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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, OFCOM and 'Debt Blocking' STILL NO MAC



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 23rd 09, 09:15 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Bassplus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 302
Default Plusnet, OFCOM and 'Debt Blocking' STILL NO MAC

An oldie but a goody.

We can see how obstructive Plusnet are when ripping off existing
customers. Something we may wish to consider when choosing an ISP like
Plusnet.

Cheap is not always cheerful. Especially now they are well and truly
oversubscribed and their one horse systems cannot cope apart from huge
throttles etc.



Plusnet, OFCOM and 'Debt Blocking'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Plusnet do not subscribe to OFCOM's voluntary Industry Code of
Practice.

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/advice/codes/bbm_cop/

The main reason given is they do not agree with a paragraph under the
section 'Customer's Rights and Obligations' which states:

'The existing service provider cannot withhold an authorisation code
to enforce debt collection or contractual rights.'

A Plusnet Customer Support agent recently wrote in the Plusnet portal
forums:
"...we've been very public in our objection to the part about
providing a MAC regardless of any outstanding debt or unpaid
contractual obligations."

Plusnet offer, on their hompage, 'FREE SETUP*' and during the signing
up process a 'FREE MODEM*'. The asterix, however, refers to the terms
of the 'You Stay We Pay' scheme whereby subscribers who take advantage
of either the 'FREE SETUP' and 'FREE MODEM', or both, become liable
for costs towards activation and hardware for FIVE years.

'If you cancel within the first year, then you will pay £47 for the
activation. For every year you stay we'll reduce this by £9.40. If you
also choose to take a modem as part of the offer there will be an
additional cancellation fee of £25 in the first year and this will
reduce by £5 for each year that you stay.'

http://www.plus.net/residential/broa...sbb_free_setup

The terms are not linked on the homepage, but linked to a small .gif
at the top of the second page, and then presented at the base of that
third page in a font size which is stereotypically known as 'small
print', not easy to find.
The terms of 'You Stay We Pay' should have a direct link on the
homepage where they are mentioned, and CLEARLY displayed throughout
the sign up process as a text link rather than, or as well as, linked
to the .gif.
A number of Plusnet subscribers have fallen foul of these terms
recently when requesting a MAC code to migrate to a different ISP.
They claimed to be unaware that the 'FREE*' options were not 'FREE' at
all, subsequently Plusnet will not issue a MAC code unless the
deferred fees are paid.

This is known as 'debt blocking' and OFCOM are very vocal in their
disagreement of the practice:

'Ofcom does not believe that it is appropriate for broadband service
providers to use migrations processes as a tool for recovering upfront
investment or as a means of minimising bad debt, since alternative
provisions (e.g. the enforcement by broadband service providers of
consumer contracts) already exists.'

On the 17|08|2006 OFCOM published a Consultation entitled 'Broadband
migrations: enabling consumer choice', which on 05|10|2006 was closed.

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/migration/

Under Section 48(2) of the Communications Act 2003 they proposed a new
'General Conditon 22 - Service Migrations' which would make it illegal
to withold a MAC for reasons of 'debt blocking'.

'Annex 1 to the proposed General Condition: the MAC Broadband
Migrations
Process


5.23 Broadband service providers may not refuse to issue MACs
because customers
owe them money (“debt blocking”).



This would put an end to Plusnet's tactic of witholding MAC codes
because of deferred activation fees, locking subscribers in to what
has become a substandard service for many users. Plusnet can then
persue outstanding monies owed through the proper channels, and if
fees are contested, subscribers can still migrate.

Some responses to OFCOM's proposal:

"Enshrining the obligation [mandatory MAC provision] within General
Conditions provides even greater consumer protection." (British
Telecom)

"...consumers must be able to obtain their MACs from the outgoing
supplier - and there should be penalties imposed on supplier who fail
to comply and redress for consumers who have suffered detriment as a
result of a supplier's failure to comply with the process." (National
Consumer Federation)

"The only issue with the MAC process as it currently stands is that
it's not compulsory for CP's to give a MAC. Ofcom should introduce
large fines to those CP's that don't give MAC's." (Entanet
International Limited)

"'Question 5: Do respondents agree that a mandatory version of the MAC
process is appropriate?:' Yes" (The Telecommunications Ombudsman
Service)

"Yes, we agree that a mandatory version of the MAC process is
appropriate." (Thus)

"We strongly agree with Ofcom's proposals to implement a mandatory MAC
process and recognise this will be particularly beneficial to business
users of broadband for whom the disruption caused by a problematic
supplier switch may be costly." (Scottish Executive)

"Tiscali signed up to the MAC code of practice some time ago and
agrees that it is a good example of self-regulation, supporting a good
process. It is clear that a universally effective MAC process cannot
work if miscreant service providers refuse to operate it either in
denial of the code itself or because of commercial crises that
threaten their continued existence." (Tiscali)

So, it seems General Condition 22 will become enshrined in the
Communications Act 2003 as most known respondents seem to be in
agreement with all of the proposed terms.

Plusnet will no longer be able to 'debt block' subscribers and withold
their MAC.
  #2  
Old July 23rd 09, 09:24 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Skinnz Suckanob
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Plusnet, OFCOM and 'Debt Blocking' STILL NO MAC

On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:15:03 +0100, Bassplus b ecrit:
**** OFF BACK TO YOUR CARAVAN YOU GYPSY COCK SUCKER. NO ONE GIVES A ****
ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BROADBAND. GO AND STICK YOU TINY MAGGOT COCK IN YOUR
MAINS PLUG. IT'S SMALL ENOUGH TO FIT.

  #3  
Old July 23rd 09, 09:51 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Mike P
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Plusnet, OFCOM and 'Debt Blocking' STILL NO MAC

On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:15:03 +0100, Bassplus wrote:

An oldie but a goody.

We can see how obstructive Plusnet are when ripping off existing
customers. Something we may wish to consider when choosing an ISP like
Plusnet.

Cheap is not always cheerful. Especially now they are well and truly
oversubscribed and their one horse systems cannot cope apart from huge
throttles etc.


I was with Plusnet when they were good, years ago, but ****ed off
elsewhere when things turned to **** with them. Anyone who has
subscribed since then *deserves* all the trouble they're guaranteed to
get.


  #4  
Old July 23rd 09, 09:56 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Bassplus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 302
Default Plusnet, OFCOM and 'Debt Blocking' STILL NO MAC

On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:51:23 +0100, Mike P wrote:

On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:15:03 +0100, Bassplus wrote:

An oldie but a goody.

We can see how obstructive Plusnet are when ripping off existing
customers. Something we may wish to consider when choosing an ISP like
Plusnet.

Cheap is not always cheerful. Especially now they are well and truly
oversubscribed and their one horse systems cannot cope apart from huge
throttles etc.


I was with Plusnet when they were good, years ago, but ****ed off
elsewhere when things turned to **** with them. Anyone who has
subscribed since then *deserves* all the trouble they're guaranteed to
get.


Like anything I guess. You only learn how bad these ******s are when
you really need them to pull their weight.

Looks to me like they have sacked everyone since they got caught
selling, oops, I mean losing customers confidential data, which was
then spammed round the world, a couple of years back. Now I imagine
there is one spotty trainspotting geek like Johnson pressing all the
buttons on the automated scriptzoids, in between reading it's dirty
magazines and picking it's nose.

If they are incapable or unwilling to resolve the simplest of
problems, god help anyone who is stuck with them.


  #5  
Old July 23rd 09, 02:32 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Gel
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 134
Default Plusnet, OFCOM and 'Debt Blocking' STILL NO MAC

I've been with them for many years and can't fault their service.
Like all companies they will have occasional errors, but as long as
they
learn from past mistakes, that's fine.

On 23 July, 08:56, Bassplus wrote:
On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:51:23 +0100, Mike P wrote:
On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:15:03 +0100, Bassplus wrote:


An oldie but a goody.


We can see how obstructive Plusnet are when ripping off existing
customers. Something we may wish to consider when choosing an ISP like
Plusnet.


Cheap is not always cheerful. Especially now they are well and truly
oversubscribed and their one horse systems cannot cope apart from huge
throttles etc.


I was with Plusnet when they were good, years ago, but ****ed off
elsewhere when things turned to **** with them. Anyone who has
subscribed since then *deserves* all the trouble they're guaranteed to
get.


Like anything I guess. You only learn how bad these ******s are when
you really need them to pull their weight.

Looks to me like they have sacked everyone since they got caught
selling, oops, I mean losing customers confidential data, which was
then spammed round the world, a couple of years back. *Now I imagine
there is one spotty trainspotting geek like Johnson pressing all the
buttons on the automated scriptzoids, in between reading it's dirty
magazines and picking it's nose.

If they are incapable or unwilling to resolve the simplest of
problems, god help anyone who is stuck with them.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


 




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