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Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

Shoei
Newbie
Posts: 4
Thanks: 1
Registered: 28-11-2016

Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

 

29th September I contacted Sky to migrate my landline and broadband away from PlusNet

13th October Migration completed

25th October PlusNet refunded my account £19.61 in overpaid fees.

Also 25th October they took £25.95 - presumably to pay for the new account they opened for me.

9th November I got an email from PlusNet telling me my Home Phone service is ready to use.( it wasn't, the line is with Sky).

16th November PlusNet took £7.00 from my account.

19th November I got an email to say that PlusNet would be taking £35.98 from my account on the 23/11

Realising that PlusNet have no control of their billing system I cancelled the direct debit.

22nd November I got an email complaining that the DD was cancelled telling me to set up a new one.

22nd November I opened a case with PlusNet where, after waiting over an hour in a phone queue I talked to someone in accounts. They said there had been a mix up closing the account and that it would be corrected and I would receive a refund. I was also told that because I had closed the DD I would have to be paid by cheque. PlusNet has my account details, what kind of accounts department can't pay into a bank account?

25th November I got an email from PlusNet telling me that my DD has been cancelled, telling me to set up a new one.

26th November I contacted PlusNet - online chat, much quicker than phone - when they told me that the account closure was proceeding and to wait until it was resolved.

28th November I get another email complaining that the DD has been cancelled, demanding that I set up a new one.

 Why on earth would I trust this company with free access to my bank account?

Does anyone have any advice on how I can encourage PlusNet to properly close the account and stop harassing me for money?

 

10 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

Add your voice to the complaints to OFCOM?

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/11/ofcom-uk-finds-broadband-isp-plusnet-may-botched-bills....

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)
Shoei
Newbie
Posts: 4
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Registered: 28-11-2016

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

Thanks for the link jelv, sounds like I'm not alone, although the Ofcom complaint implies this is an historic issue that was resolved in 2015. Seems not.

 

I'll give it a few more days before complaining to Ofcom, had to do this once with O2 and the first question they ask is 'have you exhausted the complaints procedure with the provider?', which I haven't yet.

Jonpe
All Star
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Registered: 05-09-2016

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

This is why I never pay by DD unless there is no other way.  The direct debit guarantee isn't worth the paper it is written on; I spent over half an hour at my bank trying to get the "full and immediate refund" the guarantee entitles me to in the case of an overcharge.  I had a letter from the company concerned (Not PN!) setting out the amount payable, and a mini-statement from the cash dispenser showing I'd been overcharged.  The staff member I dealt with said things like, "If it was £300 you wouldn't expect us to refund it would you?" to which the answer is clearly "Yes!"  There was no way they were going to honour the DD guarantee, even after consulting their telephone banking department, so I emailed the ombudsman saying the amount was so small that it wasn't worth writing letters, filling in complicated forms etc., but that I wanted him to be aware of this issue.  A few days later I got a letter from the bank saying they'd credited my account with an amount (substantially more than the original overcharge), and the usual "training will be given" promise.

Shoei
Newbie
Posts: 4
Thanks: 1
Registered: 28-11-2016

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

Good points Jonpe, trouble is for most suppliers the only alternative is a credit card and they seem to have even less protection than direct debits. I may have to claim on the DD guarantee if things aren't resolved soon, my bank has been pretty helpful on previous occasions.

 

In fairness the DD system generally works well.  Most suppliers take their obligations seriously but a few do not, PlusNet dragging their feet over repayment and demanding money they are not owed, even a week after agreeing their mistake, suggests they are in the latter category.

 

 

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: 25-03-2015

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

Welcome to the community forums @Shoei.

 

I'm sorry to hear your account has remained open following your services migrating away.

 

I'm just looking over your account now to find out what's caused this issue and will be back in touch later today with a more details response regarding this situation for you.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 4,217
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Registered: 25-03-2015

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

Having looked over the account, it appears we received a Customer Leaving Notification on 02/10/16 advising there was an order to migrate the service away on 13/10/16.

Unfortunately this order still appears to be showing a committed state and as it never progressed to a complete state, no notification was generated to close the account down, despite automation picking up a refund for subscription over charges.

 

Following this, it appears the account may have been picked up as part of an automated cleanup to ensure we were still billing for the service as the phone asset is still showing active with ourselves as we never received full confirmation the migration away had completed.

 

Looking in to this further manually, it does look like the service left us, so I will be flagging this up with our billing team to ensure the account is closed and that any outstanding payments are credited off, along with a refund for any over charges that have occurred.

 

Thanks for your patience.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
Shoei
Newbie
Posts: 4
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Registered: 28-11-2016

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

Thanks for checking this and for the update Harry, it's appreciated.

The account is now showing as closed and I can see on the customer portal that two credits have been raised for £35.98 and for £2.18, both attributed to 'no service due to LLU cease'. Hopefully I'll receive a bank transfer or cheque in due course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

No problem, glad to hear this fixed it.

 

The £35.98 was the outstanding balance that wasn't due, so was written off.

 

The £2.18 is being refunded back to you, however as there were no longer payment details stored on the account, this is having to be sent as a cheque which I believe should arrive within 14 working days.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
WS1990
Dabbler
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Registered: 04-11-2016

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

 

Hi;

You did everything right except closing the Direct Debit and maybe leaving raising the dispute late. If you think about it part of the DD guarantee means that if there is an overpayment or a payment that should not have been taken it provides an automated and verifiable way of getting the money returned which the person making the payment has set it up, Relying on BACS is more error prone and where a mistake in entering the account number is made it is not only a slow and difficult process getting information from banks on who the money actually went to, but there is no guarantee the provider will ever see that money again so they may end up paying twice. At the end of the day, its the cheapest and easiest process that providers like PN use. The delay in getting money back is a real downside, and of course there is no excuse for PN billing you on the 25th and onwards

regards

WS

Jonpe
All Star
Posts: 1,690
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Registered: 05-09-2016

Re: Stalked by the PlusNet dead account zombie

Yes, you could end up transferring a large sum to a gambler in Oslo, like this 'poor' lady: http://home.himolde.no/~olsen/artikler/bank.pdf  This case is now so famous that it appears in computer science exam papers as far away as Ottawa.  I can't get any of the links to this case to work, but if you Google Grete Fossbakk, you'll find several references to it, and the links on Google do work.