PlusNet broadband installation - What else could go wrong?

by DannyUK

I’ve been with Sky for years. Their tv, phone and broadband package has always been ok, with few problems. Last month I decided to move to PlusNet, who promised me faster broadband. The problem I’ve had in the past is that I live in a block of flats built in the late 90s. Unfortunately this was after Chelmsford had the majority of its roads ripped up and fibre optic laid down.

Even though I’m a couple of minutes away from the City Centre, getting fibre optic broadband has never been possible.

To add to the confusion, my address takes the format 1 Name of flats, Name of road, Quite often, post gets misdirected to 1 Name of road - missing out the flat address entirely. This leads to problems when ordering anything as if you have the wrong address, you struggle to get your services.

Back to PlusNet. Sky have always given me a connection of between 3Mb and 5Mb. It’s fine for most stuff, but with four kids all logging in to the wifi, everything grinds to a halt.

PlusNet are promising 72Mb for pretty much the same price. Not only that, they can swap my telephone line over and keep the same number. Excellent.

PlusNet Broadband

Despite having one of the most annoying adverts on tv, I decided to give PlusNet a go anyway.

Having spoken to Sky before, they have always been adamant that they cannot offer fibre in my area. In fact, I had quite an argument with them when I first got to the flat as they told me they were unable to offer either broadband or tv at all to the flat.

I felt justified in arguing seeing as the tenant before me had both with Sky. It was only after Sky sent out an engineer to do a survey that they backed down and supplied their services.

Normally after this I would have gone elsewhere, but as I mentioned above, the lack of fibre means there is a distinct lack of options for the flats.

I spoke to the PlusNet rep on the phone, who confirmed all of the details, which I duly noted down, and agreed a transfer date of 16th June. I got a letter a few days later from Sky confirming that date, and saying that they were sorry to see me go (though not offering me anything to stay, I noted).

The letter from PlusNet also said that a router was coming out, with instructions in bold that this needed to be installed by the engineer. Suits me. By Saturday 14th, I still hadn’t received my router. I tweeted PlusNet to ask if this was a problem, and got a reply on the Monday.

After a few exchanges, it was revealed that the router hadn’t actually been sent, and would be despatched that day. The engineer would still attend site though, and could do his part of the work. All I needed to do was plug in the router (completely at odds with the instructions in bold in the booklet, but whatever).

The engineer came, as promised. He wasn’t at all phased by the lack of a router, instead just jotting down my phone number, connecting a contraption to the phone socket in the wall and then mumbling something about needing to check the box outside.

He disappeared and came back five minutes later, citing an exchange problem, and that he would be back after he had checked that. Some time later he came back and revealed that the telephone number had changed, but he’d done what he could and he was finished.

What I didn’t realise at the time was that he hadn’t completed the job, merely put in another work order for a second engineer - something I only found out when BT called me to arrange another appointment. By this time I had been back in touch with PlusNet about the changing of the phone number, which wasn’t supposed to change. They replied that their rep had not recorded the fact that it was due to stay the same - completely at odds with what she read back to me over the phone.

I mentioned that I needed the same number (for many reasons, including convenience and the fact it’s printed in various places such as business cards!), and a reply came back saying they didn’t think they would be able to change it back. I decided to wait until everything else had been finished before I complained further.

The engineer came out yesterday, connected up the BT box in the flat, connected the PlusNet router and told me that the red light meant it hadn’t been activated by PlusNet. I could feel my teeth grinding as he told me. I thanked him for his work (in fairness he had been polite, friendly and helpful), and again contacted PlusNet.

PlusNet in turn said that there was nothing they could do until the engineer closed down the job. I spoke to the engineer who said that he’d done that, relayed that to PlusNet who said that they would look into it. So to recap:

  • They forgot to despatch the router on time.
  • The broadband was promised Monday - It’s now Friday and still isn’t set up.
  • The phone number was due to be transferred, and wasn’t - a new number was given.
  • As a result, the phone rings constantly with nuisance calls, where it never did before.
  • I’ve had to wait in on two separate occasions for the install to be done.

On top of all of this, I contacted Sky during the week to see if I needed anything from them to switch the broadband over to PlusNet, and they revealed that they were now able to offer fibre optic to my address at a cheaper price than PlusNet could.

As you may have guessed, this is an ongoing issue still. PlusNet have promised (and I quote) “Once your fibre is active we can change your [phone] number if needed. I’ll also look to add a goodwill gesture on there for you.”

It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with, because right now it’s been atrocious from start to finish, and I’m tempted to tell them to cancel everything and switch back to Sky.

Of course, if you’re looking to move to PlusNet, and don’t mind all of the teething troubles, you can do so here - PlusNet.

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