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It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

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It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1972491,00.html

Anna Tims
Friday December 15, 2006
The Guardian

Once companies have persuaded you to part with your bank details, some seem to find it an inconvenience to be hassled, which may be why the internet service provider Plusnet won't disclose its email address and apparently declines to pick up the phone. It has given up providing Sheila Jones with a broadband connection after an upgrade that led to users being dropped out of cyberspace, although it debits her account each month. Jones has been unable to coax any response out of the company. But when she said she would cancel her direct debit, Plusnet demanded a cancellation fee and money for the remainder of her contract.

A websearch suggests Jones is not alone but it's impossible to ask Plusnet why because no one will pick up the phone. According to the Trading Standards Institute, Jones is within her rights to cease payments if she doesn't get the service. It's a matter of terminology. Tell the company you are repudiating the contract because they are in breach of it, not that you are cancelling it, and demand refund of all monies paid within 28 days.
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,885
Thanks: 506
Fixes: 6
Registered: 01-08-2007

It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

Very interesting article. Actually it's very very interesting.

ATTN PlusNet: Would you like to start giving us some proper service yet?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
GersFans
Grafter
Posts: 191
Registered: 30-07-2007

It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

I wouldn't mind hearing a reply to this article from Plusnet. Seriously, do you have a response PlusnetHuh
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It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

A response would require PN to READ and ACCEPT criticism. Given they are incapable of the latter (and possibly the former?) I doubt anything other than the following will be forthcoming:

"This is an isolated incident and resulting from misconfigured end-user equipment. (Besides, even if there is really a problem, which there isn't, she should have read the terms and conditions hehehehehehehehe...)"

Or maybe if you're really lucky the original poster will be disconnected for posting copyright material? Breach of T&C?

Just now I logged onto IRC and the speed wasn't too bad 60KB/sec on a 3MBit connection (hahahahaha) anyway, after less than a minute at 60KB/sec it has suddenly dropped to 1.08KB/sec.

Ridiculous. Obviously, though, it's my problem. Not Plusnet's.
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It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

ive got 662 peers/56 seeds and my speed is only 1kb/s!! Im not getting the service Im paying for!!! Premier Option 1.
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It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

I don't give a '''' any more. I've just requested my MAC.

Given PN have invested in the ellacoya nonsense they're not going to give it up... not until everyone has left anyway...
carrot63
Grafter
Posts: 599
Registered: 12-07-2007

It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

A tenner says PN remain conspicuously absent from this thread.
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Re: It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please..

Quote
Plusnet demanded a cancellation fee and money for the remainder of her contract.

A websearch suggests Jones is not alone but it's impossible to ask Plusnet why because no one will pick up the phone. According to the Trading Standards Institute, Jones is within her rights to cease payments if she doesn't get the service. It's a matter of terminology. Tell the company you are repudiating the contract because they are in breach of it, not that you are cancelling it, and demand refund of all monies paid within 28 days.


Some truths and some 'not so' truths there, I was in a similar position recenetly (although I did have a connection)
Plusnet just couldn't resolve an issue I have which had an impact on my business model, after consulting OFCOM, my solicitor, trading standards and CISAS and acting on their recommendations I had the remainder of my contract made void as no where in Plus's terms & conditions does it state that certain aplications or protocols 'may not work full stop'.
Of course I had my first months defered fee and a domain registration cost to settle, but it was worth £108.98 to get my hands on the MAC code. And compare to the £400+ they were originally asking for I was clapping my hands !

My migration should complete any day now to another IPStream Premium reseller, who are so confident in their product, that even though this is not something they offer normally, they have given me 28 days to test the product with no charge.

Anyway, I guess the point I'm trying to make here is you really do have a serious problem with the service, do things properly and follow all the correct channels, that way you will always end with a positive result, for those of you unsure where to start, make this your first port of call: http://ofcom.org.uk/complain/internet/ It is also good idea to inform your local trading standard office of the situation and your solicitor.

All the very best for 2007
Cheesy
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

Dude!

We're not going to reply to a thread at 1am! Smiley

It's an interesting article, and I'm sure that we'll be in discussion with the Guardian before too long. We do answer the phone and have a very set guideline on following complaints procedure.
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It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

I have to back James up a little there, I've never had a problem getting through via telephone although a lot of patience is required at busy times :lol:

And of course they do follow the Ofcom guidelines (that they commit to) as explained in my last post Wink
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It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

Could always get the marketing manager on it:

Quote
Say what you like, I don't care. I have ordered all staff to stop reading the guardian until such time as you stop criticising our products!


:-P
pepsi_max2k
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: 01-08-2007

It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

Quote
But when she said she would cancel her direct debit, Plusnet demanded a cancellation fee and money for the remainder of her contract.
...Tell the company you are repudiating the contract because they are in breach of it, not that you are cancelling it, and demand refund of all monies paid within 28 days.


Maybe Mrs Tims would like to read up on such minor technicalities as line activation fees, defered modem fees, and contracts signed by the customer (such as the one stating you will pay them to the end of the month) before she decides to write any more misleading articles on ISPs.

Possibly the online question asker (a direct online communication with PN, which also keeps a record of all answers and even some internal messages concerning the fault) is a much better replacement for email (though, not being able to get online, probably not the best idea, though if she thought of emailing then...). But in my experience some can't be bothered to go to the effort of trying to fix the problem themselves.

Just a though. Not that I'm against action against unprovided services. But ffs, get it right.
csogilvie
Grafter
Posts: 5,852
Registered: 04-04-2007

It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

My first thought when I read the bit about not answering the phone was "what number were they phoning" given the fact that I don't recall a press release since PlusNet moved buildings, and the phone numbers changed.
GersFans
Grafter
Posts: 191
Registered: 30-07-2007

It's the Guardian, please pick up the phone ... please...

Quote

Maybe Mrs Tims would like to read up on such minor technicalities as line activation fees, defered modem fees, and contracts signed by the customer (such as the one stating you will pay them to the end of the month) before she decides to write any more misleading articles on ISPs.



Contracts are a two way deal:

Quote
But when she said she would cancel her direct debit, Plusnet demanded a cancellation fee and money for the remainder of her contract.


Plusnet are unable to supply a connection which they are taking money for every month, the person having money stolen every month simply decided to invoke the law and is within thier legal right to do so.