Horrific customer service, last resort attempt
Dear Mr Baker (CEO),
I am putting this in writing as I am tired of being on hold, I am tired of explaining the timeline of events over and over again, I am tired of being told by your staff that they are too busy to listen back to my previous calls and I am tired of being talked to with disrespect. I cannot put into words how shocked and dissatisfied I am with the service I have received from Plusnet.
On 30/10/2017 around midday I called to inquire about a fiber deal I had seen on Uswitch [18 months, £23 pm, £75 cashback]. We wanted to check that the deal was correct and how quickly we could get online. The sales adviser was very helpful and explained that the £75 cash back was actually a £75 amazon voucher and it was only available with broadband. He said that the way for us to get the best deal would be to sign up for broadband at £22.50 a month and receive the £75 amazon voucher, then upgrade to fiber for free the day we 'went live'. He said that because we had just moved to the property and not previously had a line there, an engineer would have to come and that would cost us an extra £50, we did not try and bargain (even though the advert said 'no activation fee' and £50 was a big unexpected charge) we just paid to get things moved along and presumed that this would be the case with any provider. The adviser said that we would have an engineer come on 14/11/17 and would be online by midnight that day. He promised to call us that day to upgrade us to fiber and specifically said that we were not to call ourselves as it would confuse the process.
We received a letter about a week later welcoming us to Plusnet and listing our details. When we checked these, they were incorrect, the adviser had spelled my name correctly but incorrectly on my email address. I called to amend this. I was on hold for an awful long time, which immediately raised alarm bells. Once I had corrected this mistake, I received a welcome email, stating that an engineer would come on 23/11/17. I called again, waited on hold for over thirty minutes again, and explained that the email had the wrong date. I was told that it was definitely the correct date. I told the adviser about my initial call and how I had been told that an engineer would come on 14/11/17 and was rudely told that I had gotten it all wrong and that it was only a predicted date and they can be changed several times. I was quite taken back as I genuinely thought that it was a mistake and I would be told "don't worry you're going live on the 14th as planned"; I was shocked to hear that the delay was somehow my fault for being incompetent in listening and not the salesman's error for not explaining the fine print and just rushing the sale. I wanted to cancel at that point, feeling mislead and already frustrated at the length of times on hold and amount of times I had needed to call, but I was told that if I did it would take even longer to start the process with another provider so I decided not to. Which I have later lived to seriously regret!
My partner is disabled and house bound, she relies heavily on the internet for socializing, Skyping her doctor, streaming her migraine and anxiety soothers and listening to podcasts to keep her from boredom whilst I'm at work. All of my family live outside of the UK so to have to wait an extra nine days for our engineer started to cost a fortune in mobile data for Skype calls etc. Every top-up started to make me more and more annoyed. After talking to my partner and explaining that I really wasn't happy with the way I had been talked to and the way we had been mislead, she agreed it would be better in the long run and worth waiting a couple more weeks to go with a better provider. As we were within 14 days of our initial sign-up, I decided to call and cancel straight away. The gentleman on the phone was lovely, he explained that the original guy who had sold us the product had basically done it in a way that he would get two sales instead of one, which became obvious afterwards. He said that he was 99% sure the date would not change again and double checked with his manager that it was booked for the 23rd. I said that wasn't my only issue and that we had spent so much time on hold and been talked to so rudely that I didn't have much faith in the brand and he explained that I had just been unlucky because you have won awards for customer service and that the wait times would soon be improved as you're opening more contact centers. He said that he can't stop me from cancelling but if I was to just wait until the 23rd, it would be quicker than going elsewhere and he would sort me a discount out as a goodwill gesture. He said he couldn't do that immediately as he couldn't upgrade me to fiber until the engineer had been but if I was to call back on the 23rd I would be able to get it all sorted out, so I accepted this, and waited until the 23rd.
On the 23rd the engineer arrived, he was absolutely brilliant, very friendly, very fast, couldn't fault him. At this point we were so relieved that all the waiting was finally over and all we had to do was call and upgrade to fiber. The internet wouldn't connect but we were aware that it could take until midnight so I didn't bother getting in touch. I was out of the country from 24/11-29/11 but presumed the internet was live until I returned home in the evening to find it still wasn't working. I called the tech helpline and was on hold for an hour and fifteen minutes, I asked to cancel immediately, I had absolutely had enough by then. I was told that the cancellation team wasn't open at that time so I would have to call the day after but that the technician would correct the error for now, which he did.
The next day I called Sky to sign up for fiber with them. We have been with Sky previously, their customer service and products are fantastic, but we found them expensive. To our surprise, they actually had a better fiber deal than yourselves! Then I called Plusnet to transfer to Sky. I was on hold for thirty minutes, then I had to explain the story of why I wanted to cancel, then I was put on hold, then I was told if I wanted to go to Sky it would cost me £200. I said I would speak to Sky and ask if they would cover the costs. Sky agreed to pay £100. I asked Plusnet if they would reduce the fees to £100 (bare in mind I had had internet access for LESS THAN 24HRS at this point, even though I signed up over five weeks beforehand). They refused. I said fine I can't afford to leave you I'll just have to stay, so now I'll need to sort out my upgrade to fiber. "What upgrade to fiber?" I was told I could upgrade to fiber for free? "No that was our Black Friday deal it's gone." No, I signed up on 31/10/17, way prior to Black Friday, the deal was £23 a month for 18 months." No that deal doesn't exist." Yes it does, listen to the call. "Maybe you thought you signed up for fiber but you signed up for broadband." No, I know I signed up for broadband but that's because I was told to do it that way. "Nobody would tell you to do it that way." Yes they would, they did, and even your team members have admitted to me that sometimes happens. "Well you have signed up for broadband and that's what you've got so we haven't done anything wrong". That's an absolutely scam, I was mislead, I signed for nothing, I made a verbal contract agreeing to a broadband contract, with a free upgrade to fiber on the day of commencing and a £75 amazon gift card. "We don't do amazon gift cards". Yes you do. I just want you to listen to the call please because if you are not going to honour the original deal I am legally within my right to cancel with contract without charge and move to Sky. "Okay my manager is busy they will listen to the call and phone you back tomorrow. If they haven't called you by Saturday you can call us back and take it further".
Saturday 02/12/17, nobody has called (quite obviously by this point, seen as Plusnet is terrible at customer service) so I call. I'm on hold for 35 minutes, a lady answers and asks for my username, I tell her and she asks me to hold, and the phone goes dead, I've been cut off. I call back, I'm on hold for another 30 minutes, I explain the whole situation AGAIN to the adviser, he explains that the team that can deal with this have just closed and I will have to call back tomorrow. So, I spent over an hour on hold for nothing AND if the girl hadn't of hung up on me I could have gotten my complaint dealt with a day sooner.
Sunday, I call up and explain my situation AGAIN to an adviser, he puts me through to another adviser and I explain it to him, he says that they haven't got the time to listen back to my original call but as a "good will" gesture he'll give me fiber for £25 a month. As a goodwill gesture he'll give me fiber for £2 a month MORE than what I originally signed up for? For £5 a month more than the provider I ACTUALLY have faith in? I declined his generous offer and explained that I don't want any goodwill gestures I just want to move to Sky and that I'm not paying the £100 to leave because it's not my fault I'm leaving the first place as I was miss sold. He laughed and said "How were you mis sold? You signed up for broadband, you've got broadband" I said that I was promised a free upgrade to fiber and an 18 month contract at £23 a month and that someone was to listen to the original call he would know that. He was incredibly rude and unhelpful so I asked to speak to a manager. He said he could get a team leader to call me back. I said that a few days prior somebody had said they would call me back and they didn't. He said "do you want me to get them to call you or not?". I said I would rather wait on hold as I don't believe I'd get a call back. He said that wasn't an option. As he was being very unprofessional in his responses I asked for his name, office and department. When I started to say that one of the guys we had spoken to previously also worked in that department at that office (so they could maybe save time finding the old calls and discuss the case) he interrupted me and said "look I think you're best holding your breath for someone who..." to which my partner laughed in shock and get extremely angry and I hung up. I have this call recorded. It is against the law for me to share this without his permission but if you would like to hear it I would be happy to contact him for permission.
To my amazement, later that day a team leader did call me back. He said he couldn't transfer me to Sky for free but as a "goodwill gesture" he would give me the fiber for the £23 a month I was promised. Thinking I had no other choice, I gave in. I asked when the fiber would be active, he said Friday 8/12. It's Monday 11/12 and, of course, still no fiber.
42 days. No apology. No compensation for the hours on hold, the stress caused, the Skype calls missed, the arguments, the research into my legal rights, the time talking to sky, the time explaining the details over and over, the time writing this.
I do not want insincere 'goodwill' gestures, I do not want false promises, I do not want to be tied to your company for eighteen more months and I do not want to have to deal with another rude, untrained, dishonest, disrespectful member of staff.
I am asking you with the last bit of energy I have left; please transfer us to Sky free of charge and refund us for our costs so far.
Re: Horrific customer service, last resort attempt
Hi there. I'm very sorry to read about your experience.
I can see we've received your email to our CEO. A member of our complaints team will be in touch with you once they've had time to review your account. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.