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New customer, double billed!

Gafadadevil
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 06-02-2010

New customer, double billed!

As a new customer I was double billed for the first months payments.
I contacted customer services on March 11th and was assured a refund would be issued, I haven't receive it yet.
Tickets have been raised and unanswered.
How long does it take for Plusnet to rectify it's mistakes?
34 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

Hi there,
I can see that your refund was issued on the 19th, so it should be coming through into your account shortly. I'm sorry for the delay.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
Thanks: 916
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

Quote from: Gafadadevil
I contacted customer services on March 11th and was assured a refund would be issued, I haven't receive it yet.

Quote from: Matt
I can see that your refund was issued on the 19th, so it should be coming through into your account shortly. I'm sorry for the delay.

Why the delay?
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 Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

There were a number of refunds so they were done by script (as part of the fix for this problem), which needed development and testing.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

that answer is disgusting,
Gafadadevil
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 06-02-2010

Re: New customer, double billed!

I agree with pierre_pierre.
It shouldnt take 10-14 working days to return money you have stolen from peoples accounts, it should returned in a matter of a few days, other companies can do refunds within 3-4 days, I guess Plusnet just doesn't care and likes to help themselves to their customers' money and delay repaying it as long as possible. Do you pay your customers compensation for this unauthorised borrowing the same as they would have to do?
win7xp
Grafter
Posts: 124
Registered: 14-03-2010

Re: New customer, double billed!

Quote from: Matt
There were a number of refunds so they were done by script (as part of the fix for this problem), which needed development and testing.

I wonder how many refunds exactly  - and more to the point how many people out there don't regularly check their bank statements and could be blisfully unaware that PN are borrowing their money.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,656
Thanks: 1,558
Fixes: 18
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

Quote from: Matt
There were a number of refunds so they were done by script (as part of the fix for this problem), which needed development and testing.

Somehow, I feel this is an insult to the customer......
Firstly, .....  Because he should NEVER have been double billed in the first place..... PlusNet has been in this business for long enough now to know how to bill customers PROPERLY..... ONCE>>>> AND ONLY ONCE>
Secondly....... because he had to wait for EIGHT DAYS before any action was taken on his ticket
Thirdly....... Because of the first reply by Matt Taylor..... ending with ".....I`m sorry for the delay"    (so that`s ok then,......NOT)
Fourthly .... Because of the second reply by Matt Taylor, suggesting that there were SO MANY REFUNDS TO ACTION... (There were a number of refunds so they were done by script) and what does "done by script" mean?  By Hand?  Not computerised? therefore the customer must wait  while we sort ourselves out....
Fifthly ..... Because of the last part of the second reply by Matt Taylor......" (as part of the fix for this problem), which needed development and testing."

Why should the customer`s refund(s) be part of "development and testing"..... see my earlier remark about how long PlusNet have been in business....
By now, none of the STUPID MISTAKES that have been occurring recently should ever have happened. and then be compounded by such comments/remarks/excuses as put out in response to the complaint....
Disgusting is too polite a word to use....
win7xp
Grafter
Posts: 124
Registered: 14-03-2010

Re: New customer, double billed!

me thinks the lid is well and truly off the can of worms
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,654
Thanks: 648
Fixes: 162
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

I think we all agree that incorrect billing is something that nobody wants to happen, however there was a problem identified where some customers were being charged for their first month's subscription as an initial fee and then once the service went active, another invoice raised for the same period. The problem cleanup was performed in batches, however as there was a ticket raised on the 11th this refund should have taken place manually without waiting for the script. I'm very sorry this didn't happen, the ticket is currently open with a member of our customer service department so I'll speak to them and their manager to see why the refund wasn't instigated when they picked up the ticket.
We understand that some other companies may be able to refund direct debit payments faster that we can, unfortunately at the moment it does take 7-10 working days to clear.
@Gafadadevil I'd be happy to get someone to give you a call tomorrow, or call you myself to try and see if we can help resolve this problem for you.
Once again I'm very sorry for the problem you've experienced and hope that we can make things right for you.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Gafadadevil
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 06-02-2010

Re: New customer, double billed!

Thanks Chris, the only resolution needed to to quickly refund the money.
Why can't you use a quicker method of refunding as it usually only takes 2-3 days for a debit card payment to clear?
Surely you should be prioritising these refunds and using the fasted method available to give your customers their money back.
What would have happened if I didn't notice and report the error?
It has already been 10 working days since I reported the error and was told I would be refunded, the actual overpayment was made the previous day (10th March).
Why does it take Plusnet so long to fix their mistakes?
Fletch
Grafter
Posts: 83
Registered: 08-08-2008

Re: New customer, double billed!

I want to make a couple of comments on this thread, and try and provide some assurances that we are working to improve our billing platform.  We have incorrectly billed a number of customers which has been caused by a series of implementation mistakes which goes back to February 2009 when we updated our contracts system, and following the implementation of pricing by markets (i.e. Market 1&2 and Market 3 pricing), followed by an update in late November to handle our new 10 day cancellation policy.  We have had a team working within the engineering department on the issues since mid January.
We have a number of scenarios where we have identified incorrect billing can occur if processes are followed incorrectly.  To be clear this doesn't happen in all cases:
- House Move from Market 1&2 to Market 3 or vice versa.
- WLR Activation Events which occur before a Broadband order and across a billing period resulting in double billing of initial fees.
- Account changes which results in a change to subscription components (ie. a move to ADSL2+)
- Creation of Subscription components (Broadband, or WLR) in the past.
- Account changes to WLR which result in contracts being
Where we have identified that incorrect billing has taken place we have already started the process of issuing refunds to these customers proactively.
I know sorry isn't good enough, but I wanted to provide assurances that this does have visibility, and critically a good understanding of the issues within the management team, and my team is focused on addressing the issues and improving the system so that manual process errors do not cause double billing, and the system has safe gaurds in place to address.  The safe guards have been in place for about 8 days now and we have seen a considerable reduction in incorrect billing, and I'm confident that we will address the remaining issues.
Finally, I will go and investigate whether we can refund quicker than we are doing at the moment, as I agree this shouldn't be the case.
Thanks
Fletch
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

Hey Fletch,
Thanks for the post!
Good to see traction in the billing department and I know we've been discussing this (with yourself and PN) in PUG for some time.  Something you mentioned which I agree with - I think refunds are a key point of dis-sat right now and just make the whole situation a worse on the odd occasion that billing mistakes do happen.  As far as I know BACS refunds (sometimes known as Direct Debit refunds although that's not really the case) can take quite some time to process due to 'process' issues internally and if a customer has been mis-billed by PN it's quite right that they expect no less than an immediate refund.  I understand it's because they only get 'looked at' every x days - but really, if there are billing issues happening they should be looked at and actioned upon almost daily.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
Thanks: 916
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

A measure of a company is not just how well they avoid problems but how they deal with problems when they occur; in that respect Plusnet's response to people complaining about being over-charged is a total an utter failure.
There are two aspects to the problem. The first is that it takes too long for the Plusnet internal processes - they should set a target of the money being back in the users accounts within 3 or 4 days of the user complaining.
The second aspect is the artificial delay that occurs when Plusnet insist on waiting for confirmation that Direct Debit has succeeded before they will even start the process of issuing a refund. So the customer gets the advance notice of the Direct Debit and within minutes of receiving the email rings up, it's already too late to stop/amend the DD. So there is then 3 days wait before the money is taken from the user's account, then a number of days before PN get confirmation that the DD succeeded - by which time the user has been able to see that the money has gone from their account some days ago, then the wait for the Plusnet processes. It wouldn't surprise me if users never get their money back within a fortnight of making that initial call.
I know the bean counters are scared of issuing a refund against a DD that fails, but the risks of that have to be balanced against totally pissing off a far higher number of users. At the moment the balance is totally wrong.
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)
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Community Veteran
Posts: 17,656
Thanks: 1,558
Fixes: 18
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: New customer, double billed!

On the same subject as Jelv..... another factor in this, is the "quality" of the responses given to customers who have been wrongly accounted by PlusNet....
Judging by the tone of the responses on this thread alone, (check out other threads of similar complaint) it comes across as though it is the customer`s fault that they have been wrongly accounted by PlusNet, and PlusNet has to re-organise it`s accounting department just to accomodate an inconsiderate customer.....
( or as Matt Taylor said in his response.... )
Quote

There were a number of refunds so they were done by script (as part of the fix for this problem), which needed development and testing.


Fletch has "owned up" to the fact there are several sources of problems, WITHIN PLUSNET ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, that can cause overcharging..... and has also admitted that they have known about these problems for over a year
Quote

We have incorrectly billed a number of customers which has been caused by a series of implementation mistakes which goes back to February 2009

Why?
  How long does it take to change an accounting system, into one that works properly?
  Who knows how accurate the "end of financial year" accounts for PlusNet are?
  If I were the chief accountant, I would be seriously worried about these problems,    and possibly, seriously worried about my future employment prospects with PlusNet.....