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Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

WGT
Dabbler
Posts: 12
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Registered: 28-09-2016

Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

I have been a Plusnet customer for 3 years and on 18th August I negotiated a new broadband and home phone contract with Customer Options. This was to commence on 4th September when my existing contract expired.

 However, when I received my "Advance notice of your Direct Debit payment" on 4th September I immediately noticed that, not only had I been charged more than the contract which had been agreed, but also that my Referral Discount had not been discounted from my bill.

I had been receiving this Referral Discount since March 2015 and the person I had referred is still a customer of Plusnet. This discount had been applied to all my previous bills, but for some incomprehensible reason had been omitted from my bill on 4th September.

On 4th September I raised a Question to Billings & Payments using "Help Assistant" and I received an acknowledgement with a reference number.

Despite the "Thanking you in anticipation of your prompt attention in this matter, and I await your early advices accordingly" closing paragraph in my Question, and the standard "Our Support Team will respond to your question soon" statement in response from Plusnet, I have still not received an answer to my question.

 

So today I added this to my Question:

 

Your Response
8:25am, Wednesday 28 Sep 2016
24 DAYS HAVE NOW ELAPSED SINCE I RAISED THIS QUESTION, AND MY NEXT BILL IS DUE IN ONLY 6 DAYS TIME, YET I HAVE STILL NOT RECEIVED AN ANSWER!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE AFFORD ME THE COURTESY OF A REPLY WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Should I be overcharged again, and my Referral Discount not applied,in my next bill on 4th October, then I will consider Plusnet to be in breach of the contract which was agreed on 18th August. Therefore, I should be able to migrate to another provider without any penalty being incurred.

Better deals were available at the time, and still are, but I had decided to stay with Plusnet out of loyalty and because its service had always been so good until now. On the few occasions in the past when I had encountered problems (billings and technical) these had always been resolved promptly and efficiently, and I am extremely disappointed that Plusnet's service now seems no better than some of its competitors.

It is even more difficult to raise a Question under "Help & Support" than it was when I migrated to Plusnet just over 3 years ago, and I mentioned this in an additional statement to my Question:

 

Your Response
9:43am, Sunday 4 Sep 2016
I would mention that initially I sent an email to the address shown on the "Advance notice of your Direct Debit payment" (Plusnet Support <support@plus.net>), only to receive an automated response "we don't pick up any emails sent to this address".
WHAT IS THE POINT OF INCLUDING AN EMAIL ADDRESS WHICH IS OF NO USE TO CUSTOMERS!

IT WOULD BE MUCH MORE CUSTOMER FRIENDLY IF A DIRECT LINK TO OPEN A QUESTION IN SUPPORT WIZARD WAS PROVIDED FOR BILLING ENQUIRIES BECAUSE IT TOOK ME AGES ONLINE TO FIND THE APPROPRIATE "I HAVE BEEN BILLED INCORRECTLY ' QUESTION BOX.

IT DID NOT HELP THAT THE ONLY LINK TO BILLING & PAYMENTS LISTED ON YOUR HELP ASSISTANT PAGE IS FOR "I NEED A VAT INVOICE". IN FACT I ACTUALLY COPIED MY EMAIL ONTO THE QUESTION BOX WHICH OPENED FROM THAT LINK, IN THE HOPE THAT IT MIGHT THEN HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO THE CORRECT DEPARTMENT, BEFORE I EVENTUALLY MANGED TO HAPPEN ACROSS THE "I HAVE BEEN BILLED INCORRECTLY" QUESTION BOX.

I EVEN TRIED "CHAT ONLINE NOW", BUT RECEIVED THIS ERROR MESSAGE:
Your browser may be in incognito mode, or it may be blocking third party cookies. Please open a regular browser session to chat, or check your browser privacy settings.

UNFORTUNATELY, AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE I WOULD ONLY GIVE PLUSNET A 1 STAR RATING FOR ITS WEBSITE REGARDING CUSTOMER-FRIENDLINESS AND EASE OF USE!

 

Any helpful remarks and advice would be much appreciated!

12 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 3,191
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Registered: 22-02-2016

Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

Hi @WGT,

Welcome to the forums. I am not a customer services rep so I am unable to help with your account but I noticed you were having trouble using the chat facility?

In order for the chat to work you need to disable your adblocker extensions in your browser or whitelist the site in the adblock settings. Also ensure that you are not in a private browsing session and that Javascript is enabled. That should make it work if you prefer to use the online chat rather than call.

Hopefully one of the Community Help team can take a closer look at your account in regards to your referrers and sort that out for you accordingly (@HarryB, @Chris ?).

Frontend Web Developer | www.plus.net

If you have an idea to improve the community, create a new topic on our Community Feedback board to start a discussion about your idea.

WGT
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Thanks: 5
Registered: 28-09-2016

Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

Hi jaread83,

Many thanks for your welcome and suggestions.

Actually, my main preference is to raise a Question. Using that facility I can compose a detailed message beforehand, and then copy & paste it in the relevant box. Also, I have the added bonus of a copy in "black and white". In addition I make, and can print, copies of the Question, Additions and Answers (complete with dates and times) so that these can be referred to/used as evidence in any subsequent dispute. However, it seems that Plusnet are deliberately trying to deter customers from using this option by making it more difficult than it used to be to raise a Question. Even when a Question has been raised it appears from my current experience that there is a complete lack of response. Still waiting after 24 days!!! Totally unacceptable!!!

As a very slow "2 finger" typist I do not normally use online chat facilities, and I only tried that in desperation on 4th September because of the problems I encountered trying to raise a Question. Also I always set my browser to "Private Browsing' whenever I am online.

There are 2 disadvantages to contact by telephone. Firstly, I know from past experiences that,unless it is a call to a Plusnet "sales line," a caller can be left on hold for a very long time. Secondly, there is no "black and white" copy of the call, albeit that I do make a handwritten transcript of the conversation.

Anyway, many thanks for your response.

 

 

 

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

I completely understand your stance on using an online chat facility as I feel the same way. You can keep a copy of the conversation backed up 'just in case' if you need to refer to it at a later date, its more convenient and there is no on hold music.

The chat facility does need you to not be in a private browsing session unfortunately though so if you use a normal browsing session with adblock turned off when using it, it should work.

I have tagged a couple of our top Community Team members in my above post so I hope that they can respond soon to sort this out for you. If they don't respond or pass this on to someone who can help, I am sure one of our other members will respond soon.

I really hope this gets sorted out for you very soon. 24 days waiting for a resolution is not a length anyone should have to wait for something that would seem quite simple to sort out (although, as stated above, I am not a CS rep so I am not sure on the ins and outs of this process unfortunately).

Frontend Web Developer | www.plus.net

If you have an idea to improve the community, create a new topic on our Community Feedback board to start a discussion about your idea.

WGT
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Thanks: 5
Registered: 28-09-2016

Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

Many thanks for your help, your further comments, and especially for tagging a couple of your top Community Team members.

 As far as I am concerned Plusnet now have less than 6 days to resolve this matter before I consider my options and take appropriate actions.

If I am overcharged again on 4th October I will consider Plusnet to be in breach once again of the contract which was agreed between myself and a member of the Customer Options Team on 18th August.

Likewise, if I do not receive my Referral Discounts in respect of both 4th September (retrospectively) and 4th October on my next bill.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 4,217
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Registered: 25-03-2015

Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

Welcome to the community forums @WGT.

 

I've had a look over your account and as the discounts for the anytime call plan were offered prior to the price increase coming in to affect, the advisor was only able to apply discounts of the amount of the call plan cost at the time. I'll make sure the £0.50 difference is refunded back to you and that the discounts are correct moving forward.

 

The refund will be paid back in to the account it was taken from and should be with you within the next 10 working days.

 

In regards to the referrals. I do apologise if this wasn't explained to you, however referrals are paid against the broadband cost. As the total amount of discounts on your account exceed the total amount of broadband cost, unfortunately the referral tokens will not be deducted from the invoice. Once the total value of the referral tokens exceeds £5, our billing team will issue a refund for the value of the referral tokens.

 

I also would like to sincerely apologise that this has not been picked up and responded to via the ticket on your account. I've flagged this up with my manager to find out why the response time for that pool is so far behind.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
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Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments


HarryB wrote:

As the total amount of discounts on your account exceed the total amount of broadband cost, unfortunately the referral tokens will not be deducted from the invoice.


@HarryB , do you know if this will be changing once/if the new billing system arrives ?

Regards
Mike

Mike
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

Unfortunately I don't know Mike.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
WGT
Dabbler
Posts: 12
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Registered: 28-09-2016

Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

Hi HarryB,

 

Thank you for your intervention and for taking action to resolve the overcharge.

However, I do not understand your remarks regarding the Referral Discount.

 

You have stated "...however referrals are paid against the broadband cost. As the total amount of discounts on your account exceed the total amount of broadband cost, unfortunately the referral tokens will not be deducted from the invoice".

Yet the contract I negotiated included 12 months unlimited broadband at a fixed monthly price of £**** which is an amount considerably higher than the £**** monthly Referral Discount. So how can this be?

Most definitely there is no way that the total amount of referral discounts on my account exceed the total amount of the broadband cost.

On the contrary I am now paying more per month for the broadband content than I was previously, and yet the Referral Discount was applied every month during the duration of that contract!

Certainly nothing regarding this matter was explained to me during the duration of the conversation on 18th August.

Perhaps if, as I had requested, I had received an email confirming details of the contract which had been agreed, there might have been an explanation regarding this matter explained therein.

However I quote extracts from my original Question:

"I would also mention that, although I asked ***** to send me an email confirming our agreement, I never received such email".

"***** told me that I would receive an email that afternoon confirming the details of the new contract which would commence on 4th September 2016. If I had received that email I would have awarded Plusnet a "5" rating in both of the above categories, but it is now the morning of Saturday 20th August and the only communication I have received from Plusnet since I spoke to ***** is an "How did we do?" one to which I am now responding".

"Even after submitting the above response I still did not receive the confirmation email which I had requested. Otherwise, this overcharge might have been prevented, because I would have questioned the discrepancy between the amount of £**** which had been agreed and the £**** which was being applied, albeit that the matter of the omission of my Referral Discount would have still remained".

Anyway, thank you for your apology regarding the lack of response to my Question, albeit I realise that the fault lies elsewhere within Plusnet!

 

 

 

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments


WGT wrote:

However I quote extracts from my original Question:

"I would also mention that, although I asked ***** to send me an email confirming our agreement, I never received such email".

I'm sorry to hear you did not receive this, it looks like we did send this via the account and you should have received email notification of Ticket: 131914382

This ticket does advise of the offers you were provided, however it does not go in to details on referrals.

 

In regards to referrals. The amount is deducted off the broadband part of the invoice (As we didn't provide phone when referrals started and it's not been changed)

As the standard broadband cost is £9.99 and you currently have discounts against your invoice of £6.66 and £6.50 (The £6.50 was previously a £6 discount as it was applied prior to the increase in anytime call plan cost)

As the total amount of discounts is £13.16, but the broadband cost is £9.99, there is no remainder on broadband cost for us to deduct your £1.25 referral tokens from.

As such, once £5 or more has been accrued in referral tokens on your account, a refund/payment for the amount will be sent to you.

 

I hope this clears things up.

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 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
WGT
Dabbler
Posts: 12
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Registered: 28-09-2016

Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

Plusnet always send emails to 2 of my email addresses. One starting with my user name, and the other beginning with "plusnet". So I always receive duplicate emails!

However, I can confirm that I did not receive notification at either of those addresses.

Thank you for clarifying the situation regarding how the Referral Discount is applied, but it seems about time that Plusnet updated the system as phone has been an integral part of the package for many years now. Certainly before I migrated from BT to Plusnet 3 years ago!

I was offered free anytime calls free of charge for the first 6 months of the contract, but then I will be charged £6.50 per month for the remaining 6 months.

So, presumably, the Referral Discount will once again be deducted on a monthly basis from month 7 (March 2017) onwards, because my payments then will exceed the total amount of the discount for the broadband only.

Regards.

 

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments


WGT wrote:

So, presumably, the Referral Discount will once again be deducted on a monthly basis from month 7 (March 2017) onwards, because my payments then will exceed the total amount of the discount for the broadband only.

From that point providing you receive all the tokens for each month, in theory you should have £2.50 in unspent tokens plus an additional £1.25 for that month, so there will be a total of £3.75 in unspent tokens against your £3.33 broadband cost. I believe the account will try and deduct as many of the unspent tokens from the bill and carry the remainder over the the next bill.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
WGT
Dabbler
Posts: 12
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Registered: 28-09-2016

Re: Overcharge/Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments

Many thanks for confirming what I had presumed.