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Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

pinkhouse
Not applicable
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎28-08-2007

Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Has anyone experienced this? I do hope not.
My outgoing call function was blocked in early May by PlusNet - but I didn't know, and nor did they.
When I returned from a holiday in the hills of Spain, I raised a telephone query as to why I could not phone out, and eventually I was processed into a BT fault finding procedure. "Must be a line problem." This lasted several days, until BT engineer phoned to say that it was due not to any line problems, but due to a PlusNet bar. Nobody at PusNet had so informed me.
But another telephone call (using my mobile, of course) eventually ascertained that I was inexplicably above my credit limit, to the tune, I was told, of about £27. I couldn't believe it! I pay by Direct Debit, with no upper limit. The helper told me that it was now sorted, and after a further 12 hours, the block was lifted, and I was told I'd get a bill-reduction compensation for my trouble. I fully assumed that all would be sorted through usual Direct Debitting procedures, and slep easy that night.
Within another 24 or so hours, the outgoing call bar was back on!!!!
Another telephone call and much huffing eventually, yes eventually determined that I had overstepped my limit because a £96 call that had been accepted as a reverse charge call from Cuba on 31 December 2007 (note that date) had now been charged to me, possibly sometime in May (PlusNet cannot actually at this very moment tell me when it was charged/confirmed, however). The excess caused by that call had not been cleared, of course, and so the bar was put back. I did NOT get any email about this, no warning, though they say that one was sent out!!! This is a telephone matter, not a broadband matter, but there was no telephoned information of any kind either.
I now have cleared the excess (did so within minutes of being given a clear explanation), and was sent an email message saying the bar would be removed within about 2 hours. Eight hours later that bar is still in place.
This is just incredible. I shall post all the support question correspondence to my website if anyone says they want to read it.
Of course, it still is not resolved. And PlusNet also tell me that if I leave PlusNet, any of their bill-credit to make up for my loss of service and gain in stress will not be payable - presumably, if I left them in about a month's time. after it's all resolved, they'd claim it back, or add it to my final bill !!!!
28 REPLIES 28
baldrick
Grafter
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎07-08-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

This brings me back to the point I raised earlier this month regarding premium call barring. Because of the way this confirmed calls system works we do not have any effective call barring options. When I was with BT I had the option to bar 09 calls.
Originally I did not worry because I firmly believed when I transferred to Plusnet that the maximum risk I was exposed to was £50. I suspect that there are many other home phone customers out there under the same illusion.
Please can Plusnet provide the same service?
If this is not possible would it not be ethical for Plusnet to at least warn all their home phone customers so that like me they can consider returning to BT?
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 78
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎17-10-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

I agree Baldrick. I too judged that I was willing to risk moving to Plusnet from BT because of the maximum risk was £50.  That credit limit is supposed to be there for both the protection of the customer and Plusnet itself. That being the case I don't see how anyone can be allowed to make a single phone call costing £96! I also don't understand why the confirmed call status exists. What is being checked between a call being unconfirmed and confirmed? Especially if it is possibly going to take days - or months - for calls to be confirmed why isn't the unconfirmed figure used to ring alarm bells?
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Hi there,
This particular case is still under investigation by myself.
There are two issues raised in the replies though.
1) We used to adjust the credit limit based on unconfirmed call data, however this caused a lot of confusion and complaints, so we changed the system so that the credit limit was only adjusted (and call barring applied where necessary) based on confirmed data.
The difference between unconfirmed and confirmed data is often minimal if anything at all. BT Wholesale issue the unconfirmed data to providers for fraud monitoring. As we have to process it anyway we provide this data to users to give more up to data information than the confirmed data. Unconfirmed data is issued every 4 hours, whereas confirmed data is only issued every 24 hours.
2) Regardless of which of the options above we chose it would still be technically possible to make a call costing more than your credit limit. This is because we only receive unconfirmed call data every four hours.
The issue with it sometimes taking extended periods for calls to become confirmed is often when the calls are overseas calls, and particularly when they are reverse charged (as in this case). This is because the call has to be carried by a number of operators and the costs can take a while to be determined and fed back.
We are currently looking at a timeout policy on these calls, but this is in the very early stages at present.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Mand have you picked up that 03 calls are being charged instead of included? ID: 25144796  refers
Also some unconfirmed calls on the 15th
17/05/2008 07:32:39  00:01:00  £0.00
01245495050 17/05/2008 07:30:26 00:02:00 £0.00
01245495050 † 15/05/2008 17:29:45 † 00:01:00 † £0.00 †
01474833319 † 15/05/2008 17:10:46 † 00:05:00 † £0.00 †
01474833319 † 15/05/2008 15:18:00 † 00:03:00 † £0.00 †
01376330561 13/05/2008 16:15:11 00:01:00 £0.00
01777872801 11/05/2008 20:42:03
baldrick
Grafter
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎07-08-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Hello Mand,
It may well be me and my suspicious mind but are Plusnet deliberately avoiding my question regarding call barring? I do not have any need to ring 09 numbers and seeing as this £50 credit limit of yours apparently gives us consumers no protection whatsoever for an undetermined but considerable time (days, weeks, it appears to be random), I would like the option to bar them completely.
Again I ask, can or will Plusnet provide the option to bar 09 numbers as BT do?
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Quote from: pierre_pierre
Mand have you picked up that 03 calls are being charged instead of included? ID: 25144796  refers
Also some unconfirmed calls on the 15th
17/05/2008 07:32:39  00:01:00  £0.00
01245495050 17/05/2008 07:30:26 00:02:00 £0.00
01245495050 † 15/05/2008 17:29:45 † 00:01:00 † £0.00 †
01474833319 † 15/05/2008 17:10:46 † 00:05:00 † £0.00 †
01474833319 † 15/05/2008 15:18:00 † 00:03:00 † £0.00 †
01376330561 13/05/2008 16:15:11 00:01:00 £0.00
01777872801 11/05/2008 20:42:03

Yep, both of those issues are currently prioritised problems with our development teams.
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Quote from: baldrick
Hello Mand,
It may well be me and my suspicious mind but are Plusnet deliberately avoiding my question regarding call barring? I do not have any need to ring 09 numbers and seeing as this £50 credit limit of yours apparently gives us consumers no protection whatsoever for an undetermined but considerable time (days, weeks, it appears to be random), I would like the option to bar them completely.
Again I ask, can or will Plusnet provide the option to bar 09 numbers as BT do?

I wasn't deliberately avoiding the question at all, but apologies that I missed it on my first read of this thread.
Technically we can do this now (in that the Openreach ordering system allows it). It is in the list of features required for Home Phone and is something I have personally been pushing for for a while. Currently development resource restraints haven't allowed for a revamp of the Home Phone service but we are looking to do this soon.
If it's something imperative for you I can look into the possibilities of adding this for you manually if you wish? I can't promise anything but I would be happy to investigate for you.
As an added note, most calls are confirmed within 24 hours, so the £50 credit limit is ample protection in most cases.
baldrick
Grafter
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎07-08-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Hello Mand,
Thanks for the positive response. Yes, I would like you to investigate the possibility of adding 09 call barring to my phone. If the response is positive please implement it.
Please advise if you need me to raise a 'ticket' on this.
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Hi there,
Just to let you know I haven't forgotten about this, am just waiting for the answers to a couple of technical questions before advising whether this is possible.
godsell4
Rising Star
Posts: 3,366
Thanks: 15
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence


How can BT Retail offer call baring, that appears to work as wanted/expected and PN can not?
SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

An update:
We can offer the Premium rate call barring or Premium rate + International calls call barring. This would need to be done on an entirely manual basis by me at present though.
We would need to charge for either 6 months or a year at a time, due to the small amounts and manual billing (the feature would cost the standard cost of £1.50 per month).
If anyone would like to take this up please raise a ticket for my attention referencing this thread.
baldrick
Grafter
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎07-08-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Hello Mand,
Thanks for checking this out. When you say that the cost would be 'the standard £1.50', does that mean that it falls into the standard deal of, for example, 2 features for £2. i.e. if I also took on another feature would the cost £2.00 per month for the two, or £12/24 per 6/12 months?
Alternatively are you saying that the cost is either £9.00 for 6 months or £18.00 for 12 months regardless?
The former I find attractive, the latter not so!
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 78
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎17-10-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Quote from: alanf
I also don't understand why the confirmed call status exists. What is being checked between a call being unconfirmed and confirmed? Especially if it is possibly going to take days - or months - for calls to be confirmed why isn't the unconfirmed figure used to ring alarm bells?

In the light of the ongoing problems with unconfirmed calls please would Plusnet answer my questions. Especially as to why the unconfirmed figure is not checked against the credit limit.
I would also be interested in the answer to Baldrick's question.
Quote from: baldrick
When you say that the cost would be 'the standard £1.50', does that mean that it falls into the standard deal of, for example, 2 features for £2.

baldrick
Grafter
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎07-08-2007

Re: Confirmed calls and call barring and sheer systems incompetence

Baldrick would also be interested in the reply to Baldrick's question. I wasn't pushing because I appreciate the effort that Mand puts in to supporting us, but seeing as its been raised....