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PlusNet - Contempt for customers


PlusNet - Contempt for customers

I've been with plusnet for years. All is fine until you have a problem.

Anyone just listening to the message on the support line knows this is a company not worth even trying with.

It said something like "We are in the process of upgrading all our customers to 8 MB. During the first 2 weeks you will experience connection problems. We cannot tell you when you will be done. Thanks for your cooperation".

Staggering. That message should be the put up at the start of any change management or customer service conference as how not to treat your customers.

I persevered. My expectations now rock bottom. They failed to meet them.

60 minute phone wait to be told that my intermittent disconnection problems are not due to an 8MB upgrade (what a relief) but then it quickly becomes obvious that PlusNet have a policy of blaming the customer's hardware and will not reporting faults to BT as this might cost them £54.

Plusnet guys. You will lose that £54 in a short time when I move ISP. When a customer has been fine for months and has not changed anything, then had service problems a few nights ago, none in the interim then service problems on the day they call - that is an external problem. 99.99%. Step 1 is checking externally for service issues with BT etc. It is not telling the customer to buy new hardware just in case this is the 0.01%.

BT is the only ISP to choose if the small ISPs are going to have this attitude.

Also of course BT are not being told of problems quickly enough and the service update on PlusNet's web site will be just the tip of the iceberg.

Connection working fine now. I have to leave because I can't risk having to rely on PlusNet support again. I am a strange customer in that I don't give a stuff about the monthly cost or speed but I need a reliable connection and helpful support staff.

The only problem now is that I am relying on PlusNet to tell me how I can get a MAC Key. I couldn't find this on their online help though that did tell me how to find a MAC Key from other ISPs if I was moving to PlusNet. But then I knew that would be the case before I started looking.

I have posted a question about this. Baited breath waiting for the reply. Already several hours over their 'average' response time which was they said was 2 hours. Well done on that too.

PlusNet - Contempt for customers

The "average" response time is probably something that should be removed as the response depends on the type of query and which department has to deal with it.

Getting a MAC should not be a problem. I have left PN twice in the past 2 years, but unless they've really made major changes to the portal it was a pretty simple thing to do, from memory (I wasn't impressed with the 'we need to know which ISP' part of the procedure, as that's not needed to get the MAC, it's just PN being nosey /wanting the info for stats/ marketing reasons).

If cost is not a problem but you want a reliable connection, best have two links, one on a BT-served ISP, the other with cable, or an LLU firm, so you can be online even if there is a cable problem or BT network fault.

Moving to any other ISP using the BT network (including BT Yahoo!) still leaves you with the chance of a regional network failure, and while dial-up might be an option (I used to keep ISDN as a backup) it doesn't compare these days.

Having a cheap Metronet backup account might be an option, so get a second phone line and a new ISP, and see if you can get a deal from PN to migrate the PN link to MN, so you can keep it as PAYG at 11.75/month (just put DNS lookups over MN so you know the ADSL connection is up, but do your browsing via the other link).

PlusNet - Contempt for customers

Thanks for the reply goodvalueisp.

Your suggestions are sound but I'm not in the business of setting up secondary connections and stuff.

I know I'll always be prone to network problems like anyone else. The way I see it if I go with BT then I will at least be able to insist on them investigating a problem rather than getting caught out by the PlusNet policy of messing the customer about rather than risking a £54 charge if they report a fault to BT that doesn't exist.

They've just responded to my question and demanded some sort of deferral fee with no explanation. I suspect that there will be several more exchanges before I manage to extricate myself.

They do strike me as small minded cheapskates. I don't mean that personally to the individuals it just seems to be the company's approach to customers.
Posts: 411
Registered: 02-09-2007

PlusNet - Contempt for customers

The way I see it if I go with BT then I will at least be able to insist on them investigating a problem rather than getting caught out by the PlusNet policy of messing the customer about rather than risking a £54 charge if they report a fault to BT that doesn't exist.

Unfortunately wrong. BTW are 100% independent, and not the part of BT that you would be with if you used BT as your ISP. BTW is a B2B operation, and would never deal with you as an end user, and not prioritise your problems as a customer who uses BT for their broadband.

Sure, PlusNet's CS does have its problems, but the problem you describe could be an intermittent problem that has developed on your equipment, and it is entirely right for them to try to elimnate that possibility before logging a fault with BT - particulary since you, not them, could end up with a no fault found call out charge from BT.

Regards, Neil

PlusNet - Contempt for customers

It's dropping off again today. Infuriating.

Yes there could be a fault on my equipment as I said. Very unlikely though given that it works for ages then some days is unuseable. They even have a note on their support site from 9 June saying how a BT upgrade is causing huge call volumes on their helpdesk.

If the thing turned out to be a fault my end I wouldn't mind paying. Mainly because I know that it is unlikely. That wouldn't show whole days when it is fine then days when it is up and down, up and down. Yes i know there is a slim chance of just about anything but an external problem is by far the most likely reason. Just like the other times I have had issues over the years.

It wouldn't be so bad if their helpdesk was useable. Call them and queue for 60 minutes. Get told to try it with no phone plugged in. Hang up and queue again for 60 minutes, knowing that it won't make a bit of difference. I tried it and of course it didn't help. Effort to Plusnet the service provider 2 minutes. Effort to me 2 hours. That's not very fair. I'm the customer.

PlusNet - Contempt for customers

It turns out on the Broadband forum there are loads of people with disconnect issues. All to do with this botched upgrade to MaxDSL.

My question is, why did the HelpDesk make no mention of this?

PlusNet - Contempt for customers

I was just thinking about what Neil (kjaerligkatt) said about how they should eliminate a fault on my equipment before reporting it to BT.

Neil is right.

However if a customer rings with what look like service issues (a working connection stops working then works again for a few days then starts playing up again) then their first port of call should be the database of work BT are carrying. In this crazy industry where work is done with no outage notifications issued then it is not right to have customers doing the basic checks only at the end of which to be told that BT are working on the line (there are examples of this on the broadband forum).

Do PlusNet have access to details of the work BT are doing? If not then they can't manage the service.

I've decided to move to cable now. This seems like the only way to get one supplier who can own issues. Yes I am aware that the poor customer service of cable companies is legendary. Rock and hard place are my options.

PlusNet - Contempt for customers

I got a reply from PlusNet.

"Your connection has been moved to an Wholesale LLU provider that will allow you to receive speeds upto 8mb. This could be the cause of the problem.

If you are experieincing an intermittant problem please could you raise a report with our faults team at who will investigate and fix the issue for you. "

At last.

To be honest, the way I was treated on the 2 phone calls I made to the HelpDesk now just makes me plain angry. They were patronising me and blaming my equipment when anyone with any idea of support could see that the behaviour I described was 99.99% likely to be an external issue.

And it was a PlusNet change to my service all along.

Why couldn't the two individuals on the HelpDesk I spoke to see what the person who answered my query saw? Do management have a clue what their helpdesk staff are up to? I didn't get any impression that a support ticket was being logged when I called so I suspect that the whole desk is out of control.

Poor. Poor. Poor. Poor. Poor.