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bburley

join:2010-04-30
Cold Lake, AB
reply to jcremin

Re: Different speeds for different technologies

This is an interesting question. I saw the website of one WISP that wouldn't show the plans and prices until you had entered your location.

The website appeared to have a robust back-end and was well implemented. It allowed the WISP to tailor packages for a variety of conditions.

It seemed reasonable, and smart, to implement this system as it was capable of fine tuning pricing to accurately reflect the cost of providing service to a particular area.

The downside was dealing with customer perception. I am sure that it annoyed customers that they couldn't check rates without going to some extra effort. It wasn't that hard to pretend that you were in a different area to compare rates.

The explanation for the variation in rates was kept fairly simple and generic. It wasn't too hard to imagine that rates could also be adjusted for areas based on competition/lack of competition.

Some negative feedback was probably received as the website now shows a set of generic rates with instructions to enter your location for more specific details. I would assume that the rate variation would not be as large as it once could have been, but I am unwilling to spend the time to check a number of areas.

Perhaps this will give you some ideas. I suspect that the hardest part will be providing a clearly explained set of reasons why these differences exist which the customer will buy into instead of viewing it as discrimination.


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

said by bburley:

I saw the website of one WISP that wouldn't show the plans and prices until you had entered your location.

Yeah, I've seen similar implementations (Centurylink, for example) and it would be very hard to put something together that would be close to accurate. I have plenty of areas where I'll have a 2.4 ghz install, 2 houses down is a 900 mhz, and the next house is 2.4 again. Many times I don't know for sure until I'm standing on the roof seeing what the signals are and which exact trees are in the way.

said by bburley:

I suspect that the hardest part will be providing a clearly explained set of reasons why these differences exist which the customer will buy into instead of viewing it as discrimination.

Yes, that is part of the issue. When I first started and had no real income to speak of, I charged different equipment prices depending on what it took to get customers service. If they were on 2.4 ghz, it was usually between $100 and $150. If it was 900mhz the price was usually between $250 and $300. People didn't really mind the prices too much, as long as they were told the correct ones up front so they could make a decision. It was a really tough sell saying that it would cost somewhere between $100 and $300 for equipment. I could explain the difference and they understood. If I said the price was $300, they were thrilled if it turned out to be less, but I know a lot of people walked away from my service without giving it a shot, even though it might have ended up being less. On the other hand, if I said I thought it would be $100 and it was actually $300, well, they were usually less than impressed and many walked away from the service with a bad impression.

The biggest thing when advertising my speeds that I want to avoid is setting the wrong expectation... If someone is expecting the faster speeds, they may be mad if they can't get them. On the other hand, many may not even try if they think they will be stuck on the slower speeds.