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Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Superuser
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Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

I stumbled across this rather old post from Kelly in respect of Andy's predecessor...
Quote from: Kelly
Openreach and Wholesale are effectively different companies.   Jamie is specifically restricted from having influence over how Openreach and Wholesale conduct their business. 

Is this really true?
Is it really the case that this commercial organisation cannot (by Ofcom rules?) influence the poor performance of its supplier - because it is another part of the BT group?  I was told recently by an agent that PlusNET cannot be seen to be exposing the failings of BTOR even when that is clearly the case.
Kelly seems to be confirming the belief that PlusNET being part of the BT group is actually detrimental to their customers.  I would welcome assertion that this is not the case by examples of how Andy is holding BTw & BTOR to account for their abysmal service delivered to PlusNET customers.
I'm the first to recognise that forums such as this will be biased towards issues, but it is the issue situations by which all service providers are measured / perceived.
I think users would be most reassured to hear what success Andy is having addressing these issues with his suppliers for the benefit of his customers.
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Sometimes, when I read things, I have to work out how to interpret them in such a way so that they are correct, figuring out what whoever said it meant, or filling in the missing parts of an explanation so that it makes sense.
I guess it was supposed to mean that the CEO of Plusnet doesn't have any more influence on Openreach and BTWholesale than the CEO of any other ISP. There's no special treatment because Plusnet are wholly owned by BT Group.
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

basically openreach cannot be seen to give any of its sister companies preference.
This can as kelly said work against the likes of plusnet as openreach would then make an effort to be seen as not making a preference.
I hope that helps.
Its about like going over the top with political correctness e.g. such as the police deliberately employing ethnic minorities to prove they not racist.
I remember when I first got FTTC, an email to the BT group CEO and my 2 month install lead time changed to a few weeks, then suddenly on tbb reps of other isp's were complaining about the preferred treatment I got (was a BT infinity customer at the time).
Superuser
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Quote from: ejs
supposed to mean that the CEO of Plusnet doesn't have any more influence on Openreach and BTWholesale than the CEO of any other ISP.

Quote from: Kelly
Jamie is specifically restricted from having influence over how Openreach and Wholesale conduct their business. 

Hi ejs,
Kelly's reference to "specific restriction" and the statement from an agent that PlusNet (as an equal unflavoured ISP?) cannot be seen to decrying BTW/BTOR, sounds to me (as suggested by chrcoluk) to be "more correct" than is necessary and therefore not good for PlusNet customers.  I read Kelly's words as this is specific to PlusNet's CEO and is more restrictive than other ISP CEOs.
As ever, I would welcome evidence which shows differently, that PlusNet is indeed berating BTw/BTOR for their persistent failures.
MattyC
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

I think that Kelly was trying to say that we don't have any advantage being part of the BT group. However, this does not mean that we are at a disadvantage either.
With regards to holding BT Wholesale and Openreach to account, this is something that does happen. I wouldn't expect us to be publicly expressing the specifics of this to our customers, as the processes and systems we have in place for feedback are purely internal.
Bear in mind that whilst we are your service provider, and that we are doing our level best to provide you the best service possible, it's not Plusnet's obligation to tell you how their dealings work with other parties such as Openreach, BT Wholesale etc.
Matty
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet
Superuser
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Quote from: MattyC
Bear in mind that whilst we are your service provider, and that we are doing our level best to provide you the best service possible, it's not Plusnet's obligation to tell you how their dealings work with other parties such as Openreach, BT Wholesale etc.
Matty

I totally support your assertion Matty.   But I also believe that the majority of customers would expect a perception that behind the scenes  there is a concerted effort to improve BTOR and BT Wholesale response to problems.  It does appear from many Plusnet support responses that poor results from escalation to BT is both tolerated and expected as the norm.  Highlighting a few of the *WIN* situations would help adjust client expectations - are there any you can share?
Maurice
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Quote from: MattyC
we are doing our level best to provide you the best service possible, it's not Plusnet's obligation to tell you how their dealings work with other parties such as Openreach, BT Wholesale etc.

Hi Matty,
Thank you for your considered reply.  I have no doubt that on a day by day basis, front line PlusNet staff are doing more than their level best to deliver the best possible service.  We see it all the time through the forums.  The persistence of CRT in dealing with the same know issues month by month is testament to your professionalism and commitment to deliver.
My concern remains - from many years experience in the IT industry - that where fundamental issues (especially inter-organisation) continue to exist from year to year, it rather implies that there is no systematic fire-prevention taking place organisation to organisation - that is at CEO level.
Sadly all too often the approach is to try to ignore that there are issues and to accept that really good support personnel will be burnt-out fixing (fire-fighting) what ought not to be broken in the first place.  I remain hopeful that we will hear of how PlusNet management are working to deliver a better service for their customers.  At present, we can see the persistent BTw/BTOR issues / failures but nothing about solutions.
Kevin
JohnJ-B
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Quote from: Townman
Is this really true?
Is it really the case that this commercial organisation cannot (by Ofcom rules?) influence the poor performance of its supplier - because it is another part of the BT group?  I was told recently by an agent that PlusNET cannot be seen to be exposing the failings of BTOR even when that is clearly the case.

My own opinion, FWIW, is that it is YES & NO!
Under OFCOM rules PlusNet, being part of BT, would NOT be permitted to gain an ISP advantage from the fact that they are owned by BT. In other words, OFCOM would regard it as essential that PN are NOT treated more favourably (with the essence on "Fairness being seen to be done"), when compared with other ISPs.
However, on the "ISP-Equality-Stakes", I've strongly suspect that the "reality" is somewhat different!
I would suggest that the internal BT arrangements, whilst ensuring that PN are NOT seen to be advantaged, are actually quite restrictive. Can you really imagine "Corporate-BT" permitting "minnow-PN" from making criticisms public (which clearly other ISPs can do)?
Equally, can you really imagine "Corporate-BT" allowing PN to formulate a formal complaint, to OFCOM, about BT Openreach and/or BT Wholesale (which other ISPs can)?
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

I would think that if the PN CEO is a BT appointment then he will be 'sympathetic' to any problems that BT have in their 'world'. After all, he may hope for a return to BT at some time in the future!  Wink
Geoff,
York.
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

John & Geoff,
And those two points are exactly why I doubt BTw/BTOR are being driven - by internal persuasion or commercial penalty from PlusNet to improve the service received by PlusNet customers.
As I have said before, I would welcome being shown to be wrong by evidence showing that PlusNet is (similar to another ISP) publicly holding BTw/BTOR to account for their poor performance.
Kevin
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

I would not be particularly impressed if Plusnet spent a lot of time publicly criticising Openreach or BTWholesale. It would give me the impression that Plusnet would be happy to just blame everything on Openreach/BTWholesale. Waited 15 minutes for Plusnet to answer the phone? Blame it on the vast volume of faults due to Openreach's crumbling infrastructure. I expect almost anything Plusnet haven't had time to do yet could be blamed on them being too busy dealing with all the Openreach/BTWholesale originated problems. Firmware bugs in Plusnet's Hub Zero? Perhaps it's the best router Plusnet could afford after paying vast amounts of money to BTWholesale for all the bandwidth etc.
If people think so poorly of Openreach and/or BTWholesale, I hope they will at least seriously consider, if available, getting their broadband from Virgin Media or any other provider that doesn't involve any part of BT, or failing that, LLU ADSL would at least cut out BTWholesale.
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

ejs,
I agree, if only there were alternatives to the local copper access network.  For the vast majority of us there is no choice.
One would not want PlusNet to spend a lot of time criticising or blaming BTw / BTOR.  One is not looking for finger point here, rather recognition, admission that there are sever issues with their supplier AND WHAT THEY ARE DOING to address such issues - now.  We both know well - I have had much experience of - BTOR are simply not delivering in a consistently professional manner what they have been asked to do by PlusNet, when scheduled.  That is simply inexcusable.
One hopes that now Ofcom (IMHO stupidly) have placed the commercial consequence of lines not preforming to estimates in the laps of ISPs (rather than BTOR where it rightly belongs), that all ISPs (including PlusNet) will becomes more hands on in bringing BTw / BTOR "to book" for persistent poor performance on behalf of their users.  Until Ofcom grows some balls with BTw / BTOR we are unlikely to see change in the industry.  I fear that Ofcom now has even less balls than the few it had previously.
You are most correct, PlusNet do have a host of other issues of their own which require resolution too.  The point being that when you are trying to drain a swamp full of alligators, stopping your supplier putting more alligators into the swamp faster than you can deal with the current population has to be a priority.  This is especially true when aggressively seeking to expand your market share and thereby increasing the exposure to supplier failure.
The bottom line here is that the BT group needs to be broken-up.  It is totally inappropriate that a monopoly wholesale and infrastructure group should also have retail operators who - due to internal corporate politics - cannot where appropriate deal openly and honestly with the failures of that monopoly supplier.  I expect PlusNet to be dealing with the issues without gag or fetter with the same clout as any other ISP not in the BT group.
If we encountered the same level of infrastructure failure on the shared gas or electric networks there would be questions asked in parliament every day - it would just not be tolerated.  For reasons which I just do not understand CP & ISP retailers seem to be accepting the poor performance of the telecoms network provider in a manner which would never be accepted from Centrica or the Nation Grid.
Kevin
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Townman actually its right they placed it at the isp's as the end user has no contract with openreach.
If the isp takes too much of a financial loss due to bad estimates you can be sure they will be leaning on BTw/openreach to fix.
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Ignoring a comparison of the necessity of electricity vs. an Internet connection, gas pipes were intended to carry gas, electricity cables were intended to supply electricity. Telephone cabling, however, was not really intended for DSL, so it has to work as best it can with what there is. Expectations have to be realistic, rather than running a speedtest every 5 minutes, demanding a line check every week or complaining about something that's only visible by monitoring DSL stats continuously.
I'm not really sure how splitting up BT group would help - it would still be the same wires, many places would still have no alternatives. I don't think Openreach being a separate company is going to make them want to spend more money replacing bits of equipment or infrastructure for free rather than fix a fault in the most cost effective way of their choosing - which of course tends to consist of doing the absolute minimum necessary to fix the problem, doing nothing if the line is OK when tested, but doing a more thorough job of trying to pin the blame and cost of the visit on to the end user.
On the other hand, I have wondered if Plusnet don't really care about the cost of sending a boost engineer occasionally, considering money going from Plusnet to Openreach is ultimately staying within the BT group. Isn't the £60 cost Plusnet pass to the end user (if the fault is with the end user's equipment) less than the standard chargeable visit cost Plusnet would pay to BTw/BTOR? Perhaps that's another case of money staying within the BT group, although losing out on the opportunity to extract more money from the end user in this instance.
My perhaps somewhat pessimistic view of the situation is in part due to my own experience of what we got from Openreach engineers. It's disappointing but not surprising. The concept of doing the worst or as little as you can get away with while charging as much as possible is probably not unique to BTOR. Also I seem to be gradually running out of things worth doing on the Internet, it just doesn't really seem worth making a fuss about these days.
MattyC
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Re: Does the CEO of PlusNET really have no influence over his suppliers "by rules"?

Hi Kevin,
I don't think I'm going to be able to provide what you're after, unfortunately. Apologies for the bluntness there, but the nature of this is that it's dealt with internally.
I have to say that there's understandably a lot of negativity with Openreach, but I think it's because most of the time you mainly hear the bad stories on this forum. Personally, I have had three different guys from Kelly Comms deal with my fibre provision whenever I have moved house, and they have been nothing but helpful and efficient. I know a lot of customer's that don't even know who Openreach are, which is how it's meant to be really.
I also sometimes worry that having a supplier with a reputation like Openreach, sometimes gives an acceptable excuse - even a scapegoat - for a poor experience, when sometimes (I can honestly admit, and will continue to admit) Plusnet error is involved.
Matty
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet