cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

stoneyard
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 01-09-2009

PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Hi All
I like to share my current experiences regarding my home phone billing and perhaps nominate PN for having least customer service skills in the industry.
Perhaps this tale will provoke PN into a grown-up response rather than justifying process as a means to block customer service.
This long and complex tale starts simply enough.......
Yesterday, I had an e-mail from PN, saying my phone service was suspended because I'd breached my credit limit of £50 by £5 and that I would be charged £5.68 as well.  I was a bit surprised as I hadn't recieved any of the warning e-mails allowing me to increase credit in time.
I thought that a simple call to customer services would clear this up.  So I dial the 0845 number and am told I am being routed to credit control.  Oh well, I thought they'll do as well as anyone.  Whilst waiting for someone to answer I started looking at my on-line bill.
In particular the call summary which showed this for other calls (premium rate).  I know that I had been making premium rate calls, but I just wanted to check how much they had cost me.
Call Type Total Calls Duration (hh:mm:ss) Total Cost Options
Other             7             00:39:00                      £31.87        View details
So I drilled down, to see the following.......
Date of call Number called Time of call Duration Included mins  Cost
28/08/2009 09042450100 14:15:39 00:09:00 no  £11.71
21/08/2009 08715501010 09:18:47 00:08:00 no £0.87
19/08/2009 09042450100 20:02:41 00:03:00 no £3.96
19/08/2009 09042450100 19:56:52 00:04:00 no £5.25
  TOTAL:   £31.87
I pointed out there were only 4 calls adding up to £21 or so, which would leave me within my credit limit.
I said given this, I didn't have any confidence in PN's billing system and how could they be sure I had exceeded my limit.  I was given a long explanation about how I could have made calls in last 4 hours (which I hadn't).
I then discovered that a call I paid for last month is being billed again this month, this was only a cursory glance, so there maybe more .  I showed the lady the two calls and she mentioned there was an issue regarding duplicate calls to be resolved.
However, I could get my service restarted if I topped up my account.  I said I didn't want to do this as I don't think I have exceed my credit limit.  I also mentioned that I am a good customer of many years who has always paid his bills.
At this point I felt obliged to say, PN are making their internal issues my problem and whilst I am happy to pay for all calls that I make, could they re-enable my service until they resolve the issue.  I also asked to speak to supervisor as the call centre person could not resolve this.  "Ok", she says, only to return a couple of minutes later to tell me "All the supervisors are in quality meeting".  After me expressing confusion about the difference between "quality meetings" andcustomer issues, it was agreed I would be called back.
6 hours later, still no call returned, so I dial back again.  This time I speak to [CSA Name Removed], who informs me he can fix my problem , when I mention I was hoping to speak to a supervisor, he tells me he is one.  So I go through the whole explaination again.  [CSA Name Removed] tells me I have to top up.  I explain why I don't think I should, he tells me that this is the only why to get phone service again. 
I suggest that I talk to his manager, "No" I am a manager, "OK, someone senior then, who can resume my service".  "No, no one higher in the company will talk to me and no one in the company can resume my service whilst there is an outstanding query, he is the best I will get".
after somemore pointless debate, I think, this going nowhere fast.  I am still being polite and producing reasoned arguments (to my mind anyway).  So I suggest a way forward, unblock my line, up my credit limit and don't charge me the £5.68 fee.  "Not possible, because I have to top up and pay for the calls I have made." I explained that we should explore his statement and agree when is logic became flawed.....
Me "You can see you are billing me for at least one call twice, do you have confidence in what you are saying"
[CSA Name Removed] "Yes, we can't unblock until we investigate"
M "But this is your issue"
N "You can top up"
M "But do you know that I have exceed my limit"
N "You can top up"
M "How can we resolve this?"
N "You can top up and anyway the phone service is only an add-on to the broadband, so we don't care so much" (This is as close to the direct quote as I remember)
M "Wow, do you mean that?  And can I quote you when I write to complain?"
N "Sure"
M "Ok, I see no resolution here, call me when it's fixed"

So nothing happens all day, so I choose to top up.  I feel really let down, I'm a good customer who's bearing the brunt of internal pain.  I shan't be recommending anyone else to PN and I will be looking to move to someone else.  Sad after a few years, but the measure of a company is how treats customers and PN showed me what I am worth to them.
(For what it's worth my job is selling and implementing billing systems for Telcos, so I do know what I'm talking about.  Unlike  PN staff who feel the need to pretend.)

UPDATE As at 10:00pm on day 2, no resolution or phone call from PN to let me know what's happening.

One very unhappy customer
Stoneyard
[Moderator's note by Thomas (Be3G): agent's name removed as per the forum rules.]
(sorry Be3G, won't make the mistake again)
19 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

its a pity that you did not alert us earlier, i.e. during normal working hours, as I am sure that this forum would have a bit more clout.
I have also seen this problem but it hasnt got as far as you.  All my phone calls from 14th to 19th of Aug have been double entered and one of the double entries has been charged (incorrectly as I get free calls),  this I noticed a couple of days ago when they claimed £4. plus of my credit.  on my ticket I was told that this is a known urgent problem to be fixed.  I put in a stron warning to them two days ago.
Its mysterious as I dont know the person, but somehow these sort of bad publicity complaints seem to get onto the Thinkbroadband forum
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Quote
Home Phone / Talk Itemised Billing (58044) - NEW
Home Phone
Posted on: Thursday 3 September 2009, 09:19
We've recently come across a situation whereby some our our Home Phone (Talk) customers are seeing that their itemised calls are being displayed twice.
Our developers are currently working on this as a matter of urgency.
You may notice that you are not billed for your calls on your normal date. We've done this as a precaution to ensure that you are not billed twice for the calls you have made over the last month.
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience or concern this may have caused.
Kind regards,
James Bailey
Customer Support
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Hi,
I'm sorry for the problems that you've had.  Firstly, I'd like to point out that you're not affected by the problems that Peter has mentioned (for reference, I've just posting regarding these on http://status.plus.net).
As you've mentioned, there does appear to be a problem where your "other" calls have been calculated incorrectly and as a result you've "used" £10 of your credit, which you haven't used in the first place.
I'll get your top up payment refunded and if you let me know once the call barring payment is taken, I'll refund this aswell.
stoneyard
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 01-09-2009

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Hi James
Thanks for the intervention, however I'm not really that fussed about topping up.  I hope that if I make a call today, I won't get blocked again.
As I have repeatedly told the credit control staff, I am more than happy to pay for any calls that I have made.
What I am unhappy about is PN's billing problem blocking my phone, and it becoming my issue which can only be resolved by me giving PN money I don't "appear" to owe.
I've spent more than an hour on the phone being reasonable about fixing this, only to be told "phone lines aren't important" and that no one in PN can unblock my phone.  Well that may be the case for PN, but it's not true for me. I've had to use my mobile to make some calls, so I'll be out of pocket because of that.
I accept everyone may have issues with billing occasionaly; It's the way you deal with it that matters.  A simple, "sorry we have a problem, we'll unblock your line until we sort it out" would have made this go away in 2 minutes.
And still no formal update as promised.....I've had to resort to going public via this forum.  Very poor PN.
Stoneyard
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Sorry - The formal update was from me - I did reply on your ticket as well.
The problem we have is that our system won't allow us to derestrict an account without a payment being made to take credit back within the limit.  We can place an order to remove the call barring, but the system will automatically bar it again.
I would have loved to have said "Sorry, our fault, we'll unblock your line".
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
Thanks: 931
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Is there no way someone from Plusnet could have applied a credit to the account so that the block was automatically removed without needing the customer to make Plusnet a loan?
What interest rate do you pay when customers make loans to Plusnet to get over problems with the billing system?
I suggest you need to ask the developers to put in a "management override" so that the automatic call barring can be inhibited.
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)
glloyd
Rising Star
Posts: 1,667
Thanks: 20
Fixes: 1
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

So what on earth happens if you are not in a position to add extra credit - lose your phone for ever?
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

No - It's reset on the billing date.
glloyd
Rising Star
Posts: 1,667
Thanks: 20
Fixes: 1
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

I can see this causing major distress if say someone if housebound without any other means of contacting a doctor or other help. A very dangerous thing to do baring out going calls, it could put lives at risk.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
Thanks: 931
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Quote from: jelv
Is there no way someone from Plusnet could have applied a credit to the account so that the block was automatically removed without needing the customer to make Plusnet a loan?
What interest rate do you pay when customers make loans to Plusnet to get over problems with the billing system?
I suggest you need to ask the developers to put in a "management override" so that the automatic call barring can be inhibited.

Did you deliberately ignore my questions James?
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
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

John - Comments noted (not ignored). (fwiw, I refunded a little more than the £10 which was quoted)
George - You can still call emergency services when outbound call barring is applied.
Not applicable

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Surely it is not beyond the powers that be at Plusnet to implement a system whereby people are alerted by e-mail, telephone, text or whatever as soon as the credit limit is being reached?
It happens with broadband usage, so why not the telephone?  Huh
stoneyard
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: 01-09-2009

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Hi James
Where do I see the refund?  It looks like I only have the £5 credit that I applied yesterday?
(sorry for the delay, but my broadband has been down all day)
Stoneyard
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: PlusNet and their version of customer service - Beware your phone billing!

Hi,
If you look at invoice 17284030, it should say refund issued next to it?