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First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Omaraj17
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 16-12-2014

First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

I had only just moved into my new flat and since I used the internet extensively everyday, I figured I'd go for the Fibre Optic option - so I searched online and found that Plusnet and TalkTalk offer relatively the same option with round about the same cost (TalkTalk was slightly cheaper - but I figured Plusnet may be better due to UK Customer support, boy how wrong was I!)
I placed my order for Plusnet Fibre Optic on the 22nd October 2014, with the engineer visit booked in for the 7th November. The Openreach Engineer came out and carried out some installations but found that there seemed to be an issue with the 'exchange' - a part of the line which he was not specialised enough to access so he recommended another engineering visit to be carried out that fixes the issue at the 'exchange', apparently once that would be done, the internet would be up and running automatically.
Numerous Engineering visits happen, all of which I do not get informed about, so for weeks I ring Plusnet to find out - has the engineering visits happened? Has anyone looked at the exchange? What's taking so long? No updates at all throughout the process. The only way I find out is when I bump into the Openreach Engineer myself on the premises! I asked him about the work that's been carried out and he stated that many engineering visits were done, including Underground engineers visits as they suspected that part of the line might have been damaged or otherwise.
On the 21st of November I return from work and find that the internet is on! Finally the DSL Light was on and I could use it - this was without even a word from Plusnet that the installation has finally happened and that the broadband was now activated. The only thing they sent, which seems humorous now, is an email regarding my broadband speed quoting "Now that your service has now been active for 14 days" - even though it was only activated on that day alone.
Fine, atleast its sorted and the internet is running right? Well, after using it for 2 weeks it suddenly goes down again. I ring Plusnet to find out why, they state that there appears to be a fault with the line and an Engineer needs to be sent out to inspect it - at this point I am extremely confused as I told the Plusnet employee that it was previously activated and working only a day before, how can the fault suddenly appear? The Plusnet Employee at this point states "well then I must read out some Terms and Conditions about this Engineering visit" and goes on to state that if the fault is within my flat, then I am to be charged £50 quid for the engineering visit, and states that the internet wouldn't "mysteriously go down on its own" unless I had done something to it myself.... Seemed like a very brave accusation considering I haven't done anything wrong to the installation...
Either way, I take the day off work (I am a Contractor so I don't get paid for these days that I take off work) and wait for the Engineer to visit, he comes out and inspects the line and states that the installation is perfect, doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it - so he contacts his company and later informs me that the reason the broadband isn't working is because PLUSNET DISABLED THE BROADBAND.... Ridiculous right? How could they disable it, and then send out an Engineer thinking it was a fault with the line? This is all happening within the same company! I cannot fathom how this breakdown of communication can even happen.
So I ring Plusnet immediately after the Openreach Engineer leaves, and tell them what he's told me, that they disabled the broadband - they inform me that a mistake has happened with the system, and that they will reactivate it within 24 hours, and that I will be contacted shortly to confirm exactly when the broadband will come on again. 72 Hours go by, and still no contact, or no internet - I chase up Plusnet again to find out what is going on, they first inform me that the internet won't be up until the 24th December 2014 - then I state thats impossible and request them to check again, as I was promised it would be up on the 8th of December. The Employee checks again, and states that the earliest they can switch it on again is the 15th December... Again, I am furious at this point, not only because it is taking so long from mistakes made by Plusnet, but also that I have to constantly ring up to chase for updates (40 minutes each phonecall from being on hold for so long) and I have had to take numerous days off for Engineering visits that I won't be paid for!
Yesterday, I come back from work, expecting the internet to be on, as promised, on the 15th December - again... its not on. I rang up immediately after, and was told by the Employee that the department dealing with my case had finished their shift and that they would respond to me the following day (today), again, no email, no contact, no nothing - and the internet wasn't on this morning.
Absolutely infuriating. I wasn't to irritated by the issues with installing the broadband (if there's lots of faults with the line, then its not exactly Plusnet problem), but the continuous disregard to communicate any updates, and continuous promises of internet being activated on a certain date and that not being done, and repeated useless engineering visits that require me to take days-off has not only left me angered, but has cost me a significant amount of time and money.
I have previously been a customer with BT, O2 and Virgin for broadband in all previous locations/flats I have lived in (I would have returned to them to if they offered Fibre in my region!) - this is by far, heads and shoulders, the worst experience and worst customer service I have ever received with a telecommunications services company.
Extremely unhappy, and would not recommend Plusnet to anyone based on my experience.
25 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
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Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Hi there,
I'm read over your post here and looked through the account, it's not been a straightforward order at all and I'm sorry for the frustration this has obviously caused.
Unfortunately it looks as though the order that got you online (albeit briefly) wasn't closed off correctly, which led to it being cancelled and therefore knocking you offline. I'm going to speak to one of my colleagues in our provisioning department and get your ticket picked up asap so we can find out what's going on with the new order as this should have completed yesterday.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Omaraj17
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 16-12-2014

Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Thanks for your reply Chris.
This is the latest update from Plusnet:
Quote
"I got in touch with our suppliers today and they have advised that an external engineer needs to be sent out to check that the line is okay before we can proceed with supplying you with service. This should be done in the next few days and then we shall be able to get the fibre service working.
This Question is now on hold until Thursday 18th December at 7:00am."

Extremely confused, the Engineer who visited on the 9th December already stated that the line was installed correctly with everything working as intended and that the real issue was that Plusnet cancelled the order (which you confirmed was correct due to it not being closed out correctly and the order cancelling itself). Now I am told that another Engineer has to be sent out again to check the line (even though it was already checked on the 9th) to make sure its fine again for it to be switched on? What has happened in those 7 days to make you suspect that the line isn't fine from the last engineer visit?  Will I have another engineer sent out a day after that to make sure the line is fine again before its switched on? How long will this go on before broadband is switched on.
The Plusnet nightmare continues....
Community Gaffer
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Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

After speaking to my colleague there was an engineer out yesterday morning to try to finish the install for you, unfortunately from the notes they left they weren't able to 'proof the pair at the cab' - so another engineer is needed to check the pair that you're to be connected on and make sure it's a valid install. That's why we've been advised to check back on Thursday. Sorry it's not better news. Once the engineer has confirmed the pair is good we're going to expedite the order to get it completed as quickly as possible.
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 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Superuser
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Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Quote from: Chris
Unfortunately it looks as though the order that got you online (albeit briefly) wasn't closed off correctly,

Chris,
This is the second thread which refers to recent new installs not being closed off "correctly" resulting in a working service being cancelled... followed by protracted re-provisions.
Has this pattern been "profiled"?
Who is responsible for the "incorrect close off"?  BTOR / BTw / PlusNet?
What process steps have been (or can be) put in place to mitigate the risk of further occurrences?
The absence of a service start confirmation from PlusNet does rather point to this being a BT* issue, but we ought not jump to conclusions without evidence.  Roll eyes
Such situations are not good for anyone - except may be BTw / BTOR who pick up double provision fees.  Looking at various recent difficulties, I suspect that BTw / BTOR have changed the rules of engagement with the deliberate intent of manipulating their SLA attainment and the generation of fees.  Cancelling a long provision order and starting again, removes a poor SLA attainment "score" from the Ofcom monitoring stats.
PlusNet's "open and honest" view on this matter would be interesting!  Wink
Kevin
Community Gaffer
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Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

There's a couple of different reasons why this happens. The main 2 I've seen are where the engineer couldn't finish the install and has rebooked a 'tentative' appointment, which in turn we haven't accepted in time and  therefore the order closes and where the engineer simply doesn't close off the order. The former of the 2 is something we should get better at as we clear down the provisioning queues, the latter is something we need to continue to push back on as and when they happen.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Omaraj17
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 16-12-2014

Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Thank you for your prompt responses Chris.
I have to say you have been the most helpful Plusnet employee I have spoken to thus far and I really appreciate your help in resolving this.
I guess the main point that I cannot wrap my head around, is that the internet was working fine for two weeks - and that the reason it went down after those two weeks was, as you stated, due to the order not being closed out correctly and therefore cancelling itself. So what is the Engineering work being carried out right now for? I figured it would be just a matter of switching it back on - why do engineers have to be sent out if it was working fine only a few weeks ago? Did the line get damaged or something?
This point is what hasn't been explained to me, and everyone I asked at Plusnet always evades this question and doesn't want to answer it.
It's quite an integral point too I feel, surely for your sake as well? If openreach keep claiming work is required - then how did it work just fine for 2 weeks?
P.S. You raise an excellent point Kevin, if this is recurring then surely something in the installation process needs to be addressed.
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

The issue itself is a rather complex one.
When the engineer goes out and completes all the work the order should be closed and confirmed as working. This won't stop you from connecting initially but because the order hasn't been closed the asset isn't live on our suppliers systems. As a result we're unable to test the line, change it or raise any faults to our suppliers. After a certain amount of time the order will time out because there has been no activity which causes the connection to drop off.
You don't need another engineer to the property as the work has been completed. We're getting our suppliers to fix this externally and we have requested that they expedite it but as per what Chris said yesterday the external line needs checking first. We'll be in touch as soon as we know more.
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 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Long answer short - the assists assets used to provide your service (exchange & cabinet ports) could have been reallocated to someone else.
Omaraj17
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 16-12-2014

Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Thanks for your reply Matthew.
Does sound like a rather complex issue indeed, but it makes me wonder:
1. If you could not test, change or raise any faults with the line until the order was closed, then how were you able to test the broadband speed running through the line as stated in your email on the 21st November 2014?
2. You stated that the engineer isn't required at the property, but <-Snip-> (a CSC Analyst from the Support Team) stated that
Quote
"an external engineer needs to be sent out to check that the line is okay before we can proceed with supplying you with service"

This makes me believe that an engineer is in fact required, and if he is, then why does he need to re-check a line that was working perfectly only two weeks ago - did something happen to the line since that period of time that I am unaware of?
dick:csa
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

I'm assuming you mean the "about your broadband speed e-mail". That's sent out by automation by our systems and it doesn't actually check our suppliers systems as it just checks our internal profile against your estimate which was also wrong in the e-mail.
I do agree that the response you had wasn't worded brilliantly and that it has caused confusion. There is a chance that something has changed but we won't know until the engineers gone out. Our provisioning team still have your issue in hand and we'll get you a update as soon as possible.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team
Omaraj17
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 16-12-2014

Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Matthew,
You have either been misinformed or clearly deceiving me here, another CSC Analyst from the Support Team just provided the following update:
Quote
Thank for getting back to us,
A fault was found within the line plant, on the d-side . for our order and this is where the delay is.We have been advised that we are due a further update on this on the 19/12/14.
It could be that once the fault is resolved, your service could be active.
I am sorry for the continued delay and for the inconvenience caused.

Which again leads me utterly baffled. The line was working perfectly fine for two weeks and the reason it was cancelled was because your order cancelled itself, so for the umpteenth time, why are they re-inspecting the line and how are they finding faults if the line was working fine for 2 weeks - especially since these apparent faults weren't the reason the line went down!
Please could you explain to me what actually is happening?
Superuser
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Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Hi,
I can see and understand your frustration, but the world is not simple.  When two issues come together, things can be complex and confusing.
Believe it or not, the infrastructure over which phones and broadband are delivered is quite fragile.  Much of the copper / aluminium network between the cabinets and your home is quite old.  Sometimes all it takes is knock on a bundle of wires to cause one of them to fracture.
On your call to the CSC when the service went down, you reported that you were told there was a line fault.
Quote from: Omaraj17
I ring Plusnet to find out why, they state that there appears to be a fault with the line and an Engineer needs to be sent out to inspect it - at this point I am extremely confused as I told the Plusnet employee that it was previously activated and working only a day before, how can the fault suddenly appear?

For PlusNet to have been able to test the line, it must have been in service and "allocated" to PlusNet or they could not have tested it.  As for why it became faulty read above.

Quote from: Omaraj17
...wait for the Engineer to visit, he comes out and inspects the line and states that the installation is perfect, doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it - so he contacts his company and later informs me that the reason the broadband isn't working is because PLUSNET DISABLED THE BROADBAND.... Ridiculous right?

Agreed it is ridiculous - the BT engineer sought to pass the blame to PlusNet and did not look hard enough to find the fault which has just been reported as fixed.
I suggest that between the fault being reported and the attendance of the first engineer, the installation got cancelled due to the issue advised by Chris.
Quote from: Omaraj17
Extremely unhappy, and would not recommend Plusnet to anyone based on my experience.

There is clear evidence that there was both a line fault and an issue in closing off the initial installation work.  At this point no evidence has been shown to assign blame between PlusNet and BTOR.  What is plain though, is that there was a fault on the line which was not found by the first BTOR engineer but it has now been resolved.
Hope that helps explain matters - based on the information you have provided.
Omaraj17
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 16-12-2014

Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

Hi,
I checked the internet this morning - and it's still not working. The latest is Plusnet wanted to send an engineer to the flat this morning but I am working so I cannot take another day-off to attend this visit.
I have had three different engineers regarding this installation in the flat already, and all have informed me that the setup in my flat is fine and working as intended. What is the requirement for this fourth visit?
To be honest at this point I am just not interested in the reasoning for the engineer visit (whether for actual work required or not) - I just want to know when the internet is going to come up, for an order that was placed on the 22nd of October 2014, I was hoping it wouldn't take 2 months to have this all up and running.
Plusnet are also currently sending me bills and being charging me for broadband that isn't activated - so I am essentially paying for a service that is currently not functioning and that I cannot use.
Could you please find out what the update regarding this installation is - I was really hoping to have this activated before Christmas.
Thanks
Omaraj17
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 16-12-2014

Re: First time Plusnet Customer - Biggest regret

I called Plusnet yesterday to find out if the booking for the engineer on the 24th December 2014 was confirmed - after being on hold for 60 minutes (and the provisions team hanging up) i redialed and went on hold again for another 20 minutes before I finally got through to speak to someone.
They informed me that they are unable to confirm since the "suppliers" have finished work, so they said they will find out in the morning. After this call, I received an email from Plusnet stating that an appointment for installing my broadband has been booked for the 13th of January 2015 (not what I requested). Later that night, I also received an email titled "Plusnet broadband - order update" which stated that a BT Engineer was booked for today to visit my flat and install fibre (I am at work today!).
Now, as I am writing this email I receive a text message from Plusnet stating "Your broadband order has successfully completed" - but I checked the internet before I left the flat today and the DSL light was still not green (indicating the internet isn't on still) - so did it get installed after I left the flat and during my drive to work?!
What is actually going on I have no clue.
Out of curiosity I also checked my computer logs and found out that the internet had actually come on during the weekend whilst I was away (for 2-3 days) before it went down again.
Please can someone chase this up, in the space of 12 hours I have had three different messages from Plusnet telling me three different things, what the hell is happpening?!