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So you want less of my business?

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AlaricAdair
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So you want less of my business?

I closed a business account, no longer in a contract period, yet PlusNet in their wisdom have decided to continue billing me for the service.  Current wait on "Customer Service" 15 minute phone queue.

Wasn't there something in the news about heavy fines (£880,000) from Ofcom for continuing to bill people after they'd left PlusNet? Seems like PN have not learned.

Maybe I should move all of my other business services away from PN.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
18 REPLIES 18
AlaricAdair
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Re: So you want less of my business?

After a 25 minute wait on the phone, I got through to the business team, who didn't have a reasonable excuse. Other than there was not enough time (3 weeks) to prevent the invoice going out.

Unfortunately mid-call there was a delivery to the house so I had to cut the phone call short before any resolution was offered.

I checked the business bank account and the money has been deducted.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
AlaricAdair
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Re: So you want less of my business?

The saga gets worse. About an hour ago I get an email from Plusnet telling me the migration was completed 21/05/2017 and the outstanding amount is £12.74, but PN have decided to waive the charge.

The trouble is the account was closed 21st April and PN owe us a one month refund.  (I have a document trail).

16 minutes into a phone queue...

 

... after 25 minutes on the phone. "it appears that you are right. But I can't give a refund because your bank details were deleted when we closed the account. I'll have to pass it over to the Finance people..."

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Browni
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Re: So you want less of my business?

Were those details illegally deleted?

AlaricAdair
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Re: So you want less of my business?

I suppose under Data Protection laws they are supposed to delete them when they no longer need them Wink 

The trouble is they've made such SNAFU they should have held on to them a bit longer.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
billnotben
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Re: So you want less of my business?

I wonder how much bigger the fine gets on the second time around.

The superuser program - will it fix this - no it won't

Gandalf
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Re: So you want less of my business?

Fix

Hi @AlaricAdair

I am really sorry to hear this.

I've reviewed the account, and I can see that because your service was ceased on your bill date the normal invoice amount was submitted to your direct debit before the cease went through and account was closed.

 

As your direct debit details have been removed, I've arranged for our billing team to send you a cheque refund which you should receive within the next 14 working days.

 

I apologise for the inconvenience caused.

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From 31st October 2022, I no longer have a regular presence here as I've moved on to a new role within Plusnet.

 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet
AlaricAdair
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Re: So you want less of my business?

Strictly speaking the service stopped on the 21st April and the subsequent bill was electronically "printed" on the 25th April. Though this ignores the fact PN knew of this cessation weeks prior on 4th April and should have taken action to prevent the bill from being raised. 

I'd written to Andy Baker, prior to yesterday's SNAFU with the wrong cancellation date, to ask him why the PN procedures had not been fixed following the Ofcom fine. As a shareholder I can see this must waste shareholder's funds through the risk of repeat fines and the extra work entailed in fixing the problems. I'll be interested to see the response.

As you say the "cheque's-in-the-post" I'll wait and see what amount has been calculated by your bean counters.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Gandalf
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Re: So you want less of my business?

The cease completed with our suppliers on the 25th April, which was your bill date.

We wouldn't close an account before a cease has completed.

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From 31st October 2022, I no longer have a regular presence here as I've moved on to a new role within Plusnet.

 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet
AlaricAdair
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Re: So you want less of my business?

I wasn't suggesting you closed the account before the service ceased. What I'm saying is PN should have stopped a bill going out, charging me for a month's service which you knew would not take place. Then to cap it all taking money from my company bank account for a service you knew you wouldn't be supplying.

It is plain sloppy corporate laziness reeking of inefficient procedures. I'm left wondering how long the charging would have gone on had I not raised the flag myself.

As to Openreach/PN taking 4 days to realise you'd ceased the service; that should not be my problem!

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Gandalf
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Re: So you want less of my business?

The only way we could have stopped the billing on an account would be by closing it. The cease completed on the 25th with BT Wholesale. Had you not contacted us we would have still closed your account as we were monitoring this via this ticket.

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From 31st October 2022, I no longer have a regular presence here as I've moved on to a new role within Plusnet.

 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet
AlaricAdair
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Re: So you want less of my business?

Nope, you are just not getting it are you? Your corporate procedures are inadequate, as in "failed."  

On the 4th April someone or your "system" should have said "This person is leaving. Check the final bill before it affects the customer."

Given the information PN had on 4th April there is no excuse for charging me for May broadband services.

It is now becoming clear to me that perhaps PlusNet should have some further external encouragement to look at its procedures. Once Mr Baker has had the chance to reply I'll look into it.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
HarryB
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Re: So you want less of my business?


@AlaricAdair wrote:

I wasn't suggesting you closed the account before the service ceased. What I'm saying is PN should have stopped a bill going out, charging me for a month's service which you knew would not take place.

I believe one of the reasons behind not doing this is that the order with your new provider could fail or run in to delays etc. at which point there would still be valid charges.

 


@AlaricAdair wrote:
I'm left wondering how long the charging would have gone on had I not raised the flag myself.

A ticket was raised on the account on the day the services ceased, however we could not close the account at this stage as billing had already started due to it being on the billing date.

This was picked up the following day and placed on hold, waiting for the direct debit to clear so we could refund the appropriate amount and actually close the account.

A week after this, it was picked up again, and the direct debit had still not cleared, at which point it was placed back on hold to wait for the direct debit to clear (Although on the second time, admittedly I wouldn't have put it on hold for as long as it was)

 


@AlaricAdair wrote:

As to Openreach/PN taking 4 days to realise you'd ceased the service; that should not be my problem!


Although the cease order initially came through with an expected completion date of 20/04/17, the order completed on 25/04/17 from what I can see Huh

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 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Infrastructure Operations Professional
AlaricAdair
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Re: So you want less of my business?

HarryB, thanks for taking the time to explain. However all you are doing is explaining the weakness of PN's current procedures.

Firstly from Zen service available notice: 

Service Live Date: 21/04/2017

This agrees with my records. If your records have a different date, I'm sorry but they do not reflect reality, possibly OpenReach got it wrong, but we should not be exposed to your "supplier's" inefficiency.

Secondly you are confirming your procedures that PlusNet considers it is acceptable practice to charge a customer for a service they won't receive and to put it right later via a cheque refund.

This creates extra work for PN and cheque processing work/costs for the customer. It could have been avoided if PN put a stop on further invoicing with effect from the 4th April until the final settlement amount was known. PN could have notified such a plan to the customer. Given the history of the Ofcom fine and it's cause, I'd have thought extra caution would be the rule.

I'd seen the "ticket", but the actions were not clearly explained, they were in PN's internal corporate shorthand.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
AlaricAdair
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Re: So you want less of my business?

Yesterday we received two letters from PlusNet. One contained a refund cheque calculated from 25th April, strictly speaking this should have been the 21st April. The second letter was a glib response from Customer Relations, it was full of wrong information. I've provided Mr Baker with corrected information in a subsequent response. Just to put the record right and to provide a customer's assessment of the PN account closure processes. The response provides Mr Baker with an incentive to read the letter himself.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.