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Problems Porting Mobile Number

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 934
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Registered: ‎26-03-2018

Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hi @David24,

I can see that a complaint has already been logged with ourselves and that this was picked up by a member of the complaints team. As this is the case I would advise it best to direct this query to the complaints case handler.

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 Alex H
 Plusnet Help Team
David24
Dabbler
Posts: 24
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Registered: 3 weeks ago

Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hi Mighty AJ,

Hmm! I seem to be getting pushed from pillar to post! So who is my complaints handler and how can he/she be contacted, if by phone are they likely to just hang-up (which is the reason why I use this forum)?

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 934
Thanks: 112
Fixes: 43
Registered: ‎26-03-2018

Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hi @David24,

I can see that this was picked up, but the response was sent via a letter and so may not have arrived with you yet. The letter's still on it's way, but an email response has also been sent now as well. My apologies for any confusion that may have caused.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Alex H
 Plusnet Help Team
David24
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Posts: 24
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Registered: 3 weeks ago

Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hi Everyone,

 

Its day 19 and still Plusnet have not sorted out my porting issues, which means I have not been able to receive ANY calls since 18th September. I have no idea who is trying to contact me nor do I have anyway to find out how many calls I may have lost.

 

Here’s my daily update on things I’ve been up to in a bid to get my number back:

 

  1. Avid readers will know that in a desperate attempt to restore my lost mobile phone number I have been “reaching-out” (to use Plusnet jargon, yuk) to various organisations. I made mention of an outfit called the OSG, this is the Mobile Number Portability Operator Steering Group, in yesterday’s post. The steering group is made up of mobile operator representatives who are responsible for industry self-regulation. Anyway, I got an immediate response from a gentleman who was very helpful and asked for some extra details. He seemed very surprised that I had been without service for so very long, hopefully he can unblock things. The OSG can be contacted at info@mnposg.org.uk.

 

  1. Today on this forum I learnt that I had been given a complaint reference number and had someone, who’s name I’m not allowed to mention, to take ownership of it. This was followed up by an email from the lucky lady. Yippee, feels like progress ...I don’t know why it does, but there comes a point when even hitting your head against the most inanimate object with attitude, that the tiniest movement takes on an altogether more significant meaning than it probably deserves. However, it seems rather late in the day and one might have expected this to have happened on 19th September but there you go. I have to say that she, who cannot be named, seems delightful and actually responds to points and displays a willingness to help even though she probably knows her willingness and commitment begins and ends with her. I often feel sorry for customer service agents who have to deal with difficult and upset customers and one has to wonder why they stay in post; this could of course be a kind of Stockholm syndrome. Anyway, more promises that the backroom boys are working tirelessly night and day, nearing a mental and physical breakdowns in a bid to restore David24’s number to its rightful owner. However, its not our fault its all down to someone else!  During our exchanges, it was pointed out to me that Plusnet do not define loss of service as loss of service. Loss of service only applies to things like cell towers falling over due to the overwhelming burden of Plusnet calls now that the new PAC system has liberated customers to switch to them. In this crazy world Plusnet may be right, I have to say that to me loss of service means just that. But more about this in tomorrows post.

 

  1. Its very hard to find anything positive to say about Plusnet at the moment, save that Ms Stockholm (as I shall now call the lady who is fortunate to own my complaint) is on the case!. I was going through the Plusnet blurb about how easy it is to switch to their mobile service and thought, this doesn’t look right, this is actually misleading and needs an expert eye cast over it. So rather than be held responsible for Ms Stockholm being prescribed an unnaturally high and potentially lethal dose of prozac (or add to Messrs Baker and Jansen’s already burgeoning in-boxes), I thought I would go straight to the ASA, that’s the Advertising Standards Agency. They regulate the honesty of published material to ensure its accurate and not misleading. So I dropped them a line asking them to check the leaflet out as we wouldn’t want Plusnet to mislead consumers. I’m not sure why I should try and help Plusnet like this, but I guess its just in my nature to be helpful....or,  perhaps I’m displaying early signs of Stockholm syndrome too!  

 

I am working on my next initiative so in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger,  I’ll be back ..... to let you know about my latest reaching-out endeavours!

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 1,047
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Registered: ‎07-12-2017

Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hi @David24, I am really sorry for the length of time this has been ongoing and for the likely inconvenience that this is causing you in the meantime.

 

I'm glad to hear that you're case handler is dealing with this for you and I'll send them an email just to advise you have been in touch.

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 Lauren Barry
 Plusnet Help Team
David24
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Posts: 24
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Registered: 3 weeks ago

Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hi Everyone,

 

Its now 20 days since I switched to Plusnet and lost my service and mobile number.

 

So this is my daily update! What have I been up to today? Well a lots going on in the background which I will reveal in the fullness of time, I don’t want to say too much because an element of surprise is always useful. All I can say is that it will help fellow Plusnet customers who feel abandoned by them - more to follow!

 

  1. Yesterday you may recall that Ms Stockholm told me that Plusnet do not define Loss of Service as loss of service! If their definition is incorrect, this would mean Plusnet are trying to exploit a possible loophole in order to evade reporting and escalation procedures that might put them in breach of agreed industry standards. I have written to Ofcom today to seek clarification about what loss of service means. I have shared Plusnet’s definition with them and asked them to confirm whether this is the case and if correct, to provide me with details of what safeguards they have put in place to protect consumers who are experiencing protracted porting problems. I requested Plusnet provide me with copies of all relevant logs to evidence compliance. They have refused to provide these.

 

  1. Talking about safeguards, many of you will now know that I feel very strongly that a higher degree of industry regulation is needed to protect consumers from dodgy or recalcitrant providers. So, in pursuit of trying to protect consumers and those customers contemplating switching to companies like Plusnet, I am busy drafting a letter to the Competition and Markets Authority. I shall be asking the CMA to investigate. The whole point of introducing Ofcom reforms to the PAC system was to make it easier for consumers to switch between providers and remove the blocks put in place by mobile providers that discouraged switching. This often involved customers experiencing very lengthy waits to have calls answered to obtain a porting code. Those with stamina who hung-on and endured the mind numbingly dull muzack, often had to put up with a heavy sell before they eventually got their code, assuming they hadn’t given up the will to live.  Perhaps it was easier for many to put up with an indifferent service provider rather than endure all this hassle when trying to switch. Churn costs the mobile phone industry a lot of money: there’s the costs associated with the administration and processing of incoming and outgoing customers and PACS codes; it also means effort (= cost) needs to go into attracting new customers who, if they are able to switch more easily, may not hang around too long if the new service proves sub-standard. The old system which trapped many customers therefore had the benefit of reduced churn and some level of guarantee of income from those consumers held captive. Well, guess what? The difficulties huge numbers of customers now face with porting their numbers and getting services re-connected has exactly the same effect. If you think that you are going to lose your mobile number for an extended and undefined period, then this will act as a deterrent to those foolhardy enough to switch. So the industry has outsmarted Ofcom and merely substituted one road block with another. This really needs investigating. I’m sure the industry will argue that the recent PAC reforms have led to an unexpected volume in people switching which in turn has placed temporary pressures on the teams involved with porting. This argument does not hold water because the new PAC system was not unexpected, the industry has had many, many years (see my above posts) to prepare for this change. Consumer focused providers  will have planned and resourced up in readiness for the PAC change.

 

  1. A flutter of excitement at David24’s house last night because I received a message saying my O2 routing problems had been sorted out and I should now be able to receive calls, could I please check everything was okay and let them know. Well it wasn’t! Call me old fashioned but surely if someone had try to call me with this good news, then a) they would have found out the problem was not fixed and b) having discovered this, they could’ve taken it back to their appropriate team without raising a false expectation. Yet a further example of just how disengaged from their customers Plusnet are. At the very least a few phone calls could’ve had made all the difference over the last 20 days...they are after all a mobile phone operator so the call cost shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Even more amazing, the person notifying me about this “great” news, explained she was taking ownership of my problem....lucky old me, I now have 2 people taking personal ownership of my problem! Perhaps this means that each will take responsibility for a 12 hour shift to ensure David24 has coverage throughout the day. Nah, this idea was soon dispelled because neither Ms Stockholm nor Ms Credulous (the name I’ve given to co-owner #2, as I’m not allowed to use real names here) have been in contact following my email about the failure. So no surprise there. Knowing Plusnet as well as I do, they will probably now classify this as a “new” problem and in so doing hope it provides them with another 5 days until they come up with another excuse that will buy yet another 5 days . No doubt with many more co-owners to join Ms Stockholm & Credulous in taking personal ownership of my problem. If kicking the can and obfuscation were an olympic sport, Plusnet would win Gold, Silver and Bronze with a Platinum for dissimulation thrown in for good measure.

 

Until tomorrow!

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Sorry to hear this @David24

I've passed this onto the case handlers of your complaint and we'll update you as soon as we know more.

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 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team
David24
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Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hello Everyone,

 

No sooner had I posted the Day 20 update yesterday when an email landed in my inbox from Ms Credulous. More apologies and reassurances, the “A” team at Plusnet were still hot on the case. But unfortunately, despite this abundance of committed talent, Plusnet’s brightest and best, in all honesty, didn’t know what was wrong and when it was likely to be fixed. However, whoever was responsible, and it certainly wasn’t Plusnet, would need another 5 working days for can kicking. Readers may remember in yesterday’s post I predicted this would likely happen. Well, since I became a Plusnet customer, I’ve either become a very talented psychic or a wearied cynic, overfamiliar with a hackneyed playbook of over used excuses and cliches! Take your pick.

 

At 5:36pm, cup of tea and well earned bicky in hand, my new phone suddenly sprang into life, I’d never ever received a call on it so was taken back in shock! Mrs David24 applied CPR; several ampules of adrenaline and multiple defib shocks to get the old ticker pumping again. Anyway, still clutching my by now smouldering iPhone, Mrs David24 dialled my number just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, and yes, it did ring and joy of all joys, it even vibrated. 

 

I can only think that the gentleman at OSG who had been so helpful, had managed to cut through the nonsense and restored my number. So, here I am 21 days after my Plusnet porting date finally “reunited” (Plusnet term) with my number so I can now receive calls. I’m reserving judgement for the next few days just in case somebody accidentally fixed it by mistake and I once again lose service. Having said that, I’ve got very little signal even though I have 3 EE cell towers nearby at 198m, 209m and 324m from my house but that’s the next issue I need to resolve.

 

Cheers for today.

 

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 1,047
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Registered: ‎07-12-2017

Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hi @David24, I am glad to hear that you have been able to now receive phone calls, though it's certainly been long awaited. Again I have passed your contact onto your case handler and they'll be back in touch with you tomorrow.

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 Lauren Barry
 Plusnet Help Team
David24
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Posts: 24
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Registered: 3 weeks ago

Re: Problems Porting Mobile Number

Hi Everyone,

 

Well I got a response on my poor signal issue which is related to Plusnet commissioning a lower grade service from EE than the one the host company provides to its own customers. Plusnet are willing to investigate but require three more example calls from different post code areas, spaced 2 hours apart as well as screenshots and exact locations at the postcode. Well I think as the saying goes, you can’t turn a sows ear into a silk purse so it seems pointless really pursuing, added to which I find myself for unexpected and unavoidable reasons being stuck with Plusnet for the time being.

 

I finally completed my letter to the Competition and Markets Authority, CMA, laying out what I believe to be grounds for an investigation into industry practices - as distinct from issues relating to regulation or advertising which are dealt with by Ofcom and the ASA respectively. For those who do not know about the work of the CMA, it is a non-ministerial government department charged with the responsibility to ensure markets and sectors function fairly, competitively and in the best interests of consumers. The CMA want to hear about any industry activity that might cause market distortions such as anti-competitive practices like price fixing or other activities which could limit, impede or undermine consumer choice. I shall be polishing the text and re-fact checking my submission and will send it to them this weekend.

 

Cheers for now,

David24