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Half an hour

itwashimnotme
Rising Star
Posts: 63
Thanks: 16
Registered: ‎17-01-2017

Half an hour

Good morning folks!

Sky, BT, TalkTalk, Plusnet, Virgin etc all like to push the line that they have great customer services.

Sadly, and in my experience nothing could be further from the truth.

I change my supplier every year and it is apparent to me that they all - the ones that i have signed up to anyway) have dire customer services departments.

Long waits listening to mellow music, multiple choice questions that never seem to offer an option for one's own issue,

poorly trained reps that seem to know diddly squat about everything and anything.

How many times have we all heard "we are currently training lots & lots of new staff that will soon be joining our customer services or our sytems are playing up therefore someone will have to call you back later".

Never will one hear any of the afforementioned scripted excuses when dialing the dedicated sales dept though. Oh no ... those calls are always answered quicker than one can say 'jumpin jehosafats'

Recently i have had reason to make multiple telephone calls to Plusnet's own "award winning customer serv dept" and on EVERY single occassion that i called - approx 25 calls this month) i have been met with that automated voice telling me "we are very busy at the moment . . . our current wait time is 30+mins"

I also manage two other accounts with plusnet on behalf of two elderly relatives and guess what  - the same above excuses were being used nearly one year ago. Same story also when i too was last with Plusnet approx 3 years ago.

Wouldn't it be refreshing - and more honest) for them all to just admit that they have [-Censored-] customer services staffed by low numbers of part timers and gap year students that basically don't know their ass from their elbow!

Rant over,

Graeme

11 REPLIES
itwashimnotme
Rising Star
Posts: 63
Thanks: 16
Registered: ‎17-01-2017

Re: Half an hour

One telecoms business took the bold option of never having a customer services dept at all.

Instead relying on their award winning forum staffed by customers to answer the majority of other customer enquiries.

Take a bow Giffgaff.

Although not yet a provider of home phone & broadband this MVNO is a mobile phone business only) it pays its forum members to help out answering other members queries - and it seems to work well.

Maybe that's the route one of the big telecoms companies will eventually try - let's face it, it couldn't be any worse that the current system.

Graeme

Anon
Pro
Posts: 412
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Registered: ‎16-04-2007

Re: Half an hour

Isn't that what Pnet has tried to do? In that it has abandoned customers and more or less hope that other customers will help, but the good long standing customers like Jelv have given up and gone.

They really did use to have excellent highly motivated staff who would correspond with you to ensure things went smoothly. I still have the emails from Mand Becket when I rejoined 9 years ago, keeping me informed about what was happening. They were not off the peg. No wonder I was willing to recommend them to friends, even the ones that would give me trouble if Pnet did not live up to the reputation I had given them.

Whatever happens always remember "We will do you
.........................proud" say Pnet.
teddysmum
Grafter
Posts: 32
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Registered: ‎31-10-2016

Re: Half an hour

I left Sky in October for a 'better' deal with PlusNet and find the customer service terrible; especially concerning waiting times (over 45 minutes). I never waited long with Sky and had faster speed too.

On waiting 45 minutes, last week, I commented that they needed more staff and was told, by the cs person, that they were recruiting and that she was new. So much for expert tech advice. At least you can request and get an actual techie with Sky.

 

 

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,973
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Registered: ‎01-12-2010

Re: Half an hour

Allegedly  PN have been recruiting for years Shocked well thats what they said several years ago ,, and they keep repeating it .

I dont know if its to convince the customer or themselves Roll eyes

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Anon
Pro
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Registered: ‎16-04-2007

Re: Half an hour

I am sure they keep recruiting, just doubt that the staff stay, with the problems they have to deal from very irate and distressed customers. Would you stayHuhUndecided

Whatever happens always remember "We will do you
.........................proud" say Pnet.
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
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Registered: ‎17-10-2007

Re: Half an hour


Anon wrote:

I still have the emails from Mand Becket when I rejoined 9 years ago, keeping me informed about what was happening. 


Ah! Mand and her enforcer. That brings back memories. Madasafish, when it was supported from South Africa, had a similar staff member (whose name escapes me) always on the MAAF forum giving advice and chasing things up. The staff that appear here now do what they can but they are not giving the level of assistance we received in yesteryear.

Update: The name that escaped me was Samara.

Anon
Pro
Posts: 412
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Registered: ‎16-04-2007

Re: Half an hour

If Mand took something over it was done and it was right!

Today maybe no one has the authority, maybe no one has the skill, maybe no one cares any more.

Whatever happens always remember "We will do you
.........................proud" say Pnet.
balancedfire
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎15-01-2015

Re: Half an hour

It's rare that anyone with any useful technical knowledge would waste their time being employed in a call centre. Answering call after call speaking to disgruntled home users about their broadband connections is not a great career path. This is why the majority of people you talk to, while friendly, are only able to follow basic troubleshooting steps and run out of ideas once they realise the person they're talking to knows how to reboot a piece of electronic equipment.

 

The other thing is that working in a call centre is one of the most depressing things one can do. You're not there to help the customer, you're there to answer x amount of calls per day and mark x amount of issues as resolved. You're also very closely monitored/micromanaged purely based on statistics, giving you the overwhelming feeling that you are just a number. I know because I've been there.

I'm sure Plusnet are fully aware of the 30+min wait times for anyone to get through but they refuse to employ more people/provide better training because the staff are so disposable and their margins are quite tight as it is. 

 

It would be far more effective to direct people to the forums and have a few knowledgeable Plusnet employees, who have access to people's accounts/escalation routes/etc, available on the forums to answer questions. I think that's kind of what they have tried to do with this place but it doesn't seem too effective. My post has been sitting there since Saturday without any acknowledgement from Plusnet yet 'staff' are replying to other threads. 

 

The solution is that these companies need to be brought back in line both in terms of the terrible customer service and fault escalation but also in terms of unfair pricing, monopolisation of markets and being forced to provide a proper service. I guess I can't really complain, having had a stable connection for over a year. However, the response to my call has been lacklustre at best. I'm one working day into the five working days it apparently takes to get this escalated and if I had more time I would be calling several times a day to chase. Unfortunately I have other commitments and can't hang on the phone all day long. I guess I should call the ombudsman instead.

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,843
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Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Half an hour


Anon wrote:

I am sure they keep recruiting, just doubt that the staff stay,


I expect that's because new staff get the best pay, free canteen, and bus passes.

When older staff renew their contracts they only get offered the option of reduced pay.Smiley

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
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Registered: ‎24-10-2013

Re: Half an hour

they could introduce an online ticket system, where the customer could raise their issue electronically, thus leaving the telephone queues free for people with no option but to use the phone.

oh wait......
Anon
Pro
Posts: 412
Thanks: 128
Registered: ‎16-04-2007

Re: Half an hour

That would be a dreadful idea, would never work, fancy being able to raise a ticket and get an answer. Bah..humbug.

Whatever happens always remember "We will do you
.........................proud" say Pnet.