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Is Plusnet only for those comfortable with technology?

jafrank
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 19-11-2015

Is Plusnet only for those comfortable with technology?

I write this on behalf of my mother who has been a Plusnet customer for many years.  It is a longish story but shows how difficult and distressing it can be to deal with Plusnet if you are not comfortable with technology.
My mother is 94 and lives by herself. She has Plusnet telephone and also broadband - the broadband is mainly for when her children and grandchildren visit.  She pays her monthly bill by Direct Debit and there has never been the slightest problem.
Recently there has been a death in the family which resulted in her making many more telephone calls then usual. One day a couple of weeks ago she found she could not make calls and instead of a dial tone there was a lengthy message about exceeding her credit limit which was unintelligible to her but extremely distressing. (I have since found out that she would still have been able to contact the emergency services but this was not apparent to her). She was understandably distraught and confused. She contacted me by walking to my sister who lives nearby and calling me from there. I tried calling the help line but the message said the expected wait time was 30 minutes which was quite impossible for me (I was working). I then managed to contact Plusnet through the chat line. The assistant could only guess it was something to do with my mother's credit limit (this was the first time either of us were aware there was a credit limit) but was unable to confirm it or help in any other way. I asked if it was PLusnet's practice to cut off people without warning and she told me that if my mother was close to her credit limit she would have had a warning via e-mail. This amazed me as my mother has never used e-mail in her life and neither of us was aware she had an e-mail address.
Later that day I found her Plusnet log on id which I had stored when she first took out the account. I was able to top up her credit and get her telephone service restored. I also found an e-mail address which Plusnet had set up for her when she took out the account. However, we had completely forgotten about it as she didn't use e-mail. The warnings had been going to this e-mail address.
As a final irritation - I immediately wanted to change her telephone service to Talk Anytime International to avoid the problem recurring. As I started the process I noticed I could also get her a better broadband product. I selected that and found I could not change the telephone service until that change was complete in 6 days time.
Note that the problem would have been averted if there had been a message on her telephone warning her about approaching the credit limit before she was cut-off.
My overall impression is that Plusnet telephone is not suitable for those in my mother's position.  Would you agree?
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,529
Thanks: 766
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Is Plusnet only for those comfortable with technology?

You might like to set up a divert on your Mother's email address to yourself to avoid issues in the future.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 1
Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: Is Plusnet only for those comfortable with technology?

From another thread
Quote from: lucerne
No system will work for everybody, and a lady of your mother's age is likely to have more problems with technology than a young person, This link (4 -redirects)
http://www.plus.net/support/email/mmm_overview.shtml#redirects
may, I think be an answer to recent problems.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 17,641
Thanks: 535
Fixes: 159
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Is Plusnet only for those comfortable with technology?

I'm sorry that you and your mother have had issues with our service recently, I've replied to your queries below.
Quote
instead of a dial tone there was a lengthy message about exceeding her credit limit which was unintelligible to her but extremely distressing

This should also route any outbound calls through to our billing team here after the message. They would have been able to advise of the credit limit and explain what this is and how/why it's used.
Quote
I asked if it was PLusnet's practice to cut off people without warning and she told me that if my mother was close to her credit limit she would have had a warning via e-mail. This amazed me as my mother has never used e-mail in her life and neither of us was aware she had an e-mail address.

The vast majority of our communication with customers is electronic, during the signup process we ask for an email address and if the customer doesn't have one we advise they can use on we provide and give the details of this.
Quote
As I started the process I noticed I could also get her a better broadband product. I selected that and found I could not change the telephone service until that change was complete in 6 days time.

It's probably worth getting in touch with our Customer Options Team (0800 013 2632) as they can generally provide a cheaper broadband price than the upgrade journey shown on the website if a new contract is agreed at the same time.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,529
Thanks: 766
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Is Plusnet only for those comfortable with technology?

Quote from: Chris
Quote
instead of a dial tone there was a lengthy message about exceeding her credit limit which was unintelligible to her but extremely distressing

This should also route any outbound calls through to our billing team here after the message. They would have been able to advise of the credit limit and explain what this is and how/why it's used.

24x7?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)