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Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Grotlyn
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-03-2018

Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Three months ago I moved to Plusnet from EE.  I use an unlocked iPhone 5 which had always behaved very well while on EE.  Soon after I moved to Plusnet I started having problems with incoming calls.  I realised this one day when I was expecting an important call which never came.  I was told afterwards that the caller was constantly being redirected to voicemail, even though my phone was connected to the Plusnet network (with decent signal on) and was not engaged.  Voicemail notifications were also extremely slow to arrive so I had no idea that messages were waiting for me or idneed that I had been uncontactable.

I contacted Plusnet Customer Service several times.  On their advice, I have tried all sorts of ***004*** #21# codes on the phone to reset call forwarding settings.  Some times, things seemed to work for a little while but then I would stop receiving phone calls again.  The annoying things is that I do not know when this starts/happens, so God knows how many calls I am missing.  Eventually, Customer Services suggested that I use a new SIM.  I received it but it made no difference.

Then I asked them to disable voicemail on the account.  This did not help either.  Now when people try to call me the call just drops.

I have inserted the Plusnet SIM card on other unlocked (non-iPhone) handsets and I can receive calls without a problem.  I have also inserted non-Plusnet SIM cards (a giffgaff one, for example) into the iPhone and the phone does work fine.  It is therefore the combination of the Plusnet SIM into the iPhone that does not work with incoming calls (outgoing calls, SMS, data work OK). 

This certainly affects my ability to be contacted and has to be resolved; what is the point of the phone if it does not accept incoming calls?!. 

EDIT:  I have now spent some time going through past threads in this forum and, God, how much do I regret moving to Plusnet.  The number of people complaining about this is gobsmacking.  It clearly has to do with 4G mobile data being activated on the phone.  The handsets which I have successfully tested with the Plusent SIM are old, non-4G non-smartphones.  The 'problematic' iPhone is a 4G one, which mind you had no issue when I was an EE customer.

So my question has now changed: does anyone know whether this problem will persist if I port my number from Plusnet to another provider?  Does it matter if the new provider is one of the big ones (EE, O2) or one of those piggybacking on the big ones (Virgin, giffgaff)?

Thank you

16 REPLIES
RebekaPreston
All Star
Posts: 929
Thanks: 128
Fixes: 31
Registered: ‎25-11-2016

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Hi Grotlyn,

Thanks for taking the time out to get in touch with us, it's much appreciated. 

I'm really sorry to hear about your experience with the mobile service so far. It doesn't sound like our usual high standard of service that we provide, and I can assure you that this will be taken on board and fed back to the relevant department.

With regards to Voicemail notifications, this is a service that we don't currently support and is entirely handset dependent. However, I have sent this off for more clarification from our Operations Team on another thread, so once we have an update with some more information regarding this feature, we'll be sure to let you know.

Network connectivity and frequency can be affected by many different factors such as, the density of building materials, tree cover, weather conditions and how many people are using the network. As we're an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) and not an MNO (Mobile Network Operator), the network frequency that Plusnet mobile have access to is 1800Mhz and can be less penetrable than the 800Mhz that EE use. From this, I would advise to adjust the settings on the handset itself, to allow for all frequency bands, 2G, 3G, 4G and not have this set to 4G only. 

I would also suggest removing any previous network profiles stored on the handset and perform a network reset. You can do this by the following: Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

We can still certainly troubleshoot this issue and investigate further. To check if there are any current issues in your area, I would advise to pop over to https://myaccount.ee.co.uk/networkchecker/checkservice and input your postcode. If not, be sure to send me a Private Message and we can look into the next steps into possibly resolving this.

- Rebeka 

 

 

 Rebeka Preston
 Plusnet Help Team
Grotlyn
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-03-2018

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Hi Rebeka,

Thank you for your detailed response.   I have tried resetting the network settings, as suggested, but it has not helped.  Still, when 4G is on, I cannot receive calls; with 3G on, I can.  Although switching 4G off is compromise that I am willing to temporarily accept to ensure that the mobile phone achieves a minimum level of functionality (i.e. it is capable of performing something as basic as receiving a call), this is not an acceptable situation.  Thus, I am in the process of identifying a suitable package from a rival provider (most certainly a MNO) and I shall be requesting a PAC soon.

I feel disappointed at the fact that, although these connectivity issues must have been known to Plusnet for a long time (at least since early 2017, if messages in this forum are anything to go by), I had not been given relevant information or hints by your Customer Service colleagues (on the chat), apart from those #21# codes aimed at resolving call forwarding issues and a new SIM card.  Only two days ago, when chatting to one of your colleagues about 4G vs. 3G for incoming calls, I was told “I am not aware of this issue I am sorry (…) This is not something that has been brought to my attention”. 

Regards

RebekaPreston
All Star
Posts: 929
Thanks: 128
Fixes: 31
Registered: ‎25-11-2016

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Hi Grotlyn,

Our 4G frequency applies to data only.

All calls and texts that are sent and received, are through the 2G/3G frequency band. 

If you were to set your handset to 4G only, then you would only receive data connectivity and not receive calls and texts. I would advise to alter your handset settings to allow for all frequencies, this way if a call is received, the band can automatically drop down from 4G to 3G to allow for this.

- Rebeka 

 Rebeka Preston
 Plusnet Help Team
MikeBz
Grafter
Posts: 104
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎14-09-2012

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

PN seem to unable to accept that this is a genuine problem.   See this thread: https://community.plus.net/t5/Mobile/Calls-going-straight-to-Voicemail/td-p/1409664 and a number of others.

RebekaPreston
All Star
Posts: 929
Thanks: 128
Fixes: 31
Registered: ‎25-11-2016

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Hi MikeBz,

I can assure you that we do investigate and help to resolve any issues with the network however, the thread you're referring to, is a separate query entirely. 

With regards to the query described here, the following applies:

Our 4G frequency applies to data only.

All calls and texts that are sent and received, are through the 2G/3G frequency band. 

If you were to set your handset to 4G only, then you would only receive data connectivity and not receive calls and texts. I would advise to alter your handset settings to allow for all frequencies, this way if a call is received, the band can automatically drop down from 4G to 3G to allow for this.

- Rebeka 

 

 Rebeka Preston
 Plusnet Help Team
MikeBz
Grafter
Posts: 104
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎14-09-2012

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

The OP has stated that he has to switch 4G off to receive calls.  At no point has he stated that he has the 'phone set to 4G only.  None of my IOS devices even have this option, the only choice is to set 4G Off/Voice & Data/Data Only.  No options for switching 2G/3G on or off.

@Grotlyn - when you have 4G on, and you call your PN mobile number from another 'phone, do you see the 'phone you are calling drop from 4G to 3G just before the call redirects to voicemail?  If so then it is absolutely the same problem as that other thread.

Grotlyn
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-03-2018

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Hello Rebeka,

As I pointed out in my first message, I am using an iPhone.  The device does not have an option to select a mix of G's.  In other words, I can select either 4G or 3G or 2G.  if 4G creates problems - which it does - I must switch it off and move to 3G (or 2G).  Therefore, your advice is not applicable to my handset.

Clearly, there does not seem to be a solution for me right now, at least where I live and work - just to point out the obvious, I am not prepared to relocate or change my handset to accommodate the shortcomings of Plusnet's network.  Using 3G, in the year 2018 with a 6GB data allowance and using a phone which is perfectly capable of handling 4G mobile data, is not a solution I will contemplate for more than a few days/weeks.  So unless you can surprise me by announcing some sort of an imminent 'upgrade'/'change' or whatever to your network that prevents this bizarre problem from occuring, I shall continue my merry way to another provider. 

In any case, thank you for taking the time to respond to my message.

Regards

 

Grotlyn
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-03-2018

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

@MikeBz thank you for your messages on this thread. 

Would such testing help me in any way?  I am sorry but I feel very reluctant to engage in more, pointless self-calling.  When the Plusnet Customer Advisors on the chat were suggesting that this is a call forwarding/diverting issue (with all those #21# and ***004*** codes), I spent several pounds calling my phone from the wife's in order to understand what the hell was going on.  I even spent days using the Plusnet SIM on non-smartphones (i.e. without access to mobile data) just to make sure I can receive calls.

It's time to move.  I was thinking of giffgaff but I do not want to have similar issues with them, so I will be considering one of the MNOs.

Thank you

MikeBz
Grafter
Posts: 104
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎14-09-2012

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

@Grotlyn it would only help to prove that the issue you have is the same as the one that I linked to, contrary to @RebekaPreston's assertion.  However you have pretty much clarified it anyway by confirming that you are not switching 2G/3G off when you switch to 4G - you are simply switching 4G on/off as I was.  So it would seem that you have the same issue that I and others had, for which no solution has been forthcoming.  The aboslute proof would be to watch the 4G symbol on the top LHS of the screen change to 3G briefly when the 'phone is called (but doesn't ring and the caller gets diverted to voicemail).

RebekaPreston
All Star
Posts: 929
Thanks: 128
Fixes: 31
Registered: ‎25-11-2016

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Hi Grotlyn,

If the handset is not automatically switching between frequency bands, this could be an issue with the handset settings itself. 

However, I would advise to send me a Private Message with your details, so that I can take a look into your account further.

- Rebeka 

 Rebeka Preston
 Plusnet Help Team
Grotlyn
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-03-2018

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Hi @MikeBz

In the interest of scientific experiementation, I have tried what you described.  Indeed, it works exactly as you said.  I switch 4G mobile data on.  4G appears on upper left corner.  I call myself from another phone.  The moment the call 'arrives', 4G disappears and is replaced by 3G.  Incoming call gets lost into a black hole, caller gets re-directed to voicemail.  Plusnet handset reverts to 4G.

I went a bit further.  I placed a giffgaff SIM into the iPhone (the 'Plusnet handset') and switched 4G mobile data on.  I then called it from another phone.  Again, on arrival of the incoming call, 4G switches to 3G, the handest though now rings.  I cancel the call, the handest reverts back to 4G.  All is normal.

Simple conclusions (rather, confirmation of prior knowledge):

- My handset is able to function properly and can switch between 4G and 3G on demand when a call arrives.  Its settings are fine (and they were fine for 5+ years as an EE customer)

- Other networks work fine with my handset

- It is Plusnet's SIM/network which renders the handset unable to receive calls when on 4G mobile data mode.

Thanks for your help in confirming all this.

MikeBz
Grafter
Posts: 104
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎14-09-2012

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Thanks @Grotlyn.  Bear in mind that the issue seems to be location dependent, as though it is related to some configuration in the base station you are 'connected' to.   Giffgaff use O2, PN use EE - so when you put the Giffgaff SIM in you are using a different base station.  There is no guarantee that you won't get the issue elsewhere with Giffgaff.  It must be reasonably rare otherwise I don't see how the MVNOs can survive.

 

 


 

Grotlyn
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-03-2018

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

I take your point, @MikeBz

I have added now a data bundle to giffgaff to see how the phone works with calls and data around home and at work.  If this is OK, I will consider them for porting my main phone number over from PN

MikeBz
Grafter
Posts: 104
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎14-09-2012

Re: Cannot accept incoming calls - Can this be fixed this by leaving Plusnet?

Best of luck @Grotlyn.  Unfortunately this thread has only reinforced my feeling that PN seem to unable to acknowledge that this is a genuine problem.  I guess it affects a small enough percentage of potential customers for it to not be worth their while taking it up with EE.