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Poor support following internet outage

briank
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2010

Poor support following internet outage

This morning (Sunday 26/06/2022) I lost my internet connection (Milton Keynes FTTP):-

Fibre modem 'LOS' red LED was on.

Adjacent power/battery module red 'FAULT' LED was on.

Router 'status' LED continuous orange.

I spoke to two neighbours who also use BT Openreach.

They reported the exact same problem.

I called Plusnet support.

The response was to arrange an engineer visit. Earliest slot - about 2 weeks!

 

Any idiot with half a brain would realise that if two neighbours had exactly the same problem, the fault was somewhere upstream in the network.

 

Instead I had to go through some idiotic fault reporting process that included answering questions about Covid etc.

 

The fault was eventully rectified around midday - no engineer visit required. I assume the fault was at the local exchange.

 

Plusnet need to sort out their fault handling process.

 

21 REPLIES 21
briank
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2010

Re: Poor support following internet outage

Interestingly, when my neighbour reported the fault to her broadband provider (I think it was either BT or Sky), she was told an Openreach engineer would investigate on Tuesday 28th June. That's a waiting time of just 2 days.

The earliest slot for an Openreach engineer visit I received from Plusnet was 8th July i.e. 12days.

Why does it take Plusnet almost 2 weeks to arrange a visit from Openreach? After all, both are owned by BT.

Two weeks is an unnaceptable time to be without an internet connection - especially when you have no copper landline and rely on VOIP.

Hardly in keeping with the 'We'll do you proud' advertising.

 

jab1
Aspiring Legend
Posts: 11,092
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Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: Poor support following internet outage

@briank You say in the opening post that your fault was rectified around midday Sunday without an engineer visit, but your neighbour was advised an engineer would call Tuesday. Is her connection also FTTP - I'm guessing yes, based on your location, and is it exactly the same fault?

John
briank
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2010

Re: Poor support following internet outage

My neighbour has exactly the same Openreach FTTP modem. It was displaying exactly the same fault indications as mine.

She called her broadband supplier an hour or so after I reported the problem to Plusnet.

Another neighbour who lives opposite uses BT as his supplier.

The same thing applies - same FTTP modem, same fault indication.

I assume a red LOS LED means Loss Of Signal?

All three of us found the problem was rectified around midday.

One of my neighbours later told me that the fault had affected much of Milton Keynes.

 

As I mentioned previously, it worries me that Plusnet can take up to two weeks to get a broadband problem investigated.

 

pjmarsh
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Poor support following internet outage

It would be Openreach which are telling Plusnet that an engineer visit is required and what the availability is for it.  It may be that at the time when you reported the issue Openreach hadn't identified that there was a wider fault, or hadn't updated their systems to report the issue.  By the time the others you spoke to reported it to their suppliers then Openreach had updated it with the new info, so that is what they were told.  More than likely if they had reported it earlier and you had reported it a bit later, then they'd have been advised that they needed an engineer to visit, and you'd have been told that there was a known issue.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

briank
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2010

Re: Poor support following internet outage

"t would be Openreach which are telling Plusnet that an engineer visit is required"

 

I disagree. It was the Plusnet advisor I spoke to that told me an Openreach visit was required. He did not consult with Opnreach in advance to determine if there was a wider network problem. This is part of what my complaint is about.

The second part of my complaint is the earliest Openreach visit slot given by Plusnet was two weeks away when my neighbour (who I think is with Sky) was told 2 days. Plusnet and Openreach are both part of BT. Sky is not.

MY Plusnet FTTP broadband has been very reliable until now, but if I am expected to be without an internet connection for up to two weeks in the event of a fault, it's making me think about switching to another supplier.

 

Maybe the ad should be changed to "Plusnet: We'll do you when we get round to it".

 

 

briank
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2010

Re: Poor support following internet outage

Also...

There was no follow up email apologizing for the loss of service.

No explanation about what the fault was.

 

The Customer Service operator I spoke to only seemed interested in going through security checks, telling me about the compensation scheme and asking whether anyone in the house had Covid. No attempt to diagose the problem, He didn't seem at all interested in the fault indicators on the modem or router or that two other neighbours has the same fault.

 

 

jab1
Aspiring Legend
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Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: Poor support following internet outage

@briank You do not normally get an email apologising for loss of service, and quite often, even if a support ticket is raised, you don't get an explanation of the cause either.

It is possible the agent wasn't trained for FTTP, in which case he wouldn't know where to start, and as your neighbours were with different suppliers, their issues could have been different - they weren't but that only came to light later.

His other questions/replies are standard.

John
briank
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2010

Re: Poor support following internet outage

"It is possible the agent wasn't trained for FTTP"

Surely broadband providers should make sure their agents are trained to deal with fault reports efficiently and not just blindly go through a written list. The fact it was FTTP is irrelevant. If multiple cutomers in the same area have the same fault then it's pretty obvious that the root cause is not a fault with the equipment at a particular user premises but a problem further upstream in the network.

I would have thought that today's network diagnostics should be easily able to detect the fault location. Surely a 'Loss of signal' error can be detected by equipment at the local exchange? I would expect automatic alarms to be triggered in this situation. Since the fault was rectified after just afew hours, I suspect this probably was the case. The problem is that the system does not inform customers or their broadband suppliers of the outage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

briank
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2010

Re: Poor support following internet outage

I have given my feedback. It is up to Plusnet to decide whether 2 weeks without an internet connection is acceptable.

Customers may decide to go elsewhere.

 

jab1
Aspiring Legend
Posts: 11,092
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Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: Poor support following internet outage


@briank wrote:

 

I would have thought that today's network diagnostics should be easily able to detect the fault location. Surely a 'Loss of signal' error can be detected by equipment at the local exchange? I would expect automatic alarms to be triggered in this situation. Since the fault was rectified after just afew hours, I suspect this probably was the case. The problem is that the system does not inform customers or their broadband suppliers of the outage.


As I understand it, and I'm still learning, as FTTP is not available to me, and only very recently been made available to those PN customers who are able to get it, the network is set up to be self-monitoring, and to advise BT/OR control of issues.

It is true that ISPs and their customers are kept in the dark, but that is because BT/OR still behave like the Post Office Telephones of old, where the end-user (and ISPs) are regarded as a nuisance to be tolerated. If you want this to change, lobby your local MP to drag them into the 21st. century.

John
Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: Poor support following internet outage

Hi there,

I'm really sorry to see your FTTP connection stopped working and thanks for your feedback. 

I've taken a look into this for you and I can see that when you phoned us, the adviser ran a test which showed "OR test has failed and Appointment Required. Resolution / Recommendation: Please report fault to BTW for OR investigation."

OR stands for OpenReach and BTW for BTWholesale. An "Appointment" would mean an engineer visit. In the interest of transparency, I'll attach the full testing below:

At the point of raising the fault, the adviser would've had to book an engineer, subject to engineer availability, because the supplier systems wouldn't have allowed them to go any further until this was done. 

The fault was raised just after 9am on Sunday and we hadn't actually received any further update until mid-afternoon on Monday when we were advised that no appointment was required and there was a major service outage. The specific updates were "Fault associated with Openreach Proactive Infrastructure Event. Appointment not required."

When the fault was confirmed as resolved to us, it was simply passed back to us with no detail regarding what the issue was. If we knew the exact cause, we'd be happy to share it, but unfortunately we weren't informed of this. 

I do however appreciate the worry caused after the first call you'd made by potentially how long you'd be offline.

I would say though that if it did come to that then you'd be eligible for compensation, because we're signed up to Ofcom's automatic compensation scheme. We go into more detail here > https://www.plus.net/help/legal/automatic-compensation/ and Ofcom have their own page too about this here > https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/automat...

I don't believe there's anything further that the adviser could've done, because there isn't really a supplier helpdesk we can contact to flag up a service outage where line tests aren't showing an outage.

Ultimately, if the adviser had tried to contact our suppliers, they likely would've turned them back, because our suppliers helpdesk aren't there for us to raise a fault, as we'd do that via the systems we're provided. 

I do get that this doesn't always make for a good experience. Ideally line tests should've flagged the service outage when running the first test, but it looks like the outage wasn't fully logged by our suppliers at that point. 

I've re-opened the support ticket on your account and raised a complaint, which you'll be able to view & respond to by going Here if you've got any further concerns or if you're happy to consider your complaint resolved.

Normally, I'd try to call you in the first instance, but I also appreciate not everyone likes a call late at night!

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
Mustrum
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,999
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Registered: ‎13-08-2015

Re: Poor support following internet outage

Surprised the OP did not bother to get back to PN to cancel the fault once it was back up and working after such a short time.

newagetraveller
Pro
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Registered: ‎03-08-2012

Re: Poor support following internet outage

Maybe the OP wasn't/isn't aware of cancelling a fault once rectified?

Rather than having a sneaky snipe at the customer it might be better to help them?

Longliner
Pro
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Registered: ‎22-10-2014

Re: Poor support following internet outage

Many customers blame Plusnet for problems which are the responsibility of Openreach. Such snags are annoying but it's worth remembering that even if 500 customers have problems at one time there are 1.35 million that are happy. I myself have had excellent service and speeds without any outage in many years (though don't mention PN's billing process!)

If you feel that BT or perhaps one of the smaller ISPs can offer you a better service over the same equipment apart from the router then of course I would agree you should leave, and pay up to double the price. Though I doubt that any ISP could charge enough to employ sufficient advisers to supply the individual replies you seem to expect even though the staff are doing their best.