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I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

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Dabbler
Posts: 12
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Registered: ‎06-03-2020

I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

Hi,

 

I am leaving Plusnet.  Based on my (and other people’s) experience(s) of trying to get an “automatic” refund refunded by any of the providers, I’d rather pay the final bill once it is ready.  Since I am paying a month in advance, I cancelled my D/D and notified Plusnet via e-mail, on their website and on the phone, all ignored.  (I’ve done this with another provider and had no problems.)

 

Plusnet keeps demanding payment in full when they know I will not be with them for the whole month.  Plusnet also blocked all my access to my own Billing and Account information on their website so that I am not able to look at my past bills, account information or register a query.  All they give me access to (all screens default to) is to pay the month in advance in full.   What does Plusnet not want me to see, what are they hiding ?

 

I got Plusnet  to e-mail me my last two bills.  The bill date is the 21st and the D/D payment date is the 28th..   Why does Plusnet NOT show the period (start and from date) covered by a bill ? Surely this is vital information to avoid errors being made in Plusnet’s favour?     

 

When I called the number given in Plusnet’s demand e-mails, what a shocker.   A lady speaking English in an English accent (!!!) answered immediately !!! Whaaaat, this has never happened before in all the years I’ve been with Plusnet on and off.   Why can’t we call this number for problems other than when Plusnet is chasing money instead of holding on forever and then having to try to understand a foreign accent that end up giving you the run-around ?

 

I told the lady I was leaving Plusnet and wanted to pay the final bill when it is ready.  All she was interested in was for me to pay the bill in full and said Plusnet will be cutting off my services in five days. She also said my bills cover until the 14th i.e. my payment in advance for the month is up to the 14th.  I do not believe that.   Where does she get the 14th from when the bill date is 21st ? 

 

I have another gripe with Plusnet.  I’m going over to John Lewis because Plusnet did not want to give me even close to the same deal as available to new customers or what I can get at other providers.  John Lewis is just a front, everything is still with Plusnet so in a way it is an internal (software) transfer.  Why does Plusnet take just over two weeks to transfer a customer internally from one department to another while the customer is out of contract (i.e. Plusnet is overcharging him) ?  This switch-over/transfer will not take more than a couple of minutes, maybe wait for an overnight run but two weeks !   Why ? 

 

So much for We Will Do You Proud.

 

Regards,

 

Andre

9 REPLIES 9
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Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

The two weeks is an Ofcom regulation of the minimum period required for transfers to prevent slamming. 

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Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 204
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Registered: ‎23-12-2019

Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

Hi @Suffer-proudly

 

Thank you for your query, I am sorry to hear that you are leaving Plusnet.

 

I will address the points you have raised without being too specific about you account. However, I have provided a full response here.

 

If you are leaving Plusnet part way through the billing month, you are still using the services up until the date the account closes and are expected to pay for a full month of services a month in advance. Once your account has closed, a final invoice will be produced 20 days' later and will include a pro rata credit for services that you have paid for, but not used. When transferring to another provider, the losing provider should an automated notification, to advise them that the services will be transferred. Cancelling a direct debit instruction is not a valid cancellation method.

 

As you have advised that you cancelled the direct debit, any payment request to your bank will fail. If an invoice is produced after the direct debit has been cancelled, you would need to make the payment to clear the balance as a one off payment on a debit or credit card. Until the payment is made, our failed payment process would be implemented and soft restrictions would be applied to the services for the first 14 days. If the payment is still outstanding after 14 days, the restrictions become permanent. This is not to hide anything, but to make you aware that a balance is outstanding on your account.

 

The billing period is shown on the invoice, usually from page 2. This includes a break down of the subscription fees and the dates that the fee covers.

Plusnet have UK based call centres and have different contact numbers for different departments. The call queues will vary between each department. I am sorry if you have had a poor experience with our support staff in the past.

 

Plusnet is regulated by OFCOM, who implemented the 14 day time frame for services to be transferred from one ISP to another. The regulation still applies when a customer is transferring from Plusnet to John Lewis Broadband and if the customer is or is not in a minimum term contract. This is not something that can be changed.

 

Please do let us know if you have any further questions!

 

 

 

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Katie C
 Plusnet Help Team
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Dabbler
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Registered: ‎06-03-2020

Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

Thank you Katie C for your response.

 

I am however making the following clear to help other people stuck in a similar situation receiving similar responses.

 

"If you are leaving Plusnet part way through the billing month, you are still using the services up until the date the account closes and are expected to pay for a full month of services a month in advance. Once your account has closed, a final invoice will be produced 20 days' later and will include a pro rata credit for services that you have paid for, but not used."

 

NO, really . . . . . if only I knew.  THAT is exactly my point.   People reading this can do their own search on the internet to see the number of people struggling to get refunds or disappearing refunds, from providers.  The process is NOT as automatic or bug free as providers like Plusnet make out.  

 

 

" Cancelling a direct debit instruction is not a valid cancellation method."

 

I never said I cancelled my subscription by cancelling the D/D, do not take what I say out of context.  I as well as Plusnet (!!! John Lewis = Plusnet) notified Plusnet I am leaving Plusnet, to go to Plusnet (John Lewis = Plusnet !!!).  I did not cancel my D/D as a cancellation method.  I did it to avoid losing a refund, losing a refund is not something that is unheard of.    

 

"As you have advised that you cancelled the direct debit, any payment request to your bank will fail. If an invoice is produced after the direct debit has been cancelled, you would need to make the payment to clear the balance as a one off payment on a debit or credit card."

 

No, really . . . . if only I knew a payment would not go through if a D/D has been stopped and you then have to make a manual/one-off payment.  I wonder how I planed to do this:  "I’d rather pay the final bill once it is ready. "

 

"Until the payment is made, our failed payment process would be implemented and soft restrictions would be applied to the services for the first 14 days. If the payment is still outstanding after 14 days, the restrictions become permanent. This is not to hide anything, but to make you aware that a balance is outstanding on your account."

 

Thank you for this bit of actually useful information.  I disagree that Plusnet is not hiding information from customers because surely to deny and block a customer from seeing, registering a new or commenting on an ongoing issue (i.e. de-platforming a customer), is NOT the actions of a company claiming to be open and fair to its customers.  For Plusnet to claim they do this to make the customer aware of the outstanding balance, when the outstanding balance is the whole point of the communications between the customer and Plusnet, is a false statement.    

 

"The billing period is shown on the invoice, usually from page 2. This includes a break down of the subscription fees and the dates that the fee covers."

 

As I said.  On the statements Plusnet e-mailed me, the billing period is NOT shown anywhere, not even on page 2.  My conclusion is, this is done deliberately because Plusnet does not want to customer to be able to make informed decisions.  The bills Plusnet e-mailed me proof Plusnet has different types (formats) of bills they issue depending on if they have a disagreement with a customer or not.  Sending out evasive (misleading) statements is NOT the actions of a company claiming to have its customers' backs.  

 

"Plusnet have UK based call centres and have different contact numbers for different departments. The call queues will vary between each department. I am sorry if you have had a poor experience with our support staff in the past."

 

Funny how the waiting time for the different "UK based call centres" manned by people with heavy foreign accents, seem to vary a lot depending on if you are giving Plusnet money or logging a problem.  I guess I must have been unlucky to always call right at the moment when it is 'we are at the moment experiencing bla bla bla'. 

 

" Plusnet is regulated by OFCOM, who implemented the 14 day time frame for services to be transferred from one ISP to another. The regulation still applies when a customer is transferring from Plusnet to John Lewis Broadband and if the customer is or is not in a minimum term contract. This is not something that can be changed."

 

Thank you for another useful bit of information.  I suggest someone at Plusnet go listen to the recording of the first (or second) time I called John Lewis about getting transferred to John Lewis.  Listen to what I'm told when I explicitly asked when the transfer will happen.  I even wrote the date down, it was a matter of days not weeks.  I was told because it is such a seamless process.  It was only once I gave the go-ahead that the date slipped to what ended up just over two weeks.   I guess it is part of the "we've got your back" service.

 

Regards,

 

Suffer-not-so-proudly 

 

  

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Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎23-12-2019

Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

Hi @Suffer-proudly

 

Thank you for your reply. I have now updated the ticket online with a response. You can view this online here.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Katie C
 Plusnet Help Team
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Dabbler
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Registered: ‎06-03-2020

Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

No I can not because Plusnet removed all my access to my own account information.  Plusnet is blocking me from seeing anything on my own account !?!?!?! 

 

When I log in to my account  the only option I have is to pay £8.99 Plusnet tried to take from my account illegally (?) but luckily it did not go out because I stopped the Plusnet direct debit. (A lesson to other customers.)  Plusnet say in their e-mail, they tried to take the money on 21-03-2020 and sent me a 'Payment reminder' e-mail on 22-03-2020.   When I tried to log in to see what this is for I could not because all my access is blocked

 

I paid in full for the month (£44.98) in advance.  Plusnet transferred me to Plusnet (John Lewis is Plusnet, the same company and people) in the middle of the month.  As far as I am aware, Plusnet owe me a refund

 

What are the people working at Plusnet doing !?!   Do not tell me you updated the ticket on the website because you are blocking me from looking at it. Please can someone with a brain look into this for me! 

 

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Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎24-07-2014

Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

Thanks for coming back to us.

 

I'm not sure why you believe we'd block access to your account. Portal access remains open even after customers have left us. It's done specifically for so that former customers have access to the information. We do not intentionally block people from accessing the portal. If you can give us further details on that, such as any errors, we can look further into it.

 

@KatieC has been investigating your issues and I'll pass the ticket to her with the updated information. 

 

I should point out though that had the direct debit still being active it would have been easier to process any refunds due, and would have been quicker for the money to reach your account.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Tony T
 Plusnet Help Team
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Dabbler
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Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

To all customers reading this, spot the excellent Plusnet service. 

 

I repeatedly said I am not able to see my own information on my Plusnet account, only since this (Plusnet's) mess started.  Which bit is difficult to understand ? 

 

I explained exactly what ('pay up') screen Plusnet keep diverting me to.  Plusnet changed a setting in their system that is causing their website, to  prevent me seeing anything regarding billing etc.  The only option they give me is to pay a bill I think (know) I do not owe and Plusnet does not provide me any detail on what it is for.  I am not saying I think or believe or wonder or may not see my information on the Plusnet website.  I am saying Plusnet is blocking me seeing my information.  No ifs, no buts. 

 

And from that this is what the people working at Plusnet read / understand. 

"I'm not sure why you believe we'd block access to your account."

 

God give me strength. 

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Newbie
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Registered: ‎23-05-2020

Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

Here here! Well done for raising this important topic, and sticking with the argument. Interesting to note Plusnet just gave up replying to the thread. Looks like they lost the argument, and had the good grace to know when to quit.

I found myself in a similar situation. After being with Plusnet for many years, I decided to switch because they simply weren't honouring the guaranteed minimum speeds. I was sick of calling Plusnet, having to do my own technical equipment inspections, the weeks of waiting while a ticket was investigated, and then (each time) finding out that it was a an Openreach issue, then within days of the speeds going back up, the fault reappearing. The speed guarantee is a joke, and the business-to-business partnership between Plusnet and Openreach is terrible.

My provider switch (from start to end) took 21 days. Well passed the 14 day cooling-off period, and just 1 day after my new billing month start date. So, for a single day of broadband usage, Plusnet billed me for the entire month at the extortionate out-of-contract price, even though they knew for a fact that I was switching provider 20 days prior to producing the new bill.

After receiving an automated reminder about the full bill, I called to ask for a final bill, which would include a credit for the vast majority of the billing period. I thought that the generation of a final bill would be automated at the switch date, but apparently not. So, the person on the phone advised me that they would message the billing department, and that I would receive a final bill (showing th credit) the following day.

4 days later (today), I called to find out why I am still receiving automated billing reminders asking me to pay the full amount, but still no final bill (credit) as promised had been produced.

The first call was answered, but the person on the other end immediately muted the call, and left me hanging for 10 mins, then hung up on me without saying anything. Sounds like they wanted a extra paid break in the middle of the day. Untraceable assuming they are working from home, so a nice little in-house scam they've got going there.

The second call was answered, but when I asked to raise my concerns as a complaint, instead of following complaint handling protocol, they decided for themselves that they would try to avoid answering my concerns and dictate to me their personal views, then hung up on me. Just simply terrible customer service. Inexcusable.

The third call was fruitful. Finally I got through to someone who dealt with my complaint (including the fresh complaint about poor complaints handling).

So, to whom it may concern...

Plusnet have an automated billing system, which will produce a final bill. However, this will only be produced in line with your normal monthly billing date, but no less than 14 days after your switch/cancellation date, possibly 21 days, and perhaps as much as a full billing month depending on the switch date. Confused? Basically, they pretend they don't know you are cancelling, and bill you as normal until they can be bothered applying any credit owed.

You then have to wait again until the credit (overpayment) reaches your bank, and this might take another 7 days.

This is simply unacceptable from a customer perspective. Why do they get away with this? Why aren't their systems setup to automatically produce a final bill sooner? Isn't this what automated billing systems are for? Why can they produce automated emails to chase for payment but can't automatically produce correct final billing? Strange, isn't it?!

Alternatively, why isn't collection of the previous bill suspended until the final bill (credit) is produced to create a true outstanding balance on the account?

This all seems designed to financially disadvantaged the customer, and protect Plusnet's own apparent cash-flow issues. Although, that's my own opinion, and we couldn't possibly determine if this was fact... but it's absolutely possible!

However, all is not lost. There is one way to take control and to stop this overcharging, and it's FAIRLY simple. If you are switching to another provider or cancelling services outright, AND you are out of contract (or will be within a month), just contact your bank and cancel the Plusnet DDM. No valid DDM = no possible collection. Then when Plusnet's billing system has finally caught up (and credits are applied), if there is a balance to pay, just do it over the phone. Plusnet will be charged by their bank to process a card payment, but they legally cannot pass on that charge.

However, and I should stress this as very important, DO NOT leave any true final balance unpaid, as it may impact your personal credit score, or worse, attract debt collection agencies.

N.B. if you are cancelling home phone services (not switching), beware that you could lose your phone number. This is always the case regardless of who is your landline provider, so just a side-note here to be aware of.

It's a little bit of hassle admittedly, and you have to remember to manage this process, but at least Plusnet aren't dipping your pockets for money that isn't theirs in the first place.

If enough people leaving Plusnet take this precaution, then eventually Plusnet (hopefully) will change their systems, and admit to themselves that it's better to receive payments on time for monies they are ACTUALLY due, rather than having to chase for a few pounds and pence from a customer who definitely won't be returning with their business.

Many industry leaders acknowledge that it costs many times more to attract new customers than it does to keep existing customers. So, for Plusnet to leave customers with a bad taste in their mouth, it's simply counter intuitive in the long run. I for one won't ever give Plusnet my business again, and I certainly won't be advising anyone to join or stay with them passed their current contract.

I would say that their current billing setup is at best lazy, but actually, it appears to be designed that way, and so I would call this scurrilous, self-serving, and dishonest.

"We'll do you proud"? Maybe their tagline for customers leaving should be changed to "We'll do you over"?
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Dabbler
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Registered: ‎06-03-2020

Re: I want to pay final bill at end - Plusnet blocks all access to Billing and Account info

Hello Mike_mcc,

 

Sorry to hear you are also experiencing we'll-do-you-over's disgraceful customer service.  I hope you do not end up being "we'll do you proudly over" as much as I was. 

 

Plusnet took (unlawfully in my opinion) due to their own deliberate (corporate policy ?) incompetence  £44.98 from my bank.

 

Refund they gave me is £5.45 !!!!!!!   

 

The reason(s) why the out of contract fee is so extortionate and the refund is so ridiculously small, is a Plusnet secret.    Plusnet did me over proudly OK, well what should I have expected from a company that proudly boasts "we've got your back".  There is a reason they do not want to stand in front of their customers when dealing with them.  

 

Good luck but I suggest not spending the refund you are hoping for yet.