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force9 / plusnet rip off

scotweb
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-03-2008

force9 / plusnet rip off

Sorry about the headline but I can't think of a better way to phrase this I am so outraged. I've just discovered that for goodness knows how many months, we have been being charged over 76 pounds per month, for a worse service than the highest priced package that is now under 35 per month.
The banks have come in for stick from consumer groups for playing these tricks by introducing better interest rate accounts and quietly shifting the rates for their old customers upwards without changing them. But that pales into insignificance with this. They've been ripping us off for more than 250% over the going rate!!
I intend to ask for a refund. If this is refused (or moderators note, if this posting is removed!) I shall be writing to every computer and consumer column in the country to describe this outrage. What a deplorable way to treat your loyal customers!
30 REPLIES 30
zubel
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,793
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Can I ask which product you're currently on?
When Plusnet release new products, they generally contact all of their customers to publicise the new products. 
They do not automatically migrate customers onto those new products as they generally have different feature sets which may or may not suit the customer in question.  The onus is upon the customer to review any new product offerings and request to be moved to them if they are suitable.
I can't recall any product that was £76 monthly, so some explanation of the fees you have been charged would be useful.
B.
scotweb
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-03-2008

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Force9 Business Premier Option 3 £76.36(monthly)
And no one notified us. If they had we would certainly have changed.
I'm sorry but the 'not automatically migrating' customers line simply doesn't hold water. There is NO excuse for overcharging by more than two and a half times the highest priced current package, for what I presume is now a vastly inferior service. This seems to me clearly a case of very shabby business practice that has already lost the company a huge amount of goodwill and word-of-mouth reputation from us, and could do so far more if I have to go ballistic!
zubel
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,793
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

I'm sure one of the Comms team will respond shortly, however:
1.  I'm fairly certain you will have received email notification of new offers, unless you have opted out of marketing emails.
2.  Newer products are not necessarily 'better' products.  An example of this is the residential BBYW products which have a much longer 'peak' time than the previous Premier products. 
I'm not familiar with the Force9 historical product set so can't really comment on the differences between that and the new products.  However, as I previously said the onus is upon the customer to analyse whether their package is best suited to the ongoing needs of their business.  Surely this sort of appraisal is carried out on a regular basis within any company for all cost centres?
B.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Hi there,
I'm sorry that you feel that you have been misled.
We did email you a couple of years ago to let you know that your product name had been changed, but I don't seem to be able to locate anything regarding alternate packages being offered.  Your product - Business Premier Option 3 hasn't actually been available for sale since April last year if memory serves me correctly.
Whilst I am sorry that we didn't inform you of the new product being released/amended, it is to an extent upto you to ensure that you are on the correct deal with your usage requirements, however I can completely understand why you would be annoyed.
If you would like us to change your product to Business Premier, I'll be happy to arrange for a good will gesture on your account shouold you decide to remain with us.
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Is this a case where the business users don't get the newsletter?
If so perhaps there should be a separate version that gets sent to them.
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)
Not applicable

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Sounds like the F9 equivalent of the PN Business account I was on. Seem to remember it was around the £75 mark.
I find the practice questionable, but from a devils advocate POV I can see the position PN looked at the situation from at the time.
<Devils Advocate>
You get the product you paid for, and have received that product all the time you have been paying.
The fact that they started to sell a new product which is pretty similar but at less than half the cost is unrelated to product you were buying.
</Devils Advocate>
I was under the impression that PN had contacted all of the customers on legacy products to inform them about the newer products, that is presumably unless the customer had opted out of receiving marketing emails.
scotweb
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-03-2008

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Barry, we may well have opted out of 'marketing' emails (we normally would). But I don't feel this would fall within anyone's normal definition of marketing. It's an account matter, which we would expect to be notified about.
Jameseh, I have attempted to use your system to change to the 35/pound account myself. I'd be grateful if you could confirm this has been successful. As for a goodwill gesture, as I feel I've made clear a full refund of the amount we've been overcharged seems to me the only reasonable course of action. As I read it we have been overcharged (in my eyes) for about two years, and our 'product' hasn't actually been available for 9 months. I would compromise on a refund of the latter period, but anything less would feel like an insult.
In that event I'll let the matter rest. Otherwise I will continue to feel that my loyalty has been abused, and it's only human nature that I'll be telling anyone that will listen. Thanks.
scotweb
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-03-2008

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Oops, 12 months (since we've now paid up until April). Not 9!
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Hi again,
Basically, the product that you are on gave priority on the upto 8Mbps upgrades that we started doing a couple of years ago.
I can confirm that you have made a request to change package which will will actioned shortly.
Since you moved onto this product, we've sent a number of business Newsletters, of which at least one advised of the newer range of business products.  As you opted out of receiving marketing content, you will not have received these Newsletters.
The good will gesture I was referring to would have been a couple of free months.  I'm not in a position where I would be able to offer you a refund to the tune that you are seeking.
If we were to have sent you the Newsletters that mentioned any change to our products, we would have been violating your opt-out requests.
You, as a customer also have a responsibility to check for the product that you may for and to ensure that you are getting the best deal.  It is not our responsibility to make that decision for you.
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

I don't understand why people opt out of the emails - it's not as if there are a lot of them sent out!
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)
Not applicable

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

About 1 per month isn't it?
scotweb
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-03-2008

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

Jameseh, as I said, a couple of months feels like a smack in the mouth. If you are "not in a position" where you can authorise a refund of the overcharging, I would urge you to take it to your managers, and indeed to your company's PR director, as I am deadly serious about going ballistic in terms of publicity otherwise.  I am trying my best to be reasonable, but I find it hard to describe how strongly I feel about this and if not satisfied I will put a lot of time into publicising the malpractice as I see it.
Let's be clear. You've been double-charging me for a service you haven't even offered for the past year! This is indefensible ethically, and highly questionnable legally.
Not applicable

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

I don't think that accusing PN of breaking the law (when its clear that they aren't) is the best way to persuade them to bend over backwards to do you a favour.
Taking it public isn't exactly a scary proposition - it was one of the *hugest*  pieces of poor PR for PN when it happened in the first place.
PN have since kind of apologised for it publically too.
I don't think you could really make it more public than that (and if you never saw the poo storm at the time, what would it acheive now anyway?)
All you are doing is making them less friendly/receptive to your suggestion the way I see it.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: force9 / plusnet rip off

another twist to the argument, PN might have withdrawn the offer nearly a year ago, but so they did with home phone packages,  now people have found out how good the old offer was but hadnt taken it up, they are being offered the old product on a manual addition basis.  You cant always have your cake and eat it, the crumbs get in the way.