'I think this is really going to hurt Internode,' wrote one reader on Delimiter. 'They may have the excuse of Telstra Wholesale for their Reach plans but how do they explain the changes on plans that use their own Agile and Optus DSLAMS?' Wrote another: 'I won't be changing my plan, but I will be considering how much longer I'm going to be putting up with Simon constantly trying to nickel and dime me with the excuse of 'Telstra made us do it!'.'
Now, there is some deal of legitimacy to the ongoing customer complaints. Yes, Internode has raised its prices in some areas, and it has definitely made a number of choices for plan structures which appear to lack 'intermediate' pricing '” for example, no plans with download quotas between 30GB and 200GB, and no plans between 300GB and 1TB.
In addition, the company, like virtually all of its rivals, appears to be trying to push users into bundling other services with their broadband connection '” services like Internet telephony or IPTV, which some customers may not want (hell, we haven't seen much evidence that the FetchTV offering being sold by iiNet and Internode is getting much traction at all).
However, this doesn't mean that the price changes which Internode has made are unreasonable or that the company's not doing its best by users.
Firstly, the company has maintained low value plans for those who just need a basic broadband service and a basic telephone line. Depending on whether you're on Internode, Optus or Telstra ADSL infrastructure, this will cost you from $59.90 a month, which we think is a fair price.
But Internode's betting (and it's right) that most customers will actually be using much more quota '” with the 200GB limit being a useful figure for most Australians. With this limit, most people will not likely to run out of quota each month, and Internode's charging a reasonable price for it '” from $69.95 to $79.95. This price is comparable with what you'd pay through other ISPs. As always, TPG has cheaper options (and worse customer service), while you'll pay more through either Telstra or Optus, and iiNet is about the same as Internode.