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Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

Fionak1
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 13-08-2010

Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

After moving house we looked to Plusnet for our telephone line and broadband due to it's 'award wining broadband' and 'top industry accolade for Consumer Customer Service at this year's ISPA Awards'.
Our order for a telephone line and broadband service was placed 26th July and £49.99 taken from our account for the line install the very next day (no delay there then). An install date of 12th August was booked between 8am and 1pm. I duly took the day off work yesterday and waited . . . and waited. After calling the 0845 number (on my mobile which is not cheap, but they do claim they will refund me if I send in an itemised bill) I was told there was a problem at the exchange therefore the line would not be installed that day. When I asked for details of what the problem was I was told they would call me back. Again I waited and waited and called them back and was told the same. Eventually my partner came home from work (in the telecoms industry!) and he called them back and was given the same off-script excuse but with no answer, he requested a supervisor call him back with a detailed answer or he'd be in touch with OFCOM. This worked and we were called back but given the same patter and that they could give us no answer until the next day when we would be called with a full explanation. To give credit where it's due I have just been called and the reason for the line not being installed (after a 2 week wait) was 'the engineer ran out of time' (so not strictly a problem at the exchange). Surely this is not an acceptable reason?
Another appointment has been booked for Wednesday 18th between 8am and 1pm but they can give no guarantee that the work will be done then as the work is outsourced to BT Openreach. My contract is with Plusnet and not BT therefore I have no interest in the blame being placed with third party suppliers. I have therefore booked another day off work. This of course means we will after 3 weeks of waiting have a telephone but it will be a further 5 -7 days before we have broadband.

I'd hate to see an example of poor customer service if you get an accolade for this level of service, as for the award winning broadband, I'm still waiting so couldn't possibly comment . . .
12 REPLIES
gswindale
Grafter
Posts: 942
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

Another bad story from the hands of the service providers.
It is a shame that BT Openreach seem unable to provide a quality service to their customers which then reflects badly on PN; however there is nothing that PN can really do about it as the way the infrastructure in this country is organised means that all ISP/Tel Co's who use existing infrastructure have to rely on the same company to do the work.
I would point out that regardless of which company you had selected for telephone/internet connectivity; you would have likely had the same outcome unless you were using a cable service as it would have been the same (lazy) engineer (not) carrying out the work.
Surely feedback to BT Openreach needs to be made that their employees should carry on working until the job is complete?  I suspect that they actually do outsource the work to contractors and state that they will only pay for x hours work and if it takes longer you won't get any extra cash, rather than paying them for work completed.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

Welcome to the Forums and I'm sorry that it's under these circumstances.
We understand that we're your service provider and it's our responsibility to get everything up and working. However, we can only book BT Openreach engineers in their allocated timeslots. I can see that you have spoken to Carl who is our Provisioning Team Leader and I've asked our Provisioning Team to monitor your order to ensure everything completes without any further issues. If there's anything further that we can do to make this go more smoothly then please let us know.
Fionak1
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 13-08-2010

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

thank you Ben and yes, I have spoken to Carl.
I acknowledge that BT Openreach do obviously play a big hand in this (believe me I know how they operate), however my contract is with Plusnet not BT for very good reasons and as such I expect you to manage your suppliers and ensure that they deliver the services paid for. Passing the blame is not satisfactory and an apology in the first instance and a truthful reason for the delay may have made me less frustrated.
Clearly my case is not an isolated one (and indeed there are people who have waited much longer than me) so I guess I should think myself lucky that I've only lost 2 days work  Lips are sealed
glloyd
Rising Star
Posts: 1,652
Thanks: 20
Fixes: 1
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

If you are not in when an engineer is booked you get billed a hundred plus quid. Surely this should work both ways as many people do not get paid for time off work.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

A missed telephone engineer appointment would be charged at £49.99. Please note that the actual cost to us is well over £100 so we lose more money on a missed appointment than the customer! So we'd be more than happy if it did work both ways as we could have happier customers and even recoup some costs for ourselves Smiley
Fionak1
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 13-08-2010

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

I'm pleased to say that I now have a telephone line and the engineer turned up as arranged. Wireless Router received, now hoping my broadband is completed by tomorrow as promised . . .
However I have to say Ben I think you're missing the point about missed appointments:
Quote from: Ben
A missed telephone engineer appointment would be charged at £49.99. Please note that the actual cost to us is well over £100 so we lose more money on a missed appointment than the customer! So we'd be more than happy if it did work both ways as we could have happier customers and even recoup some costs for ourselves Smiley

If I'm not there when an engineer is due you charge me £49.99 and that's fair enough (charging the actual cost would be fair after all the date is agreed in advance), however if I take the day off work to wait in for an engineer it costs me more than £100 in lost income.l If the engineer doesn't show up there's no way to recoup even part of that lost income, who's the loser there?
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

I totally agree with your point. If we had any way of recouping your costs from BT Openreach on a missed appointment then we would happily open up that route for you. Unfortunately, that route does not exist.
racquel
Grafter
Posts: 181
Thanks: 4
Registered: 21-11-2008

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

Quote from: Fionak1
If I'm not there when an engineer is due you charge me £49.99 and that's fair enough (charging the actual cost would be fair after all the date is agreed in advance), however if I take the day off work to wait in for an engineer it costs me more than £100 in lost income.l If the engineer doesn't show up there's no way to recoup even part of that lost income, who's the loser there?

Quote from: Ben
I totally agree with your point. If we had any way of recouping your costs from BT Openreach on a missed appointment then we would happily open up that route for you. Unfortunately, that route does not exist.

Then it should do. Having waited with ridiculously slow or non-existent broadband since the 19th (110k, 160k, sometimes nothing - see http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,104259.0.html) we waited in Sat 5th from 8am to 1pm.
The call came at 12:40 that they wouldn't be there that day but absolutely 100% promised they would be there between 8am and 9am today, Sunday the 6th May.
I double checked he meant Sunday, he said yes, we were the first job on the board.
It's now 9:45. So that's our second missed appointment. It'll be interesting to see how much Plusnet value their customers when billing get back to work on Tuesday....
davidj66
Rising Star
Posts: 609
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-09-2008

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

Spent some time talking to the Openreach engineer who came to my house last week for a master socket fault.
He told me some interesting things which reflect directly on these "missed appointments".
He used to be based on a local office but his job was made "redundant" -now he works from home & can be sent almost anywhere in the South Wales area,occasionally as much as 35 miles from home; this can involve him spending several hours of his working day in transit.
BT won't supply the engineers with a satnav - so he frequently spends time at the roadside looking at street maps downloaded on a laptop via dongle to find his destination and then,in some areas, he can be driving around for some time looking for the house or its cabinet. He said that it was a relative pleasure to have a job local to his home ,(which probably explains why he turned up at 8am on the appointed day!!)
I asked him about overtime to finish jobs -but he just laughed!!
hitachi
Grafter
Posts: 343
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

I would think that as the appointment is booked with plusnet then the answer is a small claims court action to recover your costs from them.
jheenan
Grafter
Posts: 111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 03-07-2009

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

You shouldn't need to go to small claims; CISAS would give a similar award I would think and wouldn't cost you anything.
It would be polite (and in fact probably required by CISAS) to first formally complaint plus.net and ask for compensation for any extra hassle the second engineer appointment caused.
See http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/delivery-rights for other info.
I have full sympathy with plus as they apparently can't claim this back via the various parts of BT, but that's really something for them to raise with their supplier(s)/regulatory bodies. It is obviously unacceptable that BT can't be held responsible for BT's failures.
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 1
Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: Plusnet Response time and missed appointments Grrrrrr!

From 2008 information can be found that OpenReach has to pay the COMMUNICATIONS PROVIDER for breaches of certain service levels. Yet no mention that I have found of compensating for customers' wasted time.
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3468-new-compensation-schemes-to-force-openreach-to-perform-bette...
Electricity, Gas and Water utilities are obliged to pay for missed appointments - inadequate amounts but at least something. It is ridiculous that (if?) similar arrangements are not in place for communications.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/consumer_advice/latest_utility_tables_pic.shtml