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Doing you proud...

March 20th, 2014 at 09:30 by Martyn Hudson

Plusnet has today secured its sixth, consecutive Which? recommendation for broadband

Which? is the largest independent consumer body in the country and has given Plusnet broadband a five star rating for value for money, accuracy and clarity of bills, and a four star rating in all other judging categories including: connection speed; ease of set up; ease to contact to the service provider; overall customer service experience; reliability of the connection and technical support.

To become a “Which? Recommended Provider” a product must receive an overall score of at least 70% in the Which? consumer survey and get an average or above ratings for all other aspects of service.  Plusnet broadband gained an overall score of 73%.

Andy Baker, Plusnet CEO said,

“To get this recommendation for the sixth consecutive time running, based on genuine customer feedback, is testament to the improvements we have been making and the ongoing value for money products we offer.”

However, Andy was keen to make reference to some recent service challenges…

“For any of you that have tried to call and speak to a member of our customer service team in recent months, you may have been subject to a long waiting time.  We are truly sorry for this but would like to reassure customers these delays are being rectified and we have taken extensive steps to return to the high levels of customer service they expect.

These steps include a number of changes at Plusnet. In November, we opened a second site in Leeds. This is a dedicated service centre and we are continuing to recruit new staff to permanent roles on a weekly basis.  Of the recent new additions to our team, we are also proud to confirm that 30 of these new recruits have joined on an Apprenticeship scheme.

Choosing to locate in Leeds not only strengthens our workforce and cements our Yorkshire roots but also illustrates our commitment to providing 24/7, UK-based customer service on an on-going basis.

The broadband needs and queries of our customers continue to change and we are currently multi-skilling a significant number of our service team to increase their technical knowledge. This will give them the increased ability to resolve customer queries at first contact.  The signs from this training are encouraging; we’ve seen 20% reduction in repeat calls already.

We’ve also further invested in our telephony systems and are simplifying processes to ensure customers get resolution as quickly as possible. ”

 

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Plusnet identifies the ultimate technology of the future

March 4th, 2014 at 14:37 by Martyn Hudson

Following Plusnet’s predictions for the technology of 2014, new research has revealed that when it comes to technology we feel will be most vital to our home life it is food-ordering fridges and iris-scanning identification that top the poll.

In January, technology fans were whipped into frenzy as brands revealed the latest gadgets at the Consumer Technology Show in Las Vegas. Our research shows that, of these new technologies, it is the products that make our lives easier that we place the most importance on. Whether it is cutting out a trip to the supermarket, or never having to worry about losing keys, we want our connected home to be about convenience.

(Click for enlarged image)

Men are particularly interested in boosting the ‘wow factor’ of their home entertainment methods. Almost double the amount of males than females cite 4K Ultra High Definition TV [3840x2160 resolution] (14%) and virtual reality headsets (13%) as fundamental future technology developments. Only 8% and 7% of women thought the same.

Women are more keen to see what health benefits technology can bring, with 20% of women looking forward to trying a bed to track their sleep patterns, compared to 14% of men. When it comes to the internet-enabled toothbrush, double the amount of women (8%) to men (4%) think this will be vital in future.

With younger generations constantly being glued to their smartphones, it comes as no surprise that they would even welcome their toothbrush to be connected to the internet, with almost a fifth (19%) citing this as a vital piece of technology for the future.

Despite all of the hype around the curved OLED TV, which offers the benefits of a truly immersive viewing experience with its curved screen, only one in ten Britons feel that it will be a vital part of our lives. This is despite the rise in sales of Smart TVs* and the popularity of having on demand content at our fingertips at home.

In contrast to what we feel will be vital to us in the future, it is things like smart clothing that monitors your temperature, and health monitoring toilets that we are most excited to try out, closely followed by face recognition technology (31%), smart books (23%), and interactive gaming walls 13%).

Kelly Dorset, Head of Products and Digital Care at Plusnet says,

“With broadband being key to the operation of so many new technologies, it’s very important for Plusnet to make sure our services match the demand of consumers. Research like this shows how important it is to listen to our customers and ensure we tailor our advice, bandwidth and service to the technology they want now and in the future.”

What do you think will be the most useful technology for you in the future? Let us know in the comments section below or on our forum.

*Smart TV sales saw an increase in sales by 55% in 2013 according to Strategy Analytics

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National Apprenticeship Week

March 4th, 2014 at 08:45 by Martyn Hudson

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and Plusnet is celebrating having recently created 31 apprenticeship roles within the customer service division.

The awareness week, is coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and designed to celebrate Apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

The objectives of National Apprenticeship Week 2014 are to:

  • Increase awareness, understanding and demand for Apprenticeships
  • Celebrate Apprenticeship talent, skills, achievements and successes
  • Promote all Apprenticeship levels and progression routes, including Traineeships

The apprenticeship roles at Plusnet are within the customer service division.  The roles exist within business sales, billing and technical services across both Sheffield and Leeds sites.

The recruits, aged 18-26, are not only gaining on-the-job training but are studying for a variety of qualifications including Information Computing Technology (ICT), Personal Finances Services, NVQ and BTech qualifications.

Andrea Kilgour said:

“This is really exciting and reflects our commitment to supporting talent in this region.  The decision to embark on an apprenticeship scheme is to secure highly skilled employees for the future and as a telecoms company, gain valuable insight from a generation who has never lived without the Internet and is on the pulse of developments within this sector.”

Now hear from some of the apprentices themselves…

Nemo Carlisle, aged 25 from Harrogate, joined Plusnet’s Leeds office, on an apprenticeship scheme, in January this year and works as a Technical Advisor.  In his role, he is studying towards a NVQ Level 3 & BTEC Level 3 in Customer Service and Functional Skills Level 2 in Information technology.

Nemo says,

“I wanted the opportunity to study towards a qualification and earn at the same time. Plusnet appealed to me as fresh, dynamic company on the up-and-up.

“I want to get as far as I can go and the opportunity to achieve a decent qualification within this company feels like a good start.”

Katie Crumpton, aged 20 from Rothwell in Leeds joined Plusnet in January this year. Katie works as a Technical Support Advisor and is studying for an Advance Apprenticeship in Customer Service level 3 which includes the following qualifications: NVQ level 3, BTEC Level 3, and Functional Skills level 2 in IT.

Katie said,

“I wanted to be able start from the bottom and learn everything about the company and my role. On this scheme, I get a qualification at the end while establishing myself in the business by learning everything I can, and this is also an opportunity for me to grow as a person.

“In the future, I would like to specialise in a certain area of the business becoming a Team Leader or Manager.”

James Summers, aged 18 from Chesterfield joined Plusnet in October last year.  He works as a Billing Administrator and is studying towards and NVQ providing Financial Services Credit Management.

James said:

“After completing my A-Levels last summer, I decided at the time that university wasn’t for me and that I preferred to get some advanced work experience. I also liked the idea that I would be gaining further qualifications and earning at the same time.

“When the opportunity to join Plusnet came about, I jumped at the chance as I felt that being part of well respected and well known organisation would look good on my CV and give me great foundation to start with.

“I thought it would also give me some valuable experience as well as knowledge to take with me in my future life. With joining the billing department, I could learn more about customers payments, debt procedures and the stages that customers go through when they are in failed payment status.”

“Gaining an apprenticeship at Plusnet is great; it gives a good platform for me to build on, offers great opportunities in the business and is giving me valuable experience in the working world.”

Gareth Thompson, aged 23 from Barnsley, joined Plusnet on the apprenticeship scheme in November 2013.  He works as a Technical Support Advisor and is studying for a Advance Apprenticeship in Customer Service level 3.

Gareth said,

“I wanted a change of career and the benefits of this scheme at Plusnet are plenty; gaining qualifications at the same time as new job skills, the support from fellow workers, future career prospects within the company the free lunch every day too!

“I would like to find a management role at Plusnet in the future.”

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Plusnet win in Broadband Genie and PC Advisor Home Broadband Survey

February 17th, 2014 at 11:20 by Martyn Hudson

Broadband Genie Awards 2014

Plusnet is the winner of the 2014 Home Broadband Survey, an examination of the state of UK broadband carried out by comparison site BroadbandGenie.co.uk and technology magazine PCAdvisor.co.uk

Plusnet was declared the Best Broadband Provider, garnering the following poll results:77% of our customers said they were happy with our customer service, while a fantastic 81% would recommend us.

Plusnet was also voted Best Budget Provider by the judging panel.

Kelly Dorset, Head of Digital Care of Plusnet, said:

“If you’re a regular Community site user, you’ll be aware that our call wait times have not been great for the past few months, but we’ve been working hard to get them back to an acceptable level. It’s heartening to see that despite these problems, our customers still think we are providing good customer service.” 

Andy Baker, CEO of Plusnet, said:

“It’s fantastic to be voted both the Best Broadband Provider and Best Budget Provider for the second year running. We’ve invested heavily in our customer services division in recent months, including opening a new service centre in Leeds, strengthening our advisor training and delivering a new phone system and we plan to keep improving further.”

PC Advisor’s Matt Egan said:

“Comprising the views of more than 10,000 UK broadband consumers and a panel of industry experts, the PC Advisor and Broadband Genie Broadband Survey gives the most accurate picture yet of Broadband Britain in 2014.

“UK consumers are enjoying better value and performance than we’ve seen before as speeds increase and prices drop. We were pleased to see that satisfaction levels continue to rise, although there is clearly still work to be done.”

 Broadband Genie Editor Matt Powell commented:

“Our survey revealed some encouraging results, with many ISPs receiving high ratings for important areas such as customer service and technical support”

It’s been a great start to the year for Plusnet as we also scooped awards for ‘Best Value Home Broadband’ and ‘Best Customer Service’ at the uSwitch Broadband Awards back in January.

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