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Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

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

Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

In August last year I negotiated a new 12 month contract, to commence on 4th September 2016,with Customer Options at a cost of:

Unlimited broadband @ £3.33 per month

Anytime Calls @ no charge for 6 months, and then @ £6.50 per month for final 6 months

So for first 6 months I was charged £3.33 per month, before referral discount applied to bill, and for the final 6 months I should have been charged £9.83, before referral discount applied.

Because I was not paying any phone charges during the first 6 months, the referral discount could not be applied to those bills.

However, I received a credit after 4 months for the referral discounts due during those months, and a discount was applied for the other 2 months of referrals when my Anytime Call charge of £6.50 per month commenced on 4th March 2017.

Afterwards, when my referral discount was deducted I should have been paying £8.58 per month, and I thought it was strange that I was billed £9.08 on 4th August 2017.

Now today I have been billed £9.08 once again.

So this time I decided to log in to my Plusnet account to ascertain why this should be.

I have now discovered that I have been charged £7.00 for Anytime Calls on both my 4th August and 4th September bills.

One of the reasons that I left BT in 2013, after 4 years as a broadband and homephone customer, was that they increased the cost of my package during the 12 month period despite the fact that I had requested, and received, an assurance during negotiations that the price would be held for the duration of the new contract.

Now I find that, after 4 years as a broadband and homephone customer, Plusnet have done the same, despite having requested, and received, the same assurance!

What is the point of negotiating a special deal when the ISP later reneges during the contract period?

My current broadband/anytime calls contract is due to expire on 3rd September 2017, albeit that my Line Rental Saver does not end until 3 months later.

Normally, when I receive an email from Plusnet advising me that the expiry of my contract is imminent, I telephone Customer Options to negotiate a new contract, after first checking online to see what broadband/homephone deal offers are available.

Now, I am hesitant to enter into a new contract with an ISP that has reneged on a contract which was negotiated specifically for the fixed prices which were agreed for its duration!

11 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: 21-04-2017

Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

Hi there,

 

Sorry to hear your bill has increased. From what I can see, it looks like it's because of the price refresh communication that came into effect as of the 29th June. When taking out a new contract with us, we advise the following:

We may make changes to prices, content and terms at any time during your contract. We'll tell you about important changes before they happen and if a change is detrimental you'll be able to end your contract without any fees.

 

We sent you an e-mail as per this service notice allowing you to leave your contract penalty free if you contacted us within 30 days upon receipt.

 

I hope this helps clarify things

 

Anoush

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

Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

Hi Gandalf,

I have just noticed that I got my monthly billing dates wrong on my original post. They should have read 4th July 2016 and 4th August 2016.

I have read the "service notice" and nowhere within its content does it state that I had the option to leave my contract penalty free if I contacted you within 30 days upon receipt.

During my 3 previous contracts of 12 months duration, whenever there were price increases my discount was increased to compensate for this so that I was still charged the prices which had been agreed at the outset. This 4th contract is the first time that I have been charged extra during the 12 months duration!

The service notice states:

"We love having you with us, so we are offering you a deal we think you are going to love. Unlimited broadband and line rental from just 22.99GB pounds a month a month (23.99 pounds a month from 29 June 2017) for 12 months".

Also:

"The cost of your Anytime call pan is increasing from 6.50 pound to 7.00 GB pounds a month".

And:

"You will still save at least 30 GB pounds a year with our Line Rental Saver (compared to the standard price of monthly line rental).
Once your Line Rental Saver expires, you can choose to renew or pay monthly line rental.
Line Rental Saver is increasing from 185.88 GB pounds to 197.88 GB pounds (equivalent of 16.49 GB pounds a month) and monthly line rental is increasing from 17.99 GB pounds to 18.99 GB pounds a month".

I MOST DEFINITELY DO NOT LOVE THIS DEAL, which I can only conclude must have been concocted by Plusnet's in-house comedian!!!

Basically I am being offered a new contract which will cost me £28.49 per month for unlimited broadband, Anytime calls and Line Saver Rental (i.e. £23.99 + £7.00 less £2.50 saving by renewing Line Saver Rental).

WHAT IS THERE TO LOVE ABOUT THAT DEAL!!!!

EVEN ALLOWING FOR MY REFERRAL DISCOUNT OF £1.25 A NEW CONTRACT WOULD STILL COST ME £27.24 WHICH CURRENTLY IS CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN IT WOULD COST ME FOR FIBRE BROADBAND WITH ANY TIME CALLS FOR A 12 MONTH CONTRACT WITH ANOTHER ISP, AND THAT IS  WITHOUT PAYING 12 MONTHS LINE RENTAL IN ADVANCE.

Applications for that particular deal have to be made by 24th August, and as my current contract expires on 3rd September that is ideal timing.

I would also add that currently there are numerous unlimited ADSL broadband and line rental deals available for much less than £23.99 per month over 12 months, several of which are inclusive of weekend calls,  or evening & weekend calls, and even one including anytime calls.

As I mentioned in my original post I have always telephoned Plusnet's Customer Options team to negotiate a new contract before my existing one expired, but, in light of the content of the service notice, there seems little point in my doing so this year.

My current 12 month contract  expires on 3rd September 2016, and I believe that it is no longer necessary to obtain a MAC code from an existing ISP in order to transfer to another ISP.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Post released from Spam Filter.

Jonpe
Seasoned Pro
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Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

As far as I can see, every ISP offers good deals to new customers (obviously in order to attract new customers).  You could always try the PN Customer Options Team, but if you agree to renew, make absolutely sure you know exactly what you agree to since this forum has seen quite a few people complaining that they've been signed up for something they are sure in their own mind they didn't agree to.  Pen and paper comes in handy so you can write everything down and read it back to them.

And yes, if you decide to move just contact your preferred provider and they'll do the rest; the process takes about two weeks minimum and you should only lose connection for a very short time (a few hours) while the actual switch-over takes place.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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

Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

Hi Jonpe,

Actually, not only do I always use pen and paper to make a transcript of the important details of every phone conversation with any supplier, but in addition I keep a record of the date, time and duration of every outgoing telephone call I make.

With regard to the negotation of my existing contract I telephoned Plusnet at 12.44 on 18.8.2016 and the call lasted for 14 mins 06 secs including time spent on hold waiting for a response.

This is a copy of the exact wording of my transcript:

PLUSNET CUSTOMER OPTIONS    0800 013 2632    -    [CSA Removed]

 

6 MONTHS @ £3.33     6 MONTHS @ £9.83

FIRST 6 MONTHS    £3.33 UNLIMITED BROADBAND PLUS FREE ANYTIME CALLS

NEXT 6 MONTHS     £3.33 UNLIMITED BROADBAND + £6.50 FREE ANYTIME CALLS

WORKS OUT AT £6.63 PER MONTH AVERAGE OVER THE 12 MONTHS    =    £79.56 IN TOTAL

 

LINE RENTAL SAVER    -    TOLD [CSA Removed] THAT THE 12 MONTH PERIOD DID NOT EXPIRE UNTIL 3rd NOVEMBER AND THAT I WOULD RENEW THAT CLOSER TO THAT DATE AS THE COST WAS NOT CHANGING AND WOULD STILL BE £185.88 IN ADVANCE.

Even then I was charged £3.83 instead of £3.33 on the first billing date (4th September 2016) of the new contract.

So I raised Question 13304048070 at 9.15am on Sunday 4 Sep 2016, and posted a "Your Response" addendum at 9.43am on the same date.

24 days passed by, and I had tet to receive a response, and so I posted another "Your Response at 8.25am on Wednesday 28th 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

In addition I decided to join the Plusnet Community and I posted details of my experience by opening a new thread under the heading "Overcharge Omission of Referral Discount/Total lack of Response from Billings & Payments".

It was as a result of that thread that my problems were eventually resolved.

The overcharge of 50p was related to an increase in telephone call plan costs, and this was resolved by increasing my discount.

Likewise, I had expected the same to apply when call plan costs were increased yet again during the duration of my contract.

The manner in which Referral Discounts are applied when call plans are free had never been explained to me during the negotiation of the new contract on 18th August 2016, and this was resolved thanks to Plusnet Community.

Anyway the total cost of the contract I negotiated for the period 4th September 2016 to 3rd September 2017 should have cost me £79.56 for unlimited broadband & Anytime Calls plus £185.88 for Line Saver Rental.

This equates to £22.12 per month before my Referral Discount

Now some comedian at Plusnet thinks I am "GOING TO LOVE" a deal costing £28.49 per month before my Referral Discount.

That is an increase of almost 29%!!!!

As you rightly say, every ISP offers good deals to new customers, but there seems little sense in doing so when they are likely to lose existing customers of longstanding by applying extortionate price increases to their contract renewals in order to compensate for the "Rewards" given to attract new customers.

It PN Customer Options want to email me details of a more competitive renewal contract, then please ask them to do so.

Otherwise, as you say that a changeover takes a minimum of 14 days, I will arrange to switch to a new ISP tomorrow afternoon.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): CSA name removed as per Forum rules.

 

 

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

The service notice itself doesn't advise of that, because it's just an internal note to let us know that you've been sent the price refresh communication from our Marketing team. The e-mail itself you were sent would've advised that.

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

Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

As I did not receive any response from Customer Options to my last reply, I phoned Plusnet at 16.31 on 21st August and spoke to [CSA Removed].

I told her that I did not want to renew my contract after it expired on 3rd September, but she told me that if I did so my telephone would have to be disconnected on 4th September and then reconnected again when the new ISP took over.

Also, she said that I would have to arrange a broadband and phone deal with another ISP first so that the phone etc. could be changed over without any disconnection.

She aked me to hold whilst she spoke to a colleague, and returned with a quotation for a new contract, but it was very uncompetitive and I told her I would be changing to BT Unlimited Infinity 1 Fibre Broadband with Weekend Calls included which, after I had claimed a £150.00 Reward, would cost me only £16.33 per month on a 12 month contract.

Furthermore, I told her that should I find that I wanted to make free Evening and/or Anytime Calls I would join a SIM only mobile phone deal which would cost as little as £3.99 per month.

After the call finished, I immediately went online to the MSE website and followed the link to the BT website, where I signed up to a new contract as detailed above.

The changeover is scheduled to take place tomorrow, on the 5th September.

Now today I have received a billing notice from Plusnet advising me that they will soon be taking a payment of £15.74 for my service.

Presumably this is comprised of £9.99 (Broadband) + £7.00 (Anytime Calls) = £16.99 less £1.25 (Referral Discount) = £15.74 for a month's service commencing today.

Firstly, I cannot understand why I should be billed for a month's service in advance when Plusnet know that I am changing to a new ISP tomorrow.

Secondly, I cannot understand why I should be billed £7.00 for Anytime Calls when I had advised [CSA Removed] that my contract with the new ISP would include Weekend Calls only, and that I would use a SIM only mobile phone contract should I wish to make free Evening and/or Anytime Calls.

My line rental with Plusnet is paid up until 3rd November, and so any amount owed for broadband usage today until the changeover tomorrow should be covered by that overpayment.

Please sort this matter out, and advise me accordingly.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): CSA name removed as per Forum rules.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

Firstly, I cannot understand why I should be billed for a month's service in advance when Plusnet know that I am changing to a new ISP tomorrow.

Secondly, I cannot understand why I should be billed £7.00 for Anytime Calls when I had advised [CSA Removed] that my contract with the new ISP would include Weekend Calls only, and that I would use a SIM only mobile phone contract should I wish to make free Evening and/or Anytime Calls.

Once your line has migrated away we'll provide a refund of any unused subscription charges.

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

Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

It appears that nobody at Plusnet Support bothers to read replies to their emails, or alternatively they just choose to ignore them.

I sent this reply on 11th September:

Dear Sirs,

Please refer to my last post (on 4th September 2017) on the "Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills" thread which I opened on the Plusnet Community Forum:

As I did not receive any response from Customer Options to my last reply, I phoned Plusnet at 16.31 on 21st August and spoke to [CSA Removed].
I told her that I did not want to renew my contract after it expired on 3rd September, but she told me that if I did so my telephone would have to be disconnected on 4th September and then reconnected again when the new ISP took over.

Also, she said that I would have to arrange a broadband and phone deal with another ISP first so that the phone etc. could be changed over without any disconnection.

She aked me to hold whilst she spoke to a colleague, and returned with a quotation for a new contract, but it was very uncompetitive and I told her I would be changing to BT Unlimited Infinity 1 Fibre Broadband with Weekend Calls included which, after I had claimed a £150.00 Reward would cost me only £16.33 per month on a 12 month contract.

Furthermore, I told her that should I find that I wanted to make free Evening and/or Anytime Calls I would join a SIM only mobile phone deal which would cost as little as £3.99 per month.

After the call finished, I immediately went online to the MSE website and followed the link to the BT website, where I signed up to a new contract as detailed above.

The changeover is scheduled to take place tomorrow, on the 5th September.

Now today I have received a billing notice from Plusnet advising me that they will soon be taking a payment of £15.74 for my service.

Presumably this is comprised of £9.99 (Broadband) + £7.00 (Anytime Calls) = £16.99 less £1.25 (Referral Discount) = £15.74 for a month's service commencing today.

Firstly, I cannot understand why I should be billed for a month's service in advance when Plusnet know that I am changing to a new ISP tomorrow.

Secondly, I cannot understand why I should be billed £7.00 for Anytime Calls when I had advised [CSA Removed] that my contract with the new ISP would include Weekend Calls only, and that I would use a SIM only mobile phone contract should I wish to make free Evening and/or Anytime Calls.

My line rental with Plusnet is paid up until 3rd November, and so any amount owed for broadband usage today until the changeover tomorrow should be covered by that overpayment.

Please sort this matter out, and advise me accordingly.

Immediately after posting the above on the forum I went online and cancelled the direct debit mandate in favour of Plusnet, because from 5th September 2017 I have been billed for broadband, line rental and phone calls by BT.

Furthermore, any money owed to Plusnet for the period from 4th September 2017 until the switchover should be covered:

My line rental with Plusnet is paid up until 3rd November, and so any amount owed for broadband usage today until the changeover tomorrow should be covered by that overpayment.

If I had received better responses from "Gandalf" to my complaint, it is highly probable that I would have remained a Plusnet customer. For the matter of a total of £1.00 I considered Gandalf's "take it or leave it" attitude to be unreasonable and somewhat offensive, and but for that I would not have been driven to search for deals from other ISPs online.

Plusnet has not only lost my custom, but in all probability will lose that of the customer to whom I recommended Plusnet when his contract expires next year.

All things considered I believe matters have been completely mishandled, and I still cannot comprehend why I should have been billed £7.00 for Anytime Calls on 4th September 2017 when I had made it absolutely clear that I was changing to a Weekend Calls only plan with BT.

Should this matter not be settled to my satisfaction within a reasonable period of time, and should I receive any communications of a threatening nature regarding this bill of £15.74, which I contest, then I will raise a formal complaint.

With that in mind please provide me with details of Plusnet's official complaints procedure.

Should matters between myself and Plusnet remain unresolved after I have followed that complaints procedure, then I will refer my complaint to Ofcom.

Yours faithfully,

I never received any reply, nor was I sent the details of Plusnet's complaints procedure which I had requested.

Instead I have received several more emails chasing payment, including this one which I have received today:


Dear Mr ,

Account username:
Your service has been restricted
We've still not received the payment for your Plusnet broadband account that was due on 04-09-2017. Because of this, your broadband service has been restricted.
Payment due
Amount owed: £15.74
What happens now?
• Your broadband service is now limited to just Manage Account access. Once you've made a payment you'll be able to browse normally
How to pay
You can make a card payment now by going to www.plus.net/ and following the instructions on screen, or by calling us on 0800 432 0200.
Need help?
For more information about payments, check our billing guide: www.plus.net/help/my-account/paying-your-bill/

If you've got any questions about your service, please use the Help Assistant (www.plus.net/wizard/) or call us on 0800 432 0200 or 0345 140 0200.
Kind regards,
Plusnet Customer Support
http://www.plus.net/
Email ref: E0666

It is now 13 days since I replied to the email of 11th September from Plusnet. What a shower!!!

PLEASE SEND ME DETAILS OF PLUSNET'S COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE, WHICH I HAD REQUESTED ON 11TH SEPTEMBER.

OTHERWISE, I WILL CONTACT OFCOM DIRECT AND ADVISE THEM OF PLUSNET'S NON-COMPLIANCE WITH MY REQUEST.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): CSA name removed as per Forum rules.

 

Superuser
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Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills


WGT wrote:

PLEASE SEND ME DETAILS OF PLUSNET'S COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE, WHICH I HAD REQUESTED ON 11TH SEPTEMBER.

 

A link to the COMPLAINTS CODE of PRACTICE  is available in the Footer of the Forum pages. Huh


 

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

Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

Many thanks for the link to the Complaints Code of Practice, Maurice C.

As Plusnet Support chose to ignore my reply to their email of 11th September 2017, I decided it would be more effective to post on the Plusnet Community Forum instead of replying to their email of today.

In fact I only joined the Plusnet Community Forum in the first place, on 28th September 2016, because I had been waiting 24 days for a reply from Billings & Payments in response to a question I had raised using "Help Assistant".

It is a sorry state of affairs when you can get a response by posting on the Plusnet Community Forum, but not by replying to emails or by raising a question.

Plusnet's service has certainly gone down hill since I migrated to them 4 years ago.

Problems do not get resolved by ignoring them, nor do complaints go away by not responding to them, but that appears to be Plusnet's attitude unless you post on the Plusnet Community Forum.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Overcharged on my last 2 monthly bills

As Plusnet Support chose to ignore my reply to their email of 11th September 2017, I decided it would be more effective to post on the Plusnet Community Forum instead of replying to their email of today.

We don't offer support via email I'm afraid so we wouldn't have received your email[s].

 

Sorry to hear you've decided to leave us. I've manually credited the outstanding balance from your account and completed the cancellation. All the best with your new provider.

 

 

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team