cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Missing Appointment Update

CliffTopp
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Registered: 30-05-2008

Missing Appointment Update

Let me start by saying that (on the whole) I love plus.net.  I have historical personal experience of four different dial-up providers and more recent horror tales heard and/or experienced through friends and acquaintances that only affirm the choice I made in selecting plus.net as my broadband provider way back when.  And I think the guys (and/or guyesses) in support are great - on the whole and apart from the few, mostly newbies, who, not knowing I worked in IT support myself, try to fob me off with inappropriate explanations that they themselves obviously have no understanding of.
BUT believe me.... right now, right this very minute, I could really rattle someone, anyone, at that end if only my arm was long enough to reach out and catch hold of them.  I've already shot the messenger!
Yesterday I waited in all afternoon for a 1 to 6 appointment with openreach.  An appointment that I had already been waiting for for a week as services were so stretched at the time of making it.  An appointment that had taken the best part of a fortnight to book in the first place because of an issue with the openreach system (that had maintained a link to a telephony fault that should have been closed and wiped off the system ages ago!!!!).
So anyway, finally, appointment day came round.  I rang plus.net support at 1:45pm because I had been in the garden until 1:10pm and was terribly afraid that I might have missed the engineer in those 10 minutes even though I was sure I would have seen the van drive past.  'Don't worry' I was assured 'he would have left a card saying he had called if he had already been'.  OK, no card so I continued to wait.  Living way out in the sticks I know very well that if an engineer doesn't turn up by a certain time he isn't going to be able to get any exchange work done, besides it was on its way to pitch black outside and noway was he going to be climbing poles to replace drop wires so I called again at 4:45pm.  'Could turn up any time up to the dot of 6pm' was the response this time, along with 'there's nothing else I can do about it'.  Now that I know is untrue and responded as much but the attitude at the other end was such that I knew I was going to get no better so I ended the conversation and continued to wait.  At 6pm I tried again.  'No indication of why no-one turned up yet.  Wouldn't expect there to be before 6:30'.  Tschhh.  So I rang back after that. This time I got passed through to the faults update team.  'No update yet but in the meantime I'll book you another appointment for next Monday', 'Could be any time up to 8:30pm for the systems to update so we still don't know why this one wasn't kept'  Double Tschhhhhhh!!  So I rang back after that.  'Not sure why but our system still isn't showing a response but there are thousands of engineers updating information so the system might just be clogged (that or words to that effect).
Come this morning I looked at my phone with trepidation.  Could I really face being fobbed off again??  Eventually I plucked up the effort and placed the call.  Got passed straight through to the faults update team.  Whooppee!  Got to speak to someone willing to put in a bit of effort.  But not so whooppee when the answer came 'there was no appointment booked'!!!!!!!  Guess how well impressed I was to hear that?
Not only was there no appointment booked for an engineer to come out yesterday, there was no appointment on the system for next Monday either.  It turns out, apparently, that the booking was cancelled by openreach's system a mere 10 minutes after the appointment was confirmed to me by plus.net - on both occasions.  Guess how impressed I was about that?Huh
So I had waited a whole week for an appointment that didn't exist.  Not only that but I had been in contact with plus.net support a number of times in the interim and during the afternoon of appointment day itself and not one of the people I spoke to had made the effort to confirm that the appointment had was still effective.  And as of last night I was all set to wait in for yet another engineer who wasn't going to show.  Guess how impressed I am with thatHuh
Not only that but this is the second time it has happened to me this year - exactly the same thing.  Impressive, ehh!
To cap it all I didn't want to raise a fault in the first place (well not first time around anyway).  This has been on going since April (or May) when support insisted on raising a fault ticket because of errored seconds on my line in spite of my assurance that there always had been and it could work perfectly (or imperfectly) well despite them.  The engineer who finally turned up on that one fixed the errored seconds problem fine, providing it isn't raining, but bust everything else and it has all been a nightmare ever since.  This latest appointment was supposedly to fix some fault in the exchange that has arisen more recently and is causing feedback on my phone so I fail to see the purpose of a home visit anyway - but that is beside the point.
Plus.net always accompanies appointment confirmations with the rider that they can be cancelled 48 hours or more in advance but otherwise there will be a charge.  How does it work the other way around with the cancellation confirmation 24 hours in arrears?  Not only does the system fail to register cancelled appointments, no effort whatsoever is made by anyone or anything at plus.net to notify customers of these cancellations and/or rebook where appropriate.  OK I understand the impossible logistics of returning to check the hundreds if not thousands of accounts you must book appointments for with openreach on the off chance that a cancellation may or may not have come through but I question whether it is not outwith the realms of possibility, or even best business practice, to put something in place to intercept and flag these cancellations.  Whether this be a person assigned to monitor feedback from openreach, an additional piece of software between plus.net and openreach systems to capture and forward all cancellations to one point or some option on the system you already use that could raise a warning email to the customer at the very least I know not what would be best but surely something could be done?
Plus.net revels in the awards it receives.  Isn't it time it stopped resting on its laurels and did something to deserve them - or even earn them all over again?
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
Thanks: 916
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Missing Appointment Update

Quote from: CliffTopp
Plus.net always accompanies appointment confirmations with the rider that they can be cancelled 48 hours or more in advance but otherwise there will be a charge.  How does it work the other way around with the cancellation confirmation 24 hours in arrears?

If you incur additional costs because of the need for a rearranged appointment they should compensate you in full.
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/delivery-rights
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)
gbear45
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: Missing Appointment Update

Firstly can I say I am pleased with my plus net service but this appointment cancellation problem must be resolved
The same thing happened to me back in june. I had a special saturday appointment which plusnet arranged due to problems with the line, which they had picked up (well done plusnet)

I had appointment booked  between 8 and 1. I rang after 1 as no show. I was assured that they were comming and just running late.  As no show by 4.45 I rang again. I was then told the appointed had been cancelled by Open reach (10 mins after made).  Needless to say I was not best pleased.  I was told plusnet could not complain to open reach as Quote " they might not let plusnet use their network !", i pointed out to the rep the utter absurdity of that comment . 
I must have done something correct because at 9am on sunday! i got a phone call from an open reach engineer, who was checking I was up as he was outside the house. He then proceeded to fix the fault.
Plusnet phoned on the monday to apologise again for the missed appointment and to rearrange. They had no idea that Open reach had been on the sunday.
This is giving a very good company a bad name.
  I am sure sky, talk talk etc get  penalty fees off open reach, so I suspect they are prioritised. I gather Plus net as a BT company just has to accept it.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,375
Thanks: 239
Fixes: 67
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Missing Appointment Update

I'm really sorry to hear about this and I'm also very sorry if you feel like we've given you the run around.
Quote
'Could turn up any time up to the dot of 6pm' was the response this time, along with 'there's nothing else I can do about it'.  Now that I know is untrue...

Without wishing to seem objectional for no reason it is true that if a PM appointment has been booked that means the engineer could arrive at any time between 1pm and 6pm.
Quote
Wouldn't expect there to be before 6:30'.  Tschhh

Now that definitely isn't right so I'm sorry if you were told that, as per what I've just mentioned 1pm to 6pm is literally just that.
Quote
'Could be any time up to 8:30pm for the systems to update

Unfortunately that is right as when and engineer finishes their job the notes may not be submitted straight away, following that they have to propagate across a number of BT systems which can take at least 2 hours before they are viewable to us.
With regards to how this has been handled by ourselves I'm initially concerned that we seemingly haven't confirmed the appointment to make sure it's been booked correctly. I'm now going to look at what's happened in greater detail and I will be pushing back some feedback to our faults team if we've failed to do that.

Quote
Not only does the system fail to register cancelled appointments...

AFAIK there is no relevant system on our suppliers side that would do that, the process to check and confirm an appointment would be to manually look the appointment up on BT's systems to check the information and updates associated with it so no one is made aware which is why we were unable to act proactively for you. IMHO this should have happened in your case and I'm sorry it didn't, you're correct it's not out of the realms of possibility and perhaps this is something we need to look at from a process point of view, however I'll be going over your account with a fine tooth comb first to see if the correct processes were followed or not.
Going forward I sincerely hope the visit booked for the 5th goes to plan. I've just checked the booking on BT Wholesale's fault system and can see that it is still showing as confirmed for the PM visit on that date, of course if there are any further issues beyond that please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll ensure that it's chased with urgency.
Adam

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
CliffTopp
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Registered: 30-05-2008

Re: Missing Appointment Update

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
Quote
'Could turn up any time up to the dot of 6pm' was the response this time, along with 'there's nothing else I can do about it'.  Now that I know is untrue...

Without wishing to seem objectional for no reason

You're not being and neither was it my intention to seem so
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
it is true that if a PM appointment has been booked that means the engineer could arrive at any time between 1pm and 6pm.

Except when it has been cancelled!!
Sorry but I have had engineers leave my place before 5:30 whilst still in the middle of a job because finishing time is 6pm so I hardly think they are going to turn up at that time.  In fact I have had them call me up and say they have picked up my job are are putting it back into the pool because they have picked it up too late to head out my way.
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
Quote
Wouldn't expect there to be before 6:30'.  Tschhh

Now that definitely isn't right so I'm sorry if you were told that, as per what I've just mentioned 1pm to 6pm is literally just that.

I think you misinterpreted my comment - the reference was to indication of excuses from openreach rather than the engineer's presence
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
Quote
'Could be any time up to 8:30pm for the systems to update

Unfortunately that is right as when and engineer finishes their job the notes may not be submitted straight away, following that they have to propagate across a number of BT systems which can take at least 2 hours before they are viewable to us.

Whilst I accept that this may be entirely true in some cases I have had engineers tell me that their job notes would be updated within 15 minutes after leaving my premises.  Since there hadn't been an engineer at all his notes were hardly likely to take 2 hours to propagate through the system.  But my frustration by this point was that I know full well, from previous experience, that it is entirely possible to question the system about engineer visits to confirm their status; to see if they are still current; to confirm their very existence.  AND I KNOW from previous experience that I have been left stood standing for non-existent appointments - just as happened in this instance.  But the last time this happened at least it took only one mid-afternoon call to plus.net to confirm that I need not waste the rest of my day.
Quote
With regards to how this has been handled by ourselves I'm initially concerned that we seemingly haven't confirmed the appointment to make sure it's been booked correctly. I'm now going to look at what's happened in greater detail and I will be pushing back some feedback to our faults team if we've failed to do that.

Not only was yesterday's call cancelled just 10 minutes after it was booked the first appointment booked yesterday for next Monday was also cancelled within 10 minutes so I could have been left stood standing again!!  And, I have to say, the final person I spoke to did assure me he was going to make feedback on the debacle himself.

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
Quote
Not only does the system fail to register cancelled appointments...

AFAIK there is no relevant system on our suppliers side that would do that, the process to check and confirm an appointment would be to manually look the appointment up on BT's systems to check the information and updates associated with it so no one is made aware which is why we were unable to act proactively for you. IMHO this should have happened in your case and I'm sorry it didn't, you're correct it's not out of the realms of possibility and perhaps this is something we need to look at from a process point of view, however I'll be going over your account with a fine tooth comb first to see if the correct processes were followed or not.

My bad!  I obviously misinterpreted what was going on.  The information was so readily available I thought that the cancellation from openreach had put an update on your system.  If this is not the case then I suggest it should maybe be beholden upon openreach to, at the very least, create an end of day report highlighting just such anomalies (computer systems are good for just that) so that plus.net staff can address them before they escalate as this one did.  Who pays whom?  As a customer of their business it shouldn't be you who is running yourself ragged!!
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
Going forward I sincerely hope the visit booked for the 5th goes to plan. I've just checked the booking on BT Wholesale's fault system and can see that it is still showing as confirmed for the PM visit on that date, of course if there are any further issues beyond that please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll ensure that it's chased with urgency.

At the end of the day, at the end of the day (well the next day in reality) I got the level of service that I would expect from plus.net.  It was the bit before that that caused the problem.  It wasn't even that the engineer was never going to turn up, though that in and of itself, was bad enough after the hoops we had to go through to book the appointment in the first place.  It was that twice you were given the opportunity to cut short my anxiety and, at least twice more, could have gone some way toward redeeming the situation.  And, like I say, I know from previous experience that you can do this.
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
I'm really sorry to hear about this and I'm also very sorry if you feel like we've given you the run around.

Look I know those guys are on the phone all day everyday and have a lot of calls to get through.  I know they deal with lots of anxious or even furious customers, I know many of the problems turn out to be petty or have a simple remedy.  I know they get a lot of time wasters and that I can be guilty of that myself.  I know that in a large group of people there can be a wide range of ability but a little pro-active intervention early on could have made my day a whole lot less stressful.  The last time this happened the first person I spoke to helped me out.  Except for that my beef isn't really with plus.net but rather BTW and openreach but there is no platform through which to complain directly at them.  Starting in April or May this year openreach's performance (through bt as well as plus.net I have to say) has been one fiasco after another.  Non-existent appointments (plural), being left with poorer service after 'fixes' than before, engineers closing appointments without investigating the problem because they weren't up to the job or couldn't be bothered, engineers not turning up (plural), engineers admitting there was a problem but doing nothing about it (plural), engineers without the tools, equipment or skill level to do the job required (plural), systems that denied access, failure to provide update and so it goes on........
c'est la vie and all that - don't it suck  Grin
Thanks for your response Adam.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,375
Thanks: 239
Fixes: 67
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Missing Appointment Update

No problem,
I just thought I'd pop back and check your order, however one of my colleagues has already done so today (which is great) Everything is still set for the install go ahead on the 5th.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
RichardB
Pro
Posts: 367
Thanks: 117
Fixes: 4
Registered: 19-11-2008

Re: Missing Appointment Update

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_

AFAIK there is no relevant system on our suppliers side that would do that, the process to check and confirm an appointment would be to manually look the appointment up on BT's systems to check the information and updates associated with it so no one is made aware which is why we were unable to act proactively for you.

If it is true that BT Wholesale / Openreach  do not have a system to inform ISP's that an appointment has been canceled, then I am appalled.
Corporate arrogance and contempt for customers.
Richard
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,375
Thanks: 239
Fixes: 67
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Missing Appointment Update

Quote
If it is true that BT Wholesale / Openreach  do not have a system to inform ISP's that an appointment has been canceled, then I am appalled.

As I mentioned there are no dedicated systems that handle that, however notifications do come via other channels if an order is delayed and as delays can often be the cause of fibre install appointments being missed we're looking at how we feasible it is for us to be able to have these orders flagged up to us to be checked.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
CliffTopp
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Registered: 30-05-2008

Re: Missing Appointment Update

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
No problem,
I just thought I'd pop back and check your order, however one of my colleagues has already done so today (which is great) Everything is still set for the install go ahead on the 5th.

I do hope not !!
I was under the impression I was awaiting repair of exchange equipment
You trying to do too many jobs at once?  Wink
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Missing Appointment Update

Hi there,
Just confirming that the appointment is still booked in for this afternoon, hope it gets everything sorted for you Smiley Please let us know how it goes.
EDIT: Apologies if this isn't expected (as per the above), I believe it's booked to arrange the lift and shift to replace the faulty line card but often a visit to the premises for the engineer is requested so they can test the line from there and confirm all is working.