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Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

paulBG
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎24-08-2010

Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

I have had an account for several years, and whilst I see PlusNet are getting awards for customer support, they seem to have gone down in the opinion of Which? magazine and in my mind, the support quality has dropped dramatically. In particular:-
1. Telephone on-hold waiting times are poor – 20 minutes experienced.
2. Telephone faults passed to Openreach with very poor communication between the companies.
3. The quality of technical support has dropped – the responses demonstrate that at least some of the CSC Analysts cannot be properly trained IT specialists, and requests for escalation seem to just get more useless suggestions from another CSA Analyst. They show a fundamental lack of comprehension and an incredibly bad approach to problem analysis.
What’s going on PLusNet? Is this because you have closed down Durban or is it just that as you grow the quality of staff and training cannot be maintained? I’ve been a happy customer for years but the company seems to be going the same was as others that started well and grew badly. You are in danger of losing me as a customer.
7 REPLIES
paulBG
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎24-08-2010

Re: Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

Further to my last post, within 7 minutes of posting my technical issue on the forum - see  Forums Email/ Simultaneous email duplication on Outlook and Nokia Mesaging Email - I got a clear answer from Matt Taylor of PlusNet which fully answers my issue. 
7 minutes from a forum post, 11 days and counting from customer support.
It seems the clever people don't work as CSS Analysts, they track the forums. I'll just post here in future as it is so much quicker.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,536
Thanks: 252
Fixes: 69
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

paulBG,
I am sorry that you seem to have had these issues with support. Can you give me any specific details about which instance(s) you are referring to when you contacted us?
Quote
Telephone faults passed to Openreach with very poor communication between the companies.

It's normal practice to raise phone faults with Openreach. I will look at your account and try and pin-point and feedback on any issues that may have ocurred with this, otherwise let me know if theres anything specific you either want me to raise or look into here?
Quote
CSC Analysts cannot be properly trained IT specialists

We're not trained as IT specialists in general. All staff should be recruited with the relevant experience and be trained with adequate knowledge and information before hitting the phones and answering e-mails. As we have recently recruited a lot of new staff where as it is not excusable it is realistic that the quality of support from new agents may not be up to the level of some of some of the more experienced staff. The best thing to do whilst things are like this is to let us know on this forum if you do have any difficulties dealing with support and one of us will get on the case for you.
Quote
It seems the clever people don't work as CSS Analysts, they track the forums. I'll just post here in future as it is so much quicker.

Re my previous point, I'm afraid you'd still need to try support in the first instance. But we'll never mind you asking for support on here as long as you have done that first.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
paulBG
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎24-08-2010

Re: Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

Hi Adam,
In response to your questions:-
PlusNet/OpenReach - my memory is a bit vague but there was no direct way to communicate with Open Reach and the charging system seemed unreasonable. Talking to Open reach involved sending a message via PlusNet - all just far too slow. Nobody would/could tell me if the line was OK but if the engineer came out, then I would be charged if there was no fault on the line. I spoke to someone to cancel as I didn't accept those terms and the engineer turned up anyway a few days later. He said he would have to charge me if I answered the door but he was happy to pretend I was out!
CSC Analyst training – I accept your points with a new team but there doesn’t seem to be any effective escalation process. They also do not seem to be competent in effective logical troubleshooting – this suggests that some may not have what it takes to get good even if they get their heads around the IT. I suggest trouble shooting training and mentoring is given. They need to understand all the facts, ask questions for clarification, and then offer solutions. Offering the first thing that comes to their heads is terrible practice.
Take a look at 37855283. I reacted quite directly after the first response as I am so fed up of poor support from many organisations.
By the way, a lesser point – my wife and I share an account. If I sign with my name, why does each response only ever come back addressed to her? The account is in her name as her firm provides it but I always sign my name whenever I contact you. It’s minor but surprisingly irritating.
Thanks for your attention.
Paul
witsend
Grafter
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎22-12-2010

Re: Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

Quote from: paulBG
I have had an account for several years, and whilst I see PlusNet are getting awards for customer support, they seem to have gone down in the opinion of Which? magazine and in my mind, the support quality has dropped dramatically. In particular:-
1. Telephone on-hold waiting times are poor – 20 minutes experienced.
2. Telephone faults passed to Openreach with very poor communication between the companies.
3. The quality of technical support has dropped – the responses demonstrate that at least some of the CSC Analysts cannot be properly trained IT specialists, and requests for escalation seem to just get more useless suggestions from another CSA Analyst. They show a fundamental lack of comprehension and an incredibly bad approach to problem analysis.
What’s going on PLusNet? Is this because you have closed down Durban or is it just that as you grow the quality of staff and training cannot be maintained? I’ve been a happy customer for years but the company seems to be going the same was as others that started well and grew badly. You are in danger of losing me as a customer.

Hi paulBG, this has been my experience as well, especially concerning "there doesn’t seem to be any effective escalation process."
I think by-passing Support completely and logging technical calls via the forum is the only way to get anything done. My call has been open for weeks with no visible progress, no hint of anyone knowing what the issue might be or when I might expect a resolution, but their subscription gathering systems remain unaffected !!!
I'm very disappointed with PN and now warn everyone to steer well clear. Although, let's be honest, if they want to grow their business, none of their competitors offer any better support service, so I'd say it was probably going to plan !!!
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

HI paulBG,
CSC analysts are trained on our products and services and may not always have the experience of a customer's specific equipment or software. However, the first response you received would not be acceptable and I will be feeding this back to their team leader as a poor customer experience. We have a good feedback system which does help us improve our agents' performance. As you can imagine, with the sheer volume of products and services we offer, it would be difficult for a new agent to remember everything from training.
In response to your ticket it seem that shortly after your first enquiry an email issue was identified..
[quote=Service status]For some customers who use POP3 email collection in an email client (Outlook/Thunderbird/Mac Mail) you may notice that you're receiving duplicate copies of your email, this is a side effect of the way the mail was reconciled across the storage platforms following the problems over the weekend.
As for you question about answering you by name, the reply email will always default to the account holder, although there would be nothing to stop someone addressing this to you. I will make a point of informing the CSC to do this in relevant situations.
Jojo Smiley
paulBG
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎24-08-2010

Re: Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

Hi Jojo,
Thanks for your comments. I'm not about to jump ship and appreciate that all business can suffer growing pains and disruption from change (i.e. closing Durban). I just hope that the messages that are coming through loud and clear from forums are being taken seriously buy the management to make things better in the future. I'm in business myself and ran a global customer support team. There are so many examples of good campanies that get big and lose control resulting in a poor customer experience. Smart companies spend the money to make customer support truly excellent, to promote long term growth - the joy of a low price is soon forgotten in the face of poor quality and bad news travels faster than good.
Cheers
Paul
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,536
Thanks: 252
Fixes: 69
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Long-term customer disappointed with deteriorating support

Hi PaulBG,
Quote
I just hope that the messages that are coming through loud and clear from forums are being taken seriously buy the management to make things better in the future

they are indeed, I would also like to reassure you that those of us staff who's job (amongst) other things is helping out on these forums are some of the most experienced staff members in the company and are empowered and enabled to make a difference to a lot of things ourselves.
How's things going at the moment for you?
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team