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Contacting you by email

mariek
Grafter
Posts: 31
Registered: 22-11-2010

Contacting you by email

Like a lot of other large organisations (including your parent company, BT), you flout UK online trading regulations by not displaying an email address and instead we have to jump through a load of hoops and irrelevant questions (you don't even have a "non of the above" option).  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  Angry
I had a question, that I wanted to ask and instead have had to post it on the forum.  Good customer service my Lancashire a**e!
33 REPLIES
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: Contacting you by email

Presumably (based on what you just posted) you wanted this option:
https://www.plus.net/wizard/?p=wizard&page=22879&wizard_id=38
In my opinion it is so much better to do this via tickets than email. Emails are going to be more prone to getting lost in spam filters or incorrectly assigned to somebody who is unable to help you.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Contacting you by email

Also the ticket system keeps all the history of the request/problem/fault, is linked to your account and is viewable by lots of different departments within plusnet - meaning the issue can be resolved much quicker. Email would reside in a mailbox full of other emails from customers making finding the details and history almost impossible.
Also emails can get lost, tickets can't.
198kHz
All Star
Posts: 3,357
Thanks: 341
Fixes: 9
Registered: 30-07-2008

Re: Contacting you by email

Personally I'm happy with the phone and ticket systems, for the reasons mentioned above.
It appears, though, that the OP is correct, as outlined here.
Quote
Minimum information to be provided
Service providers, whether involved in e-commerce or not, should provide the following minimum information, which must be easily, directly and permanently accessible:
    The name of the service provider must be given somewhere easily accessible on the site. This might differ from the trading name and any such difference should be explained – e.g. "XYZ.com is the trading name of XYZ Enterprises Limited."
    The email address of the service provider must be given. It is not sufficient to include a 'contact us' form without also providing an email address.
Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Contacting you by email

I suspect that this isn't entirely correct otherwise Ebuyer would be in trouble http://static.ebuyer.com/customer/help/index.html?action=Y29udGFjdF91cw==
and BT only appear to include a contact form not an email address http://bt.custhelp.com/app/contact_email/c/5642,5651
198kHz
All Star
Posts: 3,357
Thanks: 341
Fixes: 9
Registered: 30-07-2008

Re: Contacting you by email

Rules is rules, Jim, even if they're not being enforced.
The UK's E-Commerce Regulations are unequivocal -
Quote
  The email address of the service provider must be given. It is not sufficient to include a 'contact us' form without also providing an email address.
Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
mariek
Grafter
Posts: 31
Registered: 22-11-2010

Re: Contacting you by email

I understand the advantages of a ticket system and if there was a simple form that created a ticket, in ONE step, then fine.  Saying that tickets always get through, but emails don't actually isn't true - a ticket is simply an email delivered in another way.
Plus my point really was the large online traders in the UK flout the legal requirements (thanks for the post 4C), which is that an email address legally has to appear on the site (and not hidden away somewhere where it can't be found).  I'm a web designer and it leads to a much greater online problem, which is that dodgy traders set up online and ignore all the legal requirements because "if BT don't do it, why should I"? 
I'd be interested to have a response from a senior manager on this topic.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Contacting you by email

Hi guys,
We don't use email because:
a) Emails get lost
b) It's not accountable
We use our ticket system to allow us to document *everything* on our customers accounts to ensure that the history is as accurate as possible. It also means you can see it too.
I'll flag the UK eCommerce regulations to the relevant people.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 902
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Contacting you by email

Set up a mailbox with an auto-responder that sends an email which redirects them to https://www.plus.net/wizard/
Simples!
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)
198kHz
All Star
Posts: 3,357
Thanks: 341
Fixes: 9
Registered: 30-07-2008

Re: Contacting you by email

There are two separate issues here.
1. For faults, queries, billing, and any other operational aspect of one's PN account, the ticket system is ideal. Accountable, referenced and auditable.
2. If anyone, customer or not, wishes to contact Plusnet plc on a matter of company policy, strategy, or, say, a complaint about their advertising etc, an email address should be provided on the company's website. The law plainly says so.
Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Contacting you by email

4C,
I'm not going to get into an argument about what the law says or not (I know you're not arguing here and merely stating facts...) as I'm not qualified to do so, but those sort of things would probably be best addressed by raising a complaint via the help assistant.
Having an email address on our website would get spammed to high heaven and I don't personally see why not having an email address would prohibit someone from raising one of the issues you have presented in your post above.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Contacting you by email

Quote from: 4C
Rules is rules, Jim, even if they're not being enforced.
The UK's E-Commerce Regulations are unequivocal -
Quote
  The email address of the service provider must be given. It is not sufficient to include a 'contact us' form without also providing an email address.

That isn't the law it is their interpretation of it and despite a bit of digging I haven't found a law or regulation which says that
mariek
Grafter
Posts: 31
Registered: 22-11-2010

Re: Contacting you by email

I'm going to raise a complaint via the ticket system and will post the reply on here, as this is something that everyone is entitled to know.  I already have a pretty good idea of what the response will be, having already contacted many organisations about this - both large and small.  
Yes, you'll get spammed.  So does my business.  But I'm running a business online that accepts payments, so getting spammed is tough - I want to be legal.  It's also a legal requirement to show a physical postal address (not a PO Box), which I really don't like, as I work from home and feel that my address is my business.  However, again it's a legal requirement in the UK, so I do it.  
"I don't personally see why not having an email address would prohibit someone from raising one of the issues you have presented in your post above" is not the point!!!
I don't personally see why companies don't adhere to Ecommerce regulations.  
I also don't personally see why the government subsidises the development of ultra high speed broadband from the taxes I pay, when the companies who supply broadband are making huge profits each year, but that's another story.
Don't think I'm having a go at PlusNet here, as other than intermittently slow speeds (especially on a Friday), and your failure to adhere to online trading legal requirements, I think you're fine.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Contacting you by email

didnt dig hard enough jim. the link was on the first page of the original link
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/2013/regulation/6/made
Quote
The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002You are here:2002 No. 2013

General information to be provided by a person providing an information society service6.—(1) A person providing an information society service shall make available to the recipient of the service and any relevant enforcement authority, in a form and manner which is easily, directly and permanently accessible, the following information—(a)the name of the service provider;
(b)the geographic address at which the service provider is established;
(c)the details of the service provider, including his electronic mail address, which make it possible to contact him rapidly and communicate with him in a direct and effective manner;
(d)where the service provider is registered in a trade or similar register available to the public, details of the register in which the service provider is entered and his registration number, or equivalent means of identification in that register;
(e)where the provision of the service is subject to an authorisation scheme, the particulars of the relevant supervisory authority;
(f)where the service provider exercises a regulated profession—
(i)the details of any professional body or similar institution with which the service provider is registered;
(ii)his professional title and the member State where that title has been granted;
(iii)a reference to the professional rules applicable to the service provider in the member State of establishment and the means to access them; and
(g)where the service provider undertakes an activity that is subject to value added tax, the identification number referred to in Article 22(1) of the sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the member States relating to turnover taxes—Common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment(1).
(2) Where a person providing an information society service refers to prices, these shall be indicated clearly and unambiguously and, in particular, shall indicate whether they are inclusive of tax and delivery costs.
mariek
Grafter
Posts: 31
Registered: 22-11-2010

Re: Contacting you by email

And a basic guide to The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002 No.2013) can be found here - relevant info on page 8
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file14640.pdf