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Account cancellation

geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Account cancellation

Can someone please explain to me just how far in advance I should have to pay for broadband? On cancelling my account today I was asked to pay for the 6 days of next month that the broadband will be left active. Surely that doesn't become due until the normal monthly billing date?
7 REPLIES
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Account cancellation

Hiya,
When we submit a cancellation request, we'll do it 30 days in advance.  The cacellation tool that we use will then charge for those 30 days.
If there are some days that fall outside your latest billing period, it'll automatically charge those as part of the cancellation fee.
I'm not sure how other ISPs work it out, but I imagine it's fairly normal?
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Account cancellation

That's how I thought it had been worked out. Thanks for confirming it. I haven't paid it yet but I'll pay it sometime in the next month, as I suggested to the operator on the phone.
These systems are always to blame, it's never the responsibility of the people who set the systems in place. No doubt it'll be the system that will be to blame for wasting Plusnet's time automatically phoning an empty house for payment over the coming weeks. Serves it right for presuming tht I'm going to cough up when it decides it fancies early payment.  Grin
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Account cancellation

What a farce!
I found the invoice last night and it was more than I expected. I checked out the help pages and failed to see a reason so i raised a ticket. The ticket was replied to this morning but the answer did not address the question asked. I phoned in.
I have spent 25 minutes on the phone and was given so much conflicting information. I was also told the cessation charge had been cancelled. Had I left it there then there would have been serious trouble ahead but I insisted that he check that was true because the timings didn't make sense.
I've finally discovered that the operator who I spoke to yesterday made a simple mistake and got my billing date wrong. I was then under the impression that i would be charged for 6 days. He specifically  said 6 days a number of times.  So when the invoice came through I was surprised at the amount listed under "account billing" and I wanted to know what this consisted of.
Here's my ticket
Quote
I have looked at the invoice raised today and would like to know what the "account billing" figure is for. I understand the cessation charge and i understnd what "account billing" means but it doesn't explain what the account is being billed for. I was informed that the pro rata cost of the next month was for 6 days of broadband service. The figure in the invoice does not reflect that.

Here's the reply
Quote
Thank you for contacting Plusnet customer support.
Account Billing refers to your broadband subscription charge.
I understand that you have some questions and concerns about the cessation charge and I hope the answers below cover any concerns that you may have.
Q: What is this fee?
A: This fee only applies if a broadband "cease order" is made. This would only ever happen if you completely cancel the broadband service from your telephone line.
Q: What is a "cease order"?
A: A cease is when Broadband is completely removed from your telephone line by BT.
Q: Why would you charge this fee?
A: This is because BT Wholesale (a separate part of BT who supply us) are charging us for cease orders. Unfortunately, we are not able to absorb this cost.
Q: How much is the cease charge?
A: £20
Q: Who does this apply to?
A: This applies to all of our Broadband customers who have a cease placed on their line.
Q: Does this apply to migrations?
A: No. If you migrate to a different supplier using a MAC Code, there will be no cease charge.
Q: Are you giving all of your Broadband customers a notice of change to their terms and conditions?
A: Yes, we're giving all of our customers 30 days notice of the change in the emails that we've sent.
Q: What will happen to House Moves?
A: Currently, when a customer moves house, we offer to cover the cost of moving their broadband (£40) if they stay with us for a further 12 months. This has been increased to £60. This combined the cost of ceasing the service at your old address as well as placing the new order at your new house. The deferred contract will also now be for 18 months instead of 12.
Q: What happens to a customer if they leave us under the 30 days notice?
A: If you choose to leave us under the notice period, you would need to give us 30 days notice of cancellation and to pay off any outstanding deferred fees. You wouldn't be held to a fixed term contract (such as a
12 month contract) or the cessation charge.
Q: If Home Phone and Broadband is ceased, are there two charges?
A: No, the cease charge only applies to the Broadband service.

Q: What if a customer requests a cease on October 25th and we place it on November 1st?
A: We would not charge the cessation fee as the customer requested the cease before we started to charge for ceases.
Q: What if a PSTN (voice line) cease is placed on the customer's line by their telephone line supplier?
A: The £20 cease charge would still be owed because this causes a broadband cease to be placed.
Q: What would happen if a customer stopped paying their broadband fee?
A: We would try to get in touch with them, but if we were unable to do so after a number of attempts, we would have to ultimately cancel their broadband service, which would result in an extra £20 being added to their outstanding amount.
If you have any further queries concerning the due cancellation on your account, please contact our cancellations options team on 0845 140 6002, alternatively if you have any queries concerning your account in general, please contact Customer services on 0845 140 200.
Kind regards,

As you can see, this is not the reply to my question.
When I called in for the explanation I was specific about everything but the operator assumed that it ws straightforward and failed to look into it properly.
The cessation charge had, at some point, been removed by the original operator. However, this was an error and he had then raised an invoice manually. That's why the invoice was not properly itemised.
I know we can all make mistakes but this original error has led to two further serious errors. It is only because i looked up my billing date online while I was on hold that the situation became clear. I was then able to explain it ll to the customer service agent on the phone who was still flummoxed by it.
So I did all the work and saved the day. If I had left it at the point where the operator assured me that thew cessation charge had been cancelled then I could see a point where I would have been raising a small claim aginst Plusnet when they charged my account.
I've had an apology from the operator. I think it should go further. This was a major failure in communication and shows up several weaknesses in the procedures in place, one of which was very serious.
1. Dates must be double checked
2. Tickets should be read properly so that an appropriate reply can be formulated.
3. Customer service agents need to listen to the customer when they phone. They need to gather ALL the relevant information at their end BEFORE responding. Half-assed answers based on outdated account information can lead to serious misinformation.
At one point the agent on the phone quoted the period for billing as the 14th to 8th June. I had to ask him 3 times to clarify that. It was only when I pointed out that 14th - 8th June was impossible that he realised his mistake. It also shows where the original operator possibly got his 6 day figure from. Perhps you could have a simple maths lesson for all your service agents using number lines.
I don't trust the operator to pass on the full complaint so I've taken it into my own hands and laid it out in public.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Account cancellation

That's a dreadful ticket reply.
Are you free for me to call you a call at some point today?
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Account cancellation

I'm in for the next hour and would welcome a response, thank you. If it can't be in the next hour then I'll have to get back to you another time because I'm in the middle of a house move and don't know where i am from one day to the next.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Account cancellation

@ TL
Thanks for your time on the phone.
Hopefully we managed to sort a few things out ad I'll pass on your feedback regarding the terminology and lack of information that's given in the final invoice.
Good luck with the house move - I know how much of a pain it can be!
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Account cancellation

Thanks for taking the time to call, James. I hope for the sake of other customers that the necessary steps are taken to plug the gaps in the customer service department and that the changes discussed are made to the itemising of invoices.
I'm off to try and get a suite of furniture into a van without trashing my hallway.
All the best,
Phil