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Uswitch award

rongtw
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Uswitch award

Plusnet Picks up most wins for fixed line ISP ?  https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/02/uswitch-2018-awards-name-uk-best-mobile-broadband-isps...

BUT then 2nd most complained about ISP https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/20/bt-plusnet-ee-most-broadband-complaints-ofcom.

 

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Plusnet “Best Customer Service ” award!

So the 2nd most complained about ISP has the best service? (From OFCOM surveys)

Doesn’t add up.

Need more than a pinch to take this result seriously.

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stereohaven
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Re: Uswitch award

Maybe they are very good at dealing with the complaints? Grin

I've mostly found their staff very helpful and knowledgeable in my dealings with them. My problems have always been around lack of info when everyone on the planet knows there is an issue but Plusnet (especially on Social Media), refuse to acknowledge it.

Baldrick1
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Re: Uswitch award

I guess it's down to how you ask the survey questions. If you think about it, customers could fit into 3 categories.

1. Those on a good telephone line and fault free hardware: they never need to contact Plusnet so will report that they are satisfied with the service that Plusnet are providing.

2. Those with minor issues that can be resolved by contacting Plusnet support: they will be irritated by the delay waiting for the phone or chat to answer but when they get through they will probably talk to a polite agent who speaks English and resolves the problem. Having sorted the issue the wait is forgiven and they will probably report that they are satisfied with the service.

3. Those with issues that are beyond the competence of the Plusnet agents. This is where I suspect that it all goes wrong for Plusnet as they do not have enough experienced and knowledgable experts and there appears to be no mechanism for the front line staff to quickly transfer problems to an Engineer capable of taking a pro-active approach to getting a quick resolution. Consequently many of these end up being referred to Ofcom as an example of poor service.

So whilst the majority may report that they are satisfied, a disproportionate number (compared with other ISPs) of those with more complex problems will end up complaining to Ofcom

rongtw
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Re: Uswitch award

@Baldrick1 totaly agree with your post Thumbs Up

But you have forgotten to add the longstanding problems Plusnet Promises to fix but never get near , Webmail Cry

Billing system Cry Lips are sealed and then you also need to link to @jelv post from over a year ago highlighting plusnet faults still awaiting fixes .

https://community.plus.net/t5/Plusnet-Feedback/Why-I-have-left-Plusnet/td-p/1389353

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Re: Uswitch award

I'd like to see the results of a survey that firstly asks if you have had to contact the ISPs support and then gave ratings for the service based on only those who have needed support.

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Superuser
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Re: Uswitch award

@Baldrick1,

You layout the considerations well, though I would add group 4 - Those issues created by the ISP's supplier over which they have limited influence.

It is interesting that the accolades come Uswitch which I suspect has a focus on switching users over to another supplier: when it goes to plan all is fine, feedback is sought and people are happy.  When switch goes wrong, it tends to go wrong very badly thanks to BTw / BTOR ... which is where users start hitting the phone lines / chat, find long waits and agents who simply do not have the "right" answers because BT are not overly clear over what is the problem, what they are doing about it and when it will be resolved ... as opposed to "come back in 7 days for an UPDATE".  For example see ITwork's issue in feedback - BTOR has been weeing around for over 2 months and there's no resolution in sight.

Add to such scenarios the failure of the questionable wisdom of cashback and suddenly in a frantic drive for market expansion, one's faced with an overwhelming opportunity for complaints.

Things do need to get a lot better around here, however until ISPs as a unified body start complaining to Ofcom, BT's dirty laundry is never going to get exposed, let alone washed.

Baldrick1
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Re: Uswitch award

@Townman

I take your point, I mentally included these in my 3rd category. That is, Plusnet appear not to have the skilled staff to pro-actively sort these issues out. In my opinion you can only access the quality of a company when things go wrong, yes, BTw/OR may screw up but if Plusnet only had the capability of not only chasing BTw/OR with people with the right background knowledge but at the same time keep the customer fully informed, then in all probability Plusnet would come out of many fiascos with enhanced credibility.

In my view, Plusnet are unlikely to complain about BTw/OR performance outside of BT as long as there is cabinet responsibility required of the Chief Execs of BT divisions (Plusnet, BTw, and Openreach) to protect the reputation of the BT brand. Consequently Plusnet are not in a position where they can complain to Ofcom for poor performance. Add to that pressure when things go wrong not to blame colleagues in other BT divisions and issues could get fudged by insufficiently trained agents either telling the disgruntled customer what they want to hear in total ignorance of facts or fobbing them off in some other way.

The other things that I note is how often orders get cancelled for no logical reason and changes are not being passed on to the customer. What we never hear is why these things happen, is it flaky communication between these BT organisations? If not who is to blame and what is being done to stop the repeated complaints?

If I was being really cynical I would consider whether the Plusnet business plan was to try to maximise the number of customers with decent telephone lines and stable working BTw/OR hardware. By providing poor support to the really difficult customers, these will tend to go elsewhere, leaving Plusnet with the easy customers who they only need to bill each month. Having no problems these customers will not be tempted to move. Obviously those who leave need to be replaced so there is a TV advertising blitz, this will result in some new problematic subscribers so the process repeats itself.

EnglishMohican
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Re: Uswitch award

I second @Baldrick1's view that @Townman's category 4 users rightly belong in category 3.

Openreach are NOT  Plusnets Customer's problem. They are Plusnet's problem because they are Plusnet's sub-contractor. If Plusnet cannot - or do not bother to manage their sub-contractors sensibly then that is their choice and their failure.

Other ISP's - some at least - manage to pursue Openreach hard enough, regularly enough and knowledgeably enough to get far more satisfactory results. AAISP are the standard example though I notice they use Talk-Talk as a sub-contractor quite extensively and so do several other ISP's who seem to have a good reputation. That may be a reflection on Openreach.

If Plusnet sorted out its ordering process, its billing process and its website (I use ad-blockers but chat works OK on other peoples sites despite the ad-blocker) and was more aware of when it's hardware/software was playing up they would be a far better ISP. And getting that sort of thing right would reduce Plusnet's longterm costs by reducing the number of problems they have to handle.

 

Superuser
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Re: Uswitch award

The key and inappropriate phrase in point 3 is “beyond the competence” which could be read as a slurr.

I’ve had several protected issues with Plusnet supplied services, but it has not been the competence of Plusnet staff which has been the issue. In every case the issue has been the nationalised industry attitude of BTOR who act as though they are beholden to no one. Such has proved to be beyond the clout of anyone - including government select committees - to rectify. Believing that any “more competent” ISP can fix that issue simply reflects a lack of understanding of core issues in the industry.
EnglishMohican
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Re: Uswitch award

Lack of competence being a slur did not seem to bother you in your earlier post!

And if lack of competence is a slur then maybe so is lack of understanding of core issuesSmiley

I am certainly not trying to claim that Openreach are perfect or anything near. However, following your view, all those Plusnet customers who have no problems with their lines and find that their data speeds are good given their circumstances should be busy thanking Openreach rather than Plusnet. If it is Openreach's fault when things go wrong, then it is to their credit when things go well.

On the other hand, the order process, the billing process, the status updating, the website are very much Plusnets problem and Plusnet who have done nothing to effectively correct them in many years. Many of the other problems you blame on Openreach could be avoided by Plusnet being proactive in monitoring the progress of orders, pursuing faults when an update should have occurred and not accepting partial explanations. Yes, in some cases Openreach are the root of the problem but it is still Plusnet's responsibility to sort the problem - they cannot just throw than hands up in horror and abandon the customer.

Your enthusiasm for blaming Openreach appears to me to be an attempt to deflect responsibility for the customer and the service they receive away from Plusnet. Succeeding in doing so leaves the customer powerless as they have no way forward. As I remember it, you tried writing to the BT CEO when you had problems and did not get a sudden improvement in service! It has to be Plusnet's responsibility to solve the problem or as a minimum to understand what the problem is and explain it adequately to the customer.

Superuser
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Re: Uswitch award

Not at. It is a recognition that the issues in the UK telecoms industry are dire and have their heart in an uncompetitive monopoly infrastructure supplier across most of the nation. As someone who grew up in Kingston Upon Hull I’m very mindful of how advanced the phone services were then compared to the then GPO / BT. Frankly it’s not vastly different.

As for my earlier post I chose to ignore inferences and focus on the consideration that there issues beyond the capacity of any ISP to fix, which is not related to competency. Yes PN does have its failing, all ISPs have their failings, none are as white as snow, but by far and large the most common source of reasons to complain arises from BT failures.
Superuser
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Re: Uswitch award


@Baldrickwrote:

The other things that I note is how often orders get cancelled for no logical reason and changes are not being passed on to the customer. What we never hear is why these things happen, is it flaky communication between these BT organisations? If not who is to blame and what is being done to stop the repeated complaints?

 


This particular aspect of the problem space was identified and prioritised by the SU's and Plusnet very early on in the SU existence.  It's now in a long (and growing) queue of things in the development stack Knuppel

EnglishMohican
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Re: Uswitch award

While I am delighted that the SU are working on getting the order process sorted, I find the implication in your sentence that Plusnet only realised it was a problem when the SU pointed it out as frightening.

I also note that we have had items such as the billing software "in the development stack" for a very long time already and if that is where the problems the SU point out are going to end up then we are not going to see any improvement. Lets hope that that is not the case?

 

rongtw
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Re: Uswitch award

"in the development stack"  ? this should be the TO BE FIXED URGENTLY tray !

The list of things to be fixed grows longer every day Sad Unfortunately until Plusnet admit there's a problem, things wont change .

And we will all be here 5 years time still posting on the same problems Sad

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Baldrick1
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Re: Uswitch award


wrote:
The key and inappropriate phrase in point 3 is “beyond the competence” which could be read as a slurr.

I do apologise if 'beyond the competence' is interpreted as a slur on Plusnet staff. I meant nothing of the sort. In the past I have spoken to staff who appeared to be reading off a crib sheet and appeared to me to have insufficient detailed technical knowledge to really know how to respond to the issue. This has to be down to the skills and training of agents. I accept that it is impractical and un-necessary for the helplines to be fully staffed by skilled telecoms Engineers who also are experts in the mysteries of the billing system, ordering system and so on. Pointing this out should not, I hope, be interpreted as a slur on these front line staff who do a difficult job coping with customers, many of who will be doubly disgruntled due to not only having a problem with their service but have been bombarded with rubbish music and messages for heaven knows how long waiting for attention.

The point I am trying to make is that the training of these front line agents should include the capability to recognise when an issue is more complicated than they're trained to cope with (you will notice that I'm carefully picking my words here) and have the resources backing them up to immediately pass the problem to some-one with the more specialist skill set required to tackle the particular issue. It is this second level of support that would in my view make all the difference.