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Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

bennybelton
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎08-03-2015

Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

I paid for business internet on the 20th February and was initially told to my horror that it won't be installed until 17th March. Not withstanding that disgraceful length of time it will take plusnet another week to set up my broadband?
When I first spoke to plusnet back in January, I informed them that I was opening a shop in the High Street of my town and mentioned that I would be collecting the keys in the last week of February. They told me that it wouldn't take more than two weeks to set me up with the internet.
Suddenly after following what I was told this had changed to one month. Now I find myself in a terrible situation - an entire month to set up the internet???? Oh no, sorry the phone line, the internet takes another week on top of that????Huh
My shop was due to open tomorrow, but with no internet, I simply cannot take payments in the method I need to. The shop is set up to take payments by PayPal Here which exclusively requires the use of internet for it to work. I have set up everything correctly so that the receipting system is VAT compatible and everything is wired up ready for a test. Except I can't test is and use it because the wires go nowhere, there is no internet box for them to go in to.
I cannot use the stock system, the till, the ordering system, or the computer controlled lighting system. I can't email the office, the suppliers, the staff - without the internet my shop is useless. I followed the rules and now I find myself with a shop that cannot open.
In an age when the government and councils are meant to be helping small businesses find their feet they have failed me certainly in not ensuring that service providers are adequately set up to deal with new business internet. Are plusnet to blame? - yes they are and there is no excuse for passing the buck to BT Openreach, who in themselves deserve to be held to a pubic inquiry for fundamentally holding businesses and households hostage.
It is plusnet's responsibility to make sure that their customer is happy and connected within the time specifically stated to me. Openreach is merely a supplier and where I live, in a small town, there is a BT exchange and a large Openreach office which is constantly full with Openreach fans. This site is literally less than 300 metres from my shop.
There are many things I don't understand in regards to this transaction with plusnet. Firstly when I signed and paid very promptly with plusnet they gave me a phone number. Why would you give me a phone number if something needs to be installed at the property? Clearly nothing needs to be installed, the phone line is there, there are five phone sockets and the service is seemingly activated. If Openreach need to do something then it is a ten minute job, maximum. It is plusnet's responsibility to me or any other customer to report this to Openreach and let them know that this is simply a ten minute job as no installation is necessary.
I had to check the date on my phone to really make sure of something - and I was correct that it was indeed the year 2015. This whole debacle had me concerned I was living in the top end of the 1990s.
So here's the issue - I have a phone number and I have shop set up to take payments via through the internet amongst other web-based services. I don't have the internet and most likely will not be getting the internet now, according to plusnet, until the end of March which is simply not on. I needed at least two weeks in the shop to work with new staff learning the systems before I was needed elsewhere. I won't have that now and this basically screws up my entire year.
Should I send a copy of this forum post to my local politician to advise me in issues of human rights? As not only does this affect that I cannot open the shop, this is in relation to the whole issue of not having access to the internet, especially when this means that my business simply cannot run for the foreseeable future.
The next point is that I have no choice but to investigate any legal action I can take as there is clearly a case for business compensation, this is unless plusnet can offer me something that ensures my shop will open as it is meant to, which I very much doubt they can now.
In this day and age of digital expansion and internet based living, it is wholly unacceptable and pretty disgusting that someone can't run their business as they are meant to.
I will lose money from day one, quite literally, because I cannot offer my customers what they come into the shop for. Now I have some questions that anyone on the forum can answer. However, I can imagine that most answers would be passing the buck to the likes of BT Openreach. This passing the buck commonality to Openreach is a terrible customer service technique and I, like many others cannot believe I fell for the misconstrued truth of going with a company that had award wining customer service.
1 - Why does it take yet another week to get me connected to the internet after the phone line has been installed, why not send me the hub beforehand?
2 - Why do BT Openreach need to install a phone line to get me connected when there is already a connection at the property?
3 - Seriously - why does it take what will be 5 weeks minimum to get my shop connected to the internet? (And please don't use your award-winning customer service to pass the buck to Openreach, it's your responsibility to pressure them into getting the 'work' done - I am your customer, I am not Openreach's customer)
4 - Why did someone tell me it would take two weeks and not to call back until two weeks before needing the internet without checking in advance how long it would really take?
5 - Why not tell me how to contact BT Openreach so I can pressure them into working faster on this issue, most customers would push harder than plusnet obviously have?
6 - Who do I contact at plusnet to go about claiming compensation for the loss of earnings in my shop because of no access to the internet, or do I use my own legal team to take it all the way?
7 - In what way is this possibly right, business-wise or morally, to have another business wait 5 weeks to be connected to the internet?
Had I known what I know now, I would have ordered the internet back in August 2014 to ensure delivery for March 2015, it feels like it is that slow. I understand many others have had to wait longer and I feel for them. I would deal with it, if it was for my home, I would go elsewhere and hate to, but I would use the internet elsewhere. In a shop - I simply can't do that.
Plusnet, and whoever they want to blame, are holding my business hostage and I need to start making waves with this complaint in order to somewhere along the line speed up this ridiculous process. If I can't speed up this process then I seriously need to find out how to get compensation for the lost sales in my shop.
I wouldn't need to be making this complaint if I had been informed it would take over a month to get set up.
25 REPLIES 25
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Is there is a dial tone on any of the phone sockets? If so dial 17070 and note the number it tells you. It should then be possible to get that activated quickly and get the broadband activated with an expedited install.
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 (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
bennybelton
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎08-03-2015

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Hi Jelv,
Sure thing, there is a dial tone and I have noted the number, it's the same that plusnet have already given me.
plusnet are still adamant that 'installation' can't be before 17th March?
Thanks
picbits
Rising Star
Posts: 3,428
Thanks: 22
Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Hopefully one of the business team will pick this up tomorrow and see if they can expedite an install for you Smiley
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Surprised no one from the business team has picked this up!
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 (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Kev
Grafter
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎17-06-2007

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Hi,
We are trying to get you a sooner appointment but currently there is not one sooner than your current assigned one.
I will try again tomorrow and make sure your open ticket is responded to.
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Quote from: bennybelton

Should I send a copy of this forum post to my local politician to advise me in issues of human rights?

Just which of your human rights do you feel you have been denied?
bennybelton
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎08-03-2015

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

A play on the recent words of Tim Berners Lee in which he stated that access to the internet is becoming more like a human right.
Kev
Grafter
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎17-06-2007

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Hi,
I have now responded to your ticket, you will be able to see it on your account.
AlaricAdair
Champion
Posts: 5,658
Thanks: 652
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

As you regard Internet connectivity as an absolute essential for your business, you might want to look at dual sourcing your internet connections to reduce the likelihood of losing the service in the future. You can also have 3G/4G connectivity as a tertiary backup should the Copper wire internet connections fail.
Suppliers such as Draytek or Billion produce boxes which will manage multiple internet links with automatic fail-over.
Long experience of telecomms has taught me to never trust Ready for Service dates given by the vendors. Always have a plan B and a Plan C in case the working connection is not available on the due date.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
mwarby
Grafter
Posts: 85
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

I was thinking the same this morning. If internet connectivity is crucial to your business, relying on a single ADSL line is risky. As far as i know most ADSL connections have little in the way of an SLA, which may make compensation claims difficult(I'd think to get the SLA you'd want you'd be looking at a leased line)
I do have sympathy as to the situation your in, I hope you get this sorted and you manage to arrange a robust and affordable solution
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,668
Thanks: 8,025
Fixes: 94
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

For information - you can rant as much as you like at PlusNet - if there are no BT Openreach appointment slots, then there is nothing anyone can do.  BT Openreach own the infrastructure and they are the only people who can work on the network.
When did you order the service?  On the day you got access to the property or in advance to commence on the day you moved in?
When I took business service from PN, I ordered it in advance of occupying the property to be available from the day I took the property over.  Sadly this is now all water under the bridge for you and nothing can be done until BTOR have a vacant installation slot.  Have you asked if (at a fee) an escalated install is available?
Whatever, given Kev Scott is on the case, you could not be in more committed helpful hands, especially if Alli is handling the provide with him.  Wink

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Quote from: bennybelton
I paid for business internet on the 20th February and was initially told to my horror that it won't be installed until 17th March. Not withstanding that disgraceful length of time it will take plusnet another week to set up my broadband?
When I first spoke to plusnet back in January, I informed them that I was opening a shop in the High Street of my town and mentioned that I would be collecting the keys in the last week of February. They told me that it wouldn't take more than two weeks to set me up with the internet.

We all know that ordering should be done as early as possible, but he's tried to do the right thing. He spoke to them in January and in accordance with the advice given he ordered over two weeks in advance of the date he required internet access to be available.
Yes Plusnet should be looking for an escalated install and Plusnet should be meeting the cost of that.
The big issue here is why Plusnet's reps are so crap and gave out such god-damned awful advice! Angry
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 (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,668
Thanks: 8,025
Fixes: 94
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

Jelv,
There will always be a difference between the "usual / generic" expectations and the reality in a particular location.  We have seen this all too often, on the ground there might not be available or spare BT resources.  How many times have we seen on here PlusNet taking business in good faith only to find there are no free ports / wires / cards to provision said service.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

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

Re: Plusnet and BT holding me hostage - compensation claim for lost sales in shop?!!

I once managed an installation of telecomms where  BT promised to deliver by a particular date then had immense problems because the property developer had chainsawed a 300 pair phone cable into the building and pulled it back into the manhole (without twlling BT). It just goes to show there can be factors outside of the telecomms company control. Usually it is just the chaos within OpenReach. Their senior executives are from a marketing background and the engineers have been shoved aside. One type promises a lot and is less focussed on delivery.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.