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What's happened to PlusNET?

iklesteve
Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: 18-04-2007

What's happened to PlusNET?

When I first joined PN as an employee 9 years ago we had a ticket response target of 4 hours, and pretty often got things done a lot quicker than that.
Now I see that they have a target time of 24 hours, an average response of 37 hours and my ticket has not been answered in 48 hours!
Anyway, last Thursday I placed an order for an FTTC provide and picked an engineer appt for tomorrow morning. I've heard nothing from PN, no idea if my order has been processed, and no idea if I can expect BTW to show up or not. Is this normal?
I've recommended PN a number of time to friends and family over the last decade and have resisted offers to move to cheaper/bundled alternatives because I've always believed that it is the customer service that makes PN different. Have I been mistaken all these years?
If anyone from PN would care to at least have the courtesy to look at and reply to my ticket (87863717) and let me know what is going on that would be much appreciated. I'm guessing all the old crowd have since moved on (Carol Axe, Dave Tomlinson, Stew Norris, Bob Pullen) but if they're still around say Hi from me. They might remember me, even if the rest of PN appears to have forgotten about me.
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,862
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

What's happened to Plusnet is that they were taken over by BT and the BT ethos is creeping in.  So we now have big television advertising campaigns (like BT) resulting in a lot more customers (like BT) and a support organization that cannot cope (like BT).  I don't know whether Plusnet have been caught on the hop by the success of their advertising or if  the command has come down from on high to restrict the budget for customer service.  Perhaps one of your former colleagues can tell you privately?   
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?


...and the name of the game these days is customer number growth
Given that he days of genuine "never had broadband before new customer" is basically over so the tactics are churn - steal a customer from somewhere else while hoping that your current customers won't de-camp elsewhere.
Broadband is now a commodity whose price and supply/quality is basically the same everywhere no matter who you buy it from so the only way of encouraging customers to switch is indeed by the big marketing  or the bundled offer with it.
Plusnet is now a mass market ISP appearing to me anyway to be concentrating on the 'price sensitive' end of the market.
So that means it's cheap - but something has to suffer as a result.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: 03-02-2014

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

Hi iklesteve,
I can see that you phoned us this morning and it was confirmed that your FTTC appointment is set for today between 8AM and 1PM.
Sorry for any inconvenience - I can see that we didn't confirm the appointment with you after you selected this as your preferred appointment date.
It seems there was a problem with the package upgrade - can you confirm which phone package you opted for so that I can ensure that the phone order is placed once the FTTC order is complete?
iklesteve
Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: 18-04-2007

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

Linn -
Thanks, the OR engineer has attended as scheduled and I have reconnected successfully.
I have provided details of my package change in a ticket on my account (88065306; I could not reply to the existing ticket). I have also asked about speeds as I am still only seeing a 1.5-1.8Mb/s download speed (but a ~20Mb/s upload). I am not sure if this is because my package change has not yet been activated or if there is a 'training' period on VSDL lines? Appreciate if you can get the changes actioned ASAP.
Many thanks.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: 03-02-2014

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

I've just popped a response on the ticket for you and arranged everything on the account Smiley
Let me know if there's anything else I can help with or call our Support team if you require assistance over the weekend!
iklesteve
Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: 18-04-2007

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

Thanks again Linn.
I'll give everything a few hours to settle and power cycle everything then will hopefully will pick up the new speeds.
Hopefully now everything is aligned again and the communication blackout was just a blip!
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,336
Thanks: 1,120
Fixes: 90
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

Quote from: iklesteve
I'm guessing all the old crowd have since moved on (Carol Axe, Dave Tomlinson, Stew Norris, Bob Pullen)...

*raises head over the parapet*

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

iklesteve
Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: 18-04-2007

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

Hi Bob - great to see someone still around after all these years, hope you're well.
I called the CSC this afternoon as I was still seeing 2Mb/s download speeds (although 15Mb/s upload), which smelt to me like a bad line profile. I spoke with Irfan who was very helpful and patient, called me back (to save my phone bill) before running through a number of BT line tests. He did indeed make some changes  to the settings and after a router reset we established a PPPoE connection directly into the BT modem and pulled back an impressive 76/17 Mb/s speed test result. Just a slight improvement on my 2.5/0.5 Mb/s ADSL connection!
So after a somewhat sketchy start it seems I have unearthed the service and support that I used to take pride in. Obviously I am aware of the inevitable changes since the BT buyout means that the internals of PN will have changed a lot since their F9 origins. But for me the fact that they are still operated and traded independently of BTBB shows there is still a market for attracting (and retaining) the more experienced and self-sufficient customer - providing you don't alienate them by treating them as a number!
Many thanks again to Linn and Irfan for their efficient and professional support.

Steve
(CSC/BOT 05-06)
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,862
Thanks: 126
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

Was this a really interesting philosophical question posed by a former employee or merely an attempt to pull some strings to get their problem fixed?  This forum makes manifest that Plusnet can offer excellent technical support beyond that achieved by other ISPs.  But it has becoming longer to reach and harder to find by phone or by ticket.  Has Plusnet lost sight of it's place in the
Quote from: iklesteve
... market for attracting (and retaining) the more experienced and self-sufficient customer...

?  I hope not because if it becomes just the bit of BT Broadband that isn't called 'BT Broadband' then it won't survive.
iklesteve
Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: 18-04-2007

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

Quote from: ReedRichards
I hope not because if it becomes just the bit of BT Broadband that isn't called 'BT Broadband' then it won't survive.

I absolutely agree, and I think if BT didn't see the value in this market segment I'm sure the PN brand would have been retired long ago. It is critical that PN keep sight of this mandate and that BT focus on why they bought PN and what set them above the rest in the first place. If the deal was just about "land grab" then I think we'd have seen a totally different approach from BT.
My tenure at PN was during some of the "growing pains" of the mid-2000s (prior to the BT acquisition) and at a time when PN was certainly at risk of becoming a victim of its own success. Fortunately the decline was noticed and some tough decisions were made to bring things back on track. It now feels like PN are heading in a similar situation, but without such a steady hand guiding them through the storm. I'm not egotistical enough to think that one post on a forum will change the world (or a business) but would like to hope that, if nothing else, someone within PN still listens to their customers.
I wanted to follow up on my original post as having "been there, done that" I know that even a small amount of positive feedback amongst the mire of complaining and negative comments can make a significant difference to the job satisfaction. And as you quite rightly said, it is important on this forum to champion the positives as much as lambast the negatives. PN were one the first companies that I can remember who interacted with their user base in this way (long before the days of social networking sites) and it is great to see that it still lives on and strong!

And as a final note, I even received a follow-up call from Ifran yesterday to check that everything was still working as it should. Top man!
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

Hi Steve, I'm still here too!
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,695
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: What's happened to PlusNET?

BT bought PlusNet to be able to compete with Sky and TalkTalk on price while continuing to charge over the top prices for the millions of low usage customers who just use BT for broadband because that's who provides their phone.
If you want geeks broadband you'd probably go to AAISP or Zen depending on your usage.
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)