cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Technical support disaster

Highlighted
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,299
Thanks: 2,346
Fixes: 159
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Technical support disaster

If I can précis all these pages it simply comes down to a single simple fact. The Plusnet agent failed to grasp that the customer had a non standard router and unfortunately suggested a factory reset. This was wrong and Plusnet have apologised. Hopefully staff will be retrained on this issue.

Plusnet support staff can not be expected to be au fait with every third party router and be expected to recreate custom configurations of such devices. So once the damage was done then there was little that Plusnet could practicably do.

The fact that the customer does not know how to configure their third party router, which  had been set up by an expert who was not available is, in my option, unfortunate but not Plusnet’s fault.

Highlighted
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎31-07-2013

Re: Technical support disaster

That is most of the essence but not all of it.

Yes - the agent failed to grasp that the customer had a non-standard router - because they didn't ask. EVEN if the customer had a standard router, it could still have had a customised configuration - but they didn't ask e.g. what the Wifi name was. If you are certain that the customer had a standard-router that had not been customised, then resetting it might be a something tio try earlier - and maybe it would configure itself, but otherwise resetting to factory defaults should still be done only as a last resort.

Yes - the customer not having the expert available is unfortunate and not PlusNet's fault - BUT resetting the router without even making any attempt to be certain that you could recover it WAS PlusNet's fault. And if they had established that it was a non-standard and customised router, and established that it was not a problem with the line, they could have asked the customer if I was available to help her and stopped at that point.

But as I have explained before, if you ask the customer to reset their router, it is totally unacceptable to then go "oops" and abandon them. If you messed up, you need to be willing to do more than you might normally do to try to recover the situation. And there clearly was more that PlusNet could do, because I was able to do it.

If I was a mechanic and you asked me to sort out a car that wouldn't start, and I immediately decided that it was a broken battery, would you think it acceptable that I didn't bother to check the wiring or try to charge it first, but instead junked the old one only to find that I couldn't source a new one because the battery housing had been customised and my standard supplier didn't stock one that would fit - and then shrugged my shoulders, said "oops" and walked away? No? So why is this any different?

PlusNet screwed up and walked away. That is the bottom line.

Highlighted
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,299
Thanks: 2,346
Fixes: 159
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Technical support disaster

You could always try out your battery analogy by ringing say Halfords and asking if they have a battery for a Ford Fiesta. If your premise is correct then they will ask if the car has a non standard battery tray.

Highlighted
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎31-07-2013

Re: Technical support disaster

Yes - I agree, but not in the way you think.

Your apply your Halford analogy to the situation, it would be the equivalent of PlusNet realising that they had made a mistake and reaching out to an IT specialist local to the customer to go out and fix the router for them. (You have mixed up the customer / supplier roles in your response.) So yes - that would be a good response from PlusNet to the mess they have created.

 

🙂

Highlighted
Champion
Posts: 2,187
Thanks: 462
Fixes: 22
Registered: ‎06-01-2017

Re: Technical support disaster

I am investigating the situation that has occurred, this includes listening to calls that have happened with our Technical Support Team to determine who to pass the relevant feedback on to.

Glad to hear it @Warwick

unfortunately our Technical Support Team are not able to guarantee support with 3rd party settings.

And one hopes this is within the content of the recordings. Clearly I'll never know, but the friend should be able to find this out.

Support person could have asked, and customer would have told her that a friend set it up

Again, not defending 'Technical Support', but could and should are different things. This may or may not be on the recording(s), I simply don't know.

But he didn't ask whether it was a router model he could support

He might have checked the screen and saw the last router sent was one of theirs. He may not have known it was a 3rd party router. If he knew, then clearly he was wrong to proceed. The recording can't lie;)

if he had asked what the wifi name was he would immediately have known it was not a default SSID

He may have seen it was the standard issued router, he could also have wrongly assumed....? IDK. He may not have found out about the H6 until after he advised on the reset?

he requested a factory reset without having made any attempt whatsoever to understand the consequences and whether he could fix it

Chances are this is on the script they use? IDK. I've never known a plusnet agent support a 3rd party router. BT on the other hand have ruined many of mine and my friends connections and one of my personal computers!!

This is not my fault or the customers - it is wholly the fault of the support technician.

It could well be the techs fault. I guess the order on which things happened will give an answer to all of this

I had a backup on my computer on a drive used only for backups (and so it wasn't backed up elsewhere)

Good, like your thinking;)

but I lost the hard drive a couple of weeks ago and so lost the backup

Oh, that's a shame:(

Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned there - but it is not simply to take a backup, because I had done that.

Yep, copy for you, copy for your 'customer'. I have each file, coded, so only I know who's router it is;)

Plusnet would have known this if they had asked the customer - but they didn't

Quite possibly churn rate. Take a call, fix (or not in this case), end call, take next call. They may have targets to meet? He may have assumed, prior to the reset, it was a standard router with the standard setup, not ageist here, but could have thought your friend, being old, was not likely to have the technical know-how to adjust the default settings. This should be answered in the recordings I would expect.

perhaps I should have been an authorised person on the account

I would get this set up, then you can tell the tech support exactly what router it is and what changes have been made. But you could hit one hurdle, they are not supposed to assist with 3rd party routers. Only there own. It's not uncommon for us to have a greater knowledge when compared to support peeps.

they never called me because being an authorised person is not the same as being the customers technical person

Nope, as you pointed out, we call them. Ideally, though not always practical, I would be with the customer during the call, at their router.

I have, even though I'm not authorised, spoke to many tech supports people across multiple ISP's, having first got the main account holder to give permission. Most ISP's accommodate this request.

They could have asked if the customer had the router admin password so they could save the configuration.

As I suggested, tech support only need the users BB details to get online with a standard issue router. For the most part this is an automated process, unless you turn off TR069 within the account, whereby it'll revert to setup@plusdsl.net. We then have to manually connect.

I guess they could, but should they? The router admin password is printed on all the routers I've ever worked with. Again I've never known a tech support to ever ask a user to backup the routers config' before doing 'work'. I did suggest this but nothing came of it. Also, this would mean tech support would need training on 000's if not 0000's of devices. Can't see this ever happening with any ISP. I do still think this backup should be on the script though, possibly even suggested in the documentation supplied with the router.

A helpful technician might even have offered to add my name to the authorised person list.

Nope, the main account holder has to make the first move.

No - the onus is on the technical support technician to know what he is doing

They should only know about their products and services and their supplied routers. As I said, only had issues with BT technical support. I don't often call Plusnet either, as I 'do it' via these forums.

it is not the responsibility of the customer to volunteer the router model

I have to disagree, yes it is. Tech support would only know of the last router they sent to the customer. They cannot 'see' if the router has been changed, though some 'back office' guys can see it wouldn't be a plusnet issued router, but only when they try to 'talk' to it. If your friend made them aware before the reset, then the guy got this very very wrong.

How would a non-technical customer know that was needed? As I said before, let's not transfer the blame from the supplier where it belongs to the customer who is the innocent party.

I get that, but what if plusnet weren't aware it wasn't the last router they sent out? Which he only found out after the reset? The relevant questions should have been asked. If plusnet openly post on here that they messed up, then we'll know he was wrong, very wrong.

No - you missed the point. This is not "tinkering" on a non-Plusnet router. Connecting to Wifi requires no tinkering whatsoever with the router.

Let's agree in part. A standard issue router, left in default settings, does not need any 'tinkering'. But your friend has a 3rd party router, that you 'tinkered' with to get it set onto the plusnet network, you then 'tinkered' with the settings to change the defaults too, or did I misread this?

Equally this is nothing to do with what router model you have

I'm missing something here. They do not support 3rd party routers and it's down to the end user to use a 3rd party router. There's too many routers out there for anyone to be trained to use (and even remember all of those too). Knowing exactly what happened in the correct order will reveal all.

This is about how to help a non-technical customer get their laptop connected to wifi.

But, if you set it up, why did it go wrong? Plusnet didn't set up the 3rd party router. They are only trained in their own gear.

If it was a PlusNet supplied router, making the wifi connection for the customer would have been exactly the same instructions.

But if you changed the settings, which you did, then it's not. It was not in it's default configuration.

If it is a non-default SSID AND they don't know the password AND there is no WPS button, then PlusNet could not have helped.

Exactly, it was not default. There is a WPS button on most routers, although I always turn it off (none of my routers, from any ISP are left in their default settings, so I'm responsible for any issues I create). Getting me to reset to defaults would revert it to the standard SSID, standard password, standard WPS functionality. It would, if it was an ISP supplied router, then reconnect to their network in it's factory configured settings. But again, if the call recording proves the tech guy got it wrong, then plusnet should 'fess up'. With a suitable apology for the stress and hassle.

But when it is a default SSID and the password is generally printed on the back of the router AND there is a WPS button, there really is no excuse for not being able to help them connect if that is all they were contacting PlusNet about, but when you have just reset their router to factory defaults and they can never connect again until someone goes into the router with their PlusNet username and password, then you really need to make the effort and not just walk away.

I've covered some of that above, but it wasn't a plusnet supplied router. It is a 3rd party router, which is normally beyond a non technical persons ability. I guess the tech support should have told your friend to put the standard router on the network instead, rather than leaving them with all this hassle?

Can we please stop trying to make excuses for the inexcusable.

I'm not excusing what may or may not have happened. If the guy got it wrong then plusnet should make amends.

But AFAIK the technician didn't know what make of router it was

And here's where this all could have been avoided. If he didn't know, prior to the reset, how was he to know what the consequences would be? If the recording shows he was told (he would have no reason to ask if the user was not using a plusnet supplied router) that it was a BTH6, he should have stopped at that point.

reset router, made other changes to help. using BT router. advised to switch off, will call back in 30 mins.

Well, there we go then:). It looks like he knew and he was wrong, but what I don't know was whether this was said to him at the beginning before the reset, or after the reset. If he didn't know before then is does sound like human error, if he knew at the beginning then he was indeed very much in the wrong.

He literally closed the ticket and walked away.

He was wrong to do that too!

 

As I said, I'm not defending anyone. Plusnet should not have done what they did if all the facts were made available before the reset was tried. He should not have 'messed' with the BT router. He should not have left your friend without calling him/her back.

I'm starting to see more reasons for quitting this ISP, some of these posts are rather worrying.

 

Anyway, I'll leave this here and really hope Plusnet restore confidence back to your friend.

(I agree with you, this should not have happened)

Highlighted
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎31-07-2013

Re: Technical support disaster

 

unfortunately our Technical Support Team are not able to guarantee support with 3rd party settings.

I agree with this - of course they cannot support 3rd party products.

But he should not have assumed before doing something drastic like resetting the router to factory defaults

| he requested a factory reset without having made any attempt whatsoever to understand the consequences and whether he could fix it

Chances are this is on the script they use? IDK. I've never known a plusnet agent support a 3rd party router. BT on the other hand have ruined many of mine and my friends connections and one of my personal computers!!

If it was a standard script then that is FAR worse than a single incompetent technician - because it means that you provide all technicians with incompetent scripts and expect all technicians to be incompetent and follow the scripts blindly.

| This is not my fault or the customers - it is wholly the fault of the support technician.

It could well be the techs fault. I guess the order on which things happened will give an answer to all of this

It cannot be anyone else's fault but PlusNets. You cannot blame a customer for being non-technical and not knowing that they had to tell the technician something.

| Plusnet would have known this if they had asked the customer - but they didn't

Quite possibly churn rate. Take a call, fix (or not in this case), end call, take next call. They may have targets to meet? He may have assumed, prior to the reset, it was a standard router with the standard setup, not ageist here, but could have thought your friend, being old, was not likely to have the technical know-how to adjust the default settings. This should be answered in the recordings I would expect.

If he had asked, and then performed a factory reset knowing the router was non-standard that would actually be worse than simply assuming it was, wouldn't it?

| They could have asked if the customer had the router admin password so they could save the configuration.

I guess they could, but should they?

Not in normal circumstances, but if they are thinking of doing a factory reset then they should try to understand what options were available that might avoid something as drastic as this.

| No - the onus is on the technical support technician to know what he is doing

They should only know about their products and services and their supplied routers. As I said, only had issues with BT technical support. I don't often call Plusnet either, as I 'do it' via these forums.

I did not say that the technician should know about 3rd party products, I said he should know what he was doing - and someone who resets a router to factory defaults without knowing they can set it up again clearly doesn't know what he is doing. The point is not that he should have known about all 3rd party products, but that he should have known NOT to reset a 3rd party product to factory defaults.

| it is not the responsibility of the customer to volunteer the router model

I have to disagree, yes it is. Tech support would only know of the last router they sent to the customer. They cannot 'see' if the router has been changed, though some 'back office' guys can see it wouldn't be a plusnet issued router, but only when they try to 'talk' to it. If your friend made them aware before the reset, then the guy got this very very wrong.

You cannot expect a non-technical user to know what they have to volunteer - the onus is on the technician to ask. When they ask, the onus is then on the user to be honest and tell them what router it is. If they lie and say it is a Plusnet router when it is a BT Smarthub, then they have only themselves to blame. But if the technician doesn't ask, or they ask and still go ahead with resetting a 3rd party product, it cannot be the customers fault.

| How would a non-technical customer know that was needed? As I said before, let's not transfer the blame from the supplier where it belongs to the customer who is the innocent party.

I get that, but what if plusnet weren't aware it wasn't the last router they sent out? Which he only found out after the reset? The relevant questions should have been asked.

Exactly.

 

| No - you missed the point. This is not "tinkering" on a non-Plusnet router. Connecting to Wifi requires no tinkering whatsoever with the router.

Let's agree in part. A standard issue router, left in default settings, does not need any 'tinkering'. But your friend has a 3rd party router, that you 'tinkered' with to get it set onto the plusnet network, you then 'tinkered' with the settings to change the defaults too, or did I misread this?

Equally this is nothing to do with what router model you have

I'm missing something here. They do not support 3rd party routers and it's down to the end user to use a 3rd party router. There's too many routers out there for anyone to be trained to use (and even remember all of those too). Knowing exactly what happened in the correct order will reveal all.

Yes - you misread this. The router had been configured, but once the technician had reset it to factory defaults then (by definition) it had no longer been "tinkered with". At that point there was no excuse why he could not have got my friend connected to wifi. Either he didn't even try (which is appalling) or he tried but didn't know how to achieve it (equally appalling).

 

Equally this is nothing to do with what router model you have

I'm missing something here. They do not support 3rd party routers and it's down to the end user to use a 3rd party router. There's too many routers out there for anyone to be trained to use (and even remember all of those too). Knowing exactly what happened in the correct order will reveal all.

Exactly. They don't support 3rd party routers, so they shouldn't be resetting them to factory defaults. Once they did something that stupid, then they needed to make an exception and do their best to fix the mess they had created.

But, if you set it up, why did it go wrong? Plusnet didn't set up the 3rd party router. They are only trained in their own gear.

It went wrong because there was some sort of glitch. No one had made changes to the router since it was set up. There was no damage to wiring in the house. Nothing had changed at the customer's end. If I was on site I might be able to look at the details and see - especially if the router logs were still in tact - but of course it was reset to factory defaults, so the logs will have been deleted.

Perhaps if he had power cycled the router after having checked the line with OpenReach it might have come straight back up. But he didn't - he reset to factory defaults, told her to turn it off for 15 minutes, saying it would all work when she powered it back on, and then rang off and closed the ticket. That was never going to work - the router was unconfigured and was not going to configure itself. her laptop and printer were not connected on Wifi either. Technician didn't bother to check it was working.

| If it was a PlusNet supplied router, making the wifi connection for the customer would have been exactly the same instructions.

But if you changed the settings, which you did, then it's not. It was not in it's default configuration.

Which bit about factory reset don't you understand?

 

If it is a non-default SSID AND they don't know the password AND there is no WPS button, then PlusNet could not have helped.

Exactly, it was not default. There is a WPS button on most routers, although I always turn it off (none of my routers, from any ISP are left in their default settings, so I'm responsible for any issues I create). Getting me to reset to defaults would revert it to the standard SSID, standard password, standard WPS functionality. It would, if it was an ISP supplied router, then reconnect to their network in it's factory configured settings. But again,if the call recording proves the tech guy got it wrong, then plusnet should 'fess up'. With a suitable apology for the stress and hassle.

No - after factory reset it WAS default. And as I said, either he didn't try to get her wifi reconnected, or was incapable of doing it with a router whose wifi SSID and password were printed on the back of the router.

| Can we please stop trying to make excuses for the inexcusable.

I'm not excusing what may or may not have happened.If the guy got it wrong then plusnet should make amends.

Which bit of resetting a router you cannot support to factory defaults and then walking away and closing the ticket with router unconfigured and laptop and printer disconnected from wifi could possibly be interpreted as NOT being in the wrong?

But AFAIK the technician didn't know what make of router it was

And here's where this all could have been avoided. If he didn't know, prior to the reset, how was he to know what the consequences would be? If the recording shows he was told (he would have no reason to ask if the user was not using a plusnet supplied router) that it was a BTH6,he should have stopped at that point.

It is HIS job as the expert to know what he is doing and what the consequences are. It cannot be the job of a non-technical customer. Period! He either didn't ask (which was stupid) or he asked and went ahead anyway (which was even more stupid). Except for if the customer lied about the router model (which I am 99.999999999999999% sure she would never have done), just exactly how could it NOT be the technicians fault?

| reset router, made other changes to help. using BT router. advised to switch off, will call back in 30 mins.

Well, there we go thenSmiley. It looks like he knew and he was wrong, but what I don't know was whether this was said to him at the beginning before the reset, or after the reset. If he didn't know before then is does sound like human error,if he knew at the beginning then he was indeed very much in the wrong.

Yes - hadn't joined that one up. See above for reasons why technician is in the wrong on all possibilities.

| He literally closed the ticket and walked away.

He was wrong to do that too!

As I said, I'm not defending anyone.

Aren't you? As far as I can see there are no possible circumstances (assuming we rule out the customer lying) under which the technician could possibly have a defence. They shouldn't have reset a router without being sure they could support it. When they had reset the router they should have moved heaven and earth to get the customer's broadband working again. Under no circumstances should they have walked away and marked the ticket closed.

Plusnet should not have done what they did if all the facts were made available before the reset was tried. He should not have 'messed' with the BT router. He should not have left your friend without calling him/her back.

The facts were all available as far as I know - my friend would have answered all questions put to her as honestly and as capably as she knew how. She could easily have provided the router model (as we have shown she did at some point) - she is certainly capable of providing the wifi "name" i.e. SSID to demonstrate that the router had been configured away from defaults. The technician only needed to ask the right questions of a non-technical customer to find this stuff out.

I'm starting to see more reasons for quitting this ISP, some of these posts are rather worrying.

Actually, I don't think that this post is ANY justification for either you or I moving away from PlusNet - I am only no longer a plusnet customer because I no longer own property in the UK, not because I have had bad service. PlusNet service has always been excellent - but I know enough to keep it on the straight and narrow and not do anything stupid (not that I haven't done my own share of stupid stuff to my own equipment over the years) and if they did get me to do something stupid like reset the router I am capable of sorting it out. So why should technically competent people like us worry? They are very capable of e.g. getting the line fixed - and that is exactly what we need when things go wrong because we can fix stuff on our own equipment.

It is customers like my friend who are non-technical but who have asked a friend like me to tweak their router so e.g. they have a nice SSID name who need to worry.

--------------------

As an aside, the other bad experience was for the person who bought my house. The plan was that she would become a PlusNet customer so that we could simply to pass over the broadband connection and phone line. She phoned PlusNet up and was told that this was not possible and she should sign up with a different ISP altogether. She decided to go with BT who then mis-sold her fibre broadband (when we were too far from the green box and she would get marginally slower speeds than ADSL) and sold her 4G backup when there was no 4G signal. She ended up paying 4x the price we had for the same OpenReach ADSL service.

Another bad BT experience - I decided to switch phone line from BT to PlusNet because it was a bit cheaper. I might well have gone back to BT at a later date. But they tried to persuade me to cancel my PlusNet contract by falsely claiming that I was still in contract and would have to pay cancellation fees. That was a major breach of trust - so now I will NEVER be a BT customer again in a million years. Own goal.

Highlighted
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎31-07-2013

Re: Technical support disaster

Support screwed up by resetting the router to factory defaults on Thursday. Today is Tuesday and so far the customer has not had any contact from PlusNet to discuss the ongoing lack of connectivity to her printer or to offer an apology.

So far, the only lesson that can be drawn from this is that PlusNet support is OK providing you are technical enough yourself to know when to stop them doing something stupid or to fix it afterwards, but if you are a non-technical user you should choose a different ISP.

Highlighted
Hero
Posts: 4,827
Thanks: 1,614
Fixes: 48
Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: Technical support disaster

With respect, @protopia , unless you go with an expensive ISP, you are likely to hit similar, if not worse, problems. Although I agree the initial errors were somewhat inexcusable.

No ISP is going to be able to solve the problem of connectivity to other hardware. Mind reminding me what the problem is, or do I have to go hunting?

John
Highlighted
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎31-07-2013

Re: Technical support disaster

At this point the only real issue is a lack of network printing.

 

But PlusNet should at least apologise for screwing up.

Highlighted
Hero
Posts: 4,827
Thanks: 1,614
Fixes: 48
Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: Technical support disaster

OK, but it should be fairly easy to reconnect the printer to the router - what make/model of printer?

 

John
Highlighted
Champion
Posts: 2,187
Thanks: 462
Fixes: 22
Registered: ‎06-01-2017

Re: Technical support disaster

Mind reminding me what the problem is, or do I have to go hunting?

@jab1 The OP set up a BT Smart Hub 6 on their friends connection. Obviously the BB username and account password needs inputting to get a connection on a PN connection/account.

The OP also made several changes to the default set up

Wifi SSID and password, broadband userid and password, wifi channels, firewall configuration

The PN support technician, at some point during a call, asked the friend to carry out a factory reset, thus restoring the BT routers default configuration and clearly locked their non technical friend off the PN network.

The OP was able to assist their friend into getting back online. For reasons now unknown, the printer now does not connect to the router.

Warwick is or has listened to the call recordings to establish the events documented in this thread.

Only the OP and their friend may ever find out what happened and how Plusnet will compensate the friend for the hassle.

(HTH and I have nothing more to offer)

 

Highlighted
Hero
Posts: 4,827
Thanks: 1,614
Fixes: 48
Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: Technical support disaster

@DS Thanks for that concise precis - but if, as the OP says, the only real problem is now getting the printer back on the wireless network, maybe it is just a case of getting it to 'forget' any old data, and reconnecting with new.

I have literally just done that with my MG3250 - took all of 5 minutes - after swapping routers as mentioned in my long thread on the ADSL Broadband board.

John
Highlighted
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎31-07-2013

Re: Technical support disaster

It is possible that I was simply failing to follow the simple instructions in the Printer Setup Manual correctly, but when I set it all up for her I had the devil's own job to connect her printer to the Wifi SSID / Password even with a WPS button. WPS didn't work and the alternative involved a mobile phone app which pretended to be a Wifi AP with a known SSID / password and which then set up the real SSID and password when the printer connected to it. I am pretty technical and have set up all sorts of different kit in my time (in the past I was at both Novell and Microsoft certified levels of knowledge), but I really struggled with this until finally it somehow clicked on the 3rd or 4th attempt.

I can probably try to get the PlusNet customer to try to get her printer to reconnect - and knowing my/her luck it will work first time. 😄

 

----------------------------------------

My point, however, is that PlusNet's approach involved screwing up and then simply walking away, at least two technicians who hadn't got a clue what they were doing, and a management team who haven't the first idea on how to make it up to a customer they provided the worst possible support service to.

Highlighted
Hero
Posts: 4,827
Thanks: 1,614
Fixes: 48
Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: Technical support disaster

@protopia  - what was the problem printer? I've had no problems with Canon, Kodak and HP machines.

John
Highlighted
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎31-07-2013

Re: Technical support disaster

It's a Canon something or other. Combined printer and scanner. MG3050 maybe (from memory).