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total lack of interest in customer retention

joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

total lack of interest in customer retention

I have been trying to help an 80yo woman who's internet has been "playing up" since "sometime around the beginning of January"
I have been to her house and tried various options inc taking her desktop PC to my house to rule it out as a suspect
I believe the problem lies with her Thompson router, it can connect to the internet and also works wirelessly but the ethernet ports do nothing
Herein lies the issue - PlusNet says the only options are buying a new router outright for £45 or agreeing to a new 12 months contract and paying £5.99 P&P to get a 'free' router
She doesn't see why she should have to pay anything at all, "it's their equipment and they can't supply the service without it so they should maintain it"
she has been a customer for at least 5 years (so staying another 12 months wouldn't be an issue)
but is now wondering if she should move to another supplier as that would fix the router issue (she'd get a new one FOC)
Personally I am surprised that Plus.net seem happy to let her go - are margins really so tight that a long standing customer (5+ years) might be lost over £5.99?
26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,695
Thanks: 919
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

Has she had the router for more than a year?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

yes, this one is 4 years old
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

"it's their equipment and they can't supply the service without it so they should maintain it"
Unfortunately not.  It belongs to the end customer, and is supplied at no cost for the hardware if they stay for the length of the minimum contract.  It does not belong to PN and they are not responsible for it outside of the 1 year warranty.  PN are kindly offering to supply a replacement under the same terms.

joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

I understand that - but she is not happy about the situation
I may be able to keep her happy with an old 'Creative Broadband Blaster' I have found in a drawer
it's not wireless and only has 1 ethernet port, but that's 1 more than the Thompson Wink
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: 03-02-2014

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

Hi joncooper,
I'm sorry to hear of the situation regarding the router.
As pwatson has already stated, we supply a 1 year warranty for our router and if she wanted a new one then she would need to re-contract or pay the full cost. I can understand where you're coming from, however, we would be unable to supply a new router without the customer paying for the router upfront or re-contracting.
I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused.
joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

as I said above - I don't think signing up for a further 12 months is an issue, why would it be when she has been a customer for over 5 years now?
I think the sticking point is having to pay the £5.99P&P - she thinks she already pays enough
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: 03-02-2014

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

I completely understand that joncooper, however, regardless of how long we have used Royal Mail's service we still have to pay the postage and packaging which is in turn chargeable to the customer.
joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

ah well, maybe my secondhand old router will do the trick, and maybe she'll be off, who knows
I've spent more on trying to retain this customer than Plus.net now so I'm giving up
(she's not even a referral of mine, just a friend of a friend)
Luzern
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 3,280
Thanks: 328
Fixes: 3
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

Does anyone other than I think that OP might be advised to give full details of what has been done, and stats, so that the cleverer among us (not me Grin) can possibly suggest something?
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Laser
Grafter
Posts: 206
Registered: 23-09-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

I don't know to what extent the OP has tried to fix this, but at the very least a poke at the router reset button and a re-configure is worth a shot. Every modem/router that has died on me has been the modem or wifi side, not the routing functions.
A large proportion of the time I've had networking difficulties it's down to a configuration problem (netmask, default gateway, etc.) or Windows not liking some change until a reboot (especially if you're switching to and fro between wireless and wired to the same router). I even had one router which just would not work if Windows had ipv6 enabled. Huh
Four years isn't bad going for a router. The best I've had is seven years. One died within two (and that wasn't a "cheap" brand). You can of course buy quite reasonable routers for far less than £45.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 4
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

If you're anywhere in the Northamptonshire area I have a router you can borrow to rule out any issues ?
joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

well, I did try stuff like resetting the router etc, and ruled out her PC and it's configuration by taking it elsewhere
it definitely is the router, it doesn't accept anything plugged into the ethernet ports exists at all
also, I completely see PlusNet's POV, postage costs money
I was really just expressing my surprise that they seem happy to let this long term customer walk away over £5.99
remember this is an 80yo woman, she doesn't really understand the technology,
or the subtleties of who actually owns which pieces of equipment, PlusNet supplied it so it's theirs
the service she pays for won't work without it, so it's theirs
if she moves to a different ISP they will give her a new router FOC - which she feels supports her position
thanks for the offer of a router, I have a spare that is no use to me so she will have that (1 ethernet and no wireless)
hopefully that will keep her on board for a while longer, but I do know this has already cost PlusNet another customer
a friend of hers who was about to sign-up has gone elsewhere now based on her story
newagetraveller
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 445
Thanks: 53
Registered: 03-08-2012

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

"if she moves to a different ISP they will give her a new router FOC - which she feels supports her position"
It will not be free though, will it Jon? She'll still have to agree to a contract and minimum term before the router is her's. Or pay for the router. I'm fairly sure the p&p will have to be paid too depending on i.s.p..
Three mobile, 1,2,3, PAYG. https://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Pay_As_You_Go
joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: total lack of interest in customer retention

did I not say that I understand PlusNet's POV?
and also that she is happy to enter a new minimum term contract etc - why on earth would she baulk at that?
bottom line is PlusNet may lose this customer and have definitely lost someone who was about to join because she feels the £5.99 is unfair
it's not even that she can't afford it, she is, as I said, an 80yo woman, she sticks by what she thinks is right (even if she's wrong)
I will do my best to keep her on board as I actually think PlusNet is a good ISP (been here over 10 years now)