Saturday, April 17th, 2010 by Simon Hackett
This post explains what happens when Internode changes its customer service plans (which happens on a semi-regular basis); How Internode notifies you when this happens, and why it’s ultimately up to you, not Internode, to decide whether you wish to take advantage of any new plans that may become available over time.
While this occurs most often in the context of ADSL Broadband plans, it applies to any sort of services Internode supplies to its customers.
We’ll do this in a “Q & A” format.
Why does Internode change plans?
From time to time, Internode changes its plans, for all sorts of reasons.
Sometimes it’s because there have been improvements in our supply costs or conditions that allow us to pass on better value points to our customers.
Sometimes because we have built new infrastructure that lets us offer entirely new services (or new features on existing services).
Sometimes it’s… ‘just because’.
When plans change, how does Internode tell me about it?
We go to a lot of trouble to notify our customers when plans change. They are not a secret.
We want you to know when this happens, and we want you to make a decision (if you wish to) about changing plans if you wish to.
We use a lot of notification paths to ensure our customers have every opportunity to know about revised plans.
Here are the ones we use routinely:
What happens to plans that are superseded by newer ones?
Generally, when we revise a plan table, some plans wind up being removed from sale to new customers. This process is commonly referred to as ‘grandfathering’ plans.
Such a plan has not gone away. It’s still exactly the same as it was the day before. We are simply not offering that plan for sale to new customers.
In practically all cases, Internode supports such grandfathered plans indefinitely – for as long as there are still customers that continue to use them. From time to time we send out additional notifications to customers on such ‘old’ plans, reminding them that they may find better choices on the Internode web site.
Why doesn’t Internode automatically change customer plans when ‘something better’ turns up?
When you chose your current plan, you made a decision about the price you wished to pay, and the value that Internode offered you in return for that price (speed, quota, other technical features).
Our contractual agreement with you is to continue to supply what we promised we would supply, and at the price that we promised to charge. If new plans appear and the plan you’re currently on becomes ‘grandfathered’, the situation noted in the previous paragraph has not changed – you are still receiving precisely what you agreed to pay for.
There are a number of reasons why Internode can’t just move you, automatically, to a new plan when our plan tables are revised.
Here are just some of them:
You can request a planchange online any time you like, and that change becomes effective at the start of your next billing period. When you request a change, clearly, this satisfies the requirement that you are not having your plan changed without your knowledge and/or permission.
But surely it’s obvious which plan you should automatically move me to?
When new plans appear, here are just some of the possible answers to what the ‘best’ new plan could be for you.
Some of these possible answers apply for a given plan change, and some don’t – depending on the nature and features of the new plan table, its conditions, and upon the specific plan you’re on right now.
These choices are often mutually exclusive.
Where there is not a precise match between the price points of the superseded plans and the new plans, some choices involve a hybrid of decisions, where you may choose, for instance, to pay a little more to obtain a lot more quota, or indeed you may prefer to pay a little less for slightly less quota, etc.
Sometimes new plans have different conditions associated with them that you may or may not like (requiring bundling to obtain the best price, different technical features such as a change in line speed or line protocols, changes in shaping conditions, etc)
Sometimes the ideal answer for you involves paying a little more for a lot more value – but we can’t just raise your price without your permission!
The bottom line is that we can’t decide this for you. You need to make a choice.
We can’t just pick one and hope it’s right, because this might conflict directly with what you actually want.
If you don’t care to make a decision to change, then we continue to provide exactly what you asked us to do at exactly the price you agreed to pay for it.
When we provide you with new choices, the onus upon you to change your plan, if (and only if) you actually want to do so.
If you are happy with what you’re paying, and you don’t need more quota, and you don’t want to move to a lower speed, then it actually doesn’t matter a lot if you don’t move to a plan offering a higher quota at the same price.
If you feel that you want to pay less for the same quota, or if you do start deciding to download more than your current plan offers, thats great: Just elect to change your plan online.
How can I make sure I find out whenever plans change?
The simplest way is to read the messages that Internode sends to you, by the various means we’ve already noted earlier.
The primary path is the Internode Bulletins mailing list. Sometimes people wind up changing email addresses or otherwise ‘falling off of the list’.
You can click here to subscribe to the Internode Bulletins mailing list and receive Internode bulletins to any email address you choose.
You can also view past Internode bulletins online if you’re not sure whether you’ve kept up to date with new developments from Internode.
What happens if I do nothing at all about new plans?
Well, if you don’t change your mind, we keep providing exactly what we promised to provide, at exactly the price we promised to provide it.
If you are on a plan that becomes ‘very old’, then from time to time, Internode provides a reminder to customers on superseded plans that there are other plans they may wish to move to.
However, this is over and above the underlying responsibility that you have to look after your own decisions.
In the end, it really is your decision – and Internode encourages you to consider each and every plan change as an opportunity that you may wish to take advantage of.
With freedom, comes responsibility.
We give you the freedom to change plans, even within a contract, without penalty.
You take the responsibility to make the decision to do so (or not), entirely at your option.