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Absolutely useless customer support

siddo
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-07-2014

Absolutely useless customer support

Telephone support - 60 mins wait. Who has that much spare time. So I use the ticketing mechanism. At Xmas I lost broadband for nearly a month and only got it sorted due to a kind BT engineer who went well outside the remit he was given (test line. Line test passed but he checked all the wiring to the house which was in appalling condition and replaced the lot all the way from the pole to the socket - fixed. But he shouldn't have as he has to only do what the ticket says instead of using his knowledge. Good job he was an old school engineer - told me a few horror stories about the way the engineers are timed and treated now). So got broadband back after a month with no compensation. Now I am without telephone and have been for nearly 3 weeks (ticket running at 2 weeks). Response - nothing at all, just time wasting and ticket constantly being placed on hold for no appreciable reason. They now want to send an engineer but on a weekday. I WORK!!!. I have to give a months notice for leave of which I have none left (had to use 3 days for the broadband issue). The fault is not in my house so come out anyway. USELESS. I work in IT and we have SLAs to meet. If we even delivered 10% as crap a service as this there would be multi million pound penalties to pay out. PLUSNET - you used to be good. Thats why I am still with you. What has gone wrong (new call centre wont work, get more technicians - they fix problems not the plebs on the end of the line). My account username is the same as the forum so you can find my ticket.
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,862
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

Quote from: siddo
They now want to send an engineer but on a weekday.

I could be wrong but I don't think you have the option of a weekend appointment on a home contract.  If there is nobody at home, how close to your house would an engineer be able to access your telephone wiring?  I, for example, now have a box on the outside of the house which can be used whether I am at home or not.  The problem is that if the Openreach engineer finds there is no fault at the nearest point where he/she can access your phone wiring and you are not at home to let him/her in then I think you may be subject to a charge.
siddo
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-07-2014

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

Mr Fantastic, fair point, normally. The wiring to my house is all accessible until about 2 feet from the socket. Problem is, they will want to put a test on the line (which must be working to some degree as I have broadband 95% of the time). After all the crap service I just get fed up with the onus always on the customer and it shouldn't be. They should come out first and prove they need access and not charge me. If they feel they should charge me then I should have the same privilege extended to me and if the fault is in their domain they should pay me for a days work at my rate of pay. Only fair. As I mentioned I work in IT where SLAs always favour the customer (PLUSTNET, get your spell checker sorted so that it is English and not American, Sorry MR F). I know openreach attend domestic faults at weekends as I have seen no end of visits near me (a country lane of 12 houses and one green box with a 20 house estate round the corner) on a Saturday. As a domestic customer we should not be differentiated from a business customer (who will always be in during weekdays!!). Sorry for rant but this is really annoying and symptomatic of the poor service we now accept as normal in the UK.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,862
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

My experience of Openreach engineers is:

  • They favour connecting their equipment directly to the cable wires.

  • They can be quite shy and may well start work outside the house in the hope that they never need to ring the doorbell.


I'm afraid if you have a monopoly, as Openreach do, then the SLA is likely to be the least you can get away with (without provoking Government intervention).
By the way, you are the only person on this forum who has ever indicated that they know who Reed Richards is.
siddo
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-07-2014

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

Mr F, I believe you are right concerning the SLA but I can but hope that thje customer holds some value. The thing that annoys most is that plusnet customer service used to be exemplary (pre-BT). Not blaming BT as I believe they operate autonomously with BT.org but they have completely lost it over the past few years. This, oddly coincides with the last CEO's tenure (and he gets promoted for that). I shall see out this call as it would not be fair to dump on another supplier. After that I will make a decision based on how well PLUSNET deal with my formal complaint.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,388
Thanks: 239
Fixes: 67
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

siddo,
I'm really sorry to learn about the issues you've mentioned here.
I'm ready to take ownership of dealing with this until it's resolved.
Whilst I would like to try and arrange a Saturday appointment, I need to set an expectation that these aren't the norm and that there's a good chance I may not be able to arrange one.
Are you able to make provision for someone to be available for a weekday appointment otherwise?
Beyond getting the fault fixed I'd like to review the account with you and make sure we arrange a good will gesture for your trouble.
As you may see from replies to other posts we make it's part of our role to pass on feedback be it within Plusnet or on to our suppliers so I will be making sure that happens.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
siddo
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-07-2014

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

Adam,
Thank for your prompt reply. However, this worries me a lot. Just skirting around these forums I see your name a lot which suggests a very understaffed support team.
I am sorry but I cannot get anyone available at the house on weekdays as I do not know anyone who doesn't work or who would waste a days precious holiday just to sit in waiting for an engineer. I am sure you realise that most people have relatively little holiday to use throughout the year and would like to use it for their own purposes. I have already used 3 days over Christmas for my loss of broadband (for nearly a month and not compensated for that I am aware of). I have no leave left so I simply cannot take a weekday off. I have a ticket and complaint against this issue which seem to take much longer to get updates against than this forum (odd). So, jsut to clarify (including some info from xmas that is also mentioned in the ticket updates from me).
Broadband eventually fixed at xmas involved replacement of the whole line from the pole to the socket in the house.
The socket in the house was also replaced with one that contained an internal broadband filter (as a gesture of goodwill from the BT engineer)
We currently have no telephone and a reduced broadband speed (which has also dropped out for nearly a day that I am aware of during this period 24th jun up to now with fault reported on 29th June)
Seriously disappointed with what was once very good service from PN.
In the interests of fairness I am prepared to speak to my management to get a day off work without pay if you are prepared to compensate me at my normal hourly rate. I appreciate that this is unlikely but I am trying to make the point that taking time off work to help you fix faults with your equipment costs us (the customers) money.

Cheers
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,388
Thanks: 239
Fixes: 67
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

Hi there Siddo,
Quote
Thank for your prompt reply. However, this worries me a lot. Just skirting around these forums I see your name a lot which suggests a very understaffed support team.

As per my reply here http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,129285.msg1124344.html#msg1124344
I'm part of a relatively small team outside of support that deals with issues like yours so you won't see many different staff names on here. I hope it shows in our reply that we do care and are able to resolve customer issues as well as pass feedback and improvements back into the business.
Let me see if I can get a Saturday appointment arranged, as mentioned it's unlikely (don't wish to hammer that point home I just need to be clear) so if that can't be done I'll let you know without delay so that you can speak to your employers.
Thanks a lot for your time on the phone and I'm glad we've found a way to progress this without arranging an engineer visit due to the change in the circumstances surrounding the fault.
Speak again soon.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
siddo
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-07-2014

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

Final comment as my issue has been resolved after 3+ weeks.
A month without broadband at xmas and never restored to its former glory.
3 1/2 weeks without phone and intermittent BB and finally we are back.
Logging a ticket cured the problem Huh No.
Post in forum cure the problem Huh Yes.
Phone sorted. BB back to former glory of a year ago 8.5Mbps.
Adam, Thank you.
Plusnet, No thankyou. Your formal support service is still useless. unacceptable wait time on the phone. 72 hour response times deemed acceptable is not acceptable. Especially when the update is "no update".
Much as this is very specific to my problem I feel the need to add this point. It appeared that an exchange fault was the route cause of my issue (the BB speed was config I believe). These sorts of problems should (and can) be constantly monitored in real time. You or BT should have hardware/software in place to do this and automate the raising of defects. I work in IT support and if we have an online outage of more than a minute all hell breaks loose. We have that much monitoring in place that we can see every aspect of our extremely complex infrastructure in real time (100,000+ users). It can be done. I appreciate that it costs and may be prohibitive for a consumer service but it sure would pay for itself in the end.
Ever thought of adding a fiver to a monthly bill for premium support with SLAs/guaranteed responses/short wait times on phone and agreed penalties when these are not achieved.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,388
Thanks: 239
Fixes: 67
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Absolutely useless customer support

@siddo,
Thanks for the kind words and the feedback you've given us.
Without wishing to appear to pass the buck I still wanted to explain that the main thing that delayed this issue being resolved was the fault report being left in an incorrect status. That's something we need to feed back to our suppliers about. However I feel we should have questioned this much earlier as line tests were pointing at an exchange issue in spite of the requests we were receiving to book a phone engineer to visit you. Again, I have useful feedback to run with from what's been learned here so thanks again.
Quote
You or BT should have hardware/software in place to do this and automate the raising of defects

Just to mention, and this tends to be more relevant to broadband that some tools for this are in place, however we can't catch everything that way as much as we'd like to. I can see (and hope for) support for such services moving more in that direction in the future.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team