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Where's James when we need him?

Original_Design
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Where's James when we need him?

Hopefully one of his successors can help.
I’ve had nearly 8 years of almost faultless BB service from MN and Plusnet and so referred my daughter to PN  for homephone and value BB. She was unhappy with her BT phone and after several years without internet access wanted broadband. She’s on a very tight budget and was paying about £17 pm for phone only, so for the same sum she gets BB – a good deal.
I’m annoyed and embarrassed – I’ve been singing PN’s praises all over the place, and you’ve let me down . . .
What follows is her log of events. Sorry it’s so long, but it’s relevant (if the mods want to remove the CS agents names that's OK)

09/10 - Initial contact with Plusnet with sales person called Carrie for phone and broadband.  I was informed that I had to set up monthly direct debit payments for which I gave my Nationwide account details.  I was also informed that the payment for router postage and package HAD to be paid for by a debit card.  I gave details of another account as my Nationwide account does not have that facility.
09/10 - I informed BT that I was changing phone provider.
.
12/10 - Cut off by BT
12/10 - Telephoned by Carrie on my mobile to ensure the funds were in the debit card account for router p&p payment.  They were as I had transferred money from Nationwide a/c to the (rarely used) debit card account.
16/10 - Nickolia? @ Plusnet rang my mobile re: line connection/broadband informing me that someone would be round on the 23rd to sort the connection.
23/10 - Chap arrived about 11.30, telephone connected and working fine.
27/10 – Router arrived. Discovered my computer has a problem which needs fixing, so no broadband, no emails.
29/10 - £10.95  line rental payment taken from my Nationwide account.
2/11  - PN attempted to be take £6.99 p&p from my (non debit card) Nationwide account, funds I had already transferred to my debit card account at Plusnet’s request to cover p&p.
6/11  -  Received letter from plusnet re: non-payment of p&p.  Rang that evening and spoke to Trevor.  Repeated details of debit card account and money taken immediately.
13/11 - Statement received for my Nationwide (non debit card) account only to find out that Plusnet’s attempt to take the £6.99 p&p had incurred a £30 returned item fee, on an account that has never been overdrawn in the ten years I’ve had it!
16/11 – Phoned Rebecca at CS and was passed on to her manager who told me to  write including a photocopy of my bank statement requesting repayment of the bank charges incurred due to 'an administrative error', and they would send me a refund cheque. (For which I am still waiting).
2/12 – Computer fixed and connected. New email account set up.
07/12 - Letter received alleging 'subscription payment' had not been paid.  Rang CS and spoke to a girl called Kesnee, who was rude, offensive and utterly unprofessional, however she did tell me I'd been charged for two months instead of one due to an 'administrative error', and in the mean time my PN account had been suspended, so I can’t even get on the portal to see what’s happening! 
Was also told that letter I sent with copy bank statement hadn’t been received.
So it appears PN has tried to take out 2 months charges, plus my calls, more than was available in the account, (there WAS enough for the single line rental and call charges)!  This means, YET AGAIN, I am being charged by the bank for a returned item that is not my fault!
I rang CS again and spoke to Tahir and he told me that if I made sure the funds were in my account and I rang him tomorrow between 11-8 he'd make sure my account would be ok (whatever that means).
08/12 - Rang and asked for Tahir as instructed yesterday, to no avail! Spoke to Jake, he said I have to transfer the money, to my other account, the one with the debit card before it can all be sorted!!!!

Can someone please have a look at this and see if it can be resolved, as currently she could have had 6 months of BT phone for what PN has cost her.
Please PM me for her details.
Alastair
18 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,721
Thanks: 934
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

If you post any ticket number from her account it will mean anyone from Plusnet will be able to find her account without you needing to send a PM.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Original_Design
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

Can't post a ticket number, she's never raised a ticket - and the account's suspended and she (or I, with her login details) can't get on to the portal. . .
A
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: ‎23-10-2008

Re: Where's James when we need him?

I've been at the receiving end (indirectly - on an account I manage for somebody else) of a PN billing cock-up similar to the one you describe.
If the system sees a 'failed payment' it will keep trying to collect it, or if it can't will suspend the account, no matter if payment has been made by an alternate method. (Even if the payment was succesful, and then reversed, for example.)
The resulting solution left my Mother out of pocket for a month, as it seemed easiest to move the next billing date out by a month rather than try to return the money and hope the system wouldn't take it again.
Yes, you (your friend) is covered by the DD guarantee etc, so you can recover the money via your bank, however experience shows that even though you have done nothing wrong, you still end up with no broadband doing it this way.
IIRC It was Mand who helped me resolve it in the way described above on my Mother's account - if it sounds acceptable it might be the easiest way.
I'd like to see PN move it out by more than the period that has already been paid for as a matter of apology.
Original_Design
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

Thanks James - I know from experience that PN's billing system can be flakey, but I've had no problems for quite a while now (touching wood).
The lack of internet access isn't a problem for her, as she's been without it for over 2 years, but she's on a very tight budget and has to control her finances rigidly, and £60 in returned item bank charges causes no end of problems.
She's been told variously by CS that the system won't try to take payment again, that refunds can't be made into her bank account, (both of which are patently wrong) to re-send the copy bank statement by guranteed delivery (she can't afford that, and why should she).
She's now wary of taking the money out of the Nationwide A/c  to deposit in the debit card account, in case the system retries to collect the DD, (which it may already have done) and because the account is restricted she can't get on the portal to find out what's happening, she doesn't even know what her billing date is.
Hopefully someone from the comms team can help.
A
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

Hi Original Design,
I've dropped you a PM and will have a look at what's been going on as soon as I can, I'm sorry things have happened like that - I'll do everything I can to get that sorted out for you.
Original_Design
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

Thanks Matt - reply sent.
A
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

Hi Original Design,
I've just left a message for your daughter on her mobile advising what's happened and what's been done to sort it - as was stated, there was a problem when the home phone and broadband were activated which led to the double billing. This won't happen again, I'm very sorry for the stress over the whole issue there.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,467
Thanks: 2,838
Fixes: 226
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

Hi Original Design.
Re the bounced DDs.
Have you contacted the bank? They should automatically refund the wrong amounts deducted and refund the charges and then they would claim that money back from PN.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Original_Design
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

@Malv - In this instance I don't think it's the bank that's at fault, there's a valid variable DD mandate, they are obliged to pay the amount if there are funds available.
If the payment request is the result of PN inefficiency/maladministration, how are they to know?
PN's mistakes - PN should refund the  charges.
A
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: ‎23-10-2008

Re: Where's James when we need him?

That's what the Direct Debit Guarantee is - it protects you from being out of pocket if somebody makes a mistake and requests more than they should.
If you can afford to though, you are better off letting PN sort it - just ensure you get back a little something extra to make up for the inconvenience. Smiley
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,667
Thanks: 659
Fixes: 163
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

I'll have a word with Matt when he gets back to his desk to ensure he's considered the bank fees too.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Original_Design
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

Hi Matt - Thankyou for looking at this problem.

As I understand it from your VM to my daughter, you have 'knocked off'' the November line rental and call charges of £17.
I am presuming this means you have cancelled them, and if so, I think that's a suitable recompense for all the aggravation and stress PN's administrative errors have caused, and we thank you for your swift action to resolve the problem.

There remains however the £60 of returned DD charges levied by the Nationwide. She is due to receive another bank statement in the next couple of days, when it arrives she will email scans of the proof of both lots of charges to you. Can you please confirm that PN will refund them?

Regards - Alastair
(Chris - thanks for the reminder. A)
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

I'm sorry for missing that one! Yes, absolutely we'll refund those charges though we need a copy of the statement for our records to reconcile it against (not any personal information of course, just the relevant charges will be fine - probably easiest scanned and attached to a ticket).
And indeed by knocked off I meant cancelled.
Original_Design
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Where's James when we need him?

Matt - Thanks for sorting this out for her, I'm sure James would be proud of you, (sorry if that sounds a bit patronising).
She will forward the bank statements on a ticket in the couple of days.
What is more concerning is the problems she had with CS.
While computer literate, she's not very 'net savvy' - last time she had access was on dial up a few years ago, so BB was a bit of a mystery to her. The conflicting information she was given by various different CS agents (and the arrogance/rudeness of one of them) does not inspire confidence in PN as a whole - CS is the public 'face' of PN and on this occasion let it down badly. That's not to say it was all bad, 2 or 3 agents were very good, but between them the problem wasn't solved, and she would never have found the forum without my guidance.
I realise that CS have to deal with people of  widely varying competence/experience/understanding and it must be tricky for them to find the balance between spelling it out step-by-step for non-tech types; or talking in jargon to experienced users. Hopefully their training should give them an insight to establishing the level of understanding of the callers.
I'm sure CS is constantly being reviewed, so maybe this feedback may help someone else . . .
Thanks again (but I'll be watching . . . Wink)
A