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My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

crowroad
Grafter
Posts: 40
Registered: 01-04-2013

My own personal recent experience of Plusnet


Has been very positive in almost respects.  Smiley  Everyone I've had dealings with in Plusnet during this migration from Be have been extremely helpful and efficient, which I have to say has been a breath of fresh air when compared to my experiences of Be's 'dying' days (even prior to their forthcoming takeover by Sky).  So well done Plusnet.
However, I hope you won't mind if I make a couple of observations of places where, at least in my opinion, some minor changes could have made the experience 100% (rather than say 95%) 'good'.
1) Post codes:  There has been a hiccup with my landline transfer, now, thankfully addressed, but I had a few worried moments for a bit there, and it could have gone badly. 
It is my experience that there is a wide discrepancy in the Post Office post-code look-ups used by different organisations.  It's not entirely clear to me whether this is because the Post Office is incapable of updating its database correctly, or whether some organisations purchase an initial copy and then never buy the updates!  It seems that almost ~95% or more of the post-code lookups that have been done on my address still believe we live in Lanarkshire, a local government body that was abolished in 1974.  You would think that after almost 40 years somebody could have got around to updating these.  After all, even the successor body Strathclyde was itself abolished during that time, so now we live where we've always lived in the City of Glasgow.
But that's not what caused this hiccup.  What caused it (it seems) is an incompatability between the post-code lookups used by Plusnet and BTOR over flat numbers at an address.  When I was trying to sign up to Plusnet, Plusnet didn't think I had a telephone line at my address which I had given as flat 2/2 at my address (the most common occurrence), and wanted to send an engineer out to install a line for me, when we've had this one for over 30 years!  Trying again, it turned out that Plusnet know it in their post-code lookups as 2/R.  Now these are in fact the same. 2/R was what the Post-Office USED to use before they 'standardised' on a numerical format instead (without asking anyone else if that was OK). Originally these were 'instructions' to post-people as to the location of a flat as in 2nd floor/Right hand side.  Now it's 2/2, and while I know which one that is, I'm not convinced that even post-people do anymore.  Most don't use the flat number at all, but simply go to the address and look for the matching surname one of the flat doors.
So what happened was that it appears that when Plusnet issued the takeover request to BTOR, it was REJECTED because they supplied the flat number as 2/R when the BTOR know it as 2/2.  Great!  This means that the takeover was not initiated, and I had a few anxious moments worrying whether or not I would lose my line entirely when the Be notice period ran out on 7 April.  It will not now happen before 16 April.
But it could have all gone wrong so easily.  So, come on Plusnet, please try to align your postcode file formats with those used by BTOR to avoid anyone else falling into the same trap as me. 
2) While I was trying to get this fixed I used the ticket system here.  Although there are rejoinders not to add to a ticket unnecessarily, in the case of the issue described above, and other matters associated with the landline transfer, I didn't regard them as unnecessary, quite the contrary.
What I didn't appreciate, and I don't think the rejoinder properly reflects this, is that adding to the ticket caused it to move to the back of the support queue each time anybody added to it (or at least that's what I was told on the phone today).  Mmm, not at all helpful in this sort of case.  Perhaps somebody needs to think again about this.  Personally I think that while a customer is still in the process of having their order (e.g. Broadband and Landline) fulfilled, then any tickets raised should somehow be prioritised,and not put to the back of the queue, as what they contain could be immediately relevant and critical to that process.
Anyhow that's my experience of this migration.  Overall it has been a good experience, but it's not completed yet and that additional delay is a direct consequence of the two points outlined above.  So recording this gives Plusnet a chance to fix it for others in future.
16 REPLIES
dsw
Grafter
Posts: 127
Registered: 07-04-2012

Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

If updating the ticket does send it to the back of the queue, this should be made more clear! I'm often updating tickets... oops.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

It's more likely that the BTOR database is wrong than the Plusnet one.
If you'd like to send me a PM with your address I have access to a system that gives me the full address information from the Royal Mail PAF - it's updated every month so I know it will be right.
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)
crowroad
Grafter
Posts: 40
Registered: 01-04-2013

Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

Thank you, I'll do that.  Care to define 'right'?  If it said 'Lanarkshire', would that still be 'right'?  But I bet you that it doesn't say 2/R, but rather 2/2.
Anyway, the issue is not who's copy of the PAF file is 'right', so much as the fact that customers suffer when they are not the same.  Sad
Cheers.
jim:quote
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

Thanks for the feedback on this.
I'm not convinced there's an issue with the way we submit postcodes simply as we're not seeing any other such issues reported. We'll remain vigilant though and will do our best to push back if we see any problems on our supplier's side of things.
Adam
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

Adam,
Do (or did) your records show the premises as 2/R as alleged by crowroad in his first post?
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)
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

I can't really say as that comprises giving you details from there account jelv so I need to be careful about that.
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

Let's try that another way.
Look up his address here: http://postcodefinder.royalmail.com/addressfinder.aspx
Does the information on your system match the correct postal address - specifically the first line - yes or no?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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Plusnet Help Team
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Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

@jelv
I'll happily take this further if the OP is actually concerned and in which case we'd discuss this with them directly.
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

OK since you are too embarrassed to admit that you got it wrong I'll let everyone else know.
Quote from: crowroad
But that's not what caused this hiccup.  What caused it (it seems) is an incompatability between the post-code lookups used by Plusnet and BTOR over flat numbers at an address.  When I was trying to sign up to Plusnet, Plusnet didn't think I had a telephone line at my address which I had given as flat 2/2 at my address (the most common occurrence), and wanted to send an engineer out to install a line for me, when we've had this one for over 30 years!  Trying again, it turned out that Plusnet know it in their post-code lookups as 2/R.

The address held by by BTOR is correct and the address held by Plusnet is (or was) wrong - having been sent the OP's full address by PM I checked it against both a current version of the PAF and against the Royal Mail website link given above.
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)
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

Grin we're not embarrassed jelv just a bit amused now Smiley
If this is an issue for us and is causing problems for anyone we'll address it directly with them as we would anything else.
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
James
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Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

John
I don't think that the transfer failing has anything to do with the house number.  From what I can see we don't actually specific the house number in the order, only the post code and the telephone number.  The rejection appears to be down to a mismatch between two different order systems.
Quote
ERROR OR5235 - This order has been rejected by Openreach due to an address mismatch between CSS and Siebel in their records. Please send the number to the ORDI Robot or ask your line provider to send the number to the robot for correction.
Community Veteran
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Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

Thanks for the informative response James.
Quote from: jelv
It's more likely that the BTOR database is wrong than the Plusnet one.

My first suspicion as to why it went wrong was correct it appears, although it's not good you having an incorrect address on your system. Do you ever validate users addresses against the PAF or is it solely down to the user checking and if needed correcting their address via https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=edit_details&s=0? I notice that that page doesn't appear to be linked to the PAF which won't help! It also doesn't help that it is short of fields - there's a postal town missing from mine because there isn't a line for it.
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)
James
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Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

Hi John,
To be honest, the actual address being wrong in the first place sounds like to could have been an error by the person taking the sale.
I don't know specifically where our post code checker validates the addresses from, but we would still have to manually enter/choose the first line of the address.
Community Veteran
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Re: My own personal recent experience of Plusnet

Having done some more investigation I've managed to confirm the the address database used by Plusnet is out of date.
I suspect this could cause problems for people on new estates as well as cases like this.
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)