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Installation charge

mattiasamanta
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎19-12-2018

Installation charge

Hi,

I was charged £49,99 at the beginning of my contract because I was told that an engineer was needed as it resulted that there was no BT line. However, I was assured, before moving in in this flat, that there is a line and there was already a BT master socket. I was also told that the previous tenants did have boradband with SSE which also uses BT network and the previous tenants moved out one day before me moving in and definitely had broadband during the two weeks before the start of my contract. When the engineer visited the flat it did not appear that he did any particular installation job, he just connected a box to the master socket.. most of the job was done outside and that is, I believe, normal practice, something I should not be charged for ?
I contacted the customer service through chat but I was told that I needed to call. The problem is that I cannot call as I work 9am to 9pm and want to solve this as quickly as possible. The fact that calling is the only way to solve this problem is extremely uncomfortable. Can anyone help me here?
15 REPLIES 15
Darkfire
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 699
Fixes: 30
Registered: ‎17-10-2015

Re: Installation charge

Hi @mattiasamanta and welcome to the forums.

 

The engineer charged is passed onto the customer when we are charged by Openreach for installation or connection of a new line, however that term does cover a large amount of possible work and in most cases doesn't mean you need an entirely new line.

The cost is a portion of what we are charged by our suppliers as they've had to send an engineer to do a specific task, rather than the normal day to day maintenance, this engineer will have been booked specifically to do whatever was required to connect your line to the network and as such the charge was applied.

 

Whilst the previous occupant of your home may have had active service, it is likely that the previous ISP issued a cease order on the line(to stop the line working) and part of the physical line was reused along the way to facilitate another connection for someone in your area, where possible we do attempt to take over any active lines at your address however if a line is no longer showing as active an engineer must be sent out to do any remedial work to get you fully connected and ensure things are working as expected.

mattiasamanta
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎19-12-2018

Re: Installation charge

I understand, but it seems that no one is willing to share details on what exactly the engineer did. It appeared to me, at the time of the visit, that apart from connecting a box to the master socket, which appeared to have just said my labdline number, the engineer did not do anything. No one is able to tell me why I am charged £49,99 when I know that a line was there already. Now you said it's likely that this or that happened. Well if you knew an engineer was needed you must know why he was needed and what exactly he ended up doing.
Also you may also pay a certain amount to BT to provide me with an engineer, but let's please remember that it is also in Plusnet interests to pay such a cost as I pay £29 per month for at least 12 months for my service, so it does not seem to me that just because I pay a "portion" of the engineer costs and you pay much more then it is excusable to charge me a cost that could have been avoided. I also know others have had a similar problem, so it is a fact that makes me think ...
Darkfire
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 699
Fixes: 30
Registered: ‎17-10-2015

Re: Installation charge

Unfortunately at the time of ordering, the exact work required is not shown to us, when an order is placed to an address, we check within Openreach's systems for any existing line at an address, an existing line counts as either a fully active working line that can make and receive calls or one that is fully connected however temporarily switched off. If either of these are identified we would always look to take over or reactivate a stopped line to lower costs to both you and ourselves along with saving time in a lot of cases.

 

With your address the previous provider must have ceased the service when their customer left, this is very common and we also arrange the same if a customer of our own informs us they are leaving an address, after all, you wouldn't want to pay for someone else to get a service Smiley 

 

In this situation, should an engineer need to reuse a connection at the cabinet(green box) or the pole, they will reuse any spare connections available to them, including working but "stopped" lines, if this occurs, the line ceases to be active in any sense and a new line install would be required for the previous address.

 

We can only go on the information given to us by Openreach at the point of ordering however I will take a look into your specific order and if there are any relevant details left by the engineer I'll be happy to pass them over to your via your account directly, there would have been no way to provide to your property at the time you signed up without sending an engineer out due to the line status, for your peace of mind I have however checked over this further just to confirm there are no other lines active or otherwise at your property other than the one you would now expect

 

mattiasamanta
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎19-12-2018

Re: Installation charge

Thank you for all the info.
You must still have details/notes left by the engineer after the visit. Also I am not totally clear between when you can reuse a line and when a line ceases to be active and, if you need an engineer to activate a functioning line, does it not count as simple activation and not installation? I mean, at the time the engineer visits the house and checks the line and finds out that the line is active and only needs activation and it is not a stopped line, then why should I be required to pay an installation charge when you only need to activate the line?
At the beginning of a contract you differentiate between activation costs and installation costs. In my case, I had a £0 activion costs offer and was still required to pay 'installation' costs. But it is easy to think that I was required to pay an installation cost to activate the line, because as far as I am aware there was an active line, and without the engineer's notes I actually don't know for sure whether the job he did was that of activation or installation. And I still have had no definite answer from you, so please, do investigate this for me because this is what I originally asked for and after all this discussion I still see only hypothesis and not what actually happened in my case. I also see that others had the same issue and were offered a refund because you ended up not knowing what wad going on as well. There is an incredible lack of transparency on this matter and if I have to pay, I want to know why... but it turns out Plusnet does not know either... so in doubt you still charge the customer, which I feel it's unfair.
Bt offers installation free of charge and I feel it is smarter because why should a customer bear a cost when it is in plusnet and any other providers' interest to set up such service in order to then make a profit? I would understand If I lived in an isolated area and required a serious installation job or a house with no master socket... but this is not the case.
Warwick
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 594
Fixes: 29
Registered: ‎06-08-2018

Re: Installation charge

Hi @mattiasamanta

 

Thanks for getting back in touch and I am sorry if there is confusion regarding the charges. The engineer does update the Openreach systems with notes relating to the work completed along with other information including customer satisfaction surveys. If a line can be restarted remotely this would be a Start of Stop order, this would not include a charge. If the previous supplier has fully ceased the line which includes disconnecting physical connections then an engineer is required to go out and reconnect these. This would result in a charge. If the previous supplier used the Openreach network but had their own technology in the exchange such as Talktalk or Sky, we can take over the working line but if this becomes a stopped line an engineer is required to physically attend to route the connection back through solely Openreach equipment. This would result in a charge. An engineer was required to attend to do external work to activate your service and when attending to your property this is to run a test to ensure all the external work is complete and the signal is reaching your address. As @Darkfire mentioned, the previous supplier will have completely ceased and disconnected physical connections when cancelling their customers service.

 

I appreciate that this can be confusing and the information relating to the line status is not precise at the point of sign-up, but this is the information that is provided by Openreach to all suppliers and allows us to place our orders in a timely manner to reduce delays to customer activation.

 

If you have any further questions feel free to get in touch.

mattiasamanta
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎19-12-2018

Re: Installation charge

I understand, but I still do not know what happened in my case exactly. I do not appreciate how not seriously this is taken. You said yourself that the engineer was there to activate the line and I understand he might not have known before the visit but he most certainly knew after and left notes that he sent to you because this is what he told me at the time, that my line would be activated by Plusnet and " they are probably waiting to read through my notes". I also do not deal with Openreach I deal with Plusnet and you have not been able to answer what the engineer did in my house and whether that amounted to installation or activation, you are simply relying on information given to you by a system and making hypothetical statements on what PROBABLY happened. I have no way to verify the truth of what you are saying, so, again, as far as I am concerned, I spent money for something I don't know. So either please answer what the engineer did in my case or just leave it and tell me how to complain to someone seriously. Thank you.
mattiasamanta
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎19-12-2018

Re: Installation charge

Also, I was also previously told by other suppliers that the customer is not charged for outside work, that it is normal practice for an engineer to do the outside work when switching and that is a cost that the supplier always bears.
Darkfire
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 699
Fixes: 30
Registered: ‎17-10-2015

Re: Installation charge

Hi again, 

 

I've taken a look at the notes from the engineer however the notes he has given are quite short and merely confirm that the job was completed by him and you we're satisfied with the work completed at the time.

 

Looking at the tracking status in the notes I can provide some extra insight however. Before the engineer came out an automated line test was ran, this determined there was no physical connection all the way from the exchange to your home and as expected the test failed to connect to the socket in your home. 

 

The engineer was then tasked to complete any work(whatever that may be) to connect you, likely a reconnection at the cabinet or pole and possible some work at the exchange to ensure all is working as expected. The difference between activation and installation is an activation can be done purely remotely, as your line failed tests and records showed some part was physically removed an engineer would have to be tasked by any service provider to connect you once more which is why this was an installation order.

 

The fees are charged to ourselves and as mentioned before to yourself when determined via Openreach, this isn't a decision that comes from us directly.

 

I'm sorry I couldn't provide more in detail of what the engineer did due to lack of notes(this usually indicates the engineer had no problems getting things working, more notes usually mean they had to look at a lot more things to get you connected and generally would mean there have been delays) however I can definitely advise this was a new line installation and physical engineering work was required to connect you.

 

 

edit: in regards to your comment by the other provider, work for a line transfer is covered by openreach as no physical work is required if both providers are on the BT network however as they had cut the line off physically, this had to be done as a new install.

mattiasamanta
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎19-12-2018

Re: Installation charge

It does not appear that the line was physically cut as I believe the engineer would have said this in the notes.
It is also funny how you found these details when no one gave you information on my account, and, in particular, it's funny how you got the message that I was satisfied with the work carried out by the engineer since he never asked me to complete a customer satisfaction survey. I see no reason why he would make this up in the only short note he left you. The service you provide on his matter is ridiculous, it seems that you charge people, then are unable to explain this and finally make up this nicee story that suits you. I really doubt that in the week before moving to my new flat someone physically cut the line and such work was required and the engineer failed to report this. I think it is much more likely that the line was okay but the system did not show, but you, of course, are happy that you made a £50 profit.
It is embarrassing that the only way that my complaint is dealt with is an informal forum where people whose name I don't know make up stories to explain and do not know how and what happened. Weirdly, you said this happened for sure only when I noted that you were only making hypothetical statements, it took you 10 minutes to get access to the engineer notes? So why could no one do the same on chat? If it is just a matter of accessing an account and see...
So ridiculous
Darkfire
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 699
Fixes: 30
Registered: ‎17-10-2015

Re: Installation charge

I can only give you the information we have at hand, if you do not wish to believe that then I cannot summon the engineer to back up what I am stating, I can only say what's on the screen in front of me, I'm sorry this is not suitable for you.

 

You are logged in to our forums on what I would assume is your home connection which is where I pulled the details from, this is one of the ways we can quickly assist customers who raise issues via the forum, this is also why the information given contains no personally identifiable information as to protect yourself or the account holder should this not be yourself, we want to provide an easy to use service whilst maintaining your privacy and security.

 

The "cutting" of the line is not a malicious act, this is something done as standard all over the country multiple times per day, this is how new connections are setup and how faults are repaired, it's part of the day to day work of the engineers to re-use currently inactive line, One line at my own address was re-used by the same engineer on an install for the job right after he'd done the disconnection, this is how demand is kept up with, it's not ideal and does cause these situations but it cuts down on what could be multiple month waits for new infrastructure to be added.

 

As for my name this is below in my signature and the members of staff you have spoken to previously have their names on the tickets on your account which you can of course view anytime on our website, but to put things in their simplest form, if Openreach say an engineer is required, then an engineer is required and there is no option for us to override or stop this occuring whilst also having the connection be active.

pjb19
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎18-06-2019

Re: Installation charge

I was considering joining but the upfront costs have put a stop to that, which is a shame! 

EmilyD
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 1,967
Thanks: 342
Fixes: 111
Registered: ‎26-03-2018

Re: Installation charge

Hi @pjb19,

 

I'm sorry to hear that the upfront cost has put you off and I'll pass on feedback for you. Have our sales team confirmed that there would be an installation charge to provide service to your property?

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Emily D
 Plusnet Help Team
pjb19
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎18-06-2019

Re: Installation charge

Yeah cos I'm a virgin media customer so I need to pay £50 apparently
Satss
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 438
Fixes: 37
Registered: ‎06-08-2018

Re: Installation charge

Hi @pjb19 the £49.99 is the cost for an engineer to go out and install your line. This is applicable when there is no physical line in your property. Sorry for any disappointment caused.