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CEO of UK Broadband ISP Plusnet Exits as BT Takes Control

Monday, November 11th, 2019 (1:36 pm) - Score 19,638

The long standing CEO of low cost broadband ISP Plusnet, Andy Baker, has announced that he will step down as the provider completes its integration into BT’s Consumer division. Despite this the business will retain some independence (i.e. helping to differentiate their packages) and will continue to be based out of Sheffield and Leeds.

BT has been conducting somewhat of a reorganisation of their business (including EE) over the past two years, which is partly about helping the group to operate more efficiently and to cut costs. As part of that the operator has been working toward deeper integration of their sub-brands, including Plusnet, which will also see other senior and non-call centre staff within the ISP being transferred (TUPE) to BT from February 2020.

Under the plan a small number of duplicate posts will also be removed (redundancies are said to be “unlikely“) and Plusnet will now effectively be led by the CEO of BT’s Consumer division, Marc Allera. Plusnet is currently known to host 1,678 staff at its sites in Sheffield and Leeds (mostly support and sales), while the business recently delivered a turnover of £410m and a gross annual profit of £186m.

Andy Baker, Outgoing Plusnet CEO, said:

“After six years in this role representing the great team at Plusnet and doing our customers proud, I believe now is the right time to leave. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all the staff here in Yorkshire, working towards and delivering improved customer experience and growth across the Plusnet business.”

Since last year the provider has been suffering a bit due to a problematic upgrade of their billing platform, which resulted in numerous problems (e.g. billing mistakes). The impact of this became clear in Q1 2019 after Ofcom reported that Plusnet had attracted the most consumer complaints (proportionally) of all the largest fixed home broadband and phone providers in the UK market (here).

The regulator will shortly be publishing their Q2 2019 update (a little later than planned due to problems with their data) and we’ll be interested to see how much of an improvement has occurred. Despite all of this the ISP is understood to still be growing their customer base, although sadly the BT Group no longer releases any subscriber figures and so there’s no solid information to help confirm such statements.

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17 Responses
  1. Avatar xplusnetcustomer

    “doing our customers proud” What planet is he on billing system it still broken !

    • Avatar Darren

      It’s not just their billing system that’s broken – with Plusnet until recently we only had 3mbps broadband here (I know it’s Openreach who own the lines so it’s their problem not Plusnet’s – but Plusnet is owned by BT and Openreach is also owned by BT so indirectly it is!!) I’ve now switched – Airband internet is now giving me about 50mbps – wow what a difference – I now have a use for my 4K TV!!

  2. Avatar xplusnetcustomer

    “doing our customers proud” Like not fixing the billing systems ?

  3. Avatar SimonM

    ex-CEO’s quote reads like a politician’s answer.

  4. Avatar Jesus christ

    Still!, the best service provider I’ve been with and I’ve done them all. So suck it up.

    • Avatar Go away

      You have been with ore than 200 ISP? Another impressively stupid comment.

    • Avatar Susan

      I agree, the best service and price we’ve ever had.

      @ Go away… 200 providers? Can you name them?

    • Avatar Darren

      Best service provider I ever had was Eclipse Internet, who then became part of Kingston Communications although I have to admit my current broadband provider is coming in very close to Eclipse – they are Airband and their ability to help customers is so good – I had a problem with a router I bought and even though it wasn’t one of their routers they were able to walk me through the problem and rectified the problem easily. I was so surprised as normally if you don’t have the ISPs router they refuse to help – but these fully went and checked out all the details of the router online and helped me – when installing airband they spent hours as well finding a way through trees for us (as airband is a wireless rural broadband service) – where we are there are two trees in the way of the masts on the hill and the guy that came round spent hours ensuring we got the best signal and evaded the trees.

    • Avatar beany

      @’Susan’ This site if you would care to explore it actually lists over 200 ISPs itself.

    • Avatar Go away

      “@ Go away… 200 providers? Can you name them?”

      Yes i can…
      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/isp_list/index.php

      At the top of that page “(210 ISPs Found)” You may even find another odd one or two on TBB which is not listed on here, though ISPReviews list is far more comprehensive.

  5. Avatar Irene Salt

    Well it was the best until BT poked their nose in. I’ve worked for BT and it was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, that’s the reason I went with them but after 8 months of no bills and then nearly a £100 being taken out of my account at will I lost patience ! So best plan is stay with the little guys cos this lot are not quite clearly too big for their BOOTS.

    • Avatar PETER WALKER

      I worked for bt for thirty years, I have been threatened with a £30 pound bill for not returning some equipment, I returned it 6weeks ago good bye bt

  6. Avatar Paul Marsh

    I had loads of problems with Plusnet over billing, no one wanted to take control and sort it out which took months, no wonder customer walk away, at contract end I’ll walk too.

  7. Avatar Martin E

    Plusnet are a truly dire ISP. Their ‘billing system’ is atrocious, they maintain ‘phantom’ calls to premium rate numbers MUST have been made by the customer, they seek to impose openreach charges despite a change of NTE5 fixing an intermittent low speed broadband and noisy landline issue.

    They are nothing more than BT with UK based call centres. Despite their adverts promoting a ‘cuddly image’ some of their staff are really obnoxious and confrontational in their approach.

    I really can’t wait for the end of my contract and by going 4G, be free of the utter time wasting wallet draining unreliable shambles that is plusnet/bt/openreach.

    P.S. my previous ISP Sky were no better either

  8. Avatar Philip Passmore

    This is worrying news as Plusnet have been faultless unlike my previous dealings with BT!

  9. Avatar SuperFast Dream

    I left Plusnet about 2 years or so ago and was having a browse through the Direct Debits on my Bank account, I noted that the old Plusnet one was still there. I therefore cancelled it and within a few hours Plusnet started harassing me, and I do mean harassing, to re-instate it. Err, yes of course Plusnet, not on my nelly.

    Based on other comments here I therefore expect to receive someone’s bill in the post in the near future.

  10. Avatar Evil Harry

    I’ve been with Plus since BeThere was sold to Sky however long ago that was. The only problem I’ve had with them is the commonly reported issue of billing where I’ve been charged £10 more a month than I should have been but to be fair, they sorted that out after a phone call. My only real gripe with Plus is their seeming inability to adopt IPv6 and anything faster than FTTC.

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