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Can somebody please help a new customer actually get some service?

MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,103
Thanks: 54
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Registered: 26-08-2010

Can somebody please help a new customer actually get some service?

Hi Support,
I would be grateful if you might be able to help move things along for my mother-in-law; not only to save me face (I, somewhat regrettably now, referred her) but also to provide her with phone/broadband that she so heavily relies on.
Following her recent house move we signed her up as a new phone+broadband customer on the 25th November. On the 27th November we received a notification (ticket ref 9521464Cool advising us that the previous occupier had placed a cease order (which we now know was captured under ticket ref 9445702Cool on the line and hence, if this were allowed to continue, we would have to pay a £49.99 (re)activation fee. It was 'highly recommended' to us that we contacted the previous occupier and request them to cancel the cease order to not only avoid the fee but to not delay matters further.
This was done (see their ticket ref 9537559Cool, just in the nick of time as it happens because it turns out they are in the process of emigrating to Australia. We also found out the previous occupier was also a Plusnet customer and so presumably this could only help matters? Well, apparently not...
On the 29th November we received a follow-up response to ticket ref 95214648 advising us that, having followed the recommendation to get the cease order removed, we must now get the previous occupier to confirm to Plusnet that they no longer wish to receive services at the address and are content for them to be transferred to my mother-in-law. The original cease order obviously did this, but is the fact this is now under question because the cease order was cancelled? That's what we were advised to do!
Contacting the previous occupier is now rather difficult as we believe, through the letting agent, that they are either well on their way to Australia or already there. Either way, it seems highly unlikely that they will wish to sit in a phone queue for half an hour (like I had to) from the other side of the world, and who can blame them.
Are you able to advise how to get this resolved? Time is ticking on now and I am losing confidence in Plusnet being able to 'do us proud'. I am tempted to suggest that my mother-in-law cancels and goes elsewhere however I could well understand her viewing any further recommendations from me with scepticism given how my last tip is going.
If it helps, my mother-in-law is apparently an authorised user on the previous occupiers account (see ticket ref 95375539), I am an authorised user on my mother-in-law's account and, to complete the triangle in what strikes me as a rather bizarre move on the part of one of your colleagues, the previous occupier is an authorised user on my mother-in-law's account! (This latter point is one I shall be raising separately when, or perhaps if, this issue ever gets sorted out). We are therefore all seemingly interconnected through mutual authorisations - is this still not enough to get this resolved without us getting the previous occupier to make yet another phonecall e.g. can we, as authorised users of the previous occupiers account, confirm the desire to no longer receive service?
Please, can you help? If the tiredness and red mist has made me omit anything important to assist you do let me know.
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Can somebody please help a new customer actually get some service?

Quote from: MJN
Hi Support
Just to clarify, this is a customer forum though PlusNet staff members are active. Most people active here are just fellow customers, though many have a good insight into Broadband, PlusNet and other relevant areas..
Have you tried contacting PN yourself to get advice on what authorisation they want/accept in the circumstances?
MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,103
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Registered: 26-08-2010

Re: Can somebody please help a new customer actually get some service?

Hi HPsauce,
Yes, I gave PN a call a couple of days ago in case it could avoid the inherent difficulties with the online ticketing system but the advice was as stated - for me to get the previous occupier to call PN to confirm their desire to no longer receive service. It was stressed that the key word for them to use was that they wished to 'transfer' as opposed to 'cancel' and so that was the sort of language I should be using. It didn't occur to me at the time to suggest that Plusnet should be liaising with the existing customer to ascertain their wishes, not me, however I would concede that might be a debatable point.
I'd call PN again but I am extremely busy at the moment (hence this post when I really should be trying to get some sleep) and cannot afford to wait another half an hour in the telephone queue. This is why I posted here; that and the fact I've always found the forum support a cut above the rest. The 'Support' target was intentional as given the nature of my queries (and ticket references) it is likely that only the Customer Relations Team can really help in this situation.
From what I've written though, do you think our best bet might be just to up sticks and go elsewhere? It strikes me that the sticking point here is the fact that both the old and new customers are both Plusnet but have no other connection other than nonconcurrent occupancy of the same house... If the previous owner had been with Sky, and the cease order cancelled, presumably we'd all be home and dry by now? Turning this on its head - if we went to Sky presumably the lack of a cease order would mean that we ought to not face any issues?
MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,103
Thanks: 54
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Registered: 26-08-2010

Re: Can somebody please help a new customer actually get some service?

This is getting beyond a joke now - I have just spoken with someone via LiveChat and they have given yet another story about what the situation actually is:
Quote
Chat Transcript
info: Thank you for talking to us today - we'll be with you shortly.
info: You are now chatting with Hannah.
Hannah: Good afternoon, I'm Hannah. How can I help you today?
Mathew: Hi Hannah
Hannah: Hi
Mathew: I am contacting you on behalf of my mother-in-law who recently joined PN however the service has yet to start and so I wanted to discuss the current situation with you if possible?
Hannah: We would need her to contact us to discuss her account.
Mathew: I am an authorised user on her account if that suffices?
Hannah: Thats great.
Hannah: So that I can access your account can I take the 1st and 2nd characters of your password please?
Mathew: '*' and '*'
Hannah: Thank you.
Hannah: What is it that you need to know about the account.
Mathew: The previous owner had placed a cease order on the line and so we were advised that a £49.99 (re)activation fee would be due. However, it was recommended to us that we got the previous owner to cancel the cease order - this has now been done - however it would now appear that we need to get the previous owner to confirm that the services are no longer required by them. This is proving difficult as the previous owner is emigrating to Australia!
Mathew: This is all captured under ticket ref 95214648
Mathew: We are on the brink of just moving to another provider and so if there is any way you can help things move along to avoid this that would be appreciated.
Hannah: I am just looking in to your account now I will be as quick as a can.
Mathew: That's great - thanks Hannah.
Hannah: :-)
Hannah: I have just looked at the account.
Hannah: As the line is a plusnet line it would need to be cancelled as we cannot take over our own service.
Hannah: I know this is not what you have been told in the past.
Mathew: The service was cancelled (see ticket ref 9445702Cool however it would appear that the removal of the cease order has uncancelled it! This is not what the previous owner, nor ourselves, want.
Hannah: I do understand that.
Hannah: I think there has been some confusion.
Mathew: Indeed! :-)
Hannah: We do need the line to be ceased
Hannah: we will then have to restart it.
Mathew: Will that cost us £49.99?
Hannah: it will,
Hannah: there is no way to avoid this charge.
Mathew: Another PN agent said that we could get the previous owner to agree to 'transfer' the service over to us - is this not the case?
Hannah: No, I am sorry that you have been misadvised.
Mathew: We seem to be getting told different things by different people and it is not obvious who to believe!
Mathew: Okay, I think in that case we shall sign up with another provider. A £50 fee to accomodate the nuance of the situation is unacceptable.
Mathew: I will speak to my mother in law first, but assuming she agrees, how would we go about cancelling the new signup?
Hannah: You would need to call and speak to customer options on 0800 013 2632
Hannah: I am sorry that I havent been able to help.
Mathew: Will give them a call now. Thanks Hannah - you have at least confirmed that we are flogging a dead horse with this and better we found out now before we waste any more time.
Hannah: It's been great chatting with you today. Plusnet really values your feedback. Please click the "End Conversation" button at the top right of your screen to answer a few questions about your experience with us today. Enjoy the rest of your day!

So now we're being told that it is not possible for Plusnet to take over an existing service of theirs without the £49.99 fee. Why are we being told different stories and conflicting advice from different Plusnet agents, and who should we believe?
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,487
Thanks: 248
Fixes: 68
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Can somebody please help a new customer actually get some service?

Hi MJN,
I'm really sorry to see things have become overcomplicated in relation to this matter.
Unfortunately there's no way for us to avoid some downtime being involved in the process of provisioning your mother-in-laws account.
There is a regulatory reason as to why we can't transfer the ownership of a line from one person to another. It's because the directory entry (as used in the event of a 999 call) must reflect that of the line owner. The only way to resolve this is by ceasing and re-providing the line.
Sorry for the conflicting advice you've been given along the way, looks like I have a few pieces of feedback to pass on.
I'm going to take ownership and I'll drop you a PM with regards to a proposal about that.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,103
Thanks: 54
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Registered: 26-08-2010

Re: Can somebody please help a new customer actually get some service?

Thank you Adam - your assistance is most appreciated. I will continue the discussion via PM.
It is interesting the point about directory entries and the 999 connection - it is not something I'd considered but I can see the rationale behind it. I suppose it is nuances like this that are behind much of the confusion - even to PN staff - and why what sounds like sage advice can turn out to be not so.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,577
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Can somebody please help a new customer actually get some service?

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
There is a regulatory reason as to why we can't transfer the ownership of a line from one person to another. It's because the directory entry (as used in the event of a 999 call) must reflect that of the line owner. The only way to resolve this is by ceasing and re-providing the line.

Adam have the rules changed since March this year?  Frankly this seems like nonsense - all that is required is a change of billing details / account name for the service.  When I left our business premises in March this year I arranged with PlusNET for the new operators to take over the services.  Having given notice to terminate, I raised a ticket on the account detailing the new operators, gave the new operators the account name and (IIRC) the COTS phone number.  14 or so days later all was done.  We avoided £30 bb cessation fee, they avoided a £50 reconnection fee.
So unless the rules have changed in the last 8 months, the stated position is not correct.  In the event of a 999 call it is the location of the phone which the emergency services need to know - not the subscriber details.  The subscriber could be a corporate body having phone lines all over the place... knowledge of which would be darned all use to the emergency services.
Cynically this looks like nothing more than a cash generation scam for BTOR and needs to be resisted.
Kevin