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Standard User The_Eldergeek
(newbie) Sat 09-Feb-13 19:47:05
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Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


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I see Plusnet do a comparable package (unlimited fibre) to BT's offering, and it is a few quid cheaper per month. I also like the fact Plusnet are UK based with UK Support.

If I were to leave BT for Plusnet (who I know have an 'association' with BT) am I jumping from frying pan to fire?

Would I do better to jump ship entirely and migrate everything back to Sky from whence I originally came before FTTC? Sky's fibre offering isn't quite as good value for money or their speeds as high.

My main concern is getting support when things go wrong. I have had issues with FTTC and voice since I got connected, and trying to by-pass droids at BT to get things done has been a nightmare! I have been quite lucky to get things escalated to Executive Complaints within BT, but you only get 28 days contact with them once the fault is fixed and then you have to go back through the droid process again. Not something I look forward to...

I am an IT Technician by profession, so I don't need help up to the Master socket or within my premises, it's beyond that which concerns me, and not having to deal with tech support who simply will not listen. I do not need to be told to change filters, unplug all other equipment, and/or connect to the master socket yada yada. If there is a problem, I'll have troubleshooted within the property myself already, so need to escalate to the next level more or less from the get go, i.e. via tech support who listen!

BT are a waste of time in this respect. Indian call centres etc.
Sky, not much better than BT, but as a previous customer, have managed to get escalated with some perseverance in the past
Plusnet - ex customer of theirs from sometime early 2000, but left as they were an ISP who were treating customers appallingly at that time. They've clearly improved a lot since then, and are my replacement ISP of choice at present based purely on package features/cost.

Thoughts, guidance, opinions welcome!

Migrate to Plusnet, or forget broadband and use semaphore because they're all as bad as one another anyway?
Standard User markd66
(member) Sat 09-Feb-13 20:10:31
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: The_Eldergeek] [link to this post]
 
I've made just that move in the last month.

My "logic" was simple. If it's the same as BT then I save a few pounds a month and get a UK call centre.

As it turns out, the broadband is as good, if not better than the BT version (there's no obvious difference in throughput or latency and in fact the latter is perhaps 1 or 2ms better)

What was interesting was that the migration was not without it's problems - but, having spent just a few minutes on the phone with PlusNet the issues were progressed and resolved. It was good to be able to talk to someone who, when I told them I was looking at my router logs, adjusted their approach to match.

So, my experience was a positive one.

What have I done...? Plusnet Unlimited Fibre 80/20 | D-Link DIR-855
Standard User Oldjim
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 09-Feb-13 20:11:06
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: The_Eldergeek] [link to this post]
 
Regardless who you have fibre through you will be required, if at all possible to connect directly to the BT modem and not via the router to check that the problem isn't with the router
As the filtered faceplate etc. is from BT Openreach and the demarcation point is the modem (everything before that including the modem is BT's) you will need to carry out the same tests whoever you are with and you will also have to suffer the sometimes appalling support from BT Openreach
Taking that all on board. If you have a problem not only are you speaking to someone in Sheffield but if you think that you are getting the runaround the Plusnet forums are an immediate and knowledgeable back up with the Digital Care Team on call Monday to Friday


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Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sat 09-Feb-13 20:53:43
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: Oldjim] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Oldjim:
Taking that all on board. If you have a problem not only are you speaking to someone in Sheffield but if you think that you are getting the runaround the Plusnet forums are an immediate and knowledgeable back up with the Digital Care Team on call Monday to Friday
Plus several of them seem to keep an eye on things out of hours and promise to step in when back on duty.

To add - for the OP.

I think Plusnet first-line support are probably great at their job - handling routine difficulties. And no worse than any ISP on more complex issues. What is good is the genuine commitment of the Digital Care Team to each individual case that comes to their attention if first-line haven't been able to solve it.

There is a limit however to what even they can do when faced with BT Wholesale and Openreach attitudes. A problem for all ISPs.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.3/15.4Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.
Standard User Bright
(member) Sat 09-Feb-13 22:08:04
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: The_Eldergeek] [link to this post]
 
I migrated to Plusnet FTTC last month and my experience has been similar to the other posters on this thread:

First line support via phone (or the online trouble ticket system) are not "script driven" and will listen if you demonstrate that you are technically competent, although you may need to be a bit persistent if you have a complex fault or something unexpected.

Like markd66, I didn't have a trouble-free migration. I was one of those who got accidentally put on the wrong BTOR FTTC service (40/10 instead of 80/20). This was rectified within 2 or 3 days, and whilst in an ideal world I felt it could have been handled a bit better, I was also very aware that many ISPs would have handled it a LOT worse. So overall, I was fairly satisfied with my experience of Support on this issue.

As Oldjim and RobertoS have said, the Digital Care Team make a big difference - they are active on Plusnet's own forum and (to a slightly lesser extent) on here. My observation is that they try their best to pick up issues that need chasing or escalating and get them dealt with. They are also pretty open about what's going on behind the scenes. For example, there has been an issue affecting throughput and latency during the evening peak on some gateways over the past week or two. This seems to be quite a complex technical problem and not quick or easy to resolve. They seem to me to have done a good job of handling this through the Plusnet forum: being open that there is a problem, engaging active members there in providing diagnostic feedback, providing status updates, and dealing with specific customer complaints.

And finally, as has already been said, Plusnet is reliant on BTOR for provisioning and maintenance of the access network. From my recent reading of this and Plusnet's fora, it seems that this is where a lot of the real nitty-gritty problems lie. As a past customer of Zen, I would say they worked extremely hard at developing a relationship with BTOR and actively managing it. So far, I get the impression that Plusnet does not have quite such good control of it's supplier (a pretty challenging task for all ISPs!). It's probably a lot harder for a larger ISP. I'll leave you to judge how well Sky and BT Retail do in this regard.

Like you, I looked at all the (affordable) options for unlimited FTTC before opting for Plusnet. So far, I think I made the right choice.

Robert

PSS/BT Gold > Compuserve > Dircon > Zen > Be Unlimited > PlusNet Unlimited Fibre
Standard User vasudaprime
(newbie) Wed 13-Feb-13 22:56:38
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: Bright] [link to this post]
 
To echo Bright and RobertoS their staff seem to keep a close eye on their forums, and respond to problems as they come up. My new PlusNet FTTC account hadn't activated by the time the OpenReach engineer had installed FTTC (it was set to activate by the end of the business day), but by posting on their forums I was able to get it sorted out within a few minutes.

I guess the best thing to do would be to read their support forums to see how well they handle customer problems. A lot of the FTTC issues seem to be cabinet-to-premises line-issues, which is in the hands of OpenReach :/
Standard User martinsq
(regular) Thu 14-Feb-13 02:40:40
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: vasudaprime] [link to this post]
 
There is only one thing wrong with PlusNet:

Those DAFT TV adverts !!!
Standard User timl
(member) Thu 14-Feb-13 08:17:18
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
I think I'd echo the thoughts in this thread but my personal opinion is I think I'd probably want to keep my line rental with BT proper and just use Plusnet for their excellent broadband service.

Plusnet unlimited FTTC
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Thu 14-Feb-13 08:49:17
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: timl] [link to this post]
 
I agree with you. I have frequently posted here that my line rental is with BT Retail, and staying there. Their line-fault handling has in my experience been impeccable for well over 40 years.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.3/15.4Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.
Standard User jelv
(knowledge is power) Thu 14-Feb-13 13:03:35
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Re: Frying Pan to Fire? Thinking of 'leaving' BT for Plusnet


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
+1

jelv

Plusnet user since November 2001
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