Pulled back into PlusNet after all

Well, what do you know? I left the phone ringing as I wrote the last post, and it did get picked up. I got through to a helpful man who was going to send a new MAC key, but managed to get me to explain why I wanted to move.

Beyond simple frustration, PlusNet simply don’t offer the package I need, which is unlimited bandwidth with a static IP address. Well, I was right: that package doesn’t exist. But they do have a package which gives me 120 GB per month rather than the current deal which starts throttling me to death around 30 GB. So for now at least, that’s good enough — it’s past the I Don’t Want To Even Have To Think About How Much Bandwidth I’m Using threshhold. (Because that’s the real issue. It’s 2012: I should not have to think “better not watch that on iPlayer this month, it might push me past the threshhold”.)

Not only that, I can have a static IP address with the 120 GB package for £5 a month, which is fine. It’s actually going to come to significantly less than I am paying now.

So I am staying with them after all.

But here’s the frustrating bit: I only found this out because I phoned. x There is nothing on plus.net that admits the existence of a 120 GB deal: it’s a closely guarded secret. Their site only shows 10GB and 60GB deals. And there’s nothing that says you can get a static IP address with either of these deals. In fact the whole site seems coy on the very existence of static IPs: for example, nothing in my account page admits that I have one under my current package.

You only find out that the 120GB deal exists, and that it can have a static IP address, if you phone up and are prepared to wait twenty minutes.

What’s that about?

12 responses to “Pulled back into PlusNet after all

  1. That’s about ‘we want to be able to take it away without warning’, I suspect. After all, IPv4 addresses are becoming a scarce resource.

  2. They do have a 250GB bandwidth limit too. This may be an old product or possibly only be available on their fibre to the cabinet offerings but it does exist.

  3. I think you mean GB, not Gb (I’m not being pedantic when it’s confusing).

  4. Thanks, Ives, you are quite right, I did indeed mean GB (gigabytes) rather than Gb (gigabits). Now fixed in the article. (What I really meant by “120Gb” was “two to four times what I am using now”, of course.)

  5. Hi there,

    Glad to hear you’ve decided to stick with us.
    I just wanted to answer a couple of questions and clear up the IP address pricing too.

    Static IP addresses are available for a *one-off* fee of £5 on our 60GB Extra product and also the 120GB additional usage deal you’re on. They can be added via the add-ons section of the website once you’re logged in.

    We don’t advertise the 120GB product as it’s not one of the 2 currently sold products. We saw that customers in our Community Site forums wanted more usage, so we wanted to get something out there to fulfil this need quickly, hence it only being available via our customer options team or via a specific link on our website.

    Feel free to drop us a Tweet or pop on over to the Community Site (community.plus.net) if you’ve got any more questions, we’ll be happy to answer them.

    Best Regards,

    Chris Parr
    Plusnet Digital Care

  6. Thanks, Chris, your clarifications are welcome. It’s also good to know that PlusNet keep an eye on how they get mentioned on social media (which makes me think I should have blogged about this before instead of using your online support system, writing dead-tree letters and making extended phone-calls).

    When I follow the “add-ons” link from my Member Centre page at https://portal.plus.net/AddOns.html the only available add-on listed is “PlusNet Protect powered by McAfee”. See the screenshot at http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/tmp/plusnet-add-ons.png

    Am I somehow failing to see it? Or is it not there?

  7. A lot of places don’t like to talk about static IP, since it gets ‘complicated’; most users don’t know what they are, and most peopel dont’ need one, and those that do can use a dynamic-ip forwarder like dyn-dns (ie: they set a really high dns update frequency, so if your IP changes your domain will get updated within a few seconds, and you just use your dyn-dns domain name instead of raw IP address. You can even have a full fledged domain that in turn points its address at the dyn-dns domain, and thus have a full working domain on a dynamic IP, that all appears static..)… and a few people legitametely need static IP.

    Anyway, on ADSL or most others you can get static-IP; on Cable, you generally cannot, but it depends on the provider and technology they’re using. ie: It becomes ‘work’ and these guys want the ease money, the low hanging fruit; they don’t want power users who might actually use the services they’re promised ;)

  8. @Mike Taylor,

    The add-on will only appear for the Static IP once you’ve moved on to the new product, However looking at your account (username shows in the screenshot you’ve uploaded) you already have a static IP so this will carry over when your account changes to the 120GB product. Go here, log in and click the ‘Static IP’ link: https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=myconnection&?membermenu=connectionsettings

  9. 120GB is available at https://portal.plus.net/wizard/?wizard_id=20 – follow the Extra usage link

  10. It’s often the case that service providers (especially telecom) will offter you a better deal when you call to leave.

    Price discrimination–they want the people willing to pay more for less to do that. But they also want your business at a lower price point. This sort of thing is one of many tactics to have it both ways.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_discrimination

    “Sales” are generally an example of this. They’ll have promotions where you can subscribe at a lower rate for a year. If you stay on once it switches to higher, they win. If you call to disconnect afterwards, perhaps you get to keep your rate longer than the offer, what a nice company and now you have a ‘special’ plan and will be inclined to keep it. They win, a bit less.

    Mentioning the 120Gb plan in a non-obvious place is similar. If you just choose from what you see first, you pay higher overage. If you are unsatisfied by this and go looking a bit, you can find a better option. Typical of a common approach to this—if you value your time more than money, you pay more. If you’re willing to spend a bit of time you pay less.

    This should be taught in middle school, a lot of common things make more sense in this light. It’s also interesting as an unintentionally progressive model where the price insensitive (often rich) subsidise the price sensitive (often poor). It can work in reverse though, but this post is long enough :)

  11. If you haven’t seen the news, Wednesday Plusnet are launching totally unlimited usage accounts!

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