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Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

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

Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

I trust it won't surprise long-time users of the Community forums that I've been billed incorrectly. Again. And, even more unsurprisingly, it's occurred when undertaking a change of product. For a little bit of context, we have been on Extra since the new product was released, but owing to the loss of this household's only job, we've had to cut back our spending significantly, which has meant reluctantly downgrading to Value.
And which also means that I am not happy one bit to find that Plusnet are overcharging us £40 (!) on this month's bill.
Why are they doing that? Well, it seems the billing system, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that I should be charged in arrears for any usage above 10GB for the past billing month, apparently neglecting to realise that I had been on Extra. Obviously, because I was on Extra, I used more than 10GB during the paid hours – somewhere between 45GB and 50GB it would appear. To which Plusnet's idiotic billing system has thought ‘haha, I know how I can mess up Thomas' billing this month, I'll charge him for last month's usage even though it was included in last month's subscription’.
So, here's the thing. We have a very limited income at the moment. We do not appreciate Plusnet's billing system charging us whatever it likes, then making us wait for a week or two to get a refund because of Plusnet's overall insolence (yes, insolence) in not extending the Direct Debit notification period. And you know what, I'm fed up of being at Plusnet's whim over this. I'm not going to let you dictate to us how you take our money willy-nilly any more. I'm the customer: for once you're going to do things my way.
What does my way mean? It means that we do not see that erroneous £40 leave our account this month, or if we do, it gets returned the very same day. So, first off I suggest Plusnet try to cancel/adjust the bill before it hits the banking systems. If that fails, I suggest Plusnet find some way of refunding us the erroneous £40 in advance so that I receive the refund at the same time that the bill leaves our account. Or if that can't be done, I will simply cancel the direct debit before the money gets taken and you'll have to find some other way of billing me, a way where I can actually be in control of what happens – and no, don't you dare put me in to failed billing (without prior agreement anyway) if that happens.
I know I'm not a high-value customer; that you'll be making a pittance of profit out of our Value + Talk subscription with no extra money spent on bandwidth and very little spent on extra phone calls. But I would ask you to consider that I have been a broadband subscriber for eight years and have had numerous billing problems (see the links at the start of this post) when considering what action to take next.
P.S. If anyone from Plusnet is tempted to phone me, it's probably best to do so with prior arrangement as I'll be busy at various times today.
26 REPLIES
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Nice one Thomas.
I haven't had billing issues....yet.....but if I did I would be just as pee'd off.
I may soon be heading into the same waters as yourself Sad

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Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Hi Be3G,
I'm really sorry this has happened. I'm talking to finance now to stop the transaction going through, and looking into why it happened - I suspect as you say it's the change from Extra to Value but still need to find out why it's charged you for the usage. I'll post back with more info shortly.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Right, I can confirm the payment will go through today _without_ the incorrect £40 charge and we've raised a problem on that with regard to which we'll keep you all updated.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

OK, thanks Matt.
However, I am still fed up of having all of these billing problems in the first place, then there always having to be a race to track down the error and try to get the charge reversed before the charge goes through, which often doesn't happen thus leaving me having to wait for a refund. And frankly I'm not sure I'm willing to put up with it any longer. For example, what if I'd been out today and therefore not able to complain in time to get the charge cancelled? We'd have had no choice but to sit tight and wait for Plusnet to give us that £40 back.
Fact is, I'm tired of complaining, and no doubt half of Plusnet's staff are tired of me complaining too. And the vast majority of my complaints are about billing problems. I would therefore like to ask – sincerely – that you as a company find some other way of billing me. Maybe I could move off Direct Debit and on to a payment method where I have more control. (Yes, I'm fully aware that Talk customers are only supposed to use Direct Debit.) Maybe my account could be somehow flagged so that a real person checks the bill each month before letting it get submitted to the bank. I don't know, and I don't really care – just something that means I no longer have to worry each month that Plusnet are going to try taking some nonsensical amount from us without being able to easily stop it.
(I wonder by how much money Plusnet have tried to overcharge us in total over the years. I suspect the figure would not be pretty. £150 at a minimum, I reckon, as what with this morning's error I can already think of ~£140 off the top of my head.)
pierre_pierre
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

not  that bad but 2009 7 overcharges £44.5  total
198kHz
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Registered: ‎30-07-2008

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Well said, Be3G - very eloquently stated.
There are a couple of other current threads where discussion has taken place regarding the ludicrously short time between the advisory billing email and the DD being executed. It appears that PN are considering falling into line with virtually all other comms providers and other utilities in this respect, but it's apparently a very low priority.
Surely the whole raison d'etre of billing notices is to rectify mistakes before the customer is charged.
I'm very dissatisfied with BT's weird bills, their call centres, and their online account handling, and I'm very much inclined to switch to PN's Home Phone, and encourage friends and family to do the same - PN's billing system is the one thing making me hesitate.
Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Quote from: Matt
Hi Be3G,
I'm really sorry this has happened.

Seriously...... How long has PlusNet been doing this?  Are they "noobies" in the world of telecoms/phone billing?  I suspect they are.... from the number of times I have seen the above quote form senior PlusNet staff....Usually followed by  " and we will make sure it doesn`t happen again"..... Oh, Come on Matt Taylor..... isn`t it about time that the accounts department grew up and acted responsibly to ensure a FIRST CLASS accounting service to the company, but MORE IMPORTANTLY to the CUSTOMER, who pays your wages.
I am considering changing from BT, who I have been with for over 30 years, and  NEVER had a problem with the bills they sent out.. BUT this constant Billing Error complaint is making me think again..... better the devil you know .... springs to mind..... it may well be worth having to pay the extra 50p per month (just announced)  to stay with BT and not worry about having to check every line of my bill with a Sherlock Holmes Magnifying glass...
As Be3G has intimated....this is just NOT GOOD ENOUGH. and certainly to keep repeating "I`m sorry this has happened"... and then (in another thread.) blaming....... 1. the system, and on a double cockup............. 2. an inexperienced staff member..... SHAME ON YOU ...
GET IT TOGETHER... GET IT RIGHT....and you will keep the customers satisfied.....
There is nothing like GOOD publicity.... and similarly, there is nothing worse than BAD publicity..... which is what this section of the forum certainly is...
If you (Matt Taylor) can assure me that I will NEVER have any problems with my Home Phone Billing, and can also assure me that if a problem did arise you would re-imburse me tenfold within 24 hours. then I will be happy to come and join PlusNet Home Phone service....
The gauntlett is down..... now what is your response?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

[quote=shutter]assure me that if a problem did arise you would re-imburse me tenfold within 24 hours
That's a fantastic idea, it would certainly focus the minds of the staff ! - especially if it was taken out of their commission, annual bonus, or pay rise !!!
v70ben
Grafter
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎19-11-2009

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Quote from: Be3G
I trust it won't surprise long-time users of the Community forums

What the **** - STILL?  Roll eyes
Quote from: Mand
Billing issues have the highest priority within our problem process, and I can assure you we are working to resolve the issues reported.

Bless Mand who had to sort the mess out, but once again she points out it's a high priority, which is then backed up by her "Uber Boss"...
I thought Anthony Vollmer ASSURED everybody that this was his highest priority....
Quote from: Anthony
All - Richard Fletcher (COO) and I are very focused on these billing issues at the moment. We have a number of fixes in train, but also more sustained project work underway to improve both the accuracy, timeliness and flexibility of the billing system over the next year. Clearly we have a number of issues at the moment and please accept my apologies if these have affected you and have needed to be sorted out. As ever, thank you for the feedback which is invaluable in helping us to pin point issues.
This has my and the team's total focus.
Anthony

I'd hate to think how long it takes to sort out something that doesn't have his and his teams "total focus"  Embarrassed
PN's billing of my account has been good of late - but it took long enough.

PN - it clearly just isn't good enough - Still

Maybe it's about time that someone gives Anthony Vollmer and Richard Fletcher a supreme kick up the arse.


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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Quote from: Strat
I haven't had billing issues....yet.....but if I did I would be just as pee'd off.

Spoke too soon.....http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,88068.0.html
That's me also.

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

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Quote from: purleigh
[quote=shutter]assure me that if a problem did arise you would re-imburse me tenfold within 24 hours

That's a fantastic idea, it would certainly focus the minds of the staff ! - especially if it was taken out of their commission, annual bonus, or pay rise !!!

Funnily enough, part of me was thinking when my billing problem happened that I'd like to make a similar kind of ultimatum, albeit to a smaller degree (I was thinking twofold rather than tenfold)… but I knew Plusnet would never agree to it, considering that PN's billing errors with my account have been for some rather large amounts (the highest being £80-something). Hence this from earlier on in the thread:
Quote from: Be3G
I would therefore like to ask – sincerely – that you as a company find some other way of billing me.

…to which I've been rather disappointed (although not entirely surprised) that Plusnet haven't replied. I'm certainly not happy about Plusnet thinking they can do whatever they want to our bank accounts without making any proactive effort to solve problems (it's always reactive – i.e. after the problem has occurred), so I am now having to consider my other options. Once I've decided what exactly I'm going to do I probably will have an ultimatum to ‘offer’ Plusnet.
Laroc
Grafter
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎24-03-2008

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

BE3G
Your Comment:-   
" even more unsurprisingly, it's occurred when undertaking a change of product."
Same with me I upgraded my usage from 2Gb to 3Gb and that set of a train of billing errors, wish I had never upgraded
Also my Referrals went down from 3 to 1. Multiple Tickets to PN all result in the same answer, "Oh its a computer billing error" BUT nothing has ever been done to re-instate my referalls and my missing credit
When PN generates a billing error be prepared to get nowhere.
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Posts: 27,359
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

Oh great....I've applied for my product to be changed Undecided
Better keep a closer eye on my account Roll eyes
Still I can always jump on a 53 and go and knock on their door Smiley

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pierre_pierre
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Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Right, I've had enough. From now on we do billing MY way.

with a sledge hammer?  JamesH was very good at correcting  mine last year, perhaps in his new position you should ask him