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Disappointed with Service

nigelroy
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 29-11-2014

Disappointed with Service

I have been a Plusnet customer on and off now for well over 10 years and had always been very happy with the level of service and the value for money. I had recommended Plusnet to family members who had also used the service and been happy with it. However my recent experience with a broadband fault has left me very disappointed and I am now very unlikely to stay and even less likely to recommend the service to others.
Our broadband service went faulty in the early hours of Monday morning, my wife contacted me to let me know and I reported the problem to Plusnet. The support engineer went through the usual process, he could see that the service had disconnected in the early hours of Monday morning and a line test showed there was a fault on the line. As is the normal process, he raised the problem with the "supplier", to be precise BT Openreach. He explained it was usual to get an expected fix time of about 48 hours and was a bit surprised to get a response that "it should be done by the following Wednesday. That was up to 10 days without a broadband service!
My first reaction was why will it take that long and that it was not an acceptable time to be left without any broadband service. He said he would try to find out why it was going to take so long.
I fully accept that as I am not a "business" customer, I will not get "instant" responses to problems but I do expect for my service to be restored within 2 or 3 days at most. If for any reason this is not possible then I expect to be given a good reason for this and not just told "that is the date BT Openreach have given us"!
I contacted support again on Tuesday as there had been no update and was again told that they would try and find out what the reasons for the delay were.
By Wednesday morning there was no further information and I was notified that my "issue" had been put on hold until the following Thursday morning!
I immediately added an update, taking it out of hold and expressing my deep concern at the lack of service and information.
By Thursday there was still no update so I raised another question expressing my dissatisfaction with the responses so far and lack of information about why the issue was going to take so long to resolve.
By Friday morning I was ready to make an official complaint if no response had been received, however I got a call from a support engineer who said BT had been in contact with them to tell them the issue had been resolved and that everything should now be working. I explained that as I was not at home I could not do anything to test this and could he contact my wife on our home phone so she could do the various required router resets.
I waited for for 20 minutes or so and called my wife to see if they had got hold of her but she said no.
So I rang her and got her to power off the router, leave it for a few minutes and then power it on again, when that did not seem to work I talked her through connecting her laptop to one of the Ethernet ports on the router. However only one of the Ethernet ports seemed to work and even when she was connected the router would not give her an IP address so we were unable to determine the status of the link. As I was unsure of what to try with the router next, I contacted support again. The support engineer said that we should try to do a factory reset on the device, again I explained that as I was not at home, could he contact my wife to talk her through doing that, he said he would. I immediately texted my wife to tell her and she responded immediately to say she was waiting. The phone call never happened!
So I checked on line and found out how to do a factory reset and contacted my wife to talk her through the process myself. However when attempting to reset the router nothing happened. She tried several times and assured me she could feel the reset button "clicking" when she pressed it, however the power light never changed colour even after over a minute.
I decided to wait until I returned home and try again myself, if that failed I would try and dig out an old router to see if I could get that to work.
When I attempted the reset myself I confirmed that it had no effect, although if I powered the router off and on whilst holding the reset button it did finally make the power button go red. Although the router took several minutes to reset itself, when it came back up again, it did not seem to be any different to before.
So today I contacted support again to explain what we had done and the results, the support engineer said he thought the router was faulty but as it was out of "warranty" it would not be replaced free of charge. We could either pay for a new one or take out another 12 month contract and they would send out a new one free of charge.
I expressed my dismay and also explained that I did not believe that it was a coincidence that the router had stopped working at the very time there was a problem with my line, either due to the line fault or something the engineers had done whilst resolving the issue. He tried to convince me that it was not possible for this to happen, however I have been a network engineer for over 20 years and experience tells me you cannot make any such guarantee.
So now I am left with a reduced service from an old router. We have been planning to take out a fibre service but now have no intention of using Plusnet due to the very poor service. Experience from friends and acquaintances, suggests that many other providers actually send routers out routinely to isolate this as a possible issue.
I do not think it is unreasonable in the age we live in, when we rely so heavily on this type of service to expect to be kept informed about issues and given reasons for delays.
Although support staff were always civil, I feel like I was being fobbed off and that I had no right to expect anything other than what I was given.
I am disappointed that Plusnet have let me down on this occasion and even though it may cost a bit more I will happily go elsewhere to get my fibre broadband service.
12 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,318
Thanks: 2,752
Fixes: 22
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Disappointed with Service

Hi Nigleroy,
Welcome to the forums, sorry to hear of your trials and tribulations.  This needs a PlusNET CRT response, however I will offer a few pence worth from my own recent experience.  All phone line faults are dealt with by BTOR irrespective of who you pay your bill to.  BTOR are extremely bad in keeping the Communications Provider (CP) - that is PlusNET in our cases - appropriately informed.
On a Tuesday afternoon in July my phone line went dead.  I called PN was answered promptly and after a 5 minute test it was confirmed that there was an external fault, got it reported and given an estimated fix for Thursday morning.  Thursday morning came, no fix, phoned PN who advised the BTOR system had estimated resolution being 18:00 Thursday.  Well it did not happen.
Contracted PN Friday morning who said they would chase.  Went out.  Standing at the bus stop I heard someone complaining about their phone being down.  I asked the question and learnt that there was a major issue in the area (under water cable damage) taking out half the village.  Long story short - in all of the attempts of PlusNET trying to get updates from BTOR, BTOR failed to report the true status of my line or the magnitude of the issue.
The phone service was restored on Monday afternoon.  On Thursday, BTOR were still reporting to PN that the phone was out of service.  PlusNET can be no better than the quality of information / service provided by BTOR.  Describing honestly the quality of service from BTOR would only invoke the swear word filter as 'cruddy' is not adequate!
Kevin
friendinneed
Grafter
Posts: 29
Registered: 28-11-2014

Re: Disappointed with Service

The problem is that most ISPs are afraid to stand up to Openreach (or can't be bothered). If you look at Andrews and Arnold aa.net.uk
, they put great pressure on Openreach on their customers' behalf, and get results
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,122
Thanks: 158
Fixes: 55
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Disappointed with Service

Hi nigelroy,
I'm really sorry about the problems you've mentioned especially relating to the calls with us this morning.
Very glad to see that the factory reset did the trick in the end and you're now reconnected.
I'm going to make sure I take a more detailed look through the notes (and listen to the calls if they were recorded) when I have more time to on Monday and will ensure some feedback is passed on where needed.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,318
Thanks: 2,752
Fixes: 22
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Disappointed with Service

Quote from: nigelroy
When I attempted the reset myself I confirmed that it had no effect, although if I powered the router off and on whilst holding the reset button it did finally make the power button go red. Although the router took several minutes to reset itself, when it came back up again, it did not seem to be any different to before.
So today I contacted support again to explain what we had done and the results, the support engineer said he thought the router was faulty but as it was out of "warranty" it would not be replaced free of charge. We could either pay for a new one or take out another 12 month contract and they would send out a new one free of charge.
...
So now I am left with a reduced service from an old router.

Adam,
Though the OP did in the end manage to do a factory reset, as I read the (rather solid) post did NOT resolve the issue.
Kevin
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Disappointed with Service

That was my understanding as well Townman
Quote from: nigelroy
Although the router took several minutes to reset itself, when it came back up again, it did not seem to be any different to before.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Disappointed with Service

nigelroy
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 29-11-2014

Re: Disappointed with Service

As has already been mentioned, I was not able to get my Plusnet router to reset. I have some sort of service from an old router but it does not seem to be reliable, I can see that the connection had already dropped a couple of times so am not sure how long it will last.
Thanks to the guys who have responded to my post and I appreciate you being more on the ball than I was.
I am well aware that BT Openreach are the main problem here but of course we are unable to complain to them!
It seems to me that Openreach have no concept of customer service and it is about time the ISPs started making more of a fuss about it.
We rely so much on our Internet connections these days and this has to be taken into account, 10 years ago losing your connection for a few days was inconvenient now it is a lot worse than that.
If ISPs do not understand this, it is about time they did and started showing customers that they care when an issue is not resolved in a reasonable time.
Nigel
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,122
Thanks: 158
Fixes: 55
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Disappointed with Service

Quote
As has already been mentioned, I was not able to get my Plusnet router to reset


Sorry to hear that, can you describe what happens when you try this please?
i.e do the lights on the router not change as per what's described here: http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/hardware/technicolor-582n-faqs.shtml#factoryReset
It sounds like we may need to replace the router but I just wanted to find out a little more about the issue first.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Disappointed with Service

Quote from: nigelroy
When I attempted the reset myself I confirmed that it had no effect, although if I powered the router off and on whilst holding the reset button it did finally make the power button go red. Although the router took several minutes to reset itself, when it came back up again, it did not seem to be any different to before.
nigelroy
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 29-11-2014

Re: Disappointed with Service

Hi Adam,
From what I can tell and have been told, it seems the router is coming up enough to connect to the at the DSL level but not the PPP level. I surmised this from what the support engineers said to me whilst I was talking with them.
As I understand it, when there is a line problem, BT can send a command down the line to make the router "forget" it's PPP information, this prevents it from constantly trying to re-connect to the service whilst they resolve the issue. When the issue is fixed, the router can be factory reset and your TR069 service will pick it up and restore the "default" configuration parameters necessary for it to come up "normally".
To me it seems that when the router was made to forget it's PPP username and password, something caused the configuration to go into a weird state. I believe all the hardware works, however, the router does not seem to have either it's original or the default IP address so I am unable to communicate with it and check it out. Also the reset procedure does not work correctly as I explained above. Holding the reset button in for a minute does not give any reaction. The lights on the router suggest it has booted but only 1 of the Ethernet ports is operational, the WiFi is present, but no IP addresses are given out. I know all the Ethernet ports come up whilst it is trying to boot but at some point all but the first re disabled.
Support engineers have already told me they think the router is faulty but cannot send me a new one because it is "out of warranty".
To make matters worse, I took over this account from my daughter, who had moved back into the family home temporarily and was tied into this account. When she moved out we agreed to take this over as it seemed easier than going through the hassle of another move and us taking out a new service. We asked at the time if we could transfer the account into my name but were told it was not really necessary and it was quite difficult to do and because I was an authorized person it made no difference. Now I am told that because I am not the "account holder" I can't get a new router or get released from the contract, without getting my daughter involved.
Fortunately my daughter lives close by so hopefully at the weekend we can both shout at someone and get something sorted out one way or another but it is yet another nail in the coffin of Plusnet as far as I am concerned - someone will have to come up with a spectacular deal to convince me it is worth persevering!
Nigel
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Disappointed with Service

Nigel, as far as the account holder's name etc goes, get your daughter on the case and get it changed into your name. Plusnet seem good at giving conflicting advice on this topic - it will make a big difference if you ever want to leave!
As far as the modem/router goes, it sounds like the possibility of the firmware having been corrupted, and you may have some luck reflashing it (do it off-line).
But before you try - If you log into it as it - what Software variant is it? and has it got a USB socket? And what OS are you using?
nigelroy
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 29-11-2014

Re: Disappointed with Service

Hi Anotherone,
Yes we will attack the account holder problem over this weekend I hope.
As far as the router is concerned, that was my opinion as well, however as it stands I have no way of accessing the router to do anything to it. It does not give out IP addresses or respond on either the address I had configured or the default address.
This morning I tried doing a wireshark trace while it was booting but saw nothing from it at all. I have no idea what software it was running and it doesn't have a USB port.
If there is some magic process to bring it back to life by re-flashing firmware I am happy to give it a go, I have both Linux(Xubuntu) and Windows 7 on my PC.
Thanks
Regards Nigel