cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Plusnet - We'll do you over!

DoneOver
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎26-08-2021

Plusnet - We'll do you over!

Complaints ignored, debt collectors called in for non-existent debt!

 

Back in August, having been stonewalled by the telephone agents of Plusnet who refused to take any action to resolve problems they'd created, I posted on this forum, to warn other potential victims customers, sharing my experiences.

 

Plusnet suddenly wanted to be seen to be doing things and pretended to try and resolve the issues online, even though I made it really clear that I no longer had any faith in Plusnet's promises, that it was too little-too late, and that I was escalating to a formal complaint. Clearly this didn't make Plusnet happy.

 

And now the magic Plusnet Pixies have responded!

I wrote my letter of complaint on 26 August, sending it recorded delivery, addressed to Mark Carberry, Customer Operations Director.

Despite the fact that I specified that responses needed to be in writing, to my home address or to an email address provided in the letter, from an email I could respond to, Plusnet ignored this and sent an acknowledgement email to another address on 6 September.

And then nothing more.

Except for a later email requesting that I return the routers, which I’d already returned - I have proof of posting! I’m guessing that was an attempt to create the impression that I was somehow in the wrong, despite the fact that I have acted with nothing but honesty and integrity whilst Plusnet and its staff have lied and lied and lied.

I switched to BT, Plusnet's parent company, on 10 September. From 20 August to 10 September, I paid £22.99 for one month’s line rental during which time I had no functioning telephone line since Plusnet failed to port my number. And I had no functioning broadband until BT Openreach resolved Plusnet's router issues on on 1 September. Before that, from 20 August, I was receiving less than 2 Mbps which meant I wasn't able to work.

Despite me disputing that any charges were owed, despite me raising a complaint, and despite the complaint apparently being dealt with, on 1 October Plusnet raised a bill against the now-closed account for a whopping £198.61 in “early termination charges”.

Leaving aside that Plusnet breached the agreed contract and terminated itself when its employees refused to resolve the problems Plusnet created and provide the agreed services, Plusnet raised this bill against the online account and then didn’t send me the bill.

I found the bill on 10 October, a month after the switch to BT, when I logged on to check progress of closing the account and to see if there had been any response to the complaint.

I received nothing in the mail, and nothing was sent to the email address I had provided. Plusnet issued the bill and failed to take action to ensure I was aware of it. Which I’m going to suggest was deliberate, in view of their next actions.

On 25 October, the ten-day promised response time long passed, and the eight-week statutory period ended, I wrote again to Plusnet, letter addressed to Mark Carberry. I informed Plusnet I was taking the matter to Alternative Dispute Resolution and, if that did not resolve matters satisfactorily, I would take the matter to court. I advised Plusnet in the meantime, that any attempts to make false claims re non-payment of the disputed bill, any damage to my credit record, or action to try and collect the money as a debt, would make the legal situation worse.

Too late!

On 27 October, a letter was sent by an entity called Arvato, operating out of Glasgow, and apparently a debt collecting agency. The letter mentioned something about the detrimental impact of Covid (!? I guess Plusnet are lying to Arvato too about exactly what the situation is!) and chippily stated Plusnet had asked them to get in touch, and suggested that I now owed them £248.26. Yes, nothing says that a company cares about the impacts of a global pandemic than chasing money they don't owe and adding magical sums to increase the non-debt!

Not only do I deem Plusnet’s actions to be malicious, I deem them to be unlawful, contrary to extant UK Consumer Rights Legislation.

You cannot lie to trick people into signing up for your services, fail to provide those services, force people to take their custom elsewhere in order to restore the service they had before they ever tangled with Plusnet, then try to charge them a penalty for the pleasure. Not only does the charge not represent any actual costs to Plusnet, not only it is entirely disproportionate, not only is it unreasonable for Plusnet to try and hold me responsible for the so-called loss of profit that it entirely due to its own dishonesty and incompetence, but Plusnet breached the contract when it failed to provide the agreed services so the contract is void and Plusnet cannot rely on clauses in the void contract to try and claim money.

Shame on you [CSA Removed], shame on you [CSA Removed], shame on you [CSA Removed], shame on you Mark, shame on you Gandalf.

You are now destroying my credit rating, exposing me to debt collectors, causing me stress and distress, to try to bully me into paying you money I don’t owe for services you didn’t provide. Disgusting.

Plusnet, you are despicable. I will be taking this to court. And I will be making a formal complaint to Ofcom. And anyone else I can get to listen! Sure, I get it, you don’t care. But enough people do.

 

Right, now I'm off to add this to the wall-of-shame that is the Plusnet account on Trustpilot - very sobering reading...

 

Don't bother to reply here: You know how to reach me.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): CSA name(s) removed (to an area staff can see) as per Forum rules.
9 REPLIES 9
Baldrick1
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9,639
Thanks: 4,330
Fixes: 346
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!

I do hope that any-one who reads this will also read previous posts from the OP and in particular the responses to those posts in trying to resolve the original issue, before forming an opinion. https://community.plus.net/t5/Plusnet-Feedback/Plusnet-won-t-port-landline-number-despite-promises/m...

Moderator and Customer
If this helped - select the Thumb
If it fixed it,  help others - select 'This Fixed My Problem'

Gandalf
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 25,925
Thanks: 9,559
Fixes: 1,512
Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!

@DoneOver

I firstly understand you don't want to engage with us on here however this isn't a review site, this is a community forum. Smiley

I'm sorry to see you feel the way you do. I appreciate you've had a bad experience over the phone with us as we'd given incorrect information however I was happy to rectify this and put things right.

When you posted us your letter, we received and logged this on the 6th September, sending you an acknowledgement email to say we had done so and that someone will call you unless you've asked us to reply in writing.

One of my colleagues in our Customer Advocates department picked this up on the 9th September and wrote a response. The adviser sent you an email as when you agree a contract with us you agree we'll email you with important information. I appreciate though you couldn't reply to the email itself but we don't offer support by email. 

They also posted a letter to you and attached the word document onto the ticket Here which you can view respond to online. 

With regards to the return of your router, the email we sent asking you to return it is automated and something we do for everybody regardless whether they've been returned or not, as far as I'm aware the router returns aren't tracked. I appreciate the confusion this might cause and I'm really sorry for this inconvenience.

Looking at the issue with your broadband, I understand that I had diagnosed the problem as the router hadn't set itself up automatically so I recommended you to manually set it up as per my instructions Here. I very much suspect this is what the engineer did when they came round. I'm glad though that was sorted one way or another.

Moving on to the early termination charges, both myself and your case handler made you aware that we wouldn't waive this prior to your service moving to another provider and your account cancelling down with us.

We were more than happy to discuss a fair and proportionate goodwill gesture for the inconvenience and incorrect information we'd given. Your case handler made you an offer in the letter they posted, emailed and attached to the ticket. 

However we didn't believe waiving termination fees would be fair and proportionate, based on the the incorrect information you were given over the phone, because we were happy to put things right and get your landline number back for you.

We emailed you notification of your final bill when we generated it but as you had before then chosen to remove your email address from your account to a non-functioning one, you didn't receive this notification. I again appreciate you didn't want us to email you automated updates however this is one of the ways we'd send you important information.

As the final bill wasn't paid, this was then automatically passed to a collections agency at a very last resort. 

I can see you've recently raised a case with the Ombudsman Services who will be handling your complaint moving forward. 

From 31st October 2022, I no longer have a regular presence here as I’ve moved on to a new role within Plusnet.
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet
DoneOver
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎26-08-2021

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!

 

The posts from Plusnet that you direct people to did not try to resolve the issues. Please don't misrepresent the facts.

 

I posted back in August after several days and many, many calls trying to get Plusnet to resolve the issues it caused when it completely messed up my switch / made no effort to port my number, lied about it, and then refused to do anything to help.

 

I had practically begged various Plusnet customer service agents to help me; none did. They finally told me that the problem couldn't be resolved and even tried to put me through to cancellations just to get rid of me - even though that would have made the problem even worse and completely lost me my number.

 

I was sick of bad advice and lies from Plusnet. I had missed several days work and was incredibly stressed. Like I said back then - Plusnet had no more credibility, so when Gandalf popped up offering the latest version of the Plusnet 'truth' and acting like she was going to put everything right I was 100% justified in completely rejecting her attempts at 'resolution'. (As seen when she said she was going to resolve my router problems by having me ... turn it off & on again!)

 

And, besides, it was too late: I'd already signed up to switch to BT, on the advice of Ofcom, because there was a limited window of time to retrieve the number Plusnet had failed to port and had said could not be ported. The time for resolution had passed and I was posting to share my experiences as a warning to others. I don't want anyone to go through what I have.

 

So, sure, look at the other posts before forming an opinion on the whole sorry saga.

 

But also consider the facts: I opened a complaint with Plusnet on 26 August, recorded next-day delivery. Plusnet sent me an email on 6 September telling me they were dealing with my complaint. Then nothing. Plusnet issued a bill for £198.61 on 1 October & didn't even send me the bill. I stupidly still thought Plusnet was investigating the complaint and would surely see how badly it had failed me and would be back with fulsome apologies. Nope, Plusnet doubled down.

On 25 October, at the end of the 8 week period by law that Plusnet should have replied to my complaint, I wrote to Plusnet and said I was starting Alternative Dispute Resolution - I was still trying to play by the rules.

Meanwhile, by 27 October, the bill had jumped to £248.26: Plusnet had already sold the 'debt' to some debt collecting agency who added £50 to the bill!

That's how Plusnet chose to 'resolve'  the situation.

 

So don't try and make me out to be the bad guy, Baldrick1. Or create the impression that I'm being less than transparent here.  I've been treated appallingly by Plusnet. I had every right to be angry when Plusnet tried to play me back in August and I have every right to be angry now I am being harassed for money I do not owe.

 

If you really want to get more info before forming an opinion, maybe look at the Ofcom guidance on unfair terms in consumer contracts, especially the parts relating to the fairness of Early Termination Charges and ideas of 'penalty', 'fairness', 'disproportionate'. I'm not wrong here, mate.

 

Ofcom Early Termination Charges 

 

 

Anoush
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,568
Thanks: 570
Fixes: 139
Registered: ‎22-08-2015

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!

I again appreciate you've had a bad experience over the phone but when you posted here, you basically, perhaps unknowingly, escalated your complaint, because I picked it up and as part of an escalated team (Social Media/Community Forum) within Plusnet, I was happy to take ownership to bring this to a resolution, getting your number back and discuss a goodwill gesture proportionate to the inconvenience and the stress of being given incorrect information.

With regards to the problem you had with your broadband connection, I didn't say 'turn it on and off' again, I explained how to factory reset your router so it calls in to our hardware management platform asking for the right details to connect to the internet. I also explained how you can input the right details yourself.

As per my previous response, we sent you a letter but if you didn't receive that you could've seen the response in the online ticket in your account, you didn't receive emails following this because of the steps you'd taken to remove your contact details. I appreciate you wanted an email from an address you can reply direct to but we don't offer this service. 

As per the final bill reminder we tried to send you by email if you don't pay and we have to involve a collections agency then they'll add 25% on top as part of extra fees to try to claim the money.

We made every effort to try to resolve this amicably once you brought the matter to our attention here and by letter. 

Also I'm actually a he, but that's not important. My name does have different meanings in various countries and cultures. Smiley

This is my personal Community Forum account to help out around these parts while I'm at home. If I'm posting from the 1st March 2020, this means I'm off-duty with no access to internal systems.
If this post resolved your issue, please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
DoneOver
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎26-08-2021

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!

@Gandalf, I'm still not an idiot, so I know this is a 'community' forum and not a review site ‌'😋‌'. That's why I shared my experiences, so that others in the 'community' can see how Plusnet treats people.


You may well have been happy to say you would be happy to rectify and put right but:

1) I didn't believe you - you were the last in a long line of Plusnet employees who'd lied and told me that the problem couldn't be put right. Surely you can see how I would have trouble believing you?

2) Like I said when I posted, after being told that Plusnet was not able to retrieve my number by multiple Plusnet employees, I'd already initiated the switch to BT who'd confirmed they could get my number back; it was too late for you to say you would put right and to expect me to give you more time. As I've made clear elsewhere, there was a small window to retrieve my number, Plusnet had already wasted several days, and Ofcom had advised me my best option was to go to another provider.

 

3) You wouldn't respect my repeated position saying I didn't want your help and were really pushy, which never helps put anything right. Surely you can read back your posts and see how I was becoming increasingly distressed at your refusal to respect the boundaries I was trying to maintain? Your posts were about being seen to be offering to help, rather than actually helping (proved by the really unhelpful advice about how to fix the router.)

 

Re the claims you're making now about the response to my complaint:

No one sent me a response to my complaint on 9 September. No one sent me a response to my complaint at all.

In my complaint letter I asked that someone either write to my home address or send an email to the address specified in the letter.

I am confused by your references about some kind of contractual obligation to receive emails from Plusnet (!), so I'm just going to repeat that point: I provided Plusnet with an email address in the letter of complaint, stipulating that emails had to be sent to that address, from a Plusnet email I could reply to. Or else I would not be able to manage the complaint via email and would have to deal with it via letter. Plusnet ignored this.

 

From your post below:

"We emailed you notification of your final bill when we generated it but as you had before then chosen to remove your email address from your account to a non-functioning one, you didn't receive this notification. I again appreciate you didn't want us to email you automated updates however this is one of the ways we'd send you important information."

 

Yes, yes that's right Gandalf. I removed the email from my account and provided an alternative email address for Plusnet to email me, the address I specified in my complaint letter. The address Plusnet chose to ignore. Despite evidently realising the email address you were using instead was a non-functioning one. But you still kept on sending emails to a non-functioning address instead of the email I had provided. Why, Plusnet? Why would you do this? Why would you make a big show of saying how hard you tried to resolve something but admit that you had deliberately chosen to send your communications to a non-functioning email address?

 

But thanks for admitting that's what you did, Gandalf. It does help me make my case.

 

So, let's be clear: There was no email. And if you did post a reply to your ticketing system a) I couldn't access it because I don't have any login details and b) I wasn't aware of it because you've just admitted sending the tickets to a non-functioning email address instead of the address I provided.

 

I was really clear about how I needed Plusnet to respond to the complaint. Unhelpful intransigence, again trying to force people to do things the way that works best for Plusnet, regardless of whether it is best for them, is not really in the spirit of resolution.


And there was no letter sent to my home either. Plusnet sent multiple mail outs to my home in the run up to the switch to Plusnet in August and I received every single one. But no response to my complaint came by post to my home. I have been looking out for it. There was no letter. Just like there was no "final bill" sent to my home either, was there? And it should have been, shouldn't it, given that I was no longer a customer by that point and you knew you were sending copies to a non-functioning email.

I haven't checked the link you included in your post to the Plusnet online ticketing system: I don't have any working log in details, which is one reason why I was really clear about how Plusnet needed to respond to me. Plusnet is welcome to try mailing it to my home, but I suspect it is moot now that the matter has been escalated.

 

Moving on to the Early Termination Charges:

1) In your posts, sure you indicated that it would be unlikely that Plusnet would 'waive' the charges. But I didn't ask Plusnet to waive anything or for any goodwill gestures. I dispute that I owe these charges.

2) Do not post here and state that I have been made aware of something by some Plusnet case handler with whom I have had any no interaction whatsoever. Just stop it.

 

As we've proved here, I did not receive any letter or email. I had no contact with, nor communication from any case handler. There was no offer and this is not a matter of goodwill gestures. The Early Termination Charges are not fair nor proportionate. They do not represent any costs to Plusnet. And I cannot be held liable for any loss of profit since Plusnet's own actions resulted in the cancellation of the contract. I was willing to continue the contract with Plusnet. I begged Plusnet to put matters right, I even offered to make any necessary calls myself to see if the number could be retrieved from your supplier. I have the recordings of Plusnet employees stating categorically that the matter could not be put right, and offering to connect me to the cancellation department. Not withstanding your personal claim "we were happy to put things right and get your landline number back for you", you can't just say something and act as though it is true, when all the evidence proves the opposite. Did you or this mythical case handler actually listen to the call recordings? Did you? Because I played them back when I copied them to send to the ADR and they are pretty damning.

As is this:

"As the final bill wasn't paid, this was then automatically passed to a collections agency at a very last resort."

 

Okay, once again in case you haven't got it: You didn't send me a response to the complaint, and you didn't send me any demand for payment. I'm not going to call it a final bill, because I don't owe Plusnet any money: I paid for a month;s service in advance, service I didn't get, and the money Plusnet is trying to claim from me is a penalty charge that Plusnet has no lawful right to apply. You didn't send me any reminders about your demand for payment. Instead, just 26 days after issuing the charge and having made no effort whatsoever to actually contact me about it, you sold the 'debt'. In those circumstances, selling the debt to a debt collection agency can in no reasonable way be said to be "a very last resort". Nope, I'm calling it what is was: knowingly malicious. Not least because the amount you people are trying to demand has now increased by £50, and that's just the first letter! 

 

I am disputing the charge. I do not owe Plusnet this money. I definitely don't owe any debt collector. I will be revising the ADR case, since the situation has changed so significantly since I put the case together, it seems likely that Plusnet isn't going to respond fairly or honestly, and I don't have the time to allow Plusnet to run riot over my credit rating, my financial reputation, and my mental health. This matter is clearly going to have to go to court now. So, thank you, Gandalf for posting. You will be delighted to know that it will actually prove to be helpful!

 

 

Finally about the darn router: Whatever your 'suspicions' about what the engineer did when he came to my house, I have already said that the issue was that I had been sent TWO routers and the problem - as I was told by your colleague & the BT Openreach engineer - was that Plusnet had registered the ID for one router against my account while I was using the other router. The problem wasn't that I hadn't set it up properly. My suspicion is that you are now so far out on a limb on this, you just have to double down to avoid losing face.

 

But this isn't a game. Please, please stop lying and trying to make out that I am the liar.

 

It is now past midnight and I am going to be up for more hours getting started on the legal research before I have to get to work, so I'm going to sign off. If you or your colleagues want to keep posting, I won't be replying but I made use any replies as part of my legal case against Plusnet.

DoneOver
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎26-08-2021

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!

@Anoush 

I don't know who you are: As far as I am aware, the only person I interacted with on the other posts was @Gandalf. Is Anoush an alias? A puppet account? If so, it's not helpful.

I have just replied to Gandalf's post and I refer you to it.

But, to emphasise once again: Stop trying to make out that I was obstructive in resolving the complaint, when I provided Plusnet with the correct contact details and Plusnet chose to disregard them. I needed Plusnet to communicate with me in a way that ensured I could manage, respond, and monitor the situation in a way that was accessible to me and reliable. Plusnet deliberately and knowingly sent its responses and its 'bills' to a non-functioning email address instead of the email I provided.

Just because you state that you have tried to resolve something amicably, that does not make it so. Nothing about the way Plusnet has dealt with me or this matter has been amicable. And no amount of smiley face emojis can disguise that.

I will not be bullied into paying money I do not owe for services that were not provided. I will not be bullied by Plusnet selling my details to a debt collecting agency in order to apply pressure and threaten me and my well-being.

I appreciate that you want to 'win' this, and you are determined to keep on arguing here, but this really needs to go down the formal legal route now.

 

 

"As per my previous response, we sent you a letter but if you didn't receive that you could've seen the response in the online ticket in your account, you didn't receive emails following this because of the steps you'd taken to remove your contact details. I appreciate you wanted an email from an address you can reply direct to but we don't offer this service. 

As per the final bill reminder we tried to send you by email if you don't pay and we have to involve a collections agency then they'll add 25% on top as part of extra fees to try to claim the money.

We made every effort to try to resolve this amicably once you brought the matter to our attention here and by letter. 

Also I'm actually a he, but that's not important. My name does have different meanings in various countries and cultures."

Anoush
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,568
Thanks: 570
Fixes: 139
Registered: ‎22-08-2015

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!

No problem, you can share your experiences here, my reference to our forums not being a review site came purely because you've said on more than one occasion you don't want anybody to engage with you. People come to our forums for help. 

As I'd explained in my post Here Gandalf is a nickname I chose when setting up my forum account, my real name is Anoush, this is in my signature. I use the account I'm on now when I'm not in the office, as per my signature also.

I'm absolutely not trying to argue or be obstructive though, I'm just responding to your posts, attempting to address your concerns as best as I can with facts. I can't make you believe me though, all I can do is offer the best advice I can.

I'm sorry you feel I was being pushy, again not my intent and ultimately you had raised a complaint to us and I was attempting to address your complaint as a representative of Plusnet by taking ownership and wanting to do what I can to fix. 

I understand you hadn't received the letter we sent by post, however we weren't aware of this but we did document the letter on the open support ticket in your account online, you can view and respond to, while attempting to email you at the email address we have on file. We couldn't put the email address you gave us in your letter into our systems because you'd noted you preferred not to have emails going there from an email address you couldn't respond direct to. 

We send emails via our ticket system either by an adviser typing a response up or through automation to the contact email address we have file that's in your account details tab, it'd be your responsibility to make sure this is accurate.

You'd access the ticket in the same way you'd logged into your account to remove your email address, which would be Here logging in using your account username (that's in your forum profile if you can't remember it) and password. If you can't remember your password, you can call us on 0800 432 0200 if you can't reset it online for obvious reasons. 

I can see we're at an impasse and as you've raised a case with the Ombudsman, I'd recommend liaising with them moving forward for a final decision on your complaint. If you do need further support though particularly with logging into your account, please feel free to drop @Gandalf (me) a private message and we'll be happy to help. Smiley

This is my personal Community Forum account to help out around these parts while I'm at home. If I'm posting from the 1st March 2020, this means I'm off-duty with no access to internal systems.
If this post resolved your issue, please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
Baldrick1
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9,639
Thanks: 4,330
Fixes: 346
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!


@DoneOver wrote:

....

The posts from Plusnet that you direct people to did not try to resolve the issues. Please don't misrepresent the facts.

.....

So, sure, look at the other posts before forming an opinion on the whole sorry saga.

.....

So don't try and make me out to be the bad guy, Baldrick1. Or create the impression that I'm being less than transparent here. 


I cannot be bothered to read any more of your lengthy tomes. If you carefully read my original post I simply suggested to readers that to put this into context that they should first refer to the cause of you complaint and the response of Plusnet. I gave no opinion.

Years ago I learnt a technique that I find especially useful in stressful situations. This is to step back and take a 'helicopter view' of the situation picturing all the parties and how all (including myself) are behaving. It can be very illuminating.

I will now back out as it was never my intention to inflame the situation, but to simply introduce some clarity.

Moderator and Customer
If this helped - select the Thumb
If it fixed it,  help others - select 'This Fixed My Problem'

dvorak
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 28,539
Thanks: 6,311
Fixes: 1,459
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Plusnet - We'll do you over!


Moderators Note


This topic has been locked as it's making no progress and has moved to arbitration. 

Customer / Moderator
If it helped click the thumb
If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'