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Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

drj
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Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

In late June I reported: "My speed has dropped to little over half what it's been for the last year or so - I rebooted the router yesterday but that's made no difference - speed today is 2.27Mbps - previous results attached" (which showed just over 4Mbps normally).
PlusNet eventually responded "I have just completed testing your broadband again, part way through testing i have noticed a fault that registers as being on your phone line. Now although i am 100% sure that there is no fault on the actual phone line, the type of faults only shows up there. It is what is known as High Resistance Imbalance, this usually occurs from a faulty Micro/ADSL Filter or the router itself. Having read the notes i am unable to determine whether a new router has been tried. If not please could you try an alternate router on the line and contact us back so we can test to see if this has rectified the issue. If not and the same fault still shows then we will need to arrange for an Openreach engineer to attend and test the line. "
I responded to point out that I didn't have a spare router (only the previous obsolete 11 year old one) - few people would - and stating "I'm sure you realise that I, as an ordinary home computer user, don't have "spare" routers lying around just waiting to be plugged in to test a line. I currently use an Asus DSL-N55U modem bought less than two years ago which cost nearly £100 at the time. Is there any way I can actually test it to see if it might be faulty? ... I had a new sealed filter (Tesco branded) so in the first instance I've replaced the ZyXEL one with that one. Perhaps you can see whether that's made any difference? I'm sure you can appreciate I'm reluctant for an Openreach engineer to attend unless absolutely necessary since if it is a fault internally I pay a high price. I would also have to fit it in around work commitments."
I subsequently noted "I picked the router up today - it's running EXCEEDINGLY warm - almost too hot to touch. Does that perhaps point to a problem with it?"
The response was "A router being too hot to touch can be a sign of it having developed a fault so it might be worth trying the other router, though due to its age, it might not be compatible with ADSL 2+." I knew it wasn't and couldn't see the point in so doing.
I responded "I've found the router is sometimes much hotter than others - so I've reluctantly concluded there's a fault with it. Disappointing that an expensive router fails at less than two years old." I thus bought a new router and advised "I have now installed a new router. Are you able to up my speed now please?"
Four days later during which time PlusNet hadn't responded I advised "When I touched the router I found it was dangerously hot – just like the old one was getting.    Questions:  1. Why is my router getting almost too hot to touch?  2. The fact that this router is now doing the same as the old one suggests there's perhaps nothing wrong with the old one and I have needlessly spent £95 (after Plusnet suggested it was faulty) for nothing?"
By this point the speed, which had been down to 2Mbps when I reported the problem, had dropped to as low as 0.17Mbps at times. Hopeless!
Eventually PlusNet got back to me stating "As per our conversation, we need to arrange an engineer visit as no network related fault has been located. ... Although it is not vital at this stage, it would be beneficial to ensure your router is working correctly. The easiest way to do this is to take the router to another person's house with a broadband connection, it doesn't matter which provider they are with. Just plug the router into their line to see if the broadband or DSL light comes on. Please note if an engineer visits your premises and the fault is found to be caused by your equipment, internal wiring or as a result of damage to BT equipment a charge of £50 will apply. "
I responded "You didn't mention testing the router elsewhere when we spoke. As you know it's a brand new router so it should work - and clearly I'm getting a connection. Since the light's coming on and staying on here what benefit would be obtained by seeing that elsewhere?"
Plusnet did some more monitoring and reported "No performance issues have been identified in the BTW network. Line is stable, stats do show a problem on 9th and 10th with lowered sync rate and high retrains. Although line is currently stable, underlying issue appears to be effecting line."
Subsequently I was advised "As per my message, to investigate your line issue further, we need to arrange a engineer visit. We are able to do this now as the line tests we have completed haven't been able to pinpoint the reason for the problem."
However when the Openreach engineer arrived, he plugged his test equipment into the test socket and immediately determined there was a problem with the line - I reported back: "He says the problem was in the cable between the cabinet and the exchange. He's switched me onto another one and the connection speed is presently 6215Kbps though he says this will drop slightly shortly. A Speedtest.net check shows 2Mbps currently but he says that will rise in a few days time. He didn't find any problems in the house". He also said to me he couldn't see how PlusNet could test a line from a desk...
I eventually now have an excellent 5+Mbps connection - and presumably will not have to pay the £50 callout charge - but because I interpreted what Plusnet were advising as there definitely being a problem in my house (thus wanting to resolve it without an Openreach visit which I would have to pay for) and probably a problem with the router, I am now out of pocket by the cost of the new equivalent router - £95.
Not impressed by the financial loss - nor by the fact that PlusNet seemed to pass it from person to person all the time.
17 REPLIES
EnglishMohican
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

While I would love it to be true that you did have a claim for compensation, I do not think that you stand a cat in hells chance of getting any. Sorry
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

You will not have to pay the call out, but BB is provided on "best effort" so no guarantees.
drj
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

Perhaps I'll just submit one in the absence of any PN feedback.
gcrow77
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: 19-11-2011

Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

I would recommend a written complaint followed by a letter before court action if they failed to pay for the new router.  They could be quite easily supplied one of their own routers for you to test on the line and given you a pre-paid label with which to return it afterwards.
drj
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

Since no one from PlusNet has contributed to this topic I've raised a question
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

I'm sorry you didn't get a response.
We aim to respond to as many threads as we can. Unfortunately sometimes the odd one gets missed, this doesn't mean we're avoiding you.
What you've mentioned is more relevant to the complaint you raised and I'll leave it in the capable hands of the CRT agent that's been assigned to it.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
drj
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

Sorry but this seems to be rather like "pass the buck" - I hope you won't mind me repeating the text from the response I've had to the ticket I've raised:
Good afternoon, thank you for taking your time in raising this complaint. I can see that an agent has responded to your forum post, please allow me to apologise that this has not been responded to sooner. I reading through the post and looked in to you account. I can see that your service is now working fully. I apologise that you feel as though you have been mislead in needing a new router. However, we try to rule any possibilities which could stop your services from working before sending an engineer to your property. If we did not rule out every possibility before sending an engineer you could unnecessary be charged for the visit.
To be honest neither your response or the ticket response go any way at all to addressing the basic issues - that PlusNet reckoned the line was working, that Plusnet suggested the fault lay in my house, that PlusNet suggested my router was faulty, whereas the Oopenreach engineer immediately suggested the line was at fault and the fault was quickly traced to the line between cabinet and exchange.
The cost of the new router - equivalent to the old one in terms of functionality except for being "ac" rather than just "n" was virtually the same as a complete year's worth of internet access at PlusNet.  An engineer's visit would have been cheaper if indeed the fault had lain here
The only good to come out of it is that I now have a really stable internet service that's faster than my neighbours - but at a cost...
drj
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

I think next time there's a problem I'll immediately insist on an engineer's visit rather than prevaricate and suffer a month's diabolical internet connection...
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

If you haven't closed your complaint ticket, you could respond further to it along the lines of your reply #7. I note the following from your OP
Quote from: drj
PlusNet eventually responded "I have just completed testing your broadband again, part way through testing i have noticed a fault that registers as being on your phone line. Now although i am 100% sure that there is no fault on the actual phone line, the type of faults only shows up there. It is what is known as High Resistance Imbalance, this usually occurs from a faulty Micro/ADSL Filter or the router itself.

A CSC agent, never mind a trained faults agent, CAN'T possibly know if that is definitively the case. The problem can equally be caused by a line fault (even internal wiring). The agent should have never have given the impression that those were the only possibilities.
Quote from: drj
The response was "A router being too hot to touch can be a sign of it having developed a fault so it might be worth trying the other router, though due to its age, it might not be compatible with ADSL 2+." I knew it wasn't and couldn't see the point in so doing.
I responded "I've found the router is sometimes much hotter than others - so I've reluctantly concluded there's a fault with it. Disappointing that an expensive router fails at less than two years old." I thus bought a new router and advised "I have now installed a new router. Are you able to up my speed now please?"

Wrong. As your speeds were well down, well below the ADSL1 maximum sync rate, your older device should have been tried. As for checking your "sync" speeds, did the agent ever advise you to look at your modem/router DSL stats before and after you swapped things about.  At the end of the day, unless your sync speed is right, your throughput speeds will suffer.
Quote from: drj
By this point the speed, which had been down to 2Mbps when I reported the problem, had dropped to as low as 0.17Mbps at times. Hopeless!
Eventually PlusNet got back to me stating "As per our conversation, we need to arrange an engineer visit as no network related fault has been located. ... Although it is not vital at this stage, it would be beneficial to ensure your router is working correctly. The easiest way to do this is to take the router to another person's house with a broadband connection, it doesn't matter which provider they are with. Just plug the router into their line to see if the broadband or DSL light comes on.
I responded "You didn't mention testing the router elsewhere when we spoke. As you know it's a brand new router so it should work - and clearly I'm getting a connection. Since the light's coming on and staying on here what benefit would be obtained by seeing that elsewhere?"

Quite right, even without looking at the stats, that was obvious. This to me further indicates the inadequate training that the CSC agent(s) dealing with this have had.
Quote from: drj
Plusnet did some more monitoring and reported "No performance issues have been identified in the BTW network. Line is stable, stats do show a problem on 9th and 10th with lowered sync rate and high retrains. Although line is currently stable, underlying issue appears to be effecting line."
Subsequently I was advised "As per my message, to investigate your line issue further, we need to arrange a engineer visit. We are able to do this now as the line tests we have completed haven't been able to pinpoint the reason for the problem."

On the engineer visit
Quote
...... he couldn't see how PlusNet could test a line from a desk...

Whilst the engineer's remark isn't 100% correct, unfortunately there limitations to remote line testing. Clearly the type of fault he actually found did not show in detail on the remote test. At the outset, it should have been suggested that you try an alternative filter and modem/router to eliminate those as possibilities, and in the absence of another modem(/router) - which you did have - the suggestion could have been made to try your current modem/router in another location with a good broadband connection, and to check the DSL stats when doing so.
As an aside
Quote from: drj
I had a new sealed filter (Tesco branded) so in the first instance I've replaced the ZyXEL one with that one.

What does this Tesco branded filter look like - does the Microfilter look similar to this? If it looks similar in shape to this type 1 old style modem filter, it is likely to be of poorer quality compared to your ZyXEL one, unless that has actually gone faulty, that would give you lower sync speeds than you might otherwise get.
If you post your full DSL stats (ie. include sync speed, attenuation, SNRM & ideally errors) we might be able to indicate if you are getting the optimum performance. Also note when going to swap things about, ideally log into the modem/router interface and click Disconnect to drop the PPP Internet session, before pulling the power plug to cease sync, otherwise just pull the power plug. Do not just unplug it (or the filter) from the line until at least half a minute after the power plug has been pulled, otherwise the DLM could see this as a dropped connection.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

Well I've just stumbled across your other thread about your speed issues (whilst looking for something completely different), a link to it at the start of this thread might have been handy for anyone that initially contributed here
I saw a picture of the "Tesco" filter. Your ZyXEL one may do slightly better in terms of sync speed, it's a suck it and see job. Change it in daytime using the method mentioned above and see if your downstream sync speed is any better. And unless it has been done already, you need your upstream uncapping.
drj
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

Thank you for your contributions - apologies for the delayed response. Essentially I'm perfectly happy with the end result. My speed is now faster than it was before and others in the village were envious I was getting 4Mbps rather than the 2Mbps norm - so now I've got 5.5Mbps they'll be clamouring to know how. I'm not using a filter any more - didn't realise until thinking it through that I didn't need one. And the upstream speed is not really relevant since I hardly upload anything that needs a faster speed. This topic was merely about compensation. The main issue is the cost of the new router that I'm really disappointed PlusNet seem to be washing under the carpet.
The moral of the story - think through everything PlusNet representatives say to you to try and determine if it's valid and take independent advice where possible. The problem is if I switch are any other services better in this respect?
Community Veteran
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

That is the debatable point and it can always a bit of a trade-off.  At present, the balance is very fine, the standard of Plusnet service in general has gone right down IMHO. However, the Plusnet CRT members that we get on the forum very often make up for the shortcomings elsewhere and as long as that continues, Plusnet may have a chance at saving face Undecided
drj
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

Yes -  I really benefit from the contributions of you and other experts on this forum. Hate to think what TalkTalk is like.
drj
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Re: Do I have a justified claim for compensation?

The latest response from Support:
"Thank you for getting back to us.
I am sorry to see that you are dissatisfied with my colleague's response. Unfortunately, I can really only reiterate what she has said, in that we do need to rule out internal equipment as a cause for the issue. The reason for this is that engineer visits can often be disruptive, so we try to avoid sending them out when the problem can be fixed quickly without one. Furthermore, and £50 charge applies if the engineer does go out and find that your equipment is that cause of the problem. Once again, I am very sorry if you feel that you have been misled.
If you are happy with this response and feel no further action is required, please don't reply to this ticket, as it will close automatically after 14 days of inactivity.
Complaints such as yours help to make our company better, and help us to improve our practices and provide a better customer experience. We take all of your comments into the highest consideration, making sure that we learn from the mistakes we've made to bring you the best in future
."
I suppose no one from PlusNet on here wishes to comment as to what the last sentence means in this instance.