Yorkshire Day 2022

Plusnet teams up with university professor to create world's first formula for 'good value'... and the secret ingredient is joy


To celebrate Yorkshire Day, communications provider Plusnet has teamed up with an Oxford University mathematician to develop the world’s first formula for good value. 

The unique equation brings Yorkshire’s love of a great deal to the rest of the UK as new research shows a third of cash-strapped Brits admit they are not confident in getting value for money.

The research* commissioned by Plusnet also reveals that nearly half (47%) ​​of Brits admitted to regretting buying the cheapest product or service that didn’t last, causing them to have to spend more money on a replacement. 

To help bargain-hunting Brits, Dr Tom Crawford, a maths fellow at St Edmund Hall, Oxford – home to some of the world’s leading mathematicians – was commissioned by Plusnet to create the first ever formula for good value.

Using data from 2,000 UK adults on what value means to them, Dr Tom Crawford  revealed the secret to good value (V) is down to a mix of quality (Q), ease-of-use (E), brand trust (B) and price (P).

But – proving that Brits need to feel the buzz of getting a bargain - the vital ingredient to the formula is joy (J). 

The full formula is: 


Dr Tom Crawford, mathematician at the University of Oxford, said: “To work out value, a product is scored from one to three against the five variables: quality, ease-of-use, brand trust, price, and joy. 

“Each of these scores are put into the formula which calculates a figure between 0-1. A higher score indicates good value. For example, an item scoring 0.8 would represent better value than a score of 0.4.

“I tested the formula out on Plusnet’s Yorkshire Day deal, scoring quality: two, ease-of-use: three, brand trust: three, joy: three and price: one. When you put these numbers into the formula it calculates a score of 0.8, which equals good value.”

For those maths lovers who want to explore the equation in more detail Dr Crawford has set out his formula in expert detail, worthy of Carol Vorderman status. See below**

Joanna Carman, Marketing Director at Plusnet, breaks the formula down in the simplest way.

She said: “Good value adds up to simple, reliable products that just work and great customer service you can count on. Which is everything Plusnet believes in and stands by. Given that our customers already get good value, we want the rest of the UK to join in and learn a thing or two this Yorkshire Day. 

“As a national brand that’s proud of its Yorkshire roots, we’re celebrating the region's love for a great value, with a deal too good to miss that’ll last the long run.”

Dr Tom Crawford, mathematician at the University of Oxford, who created the formula, added: “We’re pleased to be able to help Brits across the UK find a formula for good value this Yorkshire Day – at a time everyone is looking for great deals. 

“Our formula shows it’s not just about going for the cheapest option, it’s about quality items that last and make your life easier. Good value is also about how a product or services makes you feel. And if it doesn’t bring joy to you, then it may not the best option.”

Plusnet celebrates Yorkshire Day on 1st August, with a new deal with unlimited fibre broadband for £22.99 for 18 months plus £75 Reward Card – offer ends 3rd of August 2022.


For more information please contact: plusnet@goldbug.agency

About Plusnet:

Plusnet was born in 1997 with a simple plan – to think and act differently from other communications providers and save consumers money. That's not changed since the day we launched; 25 years later we're still providing great value phone, broadband and mobile services nationwide, from our HQ in Yorkshire.

 For more information visit: http://www.plus.net.

 *Research commissioned by Plusnet via third party research company Opinium in July 2022.

Additional research stats:

·  Nearly half (43%) said they regretted making an impulse purchase when there was an offer on, even if they did not need what they were buying and never used the item - this rocketed to 62% for 18–34-year-olds.

·  Nearly two thirds (59%) of Brits got a thrill from a good deal and a quarter (25%) would rush to brag about it to their friends and family.

·  The research also found misunderstanding confusing deals (25%) and buying items impulsively because they needed them immediately (20%) were the top reasons stopping Brits from getting good value.


Each variable is scored on a scale from 1 to 3, with 1 representing a positive score (or high price), 2 representing an average score (or average price), and 1 representing a low score (or low price). To use the formula, you need to score each product/service out of 3 on each of the 5 variables, and then substitute those values into the equation.

 Any product scoring above 0.5 is deemed above average value, and anything scoring below 0.5 is deemed below average value.

 It works as follows: 

·   Decide on the maximum number of products/services that you would be willing to consider. Call this number n. 

·   Calculate the value of n/e where e is a mathematical constant equal to 2.72. 

·   Using the good value formula, calculate the score for the first n/e products that you come across.  

·   The next product to score higher than the maximum of the initial n/e scores is the ‘best option’. 

 Here is an example of the optimal stopping theory and good value formula being used together. Suppose you are willing to compare a maximum of 10 products to find a good deal. Optimal stopping theory says that you should first consider 10/e = 4 (rounded to the nearest whole number) products. I score the products as follows: 


Quality (Q) 

Ease of use (E) 

Brand trust (B) 

Joy (J) 

Price (P) 

Value (V) 

3 (high) 

2 (average) 

2 (average) 

2 (average) 

3 (expensive) 


2 (average) 

2 (average) 

1 (unknown) 

1 (low) 

2 (average) 


2 (average) 

3 (easy) 

2 (average) 

2 (average) 

1 (cheap) 


1 (poor) 

3 (easy) 

2 (average) 

1 (low) 

1 (cheap) 


 Whilst the optimal stopping method does not guarantee that you will purchase the highest scoring product available, it strikes a balance between the amount of time spent looking for a good deal, and how ‘good’ the deal actually is.