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Standard User NormanB
(experienced) Thu 09-May-13 16:06:58
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
After recently paying for a years line rental with BT (non-refundable), I received news that BE was being sold to SKY. Not wishing my broadband migrated to SKY I looked for a new ISP and choose plusnet, without phone and migrated successfully. If I'd been presented with the current PN portable (missing broadband only) I might well have gone to BT instead.
Standard User WWWombat
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 09-May-13 16:09:16
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Split testing is often colours or just changing the emphasis and order on a page.

The marketer's adage is to "test everything".

Some things (like the ones you mention) are easy to test, while others (such as conduct across multiple pages in a site) are harder, so less people test them.
Standard User johnjburness
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 09-May-13 16:10:57
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: bpullen] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by bpullen:
I don't personally think our split testing (which we've done before remember) will significantly tarnish our reputation. I could be wrong of course and we appreciate everyone's feedback. As I think I mentioned in an earlier reply, those involved in the intricacies of the split test have their eyes on this thread.

Rgds,

If we were talking about a "Split-Test" as being a choice of colours (or anything else that could be described as "personal-choice") I would tend to agree with you!

However, PN have been virtually trying to hide specific Products and/or misdirect potential Customers. On that basis, once it is realised, I would have thought (IMHO) that there was a high probability of tarnishing PN's reputation!

To be honest, I have to express extreme disbelief that anyone could have dreamed up such a crack-pot idea for testing! frown

Regards,
John


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Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Thu 09-May-13 16:11:26
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: bpullen] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by bpullen:
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
1) Is it also common for one or more versions of the website to completely omit any path to certain products? Specifically those with a lower overall profit margin? Not even a clue to their existence? Understandable with trial flavours of KitKat, but broadband?
It's not that radical a thing to do as part of a split test.
With respect, I think it is rather radical to remove 50% of the product range, on what appears to be an inconsistent basis for repeat visits by a given prospect.

Broadband buying is not an impulse. More than one visit is surely the norm before deciding?
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
2) If I went to a site a few times to check certain aspects against a competitor I was considering, and found not only a different view sometimes but information I knew I had seen shortly before was no longer there, I would run a mile from such apparent incompetence.

Which again, is something we've taken into consideration.

In reply to a post by RobertoS:
How difficult has it been to overcome a historic bad reputation, and how easily will this tactic destroy all that hard work? The tactic, nay - the strategy, needs immediate binning before it has the wrong effect.

I don't personally think our split testing (which we've done before remember) will significantly tarnish our reputation. I could be wrong of course and we appreciate everyone's feedback. As I think I mentioned in an earlier reply, those involved in the intricacies of the split test have their eyes on this thread.
If this particular experiment does tarnish Plusnet's reputation then once done, it's done. Nor will it take long - far less time than any meaningul data will have been gathered. I question the risk analysis conducted beforehand.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.2/15.2Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Thu 09-May-13 16:20:20
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
You ignore several facts WWWombat smile.

For example, for a long time the phone and broadband bundles have been much more "in your face" than the broadband alone.

You seem to be discussing a theoretical marketing strategy, and everything you say on that topic is valid.

We are discussing a particular case of split-testing and its effects.

I've more to say in a new thread, to post once I've been to pick up mt wife from the hairdresser's smile.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.2/15.2Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.
Standard User johnjburness
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 09-May-13 16:20:59
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
When PN pay for external Adverts advertising 1/2 Price Broadband (WITHOUT need for Phone Line Service) & then link it to ONLY a Broadband/Phone connection, then I regard that as dishonest (intentional or otherwise).

If I went to a Supermarket, in response to a specific Advert, & they made it extremely difficult to take up that offer then Trading Standards Officers would want to be involved!

Sorry, but I fail to see the difference between the 2 circumstances!

Regards,
John
Standard User WWWombat
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 09-May-13 16:21:57
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: johnjburness] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by johnjburness:
In reply to a post by WWWombat:
what are PN actually doing wrong?


Plusnet place an Advert promoting 1/2 Price Broadband (WITHOUT any reference to the need to sign up for Phone Service as well), which then links to an offer that combines the 2 Services. In fact the very fact that you can obtain Broadband only is carefully hidden &, when "discovered", you still cannot find any reference to 1/2 Price Broadband.

Personally I would regard that as very questionable Advertising & (whether intentional or otherwise) very misleading!

I agree with that - so does ASA. Plusnet know the half-price ads need to refer to the need for a phone line.

The telling part was that Bob agrees with this. He wanted to know where the ad was found, so he could do something about it.

But my question was about what was wrong with the split-testing itself, not the advertising.

In reply to a post by johnjburness:
In reply to a post by WWWombat:
I don't think the PN test here is enough to cause mistrust.

IMHO, "questionable Advertising" will always cause mistrust!

I agree again, but it will do so whether split-testing is going on, or not.

Naturally, though, any split-testing within a website needs to be coherent with the advertising that leads a customer to it.

Edit: Fixed quotes.

Edited by WWWombat (Thu 09-May-13 16:47:09)

ISP Representative bpullen
(isp) Thu 09-May-13 16:26:08
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: johnjburness] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by johnjburness:
In reply to a post by WWWombat:
what are PN actually doing wrong?


Plusnet place an Advert promoting 1/2 Price Broadband (WITHOUT any reference to the need to sign up for Phone Service as well), which then links to an offer that combines the 2 Services.

Is this similar to what you saw? If so, I've referred it to our marketing/legal folk as promised earlier.

I notice there is some subscript that says 'Line Rental £14.50' but I've no idea if that's deemed sufficient in the context it's placed in.

You need to take phone to benefit from the half price offer.

Rgds,

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Digital Care

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http://twitter.com/plusnet
The above post has been made by an ISP REPRESENTATIVE (although not necessarily the ISP being discussed in the post).
Standard User 4M2
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 09-May-13 16:28:32
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: NormanB] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by NormanB:
After recently paying for a years line rental with BT (non-refundable), I received news that BE was being sold to SKY. Not wishing my broadband migrated to SKY I looked for a new ISP and choose plusnet, without phone and migrated successfully. If I'd been presented with the current PN portable (missing broadband only) I might well have gone to BT instead.


That is an excellent point NormanB: it's got to be incredibly bad timing by PN to "hide" BB only deals considering that there may a good number of folks wishing to leave O2/Be.
Standard User WWWombat
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 09-May-13 16:44:13
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Re: Finding Plusnet Broadband only


[re: johnjburness] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by johnjburness:
When PN pay for external Adverts advertising 1/2 Price Broadband (WITHOUT need for Phone Line Service) & then link it to ONLY a Broadband/Phone connection, then I regard that as dishonest (intentional or otherwise).

If I went to a Supermarket, in response to a specific Advert, & they made it extremely difficult to take up that offer then Trading Standards Officers would want to be involved!

Sorry, but I fail to see the difference between the 2 circumstances!

I made the point in a separate post, but your complaint (here, in the quote above) is with a faulty advert.

So I agree with you on this point - it is vital that any split-tests of a website ensure that the tests are coherent with the current adverts. Otherwise you could come unstuck with ASA and, as you say, the trading standards people. Big legal issues, and important.

If the advert had correctly stated a dependence on the phone line, then all of the alternative website variants discussed in this thread would have showed those products available, easily, without needing to hunt. The hard-to-find products would have been the unadvertised ones.

Your other complaint (about you disliking the fact that you had to search hard for product details), when considered aside from the advert, is perfectly valid subject matter for split-testing. It isn't a legal issue, just one that tests whether your personal dislike is common to many other people or not.

Remember that the vast majority of this thread is about the different things seen on the website without reference to any advert at all, and subsequently about the behaviour and validity of split-testing. The advert you saw is something of a side-issue. Because of the ASA adjudication and the chosen split-tests going on at present, it is a very serious and unfortunate issue for PN, no doubt, but still a side-issue.
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