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Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

LtdEdFred
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 08-11-2010

Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

First off I would like to say that I'm not usually a guy that complains, but this applies to deadlines within reason. The extreme waiting time I've encountered with Plusnet is by far the longest I've waited for any service of any kind.
This is my experience with Plusnet so far.
I've just moved to England to study for a year so naturally I needed a proper internet connection so I started to look at my options (this was in September. After comparing a lot of deals I concluded that Plusnet had the best one so I decided to give customer service a call to ask about their services and especially how quick I could expect to get it. The guy I talked to was obviously new or on his last day (wanting to have a last laugh before he quit) because he told me I could be hooked up within a week. "Not bad" I thought to myself and went directly to the sign-up page. This is where I encountered my first (of many) disappointment. I was told to pick a date for when an engineer could come to my house and install a phone line. The earliest day I was able to choose was the 12th of October (I signed up on the 25th of September).
At this point I thought to myself that I could probably rely on tethering mobile internet from my phone to my PC for a few weeks. A few days later Plusnet was again the source of my disappointment. I got a text message saying that an appointment with the engineer had been made for the 3rd of November. Thats 6 weeks since my date of order. I couldn't believe my eyes and called customer service. I'll give this guy a thumbs up for helpfulness, but unfortunately he couldn't do much about the date. The only offer I was made was that I could cancel the appointment and hope for someone else to do the same so that I could take over that appointment but risk having my date postponed beyond the 3rd of November. Since nothing could be done and now I at least had a specified date I put on a  thick layer of patience cream and started counting days.
To "shorten the wait" I even bought a mobile broadband stick to avoid having to have my phone plugged into the PC at all times (thats £30 out of the window). Not that this is Plusnets fault, but Unlimited Internet is really the exact opposite. It's very limited, so the 2GB (or thereabouts) limit was spent in about a week (both me and the missus like to surf and she'd been using it for school research which involves a lot of image viewing).
Eventually the third of November arrived and I was extremely eager to surf the web in a normal fashion, without having to look at grainy downscaled mobileweb-images, being dropped from IRC-servers every 10 minutes due poor connection and start enjoying YT-vids, Spotify and being able to play Playstation with friends once again. But the engineer who came to my house (very pleasant guy btw) didn't bring me the router I was expecting. I don't know if this is common knowledge in England, but being a foreigner I was clueless towards the fact that this guy came from a different company and was there solely to activate the phone line. It was also this employee of a different company who had to tell me that it'd take around a week before I would be able to use the line. My growing grievance with Plusnet could easily have been reduced if I were told beforehand about the process (that BT would activate the phone line and then I would get my router at a later time).
Naturally after waiting 6 weeks I jumped on the phone to Plusnet as soon as the guy from BT left to ask about the next steps. I was told that my line would be ready a week from now (which is Wednesday the 10th) and that my router would be sent out, but he could not guarantee me that I would actually have the required equipment to benefit from my functioning line. The date today is the 8th and the status on the router is that the order haven't even been placed. Why on earth haven't this been done, if not at the time of payment at least when the telephone line has been checked and OKed?
Another slap in the face from Plusnet was dealt to me this Saturday (the 6th) when I got a text saying that my line was expecting to be activated on the 12th of November and the website now tells me the 13th. How this can take so long is beyond me and I feel deceived from the beginning. The time from ordering to actually have this service up and running will exceed 8 weeks in short time. If I was told this when I first contacted Plusnet I never would've signed up, but maybe this is their strategy.

I apologize for the length of this post, but I had to vent my frustration and I would love some input
61 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Welcome to the Forum (And England)
Unfortunately it is British Telecom (BT) who are slowing things up.
Its a long story, but we have a control organisation OFCOM  http://www.ofcom.org.uk/ who have stipulated that ISP can only Get their services from BT Wholesale
So BT - ISP have to get their service from BT Wholesale, as does PN who are also part of the BT group
then BT Wholesale have to get their telephone service from BT Openreach - who are where the delays are
see here for the big muddle http://www.btplc.com/thegroup/index.cfm
LtdEdFred
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 08-11-2010

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Thanks for the info, but it still doesn't answer why my router haven't even been ordered.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

it is normally sent out two days before broadband installation, it fits through a normal letter box
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,487
Thanks: 248
Fixes: 68
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Hi LtdEdFred,

I perfectly understand and appreciate your frustrations here. The length of time you have had to wait for your services is unreasonably long.
The part of the leadtime we weren't able to do anything about was the delays experienced by our suppliers in getting your new line installed. However I can see that we have missed an opportunity to place a simultaneous order whereby ADSL and the phone service are activated on the same day.
I'm going to give feedback to the support team who handled the order and also to the sales person who told you that you could have your service activated within a week. Sometimes services can be activated in 7 days but we need to be careful what we say as having a new phone service installed can change that somewhat.
With regards to your hardware order I don't want to take any chances with that so I've ordered it now. Please allow 2 to 3 working days for the delivery.
By way of an apology I have added a good will gesture to your account, I'll send you an e-mail with more details about this.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
dsvnvk
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 09-11-2010

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Dear LtdEdFred,
Sad to hear your story. That's awful...
However, I should confess that I have experienced and still experiencing the same type of problems with the said company and even more...
I do not want to repeat the strange [I cannot help my self saying something more awkward] approach of Plusnet in servicing their customers. It seems that making a new connection is much much harder than become a sophisticated investor or buy derivatives, produce gold or whatsoever!
This is the 21 century and setting up a broadband connection for more than one month, whereas in any underdeveloped country you may get it just within 2-5 days [with a great support team who does not tease you every time with “humanless” automatic system].
How come this company may win any accolades? My internet has gone after having been working "properly" [hm... properly - the speed was up and down every hour] for just under two weeks.
No one is doing anything I suppose so as to fix the problem. Of course except keep telling me perfectly learned answers: we have registered you fault, we have escalated your fault to a right department, etc.
I hardly was able to find T&C of our public [adherence] contract and, finally, discovered that they do not guarantee the line to be in good service all the time, hence they say faults my occur [good for you Plusnet], they limit their liability. However, they will try to repair it as soon as they can.
Considering the fact how long it took this company to set my broadband they will need years to find out what's wrong with my broadband.
I would like just to give one example so as people do not think that I am biased: after my connection had gone and I reported to a Support Team  thereof, what they did as they merely sent me emails on further steps to be done warning that should I fail do so they would close the fault. But I have no connection [sure I have it on my mobile or at work], in principle that is not nonsense.
I was also offered a refund for the days my broadband has not been working. Meaning less than pounds or around… I have already bought a 3G usb modem for 20 pounds with 15 pounds top-up.
I’d rather Plusnet keep my pound and divert it to the further improvement of their customer service, quality of their services.
Sorry for occuping your post but I do not want to create useless repetitions.
Good luck
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,487
Thanks: 248
Fixes: 68
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Quote
No one is doing anything I suppose so as to fix the problem. Of course except keep telling me perfectly learned answers: we have registered you fault, we have escalated your fault to a right department, etc.

I'm doing all I can to resolve this issue for LtdEdFred  and I'm happy to help yourself too dsvnvk it does sound like a different issue that you've hit here. I'm going to have a look at your account now and see if there's anything I can do to assist.
Adam.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
dsvnvk
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 09-11-2010

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Dear Adam,
Sorry for not mentioning your input. But basically, I am of the opinion that it is not a right way for a customer to achieve a result via the broadband provider's forum and good person like you...
However, I need to say that it is very kind of you that you are trying to help pour customers that are unable to solve their problems on their own. I would appreciate it if you could look at my problem as well.

Please understand that when I claim the Plusnet I do not claim their staff, unfortunately being a part of the system they have to act in accordance wht the set rules and guidelines that leave no space for humanity or voluntarism.

Best regards,
dsvnvk
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,487
Thanks: 248
Fixes: 68
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Quote
Please understand that when I claim the Plusnet I do not claim their staff, unfortunately being a part of the system they have to act in accordance wht the set rules and guidelines that leave no space for humanity or voluntarism.

I understand completely. One of the roles of the staff who respond on here mon-fri 9AM-5.30PM (like myself) is as the internal voice of the customer here at Plusnet. We will intervene and give support where we can and give feedback every time failings are spotted like this.
We do hope that whilst evidence of this will always be less visible than a public forum like this that we are currently taking steps to improve our training and agent support strategies (ie when the staff on the phone need assistance in dealing with a query) so that we can deal with issues like this in a proactive way as well as being reactive to complaints and issues raised on here.
With regards to your particular issue I have spoken to the manager of our faults team and they have given this some attention for you, following this an update should be forthcoming very soon from a member of his team that your query has been assigned to for ownership.
Adam.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
dsvnvk
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 09-11-2010

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Thank you Adam,
Well, if it is the aim of this forum then yes, you are right, it may exist and be useful. But frankly, support team are patient, they polite for sure. Although I as a customer do not wnat to have a feeling of being a ball on the pitch. I do not want to hear that person just transferring my report/fault. I want to have a clear understanding that my problem is to be resolved very quickly.
In this regard I like your company being texting me so as to keep inform and what to do next though it happened only once just because a guy, Chris [very nice indeed, tried his best], did not forget about me...
Generally, this is a managerial approach, set by greedy board of directors, that we face everywhere we go or call: BT, doctors, utility suppliers, mobile operators, etc. and hence we are charged for our calls...
It is a cost-saving approach, but I wonder if only one company invest/change their approach [not a merely call center without any human being or located somewhere in Ruritania with staff having no idea how the real things work in a particular UK company] as it was, or customers want it to be, then this company would for sure get most of the consumers trust and busines fruits respectively.
BR,
dsvnvk
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,487
Thanks: 248
Fixes: 68
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Thanks very much for your feedback,
Maintaining (or increasing depending on how you want to look at it) the quality of support against the quantity of queries handled as we grow as a company is the certainly biggest challenge we're facing at the moment and one that I hope we're beginning to rise to.
Adam.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
LtdEdFred
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 08-11-2010

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
Hi LtdEdFred,

***SNIIIP***

With regards to your hardware order I don't want to take any chances with that so I've ordered it now. Please allow 2 to 3 working days for the delivery.
By way of an apology I have added a good will gesture to your account, I'll send you an e-mail with more details about this.


Thanks a lot for making my wait more endurable (and hopefully a bit shorter as I now hope to have my router in time of the activation of the line). It's much appreciated!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

@LtdEdFred
It is not unheard of  for your line to be activated slightly earlier than the anticipated due date (although there are no promises unfortunately).
I would connect your equipment up and leave it switched on.  Every evening, check to see whether the DSL light is solid, and not flashing.  If it is solid then the physical DSL activation has taken place, and you may be able to connect.
If the DSL light is solid but you are unable to connect, a quick call to Plusnet asking them to activate your account could mean that you are online within about 20 minutes.
HTH
B.
LtdEdFred
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 08-11-2010

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

Thanks alot for that info, Barry. I'll do that as soon as I get the equipment.
Edit: Another thing that I forgot to include in previous posts. I don't know if I misinterpret this but in your FAQ it says:
Quote
If you're a new broadband customer: your broadband will be connected at least 5 working days from the date you signed up.

How do you explain this?
matt_2k34
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: 09-07-2007

Re: Ridicolously long wait to get this service.

if you migrate from another provider (using a MAC key)
it normally happens within 5 days, with only about 1-2 hours downtime..
as your a "new" sign up there are several physical things which may need to be done (one is that BT may need to increase the voltage on the line, 90v is for PSTN and 110v is for ADSL - IIRC)
While each "job" or obstacle in the way is only usually small, it normally means co-ordinating things between BT which isnt always easy to do heh - and as you've seen appointments for engineers can take along time in busy areas
LtdEdFred - Hopefully you'll be online soon enough Smiley