Shaping badly implemented

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mobochobo
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Sydney

Shaping badly implemented

Post by mobochobo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:16 am

I don't think your shaping system is fair. I just signed up to exetel a month ago and turned on shaping in order to avoid an ugly bill at the end of the month. Since it is school holidays I thought I'd turn off the shaping as I expect the kids will go overboard while they're at home and didn't want them shaped. As expected they go over the quota in the first week. But when I go to check the billing page I am still being billed at $6gb a month. Turns out the change you make only takes effect in the month after you make the change. I thought I read that I could only change it if I hadn't yet gone over the quota in that month so I presumed that meant it would take effect immediately. Anyhow obviously I was wrong on that account and I take responsibility for it.

But this is the problem I have. They were not shaped at all so they exceeded the quota quite quickly. I've been told now that the shaping only affects noncached data, why they can't shape their own servers is beyond me but anyhow that I can live with also. The conditions say that you will be shaped for the end of the month but obviously that is false because I am still at full speed. Reading another post I gather that the shaping only applies to the first 2gb so the kids are still blasting their way through the quota.

I understand the problem you had with people just going crazy with their downloads when you introduced shaping originally but the $6/GB solution doesn't seem fair. In theory it should only apply to the first 2gb you go over to make up for the 2gb you get free. The whole point of shaping is people want to limit the amount they get charged but due to the way your system has been implemented it has the exact opposite effect. Let me illustrate.

Lets say I have a quota of 8gb and I downloaded 14gb this month.
If I am shaped the first 2gb are free and the remainding is charged at $6 so I would get an excess charge of $24.

Lets say I am not shaped.
I would be charged 6gb excess @ $3/GB which is $18.

In summary, (sorry for long post) the person who is trying to limit their overcharge is being punished harder than the one that doesn't care. All of the problems with your shaping compound to make this a common case. Firstly, the caching doesn't kick in the shaping. Then because it's cached you blow your 2gb "free shaping" quota in like 10secs and then because the shaping only applies to the first 2gb you effectively are not shaped at all and so for the remainder of the month you are racking up higher and higher charges. Now that I know the shaping is totally messed up like this I will not be using the option in the future. But right now I'm facing a massive bill at the end of this month and I'm having no luck with billing trying to get myself back on the $3/gb overcharge as if I did not have shaping ticked.

JasonM

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by JasonM » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:20 am

Shaping is still not intended to be used to ignore the very meters supplied to monitor your usage. It's not designed to be an attractive option to users who don't wish to watch their usage.
What is your ticket number with billing?

James
Exetel Staff
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by James » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:47 am

mobochobo wrote:I don't think your shaping system is fair. I just signed up to exetel a month ago and turned on shaping in order to avoid an ugly bill at the end of the month. Since it is school holidays I thought I'd turn off the shaping as I expect the kids will go overboard while they're at home and didn't want them shaped. As expected they go over the quota in the first week. But when I go to check the billing page I am still being billed at $6gb a month. Turns out the change you make only takes effect in the month after you make the change. I thought I read that I could only change it if I hadn't yet gone over the quota in that month so I presumed that meant it would take effect immediately. Anyhow obviously I was wrong on that account and I take responsibility for it.

But this is the problem I have. They were not shaped at all so they exceeded the quota quite quickly. I've been told now that the shaping only affects noncached data, why they can't shape their own servers is beyond me but anyhow that I can live with also. The conditions say that you will be shaped for the end of the month but obviously that is false because I am still at full speed. Reading another post I gather that the shaping only applies to the first 2gb so the kids are still blasting their way through the quota.

I understand the problem you had with people just going crazy with their downloads when you introduced shaping originally but the $6/GB solution doesn't seem fair. In theory it should only apply to the first 2gb you go over to make up for the 2gb you get free. The whole point of shaping is people want to limit the amount they get charged but due to the way your system has been implemented it has the exact opposite effect. Let me illustrate.

Lets say I have a quota of 8gb and I downloaded 14gb this month.
If I am shaped the first 2gb are free and the remainding is charged at $6 so I would get an excess charge of $24.

Lets say I am not shaped.
I would be charged 6gb excess @ $3/GB which is $18.

In summary, (sorry for long post) the person who is trying to limit their overcharge is being punished harder than the one that doesn't care. All of the problems with your shaping compound to make this a common case. Firstly, the caching doesn't kick in the shaping. Then because it's cached you blow your 2gb "free shaping" quota in like 10secs and then because the shaping only applies to the first 2gb you effectively are not shaped at all and so for the remainder of the month you are racking up higher and higher charges. Now that I know the shaping is totally messed up like this I will not be using the option in the future. But right now I'm facing a massive bill at the end of this month and I'm having no luck with billing trying to get myself back on the $3/gb overcharge as if I did not have shaping ticked.
It's hardly massive, think about what it would be if you were with Telstra/Optus, who charge >$100.00 a gb.

mobochobo
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by mobochobo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:52 am

Ticket number is 1745785

What is the point of shaping then? I actually do watch what I download (The usage monitor from exetel providing day by day usage is awesome much better than when I was with optus) but it was blown in 1 night. I'm not really a heavy downloader (my offpeak is only 6gb this month). My greatest fear is one day picking up a vrius and then it going nuts with the download and I'm faced with a $2000 bill at the end of the month. I understand the problem with shaping and not charging where you get leechers leaving their computers constantly downloading but how about keeping the shaping and still charging. That way you limit the damage that can be done. On 64kb/s the most you probably expect is a few hundred dollars.

mobochobo
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by mobochobo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:53 am

James wrote:
It's hardly massive, think about what it would be if you were with Telstra/Optus, who charge >$100.00 a gb.
On optus I was on shaped plan so any excess was $0. But I totally understand why exetel wouldn't want to offer this given the number of leechers who would abuse it.

mobochobo
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by mobochobo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:04 pm

Thanks for sorting that out Jason. I was half thinking about taking this up with the TIO but instead I will be posting your praises on Whirlpool.

JasonM

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by JasonM » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:08 pm

The TIO? For something that was advised to you, and you accepted, and you even admit it's your own error (see opening post)?
Good will gestures aren't that easy to find at Exetel.

James
Exetel Staff
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by James » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:09 pm

mobochobo wrote:Thanks for sorting that out Jason. I was half thinking about taking this up with the TIO but instead I will be posting your praises on Whirlpool.
You would take up $3.00 with the TIO! If it's that much to you, how about I post you the shrapnel lying on my desk? There is probably $10.00 there, and next time you kick up a stink over $3.00 maybe you should consider the money you save by using a cost effective company like Exetel.

mobochobo
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by mobochobo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:56 pm

it's $3/gb so you have no idea how much it's actually worth, especially given the speed you can download in ADSL2 I could easily rack up several hundred dollars in a day if I wanted to. But as I said I was half-considering it. It's a matter of principle, if it's happening to me then it's also probably happening to a number of other customers. We need to keep companies honest in what services they are offering and this shaping is broken in the ways I've mentioned above. While I agree that they are very cost effective (otherwise I'd be with another provider duh) I don't think you have to be a complete fanboi like you obviously are. If we don't highlight problems with the system it will never get any better.

James
Exetel Staff
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by James » Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:07 pm

mobochobo wrote:it's $3/gb so you have no idea how much it's actually worth, especially given the speed you can download in ADSL2 I could easily rack up several hundred dollars in a day if I wanted to. But as I said I was half-considering it. It's a matter of principle, if it's happening to me then it's also probably happening to a number of other customers. We need to keep companies honest in what services they are offering and this shaping is broken in the ways I've mentioned above. While I agree that they are very cost effective (otherwise I'd be with another provider duh) I don't think you have to be a complete fanboi like you obviously are. If we don't highlight problems with the system it will never get any better.
Yes, you would pay for what you use, fancy that concept!

Exetel is a very honest company, and if you don't think this is the case, you should probably consider moving to a company like Telstra............

Dazzled
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 6003
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by Dazzled » Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:36 pm

I have some sympathy for mobochobo - some of you blokes haven't had teenagers yet. Mobochobo - there are still ways to rein 'em in - be like a business, and run the network through a gateway router/computer and you can control what and how much each machine downloads. Because teens know better than you do, put heavy Windows malware filters on the gateway and never disclose either the modem admin password or the Exetel login password. Mind, you will become yet another despised incompetent system admin in the process.

mobochobo
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by mobochobo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:47 pm

Dazzled wrote:I have some sympathy for mobochobo - some of you blokes haven't had teenagers yet. Mobochobo - there are still ways to rein 'em in - be like a business, and run the network through a gateway router/computer and you can control what and how much each machine downloads. Because teens know better than you do, put heavy Windows malware filters on the gateway and never disclose either the modem admin password or the Exetel login password. Mind, you will become yet another despised incompetent system admin in the process.
Yeah I'm trying to see if I can get my router to do it but I think the options are pretty limited on it (ASUS WL600g). Another option is to hook up my old WRT54 and download that open source router software openwrt. I think it's got quota management in that. But I'd still have to have the wl600g as the adsl2 modem. I've let them know to try and do their downloading before 12 as I have tons of quota left off peak. Fortunately they aren't into movie downloading yet.

mobochobo
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by mobochobo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:21 pm

James wrote: Yes, you would pay for what you use, fancy that concept!

Exetel is a very honest company, and if you don't think this is the case, you should probably consider moving to a company like Telstra............
No the point is if you elect to use shaping and don't actually get shaped you end up paying $3/GB more than you should be. I just realised you're staff. I find your attitude to be quite unprofessional which is why I initially labelled you a fanboi. From the start you have treated me as if I was a criminal and asking me if I'd rather be with Telstra. Obviously Telstra are a bunch of overcharging clowns and it's not that hard to be better than them.

Remember I am a new customer to Exetel and just moved house so I don't have time to read the fine details. The fact of the matter is that your shaping doesn't quite work because
1) Speed limiting doesn't always kick in (because for some reason you can't speed limit your cache server and there's no way for a client to know whether they are using the cache or not)
2) This is further exacerbated by the fact your speed limiting only works for the first 2gb and it reverts back to full speed. So within the one download you could easily go over your quota and have to pay excess
3) The wording on your change plan needs to be reword I think
You can leave your selection in place for as long as you wish to do so. You can change your selection at any time in any month PROVIDING YOU HAVE NOT YET REACHED YOUR PLAN'S ALLOWANCE IN THE PERIOD YOU WISH TO CHANGE. Your revised selection will remain in place until you choose to, again, change it.
If it only takes affect for the next month then whether or not you've reached your plan's allowance this month is irrelevant. It was my fault that I didn't read this line properly
PLEASE NOTE: If shaping is requested to be added or removed, it will take effect beginning from the following month shaping is requested, and will change from "PENDING" to "ACTIVE" only when your download limit is exceeded.
Jason,
I really appreciate your act of Good Will. I know you didn't have to do it and it confirms to me that you are trying to run an honest business. Not that I was trying to say you were dishonest (I think you read too much into my usage of the phrase "keep them honest") . I've been quite happy with your service and I'm not one to be petty (I mistakenly thought that I could blow the rest of my quota on the last night of the month thinking the clock was going to reset the following day. Unfortunately the small period from 12 -> 2am counts as new month peak and I got burnt there. once I found out that was the case I dropped the matter no dramas. Coincidently that was probably why I blew quota this month) I apologise if this has blown out into something bigger than it is. Shall we let bygones be bygones?

Dazzled
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 6003
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by Dazzled » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:31 pm

Mobochono, I'm not staff, and I was half in jest, but any Linux can do it (details on the various help sites and forums) . A ready made free no brainer with protection of Windows boxes in mind is at http://www.untangle.com/Demos-Screenshots The basic setup is free, with some extra modules paid for. Others include Smoothwall http://link.brightcove.com/services/pla ... 1626260001 A gateway computer can be obsolete, but needs at least 2 ethernet ports (modem + LAN) The LAN port might connect to a wireless router. A computer isn't needed for openwrt, but it can be hairy getting a special config, last time I looked. I am not sure if it can ration downloads to a particular computer.

mobochobo
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Shaping badly implemented

Post by mobochobo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:38 pm

Dazzled wrote:Mobochono, I'm not staff, and I was half in jest, but any Linux can do it (details on the various help sites and forums) . A ready made free no brainer with protection of Windows boxes in mind is at http://www.untangle.com/Demos-Screenshots The basic setup is free, with some extra modules paid for. Others include Smoothwall http://link.brightcove.com/services/pla ... 1626260001 A gateway computer can be obsolete, but needs at least 2 ethernet ports (modem + LAN) The LAN port might connect to a wireless router. A computer isn't needed for openwrt, but it can be hairy getting a special config, last time I looked. I am not sure if it can ration downloads to a particular computer.
Dazzled, I was quoting James. As for the linux computer I just don't need yet another box in my house that is always on. I live in a unit so space is a premium. As it is I have my wireless router and VOIP ATA in my bedroom which unnerves my wife who thinks she will get cancel with it just above her pillow. I assured her it was safe but you never know. Also the noise would be a factor. An old box with its fans would generate a bit of heat and noise which I don't need at night.

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