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Plusnet LLU opt-out changes
Tuesday 13 June 2006 19:01:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Plusnet has been headlining its use of alternative network providers such as the Tiscali Wholesale LLU service for a while, and undertook to move around 20,000 of its 200,000 broadband customer base onto this network. At the time some people were wary of moving onto a LLU product and wanted to wait, or simply stay with the product they had, so to this effect an opt-out option was produced.

What has happened in the last few days is the the opt-out option has now been removed from the FAQ's that Plusnet maintain. We are told that this is not because opt-outs are being withdrawn, but that the 60,000 customers who potentially could be moved to the LLU service were emailed and the time period for them to reply and say they wanted to opt-out has now expired. We are led to understand that once Plusnet know which exchanges are next on the LLU list, they will add the opt-out back to the FAQ, and email those customers.

Of course out of 60,000 emails, a number are not going to be delivered, or anti-spam measures may mean people do not see the email, so there is a risk of some people being moved onto the alternative network without having had a chance to opt-out or even read what the changes entail. When things work OK this is no great problem, but since LLU appears to carry a higher fault rate for initial set-up than IPstream it can cause confusion and anger for the customer at times. Of the 60,000 emails sent out, we have been told that around 500 people actually opted out of the move to a LLU service.

Plusnet at present is handling a lot of changes, with the continuing regrades to IPstream Max for a lot of customers, and the LLU product, along with the usual problems providers see, it is therefore not surprising that on the forums we are seeing more than the usual number of complaints about long wait times on the support telephone numbers, or slow replies to their online ticketing system. The thing we are watching now, is whether the level of problems is inline with the volumes from other providers embracing the various rate adaptive ADSL products.


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