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Reality Bites!

dsluk
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎30-05-2012

Reality Bites!

As a long standing customer, with the responsibility for multiple accounts I feel it is time for a public airing of my experience with Plusnet and their "support" As you may have probably guessed, it is not a good one, this is a last ditch attempt to highlight these issues publicly and hopefully get some sort of resolution. I'm pretty sure some of what I will say here will be familiar with others judging by some of the other posts I am seeing. I'll try to keep this clear and to the point but my simmering blood may just start to boil!
Support: When is 24 hour support not 24 hour support, at Plusnet it seems, you may have people answering the phone 24 hours a day, mostly after a very lengthy wait! but are they the people that can actually solve the issue? More often than not they cannot! This is particularly evident during a fault when the initial person can only do basic checks and once a fault is live, trying to actually speak to the faults team can be a real battle. It feels like Plusnet go out of their way to deny you access to the right person. Once you do get someone in the faults team to investigate, it can be a bit of a lottery and the blame is usually put squarely with their suppliers. Despite Plusnet, and their suppliers all coming under the "BT" umbrella, communications between them is dire and there appears no way to escalate issues which are blamed on suppliers. I have had the impression on more than one occasion that the member of staff wanted to help, but their hands were tied up in knots for fear of rocking the boat with the aforementioned suppliers and the Plusnet management. I have had missed appointments from Openreach, miserable, disinterested engineers turning up with no details or blatantly lying to tick off the job! Lather, rinse, repeat! You get the idea.
Phone system: Now correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the new all singing, all dancing phone system which was put in place to solve the issues caused by the old one? It is worse than the old one and clearly not fit for purpose. Prior to bringing my phone service to Plusnet, I was a BT retail customer. When I called Plusnet the phone system would recognise my number, and if I had an open fault would immediately ask if I was calling to speak about that, great. Ever since I transferred my phone line to Plusnet (at the suggestion of Plusnet funnily enough as I was told it would be easier to fight back with their suppliers if they had control of both my phone and broadband) the phone system, in particular the IVR does not work. As soon as it answers it says this happens -
"Welcome to Plusnet, we could not find the telephone number for your account. Please press 1 to enter your number or 2 to go to sales" so I press 1, it then says "If you know your number press 1 to enter it now, if you don't know your number, press 9" I press 1 again, "Please enter your full telephone number followed by the hash key" 01234567890# "You entered zero one two three four five six seven eight nine ten zero, if this is correct press 1" I press 1 again "For customer service account changes and billing, press 1, if something isn't working, technical support or if  you need help setting something up press 2" I press 2, I then have to listen to all the pre-recorded messages before finally being placed into the queue, a full 1 minute and 22 seconds after I was originally connected to the IVR!
This happens on EVERY call I make. The phone system is clearly looking for a number when I get connected, yet is unable to find it and thus I get the alternative, ill thought out and slow menu. Despite trying to raise this with Plusnet, it is still happening. This only occurred AFTER I brought my phone line from BT retail to Plusnet. I find it bizarre that now I am one of your phone customers, your IVR falls over and is unable to recognise me and to be honest speaks volumes about the states of the systems currently in place to "support" your customer base. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have many examples where I have had to suggest a resolution based on my own technical knowledge and common sense, surely it should be Plusnet demonstrating its ability to understand and resolve the queries it receives from its customers. It is, after all why you win so many awards is it not?...................
Tickets! (Help Assistant): I'm not particularly a fan of tennis, so due to past experiences I avoid your Help Assistant like the plague. However, despite my best avoidance tactics I end up having to interact with this dusty old thing as inevitably a ticket is raised by the staff after calling in. Handy, don't you think? No! especially if you have go find a ticket that is closed which if it is over 30 days old you have to manually enter your chosen date ranges, no handy calendar pop up here, oh no, think of a number, any number....So you are not sure of the date so you stick in the last 3 months or so. Bingo, loads of entries, enjoy clicking open each and every one, slowly of course until you either lose the will to live or, less likely, find the actual ticket that has the piece of evidence in it that you need to prove to Plusnet that you are not telling porkies and you really were told whatever it was, and here is the ticket to prove it - which automatically closed itself as you choose not to use the tickets, and call instead as you do not like the ticket tennis that usually ensues. And despite your target time of 24hrs for tickets I see you are currently at 1 day 22hours on average. Have Plusnet ever met these targets, which laughably are set by Plusnet themselves!
Complaints: Here is the biggie, how do you complain? can you complain? what will actually happen to your complaint? Do they actually care enough to sort it out? Should you ever find the need to complain, be careful as Plusnet will change the goalposts before, during and after to suit themselves. Despite having a copy of the Complaints code of practice in front of me at the time, I tried to follow it and met brick walls and ignorance about their own policies at every turn. Their policy used to have a statement in it about resolving a complaint on the phone, yet when I tried to do this I was told to write in or raise a ticket as they did not deal with complaints over the phone, and that their complaints team were only contactable in writing,were not customer facing, and did not have a telephone number. When challenged regarding the wording of the policy, I was accused of misinterpreting it. The policy wording was amended slightly, yet still contains references to resolving the complaint by phone. So here is the deal. Unless you have had previous dealing with complaints, you cannot call in and speak to someone to make a formal complaint, you must put in in writing via a ticket or letter, as Plusnet's own policy states
"We aim to be number one for Customer Service. Even so, things can go wrong. When they do, we want to know so we can put them right as quickly as we can"
Just so you know, "as quickly as we can" means up to 7 calendar days to respond to a ticket raised to complaints or 14 calendar days to respond to a letter. They say they will normally call you back to discuss "We normally try to get back to you by phone" and that they will "try to sort out your complaint on the spot" Good luck with that. Funnily enough, they refuse to accept a phone call to complaints, but then call you back, on their terms, and as I said before will change the goalposts to suit, and in some cases completely ignore tickets waiting in the complaints queue and then close them with no action and blame it on 'the system" which ironically is part of the complaint. Despite raising several complaints and raising all of this and more with James Bailey directly many months prior to his departure I am still in the same boat. My last communication was with the Customer Options team where I ended up speaking to a manger there to talked me out of leaving and promised to investigate. And to be fair he did get back to me but was unable to resolve the issues but offered me 6 months free as a gesture of goodwill and recognition of the failings, this was back in May, it is now July and I have been billed fully for June and July, there is no 6 months free broadband on the account despite a ticket stating there is.
Plusnet is a shambles, the systems cannot cope, the staff are hit and miss, they promise you the earth and deliver nothing. They hide behind "awards" where their competition is the likes of Talk Talk and Sky, that in itself speaks volumes.......
There appears to be no forward planning within Plusnet, the plan appears to have been aggressive advertising to swell the customer base, and then when it all fell apart due to the creaking systems and lack of care their staff could not cope with the call levels. it appeared to take many months of empty promises before a proper plan was put in place to open new centres and now these are online is it any better? No, lack of knowledge and experience when dealt with in the new centre and continued clear lack of foresight and investment in the administration of their customer base. Whoever is responsible for this utter fiasco needs the boot, and good. Having experienced this same situation with Plusnet many moons ago, prior to your customers leaving in their thousands when Mandy and her colleagues were in firefighting mode on ADSLguide due to the complete failure of common and business sense and trying to do everything on the cheap, I would have thought Plusnet would have learned lessons. Fast forward a few years and history is repeating itself, so clearly the lessons have been forgotten.
Plusnet, where they turn smoke and mirrors into an art form, Have you done me proud? Have you hell!
22 REPLIES
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: ‎08-12-2013

Re: Reality Bites!

Have you got number blocking on your phone, that blocks your number from showing up when you dial put ?Huh
Mayfly
Pro
Posts: 1,226
Thanks: 133
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-06-2009

Re: Reality Bites!

I don't have and I always get the same message when I ring PN.
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: ‎08-12-2013

Re: Reality Bites!

Is blocking your number set in the member centre ?Huh
dsluk
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎30-05-2012

Re: Reality Bites!

No, number is not blocked at all, the sad thing is that I am fairly confident that Plusnet have no clue as to why, and not much interest in getting it fixed. Clearly, the back end systems were bought on the cheap and judging by other posts royally screw up on a regular basis.
dsluk
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎30-05-2012

Re: Reality Bites!

ps, Just to be absolutely clear, I am looking for one of the digital care team to pick this up, I'm done with waiting on the phone.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,731
Thanks: 266
Fixes: 76
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Reality Bites!

Hi dsluk,
Thanks for the post and really sorry to hear about the issues you've mentioned.
Quote
Support: When is 24 hour support not 24 hour support, at Plusnet it seems, you may have people answering the phone 24 hours a day,

We're aware that our call centre is in particularly high demand, there's no overriding reason for this but we're doing all we can to alleviate wait times.
Regarding the quality of support I will take a look at your recent contacts with us that have been noted with a view to passing on feedback, if you can drop me a PM with the usernames for your different accounts that would be really appreciated.
Moving forward if there's any issues left unresolved just let me know and I'll pick that up for you.
Regarding the issue with the phone system thanks to you and mayfly for bringing this to our attention. I'll be looking into this to see if this is something we may already be aware of or if that needs reporting.
Quote
Complaints: Here is the biggie, how do you complain? can you complain? what will actually happen to your complaint?

Information about our complaints process is shown here: http://www.plus.net/support/service/policies/complaints_code_of_practice.shtml?source=keymatch
It's obviously up to you if you want to proceed with a complaint but I'm confident I can help resolve any issues left outstanding, likewise I'm happy to discuss this further or answer any questions you might have.
EDIT:
I've just dug into the phone system issue and discovered that another reason which can stop our systems finding the account from the number you've called from is if that number is listed on multiple accounts, I'm not sure if that applies to both you dsluk and Mayflower but it's worth considering.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
dsluk
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎30-05-2012

Re: Reality Bites!

Hi Adam,
Yes, I do wish this to be picked up. 3 months after being told I was getting 6 months free broadband in recognition of all the issues I have had, I am still being invoiced for the full amount.  As for this -
"We're aware that our call centre is in particularly high demand, there's no overriding reason for this but we're doing all we can to alleviate wait times."
I'll tell you exactly why that is. You do not have enough bums on seats to cope with the demand, you have a high demand due to customers like myself having to call in repeatedly to get things fixed, despite assurances on the previous calls that they will be fixed. Your ticket system is not fit for purpose so people end up calling in or posting here, there are many examples of this across these and other forums, your back end systems are dire and create more problems than they resolve in my experience. Just so you know, I have raised phone/IVR issues many times before right up to and including James Bailey prior to his departure and they still have not been resolved.
dsluk
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎30-05-2012

Re: Reality Bites!

pm sent
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,731
Thanks: 266
Fixes: 76
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Reality Bites!

Quote
Yes, I do wish this to be picked up. 3 months after being told I was getting 6 months free broadband in recognition of all the issues I have had, I am still being invoiced for the full amount.  As for this -

Sorry about that, I can see it was noted on ticket 86342753 back in May, I'll speaking with the person who mentioned it as they should have arranged that.
EDIT, re what I've mentioned above It's now in the hands of that person to arrange that for you. I'll be checking to make sure they pick this up.
Let me know if there's anything else we can help with.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
dsluk
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎30-05-2012

Re: Reality Bites!

ok Adam, thank you. I'm aware of who will be dealing with free broadband side of things. Regarding the IVR issue, I would like a definitive answer on this, and would like to see either a full resolution so that it recognises my number or an explanation as to why it will not, and if not,  a promise that the IVR menu will be adjusted to allow for this to make it quicker and easier when calling in (please see original post for an explanation of the IVR process in its current state) I would request that whatever the outcome, it is posted here.
Regards,
Iain
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,731
Thanks: 266
Fixes: 76
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Reality Bites!

Quote
I would like a definitive answer on this, and would like to see either a full resolution so that it recognises my number or an explanation as to why it will not, and if not,  a promise that the IVR menu will be adjusted to allow for this to make it quicker and easier when calling in (please see original post for an explanation of the IVR process in its current state) I would request that whatever the outcome, it is posted here.

I'll do my best but I need to set an expectation that a definitive answer may simply not be possible. I'll certainly post back here with whatever I'm able to find though.
UPDATE:
Were any of the calls from your mobile? I ask as I've found that's listed on two separate accounts.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
dsluk
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎30-05-2012

Re: Reality Bites!

No, I never call from my mobile as that would be a chargeable call to the 0800 number! I have been called back on my mobile plenty times though. You will find my mobile number on several accounts, as I have assisted friends and family members in having issues resolved.
As for the other issue of the free broadband, I still have had no acknowledgement that this has been looked at and fixed. Plusnet continuing to fail at every point, what a joke.
EDIT - I see a ticket was actioned on 21/07 however I was unaware of this, as I received no notification that a ticket had been opened and actioned. Would have thought that as the ticket systems failures formed part of the complaint, maybe it would have been better to call or email me.............the incompetence continues to amaze me.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
Thanks: 954
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Reality Bites!

Quote from: dsluk
"We're aware that our call centre is in particularly high demand, there's no overriding reason for this but we're doing all we can to alleviate wait times."
I'll tell you exactly why that is. You do not have enough bums on seats to cope with the demand, you have a high demand due to customers like myself having to call in repeatedly to get things fixed, despite assurances on the previous calls that they will be fixed. Your ticket system is not fit for purpose so people end up calling in or posting here, there are many examples of this across these and other forums, your back end systems are dire and create more problems than they resolve in my experience. Just so you know, I have raised phone/IVR issues many times before right up to and including James Bailey prior to his departure and they still have not been resolved.

The main reason is that they continue to push their adverts even though they know that their call centre is not able to deal with the resultant workload. The attached graph shows the growth in users over the last year.
You might like to read and perhaps vote on http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,122115.0.html
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 27,328
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Reality Bites!

Duplicate post caused by dozy forum removed.

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