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  1. #1
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    The Planet - Can anyone explain to me their thinking?

    Ok so I get an email from The Planet like I seem to be getting more and more lately, todays email offered the following:

    Get the power of 2 processors & 2 hard disks in one Dual Xeon server. (link)
    - Dual Xeon 2.4 --$149/month
    - Dual Xeon 2.8 IDE -- $175/month
    - Dual Xeon 2.8 SCSI -- $185/month

    Offer ends March 31 or while promotional inventory lasts.
    I check out the link, build the Xeon 2.8Ghz SCSI with (2) 73GB hard drives and cpanel and the cost is $210 a month - $64 a month less then I'm paying now.

    I call The Planet to get my monthly bill adjusted to the new promotional offer price and I'm told they can not adjust my invoice but what they can do is order a second server for me and I'd have the pleasure of paying for two servers! I ask if I was to place the order for the new server would they just transfer my data from the old server to the new server - nope. Again just the pleasure of paying for two servers until I can copy all the data from one server to the next then cancel my original server.

    I asked what the new server hardware was, and was told both my old and new server is a Dell 1600. So it's not like the new server is some cheaper off brand server - it's the exact same thing!

    I'm not in the web hosting business so I'm not sure if I missing something here or not, but what in the heck is the deal with The Planet not being able to go into their computers and change a billing amount from $274.00 a month to $210.00 a month.

    It seems silly to me that The Planet would be so stubborn in their customer service department to a customer that been with them for three years.
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  2. #2
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    Specials are to attract new customers. It is pretty rare for a company to reprice an existing customer's service.

    Ask around, I am sure some do it but its pretty rare and financially a losing economic model.

    Maybe this will help.

    If you buy that Dell 1600 January of 2007 it costs more than if it is bought in December of 2007 as the manufacturers are now shipping model 1650 (example only) so they drop the price on the old models. Plus with new processor technology the same 1600 may have a faster processor than the one you have. Their financing rate may be different, lots of good reasons and providers that ignore this can get into trouble quickly.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodiE55 View Post
    Ok so I get an email from The Planet like I seem to be getting more and more lately, todays email offered the following:



    I check out the link, build the Xeon 2.8Ghz SCSI with (2) 73GB hard drives and cpanel and the cost is $210 a month - $64 a month less then I'm paying now.

    I call The Planet to get my monthly bill adjusted to the new promotional offer price and I'm told they can not adjust my invoice but what they can do is order a second server for me and I'd have the pleasure of paying for two servers! I ask if I was to place the order for the new server would they just transfer my data from the old server to the new server - nope. Again just the pleasure of paying for two servers until I can copy all the data from one server to the next then cancel my original server.

    I asked what the new server hardware was, and was told both my old and new server is a Dell 1600. So it's not like the new server is some cheaper off brand server - it's the exact same thing!

    I'm not in the web hosting business so I'm not sure if I missing something here or not, but what in the heck is the deal with The Planet not being able to go into their computers and change a billing amount from $274.00 a month to $210.00 a month.

    It seems silly to me that The Planet would be so stubborn in their customer service department to a customer that been with them for three years.
    It has nothing to do with changing your billing rate, this is simple. But when you signed up with The Planet, you agreed to a rate, they are under no obligation to lower their agreement.
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  4. #4
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    Coolraul,

    Your example would make sense if my server was different then the server being offered in their promo. My old server is a Dell 1600 2.8Ghz Xeon, the promo offer is a Dell 1600 2.8Ghz Xeon - so there is no faster CPU, there is zero difference between the two servers minus price.

    "Specials are to attract new customers." - Fine, then why send a three year old customer new customer email?

    How is this "financially a losing economic model." if they will allow me to order a second server and cancel my first server? You're telling me the 11 day pro-rated rate of my old server is enough to cover the difference for another 3 years to come at the new price?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by daejuanj View Post
    It has nothing to do with changing your billing rate, this is simple. But when you signed up with The Planet, you agreed to a rate, they are under no obligation to lower their agreement.
    And I don't feel they are under any obligation - strictly a poor customer service issue. They will allow me to go through the trouble of ordering a second server, setting everything back up and canceling my first server instead of just changing a few numbers.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodiE55 View Post
    And I don't feel they are under any obligation - strictly a poor customer service issue. They will allow me to go through the trouble of ordering a second server, setting everything back up and canceling my first server instead of just changing a few numbers.
    I bought my partner a brand new Infinity G35 Sport a few months back... I went back a few months later to see the new G38 was out and that the price on the G35S had come down. I went to my sales guy and told him I wanted a refund of the difference. He said no. I showed him that the same vehicle on the showroom floor was the same one I had just bought and the prices were now cheaper. He still didnt give me a refund. He did offer to get me in to a new G38, or sell me a reduced price G35S.

    Close enough for ya?

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by daejuanj View Post
    It has nothing to do with changing your billing rate, this is simple. But when you signed up with The Planet, you agreed to a rate, they are under no obligation to lower their agreement.
    No obligation, but if you're not on a contract with them, most businesses [at least that I've worked with] will do it for'ya. Sigh.
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  8. #8
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    Sirius,

    Actually no - not close enough. I'm not asking for $64 per month back for the last three years, just the new pricing.

    Here is an example that more in tune with the reality. I buy a new house with 8% interest on my mortgage, three years later rates drop to 6% - I refinance the mortgage for the 6%. The bank doesn't make me move and find a new house.

    No one is asking for a refund here.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodiE55 View Post
    Sirius,

    Actually no - not close enough. I'm not asking for $64 per month back for the last three years, just the new pricing.

    Here is an example that more in tune with the reality. I buy a new house with 8% interest on my mortgage, three years later rates drop to 6% - I refinance the mortgage for the 6%. The bank doesn't make me move and find a new house.

    No one is asking for a refund here.
    So I should have asked him for a lower monthly payment?

    Sirius
    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodiE55 View Post
    Sirius,

    Actually no - not close enough. I'm not asking for $64 per month back for the last three years, just the new pricing.

    Here is an example that more in tune with the reality. I buy a new house with 8% interest on my mortgage, three years later rates drop to 6% - I refinance the mortgage for the 6%. The bank doesn't make me move and find a new house.

    No one is asking for a refund here.
    It's the same thing - and the car analogy was perfect.

    Your house example is not valid because, for sake of conversation, the house is not a depreciating asset. You cannot compare 2 different classes of assets.


    A server is not a house, it is not expected to increase in value over time.



    Regards,
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  11. #11
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    Sirius,

    So in other words you have no idea either. You can just as easily refinance a car as you can a house.

    No one is asking for a refund, no one is asking for a new model, no one is even asking for a new server.

    Using your car example... it's like you go buy that Infinity, three years later the same dealer offers a special on the exact same car but new. You goto the dealer and say, you know what keep the brand new car and I'll pay the newer reduced rate.

    It's not really just about the pricing. I can get the pricing if I want but then I'd have to move everything over and change IP's. The Planet refuses to copy the data to the new server or keep my same IP addresses.

    Again it's like going to the bank to refinance your house and the bank saying "Sure we can give you the lower 6% interest, but you have to move to a new house".
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by utropicmedia-karl View Post
    A server is not a house, it is not expected to increase in value over time...
    Even better - so you're telling me a three year old server is worth more then a brand new server?

    You're saying the $9,864 I've already paid The Planet over the last three years is worth less then $7,560 I'd be paying for another three years at the new rate?

    I don't want a new server, I don't want new IP addresses. Again you guys for some reason are not seeing the big picture - it's got nothing to do with the new pricing or a new server.

    I can get the new pricing, The Planet is more then happy to give me a new server at the much lower pricing - what they wont do is give me the new pricing on the exact same model but older. That's what I don't understand.
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  13. #13
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    I've gotten this question a few times, and in one response on our company forums, I tried to explain the policy a little clearer from my perspective:

    Our limited-time, limited-supply promotions are primarily intended to attract new customers (which isn't a secret), and are limited-time, limited-supply because they deviate substantially from our normal competitive rates and are not sustainable for the long-term. While the process may seem disjointed, it is the most effective way for us to confidently offer these kinds of specials to new customers and our current customer base (because most of our other current customers are also on month-to-month contracts).

    Without the "new order" restriction, we would likely cannibalize the intent of the promotion of raising awareness of The Planet's offerings externally. It begs the question of drawing the line: If we have a server special and every current customer has the ability to simply take the promotional pricing, should it be automatically reflected on their account when we launch the promotion? Does the customer have to see the promotional price and ask for it to be met before the promotional price to be applied? Should we only attribute X% of the promotion to current customers and cut them off after that percentage is reached? They may seem like devil's advocate kinds of questions, but they arise each time we discuss deviating from our promotional pricing policy.

    While the steps to migrate from a current server to a new server may seem unnecessary, they actually act as a litmus test for the regular price of a server... If 80% of the supply of a promotion is used by customers churning out of old servers, it tells us that the regular prices need to be adjusted or the new prices are (too?) good because a large majority of customers are willing to undergo the work involved in taking advantage of them. At the end of the day, being the customer wanting the reduced rate, these reasons may still sound bureaucratic, and I'm sincerely sorry if that is the case, but they certainly aren't designed to be arbitrary obstacles hindering promotional use from our current customer base.

    I'm happy to continue the discussion and answer any other questions about the reasoning behind the restrictions because it is a difficult gray area to get a grasp on and to weigh the "fairness" of the policy.

    I should also note that our billing supervisors are always willing to discuss pricing (though that does not necessarily mean that pricing will change as a result), especially with regard to promotions, so you're very welcome to have your billing ticket or call escalated to a supervisor or a manager if you don't feel that you are being heard or that you are receiving a clear/understandable answer (with regard to how it is a fair policy).

    Best regards,

    -Kevin
    Kevin Hazard
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  14. #14
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    Many Many Years ago I felt the same way you do today WoodiE55. My dedicated fees exceeded $40,000/yr. The fact that we were being charged $300+/month for the same piece of hardware for 3 years didn't make sense.

    What bothered me the most was a 1GB Upgrade was $25/month while you can buy it outright for $50 on NewEgg. If you don't want to consider colocating for the obvious reasons (hardware expenses, spare parts, etc) then you don't have much of a choice.

    I feel in situations like this, the host should decide, do they really want to lose a loyal 3 year old customer over a few bucks? I think WoodiE55 feels like he is getting a raw deal, and he is being "taken advantage of".
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  15. #15
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    Tersum,

    I agree - paying the same amount of money for the same piece of hardware kinda stinks, but I've never once asked The Planet to reduce my rates. It wasn't until The Planet taunted me with the new pricing they sent me via email.

    Then when I go to ask for what they told me I could have, they tell me I've got to pack my bags and change everything that's remained the same for the last three years. Why? Because they want to make this a limited offer? If that's the case then why can't The Planet's let me keep the old server and then adding a tick mark for the current number of new/current customers at the promo pricing. Why make a loyal customer go through so much headache and then offer no assistance to them?

    I guess in this business loyalty doesn't mean to much.


    ps. Ohh the RAM prices - $700 for a one time upgrade of 2GB - do they have someone hand making the RAM for them? Ohh well that's for another day.
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  16. #16
    If you refinance your house, its a new loan. You have to pay to have the loan switched over to another loan, a completely new loan. They don't just adjust your interest rate.

    However, with such a simple billing thing... I don't see why they dont do it. Call and ask to talk to a manager or something.

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  17. #17
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    For the real estate analogy, it's like renting an apartment on a month to month basis.

    The apartment building starts offering an identical apartment next door to you for much less (because they can't find anyone to rent it). You ask them to lower your rent (which is really not going to help them fill the apartment). They really can't deny you from renting the new place. And, if they had both apartments occupied for a month, it would help them.

    They're much more likely to lower your rent if you were just going to leave completely. Can you find an identical server somewhere else for less?

    The older the hardware, the higher the profit margin. They really don't like people always trading up.
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  18. #18
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    WoodiE55,

    You have your mind made up so good luck to you.

    You have been given good examples and real world ones. If you don't get that technology prices decrease over time then no one can help you.
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  19. #19
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    It just seems thats the way the industry is.

    I messed up a development box about a week before a renew date and decided to do a complete OS reload. Cost:$99.

    They ran a special on the server I had.
    Normal setup fee:$99.
    Special setup fee: Free.

    I asked their sales department for an OS Reload for $50 pointing out that it was taking a week for new server setups, and mine was over in a week. They said they couldn't do it. So I sent in a cancellation request, which they processed without question, and then were very happy to sell me a new server about an hour after the first one was closed.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HW-David View Post
    However, with such a simple billing thing... I don't see why they dont do it. Call and ask to talk to a manager or something.
    At first I thought about talking to a manager, but as I continued to talk to the sales rep I was just blown away at the fact how he said "there is no difference, you just can't keep your old server". Didn't make any sense to me, and the way he said it was like I was the one not making sense so I figured I'd come here and have someone tell me what I wasn't seeing since the rep couldn't tell me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    You have your mind made up so good luck to you.
    Umm I have? And what might that be? I didn't realize this subject was something to make up a mind over or not. It's simply trying to understand The Planets way of doing business. Not sure what you read bud.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hadriel View Post
    It just seems thats the way the industry is.

    I messed up a development box about a week before a renew date and decided to do a complete OS reload. Cost:$99.

    They ran a special on the server I had.
    Normal setup fee:$99.
    Special setup fee: Free.

    I asked their sales department for an OS Reload for $50 pointing out that it was taking a week for new server setups, and mine was over in a week. They said they couldn't do it. So I sent in a cancellation request, which they processed without question, and then were very happy to sell me a new server about an hour after the first one was closed.
    Well at least they treat all customers the same I guess :\
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  21. #21
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    The reason they send you the e-mail is because they'll be happy to give you the rate on a second server, not to replace your existing one. Many existing customers can use an additional server, and they can take advantage of these promos to do so.

    And the reason they will lower your rate if you order a new one, move and cancel the old one, is so that if you want the discount you have to work for it. In other words, it's a deterrent so that not everyone goes for this.

    You have to understand the intent of the promotion is to raise the bottom line (sell more servers) not lower it (keep the same amount of servers, yet make less money).

    It's pretty standard. As it was suggested above, you're free to look elsewhere, find something and bring it up to their attention. They would prefer not to have you switch servers, but they would much less prefer you leaving.

    JoseQ
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  22. #22
    Don't think about it too much. These guys here are just giving you the facts and what they speak of are TRUE facts but put into calculation,...

    The promo is sent out to existing customers so they can order new servers if they wanted or had the need- nothing wrong there. Now Put into account that they were willing to let you order a new server of the same exact identical one you currently had but without the support of moving over your data... Isn't that saying

    "Yes, you are allowed to have the same server with the new special price but there is no way in hell i'm moving over your data to make this process a little hard on you"

    If they are willing to do that, might as well change some numbers on the invoice to let the customer have the special. What they are doing is just giving you a hard time because you are moving away from a 300USD server to a 210USD. Trust me, I would be reluctant to move you down to a cheaper server special as well but it's no difference, just a hard time is what you are going through.
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  23. #23
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    Forget about these old dino servers get new single proc dual core it will outperform many old xeons.

    You will consume less energy and have more power = better world

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/
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  24. #24
    They're simply trying to bring in more business. If they gave the promo price to every new and existing customer, it would simply be a rate change and promo offers would be worthless.

    There can be no such thing as a special customer in the business industry. If something is done for one customer, it has to be done for all customers. Which in this case, would be a 23% loss of profit from all customers in the same place as you. That's not a pretty figure.

    Also, if they made it too easy for existing customers to switch to the new servers, they would hardly be getting any new customers. Which also makes the promo offer quite redundant.

    Companies need to expand, and if they aren't getting any new customers, they'll be getting nowhere. It certainly does seem extremely unfair to existing customers (I've been there too), but sometimes you need to take a step back and think about why they're offering those rates in the first place.
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  25. #25
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    Dedrick,

    Thanks for your two cents, but this isn't a matter why they are doing it but the fact they want to make it such a pain for a long time customer or any customer for that matter.

    If it's for new customers then fine, don't send me the email with promotions that I didn't even request to be sent to in the first place. It doesn't get any simpler then that.

    At any rate this is pretty much a dead issue with me, I'm now looking for other services so I don't expect to be with The Planet for much longer.
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  26. #26
    If you are going to move away from the planet just because of this, it looks to be unwise. Financially, you are losing but service wise, you are pretty stable I assume? Sometimes saving a few bucks might nip you in the butt. I would swallow my pride and stick with it until you are SURE you found someone far better. Then again, I suppose you are sure so cheers!
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodiE55 View Post
    At any rate this is pretty much a dead issue with me, I'm now looking for other services so I don't expect to be with The Planet for much longer.
    Best of luck!

    Sirius
    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
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  28. #28
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    The Planet - Can anyone explain to me their thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by itwanabe
    If you are going to move away from the planet just because of this, it looks to be unwise. Financially, you are losing but service wise, you are pretty stable I assume? Sometimes saving a few bucks might nip you in the butt. I would swallow my pride and stick with it until you are SURE you found someone far better. Then again, I suppose you are sure so cheers!
    I've been looking at colo for some time now and as I continue to look at server prices and color prices vs how much I've spent already and continue to spend - colo just seems to make more sense for me.

    The fact that The Planet was so hard up about not wanting to help in the matter didn't help them much and only made me look more closely at colo.

    I think the way The Planet wants to write this off is pretty crappy, minus that I've been pretty happy. But as you've said about saving a few bucks - already I've spent nearly $10,000 with them in the three years I've been with them, this expense will only continue to increase while being stuck with the same old price and hardware. The more I think about it the more colo seems to make more sense.

    Thanks for commenting!
    Last edited by sirius; 03-18-2008 at 12:25 PM.
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