cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

greogr
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-11-2013

What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Hello All,
I have to vent my frustration as i haven't seen company as useless and lacking customer service as PlusNET(ahh BT... guess PlusNET got their mission statement from the parent company)...
I was fairly happy with the service provided by PlusNet until i decided to move house.
I have called week before move and informed them that i will be moving and would like to move service with me. Call went smoothly, although i didn;t get a date for when engineer is going to show up, but i was assured that within few days someone will call me to schedule it.
I was called some time late in a week by BT Openreach automated message, saying that engineer is scheduled for 5th of November between 9-6 (what kind of slot is that? i can order shopping in within an hour..) Anyhow i stayed home on the 5th to greet engineer with warm milk and some biscuits. At 4PM that day i received a call from PlusNET telling me they are very sorry for late notice but engineer will be showing up within next couple of hours. I explained that Openreach contacted me directly and i'm sitting at home - waiting. i was also told that it's only phone line that will be connected on the 5th, there will be following visit on the 6th(can you guess slot they gave me) to install fibre(crazy people want fast internet..)  and so i stayed home on the 6th;milk still warm, admittedly i ate some of the biscuits....
Still no one showed up; situation has become annoying; i've been without internet for a week; Openreach made sure i stayed home 2 days in the row just to show me middle finger.
i called PlusNET to find out what is going on; i've been told that Openreach has been there both on the 5th and 6th - proof that BT had: my door is white(important for later) and since apparently missing an appointment was my fault(i couldn't move my house to where OpenReach engineer was i guess) I now am at the back of the q and next available appointment is on the 6th of December!!
This was not acceptable to me; asked to cancel and was informed that i will have to pay for two BT engineer call-outs(again if i was at home, where the hell was BT engineer), as well as cancellation fee, disconnection fee for old place and full 18 months  for new contract that hasn't even started because i was never connected in the first place. Total = almost £300.
Couldn't afford that so reluctantly i agreed for plusnet to investigate. Of course plusnet doesn;t call their customers very often with updates so I had to chase them for couple of days hour at a time while listening how they have adverse weather conditions and also how they look for stuff for their new call centre in leeds(why would i care, just patch me trough to someone who knows what they are talking about). Eventually i got tired of having to chase them up all the time, called again to cancel; this time it would have costed me £60; but i was convinced by shift manager that my call is now assigned to specific agent and she will look after it.
Gave them another few days just to get an update, that there is no update.
This was enough for me; i mostly work from home; not having internet at home meant i had to drive to the office at a cost of £20 a day.
Once again i wanted to cancel. This time i was told i will be charged £150. When i asked shift manager(he really has NO CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS, rest of staff at least tried t help a little, unfortunately he didn;t want to disclose his name or put an update on my ticket so can;t identify him-must be his standard practise tho) to break down fees; he had to invent some new algebra rules in order to arrive at £150 that he told me i will have to pay few minutes earlier.
He also told me that he has nothing more to say and i have to decide if i'm cancelling or staying with engineer ist scheduled for 6th of december(more than a month since original request and almost a month since original visit).
Day after this i got the girl that was assigned my call to call me and tell me that they told BT my door is not white(so they lied)  and BT accepted this and moved my appointment to 19th of November- this however is just a phone; i would still have to take yet another (4th) day off to install fibre and internet.
I decided to cancel and go with virgin media(installation scheduled for Wednesday, but guy showed up today to make sure all is good to go); but i'm still not sure what cancellation fee they will demand from me. I logged a complain; but as i haven't heard from anyone for almost a week now i assume they're not bothered.
On top of this they refuse to reimburse me for all the costs on my side which are going up quickly:
1. A/L days
2. spent more than £50 sitting on hold while they customer service did nothing. (during that time i found out that Sheffield has adverse weather conditions for weeks at a time; and if you look for a job go Leeds as it seems to impossible to find employees there...)
3. BTWIFI passes that i have to buy to stay connected
4. Because their incompetence with informing me about cancellation charges, i stayed with them as long as i could; which meant i missed on £100 off that Virgin media was offering(which i eventually went for)
Can someone tell me how i can get out of it with upper hand? i've done nothing wrong; yet it already costed me in excess of £400, on top of whatever new cancellation fee they are going to come back to me with(if they bother that is).
19 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Hi greogr,
Really sorry to see that it seems we drove you away, I'm happy to give any breakdowns of what happened if you need me to, not sure if you've had enough by now?
Our complaints team will be picking your ticket up and will be best suited to deal with your queries regarding your cancellation fee.
I'll certainly be going through your house move to see what and where we went wrong.

greogr
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-11-2013

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Hi Chris,
If you can go trough my account and offer genuine explanation i'm all for that. i understand that issue was created by OpenReach; but since it's no news that OpenReach is... let's just say not great. Plusnet should be able to cope with that and definitely shouldn't be trying to charge customers for visits that haven;t happened.
Foremost tho i would like to find out why depending on who i talk to i could gain/loose more than £200 on cancellation. Something tells me i'm not the only one, which means that there is a lot of people that didn't question cancellation fees and my guess is; most paid more than they should have.
All4One
Grafter
Posts: 289
Registered: 17-03-2013

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

It's not Sheffield that has adverse weather conditions, it's the country, parts affected by storms, damage, takes BT quite a while to fix physical damage!
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

I've popped a ticket on your account(#77393989) with a more detailed analysis.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,597
Thanks: 3,874
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Greogr,
What a truly appalling experience - total BTOR incompetence compounded by PN ineptitude!
There are occasions where one would wish to avoid BTOR at all costs, however few are as fortunate as you in having the choice of an alternate supplier such as Virgin Media.  Unfortunately when BTOR screw up like this, switching ISP which also depends on BTOR is not likely to fix matters quickly, as one still has the same failing supplier of wires to deal with.
PN have not handled the consequences of BTOR incomptenence well or consistently here; no mater who you spoke with at PN the exit fees (if any) should have been the same.  Indeed at the first incling that the claimed BTOR visits were thought to be false, all thought of exit fees should have been suspended.
Sadly until BTw (ISP's interface to BTOR) get a grip on matters or Ofcom get a grip on BTw/BTOR (that means an ISP raising a complaint) we will see no improvement.  All ISPs (and their customers) will be left dealing with the consequences of BTw/BTOR's gross inability to deliver a consistent professional service.  One really has to ask does the CEO of BTw have the balls to deliver?  The answer is clearly no they do not have the balls required to do the job, indeed they are making it ball breakingly hard for everyone else.
I hope your travails are soon sorted, so sad that you have not experienced the usually excellent service I and many others have received from PN for a good number of years.  BTw/BTOR are stressing the reseller's customer services to the extream: it is clearly evident that PN is not adequately managing the consequences - just what more will it take to get PN to complain to Ofcom?
syates
Grafter
Posts: 62
Registered: 28-08-2012

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

I'm afraid my Plusnet experience mirrors greogr's.  I truly am gobsmacked at the number of people that find Plusnet to be good at customer support as my experience piuts them on a level with Tiscali (without the excuse of a foreign call centre!).  
I fully agree that a lot of the problems lie with BTOR, but that being said, the only avenue we have to these people is through our ISP and if they won't bite the bullet and take the fight to OR we are all stuffed.  With my particular problem, BTOR have issued a deadlock letter to Plusnet... With my limited understanding, this means that Plusnet can now take this matter up with OFCOM, so there is little excuse for them not to (except that they are both subsiduaries of the same company).
BTW, Plusnet also offered me a free cancellation (I think half in the hope that I would take their problem elsewhere), but since I've invested 15 months of my life in trying to get them to resolve the issue it doesn't seem fair to let them off the hook like that.  As Townman says, switching ISPs which will still use the same inadequate BTOR infrastructure is unlikely to solve anything.
In the meantime, I can only look on Townman's Broadband quality graphs with envy and hope that someday before I retire Plusnet will be able to get mine that good Tongue
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

@syates
I'll catch up with Riyaz and see where we're at with this.
Regarding your last pointer on your ticket, you should be able to link to your Thinkbroadband graph by using the Share Snapshot Graph link below your graph.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,597
Thanks: 3,874
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Quote from: syates
In the meantime, I can only look on Townman's Broadband quality graphs with envy and hope that someday before I retire Plusnet will be able to get mine that good Tongue

I understand where you are coming from, however in respect of the business line (the left graph) the quality of that line is entirely down to PN's stubbornness with BTOR over some 7 months and countless BTOR visits to get that line from a sub 2mbs in wet weather to a reasonably good steady 5.5mbs.  That said, no one has been able to get BTOR to address the -3 to -7 dB noise spikes generated by the WCML passing trains.  Yes PN has issues, but I do not believe that another ISP would (at least at the prices we pay) have worked so hard and persistently for the best achievable result.  Unfortunately due to the frequent inability of BTOR to deliver a first time fix, issues can result in needing escalation to PN's big guns before they are resolved.
syates
Grafter
Posts: 62
Registered: 28-08-2012

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Quote from: Chris
@syates
I'll catch up with Riyaz and see where we're at with this.
Regarding your last pointer on your ticket, you should be able to link to your Thinkbroadband graph by using the Share Snapshot Graph link below your graph.

Thanks.  I wasn;t sure how long Thinkbroadband kept snapshots, but I agree an external link would be better.
@Townman - I hear what you say and to some some extent agree with you in terms of what PN have done for you (and for me as well).  I'm still waiting for the good steady 5.5mbs that I used to have 15 months ago to be restored though (despite 11 or more visits by BTOR)  Sad
greogr
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-11-2013

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Quote from: All4One
It's not Sheffield that has adverse weather conditions, it's the country, parts affected by storms, damage, takes BT quite a while to fix physical damage!

and we didn't know that the storm is coming? or you are trying to compare it to what's happening in Philippines.
I'm pretty sure storm happened few days before the connection date as well... 
greogr
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-11-2013

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Quote from: Chris
I've popped a ticket on your account(#77393989) with a more detailed analysis.

Chis,
First of all thanks for looking into this.
I hope you don' mind that i will quote part of your response in my ticket:
"I've taken a look through the account, it all seems to boil down to the 'missed engineer visits' that occurred, we should and do take your side on this, similarly BT Openreach tend to stick to the engineers notes. I can push this back into BT Openreach disputing this engineers versions of events, which even though I know won't change anything we can't have this happen to our customers and leave them in situations like yours."
I think you hit a sweet spot here. If it wasn't for BTOR i would probably still be happy customer of plusnet(well i would try to get that unpleasant, unhelpful, cocky shift leader fired). What i don;t understand is why do you let BTOR get away with this.
I repeatedly asked PlusNET support to challenge BTOR about the visits. Non of them even tried, as if they couldn't or were too afraid to. I understand that some customer miss their appointments and pretend they were there, but you can't assume that everyone that missed appointment is a liar. How is BTOR engineer's word  more valuable than mine?
Plus surely no matter what happened as a customer facing company you should know that customer is ALWAYS right(even if he is wrong)
Are BTOR going to pay £600 that you have lost together with my contract? and any future contracts or in fact my friends contracts? My guess is NO.
You just have to look at responses to my post, it seems to be common theme.. How do you not oblige BTOR to present you with a proof that they have been where they say they been? How did i get nothing trough my letter box, why BTOR engineer didn't call me(it's flipping BT surely it costs them nothing)
Anyhow thanks for looking into this and i'm looking forward to finding out how much PN is going to charge me for cancellation(it's been a week since i cancelled and i still have no clue)
greogr
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-11-2013

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Quote from: Townman
Greogr,
What a truly appalling experience - total BTOR incompetence compounded by PN ineptitude!
There are occasions where one would wish to avoid BTOR at all costs, however few are as fortunate as you in having the choice of an alternate supplier such as Virgin Media.  Unfortunately when BTOR screw up like this, switching ISP which also depends on BTOR is not likely to fix matters quickly, as one still has the same failing supplier of wires to deal with.
PN have not handled the consequences of BTOR incomptenence well or consistently here; no mater who you spoke with at PN the exit fees (if any) should have been the same.  Indeed at the first incling that the claimed BTOR visits were thought to be false, all thought of exit fees should have been suspended.
Sadly until BTw (ISP's interface to BTOR) get a grip on matters or Ofcom get a grip on BTw/BTOR (that means an ISP raising a complaint) we will see no improvement.  All ISPs (and their customers) will be left dealing with the consequences of BTw/BTOR's gross inability to deliver a consistent professional service.  One really has to ask does the CEO of BTw have the balls to deliver?  The answer is clearly no they do not have the balls required to do the job, indeed they are making it ball breakingly hard for everyone else.
I hope your travails are soon sorted, so sad that you have not experienced the usually excellent service I and many others have received from PN for a good number of years.  BTw/BTOR are stressing the reseller's customer services to the extream: it is clearly evident that PN is not adequately managing the consequences - just what more will it take to get PN to complain to Ofcom?

Townman,
I hope it would be as easy as sending Ofcom after them. I'm working for company that supplies managed and professional services and it's known that you should avoid BT as long as you can. It's almost given that they will screw up something.
Just an example from last few days; no one wants to go to BT...
http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2013/11/20/cisco_phoenix_bt_contracts/
And It's not even same part of BT...
As per my previous post; PN should now be able to claim compensation on my behalf and their behalf. That would mean this missed visit would cost BTOR in excess of £1k... They would send an engineer 2 days earlier to camp outside my door next time.... just in case... or at least come up with some decent procedure to prove they attended and end user is at fault.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,597
Thanks: 3,874
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

Quote from: greogr
I hope it would be as easy as sending Ofcom after them. ... it's known that you should avoid BT as long as you can. It's almost given that they will screw up something.
... or at least come up with some decent procedure to prove they attended and end user is at fault.

Greogr,
Sadly all so true.  One has to ask is Ofcom really interested in going after BTw / BTOR?  ISPs (as DCT have indicated around here) are understandably focussed (through diplomacy) on "today's" specific issue, customer by customer.  Your suggestions imply systematic process orientated change, which frankly is what is required to get BTOR to deliver a consistent service.
At the moment, I perceive some parts of BTOR as delivering to the very worse standards of a nationalised monopoly supplier.  No they are not technically nationalised, but the do behave in that manner... "It does not matter if we do not deliver today, there is always next week and what does it matter if the customer is put to inconvenience" - "We do not need to make a profit / be accountable, given the nation cannot function without us, the Government will always bail us out" - "It does not matter how bad is our service, there is no where else for ISPs, CPs or their customers to go" - "Why should we bother improving... as the watch dog does not have an appetite for forcing improvement, given we've scared all the ISPs off making formal complaints...".
I do not really want to be cynical, it is not all bad, some parts (I suggest individuals) do care about getting things right first time, but it is not an all pervasive ethos within the organisation - certainly within the management layers.  Personally I am aware that a good number of the issues are actually with BTw rather than BTOR.  Earlier this year the on-the-ground BTOR guys tried very hard to get a lift & shift on my line, however BTw steadfastly refused to approve it.  BTOR engineers also recommended replacement of D-Side circuits but indicated that this would not happen until there were no available working POTS circuits.  If ADSL was working albeit poorly, then tough, you have a working service.
Cheers,
Kevin
syates
Grafter
Posts: 62
Registered: 28-08-2012

Re: What's that customer service you are talking about? AVOID PLUSNET IF YOU CAN

I know a lot of the problems are due to BTOT not providing the service they really should (I also have had some amazing BTOR Engineers that will go the extra mile to help as well as the ones that just grunt and can't be bothered). 
However, we as the customer do not have a direct line through to BTOR, we have to go through our ISPs, who currently do not seem to have the appetite to take our grievances to OFCOM.
So to me the only course of action open to us as customers if we feel that our problems are not being taken seriously or resolved is for us to report our ISPs to OFCOM, with the hope that they will grow a pair and place the blame where it should be *starts video of disgruntled yorkshire bloke marching from his restaurant to demand better customer service*