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My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,404
Thanks: 10
Registered: ‎18-01-2013

My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

Ok - I'm now with Plusnet.
I was previously with BE. I host my own email / websites and use a few Gb a day but not a prolific downloader. Recently the addition of a couple of extra Tablets and a growing stroppy teenager had me looking at a better solution to my current 6Mb (max) ADSL2+ connection.
I did some research, BT were hounding me to take FTTC from them - I was getting a call a month from them but each time I asked them if they offered a static IP - each time they had to go away and check. Know your product BT Sales teams ...
Most offerings were not suitable, either capped, too expensive, no static IP or not available to me. I've been an IT Pro for years and tend to keep up with the latest advances in technology.
Then I spotted the half price for 6 month offer on FTTC on the HotUkDeals site - unlimited and no traffic shaping (other than QOS stuff). Free connection if I went for the phone line and cashback through Quidco. There was also the offer of a Static IP for a fiver - what could be better !
I did the line check - the line was enabled and I could expect around 50Mb accoring to all the speed checker sites. I contacted Plusnet a couple of times on live chat and asked various questions. The most important was "How long after placing my order could I get the Static IP sorted - the answer was immediately (more about that later).
Research done, I costed everything up - with the phone line, broadband and cashback I would be around £4 a month better off with 8x the current download speed. I've heard good and bad things about Plusnet but from previous experience you find people moan a lot more when things go wrong than giving praise for thing that go right.
7th Jan 2013
I asked a couple of questions on the BE forum - mainly if I was going to be charged cancellation charges etc. I'd been with them for over 4.5 years so was out of contract. I gave a months notice and was due to end my contract on the 7th Feb. I requested my MAC expecting it to take a couple of days to arrive but it turned up a couple of hours later. Top marks for BE for efficiency there. I was also offered half price BB for a year if I stayed but it wouldn't solve the underlying problem of the speed plus the lack of a firm date they could provice FTTC in the future.
Then the fun started. I went onto the Plusnet site but kept getting 500 error pages. I spoke to a couple of online guys who were pretty cool but in the end couldn't access the site properly though Firefox. I ended up using IE 9 (cough spit etc) but it went through ok until I got to the final submit page where it just sat there blankly looking at me. I waited 10 mins then hit the submit button for the second time - it went through - phew.
I'd asked for the 31st Jan as my install date - that gave me a 7 day period to cancel and go back to BE if things went very wrong. It also meant that my wife could do the school run on that day as she had a day holiday and I could wait in for the engineer.
I then tried to add the Static IP - no luck
10/1/2013
I received a text this morning saying "Unfortunately your fibre order was rejected blah blah I have placed your fibre order for and provisionally booked the appointment for 17/1/2013"
Ummm - not really convenient which was why I booked for the 31st Jan. The wife was rather cross as she'd have to go in late to work to cover the school run and got a bit stroppy about it all. It also meant I'd lost 2 weeks worth of paid broadband somewhere. However to make sure things went smoothly I accepted the new appointment and kept my fingers crossed. I submitted a ticket with a couple of comments/questions on and left it at that.
11/1/2013
Got a text saying my broadband was due to become active by midnight on the 18th Jan 2013 and not to set up the router until they confirm my service is active. Hang on - install on the morning of the 17th, activation by Friday 18th by midnight ? Not much time to sort out a Static IP, get my network setup and contact my nameserver providers. Felt a bit grumpy.
Tried to add a static IP - no luck.
Had a call that evening from a Plusnet customer service guy - had to ask him to call back in 5 mins as we were just saying goodbye to guests. Wasn't expecting it but 5 minutes later had another call. Asked about static IP and was told I had the wrong info and I could only request it after my account was activated. Pleasant conversation though and cleared up a couple of my questions.
No router as yet though ......
12-14th Jan - no router and no further progress
15th Jan
Had a text - my router was on its way ! Just as I got the text it dropped through the letterbox .......
Continued below ...
9 REPLIES
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
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Registered: ‎16-09-2010

Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

Quote from: picbits
Continued below ...

Ooh a cliff-hanger...
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,404
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Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

16th Jan
Spent the day sorting out network cabling and working on an action plan for when the new service was live.
17th Jan
The big day !
Wife took the kiddie to school and I sat with a cup of tea and waited for BT Openreach
And waited
I checked my account with Plusnet - it said it had been activated already. Thanks for the notification (not !!!) Plusnet !
I clicked on the Static IP request - it worked and I got assigned my static IP. Fantastic
And waited
Then did some research to see if BT OR paid compensation for missed appointments
And waited
At 12:20 I received a phone call from the BT OR engineer saying he was on his way - nearly at the cabinet and my line would go dead temporarily and I'd lose my current internet. He'd then come over and sort out the house side of things.
15 minutes later he turned up - took his shoes off (good start) and I showed him the master socket in the bedroom. I'd already sorted out all the wiring / extensions / power points and network cabling so he popped off the extension part of the existing NTE5 socket, plugged in the VDSL2 part of the faceplate, plugged the extensions back in and plugged the BT modem in. Had a good chat with him - turned out to be a really nice bloke.
Modem seemed to sync without a provblem, he asked for the Plusnet router which he plugged in and a few minutes later connected without a problem. He logged onto it with his Apple and confirmed internet access. He then did a line check and told me I had 22Mb
I was gutted. I was expecting around 50Mb download but 22Mb is better than a kick in the teeth. He then said "and 73mb download" - I asked him if he was serious lol. Turns out he was.
After he'd gone, I set up my Netgear DGFV338 but could only manage around 40Mb throughput, hooked up a TP-Link 300Mb wireless router and that was a lot better. Tried the BT Wholesale speed tester and while it would run the first part of the test, it wouldn't do the second part (it does it now the day after though).
At around 5pm, I received a text from BEThere just saying "Your broadband service has been suspended". They also killed my account access and forum access. That's another story though.
Set up the remote ping / monitor testing - not had a drop out as yet (24 hours uptime)
Logged onto my account this morning to find some dubious looking things on my account - if a member of staff can clarify the following it would be appreciated ......
17/01/2013 - Unlimited Fibre £103.50(upon cancellation) Complete - I assume this will slowly go down until the end of contract ?
- - Cessation charge £25.00(upon cancellation) Activated - I assume this will not be charged if I migrate after 18 months or stay with Plusnet ?
14/01/2013 xxxxxxxxxxxxTechnicolor TG582n Fibre Router £40.00 Delivery Not sure on this one as it was advertised as a "Free" router
Overall experience with Plusnet ? Pretty positive to be honest with you. The staff are visible on the forums, I've spotted tech support posting replies to problems from home in their own time and they seem to know what they are talking about. Much larger user base and more active forums than BEThere.
Hopefully I'll have many trouble free years with Plusnet Smiley
Speed ?
Much better than expected. I was originally told by BT that because of the distance from the exchange, I'd be lucky to get 0.25Mb and that would be with an engineer visit. Tiscali then completely cocked up my order having taken over my phone line but didn't bother telling me I'd not be getting broadband with them (this was many years ago). They told me my line wouldn't support it.
Eclipse were great, they said "what the hell - we'll give it a go" and I got a 5Mb connection from them. When they sold out to Tiscali, my speeds and service suffered so I went with BE who for the majority of the last 4.5 years were pretty good at 6Mb connection although there were a few routing problems.
So from the speedtest.net site .....

Pretty happy Smiley
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,273
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

I have to say, I was waiting for your second post with baited breath.  We've had a rocky week or two with some problems which we should be doing better on.. I'm glad it's actually turned out well for you and really, thanks a lot for coming on and saying so Smiley
If you need anything, just yell and we'll do what we can.
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
Community Gaffer
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

Quote
I received a text this morning saying "Unfortunately your fibre order was rejected blah blah I have placed your fibre order for and provisionally booked the appointment for 17/1/2013"

Really sorry about that, if the appointment dates requested at signup aren't available we'll try and get the first available as that's generally what people want. I'll make sure I feedback though as if there is a later date requested we should do what we can to honour it.
Quote
Got a text saying my broadband was due to become active by midnight on the 18th Jan 2013 and not to set up the router until they confirm my service is active. Hang on - install on the morning of the 17th, activation by Friday 18th by midnight ?

That's a bug we've got an internal problem raised on. Basically it's due to the CRD (Customer Required Date) of the order from the suppliers, for ADSL it can activate any time on the CRD so we activate the account the next morning. For Fibre it's different due to the need for an engineer, so giving the next day is just causing confusion.
Quote
Tried to add a static IP - no luck.

It won't be able to add it until you've got a RADIUS config on our side, otherwise there's nothing to assign the IP against. This will be on the day of the install. I see this was cleared up on a later call, sorry for the initial confusion. I also see from part 2 that you've now activate this.
Quote
17/01/2013    -    Unlimited Fibre    £103.50(upon cancellation)    Complete    - I assume this will slowly go down until the end of contract ?

Correct, it's based on the remaining months of your contract for the services you have and is generally significantly less than the actual cost of the remaining months.
Quote
Cessation charge    £25.00(upon cancellation)    Activated    - I assume this will not be charged if I migrate after 18 months or stay with Plusnet ?

It won't be charged if you migrate out full stop. It's only if you cease the line without migration.
Quote
14/01/2013    xxxxxxxxxxxxTechnicolor TG582n Fibre Router    £40.00    Delivery Not sure on this one as it was advertised as a "Free" router

Erm yeah, that shouldn't be there. I'll tidy that up when I'm in the office on Monday and see if it's happened to anyone else.

Thanks for the fantastic summary, I hope I've covered most of the points that needed/warranted a response. If not feel free to let me know and I'll pop back (although again it might be when I'm in the office next week).
Welcome to Plusnet, and to the Community.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,404
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Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

Cheers Kelly and Chris
Credit where credit is due - apart from BE having a few billing issues (which have now been resolved without too much shouting) it's been a pretty smooth migration.
Even the BT engineer commented on how this was possibly his easiest installation at less than 25 minutes at the premises.
I must admit I did a little stalking on the forums before joining, watching how staff responded to customers and what the common issues were and while there was a bit of ranting from the customer side, I've spent enough time in IT (20+ years) to be able to take a balanced view of what is going on and liked the way you guys (and the Moderators) present yourselves.
Anyway - it's friday night and you should be out drinking !
Thanks again
Dom
Community Gaffer
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Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

Quote from: picbits
Anyway - it's friday night and you should be out drinking !

http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,110799.msg951758.html#msg951758
*ahem*
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
Velocity
Grafter
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎10-01-2013

Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

interesting and informative narrative, new here myself and experienced one or two niggles
but the response from members and support staff are making this an engaging and reassuring experience
if this continues it would be difficult to envisage a reason to move.
joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: ‎07-09-2007

Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

Quote from: picbits
At around 5pm, I received a text from BEThere just saying "Your broadband service has been suspended". They also killed my account access and forum access. That's another story though.

That's another thing that doesn't happen with plus.net. When people leave they can downgrade their account and still maintain access etc
dragnil
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎21-01-2013

Re: My PlusNet FTTC experience - the ups and downs.

Don't want to hijack this thread but I'd like to add my 2p. I joined on the same day as you from Talktalk and PN duly emailed me that the service was up and running, on the 18th, but I couldn't read the email as Talktalk had dumped me the previous day. That apart, and it was certainly no fault of PN, I must say the experience has been as smooth as it could be with some great help from the support team when I've needed it. I too have high hopes of this being a long-term deal and we look like getting Fibre at the end of March...