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Transparency about overcharging please

victoriachanst
Newbie
Posts: 2
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎08-06-2019

Transparency about overcharging please

Hi, like many others I have been overcharged again and again for 6 months now since my contract renewal. I am sick of having to contact customer service each month when I get my bill only to be assured they are trying their best to fix the problem.

 

I’m a developer myself and can’t understand why it is taking them so long to fix this problem. Is this even legal? To knowingly overcharge and to not issue a refund after 6 months AND to continue to overcharged? It isn’t a small sum too. My bill should be £27.99 but I have been charged £39.98 each month.

 

I don’t want anymore profuse apologies. I want them to explain to me why they can’t stop the overcharging and refund me. Every time I contacted them, I have been assured this problem will be fixed soon. It is a lie.

 

What is being done about this? I don’t see any public announcement or any blog post updating us about the progress. There is no transparency about this at all. If they are really trying very hard and really still struggling, can they please make a public announcement about it and explain to us what the difficulty is, what has been done about it, and when is it expected to be fixed? I believe we have the rights know.

 

I used to love Plusnet’s customer service but now I am fed up. They are very good at apologies but that isn’t enough. Surely this isn’t legal.

 

 

 

27 REPLIES 27
Baldrick1
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,813
Thanks: 1,212
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Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

Having read this it will be interesting to see what the 2019 Q1 statistics look like. These are due out next month. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2019/telecoms-pay-tv-complaints-q4-...

Frankly I'm amazed that seeing as this started last September and there seems to be no end to it that Ofcom have not taken any action.

I'm not affected at the moment but fear for any new subscriber and/or any-one who currently re-contracts. I certainly would not recommend Plusnet to any-one.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 887
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Registered: ‎07-12-2017

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

Hi @victoriachanst, thanks for getting in touch on our forums.

 

I'm really sorry for the experience you have had since renewing your contract and also for the length of time this has been ongoing. It's certainly not acceptable that you've had to chase this on numerous occasions and I'll certainly look into what's gone wrong and pass on feedback internally to the relevant parties.

 

Due to containing some account specific details, I have provided a more detailed response of the measures I'm taking to resolve this for you on a ticket, which you can view here.

 

Please get back to us if you have any further queries in the meantime.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Lauren Barry
 Plusnet Help Team
smiffy1
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 151
Thanks: 55
Registered: ‎23-09-2018

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

Complaints from Plusnet's broadband customers more than doubled in the last quarter of 2018. In that period, the company experienced issues with a new billing system it launched. Roll eyes

 

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 14,262
Thanks: 5,346
Fixes: 30
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

@Baldrick1

What action which might be useful do you anticipate from Ofcom? They’ve shown no ability to do anything overly useful for two plus years. Interesting to hear that the ineffective CEO of Ofcom is moving on to JLP.

Does anyone here really believe that Plusnet are not working hard on the issues here? Not to be doing so would be commercially stupid. Not getting billing right lays at the heart of severely damaging any business.

Read between the lines and I think it’s clear that (similar to this forum’s issues), the problems in the billing system are actually issues in the bought in billing technology platform. My guess (and it’s nothing more than a guess) there are issues with the third party software components.

Ofcom are only going to be of help here if they have the skills to fix the technology stack used for billing. If Ofcom can fix the third party, then they might bring some value to this space. If not then as ever, they are close to useless.
Baldrick1
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,813
Thanks: 1,212
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Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

I must confess that it did not occur to me that Ofcom would step in and help, rather fine Plusnet as they did two years ago https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/22/plusnet-fined-charging-customers-ofcom-bt-broadband...

It's eay to blame a third party business system vendor but clearly Plusnet failed to adequately test this out before going live.

 

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 14,262
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

Reference to third party is speculation, but based on experience of delivering solutions on third party platforms.  Scalability and stress loading can be difficult to test pre-go-live.

There can be no doubt that organisation's should 'do better' but no one deliberately goes live with a knowingly seriously defective product.

You referenced Ofcom getting involved: All that a fine from Ofcom does is to suck out resources which might otherwise be used to improve the business.

ellythemoo
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎19-09-2018

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

I came on here to see if anyone else was having this issue and it is a relief in a sad way to find I'm not alone. I cannot afford to keep having to chase Plusnet for these funds. I'm cancelling my direct debit and will make a manual payment for the CORRECT amount on a monthly basis until they sort it out. This is the latest in a billing fiasco which saw me being charged twice and then unable to make any payments.

 

I have been loyal to Plusnet for years but if I'd known things were going to be so bad I would never have recontracted.If Ofcom fine them then rather than "sucking away further resources" the head honchos who set this up can take a pay cut. To suggest that a company performing so appallingly avoid a penalty seems nonsensical.

Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

Cancelling your DD and paying only what YOU think is the right amount is not going to be helpful for you.

Until you have worked with support so that your billing is corrected your account will show as being in debt and your service will be restricted.  This strategy will not solving anything - indeed it is likely to make matters worse.

I've raise a SU general query on over charging - what are your particular details?

  • New user or changed product?
  • Discounts not being correctly applied?
  • Something else?

@JonoH ?Huh

ellythemoo
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎19-09-2018

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

Well, lucky you if you can afford to have £x exiting your account without so much as a by your leave. I can't. I am on a very tight budget. I've just contacted Plusnet and been told they have no idea when they will be able to refund me. This after being told last week (when I saw the bill again) that I would receive a refund within a few days like I did previously. I will be paying the agreed amount on the contract.

 

I've been a customer since about 2013 and signed (foolishly) a new contract 2 months ago.

Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

That would be a product change then?

Superuser citation

This topic has been cited by one of the Superusers; the purpose of which is to provide a note for information which might help to focus continued discussion (but might not result in a staff response).


 

maranello
Pro
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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

@Townman 

Rather than cancelling the DD, do you know if services would still be restricted if customers asked their bank for a refund using the direct debit guarantee?

It does seem rather unfair that some customers are not being billed at all and expecting to only be billed for 90 days back service, and still having full service, whilst others are being restricted either because the failed billing doesn't work or customers refuse to overpay using DD.

Surely after 8 months Plusnet could have developed a workaround.

From you're earlier response, would I be accurate in assuming the Superusers are actively seeking feedback information from affected customers in order to diagnose the problem, or does Plusnet have an idea of the situation that cause it?

My other car isn't a Ferrari
ellythemoo
Dabbler
Posts: 20
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Registered: ‎19-09-2018

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

That's a good idea - I will call my bank.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 14,262
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

@maranello 

Really good question - I do not know how DD recovery impacts an account.  I will add that question to the discussion.  I anticipate the answer to be sensitive information though!

maranello
Pro
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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Transparency about overcharging please

@Townman 

Your response arrived whilst I was adding to my earlier post. ?

My other car isn't a Ferrari