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What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 20-10-2013

What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

I am writing to complain about the time it is taking to fix the speed problem of my broadband connection. In the last month, I had 6 days impossibly slow downstream speed with the IP profile capped at 140 kbps, followed by 4 days when the service was OK, then the IP profile dropped again to 140 kbps last Wednesday a week and a half ago, until a BT engineer visited on Monday this week and temporarily raised it to 4 Mbps in the early afternoon - but by next morning it was back at 140 kbps and has remained there ever since, despite several phone calls to your technical team, many assertions that it was in the hands of your faults team again, and many reboots of the router at their request. On Friday morning I was told it will likely be 72 hours before I hear from you again, so yet another weekend without a usable service. That's 18 days of barely usable broadband so far, and counting ...
This level of service is not acceptable. Surely when the first fix failed, the fault should have been escalated and stayed escalated until a permanent fix was found? Plusnet is owned by BT, so it doesn't make any sense to me as a customer that this wasn't passed straight back to the BT engineer when the first fix failed (which is what your customer representative said he was going to do). I have tried two routers, we're permananently linked to the master socket, and use wired broadband, so there's either a fault on the line, or either BT or Plusnet has the wrong settings - either way, it should not take this length of time for you to find out the problem and solve it.
I am seriously considering moving my broadband/phone package elsewhere. Please let me know how long my current contract has left to run.
Please note ... I'm writing this from my immediate neighbour's house, who is on BT residential broadband, but with a line speed currently running at 3.4 Mbps download speed, an IP profile of 3.5 Mbps, and DSL connection rate of 4 Mbps. We both have the same exchange. My current broadband connection is now so bad I can only intermittently run the BT wholesale performance test!
25 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Hi tillydaff,
Sorry to hear that you've had a fault. We have been working with our suppliers to get this rectified asap.  
I've managed to speak with our suppliers and your profile has now been lifted to 2Mb/s for the time being and we can look to get this higher too. Can you confirm if you've seen an improvement in speed on your side?  There has been something causing your line profile to drop which we need to investigate further.
I've also updated your fault ticket so we'll monitor your connection and see what action we need to take to resolve this.
You're not currently in a contract with us either and I'll refund you for the duration of the fault for your broadband service.
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Hi Chris,
Yes - at last there's an improvement! Thank you!!  Downstream speed is running at 1.96 Mbps, which isn't exactly fast, but it's usable!
Thank you for the offer of a refund - we will gladly accept that.
A question for you - if we were to switch to the business broadband service you offer, what is the likelihood that this fault might have been sorted out much quicker? If there's always this hesitation to contact BT wholesale to get the IP profile re-set, I feel we may as well just switch to BT direct, so at least we know they're the ones who are responsible for both the service and the fault-fixing. Can you persuade me otherwise?

EnglishMohican
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 310
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 1
Registered: 08-04-2009

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

I am a customer like yourself, not a member of staff so check whatever I say before jumping.
You cannot go to BT directly. The engineers who do the repairs work for a part of BT called Openreach and Openreach will not talk to the likes of you and me. You could move your internet to BT Retail which is also a part of BT but BT Retail are in just the same position as Plusnet (yet another part of BT)  in terms of being able to tell Openreach what to do.
If you transfer your internet to BT Retail, it might work out a bit cheaper than Plusnet while the introductory offer applies but there is no reason to believe your connection will be any faster.
BT Retail's help line is in India which many Plusnet enthusiasts claim is not as good as Plusnet's UK based help line. I am less than convinced about that but luck plays a large part in my view.
If you really want to improve your internet connection and do not mind the expense then a company called AAISP does have a very good reputation for getting BT Openreach moving and faults cleared. Rumour has it that AAISP employ people who understand the magic that makes the internet work and are therefore in a better position to take no nonsense from Openreach. The downside is that AAISP are probably twice the cost of Plusnet depending on what package you are on. I am not an employee of AAISP, have no personal experience of them but I have checked their prices a few times recently when Plusnet have annoyed me. So far I have not jumped but I am getting closer and closer to it!!!!
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

We do have certain care packages on our business broadband where your fault should get picked up quicker than on residential account, this does come at an extra cost though.
In this case I don't think there would have been a difference. We have continually asked BT Wholesale to reset your profile, it has however been stuck as far as I can see. I spoke with them first thing this morning and they had confirmed to me that they had reset this, it didn't go through and I had to contact them again and they had to use telnet to change your profile(something I haven't seen before).
Hopefully now that is at least a bit better, we can look at getting your speeds further improved as the noise margin on your line is currently at 15dB, your line however is in a training period until the 23rd October so we can't do anything until then to improve this.
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

My broadband speed held steady until sometime early this evening (first noticed at 8.25pm), when the DSL connection rate dropped from 2.3 to 1.36 Mbps, where it has remained ever since. Actual download speed dropped from 1.96 to 1.19 Mbps, while the IP profile so far remains at 2 Mbps. It rained this evening, and we have tended to notice more problems when it's wet than when dry - though it may just be a coincidence. Will I need to reboot the router to increase the DSL connection rate again? If so, let me know when I need to do so.
If the fault fixing is likely to be significantly quicker on business broadband, I may be tempted to try it, since at the moment I'm paying £18 per month for broadband anyway, which is the same as the current broadband tariff as far as I can see - but if it would take just as long, there's not much point!
EnglishMohican, thank you for your comments ... it's a pity that openreach don't offer a broadband service. It seems that the way BT is organising it's various subsidiaries is just too complicated ... a simpler system might provide a better and more efficient service all round!
davidj66
Rising Star
Posts: 612
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Registered: 04-09-2008

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

tillydaff -unfortunately the split up of BT was dictated by Govt. agencies to "minimse" the monopoly effects. The big problem with BT Openreach is that no-one seems able to pressurise them ,certainly not the retail ISPs (inc BT Retail!)
Your current issue with synch speed dropping in wet weather is a not uncommon issue - in our area many of the underground cables are permanently under water due to poor drainage in underground chambers - a local BT engineer has told me that most of our local cables are sitting on bricks,breeze blocks or old pieces of wood to kkep the joints above the water level.! High winds and wet weather can also play major havoc woth overhead cables.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

We need to wait until your training period ends tomorrow, so we can look at the fault threshold that has been set and also see if we can bring your noise level down. There hopefully shouldn't be any more work required after this.
Are you currently connected into your test socket?
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Chris - yes, we're permanently plugged into the master socket. 
Broadband has been all over the place this morning - no connection at all some of the time so I rebooted the router to try to get some life - went to 160kpbs, then lost connection again almost immediately, and it came back a few mins later at 400 kbps, then lost it again, and now it's at 2.4 Mbps, all in the last hour or so!
It's windy today ... we have an overhead line all the way from the exchange, so davidj60 the fault may be related to branches hitting the line and/or wind moving the junctions and letting water in.
Since I couldn't get a broadband signal I called plusnet half an hour ago, and a bb engineer is booked in to come and visit again tomorrow afternoon. Let's hope he's able to find and fix the fault!
Community Veteran
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Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Quote from: tillydaff
Chris - yes, we're permanently plugged into the master socket.

Can you confirm that you are not just plugged in to the master socket but that you have removed the lower half and connected to the test socket inside - there's a world of difference as using the test socket inside disconnects all your internal wiring.
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)
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Jelv, we've tried it every which way. We were plugged directly into the master socket behind the face plate for weeks until the BT engineer came out last week and put a new faceplate on with an inbuilt filter, and told us to use that. So, we're using that. Apparently the line was dropping connection from 4.30 am according to Plusnet this morning, so I think it's probably a physical fault on the line which manifests when it's wet and / or windy.  With winter on its way, it needs to be fixed! Hopefully it will be - tomorrow pm.  Smiley
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Update - after talking to Plusnet this morning, when there was no connection at all, the DSL connection rate popped up to 2.4 Mbps and stayed there til 9 pm this eve when it disconnected again for approx 15 mins. Came back at 160 kbps, so rebooted a couple of times til it crept up to current DSL of 1 Mb, with actual download speed of 0.95 Mbps.
At least with the IP profile set firm at 2 Mbps we can get some sort of functionality when the connection returns after these drop-outs, which is an improvement compared with when the IP profile plummeted to 140 kbps after a lost connection and stayed there for days on end!
Still hoping for a proper fix tomorrow ... the eternal optimist  Smiley
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Let us know how today goes.
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Unfortunately no sign of the BT engineer this afternoon. Got 2 voicemails from BT Openreach late pm to say he wouldn't make it (I was in a meeting). Tried phoning them back at 4.45 pm ... 40 minutes later I was still waiting to speak to someone so, as I had another appointment I had to hang up.  Called Plusnet to see if they could make the apopintment for me ... was thoroughly unimpressed by the usual 'we'll be in touch with you in 24 to 72 hours" stock answer, so the chap said he'd see what he could do. Unfortunately BT hadn't passed the appointment back to Plusnet yet, so all we could do was discuss our availability for the next BT engineer to visit - which is basically just ASAP!! 
So, no further forward unfortunately.  Sad
The connection was dropping again this morning - then described as 'flaky' by my OH (I was out all day). This eve DSL was 800kbps so I rebooted the router, and DSL jumped to just over 2Mbps, downstream currently 1.8Mbps - so with any luck we'll get caught up on a few things this eve before it drops again. Perfectly still and calm here this eve, which might help?!
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: What has happened to Plusnet's previously good service??

Sorry about that today, I'll chase this up in the morning to see what happened and get another engineer booked I guess.