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PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

rabbit02
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 18-09-2014

PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

We have seen two major incidents over the last 10 days with little feedback as to the problems and their reason.
a) The freephone  0800 917 6714 is not being maintained.
b) The Incidents category has not been updated since 2008.
It is apauling that major Customer information channels are not being maintained.
Someone is not doing their job properly, please investigate pronto.
50 REPLIES
sjptd
Grafter
Posts: 467
Registered: 01-09-2014

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

On those scales ... by 'pronto' I guess you mean 'by 2017'?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

Investigations are underway... http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,131874.0.html
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
RG58
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 18-09-2014

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

We've been with Plusnet for a few months and I have to say, we are generally very pleased.  The BB connection is slightly faster than what we were getting from EE and infinitely more stable. Although it can take some time to be answered on the support line, the thing I like about customer service is that when you get through to an operator, unlike some other ISP's, that person takes ownership of the issue and just seems to get on with it without continually passing you on to other departments.  They are always knowledgeable and friendly without any hint of  the condescending attitude we've experienced elsewhere.
However, one aspect of the service could be much better.  Last night, as most of you will be aware, the service suffered a major outage.  Accessing the website via my mobile, there was no explanation of what that fault was - just advice to turn off the router for 30 mins, 1 hour, or 2 hours depending on the time of their update.  It wasn't until this morning I realized that this request was to avoid a surge in reconnections when the system was rebooted thus potentially causing it to crash again.
Why not just tell customers WHY you wanted us to keep the routers off and even asking us to keep them off for the evening if we did not need the internet last night?  This could have been done both on the website and by announcement on the telephone support number.  I am sure that there are thousands of customers just like me who would have been happy to do just that and wait to reboot our routers this morning - if we had been both asked and given the reason.
Every such service will inevitably suffer faults at some time.  If you are more honest and open about your technical issues, I strongly believe that it will be to everyone's benefit.
Razorback
Grafter
Posts: 208
Registered: 08-08-2014

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

+1 Sensible words
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

I think the actual technical explanation of what happened is not going to be of benefit to end users. I am not sure exactly if it's the BT Wholesale BRAS/MSE that cannot handle large numbers of reconnection of the actual gateways at Plusnet's end.
One thing I have raised before is the communication during a MSO. Previously, there have been out of hours MSOs and no service updates for several hours after the event. This was complete unacceptable. The last two or three MSOs have had service updates within 15-20 mins, so there is an improvement here. On Twitter, it took nearly 1 hour for a service update which is not acceptable, particularly when it's very easy to have it set up automatically to provide service updates.
However, I just think that the Plusnet site needs to be 10x clearer when it comes to major outages. Why not have a service page like http://status.plus.net ? Or why not have a scrolling bar on the home page when there is an outage that users can click on for an update?
MattyC
Champion
Posts: 3,192
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Fixes: 46
Registered: 10-04-2014

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

Hi rabbit02,
Thanks a lot for the feedback, and welcome to the forums.
We do have an ongoing project to improve how we manage MSO's. Hopefully this will start to show in the way we react to these kinds of outages.
As for the posts from RG58 and AndyH, these are all reasonable points and good suggestions. I do think that we could be more open with the larger outages.
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,263
Thanks: 2,699
Fixes: 22
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

@RG58,
Welcome to the forums with an especially well balanced post.  Hope we will see you around here again.

@AndyH,
+1 for the comments about communicating MSO events.  On this last event there was somewhat better and more timely service status notices for those who knew where to look and had some means of accession the internet.  Making these more visible needs to be the next step forward... I like the idea of a marquee like head-line status on http://plus.net
It was most interesting to see just how many people whose PN's connection had failed had alternative means of getting on-line onto the forums to enquire what had happen / complain that they could not get connected, therefore providing easy to find on-line information during a MSO is not as daft as logic might otherwise dictate!
Kevin
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

Well it seems Plusnet have learnt nothing from the recent major outages because they have certainly not acted on the simplest issues, and here we are again  Angry
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,990
Thanks: 5
Registered: 11-12-2013

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

With all due respect why an investigation, just assign someone the job of updating these 2 things and its solved.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,990
Thanks: 5
Registered: 11-12-2013

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

Quote from: AndyH
I think the actual technical explanation of what happened is not going to be of benefit to end users. I am not sure exactly if it's the BT Wholesale BRAS/MSE that cannot handle large numbers of reconnection of the actual gateways at Plusnet's end.
One thing I have raised before is the communication during a MSO. Previously, there have been out of hours MSOs and no service updates for several hours after the event. This was complete unacceptable. The last two or three MSOs have had service updates within 15-20 mins, so there is an improvement here. On Twitter, it took nearly 1 hour for a service update which is not acceptable, particularly when it's very easy to have it set up automatically to provide service updates.
However, I just think that the Plusnet site needs to be 10x clearer when it comes to major outages. Why not have a service page like http://status.plus.net ? Or why not have a scrolling bar on the home page when there is an outage that users can click on for an update?


Why do you think its of no benefit? you think an isp should treat its users as dumb instead?
I would like to see the following.
All outage information posted to a webpage somewhere for all exchanges, maintenance etc. not just major events that effect high numbers of users.
Users to have access to the DLM info Chris P posted a while back.
Users able to run their own remote line tests when they want.
Users able to via the addon page upgrade to a higher BTw support level for quicker engineer callouts.
Also we need reasons other than "we working on it" for all the current problems.
Problems that are either getting worse or have existed since I signed up that have not been fixed.
1 - Users migrating from BT infinity, orders getting stuck at the line check stage, I seen a post in 2012 with same issue, I had the issue jan 2014, and user's today still have the issue.
2 - Order status not showing correct migration date.
3 - Call centre waits on the up, nowhere near where they were apparently before i joined.
4 - Ticket wait times lasting days/weeks, instead of minutes/hours, this one should be easy to fix, but seems is no effort been put in.
5 - Even when complaints are raised and escalated no one member of staff takes ownership of a fault, shortly after I joined Chris Pettit did sort of take ownership of my fault directly booking engineers etc. but seems now days the complaints team simply ask a member of the faults team to act on a ticket instead of personally taking over the ticket, when Linda rang me up and arranged an engineer visit she was gone the days after and I had to rely on other plusnet staff to proceed the fault.
6 - BT retail lately seems more open with its customers than plusnet on its forums, which is quite shocking.
7 - MSO details needs to be exactly that detailed, it brings trust between an isp and its users if they open and honest about the problems, not posting just says to me they havent got a clue and lowers my confidence in them.
My comments regarding the downgrade of forum complaints handling seems to have been triggered by the disbanding of the digital care team.  Thats the same digital care team that arranged the ipv6 trial, diagnosed a BTw congestion fault which me and others were affected by and when Chris P was on that team who took ownership of a fault I had.
leader
Grafter
Posts: 261
Registered: 02-02-2013

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

Exellent post  chrcoluk.
Sadly Plusnet  are not targeting  the  "clueless" type user.
The impression seems to be a focus towrads  achieving the strategic million + customers target.
History doesn't repeat but it sure does rime as it feels like 04 to 06 all over again.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

Quote from: chrcoluk
Why do you think its of no benefit? you think an isp should treat its users as dumb instead?

Because 99.999999999999999999999% of end users would not understand the problem and it would not benefit them in any way knowing the technical situation.
ISPs generally do not discuss their network operations - what bits of kit they are using/OS versions etc. These are commercially sensitive and they do pose a potential security risk.
Plusnet are an extremely transparent ISP for their size. There are very few ISPs where you can actually talk to the OPs guys.
Quote from: chrcoluk
All outage information posted to a webpage somewhere for all exchanges, maintenance etc. not just major events that effect high numbers of users.

I believe you can subscribe to this by emailing broadband.eco.admin@bt.com
Quote from: chrcoluk
Users to have access to the DLM info Chris P posted a while back.
Users able to run their own remote line tests when they want.

There is virtually zero chance of this happening - Openreach will not allow users access to their backend testing systems. Again though, this is something that would not benefit many customers.
DLM is changing and there will be more profiles available to be put on with a focus on gaming/IPTV users.
Quote from: chrcoluk
Users able to via the addon page upgrade to a higher BTw support level for quicker engineer callouts.

Do you really think many end users would want to pay the same amount/or a significant percentage or their monthly broadband rental for enhanced BTW support?
Quote from: chrcoluk
6 - BT retail lately seems more open with its customers than plusnet on its forums, which is quite shocking.

Open, no. Better at communicating information given to them, yes in some situations.
leader
Grafter
Posts: 261
Registered: 02-02-2013

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

"These are commercially sensitive and they do pose a potential security risk."
Never quite understood that when group/vendors are listed  companies & the infomation is disclosed in both company reports and analysts reports.
Anyway
There has been a suggestion of a techincal part of the forum - where more detailed info could be posted.  Possibly via a locked post so CS is not bombarded with "helpful advice"
Maybe that would be a happy medium ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: PLUSNET very bad at keeping customers informed

We don't want any segregation of information thanks Webif. If an explanation is done in the right way, those without the technical understanding can ask on the forum if they'd like it explained, there's plenty of us here that can offer that sort of help. Otherwise if they don't want to know the technicalities then they can ignore that bit of the information.