Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Discussions regarding new & existing plans and other Exetel initiatives
Musicinbed
Posts: 25
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Location: Brisbane

Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by Musicinbed » Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:44 pm

What i don't get is...

People have elected a shaped option.. yet they aren't shaped.

Last month I went about 5 or 6gb over the limit. And not because I was trying to 'cheat' exetel or anything, I just wanted to use up my remaining quota within the last few days. I took comfort knowing I would be shaped when my usage was reached (but of course I was not slowed down one bit).

So this 'block' page will hopefully work immediately and block p2p as well?

The shaped option should be removed entirely until it can actually shape the connection. It should be either EXCESS, or a warning/block before EXCESS. lol I find it ironic that the shaped option to prevent people from overspending have double the excess rate heh!
But I am glad at least something is being done, people going way over their limit need to be stopped. And from now on I will be more careful about not going over.

edit: "If you click on the acknowledgement above you will not be directed to this page again in future months"

oh come on!! Stop this! That is horrible! the warning and block is supposed to stop people from being overcharged by being informed of going over the limit. If they only get informed once ever then they are better off just choosing $3 excess.

austdata
Posts: 629
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Location: Melbourne

Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by austdata » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:01 pm

Is the heading meant to be centred? I'm using Firefox and sometimes MS-IE code doesn't work with standards compliant browsers.

Can the type face be increased in size please? (I'm using a 60cm LCD and have to get very close to read it! :shock: )

Can "noon" be changed to midday please?

How about adding the Peak and Off-Peak descriptors?

The page refers to usage but doesn't say usage of what. (Se note below about usage of the word usage :wink: ).

E.G. the 'Shaped' option for the Peak period [ 12 Midday to 12 Midnight ] on 03/10/2008

Technically "now and 12 midnight on the last day of this calendar month" would refer to the penultimate day of that month, as midnight is the start of the day. you could use "before 12 midnight of the first day of the next calendar month" or perhaps "now and 23:59:59 on the last day of this calendar month" which is what I think the airlines do.

Can someone enter another phone number and reset another customers shape setting without them knowing?

Has the off-peak bandwidth allowance been increased to 50GB or does that only include the 2GB warning level for those that are shaped?

In some places GB is written as gb.

I like the way these pages jump out at the user, that should make them read what is in front of them a bit more. Nice job.

Other questions:
If the customer doesn't shape their data use will the cost be $6 or $3 a gigabyte?
Can we put an end to the term "usage"? It's very old English that probably came from the French (who are very fond of words ending in "age") and we were supposed to be eliminating archaic forms of English when I went to school back in the 60's & 70's. Other examples: Whilst, Amongst, Reportage, Footage, and on and on and on.

Cheers,

Mike
The views I present here are not necessarily those from my brain.
Exetel's support number outside Sydney: 1300 788 141 NOTE: I do not work for Exetel.

peterh_oz
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by peterh_oz » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:06 pm

Feedback ...

Re: the really LONG sentence in the 1st warning (did Sir Humphrey Applebury write it? :lol: ) - add some commas or make it multiple sentences.

You need to standardise your expressions - either "50Gb" or "2 Gb excess". I would suggest the "2Gb excess" as this allows for any changes (up OR down) in the offpeak data (also for the peak data period).

You MUST MUST MUST block ALL traffic including P2P, but NOT VOIP until the customer accepts this. Nopoint popping up a warning that "you're about to enter a 2Gb excess period" when your P2P has already taken you into the $6/Gb zone. Also you cannot block a phone call whilst awaiting this page being accepted.

Finally you MUST make the customer accept this each time, not just the first time.

exchef
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 8:30 pm
Location: Perth

Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by exchef » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:28 pm

3 questions (already touched on by Peter):
how will this work with download managers?
how will this work with VOIP?
will you really block traffic and warn customers once only? why?

I think it's important to keep in mind that dodgey shaping with 2gb buffer is better than no shaping though...just have to be a little more careful when trying to use the last of my quota on the last day of the month.

If only the shaping worked properly huh? I'm one of the ones getting unshaped free dl's after quota each month (I'm assuming lot's of people are getting the same), though I've been trying to stay under: I'm aware of exetel's willingness to terminate expensive customers (and I'm very surprised that your 'sample' customer didn't get booted months ago)...

stubbers
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:49 pm
Location: Wangaratta

Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by stubbers » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:59 pm

While I understand Exetel's choice in this matter... Really guys... 1 days notice... While you have the right to change your plans at any time I would have preferred a months notice before you made this change.

Also I agree with what some people on here are saying, the shaping system is BROKEN. You don't get shaped... At all... Or at least I've never experienced any slowdown. I went over significantly for the first time the month just gone in order to see if it would kick in at some point.

Basically it would have been nice to have some warning about this, I understand why it's been done but there are better ways to get this under control. I suppose it just means I have to watch my limit more closely.

peterh_oz
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by peterh_oz » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:13 pm

John, I know you touched on the part-shaping reasons, but to be honest I think "shape or excess-charge" should mean shape or excess, not "shape a bit then hit the customer with a higher excess-charge".

If the shaping as properly implemented, the problems you're facing would be near-eliminated. You can't download very much with 64k, even P2P. Believe me, I've tried (bigpond liberty)! 64k would be approx half a Gb a day max (roughly), which is 250Mb per peak/offpeak period. So you're limited to a maximum of 7.5Gb in excess usage in any one period, and that assumes using your allowed quota on the 1st day of the month.

If shaping was properly implemented (maybe exempt VoIP, I happen to know that another very well-known company is about to introduce ADSL2 with VoIP exempted from shaping, in fact it will somehow be carried on a different "channel" which will prioritise it over other traffic, don't ask me how from a home router!) you would solve your (all of our) problem without the public relations backlash of being known as the only company that charges excess usage charges AFTER shaping (or even WHILST shaping).

Telstra, Dodo and lately Optus have a very well deserved terrible reputation of high charges. Exetel has a reputation of great product at rock-bottom prices. I'd hate to see that destroyed, especially when there is an alternative (proper shaping) which can eliminate that.

CoreyPlover
Volunteer Site Admin
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by CoreyPlover » Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:43 am

One query I'm sure people would like addressed is whether redirection to the blocked page is guaranteed to work. Because many people report being blocked for a reason, but due to 10.x.x.x subnets (or other factors that have yet been determined) they never get redirected properly.

I think peterh_oz makes an extremely valid point by stating that the simplest system (from the end-user's point of view) is the choice between an excess-usage-charged free-for-all or a shaped option that shapes everything, except VOIP, exactly on the download quota (or within a few hundred Mb): no leeway or warning would be necessary in such a system, less can go wrong and it is MUCH easier to explain

LordS
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by LordS » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:15 am

I like many others like to thrash what's left of my quota for the month towards the end, and I'd hate to come back and see my speeds still at full speed and Exetel trying to charge me $$$.

As has been said, the simplest and best system would be to fix the current model to actually shape a user.

ForumAdmin
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:26 am

peterh_oz wrote:John, I know you touched on the part-shaping reasons, but to be honest I think "shape or excess-charge" should mean shape or excess, not "shape a bit then hit the customer with a higher excess-charge".

If the shaping as properly implemented, the problems you're facing would be near-eliminated. You can't download very much with 64k, even P2P. Believe me, I've tried (bigpond liberty)! 64k would be approx half a Gb a day max (roughly), which is 250Mb per peak/offpeak period. So you're limited to a maximum of 7.5Gb in excess usage in any one period, and that assumes using your allowed quota on the 1st day of the month.

If shaping was properly implemented (maybe exempt VoIP, I happen to know that another very well-known company is about to introduce ADSL2 with VoIP exempted from shaping, in fact it will somehow be carried on a different "channel" which will prioritise it over other traffic, don't ask me how from a home router!) you would solve your (all of our) problem without the public relations backlash of being known as the only company that charges excess usage charges AFTER shaping (or even WHILST shaping).

Telstra, Dodo and lately Optus have a very well deserved terrible reputation of high charges. Exetel has a reputation of great product at rock-bottom prices. I'd hate to see that destroyed, especially when there is an alternative (proper shaping) which can eliminate that.
Peter, this isn't adressed to you personally but you have encapsulated in your post the points so don't be personally offended:

Maybe I'm too old and after five years of 80 - 90 hour weeks, 52 weeks a year for almost all of those five years but I think I'm not able to deal with the 'difficulties' that this simple, and necessary, change apparently may cause for a number of people.

Life is extremely tough right now (I'm sure you/others have gathered that from the continuing stream of bad financial news over the past 12 months). Exetel has to consider what's beneficial for almost 90,000 users and EVERY action we take is based on that premise. It isn't based on the interests of any 'section' of users or user profiles.

If what Exetel offers for what I can see are the lowest prices on the Australian market isn't sufficient for some current or future users then there are alternatives that any user can elect to take at any time.

FGS - 48 gb free of charge for 12 hours a day isn't f!@#$%^ enough?????

Simple solution find another ISP who provides that - oh wait....there isn't one....but lets ignore that - let's bitch and moan to Exetel about how unfair/unreasonable/scummy/illegal/etc you are.

The problem with providing services at the asolute lowest cost is that there is NO margin for error. We can't afford to have people downloading 400 gb a month for $80.00 or anything like that - we will go broke which I am not going to allow to happen.

I suppose I've, personally, run out of absorbing the costs generated by my own mistakes in trying to constantly improve the service we offer to our nice customers (who are the overwhelming majority). We introduced shaping at my insistence and then we changed our network design that made it difficult to shape about 25% of our users - my error - my problem.

Let me think.... how will I fix the problem I created ....will I just let Exetel go broke by continuing to allow a small number of users to download free what costs Exetel money or will I close that option.

Of course, it takes no time at all to decide that not disadvantaging almost 90,000 users by not going broke is the only thing to do.

We have been mulling over increasing the cost of almost all of the plans that Exetel offers for the past 4 - 6 weeks and I've put off making that decision because in these tough times we haven't wanted to add to any financial issues that some percentage of our customers must be experiencing. Stopping one drain on our ability to hold off that decision was easy to make.

I will have an email sent out later today to all of the people who are currently using the 'shaped option' in either or both periods advising them that if this change has inconvenienced them in any way then they may churn away from Exetel by the end of this month without any contract break fee.

Customers who believe that we have acted inappropriately should avail themselves of that option.

For the overwhelming percentage of the customers who selected the 'shaped' option for what it was intended for (to ensure that if you exceeded your plan's quota by a small amount you didn't get a financial penalty) - I doubt they will do that.

It just confirms the old adage - "no good deed goes unpunished".

Christ - I need to do something else with the little time I have left on this Earth.

ForumAdmin
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:27 am

The following email will be sent to all customers (at their nominated email address) who have elected to use shaping in either or both time periods:

Dear [ ],

We recently advised you that Exetel was modifying the “Shaping Option” that we recently introduced.

It didn’t seem to us that the changes we made to a recent option would be in any way detrimental to any user – and we are still of that opinion.

However if you are a customer that:

1) Signed up with Exetel after the shaping option was added to the general service
2) Believe that you have been disadvantaged by the change Exetel has now made

Then you are welcome to churn away from Exetel without us charging you for an early contract termination fee.

Provisioning At Exetel

ForumAdmin
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:35 am

LordS wrote:I like many others like to thrash what's left of my quota for the month towards the end, and I'd hate to come back and see my speeds still at full speed and Exetel trying to charge me $$$.

As has been said, the simplest and best system would be to fix the current model to actually shape a user.
I think the simplest option is to "scrap" the 'shaping' option - which was only relatively recently introduced.

However, for the 98% of the users who have selected a shaping option in either period who either didn't exceed either included allowances at all or who exceeded them by a very small amount, it would remove an apparently useful 'safety net' - so we aren't going to do that.

What we are going to do is to offer any Exetel customer who believes they are disadvantaged by modifying the 'shaping' option the opportunity of churning to another provider with no early contract termination fee.

We absolutely don't want to disadvantage anyone in any way but we aren't going to 'punish' the majority of users of the 'shaped' options by allowing the usage of a very few people make us remove that very real benefit.

peterh_oz
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by peterh_oz » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:52 am

John

No offence taken. Just throwing up ideas, which I'm sure you've already discussed at length behind closed doors. And yeah I'd rather you do this than increase prices (its already hard enough to compete against the headline freebies of the big guys, even though we both know that they're a trap).

Cheers

CoreyPlover
Volunteer Site Admin
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by CoreyPlover » Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:14 pm

maddanno wrote:Why not just scrap the shaping altogether and go back to the way it was. Then every body pays their share for what they use over the limits.
As ForumAdmin just stated, it forms a very useful safety net for a vast majority of users.

codywilson
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:56 pm
Location: Hobart

Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by codywilson » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:34 pm

What I got out of the email is that exetel have no desire to deal with uses who feel it is their right to abuse a service (given there are reports it doesn't work 100%)
Exetel have put the requirement back on you to monitor your usage and if you don't/can't/won't then it may be best to end the business relationship now.

Anyway for the average user this means nothing. Since they don't desire to squeeze the hell out of there connection.

I'd like to see the abuse page password protected ie username and password and pop up every month but that's just my input. Then no one can complain about unfairly getting charged.

vk3xem
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Re: Modification To 'Shaping' Option

Post by vk3xem » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:43 pm

I would like to see a page for Exetel's Top 10 Leachers!

Name and Shame them.
The views I present are that of my own and NOT of any organisation I may belong to.

73 de Simon, VK3XEM

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