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Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

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Flummoxed
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Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

The title basically says it all.

I am pulling my hair out now, as this seems to be going round in circles.

My connection speed seemed to be getting slower and sometimes dropping out completely, so I contacted Plusnet about this and they eventually 'escalated' the issue on 6th August. Over the next few weeks, they reset the SNR a number of times, but the slow speeds and disconnects kept returning. Eventually, an Engineer visited on 11th September, but he couldn't find any significant problems. He replaced the NTE with the latest version and sent a request to change the SNR again. Within a few days, the disconnects started again and on 15th October the SNR was back up to 26.5. The person I spoke to at Plusnet agreed that there must be as issue with the line between the exchange and my property and he arranged for an Engineer to attend on 18th October. The Engineer who showed up knew nothing about the history of the fault and started doing 'fast tests' from the internal socket again. He said the loop loss was slightly high and when I asked what that meant, he replied he had no idea and he had only done a 30 minute course to become an Engineer! We are still getting the intermittent disconnects and slow speeds (often less that 0.1Mb/s). On 24th October, the ticket was placed on hold for 48 hours for tests to be done and someone was supposed to get back to me - as usual, nobody got back in touch. I have since sent messages about the continuing disconnects, but cannot get a response. We had disconnects and slow speeds yesterday and today. At the moment, we are connected, but generally at a speed of 2Mb/s or less.

Surely this is a ridiculous situation - or is it normal for Plusnet?

 

 

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Flummoxed
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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

I had a message later on today from Plusnet, claiming that someone had tried calling me today (no calls came to my mobile or landline), so I called Plusnet back and after about 20 minutes got through to a human, who acknowledged the numerous disconnections that had occurred over the last couple of days.

They are (yet again) sending an Engineer to investigate the fault. I did point out that this is going over the same ground again and surely they must now understand the fault is not within the premises, but he insisted that they could only escalate the problem to the attention of a 'senior Engineer' after three visits by 'standard Engineers'. What a stupid waste of everybody's time!

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

Thanks for getting in touch @Flummoxed I'm sorry to see you're experiencing connection problems despite having had multiple engineers out. Unfortunately as your connection is still intermittent, there aren't any other steps we'd be able to take to physically investigate this other than pass this to our suppliers to arrange an engineer.

While I appreciate the fault may not be within your property I'm afraid that if line tests don't show an external cause, the only way we can progress a fault with our suppliers is by arranging an engineer visit. In addition, engineers would generally need access to assist in diagnosing where along the line the fault lies by testing from the master socket.

I've emailed our suppliers escalation team to try to escalate this before the 3rd visit however due to how close we are to when the appointment is booked, there may be insufficient time for them to escalate this with the engineers on the ground.

Can you let us know how the appointment goes?

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 Anoush Mortazavi
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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

Thank you for explaining that and for trying to escalate it Gandalf.

I will certainly post an update after the appointment.

On a positive note, I do find it reassuring that Plusnet customers can actually speak to people in the faults team, who seem to have a general understanding of what is going on. It's just a pity the system doesn't allow for a logical, streamlined approach to problem solving.

 

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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

Thanks for getting back to me @Flummoxed 

Incidentally I received an email back from our suppliers escalation team around 10 minutes ago advising that they've emailed the field operations manager to assign a multi-skilled engineer to the job tomorrow.

Fingers crossed it goes well!

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 Anoush Mortazavi
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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

That's great news and a step in the right direction, thanks.

Flummoxed
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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

An update:

A multi skilled engineer came yesterday and checked the external lines. Everything was working fine at the time, so he couldn't detect any specific faults, but he got the SNR set back to about 9 again and then checked the cable from the drop down at our house back to the cabinet. After getting a stable signal while shaking and wiggling the cable, he was convinced there was no problem there. He suspected the problem was more likely to be in the cable from the exchange to the cabinet, which is a much longer run of about 3km, so he switched the existing pair of wires feeding our house to another pair in that run of cable.

As I understand it, this means that if the fault was in the original pair wires, the problem should be fixed. He said he was getting about 7Mb outside the property and 6.3 inside, which seemed fine. I did a few speed tests from a PC connected to the router through an ethernet cable and was getting around 5.3, which is what we normally get on a good day and he thought that seemed about right. However, as I kept repeating the test, the speed started slowing and over the course of about 3 minutes it dropped to about 2Mb!

So I don't really understand this, but he said the router may well be the cause. We had to replace a faulty Plusnet router about a year ago, because it kept dropping out, but the symptoms were different and the old router used to throw up a red light when it stopped working. The new one is the same model, but it never throws up a red light.

Anyway, he said he would post his report by 6pm yesterday and I should hear back from Plusnet imminently. 24 hours have passed and I am pleased to report no further outages, but am still waiting to hear back.

 

 

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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

Thanks for the detailed update @Flummoxed 

Unfortunately the engineer notes don't mention anything apart from no fault was found. I've tested your line and we're seeing your router getting a line speed of 6.1mbps since 4pm yesterday afternoon with no drops in the connection.

Fingers crossed the investigation the engineer carried out and the E-Side (Exchange to Cabinet) pair they've changed helps improves things, although if your download speeds are already dropping, that's not a good sign. 

Were those tests carried out over WiFi or on a wired connection and did you have anything running in the background? 

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 Anoush Mortazavi
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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?


@Gandalf wrote:

Were those tests carried out over WiFi or on a wired connection and did you have anything running in the background? 


 

From  post #7  I did a few speed tests from a PC connected to the router through an ethernet cable and was getting around 5.3, which is what we normally get on a good day and he thought that seemed about right.

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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

Thanks @MauriceC Looks like I missed that...

It's probably worth knowing if anything was running in the background still

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 Anoush Mortazavi
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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

When he tested with his equipment, he said the line was fine, but when I showed him speed tests on my computer, the speed started dropping and went down from 5.3 to about 2Mb. The computer is wired via ethernet cable directly to the router and the router is plugged directly into the master socket. No other equipment was in use in the house at the time. The PC I use has always been wired this way and all my speed tests have been done like this, however, historically when I have done these tests, it is certainly possible that my kids were using their phones etc via wifi.

Over the last couple of hours, the speed has been mostly around 5.3, but has frequently again been dropping to as low as 2. About an hour ago, the connection dropped completely again, although it came back after a minute or two. About 15 minutes ago I got a reading of 3.03, but at the moment it is above 4.

It doesn't seem like his swapping the pairs has changed anything. Does this mean that he may be correct about the router itself being faulty? I don't understand why nobody has mentioned this as a possibility before, but surely this needs to be verified before wasting more of everyone's time?

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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

I have just done 10 tests over the last few minutes, having made sure that all other equipment that can connect to the router is turned off and the average download speed was 4.8, with the minimum and maximums between 4.6 and 5.0.

The engineer yesterday said that the line would generally have a stable connection speed and that variations were not a characteristic of a faulty line. So is there a plausible explanation of why the line is now showing variable speeds, which seem to have generally dropped by .5 over the last 24 hours?

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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

Thanks for the clarification @Flummoxed 

It’s normal for you to get a slightly different result on a speed test each time you run it. It’s very rare you’d get the same result as there are many factors when it comes to testing your speed. 

Although if it’s dropping significantly down to 3 or 4 there may be a problem still. Apart from running tests, are you experiencing any performance issues with your line since the engineer visit?

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 Anoush Mortazavi
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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

Well, after doing regular tests since the engineer's visit, it seems the speeds are gradually reducing again. Yesterday, we seemed to average out around 4.3, but it is very hit and miss and at the moment we are struggling to get 4Mb. It seems to me that our line speed has been reducing by about .3Mb/day.

On Wednesday, I asked the Plusnet support team whether this could be a router problem, but they have still not replied.

Gandalf, I hate to say this, but we seem to be going over the same ground yet again and I am really fed up with being repeatedly ignored. please can you help?

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Re: Line fault still not fixed after 3 months - is this normal for Plusnet?

Another day has passed......and it's dropped again. We have been consistently getting below 3Mb for at least the last hour. The average seems to be about 2.8 now. A few weeks ago, we were regularly getting 6.5, so there is clearly something wrong. Sometimes the connection is so slow that I get a timed out message before a web page can load.

 

This has become farcicle, but I don't see the funny side. Still no reply from Plusnet and I am pulling my hair out, after trying to get this resolved since the summer! All I want is a stable, usable internet connection - not much to ask. At the moment, we get better download speeds using 4g on our phones! I am paying Plusnet for something that hasn't been working properly for months and they still don't seem bothered about fixing it. The engineer suggested it could be a router problem, but they continue to ignore this. Surely, that is a simple thing to check if it is indeed a possible cause? What on earth is the faults team there for if they don't try to fix faults?