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Terrible support for slow broadband problem

leicray
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 3
Registered: 19-02-2017

Terrible support for slow broadband problem

I have been suffering from slow broadband for nearly two months. I should be getting around 17 Mbps but it's currently around 10 to 12 Mbps and has been much worse during that period. This is the third time that I have experienced this sort of problem in the last year or so, but this current bout of slowness has taken longest in trying to reach a solution.

The biggest problem is that the support ticket is picked up by somebody different each time. Each person seems to believe that they know the solution, but they fail to read the entire support thread. I think that today is the fourth time in two months that I have been told that a line reset will magically provide a cure. It hasn't worked before, so why should it work now?

The other incredibly annoying thing is that most new attempts to sort the problem begin with an email from the support person which begins "I tried to call today but there was no answer." I have lost count of the number of times that I have said to call me only in the evening when I'm at home, and not at work. One one occasion I was told this same lame story even though I know that they did speak to my wife who happened to be at home at the time. 

 

What do I need to do to get support escalated to a Support Manager who can break the "Groundhog Day" experience that I'm having?

Threatening to take my business elsewhere has not worked yet, but it's not an idle threat.

Thanks.

48 REPLIES
zontania
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 11-04-2017

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

I empathise. I have been having lousy connection since February, and that is because the disconnections and failure of service have been long enough to notice that something beyond my control was happening. I had no joy from PlusNet, hence I am leaving after being their customer for over 7 years. I believe they have just gotten too big to care any more about the people who made them this big. Plus they have no clue how to sort problems out. All I hear is excuses and efforts to delay solution. I even moved to a more expensive package some time ago hoping that would fix the problems I was having in the past but it only made the speed worse. The most frustrating thing is that when the speed falls to near 0.1 mbps it is not even possible to conduct the BT wholesale speed tests that they swear on. The number of days I have spent 1 and 2 hours trying to sort things out! The number of times I waited on the queue for my call to be answered 45 minutes later listening to that annoying music and wanting to blow my brains! I hope you get somewhere. It sucks to be paying for something you are not receiving and for the company you trust to be hiding the fact that they have a serious problem providing the service they get paid for. Good luck!

SpendLessTime
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,375
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Registered: 21-09-2009

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

leicray
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 3
Registered: 19-02-2017

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

Thank you for the link. However, it does not provide any information about escalating the support issue to a manager within Plusnet who might be able to sort out a solution. I guess that I might try a letter and, if all else fails, I will contact the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS).

On the other hand, it might be simpler just to move to another ISP such as Zen. More expensive, but excellent reviews.

Years ago, O2 was my broadband supplier and the service was excellent. Unfortunately, they decided to get out of broadband and sold the user accounts to Sky and then the service quality went down. That's what prompted the move to Plusnet (I had been with them back in the dial-up days). Service was fine at first but has just got worse and worse.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 17,638
Thanks: 623
Fixes: 159
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

@leicray

I'm very sorry for the problems you've experienced. I'm reviewing the fault ticket now and I'll reply again shortly.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 17,638
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

I've reviewed the account and fault and can see that although the SNR has been reset several times, this isn't resolving the issue. The line also appears to encounter bursts of instability which are why the SNR has increased initially.

 

The fault will need an engineer to investigate, so I've sent the information regarding this over to you on the fault. If you can reply there with your availability and let me know when you've done so I'll get that booked in for you.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Help Team
leicray
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 3
Registered: 19-02-2017

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

Hi Chris,

 

I have responded to you about scheduling an engineer visit on the fault system.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 17,638
Thanks: 623
Fixes: 159
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

Thank you, I've booked the engineer, responded to the ticket and moved the ticket over to our team here so you'll get us responding from now on.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Help Team
leicray
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 3
Registered: 19-02-2017

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

For anybody who might be interested, the BT Openreach engineer visited this afternoon. He said that the broadband connection was working to specification: no problems at all. However, he discovered that my router is intermittently logging me out, but cannot say why. His opinion is that it's 99% probable that the problem lies at the Plusnet end.

 

Looks like I have dodged the £65 call-out bullet.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,997
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

Well a BT engineer would say that ... if they have not identified the source of the issue.  If the dropping only occurs at certain times, as likely as not the engineer was there at a different time.

Please check the line when it drops...

Please perform a quiet line test - dial 17070 select option 2 using a corded phone plugged into the test socket behind the face plate of the master socket. It should be silent. A noisy phone line (or no dial tone) will have a marked adverse impact on the performance of broadband.

If the line is noisy or there is no dial tone, then a PHONE LINE fault needs to be raised with your phone provider. If this is PlusNet, you can report a fault on line using the button below.


 

Please use the following links to check the services available and their estimated speeds. From the first link, please record and report back the distance from the exchange. The second link advises of which fibre services (if any) are available on your line and their anticipated speed.


 

Please post your router stats; for PN TG582n and 2704n routers use the buttons below, for other routers look at the Kitz link.

Also run a BT Wholesale speed test (ideally using an Ethernet wired PC with the WiFi turned off) then run the further diagnostics and post the results here. DO NOT REBOOT the router!

Also find your CURRENT SPEED (PlusNet line profile) from the PlusNet user portal - you will need to log in.


 

leicray
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 3
Registered: 19-02-2017

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

Hi Townman,

Thank you for your input. However, I think that you are being too dismissive of the Openreach engineer's opinion. I do have evidence of connection drops which would be consistent with my router(s) logging out from Plusnet and then logging back in again. I have been monitoring my connection, off and on, over the last two months using a program called Net Uptime Monitor (NUM). It pings three well-known sites using their IP numbers and reports instances where the pings are not responded to for more than 5 seconds. There have been several instances of pings going astray for several minutes.

 

Just after the engineer left yesterday, I suffered another disconnection. Unfortunately, I did not have NUM running but my router alerted me to the problem and reported that the DSL connection was unstable. NUM has been running again for nineteen hours and not reported any loss of connection.

There is no noise on the line. I have checked that several times.

 

The distance to the exchange is 800 m, so I'm close. The estimated speed is 19 Mbps.

FTTC is available, but I do not wish to purchase a service based on FTTC. ADSL2+ is quite sufficient.

PN Profile reports:

Estimated line speed:19Mb (This may vary between 18Mb and 20.5Mb) - Checked on 2017-04-13 16:06:16
Current line speed:12.2 Mb

As you can see my current speed is low.

BTW Speedtest says 11.83 MBps

My ASUS DSL-AC55U router currently reports:

Line Stats
  Downstream Upstream
TCM(Trellis Coded Modulation)
On
On
SNR Margin
10.3 dB
28.3 dB
Line Attenuation
24.6 dB
14.0 dB
Path Mode
Interleaved
Interleaved
Interleave Depth
64
8
Data Rate
13836 kbps
440 kbps
MAX Rate
15296 kbps
888 kbps
POWER
0.0 dbm
11.3 dbm
INP
1.9 symbols
2.0 symbols
CRC
16
0

 

Finally, the engineer tested the broadband speed from the telephone extension socket into which the router is plugged and found no significant difference between that and the test results from the socket behind the face plate of the master socket.

 

Thanks.

 

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,997
Thanks: 1,533
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

BT Engineers at time do speak a lot of tosh!  The router does not "log you out" as has been suggested.  What does happen is that "for some reason" the line synch is lost and the router has to re-establish the link, including log back into PlusNet.

PlusNet's "end" also does not log you out or drop the link.

Those line stats do not look good.  The SNRM is higher than it ought to be which indicative of the BT Exchange equipment taking steps to slow your line down "for some reason".

If you want to take a closer look at this, please go look at Router Stats (see link below) and check to see if your router is supported by it - either the Lite or Full versions.

The configure RS link will provide some guidance for configuring the full version, but that is aimed at the TG582n router ... the details might be a bit different for yours, but there is excellent help published with the tool.

Ideally you will see a nice flat Rx Noise plot.  If not - then that is the source of the problem - line noise.  At the times of disconnections, repeat the QLT.

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,917
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

How long has the Asus DSL-AC55U been in use? Has a different device been tried? The modems in most Asus DSL models have a poor reputation.

Edit: Sorry, I've reviewed leicray's previous posts, and I've already told them that.

leicray
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 3
Registered: 19-02-2017

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

I have switched back to the TG528n router to rule out any possibility that the problems might be related to the ASUS router. That's unlikelyy anyway since the problems started a full month before buying the ASUS router. (BTW, Can anybody quote me the evidence that ASUS routers are poor with respect to their xDSL abilities? Most router reviews in magazines seem to dwell on the wireless features.)

I am now also running RouterStats Lite as well as Net Uptime Monitor (NUM) and, just for good measure, I have set up a Broadband Quality Monitor at thinkbroadband.com. All have been running since Friday afternoon.

There were no problems at all for the first 24 hours. However, there have been 10 occasions since 6pm yesterday where I can assume that sync has been lost and then re-established. Here is the output from NUM:

=======================================
14/04/2017 16:08:40 Log Start
---------------------------------------
Failure Start Length
15/04/2017 17:55:59 0:01:21
15/04/2017 17:57:31 0:01:18
15/04/2017 18:03:12 0:01:22
15/04/2017 22:07:49 0:00:13
16/04/2017 01:00:55 0:01:23
16/04/2017 05:03:43 0:00:21
16/04/2017 05:04:47 0:00:12
16/04/2017 05:05:06 0:00:09
16/04/2017 05:05:23 0:00:09
16/04/2017 05:05:41 0:00:27

Most have happened while I've been safely tucked up in bed and all three monitoring programs detected the events.

The strange (to me) thing is that the noise margin graph, as logged by RouterStats, could have been drawn with a ruler until the first loss of sync, but has been erratic (and as high as 18dB) until around 01:18 this morning.

 

Needless to say, I have heard nothing from Plusnet since Wednesday when they said that they would send out the engineer. Actually, that's not entirely true. I had a very nice email from Lisa Hardie, Head of Customer Service at Plusnet assuring me that they will "...continue to do our very best to reach a quick and satisfactory resolution." It was really nice of her and she is clearly a hard-working individual as it was sent out at 6:45 am, which was some considerable time before I was out of bed yesterday morning.

Any further thoughts/guidance would be most welcome.

Thanks.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Terrible support for slow broadband problem

Some of the previous threads involving Asus modems that I can quickly find were:

https://community.plus.net/t5/forums/v3_1/forumtopicpage/board-id/Broadband/thread-id/289335/page/1

https://community.plus.net/t5/Broadband/New-router-New-lower-IP-Profile/td-p/1150887

They were unable to establish a connection with a 3dB target SNRM on ADSL2+.

Or try searching the Internet about the TrendChip modem chipsets that Asus used.

----

Can we see the current DSL stats from the 582n please?