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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

As at 13th September I have now been without broadband for 23 days following a line failure. During this time the performance of both BT wholesale and Plusnet has been dismal.

During this time :

- I have swapped all cables and filters and tested all my equipment successfully on another line.
- I tried to get updates from Plusnet via the tickets system. These were ignored.
- I have waited for a week and missed work for a BT engineer who did not turn up
- I waited a further five days for an engineer who did turn up, confirm that the problem was not with my equipment but was an exchange fault and advised it should be fixed that evening. (It wasn't and I reported this to Plusnet)
- I waited another 4 days for BT to say they thought the line was in sync, but never tested it from my end. Problem still the same as before and I reported this to Plusnet
- I am still waiting for further action on this from both BT and Plusnet.
- Plusnet have refused to escalate the problem properly in direct contact with BT to ensure a solution
- I have been constantly advised by Plusnet that they have no service level agreement with their customers and that there is no service level agreement between BT Wholesale and Plusnet and therefore neither Plusnet nor BT are obliged to do anything about faults within any timescale at all (!).

The situation after more than three weeks is :

- There is no word at all from BT about the nature of the fault or what they are planning to do, 10 days after the engineer's visit
- Plusnet do not know what the problem is
- Plusnet do not know what BT are doing about it
- Plusnet have no timescales to ask BT any of the above or do anything about it
- Plusnet customer service advise me that they will not take any action regarding a fault referred to BT for at least a week after the last communication. As they advised BT that the fault was unresolved last week, they will do nothing apparently until maybe Wednesday or Thursday this week, if at all.
- Plusnet have no clear escalation procedures or management in place to ensure a resolution to the fault. (I have asked about escalation and it apparently involves nothing more than posting another message. Then presumably waiting another week)
- Plusnet are not in direct management contact with BT to chase up their engineers or escalate the problem
- I am paying £22.99 per month(!) for a non-existent broadband service
- I am being charged additional costs from Plusnet for dial-up connections and lengthy queues for telephone support (up to 40 minutes wait)
- Plusnet are therefore actually increasing their revenue from me while not providing the service I signed up for (!!!).
- I am entitled to no refund of my subscription or compensation for costs and time wasted during this failure to provide service.
- I couldn't even change ISPs if I wanted to as there is currently no functioning ADSL on the line.

If I was allowed to contact BT wholesale directly I would be chasing them constantly after such a length of time, failure to turn up followed by failure to resolve the problem. I cannot do this so have to rely on Plusnet to do it on my behalf as per the terms of the contract. Sadly Plusnet seem to lack the basic escalation procedures or support management skills to take ownership of problems on behalf of their customers to ensure a satisfactory and timely resolution to problems.

Details of this problem and lack of service have been sent in writing to the Customer Services Director of Plusnet and should be on his desk today. But it all seems to come down to ".. there is no service level agreement, no obligation..." and that "realistically", as I was advised on Sunday, I should not expect any swift action from Plusnet.

This situation is quite appalling and totally outwith the "reasonable" timescales promised in Plusnet's Code of Conduct. There is, however, apparently no prospect of action.

...And, while I am sitting with no service at all being provided, I received an email from Plusnet customer support to advise me that my 2mb line upgrade is now active. How they must have laughed and sniggered when they sent that out...
46 REPLIES
glloyd
Rising Star
Posts: 1,652
Thanks: 20
Fixes: 1
Registered: 06-04-2007

Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

One thing that seems a bit odd. You say you received an email to say you had been upgraded to 2meg. As I understand it the line has to be tested for maximum speed, how could they do that with no connection?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

Hi,

I'm sorry that this is taking so long, unfortunately this doesn't look like a simple problem. From the notes I can see that an engineer has tested the service from outside your property and it still wasn't working. Also from the notes there is still an engineer assigned to the case who is trying to track the exact cause of the problem, they've done a presto test at the exchange which is showing that side is working so the problem is somewhere inbetween.

As soon as we know the answer we will let you know, but at the moment it's in the hands of BT as they try and find where abouts on the line the problem is being caused.

Regarding the 2Mbps upgrade, this is a fully automated process.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

Dave, I've said this time and time again, but surely you need to make some modifacation to the ticketing system or your proceedures for BT faults so that say once a week the ticket is flagged back up BT are chased for info, then the customer is updated saying the info found or BT are still working on the problem and cannot give us any more info. It would save so many posts like this from customers upset at a lack of knowledge.
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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

gloyd - I'm not sure about the upgrade. I believe they are done and in place for a while before users are notified by PlusNet. I suspect that in this case something to do with the upgrade shafted the exchange line. But if so, I still don't know how the line could have checked out.

no7olivier - I agree absolutely with with the point that regular checks should be made and reported back to the customer even if it is just to confirm that the matter is outstanding but in hand. I too said this on numerous occasions to PlusNet staff but in all but one case they point-blank refused to countenance it. But once a week is far too infrequent. Every day or two would be more acceptable.

dtomlinson - This is a good example of the problems I have faced.
"... From the notes I can see .......problem is somewhere inbetween...". This is the first I have heard the detail of any of this in spite of constantly phoning and asking for this very information! This is in spite of the problem having been checked out 10 days ago by a BT engineer and the information apparently being available to PlusNet. I was clearly told by PlusNet support on the phone on Sunday to have "realistic" expectations and that nothing would be considered to be done by them until maybe Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest, so your reply comes as something of a surprise.You also fail to address the loss of service, waste of time, additional costs and compensation issues, and generally the fact that Plusnet is making even more money out of me by not providing the service than if the service was working.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

@osprey, I don't think plusnet are making as much out of the time as you might think as BT still charge them, maybe in future they could offer a rebate to cost price ( not under you stay we pay though ), whilst not an ideal solution for the user, it means they aren't paying full whack for a service that is broken, whilst the ISP still cover their cost.
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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

As well as their other charges, ISPs also earn revenue from the actual calls to 0845 numbers, for dialup connection and for queuing on support lines. So they still make even more money from customers (like me) when the broadband service is down if they don't rebate service charges for non-service. To avoid the inference of profiteering they should at least offer an 0800 freephone dialup for the duration of service outages, at least where these are known to be unrelated to customer equipment.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

Offering free dial-up has been considered in the past but the cost of a FRIACO port (nearly £100 per month) makes this unviable without charging for it.

I can raise it again, it was looked at as part of an enhanced care package not too long ago.
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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

Quote
but surely you need to make some modifacation to the ticketing system or your proceedures for BT faults so that say once a week the ticket is flagged back up BT are chased for info, then the customer is updated saying the info found or BT are still working on the problem....


Good idea, I currently have a speed problem that has been passed onto BT, I had a phonecall from BTw 4 days ago to say they will test my line and to leave my firewall down for 30 mins :shock: , since then I've heard nothing from BTw or PN. Maybe I'm just being impatient.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

No it's not a good idea, It's common sense, keep the customer informed and the customer will stay happy - no one likes feeling out of control.

@ian555 that was aimed at plusnet not you ;-)
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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

Quote

@ian555 that was aimed at plusnet not you ;-)


ok m8 no probs :lol:
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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

Well, something appeared on the ticket for this :

Assigned : Update from BT: "15 - An engineer is still assigned and have not closed the case yet."

Not dead, merely sleeping apparently
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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

BT can be pretty poor - once was diconnected from the internet at work for over a week - engineer came out, agreed with me that it was a problem at the exchange and that it would be fixed the next day (which it wasn't).

So, I had to get my ISP to contact BT and arrange another engineer (who never came).

Eventually the problem was traced to some idiot not fixing something correctly at the exchange - unfortuntaely they dont give out exact details.
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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

And I thought I had problems! I just signed up and was supplied with a duff router. Can't get any response from PlusNet in nearly a week. It seems I should cut my losses now and go somewhere else.
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Broadband Service Failure. Dismal Support. 31 days no ADSL

Day 26. Confusion reigns.

First surprise - I got a call from BT to arrange an engineer. (Letter to Customer Services Director, complaint to BT Wholesale, forum postings and referral of a number of general anti-public-interest elements arising from this stuation to Ofcom must have jogged a response somewhere) So engineer scheduled for 8-10.30 on Thursday morning and I arrange time off work.
Not-A-Surprise - PlusNet apparently know nothing about this appointment being made. Anyway, engineer duly arrives...

Second surprise - He arrives at 3.00 on Wednesday afternoon! Prompt or what for a Thursday appointment? Except, of course, I am not at home. So have to abandon work again - more time lost and undoing all other arrangements, but grateful nonetheless that something is actually happening. Engineer is very professional and helpful, checks fault and finds exactly same as before, what a surprise! Circuit seems to be in sync in test mode at exchange but no sync at junction box in the street, apparently loses all ability to sync as soon as there is any load on the line. So he has to refer it back to an exchange engineer to change the line box, but not same day. Deja vu here. This happened two weeks ago.

Prediction:
--------------
I expect that what will happen next is :

- Line box will be switched at the exchange sometime.
- Circuit will be tested at exchange with no load on line
- Nobody will test it at my end
- BT will say it's working because it checks out in test mode when not in use.
- PlusNet will tell me it's all fixed and they're great
- The problem will still be there and the line will still not work.
- I will have to report this again to PlusNet
- PlusNet will not escalate it and insist that they don't check anything for at least a week
- I will spend two weeks on the phone failing to get PlusNet to take the problem seriously
- eventually a BT engineer will come out and find that the line is in sync at the exchange in test mode but doesn't sync at the junction box.......

- (repeat ad nauseam....)

I would really love to be wrong about this, and the engineer did say he would try to check that something was actually done, but for some strange reason I can't help having a bad feeling somehow...