Thinking of using Plus.net as your fibre provider? Think again…

If like me, you are a web developer who relies on a stable internet connection for working from home or for your own Raspberry Pi project, I strongly urge you not to choose Plus.net as your ISP. This the story of my experience, and why I will never spend a penny with Plus.net again.

Plus net poor service

Having used plus.net (and recommended them to friends and family) for a few years, we were completely happy with the service we had received. Whenever we had problems, they were quickly resolved. As you might have noticed, Plus.net have driven their marketing activities quite heavily over the past couple of years. As they marketed more, we noticed longer waits on the phone when we did need support, but nothing prepared us for our recent support experience and lack of service.

We’ve had 6 long weeks of poor internet and terrible customer service

Our broadband stopped working, and the support representative advised that the issue was with our aging router. They provided a new router on the condition that we committed to a contract with them. We did this and received what can only be described as a cheap, white little router. Our service was poor following the installation of the router.

Our product is the Unlimited Fibre service, which boasts up to 70mbit down and 20mbit up. After running a speed test (on the BT Wholesale speed checker) we found that our service was more like 7mbit down and just under 1mbit up – considerably less than the service we were supposed to be getting. We experienced continual packet drop, and the internet was unusable. Downloads wouldn’t complete, images came through corrupted, only half of the response was received from HTTP requests.

On 28th June we made a support request. Plus.net conducted some tests and found there was indeed a fault (full support transcript is below). They eventually arranged an appointment with a BT engineer for 12th July (2 weeks after the complaint was made), and I took a day off work as annual leave to wait for the technician. He never showed up. I then received a voicemail from BT blaming Plus.net, saying he had been booked but hadn’t received any information as to what he was supposed to be doing.

I wasn’t too happy, but made another appointment, this time for 15th JulyThe engineer no-showed for a second time after me taking more annual leave. This time I was very annoyed. I called Plus.net and explained that I was very angry and wanted to lodge a formal complaint. The issue was passed from person to person, and everything went quiet once more. By this point, it was the 25th, almost a full month since the original issue was logged. in my pursuit for a resolution, I made a series of complaints about my experience in the public domain on Twitter and on thinkbroadband.co.uk, and unsurprisingly, Plus.net were very apologetic and quick to respond.

They assured me that I wouldn’t experience any more issues booking appointments, eventually a BT engineer showed up on Friday 8th August – yet another day requiring annual leave. He was extremely thorough and concluded that the fault was either with Plus.net or the supplied equipment. After waiting for an absolutely ridiculous amount of time waiting for Plus.net to resolve the issue I decided to seek independent advice. After the installation of a new router (at cost to myself) the service worked fine, and the issue was in fact with the cheap router provided by Plus.net following our renewal.

I’m seeking early termination of my contact following woefully poor prolonged level of service and a terrible support experience.

What I’ve learned

  1. Plus.net are quickly to blame BT for missed appointments
  2. They provide absolutely terrible support, taking 3 or 4 days to respond to support requests
  3. Don’t plan on using your holiday time for a holiday: I’ve lost 3 days annual leave due to this issue and engineer no-shows
  4. They refused to put in writing who was at fault for the missed appointment after requesting it in my complaint
  5. They are quick to act when you finally lose patience and put your complaint in the public domain

Why am I putting my experience in the public domain?

I want anyone considering Plus.net to know exactly how they treat long standing customers before they make the mistake of joining. I want Plus.net to understand the consequences of my poor experience, and hope they read this. Plus.net staff, I am a web applications developer by profession. This blog is read by over 16,000 people a month, a lot of people are to going see this. I will ensure that this article is optimised to reach the largest possible audience; I suggest you don’t treat any other industry professionals like I have been treated.

I want to conclude by thanking the staff that I did speak to, who were genuinely helpful and polite when I called. My complaint is not with them directly; it is with the time taken for this to be sorted, and the amount of wasted time I’ve had over the past 6 weeks for something as simple as a router issue.

 Transcript: Fault log for poor connection speed with Plus.net

transcript

 

Transcript log: Complaint to plus.net

transcript2

Ste

Web Developer living in Manchester, working for Studio Skylab (http://www.studioskylab.com). Views and thoughts are my own.

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12 Responses

  1. PSX says:

    Whats the current provider you use Virgin Media?

  2. neville scollop says:

    This is the general modus operandi for ALL telecoms providers,… you’re not alone. None of them give a shit. I worked for BT in Germany for a year and very few of their technicians knew what day of the week it was. I also worked for E.ON in Germany and they’re customer support for their own employees is abismal, God help their customers is all I can say! Vibration monitoring of steam turbines in Nuclear power-stations was outsourced to external companies who couldn’t log in to E.ON systems because their own firewall teams didn’t allow it and nobody gave seemed to give a toss… how fuc*ing insane is that? Is it any wonder people don’t want Nuclear power stations next door,… clean, sustainable power? Yeah right!

  3. Nathan says:

    I share your frustration and have having similar problems currently. My position is slightly different in the sense that i have not had what I signed up for at all. I ordered fibre on May 2nd with an install promise of May 19th. It is June 13th and my order has yet to be placed and therefore no install date has been confirmed. Plusnet keep blaming BT but, to be be frank, I dont really care where the fault lies as my contract is with Plusnet. Calls to plusnet require at least 30 minutes of on hold crap music before you manage to speak to anybody and then you keep getting passed about with no further information available. What makes it worse is that they will only commit to looking if they have received an update from BT once a week. Hardly pro active customer service!!. My issue is that I am unable to move to another provider as I will be in the same position. The address search confirms super fast fibre, however the phone number provided by plusnet provides just std broadband options as part of the search.

    Avoid Plusnet for those thinking of signing up. I am sure that they are probably ok when thinks go to plan but are useless when things go wrong. Two more weeks of this before I can escalate to the ombudsman which I fully intend to do.

  4. Dazbobaby says:

    I was with BeThere for around 4 years, utterly brilliant service, then after O2 sold BeThere to Sky things went from bad to worse to a total cluster £$uk.

    I’m now with BT Fibre (70mbit and 20mbit) and despite the bad press floating around I’ve found them great.

  5. Stuart Keith says:

    In PN defense, BT are to blame for missed appointments. I work for a whole sale company, and just this week I have had at least 2 failed appointments, as BT overbook jobs, Also OR do fail to send the SFI’s job notes as well. Did they charge or attempt to charge you for the NFF? Technicolor routers are normally ok, however I hear “Buts its a new router so it cant be faulty” every day. Your posts proves new routers can be rubbish also.

    • Ste W says:

      The issue turned out to be Plus Net, their system was booking the appointments but Open Reach were not sent a brief, so they couldn’t act. They’re hard work!

  6. That is appalling service with plusnet. I too have noticed their support levels drop through the floor over the past year. I have been pondering upgrading my service with them to fibre. Having read your blog, and with my contract ending soon, I am looking at other suppliers, as I don’t wish to experience what you went through! Have you made a complaint to Offgem? If not, I urge you to.

    • Ste W says:

      Hi there

      Yep, I made the relevant complaints, and the contract was terminated early and I was compensated. Needless to say I will never use them again!

  7. Glenn Johnson says:

    I used to work for a company who terminated their service with plusnet and I was tasked with recovering costs from them, which after a long time, they did.

    My advice to you, if this is still ongoing, is to use the new(ish) Sale of Goods and Services Act (the new bit being “Services”)

    Your statutory rights, being service must be as described, must be of merchantable quality and must be fit for purpose, probably fails on the latter two counts.

    Personally, I have been with BT from the start and have rarely had any downtime. I always say “Organ Grinder, not Monkey” – BT are the ones maintaining the physical hardware, so they are always going to give their customers priority over third party resellers and their escalation process should be transparent between helpdesk and field engineers.

  8. JD Fillmore says:

    Great post!

    I have a friend who lives in the States and he told me about a very similar experience he had. Fortunately, he’s not with them anymore!

  1. 11th August 2014

    […] Ste Wright If like me, you are a web developer who relies on a stable internet connection for working from […]

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