Welcome to the latest edition of the Plusnet newsletter.
This month we've got updates on what we've been doing to improve your email platform, as well as a look at our Broadband Blueprint. We've also got news of the next step in the evolution of broadband and your chance to be the first to experience it.
Microsoft has also launched Windows Vista since our last newsletter, so read on to find some hints and tips on avoiding Vista problems.
1. Broadband Your Way
Weve been asking the Plusnet Usergroup and customers in our Discussion Forums what theyd like to see in their ideal broadband product. As a result of these discussions, weve created Broadband Your Way.
Broadband Your Way is the next step in the evolution of broadband, and its coming in April. It's broadband that puts you in control - you control how much you spend, you control how much you use and you control what you do online.
Register for information and we'll send you more details closer to the launch. It will be free to move to Broadband Your Way from any Plusnet broadband product, but you can stay on your current product if you like. All current broadband products will be withdrawn from sale when Broadband Your Way is launched, so if youre planning on changing to one of our current products you should do it soon.
Please note that the Customer Support Centre is unable to provide any more information on Broadband Your Way at the moment.
2. Broadband now and in the future
The way people use broadband is changing. Faster broadband speeds and the growth of video and music downloads/streaming mean that usage is on the increase.
This gives all broadband providers something to think about. How can we continue to offer a value-for-money service that gives high performance when you need it most?
To answer this question and more, we've published our Broadband Blueprint. This explains how we design and supply our broadband products, and also how we expect things to change in the future as usage demands continue to grow.
We've also published detail on how our network is managed under different types of load, or when there are network and hardware problems.
By actively discussing traffic management with you we believe we're being more honest than broadband providers with a vague 'Fair Usage Policy', or those still selling 'Unlimited' broadband that's nothing of the sort.
We believe that broadband providers selling products they claim are 'Unlimited', but are in fact limited by small print and un-defined fair usage policies, are being dishonest. You can have their say on this topic by signing the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Unlimited-ADSL/
3. Improvements to our email platform
Weve all been unhappy with the performance of our email platform over the last 12 months. If you use the email platform, were sure youll be pleased to know that the future of our email platform is looking bright.
Were replacing the mail storage equipment that was causing a lot of the problems with a more reliable, more easily scalable platform. We understand that email is a hugely important service, and thats why a lot of time and money is being spent on getting this latest round of upgrades right. Were confident that the improvements were making will make the email problems of the last year a thing of the past.
If youre interested to know exactly whats been happening on the email platform, see the detailed information about the upgrades were performing (including pictures!).
Were also working on improvements to the spam protection tools on our website. This will help reduce the amount of spam you receive, as well as making it easier for you to setup and configure your email addresses. Youll get an email to let you know more when these improvements are launched.
4. Good news from our Customer Support Centre
Last year our Customer Support Centre went through a difficult time. Max upgrades, problems with LLU and more led to an increase in calls and contacts through the website. If you tried to get in touch with us, you might have had a longer wait than you, or us, would have liked.
Were definitely getting back on track, with some big improvements in Customer Support. A recruitment drive and a focus on 'first time fixes' has led a real upturn in quality in our Customer Support Centre. Average call answer time has been down at 3 minutes recently, a huge improvement on the service offered in 2006. The signs from the customers who use our discussion forums are that things are now much improved - What do you think?
The focus on 'first time fixes' is also paying off, with the percentage of queries answered in one contact rising to 56.6%, compared to 26.4% in August 06.
Providing quality customer support remains one of our highest priorities, so you can expect to see further improvements throughout the year.
Dont forget, before getting in touch with us, you can see real-time stats for the Customer Support Centre.
5. Plan for 2007 - mid-term report
Earlier in the year we published our Plans for 2007. Well, it's nearly the end of March, so we thought we'd have a look at how we're doing.
Business Support Team
Broadband network capacity
The first customers are also now using an alternative network designed to allow us to deal with the growth of video on demand and other high bandwidth applications.
We believe that the work on increasing capacity is helping us deliver a great broadband experience. Take a look at the graphs on our website to see the performance of the network in real-time.
You Stay We Pay
You Stay We Pay will be removed for current customers following the launch of Broadband Your Way in April, meaning we'll be waiving fees for people who've been with us for more than 12 months.
We believe that if we provide a quality service, customers will stay with us we dont need a long contractual obligation.
Community Support Site
6. Windows Vista
Microsoft has now launched the long-awaited Windows Vista.
As people buy new PCs and laptops that come with Vista installed, this is causing some problems for people with USB modems. Many of these modems are not Vista compatible, so be warned, if you want to upgrade to Vista you may also need to upgrade to a router!
Vista does make it much easier to setup a wireless router, something you might want to think about with summer coming (imagine it now, sitting out in the garden taking in the sun with your laptop).
A lot of customers asked us to simplify the newsletter, so we've changed the format. What do you think? Leave your comments on our newsletter feedback page
Want to talk to us about anything in this newsletter? Then visit our Discussion Forums.
We're a Sheffield-based broadband and phone provider, selling services to homes and businesses across the UK. We believe that paying less shouldn't mean a compromise in service, and we're proud to be Which? Recommended Broadband Provider 2011 and 2012.
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