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Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

smiffy1
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Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

A new report from Ofcom has revealed that Plusnet attracted the most UK consumer complaints for fixed line broadband and phone in Q1 2019,

Almost four in ten of Plusnet’s complaints were about billing, pricing and charges (38% of complaints). The other main drivers of Plusnet’s complaints were complaints handling (28%) and faults, service and provision issues (26%).

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/07/plusnet-shamed-for-q1-2019-uk-broadband-and-phone-comp...

21 REPLIES 21
Baldrick1
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

Bizarre or what?  https://www.plus.net/home-broadband/awards/

I have always believed that the quality of a company cannot be judged when things are working as they should, it's how they react when things go badly wrong. I suspect that this is the cause of the disparity. 

It might help if there was more visibilty of the extent of the billing problem and what is being done to resolve it.

.

smiffy1
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

@Baldrick1 

It might help if there was more visibilty of the extent of the billing problem and what is being done to resolve it.

This was debunked by a superuser who said it would not make any difference knowing this ??

But yes plusnets handling of this has been terrible Sad  even a announcement in the Forum would have been useful , but the amount of complaints  4 in 10 is about Billing this small amount of customers are all talking to OFCOM

newagetraveller
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

"This was debunked by a superuser who said it would not make any difference knowing this ?? "

A member of the fanclub would say that though.

Baldrick1
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

We are allowed to have a different opinion to superusers.

I often read posts on this forum from people who are very angry and disparaging about Plusnet when the cause of their angst is due to the actions (or inaction) by Plusnet's 'supplier', that is, other parts of the BT empire over which Plusnet has no control and little influence. To point this out does not make any-one a member of the Plusnet Fan Club.

Highlighted
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

I often read badge-wearing members of the Plusnet fan club playing the "pin the blame on Plusnet's suppliers" game.

Issues caused by Plusnet's suppliers should be much the same for all service providers and therefore can't really be much of an excuse for why Plusnet are getting more complaints than others.

Superuser
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

@smiffy1 

This was debunked by a superuser who said it would not make any difference knowing this

If you are going to take a swipe at something, please do it accurately.  It was suggested that knowing the NUMBERS of users impacted would not make any difference to an individual.  It has never been suggested that not knowing the issues, would not make a difference - that would be just daft!  Numbers is very commercially sensitive and is simply not going to be disclosed, so we all might as well just move along on that one.

No SU has defended the billing issues themselves, they are indeed dire.  What has been attempted is to profile them, especially the payment failure experiences, for different people are seeing different experiences, from it working as it should do, to not being able to even get anywhere near Plusnet systems.  Different failures point to the potential of different causes.

Do not confuse trying to be helpful (as opposed to sitting on the side lines making unhelpful snipes) with being a "fanboy".  Sniping about anything has ever helped anyone.  Trying to understand issues, how they arise and how they might be mitigated is what this community is supposed to be about.  Negative empathy might make you feel nice and warm, but it does nothing to move issues forward.

Baldrick1
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints


@ejs wrote:

I often read badge-wearing members of the Plusnet fan club playing the "pin the blame on Plusnet's suppliers" game.

Issues caused by Plusnet's suppliers should be much the same for all service providers and therefore can't really be much of an excuse for why Plusnet are getting more complaints than others.


I don't disagree, there are cases of both. I would however include some Plusnet staff under the fan club heading.

Presumably it's the billing system screw up and the failure of Plusnet to fix it since when? I have September 2018 in my head, that's quite rightly responsible for this situation. I'm amazed that Ofcom have let it go on for so long without taking action.

Superuser
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

… and action from Ofcom can fix a software engineering issue how exactly?

Does anyone here honestly believe that Plusnet are just sitting here doing nothing?  No amount of "should do this" or "ought to do that" from people sat outside of the issue is likely to make one jot of useful difference to real problems.  Sometimes, issues just have to be taken face on worked though and ground out until resolved, for there is no way back.

I have had direct experience of major system issues and understand the difficulty in locating the cause of poor performance.  Invariably it is never where you reasonably think it is - all too often it is in the micro detail of what is otherwise appearing to work OK.

For example I was responsible for technical management of a major UK Government IT system which had been performing very poorly, even after months of investigation.  I decided to take a very different approach after "everything had been looked and nothing had been found".  After several weeks of analysing the low level performance of the document retrieval sub-system I identified that one of the array of 20 optical drives was performing less than optimally.  It was not otherwise showing any untoward problem, even then it took second line hardware engineering to verify the findings and rectify the problem.

Long story short, IT life is not always as simple as most would wish it to be and believe that it is.

Baldrick1
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints


@Townman wrote:

It was suggested that knowing the NUMBERS of users impacted would not make any difference to an individual.  


To be honest if I was one of the affected customers I would be interested to know how many were affected and whether the numbers were increasing or decreasing as the months roll on.

Others who are considering recontracting or coming to Plusnet might consider whether it's worth the risk of direct debits not being collected and their credit rating being damaged by Plusnet's automated debt collection system, not withstanding threatening letters relating to debt collection agencies and go elsewhere. I would definitely think twice if, for example, I needed a clean credit record for a mortgage. At least knowing the number and category of customer affected would enable the risk to be evaluated.

All the secrecy brings Plusnet no credit. 

Superuser
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

That reads like project fear - speculation on what might happen with no evidence that it has or can happen.

  1. Direct debits are only not collected if bills are not raised or if there are insufficient funds
  2. If bills are not raised, there is no debt against which a credit rating can be impacted
  3. If there are no bills raised, there is nothing to send to a DRA

Therefore not being billed cannot impact one's credit rating as you seek to suggest here.  As you imply misunderstanding numbers could be commercially sensitive … so it just is not going to happen, no matter how much anyone whinges.  The nature of forums is that only those with issues are likely to use the forums, which is a far cry for any suggestion that the majority of users are impacted.  Does anyone disclose all of their failures for public scrutiny?  Do you?  So why do we demand it of others?

A while ago, there were a few cases where (because failed payment restrictions had been suspended) that users were not reminded that they had over due bills, which did result in DRA.  That I believe though is history.

What is likely to be detrimental to user's credit ratings is not having automated payment methods in place or sufficient funds for the services they have bought and then not addressing the consequences.

idonno
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints


@ejs wrote: Issues caused by Plusnet's suppliers should be much the same for all service providers and therefore can't really be much of an excuse for why Plusnet are getting more complaints than others.

Couldn't agree more but I sense the 'Billing Issue' is on another level entirely. I wouldn't have thought it would take too long to sort. After all, how long have Direct Debits, billing and accounting been in play.

 

I keep waiting for the day I can wear the billing badge that says "Me Too!".

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
Baldrick1
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

@Townman 

Thanks for the clarification. If I can precis this:

Providing that a direct debit is in place and funds are available in the related account then customers can ignore billing problems resulting in Plusnet failing to collect outstanding dues. There is no risk to credit records whatsoever providing funds are available when Plusnet fixes its systems.

To add from other posts I have read:

When the billing problem is fixed Plusnet will collect outstanding debts limited to the previous 3 months.

If this is the correct analysis then why on earth can't Plusnet just put out a posting along these lines and close this version of 'project fear' for good? Notwithstanding that as you say, these things happen, such action seems perfectly reasonable and acceptable to me. It could also reduce the number of complaints to Ofcom.

Superuser
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints

Some clarification of the simplification is essential. Reading what’s abound here, having prepayments in place and funds to cover bills raised should not lead to issues. If any issue does arise they should never be ignored.

Where bills are not being raised, only charges relating to the preceding 90 days will be invoiced. This has been stated repeatedly around here.

I cannot advise why PlusNET have not made clear statements - I can guess its a matter of dammed if you do and damned if you don’t. I find it incomprehensible, beyond there’s always media out there always looking for blood, never satisfied with what is said, always seeking another pound of flesh.
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Re: Plusnet beats Talk Talk for complaints


@Townman wrote:

… and action from Ofcom can fix a software engineering issue how exactly?

Not directly, but it might prompt Plusnet to put more effort and resources into fixing it. It's hardly as though billing is some ground-breaking new concept that's never been attempted before.

I've heard more than enough of self-declared experienced / IT / professionals or whatever telling me how incredibly difficult everything they do is. After a while it becomes hard to believe and I tend to think it's not actually quite that difficult, it's just that they're not very good at their job.