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Customer Support

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Customer Support

Hi, one of +net's real problems, and what is turning me away from using their service, is the atitude they have here. Several of us now have reported issues with web brousing, dns errors, pages can't be found etc. What do +net do, blame our equipment/setup, yeah right, I'm a school's ICT technician so I think I'd know what to look at first.

Then when we really need some communication as too what's going on, they just disapear...

It's not really good enough is it, treating customers like they are ignorant by being ignorant, and frankly, damm rude really.

You've lost me as a customer now, I expect a service, polite helpful individuals, that's what I pay for and I think not too much to expect...
ChrisC
15 REPLIES
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Customer Support

Hi there,

We're certainly not ignoring you, I can assure you of that.

We're a little low on Comms coverage at the moment due to holidays, and Liam and I are trying to answer as many issues as possible.

At the moment the networks guys are working on the DNS issues and the email problems, and are keeping us updated as best they can whilst they are fixing the problems.

If there's anything specific you need help with let me know and I'll take a look.
sophos9
Grafter
Posts: 760
Registered: 12-09-2007

Customer Support

cattbarton, sorry you have received a bad experience.

The shear volume of problems reported are down to customers equipment or BT issues

PN have been working really hard to sort out these issues in this forum, fingers crossed they can turn it around...
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Customer Support

I feel, a few months ago the CS Centre was diabolical.

I have a fault on my "line" which was reported back in June and still has the ticket open.

Originally I would get no response out of the CS Centre.

With all the tests that I have done and PN have done, it appears that PN have to rely on 3rd Party suppliers. Whether it be BT or Tiscalli.

I believe more the half of the problems are caused by BT and Tiscalli, with the exception of the peak time throttling that I also seem to be seeing, even though I don’t DL in peak time.
The BTmax and LLU is new gear, and the hardware and software appears to be FULL of bugs.

I still think CS have a long way to go, before all is good again.
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Customer Support

Hi mandbeckett, and thank you for your reply, I see know that the service status is indeed reflecting the dns issues. Thing is, and the point of my complaint, this was first Posted: 21 Dec 2006 @ 09:00 pm, although I believe the issue started alot earlier, only now are +net accepting there is a issue.
You need to listen a bit more to us, when we say we have a problem please take note. I believe that the majority of people who find themselves posting here do know what they are doing.
I hope you manage to fix it soon....
ChrisC
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Customer Support

Hi there,

I totally appreciate what you are saying there, and agree to a certain extent.

Yesterday evening we asked the networks guys and our CSC colleagues to watch out for any DNS issues, however we could not raise a priority problem and put out a Service Status as it did not look to be affecting many people at all.

This morning this snowballed, and by mid morning we had numerous examples. At this point a priority problem was raised, and our networks team stepped up the resource to fix this problem. A service status message was then issued.

We believe that it is now resolved, but if any further issues are experienced please let us know.
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Customer Support

We do just have to find the right balance Chris.... If we posted a service status every time two or three customers reported the same fault, you'd probably see 200 service status posts a day. We also need to rely on our own monitoring more to and improve that to identify more fault conditions on the platform so that we can alert customers to known issues sooner. We have plans to make lots more of that internal system monitoring available directly on the portal, along the lines of what we already started to do with the new graphing section of the portal.

How the process works now is that when we identify a problem internally, someone raises a Priority one (P1) problem in our problem management tool. This normally comes from agents in the CSC, who are trained to spot patterns of problems, from our existing monitoring, or from a comms agents who spots a thread about a specific problem.

After the P1 is raised, the comms guys tend to try and speak to people who own fixing the issue, confirm the fault and get an ETA for a resolution or further update before they post anything to service status. Even at top whack that can introduce a 30 minute delay into reporting an issue. If no one from the comms team is available it can take us even longer to get information onto the portal for customers, although there are other nominated people in the business who are trained with the service status tool.

I love to find ways to improve the speed at which we can report on emerging service issues, and in 2007 we have a new service status tool which in some ways will assist with this through it's better design.

As well as the new tool, we also have a project to put "Every P1 on the portal". The idea will be to bring a view of our problem tool directly onto the portal, so that as soon as anyone in the business raises a P1 problem it will be displayed for customers to see, rather than having to wait for a comms team member to make the problem report available via service status. Updates will also be communicated via this tool directly by the engineer who is working on the problem, rather than this having to be relayed via the comms folks.

Those changes are still a couple of months away, but they are actively being progressed. In the mean time, we don't make any excuse for not keeping our service status tool more up to date, but I'm afraid there will be times when it is a bit behind just because of the process we have now.

Ian
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Customer Support

Hi, thank you for that information, ianwild, it is nice to know how things work, lets hope the new way of communicating will work better.

However I am still seeing dns errors, so unless there is some other cause then it isn't fixed yet....
ChrisC
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Customer Support

How about now?

For diagnostic purposes, can you try manually specifying the OpenDNS server addresses, and advise if that improves the experience you have?

See http://www.opendns.com for more details and guides on how to change the setting.

Ian
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Customer Support

Quote
Yesterday evening we asked the networks guys and our CSC colleagues to watch out for any DNS issues, however we could not raise a priority problem and put out a Service Status as it did not look to be affecting many people at all.

This morning this snowballed, and by mid morning we had numerous examples. At this point a priority problem was raised, and our networks team stepped up the resource to fix this problem. A service status message was then issued.


So lesson to learn here (and PlusNet have had lots of goes at this) is to act on the information as soon as it starts to come in and realise that if there are ANY reports of a problem, then there's a problem. Doesn't matter if it only affects "a few people". Get a Service Status message up saying that you are aware of a problem and are monitoring/investigating. It makes the people who reported it feel special and like they're being looked after. It gives everyone else the confidence that you're actually doing something about the problems, and when it does grow in to a bigger problem then it's clear that you've been on the case right from the off rather than sitting about waiting for it to snowball.

It's yet another reason why I decided to ask for my MAC code, because far too many times I've reported problems, and I've been one of the "only a few users are experiencing it" or "we've not had anyone else report the problem", and then sure enough days/weeks later it goes wrong and PlusNet are in a panic to try and get it sorted.

Why won't you listen to your customers (and act upon) properly PlusNet?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Customer Support

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So lesson to learn here (and PlusNet have had lots of goes at this) is to act on the information as soon as it starts to come in and realise that if there are ANY reports of a problem, then there's a problem. Doesn't matter if it only affects "a few people".


How many times though do you see people reporting problems where the cause is something out of our control, be it the customer's equipment or something on the Internet? From a support perspective this is the most common reason for a problem that someone is seeing. That doesn't mean though that where someone reports an issue we won't try and replicate it and raise it as appropriate, I've got 2 or 3 ADSL test lines next to me, remote desktop to my own connection and I'm usually on IRC and over the course of an average day will test out all kinds of things I see reported.

Crying wolf though whenever there's a couple of posts though and posting to service status not only would take up all of our time, but make service status useless if there were 200 things posted a day.

When things do go wrong then yes the priority is to get it raised to appropriate people, get the status post out, inform CSC and update the phone message. The CSC will also be on the look out for problems, so if they notice a trend of calls or the call volumes go up signicantly then they will be communicating with themselves, with us, checking nagios and the monitoring and speaking with the network guys if they think something is wrong.

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Why won't you listen to your customers (and act upon) properly PlusNet?


I think we do, but if you are one of the first to notice something and we can't replicate it or no-one else is reporting it the law averages alone says it's more likely to be something your side. Maybe we could do things better, I'm sure we could.
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Customer Support

Dave, thanks for the reply. If you cast your mind back a few weeks there were reports on the various forums from people saying their connections were slow during the evenings. A good number of people all reporting the same problem on here, PUG and ADSLguide. I even phoned up to report the problem, and was told there would be a service status made later that night. There wasn't one.

It happened again for a few days, and there was nothing from PlusNet to acknowledge it - I actually phoned up twice, and raised tickets.

I felt ignored. I'm sure others felt the same way.

It was only days (possibly a week or so) later that PlusNet suddenly woke up from a slumber and started to accept/realise there might be a problem.

I can fully understand that one-off user problems are hard to diagnose and shouldn't get a Service Status, but when you've got people reporting problems (PlusTalk is another good example) then why doesn't it get flagged up on the Service Status so as your customers actually know that 1) something is being done 2) you (PlusNet) actually care 3) their feedback/comments/problem have been acknowledged.

Like I say, I felt like I've been ignored (not by you personally, but by PlusNet as a company) during the past year and especially recent months. I've just felt like I'm getting absoloutely nowhere and playing a RIDICULOUS game with PlusNet where it's a constant guessing game and just being given the run-around/fob off. Problems drag on, problems keep coming back, and problems repeatedly get "ignored" (it seems to me) until they actually flare up in to something much bigger, by which time it's all a little too late.
Mand
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Customer Support

Hi

This is where we see things like PUGIT as really useful, customers can raise issues as they happen, and then other users can add to them as they are affected. Once we see a few customers reporting exactly the same issue we would look at getting a Service Status out and raising the priority of the problem.

The CSC do this when taking calls from customers, it's easy to spot a pattern if you have a few users reporting the same issue over the course of a day, and the CSC have internal forums so they can ask others to watch out for a particular problem.

Getting stuff like Nagios (our network monitoring system) on the portal will also ensure you guys know whats happening as it happens, but not everything will need a Service Status post as that would devalue the tool for customers altogether.
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Customer Support

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This is where we see things like PUGIT as really useful, customers can raise issues as they happen,


Don't even talk to me about PUGIT - that makes me feel all the more sickened about PlusNet. I recently looked through that to find lots of things that I had bought up months before - the exact text of mine from various forum posts quoted (fantastic btw, and I'm happy to see that someone was picking up on the issues) but where I feel sickened is that in almost every case there has been a lack of action from PlusNet for around six months on those issues - in fact it's only been in the last couple of weeks (and ironically around the time that I gave up with PlusNet and decided it was too late and requested my MAC) that responses from PlusNet on those issues on PUGIT have actually started to be posted.

PUGIT is a great tool, but one that PlusNet have been ignoring the useful information that it contains for far too long. I've reported stuff for months and PlusNet have in a huge number of cases done nothing about it.

Do you see why I posted what I did in the post above yours (23rd Dec)? Do you understand how I feel about PlusNet? You (PlusNet PLC) need to listen to your customers and act on what your customers say a whole lot better.
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

Customer Support

Erm, actually I'll argue with you against the PUGIT issue there. PUGIT was only actually launched a few weeks ago - and therefore, it has been since then that we have been getting stuck in. I know, because it's my responsibility to ensure that my issues (and Dev team issues) are kept up to date.

The last few (working) days have been quiet, due to christmas commitments / code-freeze etc... but since launch various staff members from different departments have made an effort to go through PUGIT issues - and we refer to the tool internally.

PUG (and the PUGIT volunteers) have done, and continue to do a real good job with PUGIT. PUGIT will be a great benefit for Users to track the issues that they're interested in, and hold us accountable where we haven't delivered where we said we would - and for getting things fixed!