I have been a customer with Plusnet for about 16 months now but the last 4 months have been an appalling experience with this ISP with my broadband having gone from bad to worse.
Initially it began with the speed reducing from around 2Mb to between 0.5-0.3mb or even less at times. So I asked Plusnet to look into this as anything less than 1mb was too slow for streaming services that I had begun to make use of from a newly acquired media box a few weeks before the problem started to occur.
For the first 3 months from when I raised this issue, the speed continued to vary, but I still had some kind of limited broadband. During this time I had one engineer visit after another to try and resolve the problem. All engineers told me the same thing; there was no problem with the line between my house and the exchange and showed me the reading on there equipment of the speed that should be available to my address. Always above 2mb, despite only receiving at best a quarter of that when I ran a speed test through my computer at the time before and after they had run there tests.
On 3 occasions, I had the same Openreach engineer visit and during his last visit he admitted to me that he felt embarrassed to be attending again to the same problem at the same address over and over as it made him look as if he didn't know what he was doing and very incompetent.
After 10 weeks with this problem going unfixed I made an official complaint with Plusnet, as this is deemed necessary by the CISAS to allow the ISP another 6 weeks to resolve the issue before taking it further with the CISAS. I thought this would encourage Plusnet to really try and look into the problem and resolve it. But I was sadly mistaken. If anything the broadband deteriorated even further.
Now the broadband constantly started to drop and remain disconnected (whereas before it would drop and reconnect at a slower speed). From then on things just went downhill. I pretty much had no broadband . At best it would connect at a speed between 0.1mb to 0.25mb and even then only for a very short time before disconnecting again for hours if not days.
During these last 4 months, Plusnet have continuously denied responsibility in one way or another for the problem with the Broadband . Time after time I was told that the issue was being raised with there wholesale supplier and it would be between 48-72 hours before they would reply to them. And even after this time I was left in the dark receiving no notification of what the response in regards to the fault was from the wholesale supplier.
I also questioned Plusnet in regards to the 48-72 hours response time as I thought this was quite excessive but was told that this was because there only means of contact with there supplier was through email and they could take this long to reply to any queries. This sounds very implausible considering telephones are still used as a means of contacting people in this day and age.
At other times Plusnet would blame the problem with the broadband on the quality of my telephone line. They would tell me they had received notification that there was an open fault logged on my phone line and asked me to contact my provider (BT) to check if there was any fault with it. On two occasions there was a fault on the line and BT replied to me when there engineers had fixed the problem and were going to close the faults so it wouldn't be flagged as a problem anymore by my broadband provider.. After contacting Plusnet with this information, a few days later my broadband would resume at between 1.5mb - 2mb. But only for a day or 2 at the most at which point the problem with the speed would reappear.
On a separate occasions I was told by Plusnet that engineering work was be carried out in my area and this was the most likely cause of my problem and they would have to wait until this work was completed before proceeding. Only to be later told that even though the work had been completed it did not remedy the problem with the broadband.
Each week there is a different person that adds information to the online 'support ticket'. Plusnet tell me I am with there 'priority team' that deal with faults even though days go by between recieving updates and no one individual will look into the fault for more than a week or so before it is passed on to another person.
In the last 2 weeks I have seen absolutely no progress in resolving the broadband fault.
As an example of this here is just a snippet of the 'support ticket' where all questions and progress have been logged over the last 4 months by Plusnet:
Tues 6th Sept I was told that the fault was being investigated by there supplier which usually takes 48-72 hours.
Thurs 8th Sept I receive a message on my mobile from Plusnet that they tried to call me. I checked my mobile and received no missed calls so I am assuming they called my home phone despite numerous previous requests from me to be called on my mobile since I am usually at work during daytime hours. Checked my support ticket the same day. It said there is currently an open trouble report in my local area and BT are aware of a problem that is likely to be the root cause of my connectivity problems and I'll be contacted when they hear from BT. Message received from a different individual from the one above.
Sat 10th Sept receive a message that the problem in my area has been cleared but they are aware I am still having problems. They have asked there suppliers to continue investigating the fault and are waiting for feedback within 48hrs.
Tues 13th Sept receive a message saying they again tried to call me. Again no missed calls on my mobile. Tell me fault is still being investigated by there supplier. Again Message received from a different individual from the one above.
Thurs 15 Sept receive a message saying they have requested an update from the escalation owner. I will be update when they have new information. Again Message received from a another different individual from the one above.
During the last month I have had next to no access to the internet at home. It was only after a colleague at work suggested I ask my ISP if they have a backup dial-up service I could use to at least gain access to email and some limited web browsing. I called Plusnet and to my surprise they did. It amazes me that no one at Plusnet had considered informing me of this as a possibility even after 15 weeks from raising this fault.
Over the last 4 months Plusnet have continued to debit my account even though it was agreed after the first month of the fault that no further payments would be taken whilst the problem was ongoing. But I still received email notifications of direct debits each months. It was only on one occasion that I received a refund. On other occasions, depending who I spoke to, I was told normal procedure was to continue billing and then offer compensation once the fault was resolved or that the direct debit was already in progress/in the 'system' and could not be stopped .
The reason why I have stayed with Plusnet all this time and haven't so far migrated to another ISP is because each time I was told by technical support at Plusnet that the fault would still remain and would only be passed onto another broadband service provider.
I must admit I initially completely bought into this, simply because I was not familiar with all the technicalities of broadband. But after finally getting my head out of the sand and deciding to do some research of my own, I have come to understand this might not necessarily be the case? Companies such as SKY and Talk Talk have their own equipment at the exchange and use something called a LLU where the problem I am experiencing with the Broadband may not exist? Please correct me if I am wrong.
I feel like a fool for giving Plusnet the benefit of the doubt month after month, for ever thinking they would resolve this problem and for believing that the problem would definetly remain even if I migrated to another ISP.