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Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

1. Stop asking me for the first two letters of my password when I call, this is the height of bad practice and trains your customers into giving away their passwords, apart from anything else your staff should have no way to look at or check any part of my password, passwords should be encrypted end to end.  Get with it Plusnet, THIS IS EXTREMELY BAD PRACTICE.
2. OMG all the emails and SMS's confusing, overlapping, contratictory and just plain wrong, someone at your end needs to look at the customer sign up process and stream line it, it's currently a mess.
3. Case in point, I got this email today "We want to alert you that the last subscription payment for your Extra with included 60GB bandwidth service was not successful." Notice it says "... subscription payment for your Extra ..." That would be broadband right?  Huh?  Really?  That's strange, your billing me for a service that is not yet in place?  Ah...  No, I call customer services and they say actually the failed payment is nothing to do with broadband, but actually my phone.  Really?  One of them (customer services or the email system) is mistaken, which one?
4. Why did the payment fail?  The email gives no explanation, customer services could offer no explanation, but then frankly neither can I, the details I gave are correct, there is money in the account.  But this is insane, when DD's fail there is a reason code, now, its not always a great explanation, but the errors mean different things like "you need to talk to the customer" through "try again" to "no idea what account your talking about.".  Some information would help here, so give me some information.
5. Now when I opened the account there was a reason I chose to pay by DD, and that meant I had to wait several more days for you guys to get the DD setup before you would go ahead and set up the phone etc.  Cool.  So why did the customer services representative ask me 3 times to pay by card when I called today even though I refused point blank and said take the payment by DD?  Once should have been enough.
10 REPLIES
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,817
Thanks: 315
Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

Quote from: fourfourdevon
1. Stop asking me for the first two letters of my password when I call, this is the height of bad practice and trains your customers into giving away their passwords, apart from anything else your staff should have no way to look at or check any part of my password, passwords should be encrypted end to end.  Get with it Plusnet, THIS IS EXTREMELY BAD PRACTICE.
Their not the only company who do this you know, Almost every company I'm with ask me this when I call them. I could be wrong but I think your password Is encrypted end to end and the system asks Plusnet the question which they then have to ask you then they pop It In,  Just the answer to the question that the system asked And voilà.
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

Are you sure?  This is the first time in many years I have been asked to disclose part of my login password to anyone.
Sure I have accounts where I need to give a password before they will talk to me, but these passwords/passphrases are unrelated to any login I may have.
But even if you are right, and practice needs to end, people need to learn that passwords are to be kept secret at all times, never disclosed to anyone.
The worst thing is, many many people use the same password time and time again, with Plusnet staff getting to know the first two letters they are are well on their way to being able to hack many peoples online life.
I guess it could be the staff at Plusnet dont get to see the password, only confirm if I gave the right 2 letters, however, whats the difference between them seeing the first two and me telling them the first two?  To all practicable extents there is no difference.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

Natwest bank certainly ask you
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

Natwest bank ask you for your online banking password when you call (on the phone) them to make query and a human being processes your response?  Perhaps that's true, I don't know, but I would be aghast if it is true.
[Moderator's note by Dick (Strat):  Full quote of preceding post removed, as per Forum Rules ]
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

proves you dont know every thing, and the same question came up very recently on here
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

The comedy of errors continues.
So I get a phone call this morning, from a very nice man who wants to take my DD money again.  Apparently he needs to ask my permission to do this despite me having given permission both originally and when I called and spoke to Customer Services yesterday.
At which point he says, I have no DD details, he can't take the DD cause no details of a DD exist.
After a bit of too and froing and against my own wishes I agree to make a card payment.  I ask what the card payment is for, Broadband or Telephone?  He tells me both.
Then I get put on hold for an ominously long time.
When he comes back he tells me the card payment wasn't for both, but only for one of them, and can he take my details again and he'll take a second payment.
*sigh*
So thats all done and he asks for my DD details again, and tries to finish the call, but I'm not done, not of my issues have been addressed (only PlusNets issue of not being paid) I try to make plain my displeasure at the plethora of emails, SMS's and status's on the website contradicting each other, at first he doesn't want to listen, but I insist, he apologises, I'm not happy at all, but there seems little else I can do, I didn't want an apology, I wanted a clear statement the matter would be looked into and issues resolved.  I also ask why they had no DD details and why they went ahead and provisioned my service with no means of payment, he doesn't really have an answer except to say "known ongoing issues with the billing system."
Oh well, perhaps this is all over now, and I'll just have telephone and internet like I always wanted.
Oh wait, I got emails.
The first one says "I can see that your original direct debit was declined for some reason" errrr, NO!  This is part of the problem PlusNet, it wasn't declined at all, YOU DIDNT KEEP MY DETAILS ON FILE TO ASK FOR DD PAYMENTS, an entirely different class of problem and one that places the burden of fixing not in my court but YOURS.
But the confusion continues, in a different email it says "We've successfully taken an outstanding payment of £11.25 for your Extra service." but no email mentions the phone service.
So?  Have you taken a payment for the phone or not?  If you have why no email for it?  If you haven't than what on earth was the customer service person doing on the phone with me earlier?  Why are you billing for a service that you don't expect to work until the 21st September anyway?  That's a week away still, why am I paying for a service you are not yet providing?
So PlusNet, call me again, but before you do, get the whole story, find out all the details, what services have been paid for, when they were paid for and when I will be rebilled, and for gods sake SOMEONE agree to look into the discrepancies between the various forms of communication someone gets when using your site to sign up for a new telephone service (i.e. not a transfer in one, a NEW service where you have the line provisioned) and broadband at the same time.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

HI fourfourdevon,
The charge for your broadband package is 11.49 and the charge for your home phone is 11.25. There is no record of an email saying 'We've successfully taken an outstanding payment of £11.25 for your Extra service' although there is one for 11.25 for you home phone.
Your direct debit went active today which is the normal timescale for an instruction set up on 06/09/2010
All calls to our support number via 0845 are free to you.
The card payment was for the initial broadband fee so the order could be progressed.
Asking you to confirm parts of your password is a necessity for us to conform to the data protection act and if our staff didn't have access to your password then we would be unable to troubleshoot and replicate issues such as email, broadband connectivity, webspace etc. The passwords are encrypted but access is available to our agents for the aforementioned reasons.
Jojo Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

Feel as though Im being called a liar.
1) DD setup as normal, great, so why was I told all the rubbish I was told then?  Why do I have several emails saying "payment failed"?  If my DD worked as expected why did I get messages and agents telling me it had failed?
2) Your customer service/email system is even more screwed than I thought, the email you deny sending is this one
Delivered-To: xxx@gmail.com
Received: by 10.229.188.138 with SMTP id da10cs106172qcb;
       Mon, 13 Sep 2010 01:33:30 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by 10.227.163.72 with SMTP id z8mr2667176wbx.52.1284366809188;
       Mon, 13 Sep 2010 01:33:29 -0700 (PDT)
Return-Path: <www-data@pih-workplace06.servers.plus.net>
Received: from relay.ptn-ipout02.plus.net (relay.ptn-ipout02.plus.net [212.159.7.36])
       by mx.google.com with ESMTP id d11si6582925wbb.15.2010.09.13.01.33.28;
       Mon, 13 Sep 2010 01:33:29 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of www-data@pih-workplace06.servers.plus.net designates 212.159.7.36 as permitted sender) client-ip=212.159.7.36;
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=pass (google.com: domain of www-data@pih-workplace06.servers.plus.net designates 212.159.7.36 as permitted sender) smtp.mail=www-data@pih-workplace06.servers.plus.net
X-IronPort-Anti-Spam-Filtered: true
X-IronPort-Anti-Spam-Result: AhYFAF5+jUzUnw4U/2dsb2JhbACDGpBbjU9xrSs+gluNa4EigUgZCIFBdAQ
Received: from outmx08.plus.net ([212.159.14.20])
 by relay.ptn-ipout02.plus.net with ESMTP; 13 Sep 2010 09:33:28 +0100
Received: from pih-workplace06.servers.plus.net ([212.159.15.12] helo=pih-workplace06.plus.net)
    by outmx08.plus.net with esmtp (Exim) id 1Ov4Tg-0001Wl-1w
   for xxx@gmail.com; Mon, 13 Sep 2010 09:33:28 +0100
Received: from www-data by pih-workplace06.plus.net with local (Exim 4.69)
   (envelope-from <www-data@pih-workplace06.servers.plus.net>)
   id 1Ov4Te-0007Cr-Um
   for xxx@gmail.com; Mon, 13 Sep 2010 09:33:26 +0100
To: xxx@gmail.com
Subject: Confirmation of outstanding payment taken
From: "Plusnet Support" <support@plus.net>
X-Mailer: PlusNet-System-Email-Handler
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Message-Id: <E1Ov4Te-0007Cr-Um@pih-workplace06.plus.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 09:33:26 +0100
Dear Mr Ward,
Account username: fourfourdevon
We've successfully taken an outstanding payment of £11.25 for your Extra service.
You can see details for all transactions on your account in the Member Centre:
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=view_transactions
You can also see and update your payment options in the Member Centre:
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=update_credit_card
If you have any questions for our Support Team, please contact us using the Help Assistant
http://help.plus.net/ or call us on 0845 1400200.
Kind regards,
Plusnet Customer Support
http://www.plus.net/
Email ref: E0651
--
Plusnet plc
Registered Office: Internet House, 2 Tenter Street, Sheffield, S1 4BY
Registered in England no: 3279013

3) Card payment was NOT TAKEN TO PROGRESS THE ORDER, it was taken, quite explicitly as told to me by your agents because payment had failed.  Listen to the calls before you make such statements again.
4) Teaching people to give their passwords over the phone is bad practice and I will refuse to give it in future, and whilst the DPA requires any number of things of keepers of personal data, it doesn't anywhere require that passwords be given over the phone.
5) Calling 0845 numbers is not free from my mobile phone, or indeed from the Gradwell phone service that I will use once my broadband is working, I don't want to be forced to use my "landline" for the purposes of phoning PlusNet when that will be the only use it is ever put to, I moved all my voice communications to VoIP many years ago and have no intention of going back to using the traditional landline.
6) It is clear from your erroneous responses to my questions, that the signup process is broken, at least for people that ask to pay exclusively by DD.  You failed to address or even mention my concerns about the sign up process.  Please respond about these.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

Hello fourfourdevon,
I'm sorry, there was no intention to infer that you were a liar.
1) as the phone went active before the direct debit had processed the system automatically tried to take the initial payment. This issue doesn't normally occur, due to card details being taken on sign-up for the initial payment, but obviously this didn't happen in your case, so I will feedback your experience.
2) I do apologise that I overlooked the email in question. Also,  as part of an upcoming project we're reviewing the emails and contacts made to customers during the signup and activation processes.
3) For the reasons described in No.1
4) This is the process that we choose to use to pass data protection by asking customer to confirm 2 characters of the password. If you choose not to give your password, there are other ways we can pass data protection for you.
5) It is your choice whether you use your landline to call us but we do offer free support via this method.
6) as per points 1 & 2
Thank you.
Joanne
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Whoa! You got some things seriously wrong!

Just a footnote to the previous post. I have now raised a problem (ID 63497) to have to incorrect text on that email changed for future sign up customers.
Joanne