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Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

racquel
Grafter
Posts: 181
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎21-11-2008

Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

To explain, I suppose the easiest thing to do is paste the ticket, minus personal details. Does this all seem a bit "wrong" to you?
In summary, it seems they are saying:
Quote
We've got a feature for which there is a charge. This charge is not listed or displayed anywhere, indeed, we'll actually confirm there isn't a charge.
We'll then apply the charge retrospectively, and when questioned will begrudgingly refund it as if we were doing you a favour because you'd not read something properly, then warn you that we'll continue to charge.

Of course, I'm not going to bother going all Trading Standards. I'll just cancel the feature. But this seems typical of the "new Plusnet" we've seen emerging over the last year.
ME
Quote
Hello. When I ordered the SMS notification service addon for callminder last July, in question xxxxxx I asked:
"My "normal rate" for texts is free - I can't find any billing info that says otherwise, so before I get stung for 10p/text on top of the £3 a month premium I'm paying, can you please confirm that there is no extra charge for texts on top of the £3 a month premium?"
The reply was:
"At your normal rate" refers to the standard price you pay per text message - so if you normally pay 10p per text sent, then this would be the charge. If you get free texts on your network, these texts would also be free. Essentially the price is whatever your mobile network charges you - we do not add any additional charge".
Which is why I'm confused to see things like:
02/12/2011 10:58:32 xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Text Message 00:00:00 0.10p
These also coincide with text notifications. Would you mind totalling up all these fees since the option was added, letting me know how much it totals, and then explaining what these charges are for? Thank you.

PLUSNET REPLY:
Quote
You can now send a text from your land line if your handset has the capability. This costs 10p per text.
When a voicemail message is forward to your mobile via text the standard 10p charge is applied.
There has to be a charged applied as some customer receive hundreds of messages a month.
The £3.00 fee is for the line feature and does not include the text connection charge.

ME
Quote
If it's the case that text messages notifying me of new voicemails are chargeable, can you tell me where in your tariff guide this detail is? It's not in https://portal.plus.net/residential/tariffs/homephone.html and it's not in https://portal.plus.net/support/phone/call_features.shtml.
Please also note that in the previous ticket that I referred to, I specifically asked if any charge was made for the text message, and, as I noted before, I was very clearly told that Plusnet DO NOT make a charge for this.
Also to confirm that I am not sending text messages from my home phone.
So, for avoidance of doubt, can you please clear this up, answering the above questions.

PLUSNET REPLY:
Quote
I have spoken to a senior colleague who has stated that the information is not clearly stated on our website. Due to this I have been through your bill and refunded all 10p charges billed.
As you are now aware that the call incurs and 10p charge no further refunds will be applied. If the service is no longer required please disable voice mail to text.

ME
Quote
Thanks for applying that refund. However, can you please now send me the link to the tariff page where it states these charges? Don't want to sound petty or anything, but this charge is not notified anywhere, and in fact I have a clear answer to say this charge is NOT applied. Then I've got your reply saying "well, we've not told you about this charge, it's not on the website, but we're going to charge you anyway from now on".
I already pay £3 premium a month for Voicemail Premium and find it a bit odd that there's a charge on top of this for a feature which is part of the package.
Until I'm notified of a change to the pricing terms and conditions to which I agreed at the time, with Plusnet's standard notice period, I'll assume that the site and previous support person were correct and continue to claim back any mis-applied charges every couple of months.

PLUSNET REPLY:
Quote
As my colleague stated in his previous reply, "I have spoken to a senior colleague who has stated that the information is not clearly stated on our website" - as such we are aware of this issue, this is why we have refunded you the above charges.
We have raised this with our website development team to get the appropriate information added onto our website for future issues.
As we have now confirmed this with yourself, we would be unable to refund any further charges.
I am very sorry I cannot be of further assistance at this time.

7 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,750
Thanks: 267
Fixes: 78
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

Hi racquel,
Having read through this I can certainly agree that the way the 10p charge is referred to is ambiguous. The way we seem to be explaining this as the moment is that the description of our call packages (and voice mail extra in particular) does mention
Quote
"Link to your mobile and get SMS alerts when new messages are left"

IMO that should imply that this classes as an SMS being sent from the landline. I'm also aware that you'd then need to look elsewhere at our call tariff to understand the cost for that.
I'm sorry this has been more difficult to deal with than it should have been and to follow up I will be speaking with the relevant people here to see about getting the content relating to this on our website updated to be clearer. My preference would be to perhaps include an asterisk next to the line I've quoted from here https://portal.plus.net/support/phone/call_features.shtml which then explains that these are classed as SMS from your landline which incurrs a charge of 10 pence for each notification.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
racquel
Grafter
Posts: 181
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Registered: ‎21-11-2008

Re: Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
Having read through this I can certainly agree that the way the 10p charge is referred to is ambiguous.

More than ambiguous - not only not mentioned anywhere at all, but customer services actually clearly say you DON'T make this charge.
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
My preference would be to perhaps include an asterisk next to the line I've quoted from here https://portal.plus.net/support/phone/call_features.shtml which then explains that these are classed as SMS from your landline which incurrs a charge of 10 pence for each notification.

At the moment, you're assuming that everyone assumes that any message received is charged for, when this isn't the norm. My bank doesn't charge me for texts, every time I sign into Gmail, google sends me a an authentication text, I'm not charged for that either. I would also think that most people would assume that when you're paying £3 per month over the free version for the ability to be able to connect your mobile and access remotely, that this £3 includes the features described.
Voicemail Extra is an advanced version of Voicemail (1571). As well as taking messages, it allows you to:
Record your own greeting message
Choose the number of rings before a call is answered
Check your messages from any phone (protected by PIN, see below)
Link to your mobile and get SMS alerts when new messages are left
Store up to 30 messages for 30 days (each up to 5 minutes long)
Identify up to 3 callers who have hung up without leaving a message (as long they have not withheld their number)

Still, no-one's been able to explain where this charge is - I've been through the entire tariff section (grabbing it into Evernote in case anyone sneakily changes it then says "it's always been there", not that Plusnet have done this but Carphone Warehouse have!).
Incidentally, I've tried to unlink the mobile, the instructions say:
From the main menu, dial 2 for Personal options followed by 6 for Link mobile
Enter the mobile number you want to link, followed by #
dial 1 to link this mobile
dial 2 to enter a different mobile number

But after pressing "2", when I press "6" I get "Sorry, but 6 may not be used".
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,750
Thanks: 267
Fixes: 78
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

Thanks for the extra feedback racquel, it's definitely got us thinking.
Just to follow up to my reply earlier I've spoken with our content team and we're updating the call features guide page to clearly mention the charges for each text notification received, I hope this does go to show that we're completely open to feedback like this and will endeavour to react to it as soon as we can. I'm just sorry that you've struggled to gain clarity on the matter so far.
Let me get some clarification on turning this it off as that those instructions are correct to my awareness.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,926
Thanks: 1,265
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

Quote from: racquel
Still, no-one's been able to explain where this charge is - I've been through the entire tariff section ...

Does that question refer to the (general) charge for a text message? That's in the Fixed Fee section of the tariff as illustrated in the attached screen snip.
Quote from: racquel
Incidentally, I've tried to unlink the mobile, the instructions say:
From the main menu, dial 2 for Personal options followed by 6 for Link mobile
Enter the mobile number you want to link, followed by #
dial 1 to link this mobile
dial 2 to enter a different mobile number

But after pressing "2", when I press "6" I get "Sorry, but 6 may not be used".

I would expect pressing "2" to take you back to the "Enter the mobile number ..." line, so entering "#" would cancel the option.However it's strange not to have a specific option for cancelling the mobile link.
David
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,750
Thanks: 267
Fixes: 78
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

@racquel

The instructions are right, I'm assuming you've tried hanging up, then redialling? I'll see if there's a way we can do this for you. I'll get back to you tomorrow.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
racquel
Grafter
Posts: 181
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Registered: ‎21-11-2008

Re: Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

Quote from: spraxyt
Does that question refer to the (general) charge for a text message?
No, the question refers to the charge for being notified by text message when a new message arrives, ON TOP of the premium charged for the Voicemail plus, of which mobile linking is a part.
I also remembered that Customer Services notify by text message as well, but that's not charged for either.
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
The instructions are right, I'm assuming you've tried hanging up, then redialling? I'll see if there's a way we can do this for you. I'll get back to you tomorrow.

I just got in and tried it from home; not that it says it anywhere, but it seems like it's not possible to change that when dialled in.
So if you were away for a month, lost a mobile, got another number and needed to change it, you'd be a bit stuffed Smiley
Anyway, I've made the point, got the refund, unlinked the phone. I still don't think the charge on top of the premium is reasonable, but it's my prerogative not to use that service, so I've cancelled that aspect.
Thanks for the info here.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,750
Thanks: 267
Fixes: 78
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Have Voicemail Extra and sms notification? Check your bill! Is this right?

No problem and thanks for all the useful feedback you've given us.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team