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Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

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pianopete
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Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

Hi.

 

My BB/Landline package with Plusnet terminates in July.  I understand that I can't extend this as they are switching off the landline services, and PN won't offer a landline/Digital-Voice style service (unlike BT, who do). 

NOTE: We only have FTTC - no ETA for FTTP yet. The BT broadband tool says "The exchange is not in a current fibre priority programme."

I'd like to stay with PN if possible, so I'm trying to work out what I need to do and the correct sequencing.

It seems to me that I need to do something like this:

  1. get a VOIP/DECT adaptor such as the Gigaset N300A so I can connect our DECT phones to the Gigaset and the Gigaset to my router (OR - I think I could just plug our panasonic base-station into the Gigaset ?)
  2. Initiate the transfer of our PN account to BB only (contract is up on 20th July). When this takes place we will lose our landline access.
  3. Within 30 days set up a VOIP service with A&A  (I think what I require is their "Port a single PSTN number to our VoIP service" ? (within 30 days because you risk losing your number otherwise ?)
  4. Once that is set up, either link my DECT phones to the Gigaset, OR just plug the Panasonic base-station into the Gigaset.

Is this correct ?  Does this seem to be a reasonable plan, and do you have any advice on a different sequencing ?

Thanks in advance.

Pete

 

13 REPLIES 13
MisterW
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

Fix

@pianopete 

My BB/Landline package with Plusnet terminates in July.  I understand that I can't extend this as they are switching off the landline services

Not quite correct. You should be able to re-contract on your existing product, but you may need to phone Customer Options as opposed to doing it online.

As regards switching to broadband only and migrating the phone to voip...

Is this correct ?  Does this seem to be a reasonable plan, and do you have any advice on a different sequencing ?

Your sequencing is correct BUT

OR - I think I could just plug our panasonic base-station into the Gigaset ?

Is not correct, you can't plug a base station into the N300. You SHOULD be able to link gap compatible DECT handsets directly to the N300. If you wish to continue with the existing base unit then you need an ATA such as the grandstream ones https://www.grandstream.com/products/gateways-and-atas/analog-telephone-adaptors

 

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bmc
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

@pianopete 

Phone the PlusNet Customer Options Team on 0800 013 2632 to confirm you can re-contract on your current service.

 

As regards VOIP - if you re-contract as is you can then choose the timing of the move to VOIP. PN will happily change you to a SOGEA line (internet only) at any time. This might be at the cost of a new contract.

 

If you're happy with A&A then you can set up your account in advance. This allows you to ensure your phones work OK. You port your number ASAP after the change to SOGEA - but not before. There will be a few days down time on the phone.

 

Brian

pianopete
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

@MisterW - thanks for that - this helps a lot.

Any thoughts about which solution is better -  linking the phones to the N300 or keeping them with the basestation and plugging that into a Grandstream adaptor ?

MisterW
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

Any thoughts about which solution is better -  linking the phones to the N300 or keeping them with the basestation and plugging that into a Grandstream adaptor ?

@pianopete i have used an N300 for about 5 yrs now, first in a hybrid landline/voip configuration and for the last 3 yrs in a voip only config, so I'm perhaps a bit biased😀

The N300 supports multiple voip accounts, so if you make a lot of outgoing calls, you can use whichever voip account is cheaper. For instance I have two accounts, Sipgate for my incoming calls and localphone for outgoing (since they are 1/2 the price of sipgate).

As regards connecting DECT handsets directly to the N300, you do lose some functionality (compared to gigaset handsets) like voicemail access and I'm not sure how the contacts directory works with generic handsets.

With the grandstream ATA each port can only support one voip account. If you connect your existing base unit, then you can use the contact and any call blocking facilities in the base unit.

 

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

pianopete
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

@bmc @MisterW - thanks both for the advice and corrections.  I didn't realise re-contracting was an option.  It will give me a bit of breathing space.

 

So I think that my revised plan of action is this:

  1. Contact PN to re-contract my current landline/BB to give me some breathing space.
  2. Get either a  Gigaset N300A (connect my DECT phones directly to this) or a Grandstream HT801 ATA (connect the base-station to this and leave the DECT phones connected to the base-station) to enable continued use of my DECT phones.
  3. Buy an RJ11 to BT adaptor if using the HT801 ATA as the HT801 has US phone socket.
  4. Set up an A&A account, and then check that the phone/adaptor combination works OK.
  5. Ask PN to initiate change to BB only (SOGEA).
  6. Once SOGEA is in place, ask A&A to port my number to VOIP using their "Port a single PSTN number to our VoIP service" (ASAP, but within 30 days).
  7. Plan for a few days without landline phone access whilst number is  ported.
  8. Once A&A have ported the number I should be back up and running with our old landline number.

(I've rewritten this to check I've not missed anything, and also because this may be useful to others).

Pete

 

HPsauce
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

@pianopete "Any thoughts about which solution is better -  linking the phones to the N300 or keeping them with the basestation and plugging that into a Grandstream adaptor ?"

A friend of mine is having this exact debate. In his case his DECT phone system is fairly new, works well and meets his needs. Having looked at my Gigaset system he could see the differences (and common features) and will probably go down the Grandstream route.

I on the other hand had a motley mixed collection of aging DECT (and wired!) handsets and decided that replacing the whole system suited me better, so I've gone Gigaset all round, largely used items but in good condition.

Note that there is also a 2-port version of the Grandstream unit, the HT802: HT802 | Grandstream Networks

pianopete
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package


@bmc wrote:

@pianopete 

Phone the PlusNet Customer Options Team on 0800 013 2632 to confirm you can re-contract on your current service.


Hmmm - PlusNet were not particularly helpful about this.  First of all they said there was a problem with my account and therefore needed to set me up with a new account and move me to a BB only package for £24.99.  I said that was exactly what I was trying to avoid and wanted to extend my current contract for a while (just into the Autumn really) whilst I get everything sorted on my end.  They said I had 2 options - either just take out a BB only package, or just leave the contract run out and then it would continue (i.e., my landline/BB package) but at twice the price I'm paying now.

Have to say that this doesn't feel like great support from them (I have been with Plusnet/Freeonline for over 25 years).

They wouldn't explain exactly what the 'problem' with my account was.

Could it be I was just unlucky with the customer support person I had ?

bmc
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

@pianopete 

Now you need a staff member to pick up on this thread and deal with things online.

 

Hopefully it won't be too long but you never know - staff are thin on the ground on the Forum.

 

Brian

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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

@pianopete 

I'd be careful about being 'bounced' down the "there's a problem with your account" road.  Sure there have been issues with the BILLING system in the past, with respect to difficulties which could not be fixed, requiring a new account ... but I thought that was all history.  This was probably something @Gandalf the Grey would have fixed before breakfast ... but he's not been seen in this forest of recent times.

There are several pitfalls with being forced to change accounts, especially one of longevity - you might not have the following concerns - but they could be applicable...

  • A new account will be treated as a new order by all of Plusnet, BT Openreach and BT Wholesale, therefore the copper stop sell rules will apply if FTTP or FTTC are available.  Consequently retention of the existing WLR product (landline telephone service) will not be permitted
  • Loss of email (even if due to a Plusnet account fowl-up, retention of email only is not now permitted)
  • Loss of web / cgi services
  • Loss of free for life domain renewal (you can move your domain name, but you'll need to pay the registration fees yourself)
  • Loss of referrals ... though depending who you speak to, in the past it has been possible to transfer referrals to a new account required because of Plusnet administrative issues

I would be wanting to know...

  1. Precisely why a new account is required
  2. Is the agent sure that there is no alternative approach
  3. What does 'Albert' say on the matter
  4. If Plusnet cannot sort out the issue on the existing account, why in principle can they not just agree to an extension to the contract and apply a continued discount against the out of contract price on what you've got

Did you speak with COTS or a general support agent?  COTS are generally more on the ball with these matters.  Sometimes calling again gets different answers (ask 'Albert').

Contact Customer Options Team (aka COTS)

COTs is the place to go to if you want to find out anything to do with your contract in respect of leaving, renewing or simply enquiring about early termination charges (ETCs). They have their own number and tend to answer quicker than the general customer service number.

Direct dial numbers

  • 0800 013 2632 or 0800 079 1133(from within the UK)
  • +44 330 123 9197 (from abroad)
  • Available...
    • 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday
    • 9am - 7pm Saturday
    • 9am - 6pm Sunday


 

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

pianopete
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

@Townman Awesome advice.  Thank you.

 

Yes, I refused to get a new account setup for that very reason (although I migrated my domain for life away a few years ago anyway so I could have more control).

 

I will try the COTS folk. 

greygit1
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

"This was probably something @Gandalf the Grey would have fixed before breakfast ... but he's not been seen in this forest of recent times."

(off-ish topic)

A re-match with a balrog?

Townman
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

Nah - probably worse - dealing with BT oversight!

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Gandalf
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Re: Help in understanding the next steps to move to VOIP & Broadband only package

Hi @pianopete there's currently an issue with your account, which we're investigating. 

Shouldn't require a new account, but at this stage, I can't really confirm 100%. 

Sorry for the inconvenience! Happy to let you know when I have more information to share. 

From 31st October 2022, I no longer have a regular presence here as I’ve moved on to a new role.
Anoush Mortazavi
Plusnet