cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

No way to treat a business customer

Anteaus
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 02-08-2007

No way to treat a business customer

As a reseller, just had a situation where a client had their domain unexpectedly deregistered. This led to all services being cut off, in spite of the account  itself being paid by direct debit. The cost to the client could be considerable, they have certainly lost  orders emailed to them. Not to mention the egg on my face as their IT maintainer. Plus I've lost a half day's work over it, having to cancel other work to investigate the outage.
The reasons seem to be complex. They are a longstanding PN customer. Therefore, their account type is not the current one. Seemingly the old accounts do not have an included domain, and for any domains on the account renewals have to paid by credit card EVEN if the broadband account is paid by direct debit.
A check of the client's portal pages showed NOTHING out of order. There was no account overdue message, NO indication of the domain having been de-registered (the domain page showed the zone records as being all correct)  and it actually said that "The domain will be automatically renewed when due."
A check with Nominet revealed the actual truth, that the domain had been de-registered. 
I'm told that an email was sent when the domain was deregistered, but since that was sent to the general enquiries mailbox and contained mention of credit cards or the like, it possibly got caught by the phishing filter. These days, that happens.
I think we're all aware that PN's charges for domain renewal are insane. I can register domains for literally a tenth of what they charge. Nevertheless it's one thing to be expensive, another to do this. For the sake of a fiver the client has suffered a major outage, possibly costing substantially in lost business,  and my credibility as a support provider has taken a serious hammering.  Angry
It also seems very bad form to be treating longstanding customers like this, when new signups would self-evidently not get this treatment.
Comments welcome.
4 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,763
Thanks: 108
Fixes: 32
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: No way to treat a business customer

Hi there,
I'm really sorry to hear about this issue that's obviously been an inconvenience to you and your client.
On first impression it sounds like rather than the domain being de-resgistered or de-tagged that we may not have renewed it for them for some reason, if you can provide me with the customer's details I'd be happy to look into that further for you.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Anteaus
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: No way to treat a business customer

Thankfully the domain is live again.
It does seem like the height of jobsworthing though, to cancel a domain belonging to a long-term customer when that account is fully active and paid for, when it would not only be renewed, but would be FREE for a recent sign-up. Especially as that arose through an obscure technicality, namely that domains apparently cannot be charged to direct debit.
A while back I asked if this account could have DNS set up for externally-registered domains, and was told NO. If that had been allowed the fiasco would not have happened.
msssltd
Grafter
Posts: 77
Registered: 28-06-2007

Re: No way to treat a business customer

Quote from: Anteaus
Comments welcome.
Honestly...
When I moved my own business to PN and started referring my own small business customers, PN were clearly offering a 'whole service' for the small business attempting to get on the internet.  Sadly the 'whole service' did not survive PNs commoditisation.  Any loyalty I had disappeared the day someone at PN rejected a subnet application, probably because they did not take the time to understand what had been said.  It cost me an important customer whatever the reason was.  The way I describe PN to my new customers these days is as the best of a bad bunch. 
It seems clear to me that business customers are not any sort of priority for PN and I am often left wondering what exactly the premium price is buying.  Cynically, propping up £3.49 loss leaders for home users I would think.  Good honest broad band...Not since the BT influence made itself known in the marketing.
So where does it leave you?  I would suggest having to provide your clients with advice they can trust.  Recognise that PN offer a reasonably affordable, reasonably reliable broad band connection, with a few humans left within support when you are lucky enough to find them.  Whether it is the backhaul thats clogged or the traffic management I can not say but it's not quick, only adequate.
I would prefer to put everything in one place but I believe I owe it to my customers to avoid using PN for those things they perform poorly at.  There are 1000s of  shared hosting providers out there offering the whole web platform service, at stupidly low prices.  Some being actually rather good.  Using an additional provider will cost a little more and it's another payment for you or your client to manage.  However, unhappy customers can be very time consuming to manage, with few in the small business World having the manpower or margin to afford such an overhead these days.  Reselling or referring ISP business certainly doesn't cover it.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,763
Thanks: 108
Fixes: 32
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: No way to treat a business customer

Quote
It does seem like the height of jobsworthing though

Without having seen the account I can't  really comment as to what the exact problem was or not or make sure we've learned from our mistakes here. It's up to you Anteaus but I'd appreciate it if you could drop me a quick PM with a ticket number or the customer's domain.
Cheers
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team