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Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

colinallinson
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 23-06-2011

Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

Once again (3rd major incident in a year) my broadband is broken at home.
The only problem is that I am away for some weeks and my wife (73) is holding the fort at home. Now, she is not stupid but she is certainly not technically literate. I have set her up a button to check her email but, if you ask her to open a browser, you will have to explain what it is.
The second issue is that, being abroad, I rely on VOIP for contact with my wife (we have a Fritz VOIP router that makes this transparent to her). 
When I contacted Plusnet they wanted my wife to go through all sorts of checks - including accessing the router settings through the browser and messing around with the master socket that has an openreach built in microfilter. If we don't do this then they seem unable (or unwilling) to help despite the history of external faults.
Luckily, the last time we had a fault I was at home but what would happen if I was equally technically illiterate. I guess we would be classed as 'TO STUPID TO USE PLUSNET'
10 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

Hi colinallinson,
I am sorry if you feel this way. That is really not the case and we certainly don't want you to feel that way.
Our Customer Support Representatives are always more than happy to assist our customers, some may be more knowledgeable than others, regardless of which, it is support all the same. The reason that we ask for you to complete such checks, is to ensure that the potential problem is not connected to any of your Internal Wiring or Broadband Hardware.
We are more than happy to help you with any broadband problems that you may have, however, completing the initial checks shows our Faults Team and potentially BT Openreach (if required) that the problem is not with your equipment or Internal Wiring.
Although there may be a history of external faults, it is important that the checks are still carried out, just to make sure that it isn't an internal issue. If there is a problem with your broadband, we would ask that you swap the microfilter and if the problem persists, plug your broadband equipment into your Test Socket.
Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help, I would be more than willing to have a chat to this regard. Smiley
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
colinallinson
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 23-06-2011

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

Hi Chris,
I understand your standard reply and, in normal circumstances, that would be fine. However, even assuming my wife was capable of performing the checks you want :-
- How does she move the furniture to get to the phone socket (that is the master and only phone socket)
- Assuming she does that , and removes the face plate, (asking a 73 year old housewife to disassemble phone sockets?) , how is she going to connect the microfilter to the master socket when the microfilter is built into the face plate.
- If your guys try to talk her through the router configuration (do any of them know their way round Fritz 7390 menus?) and she presses the wrong button loosing the configuration (VOIP configuration as well as router connections) are your guys going to get on their white charges and come out to help her - No!!
I understand all your reasons for wanting to carry out internal checks but:-
a) In this case it is not practical
b) The internal wiring is the simplest possible and has been checked out by openreach on a number of occasions. The equipment is less than 1 year old.
c) We have a history of external faults.
d) Nothing has been touched or changed internally.
e) Your guys told me that we were experiencing regular drops before the final failure.
f) Your guys warned me of the cost if it turns out to be my problem and I have accepted that.
I appreciate that the physical network is managed for you (and everybody else) by openreach. I have found their guys to always be very helpful. My concern here is that the Plusnet response to my problem is so inflexible that they are unwilling to pass this on to openreach even though there is every indication that this is not internal and there is not a practical way of carrying out the checks they want.
I have now seen that they have decided they will call my wife back at 15:00 tomorrow so, when they accept it is an external fault, we will be down until at least Monday.
NOT ACCEPTABLE !!! This is not about the fault which may have happened whoever the provider - it is about the response to it. Totally inflexible and makes me consider changing provider.
Edit: I would be more than happy to discuss this with you - but how. I don't twitter or facebook.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

As discussed, we'll have a chat tomorrow and look to get all of your points across and get the issues that you have raised resolved.
Thank you for your time this evening Smiley
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
dsw
Grafter
Posts: 127
Registered: 07-04-2012

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

Quote
NOT ACCEPTABLE !!! This is not about the fault which may have happened whoever the provider - it is about the response to it. Totally inflexible and makes me consider changing provider.

Be sure to post back when you find an ISP that won't ask you to the above checks, because fact of the matter is, they all do. And I've been with a few.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

Thank you for your time on the phone to day. I am glad that we managed to resolve the outstanding issues that you had. I have fed the information that you have provided me with to my Manager who will ensure that the problems you have raised get recognised in the correct way.

I would like to again, thank you for your time today and also for the feedback that you have given us. If there is anything further that we can do for you, please feel free to get back in touch Smiley
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
colinallinson
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 23-06-2011

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

dsw: I think you have missed the point. Of course all providers will ask you to carry out checks. I have no issue with that. This is about where you go when those checks are not possible for one reason or another (as explained in my post.
I have had a long discussion with Chris Pettitt about the way this incident was handled and I had the genuine feeling that he understood the issues and would follow them up to improve the service to myself and other in the future. I don't think I am easily 'fobbed off' so I fairly happy with the conclusion of our discussion. The result of which seems to be that the procedure is fine, but there needs to more readiness to apply flexibility where there are difficulties (both technical and physical) in following this procedure. In particular, where I, as a customer, am convinced that this is an external fault and am prepared to accept the cost if wrong, then an Openreach visit should be arranged.
There is still some doubt about the cause of this outage but it is now resolved (without making any modifications to my home environment).
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

I've heard it suggested before that the best thing to do in that situation is to lie; yes it's plugged in to the test socket, yes you've tried a different filter, yes you've tried a different router. When you then get an engineers visit if it does turn out that is was internal you'll be charged, but at least you get the visit sooner rather than later.
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)
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

And in any case you have to ask yourself how likely is it that the only socket in the house (an NTE5 with BT supplied ADSL plate) and his Fritzbox are likely to be faulty having been through the hoop several times (recently I guess). (Do Fritzboxes go faulty?).
Anyway he's in safe hands there with Chris Pettitt on the case.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,419
Thanks: 531
Fixes: 48
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

Quote
Do Fritzboxes go faulty?

Yes they do!. Our office in Holland had one, supplied by the ISP, a 7260 ( or maybe 7270 ) and it went u/s after about a year. It was intermittently dropping the connection. They've just replaced it with a 7390. We'll see how that goes... 
colinallinson
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 23-06-2011

Re: Too stupid (or technically illiterate) for Plusnet

It is always possible for any equipment to go faulty - does not mean it is the norm though. I have indirect experience of hundreds of Fritz boxes and, on the whole, they are very reliable.
Your experience seems a little unfortunate. They usually fail straight away or last forever.