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8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

hollytree
Rising Star
Posts: 72
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎30-08-2007

8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

Been with Plusnet since 2006 and been very happy till three weeks ago. First the phone line went down, then the broadband. Outreach advised the problem was due to the broadband equipment at the exchange. The phone line is sorted thank god but the broadband is something they just cant fix. To make matters worse:
(1) I feel I've been tricked into agreeing to replace my perfectly good modem (Voyager 105) with a router on the grounds that the router might make the connection work better.  But it also ties me in to staying with Plusnet for 12 more months or I have to pay £40. Why should I do so when Plusnet can't even fix their broadband equipment.
(2) Despite failing to provide me with a broadband service, Plusnet continues to take money out of my bank account. Not sure this is ethical!
(3) Plusnet sends occasional messages about the problem containing key information (eg interleaving) that I cannot access because my broadband connection is down. I have to take time off to send you this message from my local library. They seem incapable of understanding that it's pointless emailing me... I CANNOT access them: my broadband connection is down!!!
(4) Plusnet's customer service people seem to be the only people capable of addressing the problem yet it takes so long to get through that I have spent most of the past 11 days just waiting to get through.
(5) Plusnet refuses to agree to make arrangements that can enable me to be available to discuss the problem at a particular time. Recently, I suggested three times when I can be available but ther advisor adamantly refused to pass this request on to the escalating team.
(6) I would dearly love to know from senior management:-
(a) why the problem has not been resolved promptly
(b) what they propose to do to resolve it an acceptable time frame
(c) why it is not possible to nominate a particular "single point of access" at senir management level with a direct phone number that I can call to seek updates and discuss your failure in depth
(d) why they  cannot provide acceptable wait times - waiting more than 30 minutes is NOT on!)
(e) why I should stay with PlusNet after this dreadful experience.
I see that Plusnet is proud of its recognition by Which magazine. As a Which member I'll be letting them know that maybe Plusnet is starting to lose its position.
10 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,639
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 76
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

hollytree,
I'm really sorry to hear about the issues you've had here. I'll do my best to address the points you've raised.
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1) I feel I've been tricked into agreeing to replace my perfectly good modem (Voyager 105) with a router on the grounds that the router might make the connection work better.  But it also ties me in to staying with Plusnet for 12 more months or I have to pay £40. Why should I do so when Plusnet can't even fix their broadband equipment.

I'm sorry if you've felt forced into using our router but its' possible to use any router. I'm well aware that the Voyager 105 is probably fine but it isn't the most up to date router so I feel encouraging you to try a different router was a good idea, however apologies if that wasn't done in the best way.
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(2) Despite failing to provide me with a broadband service, Plusnet continues to take money out of my bank account. Not sure this is ethical!

We can't stop our billing process I'm afraid. Billing only occurs once a month and if an issue happens during that time we'll happily look at crediting you for the downtime along with an extra goodwill gesture after the fault has been fixed.
Quote
(3) Plusnet sends occasional messages about the problem containing key information (eg interleaving) that I cannot access because my broadband connection is down. I have to take time off to send you this message from my local library. They seem incapable of understanding that it's pointless emailing me... I CANNOT access them: my broadband connection is down!!!

Sorry to hear that we're not calling with updates. Please bear in mind that emails are sent automatically when the account is worked on so you may still get some emails but I will talk to our faults team to try and get some ownership of this case and make it clear that we need to be calling with updates where possible.
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(4) Plusnet's customer service people seem to be the only people capable of addressing the problem yet it takes so long to get through that I have spent most of the past 11 days just waiting to get through.

Leave that with me re the previous point, you shouldn't be having to call us for updates.
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(5) Plusnet refuses to agree to make arrangements that can enable me to be available to discuss the problem at a particular time. Recently, I suggested three times when I can be available but ther advisor adamantly refused to pass this request on to the escalating team.

I'm not sure we would be able to call you at a specific time on a regular basis but I feel we should be at least meeting you half way here. As mentioned I intend to get someone to take ownership of this so you shouldn't need to be chasing us, I'll make sure that we're calling you regularly.
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(6) I would dearly love to know from senior management:-
(a) why the problem has not been resolved promptly

Some faults do take some time to resolve I'm afraid and I'm sorry that this is clearly one of those issues. Work is due to be done at the exchange which should complete by the end of the day tomorrow.
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b) what they propose to do to resolve it an acceptable time frame

We can never promise to resolve any fault within a specific timeframe I'm afraid, however see my previous point for what's due to happen next.
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(c) why it is not possible to nominate a particular "single point of access" at senir management level with a direct phone number that I can call to seek updates and discuss your failure in depth

Managers and senior managers are here to manage staff and don't work on issues like this I'm afraid. We may not be able to give you a single point of contact but as said I will do my best to get someone experienced on the faults team to take ownership of this.
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(d) why they  cannot provide acceptable wait times - waiting more than 30 minutes is NOT on!)

We're aware that some wait times are longer than usual at the moment, we know this isn't ideal and we're taking it seriously and looking to do all we can to make the wait times more acceptable.
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(e) why I should stay with PlusNet after this dreadful experience.

That's really up to yourself, I hope you can appreciate that a lot has been done since this issue was flagged to us on the 28th and I'm sorry to see that we've not reached a resolution yet, a number of things do need to be ruled out when dealing with such faults. I hope we seriously can improve on your experience of support from here however and get this resolved tomorrow.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
delticman
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎15-03-2013

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

Only 8 days, hollytree?  I was without a service for 11 days last month and am again waiting to be reconnected after being cut off for the second time in 4 weeks. Yes I agree with everything you say. The support team never phone you and rely on you to check online to see if your problem has been resolved not seeming to understand that you cannot access email or the internet at home!  I am writing this at the local library.  Plusnet has certainly gone downhill recently. I too am thinking of leaving.
hollytree
Rising Star
Posts: 72
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

Hi delticman
Back here in my local library and guess what? Now 11 days without a connection too.  Adam Walker's email contains lots of promises but the reality is that the fault-resolving is non-existent as far as I'm concerned. Adam's comment that senior management don't get involved in dealing with problems suggests there is a fundamental and serious falw in the design of their management systems. I've had enough of Plusnet and its empty promises...  What do you think about Zen or Be (recommended by Which) or even the dreaded BTHuh Can it really be as bad as Plusnet?
hollytree
Rising Star
Posts: 72
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

Adam
I'm back in my local library, I'm afraid - still no broadband service. You ought to know that most of your promises, commitments and reassurances have turned out to be empty!
Now 11 days without broadband and counting.
No-one has contacted me to explain why they can't resolve the problem, or where it is or why it's taking so long. NOTHING!
Please advise why I should pay £40 for a router for a service that doesn't work.
Please confirm or deny whether Plusnet will charge me £40 for a router if I leave because of Plusnet's appalling service.
No-one has contacted me about compensating me.
No-one has contacted me to take charge of the problem.
No-one has contacted me with updates.
You seem to be unaware of the fact that the problem has been going on for three weeks.
I've written to your MD saying that I've had enough of Plusnet.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,639
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 76
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

OK, I'm sorry you've not been contacted by phone.
FYI there is a ticket on the account to state that the work completed as expected that I mentioned. However tests we've performed show that there's a fault with the exchange equipment too. This would not have been visible to us before the other issue was resolved. We're expecting an update on that within 48 hours.
I am aware that this has been an issue for a while. And I don't wish to set an expectation that a manager can or would deal with this issue for you as they are here to manage the staff that do so.
I'm sorry this has been an  issue for a while and appreciate your frustration. I'm going to ask that the fault is handled by a different person now and will do all I can to urge the importance of updating you by phone.
With regards to resolving any disparities with billing we would look to do that when we know the fault has been resolved.
With regards to the router, yes we would charge £40 if you left within 12 months as we would have asked you to agree to that before sending the router out.
I just wanted to check too are you receiving updates about the fault via SMS?
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
hollytree
Rising Star
Posts: 72
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

Adam
Now 13 days without a broadband service and this is likely to continue into next week at least.  Do you think I would win a legal challenge about the router? It seems grossly unfair to send me a router that i cannot use because my broadband service is broken and in the short term at least looks unlikely to be repaired. I agreed to take the router on the condition that it would help resolve the broadband connection. Well, you and I both know it hasn't made an iota of difference. The problem just keeps being bounced between Plusnet and BT. This is a really rotten service and refusing to refund me for something that doesnt help is a rotten thing to do.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,639
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 76
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

Quote
Do you think I would win a legal challenge about the router? It seems grossly unfair to send me a router that i cannot use because my broadband service is broken and in the short term at least looks unlikely to be repaired.

I've checked ticket 67808203 which explains about the deferred contract and can see the router contract is clearly mentioned there. However we seem to have ordered it before you replied to the ticket so we'd waive the £40 because of that if you were to cancel.
I can see my colleague Jeremy has picked up your fault and I'm convinced he's doing his utmost for you and that an engineer is due to visit on the 15th. Please keep us posted as to how that goes, I'll be happy to intervene if needed but I don't see a need at present.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
hollytree
Rising Star
Posts: 72
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

Adam
At long last after 4 yes FOUR!!! sorry weeks, my broadband connection has been restored.  It's been a salutary experience for me and I sincerely hope - for the sake of Plusnet and BT - that you will pass on my findings in the hope that others won't have to go through this truly dismal, dreadful experience of the way that Plusnet/BT handles faults. Here are my summary findings and recommendations - up to you whether you choose to pass them on, of course and somehow I doubt whether the movers and shakers at Plusnet and BT will give a tinker's cuss:
Findings:
(1) The root cause of the problem was in the local BT exchange, where incorrect mapping by an engineer in the previous three weeks who clearly didn't know his *** from his ***** meant that while my connection was synchronising, it wasn't synchronising with the correct coordinates.
(2) The problem was identified and solved remarkably quickly and simply by Dave, a broadband-trained Outreach engineer who visited me today (in the fourth week of the problem), checked that everything at my end was hunkydory, contacted his colleague in BT Wholesale for the co-ordinates, drove his van down to the local exchange, discovered the coordinates there were wrong, reset them and BINGO! Smiley
(3) What has been ongoing as a fault with Plusnet and BT since late March was solved in less than an hour by one man and his van.  Shocked

Recommendations:
(1) A max time limit of 3 days be set by Plusnet before escalating the issue for serious action. It is simply unacceptable and a reflection of shoddy service to leave a customer without a connection for longer than a week.
(2) That incorrect coordinates be recognised as a potential cause of an error when carrying out initial fault checking with BT and that correct co-ordinates checked with BT Wholesale and not assumed as correct.
(3) That when a Plusnet customer is left without a bb connection for longer than a week, a LETTER should be sent to the customer apologising for the delay, advising an appropriate level of compensation and setting out what is proposed and when. It is simply unacceptable to continue taking money out of customers' accounts when you are failing to provide a service.
(4) That Plusnet works with BT using this incident as an example to identify how both parties could have messed up so badly and how they could have reduced the error finding and correcting to three days rather than four weeks.
Finally, you'll note that I refer to BT as well as Plusnet. That's because some of the blame is clearly attributable to  serious and lengthy failures by BT to resolve an apparently simple problem. But that should not excuse Plusnet, as Plusnet is currently my provider and I believe Plusnet could and should have established much more challenging and rigorous procedures in place to enforce a competent standard of performance by BT on behalf of Plusnet customers like me.  Otherwise you're getting money out of customers for old rope - and that's hardly the right thing to do, is it?

Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎13-07-2012

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

Hi there,
Glad to see that your connection is now working again. Sorry to see you had a fault for a prolonged period.
We'll certainly take onboard the feedback you've provided and pass this onto the relevant departments where necessary.
We've received your letter too and I'll make sure we get that picked up.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: 8 days without broadband service ... and counting!!!. Should I leave Plusnet?

I would personally like to thank you for your very valued feedback. I had made a note of this case and how it has been handled. I hold weekly meetings with our Faults Managers so that I can provide feedback into areas that we can improve on.
I am pleased to hear that everything is working as it should do now. I am sorry for the negative experience you have had with the broadband fault you had.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer