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Grandparents and PlusNet. Advice?

(9 Posts)
EduStudent Sun 28-Nov-10 23:54:57

I've been asked to sort out an internet/phone package for my Grandparents (both in their 80s). confused

They've currently got a bloody archaic rather old computer on dial-up internet, but they're getting a new one and so we're looking at a broadband package.

Just had a look at PlusNet, in their area they get 7mb, £6.99 for the first 3 months then £12.99 after that.

The 7mb should be fine, they barely use the internet. Anyone got any experience of them? Is it fairly reliable?

What are PlusNet like for customer service? As in, if my 83 year old Grandad had to ring them, would they both survive (having horrific memories of the 6 month stand off with Homebase) wink

Or any other companies you can recommend? And help much appreciated trying to avoid Gran's wrath.

NetworkGuy Mon 29-Nov-10 03:31:29

I am using BT for the phone calls (line was installed free with proviso I stick with BT for 18 months and make 10 calls per month) and have been with PlusNet since March with current phone line (which was slow until BT Openreach engineer replaced dropwire and fitted a new Master Socket upstairs in my main computer room).

Overall I have been with PlusNet for 7+ years, and they have won awards for customer service. Their call centre is in Sheffield and is open 24x7 including bank holidays (I suspect they may be closed for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but) I have spoken to staff once in a while at 3am when I know the 0845 number will get a fast response.

They have the PUG (PlusNet User Group) forums, moderated by a small group of PN customers, plus PNś own "Community" discussions area... They also monitor USENET and the PlusNet section of the forum at

Submitting a ticket (or calling on the phone) is the formal method to raise technical / billing / etc issues, but informal advice can be had via any of the discussion boards as a handful of staff actively check those Mon-Fri, and will often work one-to-one with a customer to resolve issues if a particular problem is affecting them. The team also have the power to make "deals" (within certain boundaries) if it will help to keep the customer(s) happy.

There is a fair amount of "testing the water" to see how proposed changes are viewed by customers though on some issues the accountants and marketing people set prices and usage restrictions and the team have to "tow the company line" but even so, there have been U-turns if PN gets a lot of criticism in the feedback from those who would be affected.

Niceguy2 Mon 29-Nov-10 09:29:22

Plusnet are one of the better ISP's out there.

Also consider BEThere. I've been with them for 4 years and honestly can't recommend them enough.

ANTagony Mon 29-Nov-10 09:37:08

I've been with Plusnet for about 18 months. I find them very good and not patronising when you call them (and they answer the phone quite quickly). Their basic user package is what I have which is pretty much the best one around for me as its an expensive area. On the couple of occasions I've had an issue they've talked me through turning everything on and off and we've got it all working again with no hassle or real down time.

They are good at email communication when you're reaching your usage allowance and good at informing you when they're about to take payment from your bank.

My only comment would be they are expensive for extra use if you go over your usage allowance £5 for 5MB. You do get pre-warned if you're getting close.

NetworkGuy Mon 29-Nov-10 13:23:09

The worst thing (if you get charged) is that the 5 GB does not "carry over" to the next month.

However you can set the limit, for any "extra" usage you are willing to pay for, down to 0 pounds.

Then, if you exceed the 10 GB allowed on the "Value" account, PN limits the speed of downloads to 128 kbps until your next billing date. So e-mail and general browsing is OK, but downloading a TV show on iPlayer would take a long time and YouTube videos would be forever pausing.

However, 10 GB is reasonably generous and it should be fine for general browsing and e-mail.

I (and a few others) have been pushing for there to be a more generous allowance for the Value account. On "Premium" they allowed 80 GB, but that a/c was replaced by "Extra" in April, and at the time the "Value" a/c was restricted to "up to 8 Mbps" and 10 GB.

Now it is "up to 20 Mbps" but still 10 GB, and I feel strongly that the jump from 10 to 60 is too big a step for a household wanting 15 to 20 GB. They might choose TalkTalk or O2/Be if available, as those ISPs don't have a strict limit on most accounts.

It only costs an extra fiver a month to get 60 GB, and don't forget that if you want to download shows with iPlayer you can do that from midnight to 0800 without it counting against the 10 GB/ 60 GB allowance. Last month my traffic hit well over 150 GB (90+ GB overnight) but I am a heavy user (also use 15 GB on 'Three' mobile).

(In case anyone wonders, I have set up some linux PCs to act as backup storage for clients, so they can copy important files into one of mine, on a daily basis). I am also often online at night, downloading iPlayer shows sometimes, and streaming video other times.

I am even tempted to change to one of the EDF electricity accounts which is cheaper from 9pm to 6am and then sleep all day

NetworkGuy Wed 01-Dec-10 19:47:03

There is a special cashback offer from until Friday 03/12

See the web page ffer.shtml

You need to click the "homephone and broadband packages" "find out more" button (at the lower right side of the green section)...

Then on the Broadband and Homephone page, choose what options you want 30 pounds cashback for Value, 35 for Extra, and then decide what calls package you are after...

Hitting 'check availability' will then ask for postcode/phone number and calculate the actual costs.

The cash is for an account user having their contact details passed on to Moneysupermarket. It depends a bit on how much one trusts MoneySupermarket not to try to push various products/offers, as to whether this deal appeals. You can always say no, but some seniors in our society might feel they are being pushed to take some products...

(Information about this deal was in the weekly e-mail n ewsletter.)

NetworkGuy Wed 01-Dec-10 19:52:58

thereś a space in the "_offer.shtml" so either copy, paste and delete that extraneous space, or click here for the cashback deal

MrsSaxon Wed 01-Dec-10 22:02:40

I have been with plus net for 18 months and would not change purely based on the customer service.

Oldjolyon Thu 02-Dec-10 14:34:40

We're with plusnet, as is my 84 year old grandfather. Neither of us have ever had any problems!

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