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Plusnet customer service gets no better

arktos
Rising Star
Posts: 51
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Registered: 20-08-2015

Plusnet customer service gets no better

Once the contracted service has been provided, I haven't experienced too many issues with Plusnet. But my dealings with "Customer Services" have been an entirely different matter.

Last year I sought to upgrade from ADSL to FTTC. There were numerous issues with conflicting advice, rejected orders, and delays which meant that my eventual start date was about a month after I was promised. I followed the complaints procedure, went to some length to identify all the issues, and trusted that Plusnet might take my well-reasoned comments on board and seek to address matters. 

My FTTC broadband has subsequently been OK, so recently I advised an elderly couple - who I assist with their computer, - to do the same. Big mistake !

My first embarrassment came when the previously deemed essential managed install which I specified,  filtered faceplate, etc. were refused. "We don't do that any more" they said. I have previously described the issue in more detail here: https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/Help/m-p/1362129#M44973

 I forsee problems with this, in that I know my friends' telephone wiring to be old, and given that FTTC is less tolerant of line conditions than ADSL, I am dreading the point when they could be asked for a large sum of money to provide what was previously included as an almost integral part of an FTTC install (and an ADSL one too, before that). A telephone engineer recently told my friends that he believed an engineer visit was standard, but I now acknowledge that the indications on the Openreach site differ. At a time when the Government is calling on providers to increase broadband speeds, I fail to understand why it is acceptable for required standards of wiring installation to be reduced as a matter of policy, (and probably a cost-saving measure) with a predictable impact on achievable speeds. However, it does seem likely to increase revenue from "chargeable visits".

But my friends haven't reached that point yet. Their contractual start date was 1st September, and indeed they received an email on that date informing them that their "broadband product change is now complete". So I found time in an otherwise busy schedule to go and install the new router so that they weren't without broadband. I needn't have bothered, because the line speed was unchanged and it took two very long waits on the phone to ascertain that ADSL was still on the line. Plusnet have been told before about the misleading email, and it has been discussed on these forums, but nothing had changed. We too were misled by the ambiguous wording.

It took even more long waits in the ensuing days before I could speak to "Provisioning" who undertook to expedite matters. (Ticket 132933626) Five days later, the old speeds were unchanged. The ticket just mentioned had not been added to, and there were no other open tickets. It took me a while to discover that a ticket (286490046) had been opened and closed two days ago advising that the start date had been put back 20 days from the contracted one. However, true to form, Plusnet had not provided any explanation or even told the customer. I have complained before about these "internal tickets" which don't reach the customer unless he goes looking for them, and remembers to look in the "closed" section, - despite containing information of direct relevance to the customer.

Unable to waste more time listening the the insincere "Sorry for making you waayyt" (if Plusnet were that sorry they would do something about it,) I resorted to the "Chat service". I was over an hour in the queue, and I saw my position fall back as well as advance. Despite providing the ticket number, the "advisor" looked at an incorrect ticket, and told me the order had been cancelled, before correcting himself. At the precise moment I provided the second ticket number and identified the problem, the "advisor" ended the chat session, and a customer survey page appeared. Needless to say, my responses were not very complimentary having just wasted an hour and a quarter achieving nothing. I have retained the chat transcript but cannot quote a reference number as none was appended.

I hope that a member of Plusnet staff will read this post, and come to the assistance of my friends and myself (who recommended Plusnet to them). Of course, I would also be interested to hear the observations of other forum members. Thanks.

7 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 4,086
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Registered: 25-03-2015

Re: Plusnet customer service gets no better

Sorry to hear of the problems you and your friend have been experiencing with this matter.

 

As I've mentioned elsewhere regarding the confusion between completion dates of fibre orders and the communication the account sends out the customer, I have been passing on examples of this and the dissatisfaction it is causing, pushing for this to be improved.

 

I'll also be passing feedback on regarding the advisors you have spoke to as they should have handled this much better and ensured they were providing the correct expectations.

 

As much as I'd like to assist with this matter, I'm sorry to say I can't do much further than advising the order is due to complete on 20/09/16, which you appear to have already figured out from the service notice on the account.

 

Again I do apologise for this, I'll be sure to pass feedback on regarding all of this to the relevant people.

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 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
rongtw
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Re: Plusnet customer service gets no better

  Sorry is now becoming too regular Undecided
I hope you pass this feed back higher than line manager , Its about time PN started to get things sorted so that this no longer becomes the Norm Embarrassed
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arktos
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Registered: 20-08-2015

Re: Plusnet customer service gets no better

Thank you Harry for picking up on this for me. I will pass on the news to my elderly friends, who unfortunately have not been very impressed by what went before.

I became aware of the ambiguity of the "transfer complete" email which had me running around like a headless chicken to do the necessary changeover to the new VDSL router, fearing that the old one would no longer work after activation of fibre. Fortunately the new one works with ADSL also, which is just as well or I would have had to change them back again.

It seems that Tony who you also recently responsed to, https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/Switch-to-fibre-complete-no-increase-in-speed/m-p/1366... was also misled by the same message. I know that you have been flagging this up, and it is disappointing that Plusnet could not have been more responsive. How long does it take to reword a poorly worded message template?

I am glad that you have been able to get Tony's overdue upgrade to be effected today, but do you know why my friends' upgrade, promised to me personally on the phone by CSC Analyst RK on the 24th August for the 1st Sept. is now on the back burner until the 21st September?

I appreciate your undertaking to feed back on the other communications issues.

Unfortunately, Plusnet have put me in a very embarrassing position with my friends. It was me who suggested that they move from ADSL to Fibre, not realising that with Openreach's withdrawal of proper managed installation, filtered faceplate, etc, (previously deemed essential for proper performance,) the fibre upgrade could result in unforseen, unaffordable expense if a chargeable visit proves necessary to achieve the predicted line speeds due to old wiring. I think that Plusnet Sales need to be upfront about this at the enquiry stage, or make a goodwill gesture if it becomes an issue, particularly as my friends have been with them for eight years for both phone and broadband.

Needless to say, the slippage by three weeks of the effective date of the upgrade from the date given in Service Notice 283361540, with activation (distinct from the ambiguous message discusssed earlier,) confirmed in 285616843, has also caused me much embarrassment regarding my recommendation of Plusnet fibre.

The non-communication to the customer of the slippage noted in (internal only) Service Notice 286490046, especially after activation was previously confirmed as above, makes me feel even sillier, and has wasted many hours of my time on phone, chat (only to be cut off) and written messages to you of one sort or another.

After pretty similar experiences last year when I ordered my own upgrade, I can't say I'm that surprised, - but my elderly friends are astonished at this dreadful service , and I believe that Plusnet owe them an apology.

Thanks again Harry for your response to my posting, and sorry for your unenviable position. Most of my dialogue with Plusnet has been with some really nice people (eventually) so I can but wonder where it all goes wrong.

 

 

 

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Plusnet customer service gets no better


arktos wrote:

I am glad that you have been able to get Tony's overdue upgrade to be effected today, but do you know why my friends' upgrade, promised to me personally on the phone by CSC Analyst RK on the 24th August for the 1st Sept. is now on the back burner until the 21st September?

Unfortunately it's not that I "got Tony's overdue upgrade to be effective today" it's simply that his order was committed for today.

You/Your friend should have never been advised the order would take effect from 01/09. This is one of the things I have passed feedback on regarding.

What you should have been advised is:

The minimum lead time for the order would be 01/09/16, however this is dependant on engineer availability to carry out external work at the cabinet. We will request the order to be completed on the earliest available date and provide confirmation of this date once we have received this from our suppliers.

They should have followed this up with a ticket for us to monitor the order to reach a committed state and provide confirmation of the expected completion date.

 

Again, I do sincerely apologise to both you and your friend regarding this.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
arktos
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Registered: 20-08-2015

Re: Plusnet customer service gets no better

My elderly friends were disappointed with the news that their fibre upgrade promised for the 1st September was put back to 21st September. They were also sorry that the postponement was not notified to them, but left to me to ferret out as a closed "Service Notice" which wasn't forwarded to the customer. Nevertheless they accepted your explanation and appreciated your apology

However, as the revised latest completion date of the 21st Sept. approached (tomorrow) they looked forward to activation, and were even more perked up today when they noticed an engineer working at the box outside, and spotted that their router was showing that the ADSL had gone off.

But they told me that they were disappointed once more when the engineer later phoned to say that although their broadband was supplied from the green box outside, their phone line came from another unidentified box elsewhere, and he was therefore unable to complete the order. He added that they would need to contact Plusnet.

I am somewhat confused by this, although I acknowledge that the engineer's remarks might not have been relayed to me verbatim. Also if he had managed to interrupt the ADSL and subsquently reconnect it, then why couldn't he connect the fibre?

But surely it is Openreach's job to know how their lines are routed, - and with a single pair coming into the bungalow, the phone and broadband have to be combined somewhere. Again, Plusnet won't know that, will they?

Nevertheless, it was originally my (foolish) suggestion that my friends upgrade to fibre, so I will continue to try to help them with this. I started out with the chat line, (number 49 in the queue) , switched to phone with a predicted long wait time, and then gave vent to my annoyance on this keyboard, with "We're sorry for making you wait" in the background.

Predictably it took some while to get through, but almost unexpectedly I did, and explained to the advisor as described above. He told me that I needed to speak to Provisioning, but just as I was about to wither to the ground at the prospect of having to start all over again he told me that there was no wait time for Provisioning, (the department not the action!) and I was put through almost immediately.

They too were helpful and not as surprised as I was to hear that Openreach had thrown up their hands and referred the job back to Plusnet the moment a problem loomed, - despite having taken over three weeks to get to this stage. I'm promised some explanation from Fibre Provisioning (which apparently is another different department) by phone tomorrow.

So tonight, the pins and plasticine are out for Openreach, but I have to ask the question why I had to endure the normal long wait to contact Plusnet when the department I wanted had no queue. Couldn't this have been a menu option when the call started?

And harking back to something I said earlier, it never was explained why Service Notices affecting a customer's provisioning order or issue raised, are opened and closed without the customer being notified, unless he knows how to go digging among the closed tickets.

rongtw
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Re: Plusnet customer service gets no better

Digging around tickets ??  do you mean you found where they get hidden Cheesy

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arktos
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Re: Plusnet customer service gets no better

Hi, Ron, - well I've found where some of them go, anyway !

As mentioned above, Provisioning said last night that they would get Fibre Provisioning to call me today, and accordingly raised an internal ticket 134224588 this morning which said, "Please call authorized user (me) on (my home number) with update. Please chase fibre modify. Routered to wrong cabinet but expecting us to do a cease and reprovide? Please see if it is possible to update fibre routing without having to cease ADSL asset first."

Knowing that my friends had to go out today, this was the best arrangement, and I know that they prefer me to deal with Plusnet for them anyway. However, it did mean that I have been confined to barracks, and have been carrying the cordless phone around with me all day, and checking accounts and emails. I can't say that I'm astonished not to have heard anything, but I tried very hard to deal with this for my friends as they had asked me to do, and I know that at their age they worry a lot about things like this.

What happens? ....... at 17.46, Plusnet send THEM an email as follows:

Dear Mrs ******,
I tried to call you although there was no answer so I left a voicemail, I have been in contact with our suppliers who have informed me that the engineer stated routing issue, therefore activity raised to get it resolved and investigated We have been asked to review the order on 26-09-2016 for further updates.

So when thet get in later, they will be disappointed that I haven't dealt with it for them, and won't know what a "routing issue" is. I'm disappointed to have been on alert all day, and then not had the opportunity to discuss the matter to try and find out more for them.

Fair play that Plusnet have communicated with the customer, (which they didn't when they arbitrarily put back the target date by almost three weeks,)  but what was so hard to understand about the "Please call authorised user" message, which was the arrangement agreed by all parties, and spelt out on the same ticket?

Although Harry has indicated above that the original completion date of 1st September was unlikely to be achieveable, Openreach left it until almost the last minute to meet the revised date of 21st Sept., then failed at the first hurdle and returned the order to Plusnet. Now it's all gone back by another week, (at least).

If any forum member can clarify what they think that Openreach's problem with this, regarding different cabinets, is, then out of curiosity I'd be glad of some clarification. Thanks.