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Plusnet aware of issue affecting Hub one router routing

TeamGB
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Registered: ‎29-10-2018

Plusnet aware of issue affecting Hub one router routing

I don't know if anyone else has had this issue, but I just wanted to make sure other customers were aware and don't have to go through what I have been through.

 

I have had months of issues where I would be connected to the internet fine but unable to to access any websites. It was an intermittent issue that happened at least twice a day for a few hours (usually at peak times but any time of day). If it went down when I was connected to my work VPN it would continue to work fine, but no other device would work.

 

 

For at least 6 weeks Plusnet blamed the issue on 1)me, 2) street lights affecting wired and wireless connections, 3) (my favourite) possibly a neighbour running a bath. They even said they were unwilling to look in to it any further and would send me a deadlock letter.

 

i then sent an email to Andy Baker (CEO) and within days was advised that they know of an issue with the routing on the hub one that causes this issue on some connections. They then sent a different type of router.

 

Surely Plusnet should be upfront with customers, even their own advisors that they may come across this issue?

 

It is against their own terms to send out a router that in some cases is not fit for purpose

 

 

4 REPLIES 4
bobpullen
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Re: Plusnet aware of issue affecting Hub one router routing

Hi there,

Sorry to hear of your woes Sad

I was actually consulted about your case towards the end so thought I'd offer some comment...

 


@TeamGB wrote:

I don't know if anyone else has had this issue...

They have (link).

 

I have had months of issues where I would be connected to the internet fine but unable to to access any websites. It was an intermittent issue that happened at least twice a day for a few hours (usually at peak times but any time of day). If it went down when I was connected to my work VPN it would continue to work fine, but no other device would work.

For at least 6 weeks Plusnet blamed the issue on 1)me, 2) street lights affecting wired and wireless connections, 3) (my favourite) possibly a neighbour running a bath. They even said they were unwilling to look in to it any further and would send me a deadlock letter.

It's a problem with the DNS proxying ability of the Plusnet Hub One it seems. One of the problems we face is the fact that it is not a trivial thing to identify/diagnose, especially if the problem isn't evident when speaking to our support staff.

i then sent an email to Andy Baker (CEO) and within days was advised that they know of an issue with the routing on the hub one that causes this issue on some connections. They then sent a different type of router.

As mentioned above, your case was referred to me at one point and I led those dealing with it to this conclusion. I have elevated access to certain systems/prior knowledge of the issue that made identifying the problem possible.

Sending an alternative router is not standard process, and an exception was made in your circumstances due to the length of time taken to diagnose your problem.

 

Surely Plusnet should be upfront with customers, even their own advisors that they may come across this issue?

This is slightly trickier to address. How widely impacting the issue is still largely unknown, and we're yet to identify the actual cause of the problem. Given how few conclusive examples we have though (note how long the thread I've linked to above has been open), I'd say it's fairly isolated.

The symptoms of the problem are similar in nature to other, much more commonly encountered issues. I can easily envisage a situation where issues are incorrectly attributed to this problem, and a bucket load of routers sent out unnecessarily. That would serve no purpose but to cost Plusnet money, further inconvenience customers and stifle our attempts to correctly identify and resolve the cause of the issue. 

It is against their own terms to send out a router that in some cases is not fit for purpose

Nothing here is in contravention of our terms. Problems can and will arise in the world of routers/software development, and where they do, we'll do our best to fix them. I'm committed to getting to the bottom of this one, and I appreciate you reinstating your Hub One router towards the end of the ordeal so I was able to extract some logging from it. Hopefully it helps us and our vendors in our hunt for the cause of the issue.

There's plenty of detail on the other thread I've linked to should anybody be experiencing the issue and be willing to help me diagnose it.

It seems there's a correlation with those using additional wi-fi extenders/access points on their network but I don't think this is the case with you is it? I vaguely remember seeing an attached storage device on your network though, which I have my suspicions about.


Sorry again for all the hassle you suffered.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

TeamGB
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Posts: 18
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Registered: ‎29-10-2018

Re: Plusnet aware of issue affecting Hub one router routing

Hi Bob,

 

Thank you for your response on this and for your openness with regards to the issue. What I find a little worrying though is that you (plusnet) have been aware of this issue for, at least, 11 months, but yet I was describing these exact issues and explaining that it was clearly an issue in access web addresses if allowing the router to do the routing and I was told the following on a number of occasions:

1) There are no known issues (which there obviously is)

2) That Plusnet have no control over how the connection is routed(which you obviously do)

3) There was nobody in the company that could even look in to this anyway (which you obviously can do)

It also makes it clearer that there are some issues with plusnet's ability to resolve issues for customers where

My point on the terms is that

1) I was clear in the issues in that it was a problem with how the data was being routed

2) you are aware of an issue on some connections with this router

3) you then sent out the same router that would obviously make no improvement, then use this as an reason to state 'there are no issues with the service we are providing' 

 

In relation to the cause, I do indeed have a networked drive attached, but I also disconnected this for a fortnight at the beginning which made no difference. I have also had this for a long time and had no previous issues. If Plusnet do not support this type of product they should be clearer.

 

I am glad that you are still looking in to my issues as I had previously been told that as I had reached a deadlock with regards to compensation (ie Plusnet have refused any compensation or goodwill gesture) I had to now take it up with the ombudsman.

 

Finally I know the changes you have made have been an improvement (I had two days of uninterrupted internet for the first time) it has dropped out again a couple of times over the last couple of days and the speed is regularly dropping to 10meg (line speed is 40). It seems like the the network is struggling to keep up with something as the ping and jitter also increase at these points.

bobpullen
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Re: Plusnet aware of issue affecting Hub one router routing

Thanks for getting back to me.


@TeamGB wrote:

Thank you for your response on this and for your openness with regards to the issue. What I find a little worrying though is that you (plusnet) have been aware of this issue for, at least, 11 months...

It's an issue that's been investigated at a low level within my team. I've mentioned that we're unsure of the impact, and it's been difficult to diagnose so far due to the lack of examples. To put things into perspective, I've less than ten instances of this issue reported since the thread I linked to was started, and we've dispatched hundreds of thousands of Hub Ones to customers since February.

 

1) There are no known issues (which there obviously is)

Not disputing this. The issue is more suspected/acknowledged than known at this stage though, which is why I'm keen to work with some of our customers to identify the root cause.

2) That Plusnet have no control over how the connection is routed(which you obviously do)

You're right, of course we do, it's our network you're connecting to after all. This isn't a routing issue per se though. If you were to configure one of your devices to use our DNS servers (quite easy to do for laptops etc. less so with smartphones), then you'd find that you'd still be able to access websites etc. The actual routing of traffic is fine, it's the initial DNS lookup that's failing for some reason.

3) There was nobody in the company that could even look in to this anyway (which you obviously can do)

I'm sorry you were told this. There are escalation paths into my team, but it's somewhat dependent on accepting the router may be the cause of an issue in the first place, and it's here that I feel we let you down Sad

1) I was clear in the issues in that it was a problem with how the data was being routed

See above, I don't think this is the source of the problem.

2) you are aware of an issue on some connections with this router

Just to be clear, the problem is in no way related to your physical broadband connection or telephone line. It's specific to something that's happening on your local network. As the moment, there's a strong suspicion NAS devices and additional access points trigger the problem, and the challenge is in identifying exactly what's happening, so that we can fix it.

 

3) you then sent out the same router that would obviously make no improvement, then use this as an reason to state 'there are no issues with the service we are providing' 

Needless to say, I'm all for us reducing the volume of unnecessary kit we're sending Wink

I'm sure it was in good faith though, after the usual lines of troubleshooting were believed to have been exhausted.

In relation to the cause, I do indeed have a networked drive attached, but I also disconnected this for a fortnight at the beginning which made no difference.

That's interesting insight. Thank you.

I have also had this for a long time and had no previous issues. If Plusnet do not support this type of product they should be clearer.

This isn't about whether or not our service supports a product. The service is intended to support pretty much any device that connects to the Internet. We've plenty of people with complex network setups, attached storage systems and additional wi-fi stations that experience no problems whatsoever.

Also worth me mentioning that I have tried replicating this issue in our testing environment but as yet have been unable to.

Finally I know the changes you have made have been an improvement (I had two days of uninterrupted internet for the first time) it has dropped out again a couple of times over the last couple of days and the speed is regularly dropping to 10meg (line speed is 40). It seems like the the network is struggling to keep up with something as the ping and jitter also increase at these points.

I haven't made any changes, so any observations are coincidence. All I have done is extract some detailed debug logs from your router to provide to our vendor so we can try and work out what's going on. You now have two options as I see it...

1. Continue to use the Hub One and help us extract further diagnostics as/when the problem occurs (best to communicate any future failures here), or if the issue is causing you too much inconvenience (which I could completely understand)...

2. Retire the Hub One, and use the alternative device we sent to you instead.


Hope that helps make the situation a little clearer.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

dvorak
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Re: Plusnet aware of issue affecting Hub one router routing


Moderators Note


This topic has been moved from Fibre to My Router 

 


 

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