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Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

VOD
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-07-2008

Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

Over the last few years several of my business broadband connections (both adsl2 and FTC) have proved unreliable.
The response from ISPs including Plusnet seem to be exactly the same for home users, it's a little perplexing when these connections cost over £15 per month more.
There are no SLAs on connectivity issues, internet is so important now not only for updating and taking orders online but also processing credit card transactions, supplier orders etc etc,
My small business has failed to take any transactions since Monday morning and the general information about the fault is very poor...
It's always the same old answer from ISPs ... Always bt wholesale is at fault and it seems to go backwards and forwards..
It's time ISPs treat businesses with respect for the need for connectivity and urgency,
The question is would paying for extra care have made a difference ?
Day four in the morning lets see what is happening then.
8 REPLIES 8
Pettitto
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 6,346
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

Hi VOD,
I'm really sorry to hear that you're experiencing issues and for the disruption this has caused you so far. We do take every fault and order for that matter seriously. We absolutely appreciate that you're trying to run a business on the service we are providing you.
Unfortunately faults do happen from time to time, some take longer than others to resolve, which appears to be case for you. If you were to take Enhanced Care, the very reason this is charged extra is because extra care is taken with your fault (Enhanced Care doesn't apply to Provisioning). Not only does Enhanced Care mean that we pick issues quicker, our suppliers are also aware too as Enhanced Care is something we add on our suppliers side too.
If you business is of that important that you require the internet a lot and you require minimal downtime, Enhanced Care is probably the best option for you. We do try and provide all our customers with a seamless service, however, faults that do occur can often be outside of our control.
If there's anything you'd like looking at, I'd be more than happy to take a look into things for you.
VOD
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-07-2008

Re: Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your reply....  I fully understand problems occur.. Just seems the infer structure locally is not up to scratch.
I think the question is does having extra care give you a guaranteed SLA ?
Is it worth paying for business Bb compared to residential ?
I don't know the answers to the first question but for the second it seems there Is no benefit...
I did look at 3G last time we had problems but can't get a signal in the building, also looked at another line but when you add the line rental and business broadband of £25 ish per month its expensive.. I have several pairs of digital lines but I am in contract so I can't change to analogue lines..
Pettitto
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 6,346
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

Hi VOD,
I personally think there's quite a few advantages. We aim to answers calls that come through to the Business Support Team within 3 minutes between 8am-8pm - it's very rare that this is exceeded.
Quote
Enhanced Care faults have a target resolution time of 24 hours, it's vital that you're available for contact and able to provide access to your property at all times when a fault is open.

Taken from: http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/products/enhanced_care.shtml#productAvailability - We aim to initially pick up Enhanced Care Tickets within 2 hours.
The Care Level applied to Business Lines are higher than those set for Residential Lines, therefore more care is taken by our suppliers as they realise the affect this has on the eventual End User.
VOD
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-07-2008

Re: Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

Just an update really. I decided to call support again as it was  a few hours after the timed update on the +net side..
Apparently we need an engineer ... The next slot is tomorrow (tbc) ...
Therefore now we have got to this stage if we had enhanced care how much quicker would this have happened.
Pettitto
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 6,346
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

Your ticket would have been picked up within 2 hours initially. It's difficult to say as circumstances can change but as per my previous post, we work on a turnaround of 24 hours with Enhanced Care faults, so my best guess would be that an engineer would have been arranged very swiftly.
dragon2611
Grafter
Posts: 283
Registered: ‎20-10-2013

Re: Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

Enhanced Care faults get dealt with quicker within BTW/Openreach as well I believe.  I think they will if required even make an engineer available outside of normal working hours but I'd need to re-read the product Spec to be sure.
Personally if the internet is business critical then the preference would be to have a 2nd line on a different ISP, ideally LLU if it's available so it's a completely different carrier.
Doesn't have to be an expensive package but it can help have some level of resilience

It won't help if the exchange loses all power or someone sticks a digger though the duct but it will keep you online if one line has a fault or BTW/Plusnet go down.
I used to have a 2nd line into home but thesedays I just tether to my phone if my Broadband goes down.
The Business team at plusnet do tend to answer nice and quickly if you do need to call them, I believe it's also staffed by their more experienced staff, Certainly I noticed the difference between calling during the day and calling someone after 10PM. (I have the business service at home)
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

It's a common theme. Small Businesses relying on a single ADSL / FTTC connection with no back up or no resilience.
How much has this outage cost? I'd throw the initial question right back at you, respectfully. Is it time for small businesses to take internet connectivity seriously. Unfortunately most don't and when faults happen, which they will, at some point, the impact is major.
There are many low cost options out there which will alleviate this situation and provide business continuity in the event of an ADSL fault. Enhanced Care is certainly an option but it is not a cast iron guarantee of a fix within 24 hours. That depends on the nature of the fault and the complexity of the repair. A REIN fault or broken cable, where roads have to be dug up, will not be fixed in 24 hours.
The onus is on the business owner to ensure they have continuity and resilience, not the ISP.
I'd recommend you investigate your options. A secondary, low cost solution form another provider will protect against line faults.Pperhaps one with an LLU provider may rule out some exchange issues with BT's infrastructure as well as the ISP. There are routers out there which will provide an automatic failover once two broadband connections are plugged in. Then there's 3G or 4G if available and a number of modern routers have a failover ability to mobile broadband once a fault condition manifests itself.
If in doubt, ask your local IT consultant for advice. Few of us can afford to have a business offline for any lenght of time, be it from a revenue or productivity perspective and the options needn't cost the earth.



AlaricAdair
Champion
Posts: 5,658
Thanks: 652
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: Is it time for ISPs / Plusnet to take business connections seriously ?

If you depend on internet connectivity for your business, I'm afraid there's no substitute for having resilience of service. In it's most simple form it is having two broadband connections to your premises and manually swapping if one fails.
Ideally you need to have different (underlying) suppliers for each ADSL service. By underlying supplier I mean be careful that the supplier does not just provide a white-badged service of a primary supplier. For example the underlying supplier of Plus Net is BT, so ideally you'd avoid a combination of PlusNet and BT.
ADSL is not inherently reliable, though it serves most people well. Network technology is technically complex with many links along the chain, When things go wrong it can take extended investigation (time) before a solution is provided.
A slightly more complex solution is to use a dual WAN port firewall to balance the incoming two broadband feeds and provide automatic switchover should one circuit fail.
For my small business I also employ a third level of internet connection through mobile ADSL (Three/Hutchinson) dongle. If both wired connections fail due to an exchange fault the mobile service usually persists. For my financial market clients we deploy considerably more complex network resilience solutions with corresponding greater costs.
It just boils down to how much money you want to spend to protect your business.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.