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Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service


Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

I'm on Broadband Premier (£21.99) and have not 'opted in' to MaxDSL, although I may well have done had I been told that I needed to (I've only found this out in my research of my current problem - no e-mail was sent to me about it.)

Yesterday morning I awoke to find I was no longer online.

I assumed at first that the fault lay with my router, which had been giving irritating regular disconnects since I bought it in February, but was the best of an appalling bunch of all-in-one modem/router/wi-fi boxes (a Belkin ADSL2+-compatible one whose model number escapes me at time of writing), so I finally took it back for a replacement, as I should have done to start with really.

Anyway, only when I set up the replacement (identical model) did I find that I still couldn't get online, and I also noticed that my router was now synchronising at around 3000 downstream/500 upstream, rather than the 1000 ds/250 us I had been getting the previous day. Quite why this would be when I had not requested MaxDSL which is now supposed to be an opt-in service, and had also not received any communication from PlusNet indicating that I would be upgraded, I don't know.

I called up PlusNet's support line immediately, remembering how good they had always been in the past at helping me out and getting me back online ASAP. The one mass communication I *had* received from PN lately was about their changes to customer service, but I remembered that it said that you could still use the old line in the same way for urgent support issues like this. But my goodness I was in for a disappointment!

First I chose the broadband option, then was given the choice to hear the latest about MaxDSL issues, or proceed to report a fault. I chose to hear the latest about MaxDSL issues (who wouldn't?) and was promptly told "there are no current issues" and cut off immediately!

I rang back and this time progressed to report a fault, but this was where it got really ridiculous. The message reeled off a list of seven things I would need to have ready to tell PN when reporting the fault. I listened to the list and thought, yes, I can tell them all those, that'll be fine. I was then given the option to press 9 to hear the list again, or 1 to leave a message. I assumed I was on hold waiting for a person to answer my call, whereupon I could then tell him/her all those seven things and find out what was up.

The list repeated itself a second time without my intervention, and I started to get suspicious that actually I was supposed to leave a message and would not be getting put through to someone, even though the message did not make this at all clear. I therefore resolved to note down all seven items and then press 1 to leave a message with them all in, reluctantly.

The list started for a third time and I noted the items down - until halfway through I got hung up on! Presumably I was supposed to have logged my message by then, although again there was no indication of this whatsoever! I rang back for a third time and finished noting down the list, then left a message. They didn't ask for my PN username, which seemed very odd, so I gave it anyway.

After five hours waiting for them to call back I became sufficiently frustrated to dig out and set up my old 56k modem and dial up to see how my ticket was progressing. I logged into the portal and found no sign of any ticket at all! So not only had they failed to call me back but they hadn't even logged my message yet at all!

I therefore went through their automated fault logging wizard - all at dial-up rates of course, with them creaming off a fraction of my 0845 call charge - which was at least reasonably logical and well set up, but putting all your efforts into an online system to report problems preventing you from getting online seems ludicrous! The PN difference used to be a helpful, reliable support telephone line in circumstances like this, and it now seems that this has been replaced by an abysmal mess of an unmanned line, with little to no human infrastructure following up the calls.

Upon coming onto this forum (I'm at work now, so that's someone else's money now going down the drain after my dial-up costs thanks to PN) I find countless tales of people being offline for 5 days and up without any returned calls or tickets from PN. Is this the level of service I can expect to 'enjoy' in the coming days/weeks? If so, believe me, the search for a new ISP starts now. I know the problem is as likely to be caused by BT as it is PN, but the least I expect from an ISP is that someone will answer my call and tell me what's wrong when I cannot get online.

Getting back to the problem, does anyone know what's up with my connection?

Re: Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer ser

"Yesterday morning I awoke to find I was no longer online"

Just to say, unfortunately you're definitely not alone. We have only had 9 days of broadband in the last month and a half and are suffering the same problems with customer service and having to dial-up to get online only to find that no-one responds to your questions raised with anything like efficiency. Having got so fed up with the on-line support, went for broke and spent an hour on the phone on hold waiting to talk to a PlusNet customer services manager, who could not help in the slightest - kept being told "your fault is currently with our supplier". These problems only seem to have arisen since PlusNet sent the e-mail telling us we'd been moved to their "alternative supplier" (no prior notice or option not to be moved from BT), although they claim to have sent one, I see plenty of others on the forum didn't receive one either. Have since discovered that said "alternative supplier" is Tiscali, and had we known, we'd have definitely opted to stay with BT (if we'd been given a choice) as have heard plenty of bad press for Tiscali's service from friends and colleagues. When I requested my money back for June's line rental, having only had a service for 1% of time in June, I was told that it wasn't a guaranteed service and that we were paying for the "possibility of broadband".
Having then tried to cancel them as our ISP online, have been told can't cancel service until we've paid their setup costs, but although you can find the debt in your account online, there's mysteriously no means of paying it, short of ringing them up and waiting for another hour to get through to one of their customer service muppets.

Have now complained in writing to customer service manager (no response) so have logged a complaint to Watchdog - would encourage others to do the same, perhaps a public TV shaming might urge PlusNet into action and actually providing what we're all paying them for (a) a broadband service that works for more than 1% of the time (b) customer service that works when the broadband doesn't!

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

Aha! No sooner did you reply than I received the following e-mail:

Unfortunately what no-one seems to have noticed is that I have been moved to your 'alternative provider', without ever having asked to be! I just received the following e-mail, at 14.47 today:

Dear Paul Speller,

As part of our commitment to providing the best value broadband experience, we have now successfully moved your broadband service to our alternative broadband network.

You should see no change in your service and you don't need to change any settings or your hardware, your broadband will simply continue to work as normal.

Thank you for your continued custom.

Kind regards,

PlusNet Customer Support

Like you, I had received no advance notification of this and would have turned it down if I had! This is extraordinary. How can they allow this to happen?!


Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

I have had the same problem.

They upgraded the line. Then sent me an email about 1 day later to opt in or out of the DSLMax upgrades.

My line dropped from a flawless 2mbit line. So a line syncing at 5.5 - 6.5mbit with a max speed limit of 1mbit !!!. I raised a ticket about that. I could not make any sense what so ever about the information that plusnet sent to me about that limit and why it suddenly existed. So i did more digging and a usefull site from google told me about the virtual connections. eg You will be limited to the lowest speed you have synced at in the last 3 days. They have about 3 pages somewhere saying this where it only needs a sentance or mayby 2.

So my line is actually working. Otherwise i would have cut the direct debit. Since in the past i have asked them to notify me prior to any changes in service in advance of them happening. I have had problems with plusnet changing there bandwidth managment systems without telling me in the past.

But the line is dropping sync around 20-30 times a day and is steadaly getting worse. I posted a ticket 2 days ago and i am still waiting for a response. They say that there support team is overrun in their service status pages somewhere. I personally think this is a pathetic excuse. If you are doing bulk upgrades of line around 60,000 you at least move in enough staff into an area to deal with these issues. Even if they are tempoary for a few weeks.

I have mentioned certain words to plusnet where i remember hvaing a rather rude and abrute response. "Cutomer releastions problem"

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

Sounds like there's a lot of this about. 4 years as a very satisfied customer, only used help a couple of times and found it superb.

line dropped off on wednesday last week, reported it, after a 30 minute wait on hold on thursday, still no response over a week later, now on dial up.

the current wheeze seems to be to refer the fault between different 'internal' fault departments, the lastest of which has had it since monday, and no updates have yet been posted.

i rang up late one night and managed to get through in just 20 minutes, to ask just how many departments i could be routed to, each with presumably a weeks delay, to be told by michael that he didn't know how many there were! and no, he didn't know when they would get round to looking at my fault.

but as I'm on dial up now, rather than unmetred broadband i'd better stop ranting and go to work.

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

How can this be when we have the word of
CS Agent with repeated assurances that emails are being sent to every customer BEFORE a change to LLU. We are assured that we will in fact receive two emails one when the exchange is scheduled for 'upgrade' to LLU and again before actual move, giving ample time to opt out or migrate.

Posted: 22 Jun 2006 12:46 pm

Notice should be given in time to move, or opt out should you wish. The opt-out facility is still available. I did update this forum saying that customers were now being emailed as expected.

We will be reviewing the list of possible exchanges and emailing any customers on exchanges which have recently been added.

CS Agent

I have repeatedly asked for confirmation, but as I have now concluded Plusnet only answer the easy posts.
Read my posts and CS assurances here:-


Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

Well this is unbelievable, that it is happening to so many of us. Perhaps the Watchdog route is the one to go down. I certainly didn't receive any notification of this move, which is hardly surprising when no-one at PN even seemed to be aware that I had been moved until I received the 'you have been moved' e-mail 36 hours after the move and told them myself! I've also been with PN for four years (under two accounts, originally pspeller, if anyone's checking my credentials!) and recommended countless others, so I have a lot of friendships at stake if they turn out to be this awful to everyone! I'm going to have to find an alternative ISP to recommend everyone moves to at this rate Sad

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

would this explain why for the last 48 hours my connection has been going up and down like a yoyo with the router reporting the DS being anything between 400k and 1800k...however for the last 16 hours ive been connected at 1856k/448k

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

Welcome to the new Plusnet service.

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

Welcome to the new Plusnet service.

If that is what they call a service i wonder what they call a minor or major service outage.
Posts: 48
Registered: 05-10-2007

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

Here is an extract from a PlusNet post.

- CSC Re-organisation
Although our restructure extends beyond staffing, the changes have started at the top. Our Customer Support Director has now left the business and a full restructure of the CSC is underway. As a result of this there may be other staff changes and potentially some redundancies; more details about the new structure will be available soon. Because we are still in the process of this re-organisation, we hope customers will appreciate that we can’t go into detail about changes that might impact our employees.

This will be completed within the next 30 - 45 days.

Now there is a good idea, Your staff are bogged down with customers problems so get rid of some support staff, so there are less people to deal with it :lol:

The old customer support was excellent so why change it?

"If it isn't broken, Then don't fix it"
Posts: 117
Registered: 03-08-2007

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

I Agree
Posts: 81
Registered: 25-07-2007

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

I too have had nothing but hassle for about two months because of dslmax which I did not ask for or infact need. After reading dozens of postings I asked for a regrade to 2mb so that I could return to the good old days when I had a stable connection. After waiting for a few DAYS I was told I could regrade at a cost of £14.99. Surely if you received unwanted goods in the post you can return them free of charge. If they insist in charging, I am angry enough to migrate at my earliest convenience which I would do with some regret as I have had a very good service up until this dsl max farce.
E L.

problems with disconnection and receiving e mails

I m fed up, been through fault chechers at least 20 times. Well attempted it cause of the disconnection problems. I posted questions , sometimes they got answered but never got sorted. Asked if the modem was the problem , they said try another , i havent got just goes on i havent got the patience to write everything down again. In the end the question i had been asking had expired without an i have to start all over again. Cry Wink Cry Evil Cry Evil Sad

Dead connection: unexpected MaxDSL? + awful customer service

Wow. Nice to know I'm not alone. Bit different to everyone else in that I asked for an upgrade to 2mB as I was paying 21.99 for 1mB when the rest of the world was paying less for higher speeds. Looking at the various forums there were obviously problems but they upgraded me anyway. Neat.

Up until last night I'd had 8 weeks of terrible connection problems but it's now stabilised only instead of 2mB I'm getting 350 - 450 kHuh Customer Support is non existent and I've given up waiting to talk to anyone having sat there on hold for an hour.

At least it's up and running though which is more than it has been but my patience is wearing very very thin.