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Plusnet - Fit for Business?

cpcnw
Grafter
Posts: 64
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Plusnet - Fit for Business?

Last Thursday [14/4] I rang Plusnet and asked if I could arrange a Domain transfer for the next night, Friday at 7pm [i.e well over 24 hours notice]

I was told that this was fine and that the request would go through to the network team.

On Friday [15/4] I rang around mid-afternoon just to make sure everything was still on track. I was then told that the network team only work 9-5:30pm Mon-Wed. I then agreed that as this was the case then could they initiate the transfer as late as possible in the day say 5:15 - this was agreed and I was told not to worry I would get an email / ticket update etc

At 7:20pm I rang again as the ticket had not updated, no email - nothing!

The guy I then spoke to almost infered how foolish I had been expecting a domain transfer to happen after 5pm on a Friday!!!

Had I known the above I would have rung on a Tuesday and scheduled for a Friday.

Anyway after a rather terse discussion it was agreed that the ticket was updated and the network team would be asked to do the work as late as possible in the working day on Monday or Tuesday.

So, on Monday morning [today] at about 9:30 am - the worst possible time this could happend - the domain is being transferred.

I just spoke to Plusent who told me that you cannot specify a time for transfer out.

So, thats 3 different stories and a total mess, lots of phone calls and irate staff!

Plusnet: If you customers are given the full information they can make decisions based on that information, yet your staff cant even get their stories right.

For a business account, affecting nearly 40 staff, the way this was handled is totally unacceptable.

Its my opinion that Plusnet should not be able to use the word 'Business' in their account offerings.

As an aside and IPS TAG change should not take this long;

"Unless the gaining registrar is using the handshake method, .UK Nominet IPS-TAG changes are near immediate - anything from 2 seconds to 30 minutes if using the automaton." Rob Golding, Astutium Ltd - UK based ICANN Accredited Domain Registrar

 

Edit: 12:30 Nominet Records still point to Plusnet / Force9 etc

 

Edit2: Got to after 2pm and still no change seen via WHOIS - I payed Nominet a tenner and did the transfer myself - took all of 20 mins - all working no fuss.

 

It would be very difficult to give Plusnet anything less than a 0/10 for this one. Caused me a lot of hassle / phone calls / irate staff etc - still if this is what the service is like I am glad I have moved hosting.

 

Plusnet are a great domestic ISP - be warned about using them fo Business hosting.

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14 REPLIES
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

To be fair, you've entrusted a business domain, which impacts 40 staff to a free ISP, value added service, with no SLA and no guarantees?

Yes, Plusnet are an ISP and great business ISP. Domain and web services are far from their core business. Anyone, other than a hobbyist, hosting a domain with an ISP, never mind a business domain, needs to re-evaluate their approach.

M

 

 

cpcnw
Grafter
Posts: 64
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

needs to re-evaluate their approach

the reason we where moving

> and great business ISP

lets agree to disagree on that... 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?


@Mark wrote:

To be fair, you've entrusted a business domain, which impacts 40 staff to a free ISP, value added service, with no SLA and no guarantees?

So there are no SLAs with Business accounts at Plusnet? Shocked

I really think some staff ought to be taking a look at this @Chris @HarryB @bobpullen

cpcnw
Grafter
Posts: 64
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Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

Agreed.

Internally the FAQ response as a minimum should inform business customers of the following;

* Plusnet need a minimum of 2 days notice of domain transfers - longer is better
* Domain transfers can only be actioned during business hours i.e 9-5:30, Mon-Fri
* Once the transfer has been initiated its not possible to ascertain how long the transfer will take
* Its not possible for the customer to specify when the transfer will start
* There is no public facing for the network team who deal with the transfer
* If you have an account at Nominet that ties in with your domain you can handle the domain transfer
  yourself - which may well be your preferred option given the shortcomings of the above.

 

 

cpcnw
Grafter
Posts: 64
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Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

One of the worst aspects of this is the misrepresentation of the customers request - as an example;

After a lengthy discussion this was the agents one line summary; 

> Please action outbound transfer as above not before, 5.00pm Friday 15th April 2016

That is not what we discussed at all. That makes it sound as though the middle of the day a week on Tuesday would be OK [which it certainly was not]

What was agreed, once I was updated on the fact the network team finish at 5:30pm, was that the transfer request would be put in place as late in the business day as possible on Friday.

To be drip fed various pieces of information, only to be told a somewhat different story on the very next call [at one point was told that the previous staff was junior and wasn't up to speed] is less than acceptable when your customers have decisions to make on the information you are giving them.

This has got nothing to do with my approach / strategy / expectations / experience in managing our services but everything to do with Plusnets staff training, internal management and customer care which in this case was atrocious.

I have also wondered since Plusnet was part bought out by BT whether this 'untouchable network team' are in actual fact part of BT - whom by the way I have had even worst experience with in the past. 

 

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

You've been around these parts long enough to know the answer to that.Wink  Yes, there are no SLA's for domains. There are response SLA's for business accounts where it applies to PN's core business - connectivity, but not to domains, webhosting, email etc. They are value added services and always have been.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

Hi cpcnw,

 

Apologies first of all for the issues dealing with what should otherwise be a straight-forward query.

 

This post has been brought to the attention of business support management so we just need to be able to identify your account before dealing with the issue and making sure the issues with the level of customer service are investigated.

 

As we're nearing the end of the business day and I'm away from work tomorrow can you please send my colleague @Chris a PM with your username and we'll deal with that for you. 

 

 

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
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Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?


@Mark wrote:

You've been around these parts long enough to know the answer to that.Wink  Yes, there are no SLA's for domains. There are response SLA's for business accounts where it applies to PN's core business - connectivity, but not to domains, webhosting, email etc. They are value added services and always have been.


But in a Business context does this need to be reviewed if PN plans to grow the Business sector of their business?

Maurice

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

It's been like this since 1997 at least. No proper business should rely on an ISP's hosting or domain services. It's a value added, best effort service, with no claims otherwise and if businesses want SLA's and SLG's for these services then they should use providers who do this as their day job. Plusnet provide connectivity services with SLA's commensurate with that which they can back off from their provider. They do not and have never offered SLA's for the value added services and I don't see it happening at any point in the future.

Hosting and domains via Plusnet are fine for hobbyists or geeks like those of us who've been around here from the early adopter days, but for a business like that of the OP's, where a lack of SLG impacts 40 staff, or indeed a customer facing solution, it's really not appropriate and I don't believe Plusnet make any claims regarding those value added services.

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

At the end of the day Mark, I don't think SLA's are really relevant. This was a fundamental mess-up which shouldn't have happened as Adam said. Technically it might even be one for the ASA, you can't advertise one thing, and then do something completely different Sad

cpcnw
Grafter
Posts: 64
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Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

Mark has made his point a few times but I think has missed mine. Bad customer service is just that, regardless of what the offering and whether or not it's fit for purpose.

Like many small companies this one started off small and what PN provided was adequate. As the company grew so did their data requirements. The first problem was exceeding bandwidth on the website. The next was the clients emails getting bounced.

Bear in mind that all the directors grew up well before the age of the fax machine let alone internet services and the fact that everything has to be discussed at board meetings, getting moved over to a reliable host was long in the planning.

Its a shame that PN don't make it more obvious to small businesses what the shortcomings of their 'value added' offering s are at the onset, especially web bandwidth, as this detracts from the things they do well.

You are always judged by your last performance!

As it happens the company will be leaving PN altogether. All the services that where once easily adequate now are prohibitively lacking. Some of that isn't PN's fault though. A DSL line that can only provide 2MB which is limited by the exchange in Liverpool North and not looking likely to be upgraded by BT doesn't stand much chance of serving 40 staff. We are now using AirFibre http://www.airefibre.net and getting unbelievable download speeds with no cap.

 

 

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

Hi there,


Thanks for the PM with the username on, I've passed this info over to our Business Support Team and have spent some time this morning reviewing the account and the contacts you've received.


Whilst I agree with the sentiment of some of the posts on here, we really haven't given you consistent or accurate messaging over the ticket support. I'd like to apologise for this as it's not the level of service we want to hit.


You should have a ticket put on your account shortly from one of my colleagues with some more information.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
cpcnw
Grafter
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Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

Just to let others know who might be reading this thread.

 

A manager contacted me, apologised and offered to refund the two years domain name registration as well as the tenner it cost for me to do the transfer myself via Nominet.

I accepted the offer and will say no more about it other than I think it was the right course of action on Plusnet's behalf.

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,683
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Plusnet - Fit for Business?

Thanks for getting back to us and I'm glad we were able to come to a resolution on this.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff