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Plusnet Usergroup » All Users - The Open Forum » Plusnet Customer Service Issues » Extra charges - is it a scam?
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Author Topic: Extra charges - is it a scam?  (Read 13926 times)

Posts: 3

« on: September 19, 2009, 09:58:55 am »

I was the only person in my house for most of yesterday. Apart from downloading a mobile phone for 17MB I only did browsing and emails with no loarge attachments. During the day I received 2 emails from Plusnet informing me that I had used an additional 2GB over my allowance i.e. during the day, somehow I had used 4GB.  I cannot see how I could have used all that and the thought crossed my mind that most people will not check, Plusnet will know that and the temptation might be there to scam customers out of these charges. It seems petty to argue about 2, but multiply that by 5 times a month and then multiply by the number of customers and it would be a nice amount.

Have a bandwidth meter running now to see if I can find these GBs usage.

Anyone else feel that this could be a scam?
Usergroup Member

Posts: 481

« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2009, 10:09:42 am »

Anyone else feel that this could be a scam?
That I doubt very much.

Have you checked your usage here https://portal.plus.net/index_portal.html

Are you running a wireless network and is it secure?

It's always a good idea to run NetMeter but it only shows individual machine usage.


Usergroup Member

Posts: 2071

« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2009, 10:47:45 am »

Anyone else feel that this could be a scam?

In a word ... NO!

Knowingly charging for something not provided wouldn't be a scam as you put it, it would be plain and simple fraud, a criminal offence.  Think of the consequences if Plusnet were to ever deliberately do such a thing to their customers, they'd get flayed alive by OFCOM, the courts, public opinion, etc.  And as Plusnet are owned by BT it would reflect on them also.  So you can be certain that Plusnet would never try to pull such a trick on its customers.

I suspect that there is something running on your computer which is/has used your bandwidth.  You mention "downloading a mobile phone", what was this and how did you download it?  Was it downloaded via a p2p application?  Did you use one of the TV catchup services like BBC iPlayer?

If you go to this page https://portal.plus.net/view_my_broadband_usage/index.php?&strAction=BREAKDOWN in the member centre you should see a breakdown of what type of activity caused the usage.  This should you help narrow the search for the culprit.

Posts: 3

« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2009, 02:46:51 pm »

Meant mobile phone app - from Sony Ericsson - their "PC Suite" to view files on mobile phone etc. - downloaded from their site.

Hmm, for years Plusnet were charging me for ADSL-max, knowing I wasn't getting it and was only getting 1Mb whilst paying for 8.  I'd like to trust them, but I would beware of having blind faith. I let it go on for years because I trusted them, which is more fool me for allowing them to get away with it and not checking.  Hence the suspicion this time.

I picked up on it yesterday because I deliberately stayed of iPlayer and tried to stay traffic light as much as possible, yet somewhere used 4GB.

Yeah, do use WiFi, but I am using WPA2 with AES, with a MAC filter and not broadcasting my SSID.

Posts: 3

« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2009, 02:52:20 pm »

Another 2GB used this morning.

Going to turn off the router and see if I still manage to use another 2GB by the day is out.
Usergroup Member

Posts: 481

« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2009, 03:51:15 pm »

I've got NetMeter set in line with my monthly account date and, just checking, the monthly totals are in line with totals showing in my usage history.

Is the meter you installed showing any high upload/download readings?


Usergroup Member

Posts: 2071

« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2009, 05:49:41 pm »

Hmm, for years Plusnet were charging me for ADSL-max, knowing I wasn't getting it and was only getting 1Mb whilst paying for 8.  I'd like to trust them, but I would beware of having blind faith.

I can see why you'd think that, but the 8Mb offering isn't a guaranteed rate, only an "up to" rate.  If your line to the exchange were shorter or in better condition you'd be able to get closer to 8Mb.  Mine for instance was 7Mb yesterday morning, 5.5Mb yesterday eve, and 6 today.  Because of the distance I live from the exchange it's affected more than some by environmental changes.

You say you have stayed off iPlayer today, but have you checked it isn't running in the background as a process, silently uploading whilst you're online?  I don't use it myself, but AFAIK if you download something to view later using it then it can use your bandwidth to upload it to others also seeking it whilst it's active.  If you go into task manager you should see a tab to show what processes are running.

If you can see your router from your computer a simple way of telling if it's your machine or not would be to power up the router whilst the PC is off and watch the lights on the router then power up the PC and see what happens.  Most routers have a DSL activity light that flashes when data is being transmitted to the internet.  If it starts flashing like crazy when you fire up the PC and keeps this up continuously without settling down after a minute or two then I'd say your PC is the culprit.
Usergroup Member

Posts: 1237

« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2009, 08:02:10 am »

Just on the point of charging you for adsl-max, it doesn't matter what speed you get the cost to Plusnet and to you is the same.  The thing that differs the cost is how much data you move down the line.  So it doesn't matter if you can get 0.5Mb or 8Mb the base cost is the same to Plusnet and therefore to you as well.


Posts: 2130

« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2009, 10:17:47 am »

You say you have stayed off iPlayer today, but have you checked it isn't running in the background as a process, silently uploading whilst you're online?

The current iPlayer Desktop is not P2P - it doesn't upload!

Usergroup Member

Posts: 2071

« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2009, 08:44:10 pm »

I stand corrected, have the other TV co's abandoned the p2p content distribution model also?

Posts: 397

« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 08:49:57 pm »

Yep almost, possibly only Sky still using Kontiki now I think.

ITVPlayer and Demand Five are browser based, this is probably somewhat driven by the surge in TV's that now support web browsing but have no local HDD storage.


Posts: 1

« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2009, 07:59:40 pm »


I am also a light internet user. I received these emails claiming that I'd exceeded my bandwidth and that I'd be charged for the extra bandwidth by the end of my first week. Bandwidth was being used even on days when no one was in the flat. I called support and they explained that a neighbour or somebody else could have hacked the key for my modem. After speaking to a specialist I've been told this explanation is highly dubious and that this could be a scam.

I upgraded to the premium package only to find out that this upgrade does not take effect until my next billing date meaning plusnet have continued to charge 2 per 2GB. I decided to watch some tv streams since I was paying for premium again not too much just maybe an episode every couple of nights. I've been charged nearly 30 for extra bandwidth. I've been told there is no way I can be using that much bandwidth. I have been advised to contact OFCOM, watchdog and various consumer groups.

BT have been guilty of many scams which OFCOM never investigated throughout my time working for the company. I have lost complete faith in plusnet and to some extent in OFCOM.

These charges are made up and everyone needs to contact OFCOM and ask them why they have not been regulating or doing the job they were meant to do.
Barry Zubel
Usergroup Member

Posts: 356

« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2009, 09:19:36 pm »

Er, yes.. thanks for that.

If you raise a ticket, you can get a breakdown of exactly what is downloaded at exact points in the day.

Also, being charged 30 for extra bandwidth in a month isn't actually that much - especially if there is someone or something leeching off of your connection.  On Pro, I was regularly exceeding 50/month without really trying

So, you should probably go back to your specialist and ask him how come he's so special - because his facts are pretty much incorrect.

Whilst your at it, you could always head over here.  Some useful info..


Plusnet Community Site Forum Moderator
I'm a customer, not an employee

Posts: 1

« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2011, 03:43:09 pm »

I'm having huge issues with this.

Having signed over to Plusnet, for 20mb/s broadband with the 60GB - I repeat 60 GIGABYTE - limit, my housemate and I then discovered that due to the physical equipment on our street (apart from BT Infinity) We only get 1mb/s-2.5mb/s.

So, straightaway, we're paying for roughly 8 times the speed we're supposed to have.  Huh.

Given what we both watch/listen to/download, and the fact that we're operating at about 1/8th the speed we should have, I have absolutely no idea why, ever since we started the contract, we've been charged for 'exceeding the usage limit' - 10 extra per month, comprised of 2x 5 'we've given you extra storage' charges; one bill CHARGED US 65 for 2months & extra charges - despite the fact that we signed as referred customers from my Dad's account (supposed to have discount/month free).

So, to recap.

1.  Discount/introductory offer not applied - billed for all months, in lieu.
2.  Impossible for us to consistently breach 60GB per month... but apparently, we have done.

Something is definitely not right here, and the only possible culprit is Plusnet themselves - unless all of the people in this thread are being piggybacked... unlikely.
Usergroup Member

Posts: 3005

« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2011, 06:28:22 pm »

It's not the equipment in your street that limits download speed it's (primarily) distance from the exchange, and I assume for you that's a long way.

When you signed up you would have been provided with an estimated speed and that will be recorded on your account - see this page.

Quoting from the Plusnet home page

Quote from: www.plus.net
Broadband speed is described as up to 20Mb because your actual download speeds will vary. We'll give you the best download speed available on your line up to 20Mb, dependant on your location, phone line, home wiring and time of day. We'll provide you with a speed estimate when you check availability of our products. Find out why speeds vary.

Are you complaining that your actual speed differs from that estimate?

Even with a 1Mbps connection it is not difficult to transfer well over 60GB per month.

Chargeable data transferred = (1/8) x 60 x 60 x 16 / 1000 = 7.2GB per day.
Assuming a 30-day month that would be 216GB per month downloaded.
Add 5% for uploads and it comes to 226GB per month.

As far as discounts go have you raised this with Plusnet by contacting the CSC through Contact Us?
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