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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 9th 04, 06:15 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Alex K
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

I would be interested to hear from any other Plusnet customers who signed up
to their Broadband Home product in the period 1 June to 25 August and have
subsequently been charged for a bandwidth change.



When Plusnet originally introduced their capped broadband product a notable
feature was "You can change your bandwidth later for free, if your needs
change". As usual, the contract was for a minimum 12-month period.



Having signed up a number of accounts, I requested a bandwidth change on one
of them, reducing from unlimited to 2GB a month. Plusnet correctly noted the
request and proceeded to action it as a change to 1Gb. Furthermore an
invoice was raised for an admin charge of 14.99 and debited to the visa
card on file. Unlike all other invoices, this one was not accompanied by an
email and 'contact us' notification that a charge had been made. Since the
contract includes free bandwidth changes there is no justification for any
charge so it seem like an attempt to slip one in without the customer
noticing.



When I first raised the issue with Plusnet, the response was "we're sorry to
hear that you're unhappy with the charge for this service, however this cost
is clearly detailed at the following link on our homepage and therefore does
stand http://www.plus.net/support/faq/upgrade_guide.shtml#q7". The error in
bandwidth change was ignored.



I then pointed out that they had ignored the error and that the contract
permitted free changes to bandwidth, the page to which they referred being
the terms of the product sold since late August. Plusnet continued to ignore
the error in bandwidth change and retorted with "We have not change any
Terms and Conditions, if we had you would have been informed of this prior
to the changes coming into affect. This product type has never been sold to
allow the customer to change the account type at the end of the contract
period for free."



At this point I reiterated the complaint regarding the error in bandwidth
change in block capitals, and explained at length that this was not a change
to an out of contract product, nor did the latest product charges apply.



Finally they acknowledged the error in bandwidth change but totally ignored
about 80% of the text. It seems they do not want to discuss their
contractual obligations.



When asked to provide a satisfactory response to the remainder of the
complaint, they claim to know nothing about any complaint other than the
bandwidth error.



Considering it is recorded in the 'contact us' system at length, this seems
to show extreme ineptitude (which I find difficult to believe) or a policy
of ignoring complaints about their breach of contract, making it so
difficult that the customer will just go away. To me, the latter seems more
likely.



I know some will suggest that the company should not be blamed for the
errors of one person, a view with which I would sympathise. In this case
however, the entire communication has been under the single ticket no
14431696 (so there is no excuse for not reading previous notes) and has been
systematically ignored by three support representatives.



Anyone with similar experiences?



Alex




  #3  
Old November 9th 04, 11:36 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Sunil Sood
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,590
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

"Tx2" wrote in message
t
In article ,
, a.k.a Alex K says...
Anyone with similar experiences?


Yes.


I would suggest that both of you complain to
http://www.otelo.org.uk or
http://www.arbitrators.org/cisas/index.asp if you don't get anywhere with
Plusnet.

Many ISP's belong to both - Plusnet seems to belong to CISAS only so you
should both try there.

Regards
Sunil


  #4  
Old November 10th 04, 09:25 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Tx2
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 131
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

In article , ,
a.k.a Sunil Sood says...


I would suggest that both of you complain to
http://www.otelo.org.uk or
http://www.arbitrators.org/cisas/index.asp if you don't get anywhere with
Plusnet


I informed the affected customer to do this (CISAS) some time ago, but
don't know if she took the advice.

I got somewhat involved in the debacle (as Plusnet's customer was my
client) but now the technical matter of the issue is resolved, and has,
AFAIAA, moved into the legal arena, i've gracefully bowed out.
  #5  
Old November 10th 04, 10:08 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
XpUser
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 60
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

After careful thought and consideration Alex K typed:
I would be interested to hear from any other Plusnet customers who
signed up to their Broadband Home product in the period 1 June to 25
August and have subsequently been charged for a bandwidth change.



When Plusnet originally introduced their capped broadband product a
notable feature was "You can change your bandwidth later for free, if
your needs change". As usual, the contract was for a minimum 12-month
period.



Having signed up a number of accounts, I requested a bandwidth change
on one of them, reducing from unlimited to 2GB a month. Plusnet
correctly noted the request and proceeded to action it as a change to
1Gb. Furthermore an invoice was raised for an admin charge of 14.99
and debited to the visa card on file. Unlike all other invoices, this
one was not accompanied by an email and 'contact us' notification
that a charge had been made. Since the contract includes free
bandwidth changes there is no justification for any charge so it seem
like an attempt to slip one in without the customer noticing.



When I first raised the issue with Plusnet, the response was "we're
sorry to hear that you're unhappy with the charge for this service,
however this cost is clearly detailed at the following link on our
homepage and therefore does stand
http://www.plus.net/support/faq/upgrade_guide.shtml#q7". The error in
bandwidth change was ignored.



I then pointed out that they had ignored the error and that the
contract permitted free changes to bandwidth, the page to which they
referred being the terms of the product sold since late August.
Plusnet continued to ignore the error in bandwidth change and
retorted with "We have not change any Terms and Conditions, if we had
you would have been informed of this prior to the changes coming into
affect. This product type has never been sold to allow the customer
to change the account type at the end of the contract period for
free."



At this point I reiterated the complaint regarding the error in
bandwidth change in block capitals, and explained at length that this
was not a change to an out of contract product, nor did the latest
product charges apply.



Finally they acknowledged the error in bandwidth change but totally
ignored about 80% of the text. It seems they do not want to discuss
their contractual obligations.



When asked to provide a satisfactory response to the remainder of the
complaint, they claim to know nothing about any complaint other than
the bandwidth error.



Considering it is recorded in the 'contact us' system at length, this
seems to show extreme ineptitude (which I find difficult to believe)
or a policy of ignoring complaints about their breach of contract,
making it so difficult that the customer will just go away. To me,
the latter seems more likely.



I know some will suggest that the company should not be blamed for the
errors of one person, a view with which I would sympathise. In this
case however, the entire communication has been under the single
ticket no 14431696 (so there is no excuse for not reading previous
notes) and has been systematically ignored by three support
representatives.



Anyone with similar experiences?



Alex


If the amount was taken from a credit card, phone the company and inform
them the transaction was not authorised by you and thus the credit card
company and plusnet are at fault (by english law, if a unauthorised charge
is made to a credit card, then BOTH the credit card company and the charging
company (in this case plusnet) are liable). The credit card company would
mark the transaction as disputed, and take it up with plusnet.

I would also inform plusnet that you have informed the credit card company,
and have flagged the transaction as unauthorised. They have infact, by not
informing you that you will be charged, committed fraud.

Personally once l had done this l would not liase with plusnet, and only go
through the credit card company - at the end of the day you just want your
money back, which is the credit card companies responsibility. Let them
deal with plusnet, with all due respect they will carry more clout than a
single customer.

Good luck, and keep us informed of progress.


  #6  
Old November 10th 04, 11:21 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

In article ,
Sunil Sood wrote:
Anyone with similar experiences?


Yes.


I would suggest that both of you complain to http://www.otelo.org.uk or
http://www.arbitrators.org/cisas/index.asp if you don't get anywhere with
Plusnet.


Alternatively, for a smaller amount, go to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk which is
the web interface into the small claims court.

Zane.
  #7  
Old November 10th 04, 05:53 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Alex K
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

Ignoring Plusnet's attempts to make the customer give up and go away has
borne fruit. Plusnet have made the following statement which all of those
familiar with the history of Plusnet's broadband offering will find
'interesting':

Quote
The account change fee you incurred was the result of a move between two
entirely different products: Home Premier and Home Lite.
It has always been the case that bandwidth changes on the Home Lite packages
can be actioned without cost. A change to or from a Home Premier account
however, constituates an alteration to the product you have, not a change in
allocated bandwidth. Please don't hesitate to reply if this explaination is
not clear.
End Quote

Like Stalin making party members disappear from photographs, Plusnet seem to
want the 'Broadband Home' product to disappear. This product was sold with
bandwidth options available of 1GB (included), 2GB (+1.50), 3GB (+3.00),
4GB(+4.50), 5GB(+6.00), Premier (+7.00). The separation into Premier and
Lite products occurred during August.

I wonder if retaining the name Broadband Home Premier was supposed to
confuse customers with Broadband Home with premier bandwidth, referred to as
'Broadband Home Premier' ?

If any group members reading this have any comment to pass as to which
version of history they remember, I would be pleased to read them.

To jog Plusnet's collective memory I have provided them with the HTML source
of their product description. The issue has also be raised from 14.99 to
14.99 + time costs + compensation for breach of contract. It looks like a
court appearance looms.

Alex


  #8  
Old November 10th 04, 10:04 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Bill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 46
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

Alex K wrote:

Ignoring Plusnet's attempts to make the customer give up and go away has
borne fruit. Plusnet have made the following statement which all of those
familiar with the history of Plusnet's broadband offering will find
'interesting':

Quote
The account change fee you incurred was the result of a move between two
entirely different products: Home Premier and Home Lite.
It has always been the case that bandwidth changes on the Home Lite packages
can be actioned without cost. A change to or from a Home Premier account
however, constituates an alteration to the product you have, not a change in
allocated bandwidth. Please don't hesitate to reply if this explaination is
not clear.
End Quote

Like Stalin making party members disappear from photographs, Plusnet seem to
want the 'Broadband Home' product to disappear. This product was sold with
bandwidth options available of 1GB (included), 2GB (+1.50), 3GB (+3.00),
4GB(+4.50), 5GB(+6.00), Premier (+7.00). The separation into Premier and
Lite products occurred during August.

I wonder if retaining the name Broadband Home Premier was supposed to
confuse customers with Broadband Home with premier bandwidth, referred to as
'Broadband Home Premier' ?

If any group members reading this have any comment to pass as to which
version of history they remember, I would be pleased to read them.

To jog Plusnet's collective memory I have provided them with the HTML source
of their product description. The issue has also be raised from 14.99 to
14.99 + time costs + compensation for breach of contract. It looks like a
court appearance looms.

Alex


That was about the time I was signing up, I went on holiday for a week
and the new product 'Home Lite' had appeared by the time I got back. So
I am reasonably up on the differences. Home Lite is a
1Mb-if-you-can-have-it product designed to take advantage of the BT
capacity charging scheme, and to prevent losses to PlusNet through the
new BT tariff on them.

I think what has happened is:
You were on Home with premier 'bandwidth' (sic) option
The transaction that has occurred was not to 'Home: 2Gb' which you would
have got for free but they have moved you to 'Home Lite' and set the
'bandwidth' to 2Gb (eventually).
This therefore raises the charge in their eyes, or more importantly
their billing systems' eyes. The question that I think needs to be
asked is whether you could/should have changed 'bandwidth' within the
older product.
If 'yes' then you are on a good shot at them, if not then I fear you may
be in a weaker position but could still expect to be put back 'as you were'.

This looks like the right FAQ:
http://www.plus.net/support/faq/broa...e_faq.shtml#18

18. Will my existing account type or subscription be affected by the
launch of Broadband Home?
No, nothing will change and you can remain on your current account for
as long as you like. Broadband Home Lite customers you can take
advantage of all the features of Broadband Home, such as the ability to
change your package if and when your needs change.

It says account, so I'm reckoning that you can keep your OLD package at
a new 'bandwidth'.
I'd bet on an error when making the change, unclear website, dopey sales
admin.

IANAL though !

Bill



  #9  
Old November 10th 04, 10:37 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Peter M
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,496
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

On 10 Nov 2004 "Alex K" wrote:

Like Stalin making party members disappear from photographs, Plusnet seem to
want the 'Broadband Home' product to disappear. This product was sold with
bandwidth options available of 1GB (included), 2GB (+1.50), 3GB (+3.00),
4GB(+4.50), 5GB(+6.00), Premier (+7.00). The separation into Premier and
Lite products occurred during August.


I certainly remember there being the +4.50, +6.00 and +7.00 options all on
the same list, with no distinction. However, this is already a matter for
discussion in plusnet.service.customer-feedback (which others can view via
the Plus.Net portal simply by 'signing up' for an 0845 account, or getting
free news access (3 months) via the '/btbroadband' section of the website.

See either news recent sub-thread about this aspect of cost, and the original complaint from
Howie

Message-Id:
Newsgroups: plusnet.service.customer-feedback
Subject: Portal is 'broken' in Firefox
From: Mark Scott
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 2004 13:27:59 +0000

Thread from Howie...

Newsgroups: plusnet.service.customer-feedback
Subject: Portal Bandwidth Upgrade: Unfair changes?
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 16:34:50 +0100
Message-ID:

--
PlusNet http://tinyurl.com/24ymz - I recommend them and save some cash.
Depends on account that is opened by new customer, but good value ISP IMO.
  #10  
Old November 11th 04, 02:16 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Alex K
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8
Default Plusnet attempting to ignore their way out of contract?

Faced with the HTML source of the product description, Plusnet now admit the
existence of 'Broadband Home'. The excuses change at every communication.

Despite the ability to change bandwidth being a feature of this product they
insist that a change of product is necessary upon change of bandwidth as
they no longer sell this product.

To draw a parallel, it's a bit like booking a fly drive holiday, but when
you turn up for your holiday they say they no longer sell this product so
you must pay extra to change to the flight only and pay additional fees
every time you want a car.

Just because a contract is no longer sold, it doesn't mean you can avoid the
obligations of existing contracts.




 




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