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I have been tempted by BT

Community Veteran
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I have been tempted by BT

Yes, there is another posting in Hosting. Roll eyes  with the same title,
however, I am not happy with the response I got from the  "Support Team"...
Having contacted them to see what PlusNet could offer me, to keep me as a customer in the light of a very good offer from BT to move my broadband to them for an extra £5 per month. I asked the "Support" team to pass on that request, because I am "hard of hearing", and find using a telephone very difficult....
their response was, that I must telephone them, OR write a letter to them.... Here is a copy of my reply to that....
Quote

What a pathetic answer, from "customer service"....
should be re-titled..... customer lack-of service....
what is the difference in writing a message on here, or email, and writing a letter on paper? it can still get to the right department, and that department can contact me via email too...
It is absolutely unbelievable that this sort of customer service exists, when PlusNet latest advertising boasts....
We`ll do you proud....
But you must write a letter.... get real.... this is the electronic age, and electronic communication is provided by PlusNet as part of it`s business....
As previously stated, I am "hard of hearing", and understanding conversation on the telephone is difficult.
Writing letters takes too long in turnaround, when email can be used to great effect when someone has a disability that affects them, it seems PlusNet will make it as difficult as possible to retain good customer service to long standing customers.
Pass my message to the retention department, and get them to send me an email with their proposals to keep me as a customer.
If you can`t do this, personally, then get a supervisor, or line manager to do it....

It really is not good enough to "do me proud " in this manner.... and BT is looking like it might just get a new customer, if PlusNet cannot communicate with me other than by letter.
[Moderator's note by Jim (Oldjim)  quote fixed ]

67 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

Maybe a suitable compromise would be to write a letter as requested then email it (as an attachment) to the blighters and save the (ridiculous) price of a stamp.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

UPDATE....
Do the Retention Department live on another planet? 
Do the Retention Department not have computers, connected to the internet , yet.
Do the Retention Department not communicate with the rest of PlusNet?
What ?
Well it appears that  the "Support Team" cannot communicate with them, when asked to do so by a customer..... Or, they cannot read the messages sent to them....
here is the reply I got from Support Team...
*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Please accept my apologies if you found the answer given by my colleague unacceptable.
I have asked your question to my manager and unfortunately we are unable to negotiate any deals or action any cancellation request via email, all request need to either be made by letter or over the telephone.
Please accept my apologies once again if you find this answer unsatisfactory but all the information has been confirmed as requested by a supervisor.
Please do not hesitate to get back in touch online at http://contactus.plus.net or by phone on 0800 432 0200 if we can be of further assistance.
**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Read that second line, very carefully, and you will see, that it does not cover what I asked them to do... it merely re-states that "Customer (lack of) Support cannot negotiate. ...
Whereas I asked spefically for them to "pass my message to the retention department"...
The apology is an insult, compounded by that, and also by the words of the last line....
What is the point of telling me to get back in touch "online" at "contacts"  when they don`t /can`t do anything
" or by phone " ................have already mentioned that I have difficulty using the telephone.... 

So Let`s see if PlusNet can live up to their latest motto.... We`ll Do You  Proud and lend the retention department a couple of wifi enabled laptops so they can communicate with people like me.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

Hi Shutter,
Apologies that it's inconvenient but as the agent states, "we are unable to negotiate any deals or action any cancellation request via email" - that sounds like a very reasonable reply to "Pass my message to the retention department, and get them to send me an email with their proposals to keep me as a customer" - which seems a very forceful 'request'.
I'm afraid we do only deal with retentions by phone or letter as has been stated and indeed as is stated in our terms and conditions. I'm sorry that's not ideal for you but if you do write in one of our team will write back to you with what you require.
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

Hi Matt..
What your agent stated....  "we are unable to negotiate any deals or action any cancellation request via email"  was what "customer support" could not do....
not what PlusNet could not do... that is why I made the point of getting a supervisor or line manager to action my "foreceful request" for the message to be passed to the retention department.
Yes it was a "forceful request"... and I do not apologise for that...
To me. ( the customer ) it seems the least that the "support team" could do.  If they can`t deal with it, then they should pass it on to someone who can.... there really is no excuse.
You have skilfully "worked around" the problem, by saying  "I``m afraid....... "      what is there to be afraid of?
is it too frightening to pass a message to the retention department? Are they some kind of ogres, that even PlusNet staff, have to be "afraid" of them.... ?
Not very good prospects for me as a lowly customer then, is there.
I have been a PlusNet customer for about 6 years... and generally I have been satisfied with the service I have received. Indeed, I have on two occasions, put very favourable feedback on the forum,.... However, this "bone of contention" that the retention department can ONLY be communicated by twisted pair, or pulped trees has been a source of "disappointment" ( to say the least) to many customers and is archaic,  when PlusNet is an electronic communication company.
WHY does PlusNet think it is "doing you proud" , when, quite obviously, it is "doing you down". in this matter.
WHY does PlusNet not make provision to communicate with the retention department via email/online. instead of "working around it" by saying,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,," indeed as is stated in our terms and conditions" ....................as if that was "written in stone".  Times change, and so should PlusNet.
PlusNet is always telling us how much they have increased the 21CN capacity, and bringing on more "pipes" etc... but have failed to provide a really useful service to customers by it`s attitude to them and by failing to provide an easy means for people with hearing difficulties to communicate with them
Using the Royal Mail is really not an option in many cases... it is not as reliable as it was 50 years ago, when you could post a letter in Scotland, and it wold be delivered in Cornwall the next morning.  (well perhaps some letters get misrouted now and then !!!)... so there is the inordinate delay in the receipt of the letter in Sheffield, then it has to be "actioned" and a reply has to be posted back to the customer.... so the delay from asking a question ( mac code/whatever) is extended to over 7 days before a reply is received.  Then that "offer" has to be accepted or rejected, again by post, and the subsequent delays can add up to 2 or 3 weeks from the initial enquiry.
Add to that, the cost of sending a letter, you can see that it really is not good enough for PlusNet to say that customers who want to leave, HAVE to communicate via phone or mail. (because it is in the terms and conditions.).  T&C`s are changing all the time. (usually to the customers disadvantage) ... PlusNet is no different to any other company in that... so change the way to communicate, and then change the T&C`s.... you won`t lose customers because of that, will you?
As I have already said.... what is the difference between writing a letter and using email/online communication with the retention department...
If you read the above paragraph, and consider it, in the light of the question, it should become pretty obvious.....
Royal Mail is outdated.... Email/online is more "personal" ....................more efficient, .................customer friendly,.......... and problems can be sorted within hours instead of days or weeks. Also, it is easier to refer back to the text of an email/online communication, making misunderstandings less of a problem.
I suppose PlusNet feel here is some "merit" in trying to make it as difficult as possible for customers to leave, by the present setup... In that case, why have a retention department at all?


glloyd
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

I can't believe the reply I have just read. Do PlusNet not realise that some people suffer from disabilities which makes communication by telephone either difficult or impossible. For a company who's business is communication they seem to lack the flexibility to communicate with those who may not be able conform to the hard and fast rules imposed by PlusNet. It's issues like this that show a company in their true light. 
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

Hi Shutter,
Quote from: shutter
What your agent stated....  "we are unable to negotiate any deals or action any cancellation request via email"  was what "customer support" could not do....

That's correct, but it's set as company policy which in turn is in line with Ofcom guidelines, so nobody in the company would be able to do it.
Quote from: shutter
To me. ( the customer ) it seems the least that the "support team" could do.  If they can`t deal with it, then they should pass it on to someone who can.... there really is no excuse.

But the moment we circumvent company policy for one person is the moment we have to do so for everyone who asks.
Quote from: shutter
You have skilfully "worked around" the problem, by saying  "I``m afraid....... "      what is there to be afraid of?

Sorry if I used the wrong phrase there, I wasn't attempting to sidestep or 'work around' anything - it was meant to show sympathy with the situation even though there's nothing I can do about it.
Quote from: shutter
PlusNet is always telling us how much they have increased the 21CN capacity, and bringing on more "pipes" etc... but have failed to provide a really useful service to customers by it`s attitude to them and by failing to provide an easy means for people with hearing difficulties to communicate with them

But there are - there is typetalk, there are phones available that are compatible with hearing aids, etc. I have held several typetalk conversations in my time here.
Quote from: shutter
Using the Royal Mail is really not an option in many cases... it is not as reliable as it was 50 years ago, when you could post a letter in Scotland, and it wold be delivered in Cornwall the next morning.  (well perhaps some letters get misrouted now and then !!!)... so there is the inordinate delay in the receipt of the letter in Sheffield, then it has to be "actioned" and a reply has to be posted back to the customer.... so the delay from asking a question ( mac code/whatever) is extended to over 7 days before a reply is received.  Then that "offer" has to be accepted or rejected, again by post, and the subsequent delays can add up to 2 or 3 weeks from the initial enquiry.

Understood, but again there's recorded delivery if proof is required (indeed this is still the only accepted legal way of proving a message has been delivered in dispute situations) and if you wished our agents would be happy to call back following receipt of the letter.
Quote from: shutter
Add to that, the cost of sending a letter, you can see that it really is not good enough for PlusNet to say that customers who want to leave, HAVE to communicate via phone or mail. (because it is in the terms and conditions.).  T&C`s are changing all the time. (usually to the customers disadvantage) ... PlusNet is no different to any other company in that... so change the way to communicate, and then change the T&C`s.... you won`t lose customers because of that, will you?
[...]
Royal Mail is outdated.... Email/online is more "personal" ....................more efficient, .................customer friendly,.......... and problems can be sorted within hours instead of days or weeks. Also, it is easier to refer back to the text of an email/online communication, making misunderstandings less of a problem.

If you've ever emailed our customer support team you'll have received a bounceback message explaining why we don't provide support via email - mainly down to the lack of accountability and the fact that it's impossible to trace what happened or recover any messages if they do go missing.

Quote from: shutter
I suppose PlusNet feel here is some "merit" in trying to make it as difficult as possible for customers to leave, by the present setup... In that case, why have a retention department at all?

As stated above, our cancellation policies are in line with ofcom guidelines and if a letter is too slow then there are means for people who are hard of hearing to contact us by phone - which itself is faster and more accountable than email.
Hope that helps explain.
@glloyd - as above I'd definitely recommend typetalk for any hard of hearing customers who need to get in touch.
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

Strictly Come Dancing .... comes to mind
You have, again, skilfully, sidestepped every point. by "hiding" behind "company policy",  even using "Ofcom guidelines".. (which are, as it says..... "guidelines"... not law, or legal requirements) and the most insulting bit of all, is in the line...
Quote

But the moment we circumvent company policy for one person is the moment we have to do so for everyone who asks.

Erm..... isn`t that what this is all about? doing it for "everyone who asks"... ( I am not specifically referring to my "forceful request" - more the principle behind my posting) ....
Quote

Quote from: shutter on Today at 11:26
PlusNet is always telling us how much they have increased the 21CN capacity, and bringing on more "pipes" etc... but have failed to provide a really useful service to customers by it`s attitude to them and by failing to provide an easy means for people with hearing difficulties to communicate with them
But there are - there is typetalk, there are phones available that are compatible with hearing aids, etc. I have held several typetalk conversations in my time here.

My words " Plusnet have failed to provide a really useful service "  and your reply to it... suggest that   PlusNet  will provide the touch talk system to me, and other customers who need it? How do we apply for it.?
I am asking for the "system"  "company policy" T&C`s  whatever you want, to be changed, so that "everyone" will benefit... not me as a single customer.
Surely, with all your experience, of customer service, either as a PN employee, or as a private individual, you can understand that.
The current system.... however you "dress it up or down"... is inadequate... inapproriate, and not fit for purpose.
If ONE customer has deep concerns about a part of the PlusNet service, which, can be changed and  of distinct advantage to the customer  and the company,  if action is taken, it can only be good for the company, for ALL the customer to have the same service.
This, not only increases the "credibility of the management team(s) involved, but increases customer satisfaction in the way that the company carries out its business.
Failing to do anything, is a "cop out"... when using "company policy". T&C`s , Ofcom guidelines, etc etc etc, as a way of "not doing anything"  and hoping the problem will go away... Head in the sand attitudes like this only breed discontent.....
In short... the answer to all your fancy footwork and sidestepping, is to work out ways to solve the problem. If that means changing "company policy" and the T&C`s how hard would that be, compared to the gain in customer satisfaction in improvement in customer service.


Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

Quote from: shutter
Strictly Come Dancing .... comes to mind
You have, again, skilfully, sidestepped every point. by "hiding" behind "company policy",

I'm not quite sure how explaining the reason is 'hiding'? The business has made the decision that cancellations can either be dealt with by letter or by phone, so that's how cancellations are dealt with.
Quote from: shutter
  even using "Ofcom guidelines".. (which are, as it says..... "guidelines"... not law, or legal requirements)

Nontheless we have chosen to use these guidelines as rules for how we offer our services, and thus stick to them.
Quote from: shutter
and the most insulting bit of all, is in the line...
Quote
But the moment we circumvent company policy for one person is the moment we have to do so for everyone who asks.

Erm..... isn`t that what this is all about? doing it for "everyone who asks"... ( I am not specifically referring to my "forceful request" - more the principle behind my posting) ....

I would say in fact that it is the opposite. If company policy is ignored whenever a customer requests it to be ignored, then surely it's not company policy?
Quote from: shutter
PlusNet is always telling us how much they have increased the 21CN capacity, and bringing on more "pipes" etc... but have failed to provide a really useful service to customers

I'm not sure what service it is you're referring to that we've failed to provide here, as has been mentioned and discussed on these forums many times people are able to discuss cancellation with our dedicated team via phone or letter. Whether or not a customer wishes there were alternative means to access the service, it's undeniable that the service is there... unless I've misunderstood and you're referring to something else? Apologies if that's the case, please let us know and we'll look into it.
Quote from: shutter
My words " Plusnet have failed to provide a really useful service "  and your reply to it... suggest that  PlusNet  will provide the touch talk system to me, and other customers who need it? How do we apply for it.?

You don't need to apply for it, it's accessible on all lines though does require a special phone - for more information please see the http://www.textrelay.org/ website.
Quote from: shutter
I am asking for the "system"  "company policy" T&C`s  whatever you want, to be changed, so that "everyone" will benefit... not me as a single customer.
Surely, with all your experience, of customer service, either as a PN employee, or as a private individual, you can understand that.

Indeed I can, however I'm afraid the cancellation policy isn't going to be changed. (Once again I use the 'afraid' there to express sympathy with your position rather than literally being afraid of anything).
Quote from: shutter
The current system.... however you "dress it up or down"... is inadequate... inapproriate, and not fit for purpose.

If that was the case we'd have been informed by Ofcom or some other governing body that we're required to change it.
Quote from: shutter
If ONE customer has deep concerns about a part of the PlusNet service, which, can be changed and  of distinct advantage to the customer  and the company,  if action is taken, it can only be good for the company, for ALL the customer to have the same service.

If it was to the advantage of the company to have the policy different than it is then we'd have changed it. Surely you can see that just because someone wishes something were different it doesn't necessarily follow that it's good for everybody? I mean, I'm quite sure most customers would find it advantageous to get unlimited usage for £5 a month, but the company wouldn't and would rapidly go out of business if that were the case. Sure that's an extreme example but I only use it to illustrate the point.
Quote from: shutter
Failing to do anything, is a "cop out"... when using "company policy". T&C`s , Ofcom guidelines, etc etc etc, as a way of "not doing anything"  and hoping the problem will go away... Head in the sand attitudes like this only breed discontent.....
In short... the answer to all your fancy footwork and sidestepping, is to work out ways to solve the problem. If that means changing "company policy" and the T&C`s how hard would that be, compared to the gain in customer satisfaction in improvement in customer service.

I assume the 'problem' in this case being that customers are unable to discuss cancellations via email? I could see there being a problem if customers were unable to discuss cancellation *at all*, but there are ways in which this can happen that are in line with the guidelines that we adhere to. We aren't obliged or required to change them, that's not to say that we won't ever change them but as I've said above as things stand they won't be changed.
I'm sorry if that isn't the answer you wanted.
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

I`m not going to dig your grave any deeper by itemising each line, as you have done with my posting. Because your last paragraph sums up exactly what I have been trying to get across,
and in your own words, you agree with me....
Quote

In short... the answer to all your fancy footwork and sidestepping, is to work out ways to solve the problem. If that means changing "company policy" and the T&C`s how hard would that be, compared to the gain in customer satisfaction in improvement in customer service.

Quote

I assume the 'problem' in this case being that customers are unable to discuss cancellations via email?

and then you finally use the JCB to dig the hole that you can`t get ouf of......
Quote

We aren't obliged or required to change them, that's not to say that we won't ever change them


enter the JCB ...
Quote



but as I've said above as things stand they won't be changed.



Sadly, it seems PlusNet is not interested in listening to its customers concerns to the point of flat refusal, to even consider any changes, not that this one would put them out of business, but would most likely help to keep them in business, by being able to communicate quickly, efficiently and personally with those very customers who decide they want to leave...
How weird is that.?

Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

I really don't see that there's a hole there. I've explained why we won't deal with cancellations (or indeed any support requests) via email above. Those are the same reasons we won't change the Ts and Cs to allow discussions with customers via email - that's always been the case at Plusnet, at least it has as long as I've worked here (around 8 years now).
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

So... for 8 years.... and at least half of that time, I have seen postings on this problem.... and you still  say "  No change "
Maybe I am talking to the wrong guy...... as it is obvious that you have no intentions of passing on the concerns to a "higher level"  ?  and trying to get some long needed changes to "company policy"  T&C`s, to facilitate better customer relations, where they are needed most....... the retention of customers.
Whilst you might consider this to be "personal" to my own situation, you should be able to see the "wider view" and admit that I am not the only one to voice this opinion, and that there are probably hundreds more who just keep quiet, or "can`t be bothered".
Is there anyone in PlusNet that you can recommend to me, to contact, to pass on my concerns directly to?
Superuser
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

Quote from: Matt
...... that's always been the case at Plusnet, at least it has as long as I've worked here (around 8 years now).

I know it's not your fault Chris - you can only reflect Corporate Policy in your replies  -  but it doesn't  make it right.  
On a personal note, I lost the container that held the ink for my quill pen some time ago, and see no rational reason to replace it.  It does jar a lot that I can order and pay for your products on-line, but complaints / cancellations must on paper or by phone within office hours?
Maurice
James
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

I know it is entirely off topic, but you can complain by phone, ticket or letter.
Ticket or letter are handled directly by my team.  By phone, it would be adviser -> team leader -> complaint team.
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Re: I have been tempted by BT

Yes, you can complain ..... but you can`t leave UNLESS you contact by mail or phone....
So you can do everything by email/online.... except LEAVE...  If what you say is true about Tickets being handled directly by your team.... why is it impossible to pass on an email/online ticket about leaving to your team then?