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poor customer service

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Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: poor customer service

Sorry to hear this @bristolash91

Could you send me a private message with your mobile number so I can investigate this?

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
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Grafter
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Registered: ‎13-05-2018

Re: poor customer service

I've totally lost interest in this to be honest. It's funny that your screen name is "Gandalf" which implies age/experience, wisdom, yet you obviously don't know how to use a telephone correctly or understand how customer service works. I'm certainly not feeling the magic from you.

In my experience of communicating with other people via telephone, what i find useful is to dial the recipient and see if they answer - this is usually a really good indication as to whether the recipient is free for a call or not rather than post the question on a forum which i have little time to respond to. If i don't answer the first time, try calling again 15-30 minutes later, and since i'm the customer and you're the service provider, supposedly wanting your money and providing a good customer service - KEEP TRYING UNTIL I ANSWER!

 

What I also find amusing is that i have been screaming and shouting for you to take my money for 3 months and nobody has bothered to resolve it, yet someone else remarks about being treated badly and you're all over it like a rash! No offence to bristolash91 at all, nobody should be spoken to in the way he has described, but I wonder if you're so quick to deal with that because he mentioned a disability!

anyway, i have been informed that the account has been cancelled, as long as my credit rating isn't affected and it's not being passed to a third party debt collection company (which by the way I don't agree to my details being passed to ANY third party, never agreed to that, that's a breach of data protection) then I really don't care, as long as i haven't been penalized for your in-competencies and it's you who has lost out on the remaining balance then that's one thing i'll walk away happy about.

I won't be a returning customer (ever) and from what i've told many people about your service I don't think they will ever be joining you either.

I would normally end by saying it's been a pleasure doing business but it's really not been, it's been a terrible awful experience and i've been a very loyal repeat customer over the years - dread to think how you treat people who aren't as loyal as I am.

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Aspiring Pro
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Re: poor customer service

I know I kind of vanished for a bit here. Busy times. I've already given my advice regarding any balance still standing, but for the record, Gandalf is one of the more respected staff members on this forum, often sorting things out where front line service haven't.

Not saying it should be necessary to go that far for a resolution, but interacting with Gandalf in a more positive manner is far more likely to result in an outcome that sorts this for everyone. Like I already said, whether you like it or not, just walking away will end up with debt collection, and no data protection claim will stop that-plusnet would be well within their rights to assign any account to such a company in the event of non payment. It's in the terms, and let's be honest, if it was possible to get off a debt by citing data protection, nobody would ever pay anything.
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Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: poor customer service

Hello @stevemill84,

 

We are sincerely sorry to hear you feel this way. However unfortunately we are unable to call customers throughout the day as it may cause an inconvenience depending on the circumstances.

 

I fully appreciate the problem at hand and we are keen to have this resolved for you, which is why @Gandalf has attempted to call you as well establish a time you would be available. I can see his has sent a ticket to you here in response to the problem, and if you could reply with a time that you would be available between 11:30 and 20:00 Thursday to Friday, he would happy to contact you at that point.

 

 

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 SammyM
 Plusnet Help Team
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Grafter
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Re: poor customer service

Like i said, call me anytime, if i answer then i'm available, if i don't then i'm not. with held numbers won't get answered, you already know this by a previous ticket. I can't commit to a specific time as I may be busy, I already tried to commit to an entire day on the 18th August and nobody called me. debt collectors or not, i really don't care anymore. i have far more important things to focus on, i've already spent more in time than the entire 18 month contract is worth.

Also, maybe I don't respond in a positive way because the experience is not a positive one, dish it out expect to get it back. anyway, this is how business works, sometimes you lose money and customers - learn from your mistakes or you'll end up the same way as Bulldog did. I've done my bit, made my effort, PN hasn't.

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Aspiring Hero
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Re: poor customer service

As @Kdog says, @Gandalf is one of the more respected staff members on this forum; he even helps customers here in his spare time.  I'm not saying that everyone should work in their spare time, but the work he clearly puts into getting customers' problems resolved should be an example to customer service staff everywhere.

When someone wants to be called, is it not just common courtesy to ask, "What would be a convenient time?" or "What time would suit you?" etc?

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Grafter
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Re: poor customer service

 

So let me get this straight, you're dealing with an extremely annoyed customer who:

  1. genuinely wanted to pay the bill
  2. has tried to call PN several times to no success
  3. has tried to get PN chat agents to resolve the matter to no success
  4. has raised tickets with no response (I think there's 4 open now relating to this)
  5. has resorted to posting on someone else's random thread because no other apparent way to get the attention of PN staff
  6. has been charged late payment fees for a problem which wasn't mine
  7. been threatened to defer the balance to debt recovery
  8. had his internet service suddenly cancelled (where was the courtesy in telling me that would happen?)
  9. has had no choice but to leave you as a customer to go to another provider
  10. wasted countless hours of time trying to get several months of issues resolved
  11. on one hand has been informed the account has been cancelled (that indicates to me the balance has been cleared) on the other hand someone else is telling me i still owe - if the latter then i already know the account was cancelled because I CANCELLED IT DUE TO YOUR BAD SERVICE!

and you're [-Censored-]-footing around asking what time to call me, when i have been demanding a call for months.... are you for real? if i were you i'd be bending over backwards to get this resolved and just pick up the phone and call me. don't call from a private number either as it automatically gets blocked, i don't know what self-respecting business wants anonymity with their customers. You're only seeking to further antagonize me and waste more of my time dealing with this pointless thread which gets me nowhere in resolution.

 

Moderator's note by Adie (Dvorak) removed insulting comments about PN staff as per Forum rules

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Grafter
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Re: poor customer service

"Like I already said, whether you like it or not, just walking away will end up with debt collection, and no data protection claim will stop that-plusnet would be well within their rights to assign any account to such a company in the event of non payment. It's in the terms,"


I think this post is seriously missing the point.

Yes the right to invoke debt collectors is frequently a part of the terms of most ISP contract, but when and how you invoke your right is all important. IMHO it is not an unpaid debt whilst the customer is still negotiating either the amount, or the timing, of the payment, merely an outstanding payment, and as such debt collectors should not be called in, but all too frequently they are simply as a big stick with which to beat the customer.

As to  "walking away", frankly ISPs frequently leave customers with little alternative when they behave in an inflexible, non-negotiable way, as appears to have happened here, and certainly happened with me when I left VM for PN. So I have a lot of sympathy with Stevemills'  position. When negotiations break down as a result of a failure to negotiate sensibly then as a customer you have no alternative simply because the ISP fails to provide one. It could, for instance, and should IMHO, provide independent arbitration of a financial dispute, which is an  increasingly popular way of dealing with such problems. But there is a cost to that which the organisation offering the service has to bare, and of course there is the possibility that the arbitration may not go in their favour. So from a pure commercial point of view this may work out more expensive, on average, than simply selling the debt off to a debt collector from whom they can get a definite payment up front, and leave the debt collector to take the risk of collecting the debt. 

If they do that as a policy then it seems to me that they become instinctively less interested in settling the dispute in the first place, and surprise, surprise, we get the "inflexible, non-negotiable way" of dealing with the situation that I described above. So I feel that consumer law should be improved even further and oblige organisations like ISPs, and other providers of services, to make use of independent arbitration, rather than automatically opting to call in the debt collectors.


Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Quote fixed.

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Plusnet Help Team
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Re: poor customer service

Hi @stevemills84

genuinely wanted to pay the bill

has tried to call PN several times to no success

While I do sincerely apologise for the long wait times to contact our customer service team on 0800 432 0200, I can see we provided you with a direct number for our billing team on ticket 179442026 which you've been responding to. There shouldn't be a long wait time if any for this team.

 

has tried to get PN chat agents to resolve the matter to no success

Unfortunately we can't take payments over live chat.

 

has raised tickets with no response (I think there's 4 open now relating to this)

There are 2 main tickets regarding this. Ticket 179442026 is with our billing team and have recently responded. Again I do apologise for the time between responses and any inconvenience this may cause.

The ticket 182230710 was raised by one of my colleagues when he responded to one of your posts here on the Community, that ticket is in my workflow now.

 

has resorted to posting on someone else's random thread because no other apparent way to get the attention of PN staff

This is a public forum. As long your posts are in line with the forum rules(Linked above), if you need support then we'd want you to post here.

 

has been charged late payment fees for a problem which wasn't mine

I believe that as a gesture of goodwill our billing guys have agreed to waive this.

 

been threatened to defer the balance to debt recovery

Sending an account to a collections agency is a last resort scenario for us.

 

had his internet service suddenly cancelled (where was the courtesy in telling me that would happen?)

From what I can see you experienced a fault with your service. Reading the engineer notes I can also see that the engineer found and fixed the problem at the cabinet(The green box in the road).

Unfortunately broadband isn't a guaranteed service and faults can occur, we can't foresee them happening.

 

has had no choice but to leave you as a customer to go to another provider

wasted countless hours of time trying to get several months of issues resolved

Sorry to hear this and you felt that you had no choice to move.

I do wish you all the best with your new provider and thank you for your custom.

 

 

on one hand has been informed the account has been cancelled (that indicates to me the balance has been cleared) on the other hand someone else is telling me i still owe - if the latter then i already know the account was cancelled because I CANCELLED IT DUE TO YOUR BAD SERVICE!

From what I can see you've had a fault which was fixed 5 days after being reported to us. As above, faults can occur and I do sincerely apologise again that you experienced one, but as broadband isn't a guaranteed service(as per our terms Here) and the problem was fixed relatively quickly we're not in a position to waive the outstanding balance on your account.

 

and you're [-Censored-]-footing around asking what time to call me, when i have been demanding a call for months.... are you for real? if i were you i'd be bending over backwards to get this resolved and just pick up the phone and call me. don't call from a private number either as it automatically gets blocked

And therein lies the problem. Our number is withheld on outbound calls. 

Sadly, the only alternative I can offer you is for you to call our billing team on the number we've advised you in the ticket.

 

Thanks.

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
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Grafter
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Re: poor customer service

all well and good pointing out responses to each of the issues i have had, but the point is i tried to arrange to make the payment even got through to a team leader who agreed i'd get a call on the 18th august which never came (private number or not, it simply didn't happen).

the "fault" on the line you refer to, there have been two faults this year on two separate addresses which were resolved 2 weeks later and 5 days later, the disconnection i refer to is the one PN performed on the 2nd september which was not a fault it was a service disconnection so make sure you get your facts right first.

in response to @pureedfruit above - thank you, finally someone who sees things from a customer perspective. I do want to point out though that there never was a financial dispute originally, i was more than willing to settle the debt, however there is now a financial dispute caused by PN, due to wasted hours of not getting anywhere and now an incorrect balance of over £67 where there is no clear breakdown of how that's made up.

did have intention to pay, but i no longer have any intention to pay, so just waive it off the balance. I don't want a third party debt collector to buy the debt off you (which is very kind of them to clear my debt for me, i didn't ask for it nor do i have any contractual agreement with the third party to pay them), I would much rather PN suffer the loss of the balance because it is the only way businesses learn from their mistakes - by incurring financial loss, it is the only language they understand. like @pureedfruit mentioned, there is no incentive or motivation to improve service if it can so easily be handed to a third party. I have informed you several times now since my time wasted on this issue has far exceeded the cost of the debt and the entire contract in fact, that i no longer will be settling this debt. I don't need a phone call from you in order for you to confirm the balance has been waived, just get on and do it because i'm getting tired of dealing with people who are this useless, it's a new experience for me and i've dealt with a lot of people in my line of work (a lot and i've never known incompetence quite on this scale)

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Grafter
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Re: poor customer service

oh and stop censoring comments which are no where near insulting to anything, i mentioned about you censoring phrases from the dictionary yet you removed that comment of mine just to make sure your customers can't say a bad word against you.

I give up i really do. good luck to everyone, i'm out of here, i'm done.

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Aspiring Pro
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Re: poor customer service

I wasnt trying to really take sides either way. I said earlier I don't have anywhere near enough info to do so. My intention was merely to advise that should this head to debt collection, regardless of whether that's the right decision or not, that the grounds for disputing the charge with a collector were pretty thin. Citing data protection isn't going to stop them being involved, nor is pointing to a forum post.

My intention was purely to try to prevent someone running into bigger problems down the line by deciding to simply reject any further interaction on this, as let's be honest, collectors don't exactly have a reputation for handling the details-they just want their money.

And as an aside, there has been an attempt by staff on this forum to make contact and get this settled, and regardless of the previous on this, it's now actually the customer refusing to engage in this by refusing to give a reasonable time to make contact, which while I appreciate stevemills frustration, is hardly an unreasonable request.

As this stands plusnet have said they're not willing to waive the bill. Stevemills has said they're going to disregard that and refuse to pay. So right now this is no longer a debt in negotiation-its an unpaid debt. Again, and to make certain my position isnt misread, I'm not saying either side is right, but this is only going to go one way. So for my own mind, I've advised what the consequences of that will be. Whether anyone chooses to act on those, take it further etc is entirely up to them.
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Grafter
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Re: poor customer service


@Kdog wrote:
"I wasnt trying to really take sides either way."

Kdog lets not kid ourselves, be honest - you are very much on the side of Plusnet, just as I am very much on the side of Steve Mills, or any other customer who gets commercially bullied by Plusnet, or VM, or any other customer facing company come to that, who sets up a set of T&Cs which basically says " you the customer will pay me the supplier a sum of money each month come hell or high water, no matter how [-Censored-] our service is" which is exactly what you have done. OK Steve accepted those T&Cs, as we all do because there is no practical alternative in that PN does not permit any changes to those T&Cs.

No doubt you feel that "Commercial Bullying" is an OTT expression in this context. IHMO it is not: it is PN using its dominant position versus the customer in constructing the T&Cs so overwhelmingly in its favour, and not offering any independent arbitration when things go wrong, which is exactly that. So all the customer can do when things do go wrong is cross his/her fingers, and hope that the supplier behaves in a reasonable way.

And that is the nub of it - what is reasonable? And, unsurprisingly that is where the problem lies - because equally unsurprisingly their views differ, and more to the point they are bound to differ because of the way the deal is struck: the customer expects continuing, consistent good service, the supplier knows that it cannot deliver that 100% of the time because not everything is within their control, but nonetheless insists on 100% payment all the time, and if you don't you the customer are in default, whereupon the supplier then attempts to beat the **** out of the customer.

It is all so, so predictable: when your back is against the wall you can either fight like crazy, or roll over. My guess is that far too many do roll over, and PN and their likes, have built their business model on that basis, and then leave guys like you in Customer Services to engage in the battle on their behalf with those like Steve that don't roll over immediately

Did they explain to you that they had built their business model this way, and that as night follows day, there will inevitably be a small number of very unhappy customers, like Steve, who will try to fight, until they get exhausted, and then finally give up and find another ISP with whom to repeat the whole experience with the hope that it will be better this time.

But of course it won't (sorry Steve but it really won't) because the underlying  metrics have not changed: it is still the same underlying, far from 100% reliable network (unless of course you switch to VM, which although it based on a newer, and intrinsically more reliable technology, nonetheless has its own set of problems with demand which is well in excess of the installed capacity in various parts of the country, and hence unreliable service), and it still the same, or similar, one sided set of T&Cs.

Hence my argument for further consumer protection through the use of compulsory, independent arbitration. Until that happens very little will change amongst the mainstream, competitive ISPs, of which PN has argued elsewhere that it is one, who are fighting to keep their costs down in order to remain competitive, and for whom the costs on independent arbitration are a no-no.

There are, of course, ISPs out there who do give a better Customer Service, and you can find them in the reviews published by the Consumers Association (Which?) or Think Broadband. But almost invariably at a higher cost.

Moderator's note by Dick (Strat): Quote fixed.

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Re: poor customer service

To be clear here at no point have I said I think Plusnet are right and Steve needs to suck it up and deal with it. I haven't made such a statement, or even alluded to anything of the sort either way. And with regards to arbitration, if you look back at my first post on this, I did mention maybe Steve should consider engaging the ombudsmen if he feels he cannot make progress directly with Plusnet. If this has been ongoing for at least 3 months then plenty of time has passed for him to be able to take this step. As for the terms being unfair or otherwise, that's entirely what the regulators are for.

Ultimately most of this is irrelavent to Steve's current problem, as whether the system is fair or not we have to deal with the system as it is today, and like I already said, my intention was purely to give advice on what would likely happen if Steve tried to use posts and DPA to get off debt collection-simply advising that if he wanted it writing off, and not going any further he needed to take this up with Plusnet directly or move higher up. But I'm not going to take sides in an argument which I know nothing else about, since the only people on this forum who know the true full story are Plusnet themselves, and Steve. And as with any argument, everyone is going to emphasise where they've been wronged, and ignore where they've messed up, or made something impossible-such as the complaint that Plusnet have never kept their promise to call, yet admits later that he will not answer any withheld number-even blocking them. He mentions a ticket, but was this brought in before is became a problem or after. There's no way we can know, so this I'm not claiming to, or saying who is right.

My posts were maybe a little long, but ultimately came down to, "Do yourself a favour mate and don't try to convince a bailiff Plusnet have agreed to write of the charges based on a forum post or argue your details have been shared because that won't fly". The details, arguments and politics are frankly irrelavent to that point, and that's why I never went into that.
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Re: poor customer service

it seems my posts are now being censored and marked as spam, despite having very valid points attributed to this thread. i had spent a while writing a reply but only to have it removed. it seems i have no ability to defend myself anymore on here.