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Does plusnet recognise business critical needs?

astraderby
Not applicable
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-01-2013

Does plusnet recognise business critical needs?

At the moment we are running with a problem on my customer’s broadband that I am representing here.  This has been a continuing issue but the broadband totally failed 28th December.  Now the broadband here is a business critical application which communicates with the head branch to keep stock up to date and handle VOIP.  Also a use of web applications for customer related information.  Therefore loss of broadband has a large number of detrimental effects on this business.
The first phone call to customer services resulted in an insistence of changing the router so that they could move to the next stage.  Regardless of explanations that this would mean a 250 mile round trip and no compromise was available even though I was pretty sure based on years of experience that the line was at fault, however one cannot be totally sure so I accepted the need to change the equipment.
I arrived on site with the replacement router and found that it was not the router but a problem with the wall box as there had been some water damage due to a prior food.  I rang support again and still there was no acceptance that an engineer needed to visit and that a change to the exchange might fix it, even though wobbling the phone plug in the wall socket could get it working intermittently!
We are now at the stage where the connection is working but frequently dropping out.
I have decades of experience with IT and electronics related equipment, wobbling a plug in a socket speaks volumes top anyone and altering the exchange will not fix this.
Allowing for the fact it was over Christmas you can accept some delays but the robotic approach to support, regardless of my experience, really puts into question whether plusnet are committed or even recognise that to be without broadband can be extremely damaging to any business with this level of reliance.
The business is a retail establishment which operates 7 days a week so we are now heading towards having a week of unreliable internet, is this really good service?  In the past I have been able to explain that I am conversant and experienced enough to recognise a fault and move towards an open reach visit which in itself can have the usual headaches.  I shall keep you posted but after being with plus net for a very long time I am thinking it is time to look elsewhere.
6 REPLIES 6
lsimister
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎28-12-2009

Re: Does plusnet recognise business critical needs?

astraderby,
Sorry to hear of your concerns.
I'm keen to look into this case in more detail, would you be able to PM me the username of the account in question?
AlaricAdair
Champion
Posts: 5,658
Thanks: 652
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: Does plusnet recognise business critical needs?

astraderby -  can you provide alternate IP connection using a 3G dongle?
I have sympathy with your client, but floods are bit beyond the control of BT/Plusnet. Has your client paid for an enhanced service level?
As the link is business critical have they considered a standby link, using another Broadband Supplier, 3G or satellite Broadband (now available in UK)
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Does plusnet recognise business critical needs?

Mission critical, revenue impacting yet no resilience. If I had a £ for every time I've seen that. . .
Does the user have enhanced care?
Did their IT team recommend a back up connection and enhanced care?
Any adsl fault which impacts a business is painful but it never ceases to amaze me that their so called IT teams / consultants have so little knowledge or experience of adsl that they completely fail to recognise the fault potential and therefore recommend / supply a basic connection only.
If the impact of an outage is too great then either xDSL is not the correct product or a standby line / solution must be in place!
mssystems
Rising Star
Posts: 282
Thanks: 39
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Re: Does plusnet recognise business critical needs?

Quote from: Mark
Any adsl fault which impacts a business is painful but it never ceases to amaze me that their so called IT teams / consultants have so little knowledge or experience of adsl that they completely fail to recognise the fault potential and therefore recommend / supply a basic connection only.

Nice sound bite.  ROFLMHO.
Sorry Mark, but I am wondering how much experience you might have working with business decision makers?  The last time I saw a blank cheque written for IT provisioning was back in the 90s. 
Where we are at presently, Internet connection is a business essential.  The price differential between ADSL and more robust solutions is a major hurdle, especially for SMEs.    The increased overheads imposed by ongoing rental of redundant lines, leased lines and SDSL, would make many small businesses inviable.
What happens when I recommend to most any SME, say a leased line, is the customer will tell me they can not afford it or ask why the proposal is 10x the cost of the other two they are looking at.  I can wobble on about risk till the cows come home but the finance guys will keep starig at the bottom line.  Just pointing out the cost / benefit of a business class ADSL account and router can be time consuming enough.  With PN and the other ISPs running TV ads, promising the Moon on a stick for £2.99 a month (for a few months, subject to this and that), it only gets harder.
Enhanced care is just a costly joke, IMO.  There are so many holes in the Enhanced Care Ts&Cs, which allow the ISP or BT to fulfil their commitments well short of a customer's reasonable expectation, it is not so much assurance as a marketing exercise. 
Quote
If the impact of an outage is too great then either xDSL is not the correct product or a standby line / solution must be in place!

To be honest, ADSL is a perfectly fine technology for most SME needs.  What is fundamentally wrong with business ADSL, is the dire level of service guarantee provided by BT.  A point to ponder on.  Before ADSL, when we used modems on the PSTN, subject to PSTN service guarantees, SMEs had no need for redundant lines or Enhanced Care.  Unfortunately  a 56Kbps connection will not fit the purpose these days.
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Does plusnet recognise business critical needs?

Quote
Nice sound bite.  ROFLMHO.

Not a sound bite but a statement of fact, though not directed at any individual Wink
Quote
I am wondering how much experience you might have working with business decision makers?

Extensive, from SOHO, SME, Corporate and Enterprise.
My point was about resilience, which doesn't need to involve hugely expensive solutions. There's enough CPE out there which will handle dual ADSL and/or even 3G as a failover solution. The challenge comes when so many independent IT teams or consultants totally fail to recommend or offer such a solution. It happens every single day and has done for years. It's actually an easy sell, if the messaging is correct and the risks identified and positioned.
Many SME's don't need a leased line, however they do need business continuity. A second, perhaps even PAYG xDSL solution, provides resilience at a very low cost. Consumer ADSL is not an option I'd recommend for any (serious) business, but I recognise and understand the cost comparison challenge, particularly in the SOHO space. Again, it's down to the messaging and positioning.
As for Enhanced Care. I strongly disagree. In my experience, the businesses who opt for EC fully recognise the benefits and utilise those benefits when needed. Is it worth £8 - £10 per month to provide piece of mind? The only challenges i've seen with EC is customers unwilling to attend their premises out of hours to allow BT to effect a repair. That comes down to priorities for the business owner. EC provides a 20 hour fix, providing 24/7 access is available and lets face it, it should be. Business owners are prepared to attend alarm activations to ensure their businesses are safe, why would they not attend to ensure vital comms links can be repaired. Again, it's all about the messaging.
Quote
ADSL is a perfectly fine technology for most SME needs

I agree, providing they are fully aware of the risks, service levels and potential for a protracted fault to impact the day to day operation of their business. If a fault which lasts a couple of days or longer is revenue impacting then they absolutely need resilience. ADSL is absolutely not guaranteed to be an always on solution but few businesses are aware of that fact, and few independent consultants make that element clear. When a fault arises, the service level provision then becomes a complete shock to the business and challenging conversations ensue.
It's all about awareness, education, expectation setting and management. For xDSL resellers, there's the strong potential for additional (small) revenue / margin, in effectively selling an inexpensive resilient solution, along with fewer annoyed customers and improved business continuity.
It's really not as hard a sell as some believe, once the CBA is presented correctly. Smiley
Mark
AlaricAdair
Champion
Posts: 5,658
Thanks: 652
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: Does plusnet recognise business critical needs?

I agree with Mark. As a professional you need to warn the client of the risks of xDSL for their business circumstances.The professional should also advise on methods of mitigating those risks. It is then down to the business manager/proprietor to decide what is an acceptable cost/risk choice for their business.  Any sensible professional would make a written record of that decision.
Business managers/proprietors tend to underestimate the consequences of a major outage and assume the cheapest solution is the least expensive.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.