There are a variety of broadband service providers in the UK, and it is sometimes difficult to tell which one is right for you. Some are focused outright on value while others are focused on providing a wide range of packages suited to every pocket. Some offer only broadband while others provide a four-way service including broadband, mobile, phone and TV services. John Lewis, a UK-owned company, provides a unique bundle of services aimed to specifically cater to the need of the UK consumer. They are part of a retail giant with a history of that spans over two centuries. Yet, they are fairly new to the broadband game as they only went into the broadband business in 2012. This article explores the history and legacy of the John Lewis Partnership, followed by the broadband services offered by the group. The article will explore different zones of the company.
The John Lewis Partnership started from humble beginnings when John Lewis opened a drapery shop on Oxford Street in London in 1864. Fast forward to 1929, John Lewis’ son, Spedan Lewis, started the John Lewis Partnership Limited, which has grown from strength to strength to the retail giant that it is today. Today, there are 88900 permanent staff members who are all true partners in the John Lewis Partnership. The business is owned by a trust on behalf of all its employees. They receive a share of the annual profits over and above their salaries; a welcome bonus and incentive to give their all to the John Lewis Partnership.
The John Lewis Partnership is the third largest UK private company. The partnership owns 48 John Lewis stores across the UK as well as 352 Waitrose supermarkets and an online catalogue business. The stores are positioned as upmarket and draw both middle-class and upper-class shoppers. In an effort to be inclusive and to draw new business, John Lewis now also offers a value range in both John Lewis and Waitrose stores to appeal to lower-income groups as well. The company grosses over £11bn per year. At the John Lewis Partnership, partners come first, and all partners share in the profits of the business.
The John Lewis Partnership believes in bringing a new quality of life to their staff and their customers. The company is actively involved in sustainability and community care initiatives. They believe in making a difference in any which way they can. The John Lewis Partnership is completely transparent when it comes to their corporate governance and how they conduct their business. Their partnership structure allows for an entrepreneurial spirit and competitiveness. The business is designed to be run as a long-term successful partnership, maintaining the vision of its founder, John Spedan Lewis. By giving employees full partnerships in the business, it also brings a spirit of responsibility and ownership that is unprecedented.
The emphasis on investment in staff as a motivator for increased productivity is not a recent addition to the John Lewis Partnership business timeline. It originates from John Lewis’ early days when Spedan Lewis noticed that their staff members had no incentive to work hard for their company. He facilitated the process of aligning the staff members’ mindset with the business’ mission and vision. In addition, he shortened their working day and introduced a commission system per department. Furthermore, he created an open-door policy where staff could air grievances at a regular basis directly with him.
Apart from their commitment to their partners, the mainstay of the John Lewis Partnership is its quality promise to its customers. They pride themselves on good quality products, excellent service and fair value. They aim to stock the best stock that is sourced inalignedment with their mission for sustainable and responsible retail. The well-being of John Lewis staff is also a top priority within the business, not just as employees during working hours, but also in their communities and their environments.
The John Lewis Foundation was founded in 2010. With a specific focus on India, it funds projects aimed at uplifting the communities of their overseas suppliers. With the aim to empower workers to plan and control their finances, the John Lewis Foundation invest in the financial literacy of their factory workers by providing them training and with access to bank savings accounts.
The project launched in 2012 in collaboration with Care and Fair was aimed at building a girl’s school in one of the poorest regions in India. In 2014, the school opened with 80 students, and in 2015 the school had 160 students. The project is aimed at educating the children of weavers in this poor area of India.
John Lewis has been a proud sponsor of the British Red Cross, supporting emergency relief efforts. They have widened their support by becoming part of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Alliance in 2016.
They also give support to Bernardo’s support group to young carers and care leavers who are youths with the responsibility to care for family members that are sick or otherwise disabled. John Lewis has facilitated many charity events in support of this initiative. Besides raising funds, extra support is provided to the young carers, including career advice.
The John Lewis Partnership cares about education and through its Bringing Skills to Life’ program (now in its third year) they aim to address the development of cognitive skills in young children. Over 3000 schools, nurseries and children’s groups are registered in the programme.
The Golden Jubilee Trust is a large volunteering programme where partners have the opportunity to volunteer at an approved charity on a full-time or part-time basis. Since its launch in 2000, nearly 300 000 hours have been dedicated to over 700 charities through the Golden Jubilee Trust.
This trust was established in 1955 and is particularly interested in the promotion of sciences around natural history. Many small areas around Leckford Farm, where John Spedan Lewis spent his free time studying plants and animals, were adopted as nature reserves. Experts have monitored and recorded many species of plants, insects and animals living in the area. In combination with the separate John Spedan Lewis Foundation, which finances horticulture, ornithology, entomology environmental education, and conservation projects, the John Lewis Partnership gives a lot back in the way of supporting natural sciences. The John Spedan Lewis Foundation has donated up to £5000 to specific projects.
Among its many businesses, the John Lewis Partnership also tapped into the broadband market since 2012, in partnership with PlusNet. PlusNet is responsible for all the technical services while John Lewis is still the frontman for good customer service that is aligned with their vision to bring a new quality of life to their customers. PlusNet is also a stalwart when it comes to excellent customer service.
It’s a completely UK-based broadband service provider with a dedicated toll-free UK call centre. Unlike other broadband services, unlimited broadband comes as a standard with John Lewis Broadband. With shorter 12 month contracts, it is less of a commitment compared to other service providers who offer 18-month contracts. While it is not the cheapest option on the market, John Lewis is committed to providing a quality service – you get what you pay for. Furthermore, there are no hidden costs; John Lewis is completely transparent about the cost of their broadband packages and what you get for it, which is completely aligned with the John Lewis Partnership ideals.
John Lewis caters for the British middle class and aims to offer good quality products at fair prices. Due to their vision and mission, their main concern is to deliver the utmost best quality customer service. John Lewis broadband customers are the same clientele that shop at Waitrose and John Lewis stores. In fact, you can do all your broadband related services at a John Lewis or Waitrose store – a unique service that is not provided by regular broadband providers.
John Lewis further recognises that many of their customers are not that tech savvy and are unable to make an informed decision regarding their broadband choices. For them, it is easier to go to a brand that they know and trust to help them make an informed decision. A lot of John Lewis broadband customers are already customers of their other services and retail offerings.
John Lewis Broadband Services are still a small enterprise and are yet to enter the TV market and mobile phone packages. Customers with a more diverse range of needs may opt in for a different provider that offers deals on all four modalities. However, John Lewis Broadband Services are aimed at customers who want a simple and easy to use solution to their internet requirements.
John Lewis Broadband has three main packages. The only difference between the three packages is the download speed per second:
· Unlimited (17 MB/sec)
· Fibre (38 MB/sec)
· Fibre Extra (76 MB/sec)
The packages are all 12-month contract that includes line rental. The router and delivery are included in the deal. There’s no limitation of data that you can download per month. They do not charge extra for clients living outside of main urban areas, and the package includes anti-viral software. There is 24/7 customer service included in the deal. John Lewis also offers a wireless router so that you can set up a Wi-Fi network in your home.All of John Lewis's routers come with four Ethernet ports for wired connection. The package also includes free webmail accounts.
For most internet users, the Unlimited package will be sufficient for their internet needs. It can easily accommodate Skype calls, streaming videos and web browsing. The Fibre option may be a better solution if there are a lot of users in the household or if there is some heavy downloading going on. Choosing between Fibre and Fibre Extra comes down to upload speed as Fibre Extra’s upload speed is ten times faster than the Fibre option. This is especially important if you are a heavy user of cloud services.
The deal includes a phone with a weekend and evening discount call plan. For another £5, calls can be made throughout the UK, any time of the day. For a further £7, the call plan includes 300 minutes of international call time to 35 different countries.
John Lewis Broadband promises to take care of all the red tape when you decide to change from your current service provider to John Lewis. The only thing that customers will need to do is to call their bank to cancel any direct debit orders from their previous service provider. It’s as easy as that.
To receive the John Lewis Broadband and Phone service you only need a few things:
· A non-cable phone line
· A telephone
· An internet enabled devices such as a tablet or a laptop
· Your credit card for the initial payment
· Bank details to set up a Direct Debit order
It may seem counterintuitive to need a phone line in order to install a phone line, but if you don’t have one, John Lewis will install one for you.
John Lewis Broadband works according to a web traffic prioritisation system. Certain online activities are deemed more important and receive a higher priority than others. For example, Skype has a higher priority over streaming, so if someone in the household is on Skype, more of the broadband capacity will be allocated to that user. John Lewis tries to ensure that time sensitive activities on the internet is never interrupted because of poor broadband prioritisation.
Even though John Lewis Broadband is a relative newcomer and slightly on the expensive side, there are still some pretty major advantages to choosing them over another broadband service provider. The greatest advantages of John Lewis broadband are that it provides their services at the same price, no matter where you live in the UK. Furthermore, the packages are very simple and easy to understand. The only choice to make is whether you’re going to trust that John Lewis Broadband will keep the John Lewis Partnership’s quality promise to you.
To find out what broadband services are available in your area please take a look at our homepage www.broadbandcompareuk.com