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Reactivating a cancelled phone line

smaclangdon
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 17-07-2012

Reactivating a cancelled phone line

I have just transferred my account from another broadband and phone provider. The broadband switch happened last friday and since then the service has been very good. However on Tuesday the phone line was disconnected and as of yet has not been reconnected. A phone call was made on Tuesday and I was told that this was part of the usual process and the phone would be connected by midnight. This did not happen. We have phoned again this morning and been told that the phone line has been cancelled and that we would have to pay a £65 reconnection fee or enter into a 12 month contract and have this cost deferred. I am not happy with this as the main draw of plusnet was the one month rolling contract, I have already paid a set up fee and see no reason to pay a connection fee for a line that I did not asked to be cancelled.
I have spoken to both my previous provider and plusnet and each have told me that they did not order the cancellation and that it is not their fault. I would be happy to remain with plusnet but only if they waive the connection fee for a line that was no supposed to be cancelled. The people I have spoken to on the phone have been very unhelpful and I have seen no indication that anybody wishes to help me with the problem and are it seems as if they are determined to lose a customer.
19 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

Was your previous phone provider TalkTalk by any chance?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
smaclangdon
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 17-07-2012

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

The previous provider was Virgin Media but we were in a national broadband area so still had a BT line.
Edit: The broadband has also been knocked out by the phone line being deactivated.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

It seems EXTREMELY unlikely that PlusNet would cancel the phone service.
What's more that would normally "cease" the broadband as well.  Huh
Sounds like it's most likely down to your previous phone provider (who was that?) or BTO.
Meanwhile, I'd let PN sort it out "under protest" and either claim back the charges from whoever did it in due course or take the 12-month contract again "under protest" until it's resolved.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

Not sure about Virgin Media, but it is far more likely it is them that cancelled the line (if it had been TalkTalk I would have been certain as they are notorious for doing that).
The options open to Plusnet for finding out what actually happened are limited (data protection and all that).
It's going to cost Plusnet to reconnect the line so I can't see them waiving the charge without a commitment from you to stay.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
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Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

This sort of issue is just happening too often. Why? It is totally out of order. smaclangdon, you really must complain to OFCOM they are just not enforcing the regulations.
prichardson
Grafter
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

Hi,
On review of the order, we can see that the order process confirms the detail of being in the Virgin Media national broadband area. This is seen due to the signup process recognising we could do a transfer of service.
In these situations, we first transfer the broadband and on completion, transfer the phone service (as the phone take much longer to transfer).
Once your broadband was activated on Friday, we can see that our order platform submitted the phone transfer at ~15:37. Less than a minute later, our supplier notified us the order was rejected as the existing supplier had submitted a cease of service. To add to that, the cease was due to complete in such a short time that we could not submit a transfer order to coincide with the cease (which prevents loss of service).
Only the existing supply can submit such a cease, or stop it.
Initial review suggests we may not be charged to re-activate this line for you. However, I can see clearly documented advice that this occur. As such, I am currently investigating that further and will update you shortly.
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

Right,
I have gotten to the bottom of the fees notified and can confirm why they have been notified.
As above, the phone has been stopped by the existing supplier. Checks on lines at your property show they are in a stopped status and is not due to something such as another provider being involved other than us and Virgin.
Instead of the original phone transfer intended, we can now do a start of stopped line, which will be free.
The charge notified is to restart the broadband, which has been stopped as a result of the phone line being ceased. An active line must exist in order for broadband to be available on the line.
The reactivation charge is something we incur as a result of the turn of events here, which is what you are being advised on. As has been indicated, the cost can be paid upfront with no further contractual obligations, or deferred over 12 months.
I'm about to attach some details to the ticket on your account that gives an overview of the time we sent the order and what we received back.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

Does this mean that Virgin WRONGLY stopped the line?
In this case should Virgin, and not the OP, be (morally, at least) liable for the cost of reinstating?
Would the OP have any claim against Virgin?
Did you mean 'can do a start' rather than 'can not do a start'?
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
prichardson
Grafter
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

I've edited the post on the last point you have raised.
Liability unfortunate would be jumping to conclusions, we are only dealing in the facts of what we know. However if it is a case that Virgin have made an error, there is a good case for them to handle reimbursement. This is something we have recommended in the past in such cases.
All we immediately know is that a stop order had indeed submitted a stop request on the line. We have evidential confirmation on this through the rejection information from our suppliers.
There are a whole host of reasons why this may have occurred from Virgin error, Virgins suppliers error, or even a request by the end user (be this an implied request, or possible incorrect interpretation of something the end user said to them).
Who wouldn't want to place blame on a competitor Wink In this case, we are taking a very outside view and presenting what we see occurred, not what specifically triggered it.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,778
Thanks: 858
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

I wonder, do Virgin insist on having a Broadband package with their phone service?. So when the BB was transferred to PlusNet they (Virgin) automatically ceased the phone.
Didn't Orange used to do something similar ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

That might be the case but if so I bet it's not in accordance with OFCOM regulations!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

I presume a MAC was used, that must have been evident to BTw/OR. Surely Phil you should be first complaining to BTw/OR that the phone cease was processed when you had submitted the transfer order & a MAC had been used for the broadband. It is totally wrong that a cease should go ahead in such circumstances, it is evident that it should be a transfer, and at the very least the Cease should be held until the situation is verified. Putting my cynical hat on, it seems that BTw/OR would not want to cancel the cease because they can then charge a re-connect fee. Totally unacceptable.
Secondly, you should complain to OFCOM yourselves. This sort of practise by the losing supplier is totally unacceptable, and it's also unacceptable that BT's systems allow cease orders to progress automatically in such circumstances.
prichardson
Grafter
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

Again,
We are seeing this from an outside view. We know what has caused our inability to transfer service, along with why the broadband has stopped.
As of this moment, Virgins claims to the customer is that they have not issued a cease. The first thing that needs to take place, is that the facts of how this occurred need to be established through Virgin. This isn't something we can do.
Ofcom General Condition 22 covers migration of broadband. It specifically states that the existing supplier must not submit a cease of service order (on the broadband itself) when a MAC has been issued with intent to use. This does not cover situations were the PSTN service is ceased, which will ultimately result in loss of broadband as well.
It does cover use of "Cancel Other", which allows a losing PSTN provider to cancel a transfer to the winning provider. This has not occurred here, as the cease was in place prior to the winning providers order.
I would agree, there are certainly grounds for complaint, but facts are too open right now. The customer would first need to ask Virgin to get to the bottom of why they issued the cease of the phone service.
On principal, I would agree with the initial notion indicated by the end user that "they did not order the cancellation". This is not the same as some form of error occurring and they do need to investigate in more detail, to rule out human or system error, or other possible causes.
This however is a complaint process the customer needs to conduct direct with Virgin, including their standard dispute process covered under Ofcom General Condition 14. This isn't something we can initiate on the customer behalf.
We will happily support and offer the end user with advice, options available to them and given them the needed evidence from the orders we initiated. However until the customer processes the dispute with Virgin, we will be unable to raise a complaint to Ofcom on the grounds of the information supplied so far, as no fault has yet been established to any one party.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Reactivating a cancelled phone line

I'd just like to mention that, several years ago, when I gave VM notice that I was cancelling my services they almost immediately cut off my telephone line (not WBC) even though I'd paid line rental and call plan in advance, this left me with no telephone service for nearly a month and it was an absolute nightmare getting them to admit that they'd done it.  They admitted the line had been cut off but were adamant that only the 'unpaid accounts' department could authorise this but that department accepted that my account was in credit so it simply should not have happened.  I never go any compensation for wrongful disconnection of a service that was pre-paid (this cost me a small fortune in mobile top-ups  - mostly used for calling VM to get their problem sorted) as well as my time and the distress caused as my wife was very ill at the time and really needed a working phone.
I may be jumping to conclusions but I'd not be at all surprised if VM were up to their old tricks.
I, for one, would never use VM even if they offered me free telephone and broadband for a year with no strings attached.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.