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Compensation - why is Plusnet so poor?

david71lee
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-12-2021

Compensation - why is Plusnet so poor?

After storm Arwen, our broadband was off for 11 full days, and just came back on this morning.
So I called Plusnet about compensation, and I'm staggered over the amount offered - 1 month free credit, so that's £22.99.

Compare that to other major providers on Ofcom's compensation scheme, which offer £8.06 per day.
Plusnet offers me £22.99, others would give £88.66 - roughly 4 times as much.

To add insult to injury, I was told that it was the maximum that could be offered because I did not report the outage by phone, so it hadn't been recorded on my account.

That is simply ridiculous, because if you go on to the Plusnet website, or call their support number, they actually tell you to use the text service as the quickest and best way to report problem - i.e. text "FAULT" with your landline number.
The "report a broadband problem" help page doesn't even list a phone number to contact Plusnet on!
https://www.plus.net/help/report-a-problem/broadband/

So I used the Plusnet text service to report the problem each day, and sometimes twice a day. But apparently I did something wrong by not phoning Plusnet to speak to someone and report the issue - the support person mentioned I wouldn't be offered any better compensation because I hadn't "reported it by phone".

However you report it, don't Plusnet have the ability to check how long your broadband was out for? The Plusnet text service could accurately tell me the exact date and time the incident was detected, so how don't Plusnet's own support staff have access to that information? Why do you also have to phone them before they know you've got an outage?
(As a side note, when you have power outages and can't charge your phone, you don't want to run your battery down making long phone calls. You're going to use the text service.)

Anyway, that's the first time I've had to contact Plusnet support in nearly 4 years, and when my contract is up in January, I think I'll move to a provider that offers decent compensation as standard - without having to beg and argue for it.

6 REPLIES 6
pjmarsh
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,673
Thanks: 1,347
Fixes: 14
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Compensation - why is Plusnet so poor?

A couple of initial thoughts from what you've posted.  First off the compensation would only kick in 3 (I think it is) full days after you report the issue, so it would be 8 days worth of compensation you'd get, if it was reported right at the beginning.

Second observation is that you've said you txt FAULT and your lineline number, whereas the page you linked to tells you to txt HELP and your landland number for troubleshooting.  If you did that, according to the page either an engineer appointment would have been sent to you or you'd have received a call for you to report a fault.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

adam945
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 2,319
Fixes: 114
Registered: ‎01-12-2020

Re: Compensation - why is Plusnet so poor?

Hey @david71lee

Thanks a lot for reaching out and I'm really sorry to see how long your services were down for due to the recent storm, as you can imagine, it caused some havoc for our customer both up and down the country. I'll pop a visual radius below which shows that your service was cut off for a total of 10 days. We're not part of Ofcom's automatic compensation scheme, but do have our own similar one, if you have a total loss of service for more than 48 hours, we'll then compensate £8.00 per day until it's fixed.

Saying that though, I'm surprised to hear that you were offered an entire month of free service, for 10 days downtime, as this type of outage comes under what we call an MBORC - matters beyond our reasonable control. If anything, I'd be more than happy to process a downtime refund, by calculating what you'd pay for 10 days of service.

When you signed up, you agreed to our Terms and Conditions which state that we do not compensate for outages which are beyond our reasonable control. You'll find this on 13.1.1 and 13.1.3 under the Plusnet Standard Terms section.

 
 Adam
 Plusnet Help Team - Leeds
bmc
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 699
Fixes: 30
Registered: ‎28-02-2017

Re: Compensation - why is Plusnet so poor?

@david71lee 

Just as a matter of interest - why do you think you're entitled to compensation. PlusNet were able to supply the service but you were unable to receive it due to matters outwith PlusNet's control.

 

A month's free service seems entirely reasonable to me.

 

Brian

david71lee
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-12-2021

Re: Compensation - why is Plusnet so poor?

Hi @pjmarsh 

The Ofcom compensation scheme says you'd get automatic compensation if the service is off for 2 days, but doesn't state when the compensation starts - so it could be from the start of the issue (which I'd assumed) or from day 3 onwards.
Either way, £72 (9 x £8) of compensation is still an order of magnitude better than £23.

My mistake on the "HELP" / "FAULT" thing.
I actually texted "HELP" for the vast majority of the messages sent to Plusnet, which is what it says to do on the web page.
I only tried using "FAULT" recently, because if you phone Plusnet and follow the option to report a problem, their automated message says to use "FAULT".
So Plusnet tells you to use "HELP" on their website, and "FAULT" if you phone - go figure.
I'm not sure if it makes any difference though, as it appears to be the same service.

The advisor I spoke to didn't even seem to be aware of the text service, and was insistent that I should have phoned to report the issue - which if you actually did phone, you'd know that the phone message directs you to use the text service!
So if Plusnet can't even give clear and consistent instructions on how to report a fault, how are customers going to know the "right way" to do it?

david71lee
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-12-2021

Re: Compensation - why is Plusnet so poor?

Hi @bmc 

I thought I was entitled to compensation because I would get that compensation automatically from most of the big name competitors to Plusnet, as they've signed up to Ofcom's automatic compensation scheme.

So perhaps I need to be less lazy and keep an eye on what each provider is offering, but it did surprise me that the award-winning Plusnet don't offer the same compensation as their competitors.

As it seems I was lucky to have got the 1 month free, the distance between Plusnet and its competitors on this point seems even greater than I realised.
At least I'm fully aware of the situation now, just in time for my renewal in January.

adam945
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 2,319
Fixes: 114
Registered: ‎01-12-2020

Re: Compensation - why is Plusnet so poor?

Pleasure talking to you on the phone this afternoon @david71lee

Thanks a lot for taking my call, I've just sent you an email summarising our chat if you want to have a look. Please do feel free to reach out if you have any further concerns with your service at all. Smiley

 Adam
 Plusnet Help Team - Leeds