Post details: PlusNet - How Not To Run A Broadband ISP

Wed, 24 August 2005

Permalink 09:53:17 pm

PlusNet - How Not To Run A Broadband ISP

Maybe problems follow me about, or perhaps I'm just really bad at picking an ISP, but after my problems at Virgin I thought I'd made a good choice by migrating to PlusNet. Wrong!! At the time I moved they had a good reputation, with customers who sang their praises.

It's amazing how quickly an ISP can throw away that goodwill. If you would like to follow a similar business model, here's how:

[More:]



Step 1
Advertise two new ADSL products, Premier and Plus, with the latter for those who don't use any file-sharing programmes, both with 2Mbps as standard. Price the Premier package at £20/month less than the 2Mbps product it replaces, £10/month less for those currently on 1Mbps. Promise that when (if?) 4 and 8Mbps ADSL becomes available via BT, speeds will be increased for free.

Step 2
Wait for new customers to sign up, then 1 week later announce that you've changed your mind and you won't be giving the 4 & 8Mbps speed upgrades for free.

Step 3
This is where it gets profitable. Don't tell your existing customers that their package has been replaced by one £20/month cheaper, let them find out for themselves!! Instead, rebrand it as Premier at £39.99/month with 4 and 8Mbps upgrades for free. That's right, you get up to £20/month extra off loyal customers by promising them a speed upgrade that won't even be available for at least 7 months. That's £140! For doing nothing! This ISP business is easy.

Step 4
Rather than providing enough bandwidth to go round, restrict speeds on the Premier package. If your customers start querying why their download speeds seem slower than usual, deny everything for at least 2 weeks.

Step 5
To try and save yourself from having to shell out on bandwidth to cover all the extra users you've signed up, start blocking TCP ports. Again, if your customers start queying it, deny everything.

Step 6
Wish you were back in the good old days when you could disconnect dial-up users who's connections were idle? Well wish no more. Remember that pesky £14.99 2Mbps product? Start disconnecting it if the connection is idle for 30 minutes. That's right, 'always on' broadband will be a thing of the past for those cheapskates.

And so it goes on. If you're considering signing up for your first ADSL connection, or migrating to PlusNet, think very carefully and cast your eye over the ADSL Guide PlusNet forums first.
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Comments, Trackbacks:

Comment from Peter Lawrence
nicely put - we're an IT Support company and use PlusNet for all our clients. we have just made the decision to migrate all 300 accounts, but to who?
24/07/06 @ 07:25
Comment from alan
plusnet have really scared me and in few days i will be clear...they make all sorts of unjustified charges and threaten to cut my phone line outgoing calls while keeping ingoing-that means another phone supplier cant take your line - crafty eh ?
their service is appalling and nasty and inefficient and slow- it takes a minimum of 45 for them to answer their phone-they will brutalise you if you try and leave- someone shut them down-please
28/11/06 @ 12:14
Comment from Martin
After two months of complaining about a cancelled direct debit, taking time out from work to go to the bank to sort it out, I found out that they were the ones who cancelled it!

Without going into all the hassle I've had over this issue, they refused to give me, a loyal customer, any kind of recompense.

I just found out yesterday that they charged a monthly payment to my wife's credit card. They can't do this surely! Is taht even legal? As soon as I've sorted this out I'm transferring to another company. Plusnet can go to hell.
03/01/07 @ 15:38
Comment from Serge
I agree with you 100%. Plusnet deny everything. Download speeds are extremely slow. Sometimes my internet connection goes down completely. I phone them up only to get an automated reply, telling me to log on to their web site. I would if I could! I too am leaving asap. Thanks for your comments
18/09/07 @ 22:16
Comment from bob
your all a bunch of whiners if you go elsewhere you will see these problems also
12/11/07 @ 20:54
Comment from warren
I would just like to say that the customer support I have been recieving has been up untill last week very good indeed. However, The lasst 2 calls I have had have ended up in much frustration from my end. Seems like Im talking to a computer. I am a long standing customer now, over 5 years, but no-one seems to care!. I acidently went over my quota, first time, never even knew I had one, and there is abosulty nothing I can do about it. I desperately need internet from home, but I have to now wait till the end of my billing period to get speeds faster then the 120kps I have been limited to now, I can't even synch my outlook.. I think Im leaving Plusnet, I have refered so many peole to this providor. I have been treated very poorly and do not think I deserve it. I have complained, but based on my last 2 calls I doubt I will get a call back. If I do I will be sure to update you. I dont expect much, just some form of customer retention/service with such a competetive broadband enviroment
29/07/08 @ 12:31
Comment from bob pettitt
had lucky escape tried to migrate to plusnet from virgin,,big mistake frought with problems from bt installation onwards ,, nothing but time consuming problems and no internet, gone back to virgin,better the devil you know and it works well most of the time. seems you get what u pay 4.would not recomend plusnet to any body
10/06/10 @ 10:44
Comment from Matham
PLUSNET Unacceptable practices are not a new thing. They started in this business with ability to provide better service level than average which made them successful, but soon like many other businesses they forgot what it was that made them successful and greed took over and they have now ended up only finding ways to get more out of their clients without giving them anything in return. Their famous round the clock customer service that was being delivered by qualified personnel based in the U.K. suddenly is delivered by people not understanding English language and certainly not having any IT knowledge to a very frustrating level. Their idea of an 8M (or up to 8M) download changed into average 120k to 320K download if you decided to download from a site on regular basis or even to get Microsoft Updates Downloads or even more ridiculous if you getting close to your download level limit. (Many other ISPs have no limit for download!!) I work for a Computer Maintenance company and during the last 10 years we have signed many hundreds of customers to their service. A big mistake!. Never put all your eggs in one basket!. After recent disastrous situations and when they said they would do anything to improve, we found no change and now we have started to switch customers to many other companies (not just one company !!!) depending on their circumstances. My advice to anyone new to them or anyone having any problem with their service is to switch to somebody else. After all, the lines are only maintained by BT anyway. I have been in IT industry for more than 30 years and have experienced similar situations before. These types of people forget that it takes 10 years to build a solid structure but you can destroy everything within a couple of days. The only way to bring the message home is to move away and spread the message. Good luck.
22/08/10 @ 01:04

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