte is one thousand and twenty four bytes, or two to the power of ten.  As evidenced by the successful class action suit against SeaGate for falsely advertising their hard drive capacities at less than their actual capacity, no amount of semantic argument will change this.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

Sorry it is you who is wrong.
Système International d’Unités (also known as International System of Units) say giga means 109.
The fact that common usage is 10243 doesn't make it right.
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)
scootie
Grafter
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Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

Quote
Wouldn't CS used telephone number or postcode to determine which exchange the OP was on

they had no line rental when they signed up so no phone number to check with
CavemanJoe
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 13-05-2009

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

"Common Usage" as in, common to every computer in the world?  Y'know, the thing to which my broadband is connected?  So that when my computer - and my router - report that I have seven hundred megs left to play with, according to PlusNet I've run out of data transfer?  Cheesy
(sorry, just had to slip that smiley in there.  It's awesome. Wink )
If you were going to call me up on any portion of my post, you should have called me on the decimal pennies malarkey.  That would have been ludicrous!  I should have said octal pennies instead.
Cheesy
Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

Oh dear, what a sorry tale. I do recall other people on the forum who are being misled/misinformed at sign up. How many people is this happening to altogether? What is going on here?
I'm sorry, I know you are having a bad time of it, but this is priceless
Quote
I pick up my car keys.  "Whereabouts are you, physically, right now?"
"South Africa."I put my car keys down again.
That was so funny Grin
CavemanJoe
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 13-05-2009

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

Hell, when you've gotta laugh or cry...
Crazy
That's a good 'un too.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

It's a good job you have got a sense of humour CavemanJoe, what a sorry tale, but very amusingly put - should get you a few brownie points. Welcome to PlusNet.
Well the good news would seem to be that as your are on a market 3 exchange you shouldn't pay more than £5.99 a month if it's just the Value package you've signed upto. If you've got phone as well that will end up with another £10.95 on the bill - price just gone up from £9.75  Angry unless I've made a mistake  Shocked
Oh, and don't get too upset with jelv, he's in a grumpy mood as well as a few of the rest of us, with some of the problems at the moment as you will no doubt discover as you read around the forums.
Catch up with you again no doubt Wink
CavemanJoe
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 13-05-2009

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

The interesting bit is that I actually need a hell of a lot more than ten gigs per month.  One server backup will wipe that clean out.  But I'm gonna be leaving the country sometime this summer, and there were only two people offering monthly-contract broadband services.
One of them wanted something daft like forty quid a month for a very, very basic package, and an extortionate amount of money per gigabyte (metric or binary, it matters not anyway at that sort of price) on top.
The other was...  *shudder*  I can't even say the name.  But it was...  You know.  Those guys.  From across the pond.
I've been looking around and I see, yes, there are far more rants than raves going on right now.  I'm gonna check out whether this "contract" I've signed up for is enforceable or not.  Thanks for the heads-up. Smiley
(oh, and I'm not at all upset with jelv - near enough everything he's said is technically correct, after all.  Also, did you know that the sky isn't really blue at all, but black?)  Wink
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: What PlusNet say, and what they really mean.

dont fall foul of the forum rules on smilies, you shouildnt put too many together and there are loads more, these are courtesy Of Kitz a good helper on PN  http://www.emotionless.co.uk/emotes/index.htm