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Plusnet told to talk more in its radio adverts
Wednesday 19 October 2011 10:51:40 by Andrew Ferguson

The ASA has upheld a complaint that a Plusnet advert was misleading due to the omission of the variation in pricing depending on where you live in the UK. Plusnet is the only provider in the UK to offer lower priced products in Market 3 areas, or looking at it another way, charges more for those living in Market 1 and 2 areas. Those in Market 3 areas are paying £6.49 for the term of their contract, and those in other areas £10.79 or £12.99 after the initial three month offer of £6.49 has expired.

Market 3 is an Ofcom definition which is where an exchange has four or more other broadband operators and BT's Wholesale share is less than 50% of the connections. This means 77.6% of UK premises are in Market 3, and due to the lack of a dominant position and high competition, BT Wholesale is allowed to charge lower prices.

Plusnet has decided to try and compete with the various LLU providers by passing on this saving, whereas other providers have not visibly shifted their pricing to follow. Most other major providers utilise their own LLU network (TalkTalk, Sky, O2), charging more where they end up having to resell a BT Wholesale based service, these off-net supplements can be £15 and are invariably never mentioned in advertising.

One major difference between Plusnet's pricing and that of the LLU operators is that the actual service delivery is the same no matter whether a customer is in Market 1,2 or 3. With the LLU operators, invariably their non-LLU services offer a lower quality of service and a higher price.

Comments

Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
It was only a matter of time before this market based pricing structure bit Plus Net in the backside.

They even back-tracked on offering lower prices in market 2 exchanges last year as well.
Posted by cjbell68 over 5 years ago
There were posts on the TBB and Plusnet forums about PN treating market 2 same as market 3.
I just checked and they still price market 2 same as market 3 as I write this - but you have to make sure they identify your exchange correctly and if an existing customer, have to ask them. Unfortunate not across the board without asking, but may be a limited offer.
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/products/low_cost_areas.shtml
Posted by c_j_ over 5 years ago
It's nice that the relevant authorities have picked up on the advertising, but would it not be nicer still if the relevant authorities would pick up on the fact that Big BT appear to be using BT Sheffield (Plusnet, right?) to offer aggressive pricing for cost-sensitive customers in areas where BT has mass market competition, while Big BT continue to offer an overpriced and under-delivered service for the ill-informed, especially in areas where there is no big name competition? Now there can't be any cross-subsidy going on because that would be anti-competitive, right?
Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
This was one of the reasons why I left PN, why should I have to pay more for broadband from PN than a friend who lives 5 miles away from me simply because he's on a market 3 exchange and I (then was on a market 1) now a market 2 exchange?

Market 1 and 2 PN customers are essentially subsidising market 3 exchange customers (who through no fault of their own, have less or little choice of broadband providers), though of course, PN will argue that's not what they are doing!!
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
I have found very little that is "Honest" about PN. They describe traffic shaping as fairness to others, but the others can go to hell for a fiver a month. I also do not like calls of a few seconds being listed as exactly 1 minute to disguise the fact that per-second billing has gone out of the window, no other supplier does that.
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