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Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Timski
Newbie
Posts: 4
Thanks: 1
Registered: 11-08-2017

Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

This post is to give a heads up to anyone in N.Ireland who is considering switching to Plusnet.

I recently swapped to Plusnet from Giffgaff (which runs on the O2 network) as I have Plusnet at home so was entitled to 'mates rates' prices which are extremely good (even better than Giffgaff) and the fact the EE is supposed to have the best coverage of all the networks in N.Ireland (I live near Belfast).

The switch was easy and getting my number ported also straightforward.

However, I immediately noticed a significantly worse signal wherever I went in NI - greater Belfast/Lisburn/Ards/South Down/North coast, frequently having either 'No Signal' or 'E'.

I also noticed that my data got used up incredibly quickly despite no change my data useage - with Giffgaff 6GB would last month, with Plusnet 8GB got used up after less than 3 weeks.

I went to buy a Bolt-On to supplement my data until the end of the month and discovered that the only way to do this was to ring customer services, with the inevitable being putting on hold for 10mins!! What year are we in?? I couldn't even do this on-line!

When I spoke to them they could give me no explanation as to why my data had been used up so quickly.

So I will be switching back to Giffgaff which costs a little more per month, but has a very handy app and gives me very good reception in all the places I regularly visit in NI.

I should add that my wife switched to Plusnet from 3 at the same time and she has had exactly the same problems so it's not just me!

 

28 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) SeanCorri
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 59
Fixes: 1
Registered: 20-07-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Hi Timski!

I'm sorry to hear about this today!

We use the EE network as it allows us to access up to 99% of the UK population! You may find that our signal can sometimes be affected by external factors, such as building materials, tree cover, the weather, and the number of people who are using the network at that time.

You're right in saying that our Broadband customers can also access our exclusive Mates Rates deals, that offer up to double the data than a standard tariff! You can check these out on our website, www.plus.net, where we're always updating our fantastic deals! 

I'm glad to hear that you experienced such a seamless joining process. Our Port-In process takes one working day if submitted before 6pm, and up to two working days after 6pm. You may find that there will be some disruption on the network as this is processed, however, this is part of the process and full services will resume when the Port-In is complete.

I'm sorry to hear that you feel this way! The great news is we're already looking to include the adding of Bolt Ons in a future release of our My Account! Unfortunately, I can't give you a timescale as to when this will be available, but rest assured, this is already in the pipeline!

I'd be more than happy to look into the data issue that you're experiencing! I'd hate to see you leave us Timski! Please don't hesitate to drop me a PM, and i'll be more than happy to look into this for you! -Sean Smiley

 Sean Corri
 Plusnet Help Team
Timski
Newbie
Posts: 4
Thanks: 1
Registered: 11-08-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Thanks Sean, but unless the reception in NI improves dramatically I'll not be coming back.
And you really need to be able to manage most aspects of your account without having to speak to customer services (no matter how good your customer service representatives are) in this day and age!
Plusnet Alumni (retired) SeanCorri
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 59
Fixes: 1
Registered: 20-07-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

I completely understand Timski!

 

I'll make sure that your feedback is passed to the relevant department, who will look into the coverage in NI, and hopefully we can welcome you back once we've added some additional features to the online My Account!

Please don't hesitate to drop me a PM if you have any further feedback or questions! -Sean Smiley

 

 Sean Corri
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,697
Thanks: 1,262
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Does this issue have anything to do with the fact that, though being 'based on the EE network' EE do not allow Plusnet users full access to all of the 4G frequencies?  See https://community.plus.net/t5/Mobile/G4-enabled-and-available-but-can-t-get-data-connection/m-p/1462...

Timski
Newbie
Posts: 4
Thanks: 1
Registered: 11-08-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Not sure if that particular thread is relevant (I'm certain it's not the phone which is the issue) and I have no experience of EE separate from Plusnet (I was previously with Giffgaff and prior to that was with 3, and had no probs getting 4G with either of those).
If what you say is true, however, then I think Plusnet need to be very clear about this in their marketing (i.e. not just in the small print)
Plusnet Alumni (retired) SeanCorri
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 59
Fixes: 1
Registered: 20-07-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Hi Timski!

 

I can confirm that we use the 800MHz frequency on the EE network.

 

If you have any further questions about this, then please don't hesitate to get in touch! - Sean Smiley

 Sean Corri
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

For complete clarity are you stating that PN SIMs are VOLTE compliant?

@RichardB for info and comment.
RichardB
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 293
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Registered: 19-11-2008

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Hi Townman,

A very interesting statement from SeanCorri.

The 800MHz 4G band has inherently better coverage and building penetration than the EE's 2G band (1800MHz), 3G band (2100 MHz) and the 'main' 4G band (1800MHz).

It would be a brave move to allow access to 800MHz 4G without VoLTE!

I am sure EE & their MVNOs (such as PN)  would have many complaints if customers had a signal and could browse the internet but could not make or receive voice calls...

I suppose it is technically possible that EE could reduce the power of the 800MHz cell transmissions to constrain the 800MHz 4G coverage to less than the equivalent 2G and 3G coverage but that would negate the benefits of using the band!

If PN now have the ability to support VoLTE then I would expect that it would be limited to certain handsets / mobile devices due to the technicalities involved.

EEs info can be found at http://ee.co.uk/help/phones-and-device/4g-calling  (click on "who can get 4G calling")

Richard

Colin_Maybe
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Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

I suppose it is technically possible that EE could reduce the power of the 800MHz cell transmissions to constrain the 800MHz 4G coverage to less than the equivalent 2G and 3G coverage but that would negate the benefits of using the band!

 

 

I don't think they reduce the power to restrict VoLTE on the 800Mhz band, admittedly I'm far from an expert on mobile transmitters.

 

I use https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.simplyadvanced.ltediscovery&hl=en and haven't so far seen anything but band 3 used, I suspect that Sean isn't correct in saying PN use band 20 but it could just be the area I'm in. 

sohagan857
Newbie
Posts: 3
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Registered: 21-08-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

I joined plusnet within the last week due to the good deal they had, and also the fact the coverage checker stated I'd have 'good' 4g signal at my home. My sim arrived and I have/had absolutely no signal.

I contact the online chat services, and I got the usual routines (restart phone etc) - Obviously that didn't help. I stated my sim[s] are now worthless, and that they should contact EE to update their coverage checker - they said couldn't do that. I then asked to cancel/honor the 14 day cancellation period - but they again said they couldn't help with that. That chat advisor went as far to say "why don't you use whatsapp to call people from your home". I was in shock at a mobile operator recommending me to use whatsapp as a solution to the incorrect reported coverage and lack of signal.

I reassured them that I really did want to stay with plusnet (I am currently within 3 and wanted to switch for a long time) so if they could provide a signal booster and/or app to allow wifi calling (I currently have both app and booster box with 3 in my home) and guess what - they couldn't do anything of the sort. 

So yeh, I wont be back either and this post is 100% spot on.

Timski
Newbie
Posts: 4
Thanks: 1
Registered: 11-08-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

I would recommed Giffgaff - much better coverage than 3 (at least in my locations) and v flexible pricing. Just need a phone that is unblocked or runs on O2.

Plusnet Alumni (retired) SeanCorri
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 59
Fixes: 1
Registered: 20-07-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Hi there sohagan857!

 

I'm really sorry to hear about this today!

When you order a SIM deal from us, we aim to have your SIM card arrive to your address within two working days, automatically activated, and ready to use straight away!

If you place your order through our friendly Sales Team, then we'll always perform a coverage check for you, and if not you can always check this out for yourself by visiting http://maps.ee.co.uk/lifemobile/coveragechecker.html?enable4g=1 before placing your order online.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the service that the coverage checker quotes, as your signal is dependent on multiple factors. Building materials, tree cover, the weather, and the number of people using the network within your local area can all affect the signal that you'll receive! 

 If you do ever experience signal issues, we'll be sure to try our best to get these sorted for you! The first step is to try rebooting your handset, as this refreshes your connection to our network. You'd be surprised at how many issues can be solved by doing this! If you're still experiecing issues after trying a handset reboot, then we'll step you through a few extra fixes. 

I'm sorry to hear about your recent Live Chat experience! I'll pass this on to the relevant department, so that they can investigate this for you! 

If you do decide that you want to leave our Plusnet family, then you can give our friendly Sales Team a call on 0800 0791133 - Option 2, or 500 from your Plusnet mobile number, and they'll be more than happy to process this for you!

Unfortunately, we don't support signal booster boxes or Wifi calling on our network! We'll certainly take your feedback onboard though, and hopefully we can offer this to our customers in the future!

 

I hope that we can welcome you back into our mobile family at some point in the future! If you ever have any other questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a PM, and i'll be happy to help you out! -Sean Smiley

 

 

 Sean Corri
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,697
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Is that coverage map for native unrestricted EE services or the restricted Plusnet service over the EE network?

Presently I am on EE which delivers VOLTE and wifi calling - can I be assured that using the same phone with a Plusnet SIM will deliver EXACTLY the same level of service in both quality and functionality?

It's a simple question - please provide a simple Yes or No and if No what are the differences? I'm starting to conclude that being "on" the EE network is not the same as getting service direct from EE. There needs to be more transparency here.
sohagan857
Newbie
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Registered: 21-08-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile: Too good to be true in Northern Ireland

Hi @SeanCorri,

 

There's no diff with the sales team checking the coverage map and me/us checking the coverage map. We all would have come to the same conclusion - i.e. what it says on the screen in front of us. As I mentioned, it stated "good" for my area, and so I bought the sim deal. However, it was wrong - I live in the countryside, not another building for a mile or so, no trees overlooking my house, weather, well that's an insane factor to put into this thread, and number of people using it in my area - I'd be positive in saying very few. We understand you can't guarantee this map, it's a mast after all, what I am saying (and others on this thread) is that the coverage map is very, very wrong for Northern Ireland. I can provide my postcode off thread if you'd like to see for yourself. 

Re:reboots - yes, tried, doesn't solve anything.

Re:passing onto the relevant department. Any way you can prove this has been passed on? I sort of believe you, but I hear this all the time, but never see feedback/solutions to problems (not just plusnet).

Re:leaving - yes I understand what I have to do now to leave, but my concern was the same as Timski's. I can buy/upgrade a sim over the chat service but can't leave!? That's crazy.

Re:no app/booster box - yeh it's a shame for you. Tbh it wasn't a well thought out strategy by plusnet - you are going to have an influx of customers because of the good prices, but also an out flux of a % of those. That % will leave very bad feedback on their experience with you (just like us on this thread), and will not look back, send bad reports on plusnet and generally not recommend you to friends and family. If you had offered 1 or both of these services, I wouldn't be providing this bad feedback as you would have had at least 1 solution to my bad signal (and incorrect coverage map). The happy customers won't provide good feedback, the unhappy customers will leave bad feedback - so basically for the short term win in customer numbers you are going to get an awful lot of bad publicity. I couldn't help but notice a thread on the forum yesterday "How about some nice words for a change?" - This is what I am getting at. He must have noticed the vast amount of bad feedback on the forums and tried to help that situation with his positive feedback. 1 good vs 1000 bad isn't really good PR is it? It's going to be a long term loss for you if things don't quickly improve. 

I am also curious on @Townman question - it might begin to explain why EE's coverage vs plusnet's coverage is vastly different.