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Appalling customer service

Anonymous
N/A

Appalling customer service

I have been with Plusnet since 2011. Last August I recontracted for 12 months with unlimited broadband at £2.50 a month. I pay for the phone line in advance with LRS.
As I am now 2 months away from the end of my broadband contract, I rang the COT yesterday to see what they could offer. The result was not good. The rep I spoke to tried to convince me that recontracting for 2 years at £5.50 a month would be a good deal for me. After I had stopped laughing he appeared to offer me instead a further 12 month contract at £2.50, but that still doesn't beat some of the current offers from alternative providers – including BT(!).
No problem, I don’t mind switching to save money. I might however have taken him up on that offer if it hadn’t been for what followed. As I was now considering leaving I asked what my early termination charge would be.
40 minutes later, I had been given 3 different figures – none of which match the figure showing in my account in the members centre, or what is shown in the new terms and conditions. And none of those match my calculations. I did ask the agent to point me to where I could find written evidence on Plusnet’s website to support (any of) the figures he had given me, but he either couldn’t or wouldn’t.
I also referred him to a ticket (#92481809) on my account which clearly says ‘to resolve your complaint I'm willing to agree that your broadband cancellation fees shouldn't exceed your total discounted subscription for that period’. It seems Plusnet are not now willing to honour his.
If I was uncertain about leaving for another ISP before I spoke to that rep, I am not now.
If that is the reality of your ‘award winning customer service’ then you need to think again.
Just HOW can I get a definitive answer as to the early termination charges which WILL apply WHEN I leave? Or is the confusion a deliberate underhand ploy to try to dissuade customers from leaving?

16 REPLIES
dsluk
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 6
Registered: 30-05-2012

Re: Appalling customer service

Good luck getting the correct answer on anything from this lot. If it helps, they matched a deal for me but only AFTER i obtained my mac code which came with an email that stated they would give me a new router and or match ANY deal currently advertised. Prior to this they would not match most deals.
Anonymous
N/A

Re: Appalling customer service

I'm really not sure why I would want to stay with Plusnet after that. Surely they should be able to confirm the early termination charge fairly quickly - an organisation which keeps me on the phone for 40 minutes and still fails to give a definitive answer which abides by an earlier agreement is not one I want to do business with.
It's interesting that their justification for early termination charges being higher than the amount remaining due under the contract is that it is, in fact, a 'foregone profit' charge... Just what profit would they 'forego'? If I leave early and pay them exactly what I would pay if I stay, surely they are 'foregoing' nothing.
What a load of [insert expletive of your choice]
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,554
Thanks: 665
Fixes: 50
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Appalling customer service

Quote
I also referred him to a ticket (#92481809) on my account which clearly says ‘to resolve your complaint I'm willing to agree that your broadband cancellation fees shouldn't exceed your total discounted subscription for that period’  It seems Plusnet are not now willing to honour his.
I don't see they have a choice, I believe Ofcom have defined 'fair' early termination charges here http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/addcharges/faq , the relevant extract is
Quote
Other (incidental) terms and charges must be fair. For charges like non-direct debit charges, this is likely to mean they should only reflect direct costs (see question 6 below). Others, like early termination charges, should also be limited (consumers who end contracts early should never have to pay more than the payments left under the contract - in fact they should often pay less, to reflect costs providers save because the contract ends early).
Anonymous
N/A

Re: Appalling customer service

Plusnet seem to believe that the OFCOM line about 'the payments left under the contract' refers to the full list price of (in my case) £9.99 a month, not the reduced price of £2.50.  I did speak to OFCOM about this last year (on an informal basis) and the guy I spoke to said PlusNet were wrong...
I, of course, am just the poor customer left in the middle.
I have raised a complaint with PlusNet, although from what I've read on the forums recently I don't expect an answer any time soon. And I'm not sure what good it will do anyway - the ticket I referred to above was the result of a complaint and yet they are apparently now going back on what they said.
Once this is all over and I am with another ISP, I will contact OFCOM again.
Gel
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,542
Thanks: 160
Fixes: 13
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Appalling customer service

Those of us on Market 1 exchanges are envious at such low costs Tongue
We also suffer low speeds, in my case 2.5mb.
Anonymous
N/A

Re: Appalling customer service

Not sure what relevance that has to this thread. Also, just because I am not on a Market 1 exchange it doesn't mean my speeds are any better!
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,554
Thanks: 665
Fixes: 50
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Appalling customer service

Quote
Plusnet seem to believe that the OFCOM line about 'the payments left under the contract' refers to the full list price of (in my case) £9.99 a month, not the reduced price of £2.50.
I really don't see how there is any way that statement can be interpreted any way other that what you would actually pay if the contract went to full term. Which appears to be what OFCOM agreed when you contacted them.
Anonymous
N/A

Re: Appalling customer service

I agree - but Plusnet staff and brick walls sometimes seem to have a lot in common...
g1000
Grafter
Posts: 186
Thanks: 1
Registered: 08-03-2014

Re: Appalling customer service

Plusnet Early Termination Charge calculator:
1) Keep rolling dice until number is bigger than true charge
2) Add your age
3) Substract the number of clouds you can see in the sky over Sheffield
4) Roll again, if you get a double 6, add a £10 bonus
5) Enter onto account
Note: if questioned about our illegal contract terms (Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999), remind the customer no-one is forcing them to leave good honest broadband from Yorkshire.
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,140789.msg1241446.html#msg1241446

Anonymous
N/A

Re: Appalling customer service

Ah, that explains it! I knew they'd have a method for working it out...
Yes, I particularly liked their clear response to when they charge a cease fee. Essentially 'we might, we might not and there's nothing you can do about it'. Maybe they put the dice down and toss a coin?
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,554
Thanks: 665
Fixes: 50
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Appalling customer service

Back in this thread http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,133728.0.html I suggested that the calculation was based on a random number generator Roll eyes
At that time it was supposedly raised as a problem for correction...
Anonymous
N/A

Re: Appalling customer service

Ah, but that was only 7 months ago - you surely didn't expect them to have dealt with it yet, did you?
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,554
Thanks: 665
Fixes: 50
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Appalling customer service

Smiley
Anonymous
N/A

Re: Appalling customer service

Thought this might give everyone a laugh... It seems the rot within BT Group goes further than PlusNet. I was considering moving to BT. I had a query so started a chat with one of their sales agents. Here's a transcript (I have removed the agent's name to protect the guilty...). Needless to say, I have now crossed BT off my list.
Quote
[bt agent]: How may I assist you with your order today?
[bt agent]: Hi
Alan: Hi [bt agent]
Alan: I am considering ordering unlimited broadband and calls - my current provider requires 14 days notice. Do you handle this so that there is no break in service?
[bt agent]: You can pass on your MAC Code at a later date to BT, you can apply now without it, simply leave the MAC Code and provider fields blank.
info: Your chat transcript will be sent to username@... at the end of your chat.
[bt agent]: You can order now and choose the dates online to match your dates
Alan: Um, I hate to say this but MAC codes are no longer used!
[bt agent]: Let me check
[bt agent]: One moment please.
[bt agent]: Yes, customer no longer need MAC to switch providers
Alan: This is not inspiring me with confidence in BT, but... Perhaps you could now answer my question: my current provider requires 14 days notice. Do you handle this so that there is no break in service?
[bt agent]: Yes, we'll do the switch over for your phone and broadband
Alan: So bearing mind that my current provider needs 14 days notice, how quickly do you inform them? I need to know this so I can choose a date for the transfer
[bt agent]: It take upto 2 weeks to switch your services to us
[bt agent]: Until then your current services with your current provider will continue
Alan: That doesn't really answer my question. According to your website I can choose the transfer date. Is that not the case?
[bt agent]: It take upto 2 weeks to switch to us, you will have an option to choose a dates on the order form if you are switch from adsl broadband to fibre, otherwise to switch from an adsl broadband to our adsl standard broadband you will be provided a switch over date and can't choose a date in that case.
Alan: Ok thanks. I think.
[bt agent]: You're welcome.
Alan: I must say that I am now very dubious about how wise it would be to switch to BT. I find it staggering that I was told I would need to give a MAC code. I suspect I need to reconsider.
[bt agent]: Ofcom has change the rules and made customers easy to switch.
Alan: Yes - something I was aware of but you, apparently, were not. Hence my doubts.
[bt agent]: Did we ask for a MAC code when you started you order?
Alan: No. You told me at the beginning of this chat that I would need one. Is there some means of me raising this with a manager?
[bt agent]: Sorry I said you don't need one.
Alan: At 19:21:57 you wrote 'You can pass on your MAC Code at a later date to BT' - it was I who said I don't need one! Is there some means of me raising this with a manager?
[bt agent]: Check again at 7:26:33 what I have written
Alan: Is there some means of me raising this with a manager?
[bt agent]: Nope, there isn't

[Moderator's note by Dick (Strat) Full email address edited in a public forum.