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Plusnet Usergroup » All Users - The Open Forum » Plusnet Customer Service Issues » Plusnet Exchange Market based pricing policies
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Author Topic: Plusnet Exchange Market based pricing policies  (Read 20579 times)
Trentham Exchange User

Posts: 18

« on: June 22, 2010, 10:44:07 am »

I have been a Plusnet customer for many years, and have recently changed from Option 2 to the Value package. My Exchange is Trentham and so I was surprised that although there were 4 LLU providers listed in the Exchange, in addition to BT, the Exchange was listed as a Market 2, when clearly it should be a Market 3.
I have brought this to the attention of Plusnet via the website message system, and have had three very prompt replies to my problem. Firstly I was told that Ofcom set the Market Classifications for each Exchange, and until they changed them, they had to remain as they were listed on sites like samknows.com. After supplying them with some more information and debate, I was told by a second staff member that quite clearly the Exchange was Market 3 and that he could see the point of the issues I was raising, and that when the account switched over on 5th July there would be, and I quote "a market 3 component put on to your account and you will be charged £6.49."
I then sought further clarification of what he had told me, and was then told by a third member of staff that his colleague had made a mistake, and that having it would seem merely looked at samknows.com  decided that my Exchange indeed still was a Market 2 Exchange. He went on to apologise for the inconvenience caused by this misunderstanding.
Contact has been made with Ofcom who first published a list of the exchanges and their Market positions in a document published in May 2008. (http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/wbamr07/statement/statement.pdf) According to a reply received from samknows.com who have questioned them about this very issue several times, Ofcom have refused to update their list saying "This list is static, so the original one is still applicable. Any changes get picked up in future market reviews."
Ofcom said to me that it is a matter for the ISP's to determine the Market in line with Ofcom’s published criteria for defining the Market.
We therefore have a stalemate because Ofcom are refusing to upgrade their published lists, and companies like Plusnet are using these out of date lists to determine their pricing structure even though they are aware that they are out of date!
Surely if a company like Plusnet know that the information they are pricing on is incorrect, then they should take action. I am sure that if the inaccuracy was to the determent of Plusnet they would soon take action!
How many other hundreds or maybe thousands of customers is this affecting? Is there a solution?
Oldjim

Posts: 1014

« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2010, 10:53:24 am »

The reason Plusnet can offer a lower price on Market 3 exchanges is because BT wholesale also offer a reduced rate.
The reason BT wholesale don't offer a reduced rate on other exchanges is that Ofcom won't let them.
Trentham Exchange User

Posts: 18

« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010, 11:04:43 am »

Thanks for your interest Old Jim. I am fully aware of how this works, but can you tell me why when a market clearly falls within the definition of a Market 3 that the ISP will not recognise this to the detriment of its customers?
Oldjim

Posts: 1014

« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2010, 11:12:14 am »

Because the ISP doesn't set the prices BTw charge for Market 1 and 2 exchanges - Ofcom do
Just because Ofcom may have got it wrong is no reason for Plusnet to sell the product at a loss
To add - your exchange doesn't meet the requirements for Market 3
Quote
General information
Exchange name:    Trentham
Exchange code:    WMTRE
Location:    Stoke on Trent, West Midlands
Serves (approx):    6,122 residential premises
170 non-residential premises.
and from http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/broadband_access_market.htm
Quote
    *  Market 1 : BTw is the only operator
    * Market 2 : 2 or 3 principal operators AND exchanges where there are 4 or more principal Operators but where the exchange serves less than 10,000 premises.
    * Market 3 : 4 or more principal operators AND where the exchange serves 10,000 or more premises.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 11:24:09 am by Oldjim »
Trentham Exchange User

Posts: 18

« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2010, 11:23:43 am »

I see what you are saying, but this raises a couple of points. Firstly Plusnet are owned by BT, so in real terms there would be no loss to Plusnet as in effect BT is selling to itself.
Secondly and perhaps more importantly BT is overcharging all of the other ISP on the basis that the Exchange is Market 2 when clearly it falls within the definition of Market 3, and Plusnet know this and have chosen to do nothing about it, or have they?
Oldjim

Posts: 1014

« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2010, 11:27:19 am »

See my edit - it isn't Market 3 by definition
BT aren't overcharging - they are charging what Ofcom have told them to - that is what you get when you regulate a market

Trentham Exchange User

Posts: 18

« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2010, 11:28:54 am »

I see what you are saying, but this raises a couple of points. Firstly Plusnet are owned by BT, so in real terms there would be no loss to Plusnet as in effect BT is selling to itself.
Secondly and perhaps more importantly BT is overcharging all of the other ISP on the basis that the Exchange is Market 2 when clearly it falls within the definition of Market 3, and Plusnet know this and have chosen to do nothing about it, or have they?
Trentham Exchange User

Posts: 18

« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2010, 11:31:43 am »

If you go and have a look on samknows.com you will see that Trentham has 4 LLU's in addition to BT. Talk Talk, AOL, O2/BE and Orange. Now if that does not fall within the definition of a Market 3 I don't know what does!
If you have a look at this page on Plusnet's website, it clearly sets out their understanding of what each Market means!
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/products/faqs_and_guides/low_cost_areas.shtml
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 11:38:54 am by Trentham Exchange User »
nadger
Usergroup Member

Posts: 481


« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2010, 11:42:16 am »

Possibly AOL & Talk Talk count as one and how many premises are on Trentham Exchange - according to SamKnows this number is below required amount for Market 3 status.

As has been said Plusnet don't set Market level for any exchange and one assumes that every so often the levels will be reviewed.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 11:43:51 am by nadger »

Regards

John
Trentham Exchange User

Posts: 18

« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2010, 11:48:26 am »

The four listed LLU's are seperate LLU's and count as 1 each. The number of houses served by an Exchange only matters if there's 4 or more forecasted providers and more than 10,000 properties served. The LLU's at the Trentham Exchange are not forecasted they are there in place. Its not me saying this. Its listed on the plusnet site at the link posted previously.
nadger
Usergroup Member

Posts: 481


« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2010, 11:58:24 am »

Personally I think the term "forecasted" only applies when there are less than 4 providers but a date exists for a further provider/providers.

The number of premises served does seem to be the controlling factor.


Regards

John
Trentham Exchange User

Posts: 18

« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2010, 12:58:40 pm »

If you read the Market 3 definition on Plusnets website, follow the link on the post, it quite clearly says 4 providers or 4 forecasted providers and 10000 homes. Either or, not both. The number of home has no relevence. So its market 3 is it not?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 01:00:16 pm by Trentham Exchange User »
nadger
Usergroup Member

Posts: 481


« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2010, 01:45:05 pm »

Plusnet website clearly says
Quote
Market 2     

    * There's 2 or 3 different providers of broadband (including BT)
    * Or there's 4 or more forecasted providers and less than 10,000 properties served

Trentham, imho, comes under this definition so is a Market 2 exchange.

Regards

John
pjmarsh
Usergroup Member

Posts: 1237


WWW
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2010, 01:48:38 pm »

I can only agree with what others have said here.  Ofcom are the only people who can change which market an Exchange is in.  Plusnet are owned by BT Retail.  It is BT Wholesale who supply the connection.  Do to regulations they are very separate, and Plusnet have now more control over them that any other ISP, including BT Retail.

Phil
Trentham Exchange User

Posts: 18

« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2010, 01:52:49 pm »

Yes John you are quite correct that is what is says about Market 2, but this is what it says about Market 3

Market 3
•There's 4 or more different providers of broadband (including BT)
Or there's 4 or more forecasted providers and more than 10,000 properties served

The second line has no bearing on Trentham Exchange. The first line has the bearing in that there are 4 or more different providers of broadband (including BT)You have been onto the samknows website. You have seen it for yourself. What's your reluctance to accept what is staring you in the face?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 01:59:46 pm by Trentham Exchange User »
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