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New grapevine plans on TransACT

By ogrex - 1 September 2008 33

So I got a call from a telemarketer asking me about bundling with ActewAGL… yada yada yada. My argument against it up until now has been the modified home broadband plans that Grapevine started offering ~1+ years ago which specified an “acceptable download limit” for their unlimited off-peak times. That was a no-go for me.

But over the weekend I had a look at their current range of plans, and I’m considering it. What has me puzzled is the change definition of “off-peak times”. The new plans allow for 12 hours of *truly* unlimited downlaod from 6AM to 6PM. The middle of the day? What’s up with that?

Current home broadband plans can be viewed here.

The 12AM-7AM off-peak times have been fine for me up to this point, as I just queue everything up ahead of time and it starts automatically at midnight. Normally I’m one that says “if it ain’t broke…” However, the new plans are actually cheaper than what I’m paying now, offer a larger block of time for downloads, and allow me to bundle (thereby saving another ~$25/month with the discount).

Being a suspicious person by nature, I’m wondering… what’s the catch? Are download speeds in the middle of the day going to be cripplingly low? I’m sure they’ve done this because 1) they figure most people are gone in the middle of the day and therefore won’t be downloading much, and 2) the “heavy-users” have found ways to download very efficiently overnight, perhaps spiking the overall usage during that time period (peak time in the US and overseas).

So, does anyone have any more info or thoughts on this?

What’s Your opinion?

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33 Responses to
New grapevine plans on TransACT
johnboy 12:20 pm 01 Sep 08

Ogrex if we didn’t think it was a suitable topic for conversation we wouldn’t have run it.

ogrex 12:20 pm 01 Sep 08

Aurelius – I appreciate your comments and your insight. I also welcome the effort to keep this forum ‘honest’.

For me, it comes down to this: what I currently have works fine, and I’ve had no issues with it since starting it in 2005. I download heaps, all off peak, and not P2P.

The new plans are $3/month cheaper (who-hoo!), give me 5 more hours of off-peak download and give me the ability to bundle therefore saving $25+ more a month (I’ve down the whole spreadsheet to see what bundling would actually save me based on current usage).

But, suspicion is warranted. I can’t find any major loopholes in the current T&C… but perhaps others know better.

Cheers all.

caf 12:18 pm 01 Sep 08

Auerlius: It looks like Grapevine have now put a monthly cap on their shaped plans, so the issue of being up for hundreds in overrun charges before the shaping kicks in isn’t there anymore. I imagine they found that pricing structure had a pretty negative impact on their signup and retention rates…

However, their pricing structures are now insanely complicated, with the one plan having three different download limits, a shaping speed, a price per megabyte and two different flat prices (yes, one plan). I find it hard to believe that this is what customers were crying out for.

ogrex 12:12 pm 01 Sep 08

Thanks so much for the links Peter, much appreciated. I don’t peruse whirlpool enough, but I did come across the post you just quoted. I’ve been considering Velocity for a while now, as the $35/35 plans appealed to my sense of simplicity. 35 is fine for most of my needs, but there are rare occasions (this month for example) where I’ve exceeded 50GB of off-peak (only 3GB peak, take that!).

Aurelius 12:11 pm 01 Sep 08

Understandable, the only way you could be better off is if your existing ISP was worse – ie, ANOTHER Grapevine plan 🙂
It’s natural to be suspicious of their new plans. In fact, it’s natural to be suspicious of anything an ISP says – I’ve worked for enough.

peterh 12:06 pm 01 Sep 08

C+P from whirlpool:

“Grapevine’s website says unlimited offpeak on their 10,20,40 and 60 gig plans – their offpeak is inverted against velocity and netspeed of course.”

“The grapevine plans are more expensive and have overrun charges at 10c per megabyte. Plus the overrun warning comes at 110%, once you have already got a extra $100 in charges for the extra 1 gig you downloaded (based on the 10GIG plan). If you can manage this then give them a shot.”

10/mb isn’t too bad, but over run at 110% is a bit of a bugger.

perhaps speak to velocity – I cannot force myself to recommend netspeed…..

ogrex 12:04 pm 01 Sep 08

Clarification: I’m already with Grapevine, so it’s not a matter of going over to them, it’s just a matter of switching to a new plan vs. the old plan I’m on. The new plans ARE cheaper than my current one, therefore I am saving money. Ditto with the fact that I’m already paying TransACT for my connection, so there’s no change there. I’m just suspicious and was looking for opinions.

Yeah, maybe not the most appropriate forum, but posts come and go… that’s life.

Disclaimer: I work for an academic institution and therefore I’ve likely got my head up my own a*se.

peterh 12:01 pm 01 Sep 08

check out the transact forum page….

aronde 11:59 am 01 Sep 08

10 cents a mb for excess could be a killer if you go over in a month and 24 month contracts are always a annoying for me given how fast things can change in the broadband world. And just checking you are aware that these prices do not include connection to the transact broadband network – a minimum additional $56 a month by a quick glance of this page

Aurelius 11:59 am 01 Sep 08

Disclaimer: I work for an ISP that I shant identify because I don’t want to be labelled a marketer.

The plans Grapevine offer are obscenely expensive. To become shaped with them, you first have to clock up hundreds of dollars in excess usage fees. And working at an ISP, I can assure you that there’s nothing customers hate more than finding the $20 a month plan they signed up for has cost them $100 because they didn’t keep a close eye on their net usage.
Plus, Grapevine lock customers in for long term contracts. And customers like that almost as much as they like excess usage fees.

I call ‘marketing’ on ogrex’s original post because he neglects to mention the above, and claims he can reduce his costs by going to them. And having worked for 3 ISPs, I’d be hard pressed finding one with pricing structures worse than Grapevine.

ogrex 11:56 am 01 Sep 08

After re-reading my own post, I too agree that it seemed suspicious, my apologies. I can assure that I’m just a regular ol’ punter looking after my own interests.

My current concern is whether I’m going to regret this whole bundling thing 6 months from now if network performance goes to sh*t. It’s just looking sooo tempting right now.

peterh 11:53 am 01 Sep 08

Aurelius said :

This smells like a marketing post….

Interesting you say that, i thought the same thing, but decided i was being paranoid.

Aurelius 11:51 am 01 Sep 08

This smells like a marketing post….

fnaah 11:47 am 01 Sep 08

The catch is that Grapevine are oversubscribed, they don’t have the external bandwidth to support their customer load.

I think the new peak/offpeak times are probably due to large chunks of TransACT’s small/medium business customers shifting to cheaper and faster ADSL2 connections, thus dropping the traffic during business hours.

peterh 11:36 am 01 Sep 08

as a lark, I posted on whirlpool a query of “How does TransACT work?” the responses were amazing – over 200 pm’s and maybe 12 posts.

great fun, my clients loved it too.

If you want to see the catch, check out whirlpool at and enter your phone number in to find the best selections of ISP’s for canberra.

additionally, if you post this article on whirlpool, after rego’ing, you will receive untold advice from grapevine, netspeed, velocity (actual ISP reps) and users.

whilst i am not saying that the people who frequent RiotACT cannot help you, there are other sites that may provide additional info….

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