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Broadband Fault Handling - could do better.........

Wessex101
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 31-01-2009

Broadband Fault Handling - could do better.........

I know that it is not until you have a problem you really know how good a company’s service is. So after a couple years faultless ADSL connection I have just had the opportunity to enjoy Plusnet’s service. Here is my experience......
Last Friday my internet connection died; I tried 3 different routers, 2 computers and direct connection to the “Master Socket”. So I was pretty confident that the problem was not mine. A week has passed without ADSL and then coincident with a message (from Plusnet) that BT wanted to send an engineer (at a potential cost of £170 if no fault found) service was restored this morning. Hurrah.
So what did I think of “customer service”?
The good things:
UK based staff were courteous and did not sound as if they came from the call centre located on the planet Zarg.
The longest time in the queue was 10 minutes.
Standard rate phone calls.
Free phone backup dial up account for duration of fault (although you need to be pretty desperate to use this given the speed of dial up).
Fault reporting web pages recording activity.
SMS updates.
The less good things……………….
FAULT HANDLING PROCESS
The fault reporting pages on the web indicate activity not necessarily progress; It is difficulty to understand what is actually been done. Statements like “ I am forwarding your ticket to the correct department to be addressed” don’t convey any meaning. It would better to say for example “ we are asking BT to check x or y”. I got somewhat frustrated after week of activity (some of which did not seem very logical) and seemly little progress. It would be interesting to see the fault finding tree used to handle these sorts of problems.
BT
At one point a BT (open reach) engineer came to the house unannounced to check the voice line – he was not a broadband engineer and did not know the problem was a broad band fault – although he was able to say there was no board band service on the line.
So there seems to be a problem communicating with BT and also BT don’t seem to use technology to communicate with their staff. It is a bit disappointing that the regular BT engineers don’t have the kit to do basic Broadband tests - not much Plusnet can do about that.
In conclusion:
Now back on line – don’t know why the line failed in the first place and don’t know what was done to make it recover. Probably a problem at the exchange.
Overall rating of Plusnet handling of the problem ……7/10 (could do better!). 




6 REPLIES
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,792
Thanks: 239
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Broadband Fault Handling - could do better.........

It's seems likely that the voice engineer swapped the pair of wires going into your house for another.
If the same was done at the exchange, it probably fixed things (for an indefinite time).
Note:-
If you ever get another broadband problem, it's worth taking a few easy steps:-
Dial 17070 and take option 2 (Quiet line test).
Ideally you should use a corded phone plugged into the master socket.
If you can hear any hiss/hum/etc then you probably have a definite line fault.
Dial 151 and say there's noise on your line (even if there isn't)  Smiley
If asked about your broadband, say it's working fine. Try not to use the word broadband.
BT can do a simple test (time about one minute) which will reveal obvious problems.
Don't leave a voice problem situation - tell them everything is O.K. - (unless they have found a fault).
A registered voice fault can stop PlusNet progressing a broadband issue with your line.
Both calls are free numbers.

Wessex101
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 31-01-2009

Re: Broadband Fault Handling - could do better.........

Thanks for your comments.
The line swap explanation would fit - indeed I suspected that something like that was the case. Do you know if this was the case or is this an educated guess? Does this happen often?
I'll make a note of the BT tests just in case I have problems in the future.
Thanks for your reply.

VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,792
Thanks: 239
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Broadband Fault Handling - could do better.........

It was done for me by a BT engineer a couple of weeks ago, because he said he was going to "swap a pair for me".
It took him several hours, but this was a genuine voice fault.
The call to 151 enabled BT to locate the fault as being in an underground cable.
So they didn't want to fix it unless they really had to (many people without telephone service).
My phone works fine, but I still have issues with my broadband (before and after the pair swap).
I've since repeated the 151 call - clutching at straws - but BT now report no cable faults.
I don't know how often BT do this kind of thing - I suspect it might take two engineers (one at each end) to do this.

Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Broadband Fault Handling - could do better.........

1) Not uncommon when there are spare pairs, 2) Not normally, one guy/girl does it all.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,656
Thanks: 883
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Broadband Fault Handling - could do better.........

I thought it was fairly common when there were not spare pairs, the BT engineer just swaps two peoples lines over and hopes he gets  away with it.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Broadband Fault Handling - could do better.........

BT are usually the ones that let the side down, no matter what ISP you are with.
When DSL Max first became available in my area I ordered a connection upgrade from the ISP I was then with.
Within 24 hours I had an upgrade date, I was off on upgrade day and so started up my PC expecting a burst of speed (as had been on 512 upto then) , all I got was a flashing red ADSL light on my USB modem.
Ring up my ISP and ask them whats happening, they do a check and see there's an issue and that BT are trying to reseat the line card.
I try the connection later, still nothing, next day ring the ISP again and am told that notes from BT say the line card has failed and they are awaiting a speare (as a network services company don't they retain spares and have the engineers carry them in case there is an issue when doing work at the exchange?)
Weekend passes and I check my connection on the Monday, still nothing, rings ISP from work, told BT still waiting for spare.
Gets to Wednesday and I ring again and politely express my frustration, chap at ISP agrees and says they will get an ADSL provisioning engineer to chase and call me back.
Calls me back an hour later and tells me that BT deny fault ever existed and has been closed on their end but ISP still have fault open and they will chase with BT senior management
Connection recivers of its own accord on friday and I get a months free BB.