cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

My billing problems: the final ultimatum

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

My billing problems: the final ultimatum

(N.B. I'm not actually reporting a new billing problem here right now – rather, I'm preparing for when I inevitably experience one again. Rather than starting a new thread whenever I get a new billing problem, my intention now is to always return to this one thread to stop my problems cluttering up the forums, and so my ‘terms’ are easy to refer to when discussing future problems.)
I've been a Plusnet customer now for over eight years, but during the past two (possibly even three), there's been an explosion in the number of billing errors I've had to put up with. Everyone who uses these forums regularly will know that of course, because I always post about them, so I won't go in to detail about them again here. Last month however, when I was billed incorrectly to the tune of £40, I decided I'd had enough. Incomes in this household are very low at the moment, and £40 isn't something we are happy to see disappear erroneously. Once the incorrect £40 had been stopped (some quick action on Plusnet's part meant that it never actually reached my bank account fortunately), I made a sincere request that Plusnet find another way of billing me to alleviate all the billing problems I have… which, unfortunately, went unanswered.
I have therefore decided to do something about it. Ever since I started having significant problems with Plusnet, one of the main things that have stopped me moving has been Plusnet's web and e-mail hosting of which I've been availing myself. Moving everything over to another company would be a pain, I realised, and would no doubt involve spending more money too. However, some time ago I stopped having any websites, leaving just e-mail. So, in light of last month's events, a fortnight ago I started working hard to move my entire e-mail setup over to two Google Apps accounts, and that process finally completed today. (I know, I can't believe it took two weeks either.) Thus, the main source of inertia that's kept me with Plusnet has been removed.
So. Whether or not Plusnet likes it, the company is going to do things my way. If they don't like it, I'll find another company, whose ‘way’ doesn't involve being overcharged every other month. Therefore, this is what's going to happen:
Starting with my October bill (the 6th), I will expect to see every bill being for the correct amount, with the correct amount of money taken by direct debit a few days later. If there is an error with the bill, then I will expect a ‘goodwill gesture’ of the amounts defined below, in addition to any refund owed to us:
If Plusnet identify the billing problem themselves and stop the incorrect bill before it's taken:£0
If I have to raise/complain about the problem, but Plusnet stop it before it's taken:the overcharge amount (max. £5)
If, irrespective of who spots the problem, the incorrect bill is not stopped in time:the overcharge amount in full

Now, I'm trying to be as fair as possible here. Hence:

  • If Plusnet spot the problem and stop us from being overcharged, I won't expect any goodwill gesture, because we won't have been inconvenienced.

  • I will always scrutinise our bills as soon as possible, so that I can raise an issue promptly, and therefore give Plusnet as large an opportunity as possible to prevent the incorrect bill from hitting our bank account (thus maxing the goodwill gesture required at £5).

  • A lack of referral credit redemption will not invoke these terms, because I accept that if they're not taken off an invoice one month, the credits will still remain accrued in my account for redemption another time.


Being realistic, I of course don't expect for one moment that anyone from Plusnet will come out and say that they agree to these terms. Plusnet of course is a business, so is hardly going to agree to giving away free money. But the fact is that if these terms aren't adhered to, I will request my MAC at the earliest opportunity, because as I said near the beginning, I've had enough. As much as I love Plusnet's Comms Team, I am no longer willing to accept a ‘sorry’ from them each time something goes wrong: I want things to stop going wrong full stop.
There is one thing that will stop me requesting a MAC, and it's the reason I'm saying these terms will start in October: FTTC. BT are supposed to be enabling my exchange this very month, so if they do so and I can get on the trial then that will keep me with Plusnet because I could do with getting a throughput of more than 3.2Mbps. However, judging from the fact that many cabs in my area have been upgraded yet the two on my road haven't, I am no longer hopeful of getting FTTC any time soon, which is why I'm not waiting beyond September to enforce my desire for correct billing.
So over to you Plusnet. I am still open to discussing with somebody the possibility of being billed using a different method where I am in charge of how much money you take from us (for example, by putting a cheque in the post), but failing that, the onus is now on you to bill us correctly. Do so, and this thread can sink to the bottom of the sea of forum threads, and as a bonus, you won't have me complaining about billing all the time. I do actually still kind of like Plusnet (despite all the complaining I do), so believe it or not, that is my preferred option. Smiley Don't bill us correctly however, and, well, you know what'll happen.
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,450
Thanks: 695
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: My billing problems: the final ultimatum

Thomas, I'd suggest you send that to Plusnet in a recorded letter!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: My billing problems: the final ultimatum

Nah, as it's not as if it's something they would ever agree to or entertain in principle – it's basically me just telling Plusnet what I expect if I am to remain as a customer.
simon7685
Grafter
Posts: 50
Registered: 10-03-2009

Re: My billing problems: the final ultimatum

Good for you, it is about time more people stood up for their rights, of which correct billing is one right.  Sadly I can't see them agreeing to it but I do foresee your billing being wrong again in the very near future.  I am not psychic in any way but you just know it's going to happen.
This company has gone downhill rapidly over the last months, I blame selling out to BT, who now pull their strings.  My recent experiences are littered with broken promises, mistake after mistake, incorrect billing dates that they change ad lib and worst of all refusal to accept any liability for their mistakes, despite the endless apologies they make.  It makes me think, if they put as much effort into getting it right as they do apologies Plusnet would probably be perfect all round!
Why don't you request your MAC key now and just keep renewing it every month if needs be?  At least that way you can get things moving a bit quicker when the time comes.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: My billing problems: the final ultimatum

Well, the thing is that I don't actually want to leave Plusnet. I'm hoping for FTTC access whenever BT get around to enabling it on my road, and also, there are some aspects of Plusnet that I still like – the ability to post on this forum and get problems picked up by someone very knowledgeable being one such thing. I said this a while ago, but the way I see it is like this: with other ISPs, I would be likely to have fewer problems, but if I do have a problem it'd be a pain to get resolved with the majority of the ISPs owing to the lack of access to knowledgeable staff. With Plusnet, I experience lots of problems, but at least a resolution is generally fairly easy to obtain. So, ideally, I do want to stay with Plusnet – just, without all the problems.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: My billing problems: the final ultimatum

Your cab is on the "to do" list, but it's not currently down for September (they aren't publishing data beyond September). There's no cabs listed on your exchange for September either so it's probably going to be October but I'll keep you posted.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: My billing problems: the final ultimatum

Interesting, thanks for the update Dave. Plenty of brand new cabinets have popped up in the local area during the past couple of months so I'm surprised that not a single one is down for September!