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Is anybody out there?

AK
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-03-2014

Is anybody out there?

Hi there, after some none too inspiring customer service it was finally agreed that an attempt would be made to expedite my appointment with the open reach engineer. That was on Sunday, I got a text message on Monday at 1547 saying that a request had been sent to your suppliers to expedite the appointment. Since then there has been complete radio silence... is anybody there? Any when will you stop blaming your suppliers? I have a contract with you, not your suppliers. Don't you think it is time to take some responsibility. If your current agreement with suppliers causes problems with your customer base, might be an idea to look at that relationship and what plusnet can do to help plusnet customers and limit the impact of downstream issues. Ticket ref is 82199271
19 REPLIES
gc66
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-03-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

Unfortunately most of the cable in the ground is owned by BT, and they are a law unto themselves. At work we're a Business customer with £1,000,000 spend and we have had to wait 45 days for ADSL install, after waiting 2 weeks for them to come out in the first place for them to realise they had installed to the wrong BT cabinet. So Plusnet will really struggle to do too much
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎14-08-2009

Re: Is anybody out there?

as gc66 says....
It was the way the system was set up
BTOR division is the monopoly owner of all the network infrastructure
(Just like Transco is the owner of all the gas pipelines).
All the ISP's have no options other than to wait in the queue for BTOR.
To be fair it is impossible to visualize any other scenario than one major infrastructure provider.
It would be a nightmare to work a system where multiple operators were all allowed access to BT's cabinets and manholes just to do what they like and never record anything about what was done to fix a line....and then each blame each other when someone else line was mucked up as a result.
At least at the moment everything done is recorded and listed against an individual BT engineers employee number.
The problem for BTOR is the work is so variable: 1000 faults one day and none the next.
They are trying to run a just in time operation when the inputs are not controllable - unlike say car manufacturing.
Either they employ a lot more staff and have them doing next to nothing at times of slack demand - which is going to cost a lot.
Or they end up bouncing appointments and not turning up when the jobs all start to go wrong and the delays cascade.
Given that in the UK anyway BB is seemingly sold on minimum price at all costs and any price rise is "outrageous" I frankly don't see a lot of scope for radical improvement: Yes those affected are outraged - but are they willing for their BB costs to go up - no.
For those that really need superior service they go and buy a bespoke/business/commercial package from BT which comes with various levels of service level agreements (SLA's) on fixing times etc- but my, does it comes with a price tag attached!

Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

Hi AK,
I'm sorry to hear of the delay in your service being activated. I will ensure this is chased up for you and an update provided on Ticket: 82199271. I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused.
AK
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-03-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

I get that BTOR own the cable and that plusnet are somewhat at their mercy. However I also don't see any honest indications of the level of impotence on the plusnet website. Are PN really just a billing and messaging service? What is irritiating is that they have no contingency and seemingly no imagination. PN chose the date to move me from my old supplier. My internet went down on that day (10 days ago) and is yet to come back on line. Since then I've had 'nothing we can do' responses. The expedite only came because I wouldn't get off the phone. I really don't undertand why they keep harping on about their honesty and customer service. No communication, no imagination. really is very dissapointing. If I knew there was a chance that I could leave my custoemrs without a service for a couple of weeks or more because my main supplier was difficult, I would look for a contingency to deal with those issues. 4G mi fi's perhaps? Maybe plusnet should publish their sla's with BTOR so a customer could see what they were actually signing up to. That would be good and honest.
KK
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

We have seen a couple of references recently to the fact that good Customer Service can only be provided at a cost, and that internet providers’ prices are insufficient to cover those costs.
I can understand that long call centre response times are a direct result of cost-cutting in the wages department, but over a period of many years experience with many different call centres, I have never been able to work out why call centre operatives are consistently allowed to give out incorrect information, and make promises that are rarely kept.
The answer can only be that the training and supervision of the operatives is also subject to an insufficient budget.
But surely it is a false economy to allow so many simple customer issues to require several phone calls in order to reach a satisfactory conclusion.  My own rule-of-thumb is that if you ask 10 different call centre operatives a question, you are quite likely to get 10 different answers.  I never assume that any operative’s response can be relied upon, and my normal practice is to ring the call centre several times with the same question, until a picture begins to emerge of what might be something approaching the truth.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

Hi AK,
I have updated Ticket: 82199271 on your account and confirmed the engineers appointment for 17/03/2014 between 8AM and 1PM. Please be available during this time to allow the engineer access to the property to complete the installation. I'm really sorry for the delay.
AK
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-03-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

Thanks for responding Linn K. looks like the expedite process should give me internet 1 day earlier than  the intial second appointment. Shame it took me to badger to get this far. Imagine if someone had taken some responsibility for this when BTOR failed at the first attempt on 03 March. That would have broght everything forward by a week. Fingers crossed nothing goes wrong on this install or i guess i have to wait another 2 weeks? If this is really outside of plusnet control they really need to improve their response times, communication skills and think about how they can provide a backup service. When you have tied a customer to a contract and can’t then provide the service agreed, ’computer says no’, ’nothing we can do’ is simply not good enough.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

Hi AK,
Thanks for your feedback, I'll ensure it's passed on. I understand where you're coming from and I'm sorry for the delay you've experienced. Hopefully everything will be resolved on Monday for you. Let us know if we can help in the future.
AK
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-03-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

well the big day arrived, my wife stayed in, she called me at 1300. Nobody came.Cheeky plusnet sent a text at 1315 claiming there was nobody in and I would be charged £50 to get another appointment. To be fair, when i called and pointed out that was not entirely in line with the truth, they agreed. Not sure why the message was sent. Do i get £50 no show fee now? What is PN’s compensation from BTOR in this situation? And any bets on when i might finally get my fibre?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,419
Thanks: 17
Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: Is anybody out there?

Sad Chances are BTOR got the wrong address and nobody answered so they assumed you weren't in (or something similar).
Hopefully PN will sort you out one way of another Sad
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Is anybody out there?

I'm really sorry that an engineer didn't attend, again.
Your ticket is due to be picked up today and we'll be in touch with a further update for you. We're doing all we can to get this sorted out for you.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
AK
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-03-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

Thanks Chris. We'll the ticket has been updated, and the first slot is the 1 April. Seems appropriate. So I call PN, explain again that since my 'switch' on the 3rd March, I have had no internet, and at present it looks like it will be nearly a month before I get connected. Now given that the first engineer was incompetant, and the second engineer couldn't be bothered to turn up, I'm pretty dubious that the appointment on the 1 April will happen. So I asked PN call centre what would happen if BTOR failed to turn up on the 1 April. The response - they would take up the issue with BTOR on my behalf and try to get it resolved quickly. The obvious question back - why haven't you done this for me so far? 'We have' came the response. Well if the best that can be done today is an appointment that may or may not happen in two weeks time, why would it be any different then? No answer.
So I try a different tack - you have a supplier that fails to do what it promises to do on your behalf. What compesation is payable to plusnet? What service level agreement is in palce to look after PN customers? Can you guess the answer? Yes, you guessed it 'I wouldn't know'.
What about what compensation I am entiteled to as the affected customer? Again, she 'couldn't say'. I would have to put in a complaint.
Can you just put me through to complaints so I can speak to someone who might know something? No sir, they only accept electronic or snail mail. But I would like to speak to someone. Sorry sir, they like things in writing. Well very nice for them but what about what I the customer want?
So rant over, the questions I now have:
1. What SLA does plusnet have with BTOR to stop me as a customer getting screwed (repeatedly)?
2. How much does BTOR pay PN when they fail to turn up to an appointment?
3. What compensation am I due?
4. What are my options to go elsewhere that does not rely on BTOR and PN managing BTOR in a satisfactory way? Presume it is Virgin?
5. Will plusnet try to charge me / make life difficult in order to extricate myself from this mess?
Thanks
Highlighted
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Is anybody out there?

Thanks very much for your time on the phone this afternoon. I'm sorry that I didn't have all the answers at the time of calling you, I just wanted to make sure we could get you the expedited date booked in ASAP.
Quote
1. What SLA does plusnet have with BTOR to stop me as a customer getting screwed (repeatedly)?

We allow up to 24-48 hours for our suppliers to get back in touch with us, each time we get in touch with them. There's no SLA as such with regards to getting an installation completed. Ideally we'd like for the installation to be completed on the date you've chosen and agreed with us. If this doesn't happen, this is when we go through raising escalations with our suppliers and hold them accountable.
Quote
2. How much does BTOR pay PN when they fail to turn up to an appointment?

This information is available publicly and can be found https://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/updates/briefings/generalbriefings/generalbriefingsarticles/ge...
Quote
3. What compensation am I due?

As discussed, this is something we'd discuss with you once we've got the installation in place.
Quote
4. What are my options to go elsewhere that does not rely on BTOR and PN managing BTOR in a satisfactory way? Presume it is Virgin?

You'd need to speak to our Customer Options Team to discuss this. We'd much prefer to keep working with you and our suppliers to get this sorted out and installed for you - I can appreciate why you're giving those options consideration.
Quote
5. Will plusnet try to charge me / make life difficult in order to extricate myself from this mess?

As above, this is something you'd need to discuss with our Customer Options Team, however, we'd much prefer to keep working to resolve this issue for you.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
m13ata
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎18-03-2014

Re: Is anybody out there?

Hi AK
as far as I can see it, it looks like that BTOR should pay you £45 for missed appointment - unfortunately nowhere near to what taking day of work may cost you or your wife.
At least you were able to get through to somebody - I was trying for two days to call them and the waiting time is between 15 and 30 minutes plus!!!.
I will have to contact "Which" to find out how PN managed to be chosen as "one of the best providers" with such poor customer service.
The only time I was able to get through very quickly was when I was contacting their PN sales office!!!
I have send an email now, I wander how long before I get response?Huh
Hope you get broadband soon  Smiley