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Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

danyulo
Grafter
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎27-10-2013

Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Hi there,
I am a new customer, coming in from Bethere.  So far I have not been able to get a working broadband service, despite my activation reportedly being complete, and despite the efforts so far of your staff on this forum, and a very helpful community member.  I am grateful for that help.
However, my specific feedback is on the quality of your telephone support service.  It is simply inaccessible!  I called it yesterday morning to hear an IVR message informing me that wait times were in excess of 1 hour.  This is simply unacceptable.  At any price.  Support via your forum is thankfully much more effective.
Given your limited support capabilities, and the fact I have had no broadband service since Bethere went off on 24/10 I find myself in the position of needing to decide whether I want to retain this service, or cancel it.  Things might be fine once I am eventually up and running and I may not need to contact support ever again.  But should circumstances arise where I need telephone support, I may find myself out of luck.
39 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

We know that the wait times have been too long recently, however yesterday was the worst we've seen for a while. The call levels were massively in excess of where we anticipated and this was made worse by our website and internal systems not being available until nearly 10am. I don't think that the wait times will be that high again (touch wood) but we know there's still work to do to bring them down, including bringing our new support centre online in Leeds which allows us to add significantly more people to answer the phones.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
danyulo
Grafter
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎27-10-2013

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Thanks Chris
It is good to hear that there is a plan.
Apologies about repeating 'simply' in my post.  Made myself sound like Outraged of Tunbridge Wells.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,868
Thanks: 1,633
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Oh Dear.... this has been a BIG PROBLEM with Plusnet.... since 2009..... 
Yes they have increased the number of customers.... but the  number of disatisfied customers has also increased...
Yes, they have increased the number of phone staff... ( so they say ) ( read through all this thread ) ...
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,80676.0.html
But it has NOT improved the phone service.. one Iota...
Come on Chris.... you promised things would get better... Seems that they have remained the same since 2009 or possibly even got worse. ( How many times did you say.... give us some time.... we`re getting there in the thread above? ) 
and how far is it before you actually "arrive" ?  is this the elastic mile? as used in BR adverts before they were sold off to private companies....
( For those not familiar with the advertising.... BR ( British Rail ) used the slogan.... "We`re Getting There".... )
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Shutter, as you're well aware things didn't 'stay the same'. We haven't been in the same position since 2009, yes there have been patches where we've struggled but on the whole it's been good.
Not don't get me wrong here, I'm not trying to hide anything or say that the current call waits are good, however I'm just pointing out that although that thread started in 2009, there are huge periods of time since then where we've answered the phone much faster.
The new site in Leeds is getting closer now, so hopefully after that's online we'll see a marked improvement.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

And , this new site in Leeds?  will it be able to cope with ALL the calls, and get down to a "reasonable" 5 minute waiting time before answering?  I doubt it... Undecided
And... this new site in Leeds ?  will it have PROPER call waiting and queuing system?  I doubt it.... Huh
Therefore , things will not be any different from the customer hanging on the line, point of view... being forced to listen to dross muzac and stupid adverts to use the on line ticket system... at www.plusnet.com which of course they can`t...... that is why they are on the phone... so they can use the net...
deary, deary, me....  "here we go again".... we`re getting there... but we have to get from sheffield to leeds first, so ..... give us some time... and we`ll get there  Cry
I am sure that at some periods in time between 2009 and now, there have been "good times"... but you made promises, and it seems they have not be kept, when you read complaints STILL about the waiting time on the phone.... You should have enough statistics now, to be able to predict, pretty accurately when you will have the largest number of calls, and should make sure you have enough staff available to answer, and deal with, those calls, during those times... it is not rocket science...
as I said, several times, and others agreed with me... a proper (transparent) queueing system.... ( your call is in a queue your turn is number... xxx ) at least gives the customer some feeling that they are important....
whereas the present system... ( don`t tell them how many people are waiting... and they`ll never know )... is really insulting to the person on the line, just waiting,,.... and feeling ignored. ..  ( the automatic advert is not a good public relations way to keep customers amused/informed )  ( ignorance is bliss comes to mind....)  or is it.... Ignore them, and they`ll go away, reducing the queue to a more managable level....  Undecided
EnglishMohican
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: ‎08-04-2009

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Quote from: shutter
....... and get down to a "reasonable" 5 minute waiting time before answering? 

Why should a five minute wait be "reasonable".?
Presumably the same people who answer the phones also answer the tickets when they are not on the phone. So it should be perfectly possible to have sufficient agents in so that one or two are always available to answer the phone when it rings. If it does not ring, then they can reply to a few more tickets and keep that queue in a reasonable state.
The objective should be to answer a phone call immediately and to answer all tickets within 2 hours and to do both with useful, correct answers.
I rang Zen customer service recently and having done the push 8 for whatever stuff, it rang once and the guy answered. He seemed to quickly understand what I said and gave a clear unambiguous answer. Plusnet have no excuse for not providing the same level of service. In this instance, Zen are cheaper than Plusnet so have no more money to play with.
As for the Leeds Office, has anyone suggested some dates for when the building might be built, the equipment installed, the staff employed, trained, open for service?  I doubt we will get anything solid, it will just be "as soon as possible" and "we are all working very hard to get there" and "just give us some time".
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Quote
As for the Leeds Office, has anyone suggested some dates for when the building might be built, the equipment installed, the staff employed, trained, open for service?  I doubt we will get anything solid, it will just be "as soon as possible" and "we are all working very hard to get there" and "just give us some time".

Ye have little faith.
We're expecting the site to be open Mid November with the full infrastructure in place.  We have a number of people (30-60 I think) ready to commence their training once the building is fully open who will be ready to take calls about 3-4 weeks later.
Guys - Let's be clear.  We want to be able to answer the phone as soon as possible and we need our second site to be open to allow us to do so.  We also have some massive projects which will complete in the next 6/12 months to improve our provisioning (mainly automation) and billing engines. I know I've used the "we are recruiting heavily" card before, but it is absolutely the truth and with Leeds open, we'll be able to quickly bring in new staff to ensure that we answer your calls as soon as possible.  The waiting times currently are not of the standard we expect from ourselves and fully recognise the need to improve.
EnglishMohican
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Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Well in fairness that is certainly a better answer than I expected - so thank you.
On the other hand, a bit like Shutter, I have been with Plusnet long enough to have lived through previous episodes of inadequate provision, enjoyed the improvements that have followed and then seen the whole cycle repeat as Plusnet take on more customers than they are provisioned to cope with.
Can we expect to see the stated standards for responding to things like tickets be returned to their original and more acceptable 2 hours rather than the current and I hope temporary 24 hours - which is then missed by a mile?
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Quote
Can we expect to see the stated standards for responding to things like tickets be returned to their original and more acceptable 2 hours rather than the current and I hope temporary 24 hours - which is then missed by a mile?

I believe we previously aimed for 4 hours and that would certainly be the aim. It will of course depend on the type of ticket raised.  Complaints (5 working days) and Faults (72 hours) will always have a longer period of time in which they take to be answered but I would expect considerable improvements on what is happening previously.
I've been here long enough too Smiley
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

whatever your excuses, they are still the same... just re-vamped to make you look good in your response... the truth of the matter is, the phone and ticket service are just not fit for purpose... Your comment that you have also been with PN for a long time is a little trite .... as if that makes everything ok... but you see, when you have been in a situation that is "lack-a-day" about customer service, as is proven with the amount of complaints on the feedback forum, one would expect someone who "has been here a long time" to actually DO something about it...
You have used up all the excuses about "give us time"  "we are looking into it",  we`re getting there" etc etc etc, during the past 4 years and still the same .... customers waiting too long on the phone.... put yourself in the position of the customer.... feel how he/she feels .... cringe when you keep hearing the stupid adverts about going on line to solve your problems... all of these are insults to a customer, whether they be long serving or new one`s,  but I would think, more insulting to someone who has just signed up... Don`t you agree? 
As English Mohican said... if ZEN can do it,... why, oh why,can`t plusnet do it BETTER ?  and then you could possibly begin to live up to the motto.... "we`ll do you proud".... unfortunately, you are missing that by a nautical mile....  (for info  Nautical mile is longer than a statute mile )...
To put it bluntly,.... all those involved in the management of customer service should be ashamed to take home their pay at the end of the month...  Angry
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Thanks for your feedback Shutter.
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Quote
We have a number of people (30-60 I think) ready to commence their training once the building is fully open who will be ready to take calls about 3-4 weeks later.
Surely it's going to take a LOT more than that to get the ticket response times back to 4hrs ?
EnglishMohican
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Quote from: James
....... Complaints (5 working days) and Faults (72 hours) will always have a longer period of time ......

Given that the Complaints Manager is a wonderful chap we will ignore 5 days for complaints - it clearly is a one off in each case which needs a bit of thought and approval.
The 72 hours for a faults ticket does however seem very strange. Is "Faults" a narrower category than I understand it to be perhaps? Suppose I have a problem with my connection and that I send you a ticket describing the problem. Are you saying that I will hear nothing for 72 hours? Surely, I should get a "Thank you for your ticket, we will run tests on your line as soon as ..... and get back to you with a result within 72 hours" sort of answer. Then when your tests have identified a poor joint on the line or somesuch, should there really be a 72 hour gap between responses. I suspect it may be to do with when Openreach/Wholesale become involved rather than the all encompassing faults category of Customer to Plusnet communications.
Anyway, could you explain the 72hour figure a bit more clearly and exactly when it applies.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Feedback on Telephone Support - 1 hour wait

Sorry - You will receive a response to say that your line is being tested. Then it is normally 24-48 hours until you receive a dedicated response from a member of the Faults Team. 
Regarding Complaints, because the team is pretty small (7), we will generally respond within a few days but sometimes this can be longer if we have a sudden increase in complaints for whatever reason.