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A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

PaulMoran
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎21-09-2007

A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

I've been with PlusNet since October 2007, switching to them from Pipex. My package has changed over the years, of course. As at last August, it consisted of Unlimited Broadband (on a 12 months contract ending 4 September 2014) plus Home Phone Talk Evenings & Weekends (12 months Line Rental Saver (LRS) ending 4 May 2015).
I've always been reasonably happy with PlusNet. However, as the number of my wi-fi devices continued to grow (7 by July, including a smart TV, and 9 now), I decided I could no longer struggle on with 1.5Mbps ADSL, with no prospect of an early improvement. So I decided to pay a bit more for a faster service, and on 21 July I switched to Virgin's 50Mbps service, with a new ex-directory phone number. (Too many cold callers on my PlusNet number, in spite of my TPS registration.)
On 6 August I phoned PlusNet to give them the bad news. We agreed a termination date of 4 September for the broadband service (my last invoice covered the period 5 Aug to 4 Sep). I paid the £30 cessation fee (for removal of ADSL from the phone line) by credit card. I made it clear that I wanted the telephone service to continue until the LRS expired: my PlusNet inclusive calls package was better than Virgin's (which excludes evenings and 0845 calls). All done, I thought - but I was wrong.
On 5 September, PlusNet advised me that they would shortly be taking £9.99 by direct debit for my broadband service for the period 5 Sep to 4 Oct. (Remember, it was supposed to have been terminated on 4 September.) I hastily resurrected the old "termination" question, pointed out their error, and stated that I would claim a refund under the Direct Debit Guarantee if they couldn't stop the DD. Strangely, that didn't produce the expected rapid response from PlusNet, so the following day, I raised a separate Billing Query. That one worked. I got an immediate apology, and on 9 September, an update was posted: "A refund has been issued into your account. As this was paid by direct debit it should take up to 10 working days for the payment to process." That was acceptable to me, so I didn't make a DD Guarantee claim. (I'm still waiting for the refund from PlusNet, but the ten days aren't up yet.) Sorted, I thought - but I was wrong again.
On 18 September, I received 2 emails from PlusNet: one stated that my cancellation request was being completed on 18 Sept (i.e. that very day), and the other, which only mentioned broadband, stated that my product change was now complete. Thoroughly confused, I picked up the phone to call PlusNet on their free phone number - but it wasn't recognised. After several failed attempts, I posted a question instead, setting out the background, and requesting confirmation that the official termination date for my broadband service was 4 September, and that my line rental was still in operation. Reviewing my closed questions afterwards, I found a service notice, posted at 1:10pm that day, which stated: "Cancellation scheduled for Talk Evenings & Weekends Product 23314960, on 25-09-2014". I hurriedly posted an update to my question. This morning, I found out why I couldn't get through on PlusNet's free phone number on 18 September - my line had been disconnected, probably on 18 September! I've now posted another update to my question, asking PlusNet to expedite action to restore my line.
To be continued….
12 REPLIES
peteb99
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-02-2014

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

I feel your pain.    I have had similar issues.    I left Plusnet and was switched over to TalkTalk on 3rd September.
However, on 9th September the direct debit went out.  I had to chase this and was told it shouldn't have gone out, but as it had it would just be a couple of days to make sure it had cleared and they would refund me.
Surprise, surprise it's now 12 days since it incorrectly went out and no-sign of a refund.  Just a question on my account that just sits there with no update.  Once again I will have to chase them.
I feel that I have to chase everything myself with Plusnet, they never seem to do anything automatically with no involvement from me.    The online support team here are great, but I shouldn't have to keep bringing things to their attention or have to phone and wait ages for it to be answered.
In contrast to this, when I left I went with TalkTalk.  I was very hesitant to do this because of their "alleged poor service", however as 1GB broadband is coming to York through TalkTalk next year I thought it was worth giving them a chance.
I signed up on-line, got topcashback without having to chase it, got a £120 high street voucher and it is significantly cheaper than Plusnet.    They kept me fully informed all the way through with emails, I received their VDSL Super Router when they said I would.  On the day of the switchover, I plugged in the router and it worked fine.  It hasn't dropped once since then.
I was so impressed I've now taken out the £3.75 a month mobile offer for my wife - once again all done online including porting across her phone number with no problems.    I have not spoken to anyone from TalkTalk at all - this is exactly how it should be. 
MattyC
Champion
Posts: 3,192
Thanks: 161
Fixes: 46
Registered: ‎10-04-2014

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

Hi guys,
Thanks for your feedback and letting us know about your experiences.
@PaulMoran - I tried calling your mobile but the call wouldn't connect. Your line should be back on by tomorrow with it's old number (I know you received a lot of cold calls on this number, but I wasn't sure whether you wanted a new one for the interim or not). I'm sorry that you have had your line ceased. You may have encountered some objection on ticket: 91796131. Ignore that, the order has definitely been placed now.
@peteb99 - I'm glad to hear the transition was smooth, although you have left us. I'll give our billing team a nudge for you to action anything that remains on your account.
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet
PaulMoran
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎21-09-2007

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

@MattyC – Hi, and thanks for the good news about my phone line! The old number is fine, and will save me having to update various contact details - for the next 7 months, anyway. It's usually connected to an "answerphone" on permanent screen, so I don't actually talk to cold callers. Most of them don't even leave a message. I'll post a confirmation here when the line is back on.
I only bought the mobile when one of my banks changed to text messaging (by mobile) for security codes. Unless I'm actually expecting a code, or a call, it stays in a bedroom drawer, switched off to conserve battery power. I don't pay for voice mail, of course.
MattyC
Champion
Posts: 3,192
Thanks: 161
Fixes: 46
Registered: ‎10-04-2014

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

Hi Paul,
By our records, the line should be back on now.
Let me know if you have any problems.
Matty
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet
PaulMoran
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎21-09-2007

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

Hi, Matty. Yes, the line was working when I checked at 9 a.m., and I've just had my first cold call (probably - no message, and number withheld). Thanks again for sorting this out.
MattyC
Champion
Posts: 3,192
Thanks: 161
Fixes: 46
Registered: ‎10-04-2014

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

That may have been me calling it to check it worked!  Grin
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet
peteb99
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-02-2014

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

For goodness sake, now recieved this message :
Customer has migrated to an LLU provider and the account has been closed.
Broadband Migration Date: 03-09-14
Home Phone Migration Date: 03-09-14
The account balance is as follows:-
(Invoice 53644582 ) Service Charges Between 03-09-2014 to 02-10-2014 = £20.98
(£0.69 Refund due back to the customer for 01 days without service)
Final Balance: £-0.69 refunded back to customers account

Surely I should get the full £20.98 refunded as I left on 3rd September not 2nd October.
Cruise85
Grafter
Posts: 105
Registered: ‎05-08-2014

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

Hi peteb99
Sorry for the confusion caused by the ticket in question.
The ticket in question is automatically generated when the account is ceased.
I will however ensure that the additional refund is arranged for you and refunded to you shortly
Regards
Matt
peteb99
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-02-2014

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

Thanks Matt,
I have now received the correct refund.
Pete
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,872
Thanks: 1,634
Fixes: 19
Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet


                Shocked Shocked Shocked

Brings to mind the adverts.....

"We`ll do you proud"..........
PaulMoran
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎21-09-2007

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

To conclude the tale (see first post):
1. The Telephone (disconnected 18 Sept)
MattyC to the rescue! He did what the Help Desk said couldn't be done, and got my line reconnected on 23 Sept. However, on 25 Sept, I found that I couldn't log in to the member centre (to progress an outstanding ticket on overbilling). MattyC to the rescue once again. He found that my entire account, including the LRS agreement, had been cancelled. He restored the account, but resurrecting the LRS agreement was beyond even his powers, so he set up a seven-month standard line rental agreement at £15.95pm, discounted by £15.95pm.The net effect is the same as the balance of my old LRS. So far, so good: my PlusNet phone line is still working, and I haven't been billed again.
2. The Incorrect Broadband Bill (£9.99 billed after service terminated)
The Help Desk said a refund had been made on 9 Sept, but would take up to 10 working days to reach my account. On 24 Sept, I asked the Help Desk why I hadn't yet received the refund. On 27 Sept, the Help Desk replied that the refund had been initiated, but that it would take 7-10 days to reach my account. I replied immediately, pointing out that they had told me the same tale over 2 weeks ago, and stating that I would raise a formal complaint if the money was not in my account by 30 Sept. (Beats me why firms need 2 weeks - I can move money between banks in 2 minutes, using the Faster Payments System.) On 29 Sept, the Help Desk admitted that the refund had not been issued until 18 Sept, and should reach my account by 2 Oct. On 1 Oct, I checked my account before writing the complaint, and saw that the refund had, finally, arrived.
So What About The Competition?
As I said in the first post, I only moved to Virgin Media because they could offer me 50Mbps fibre broadband immediately, and I couldn't really manage any longer on PlusNet's 1.5Mbps ADSL. Virgin have kept their promise on download speed; upload turned out to be a paltry 3Mbps, which is good enough for me at present, but if I ever need more, I'd have to move to one of their higher (and more expensive) download speed services.
Their customer service has not been perfect:
- When I signed up (via Quidco), I booked a pre-installation visit online. No-one turned up. I booked another visit via the help desk. That one worked.
- My installation date was supposed to be 21 July, but they subsequently changed it to 31 July because of pressure of work. No big deal; I wasn't transferring my PlusNet line, so at no extra cost, I could keep using my PlusNet ADSL service until 4 Sept, if necessary. On 21 July, the installation team arrived. Pleased to see you, I said, but aren't you a little early? Turned out that they couldn't do their scheduled job because a cabinet was locked and they had to send for the key. One of the installers had done my pre-installation visit, and knew it would be a simple job (it took less than 1 hour), so they decided to call round on spec.
- My first bill was overstated. I was supposed to be getting a discount of £8pm for the first 6 months, but they billed me for the full £15.50pm. This was one of the rare occasions when I benefited from a computer program "error" - the help desk couldn't apply the discount code retrospectively, so they offered me their current promo of £6pm off for 12 months in lieu. Naturally, I accepted! They managed to get all the changes incorporated in the first DD. (I also got £60 back from Quidco.)
- They gave me contradictory advice on their permanent line block service (which sticks 141 in front of all dialled numbers). It's supposed to be free, but one agent said it would cost £2.75pm, and I had to try again before I found an agent who knew! Works fine now - I test it by phoning my PlusNet number. BTW, Virgin's basic inclusive calls package is not as good as PlusNet's - it excludes evenings and 0845 numbers.
- Their email forwarding service (e.g. from an alias to the main account) has been down since the end of July, because of a program glitch. Apparently it's a simple fix, but it must be at the bottom of the priority list, although the help desk won't admit it. I suppose they know they won't lose any customers over it.
MattyC
Champion
Posts: 3,192
Thanks: 161
Fixes: 46
Registered: ‎10-04-2014

Re: A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Thinking of Leaving PlusNet

Thanks for the update on this.
It's pretty interesting to see how you're faring with a different provider Smiley
Matty
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet