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ISP Plusnet Misses Ofcom’s UK Broadband Speed Code Deadline UPDATE

Monday, December 14th, 2020 (3:03 pm) - Score 18,480
plusnet uk isp logo image 2020

The UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has today singled out internet provider Plusnet for failing to introduce a key part of their new Broadband Speed Code of Practice before the deadline, which among other things requires supporting ISPs to provide customers with live sync speeds for certain lines or premises served by Openreach.

The voluntary code was introduced in early 2019 and, among other things, it aimed to ensure that consumers are now given a minimum guaranteed speed before signing up to a new deal (provided your ISP is a signatory of the code). On top of that they must be told what to expect during peak times when everyone’s online and can walk away from their contract more easily if speeds drop below the guaranteed level.

NOTE: The Code is supported by these ISPs: ResidentialBT, EE, PlusNet, TalkTalk, Utility Warehouse and Virgin Media. BusinessBT, Daisy, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and XLN Telecom.

At the time a lot of the information supplied by ISPs for connection speeds was still based off data from a group of customers whose properties have similar characteristics (e.g. distance from the exchange or street cabinet). But crucially Ofcom changed this so that customers would get a speed estimate based on the capability of the line going into their individual house or office – “live sync speed estimates” (more accurate).

The requirement for live sync speeds was a significant technical change and as such Ofcom gave broadband ISPs until 15th November 2020 to adopt it, which was later extended to 13th December due to the negative impacts of COVID-19.

Ofcom Statement

Many major broadband firms – BT, Daisy, EE, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Utility Warehouse, Virgin Media and XLN – are signed up to our codes of practice. However, Plusnet has not made this change in time. We are discussing this with them regularly and urging them to implement it as quickly as possible.

In fairness, it’s worth pointing out that Plusnet, while late, has at least signed-up to support the code. On the flip side quite a lot of broadband ISPs have simply baulked at adopting Ofcom’s change, such as big names like Vodafone, the Post Office and surprisingly even Sky Broadband. The costs and technical challenges involved make it easier to understand why smaller ISPs might have kept their distance.

Similarly, Plusnet and several other providers (Vodafone and EE) are also still dragging their feet over adoption of another headline change from Ofcom, the new system for automatic compensation (here). We’ve asked Plusnet to comment on the sync speed delay and will update when they respond.

UPDATE 4:36pm

We’ve had a comment from Plusnet.

A Plusnet spokesperson said:

“As a value provider, our focus is on providing customers with simple, reliable broadband – with great customer service when they need it. While this remains our priority, we will work to deliver Observed Speeds to customers in 2021, and in the meantime we will continue to give customers accurate information about the broadband speeds they can expect.”

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
42 Responses
  1. Phil says:

    Guess they are still busy trying to fix their billing system and working out what the next special ‘best ever’ offer should be.

    1. Martyn says:

      Never mind speed, a constant connection without dropouts would be a good start.

    2. Robert King says:

      Glad to see the customer service standards are less in your face as Crap doesn’t sound as good in the most recent claims

  2. Jan says:

    They messed up my parents upgrade to vdsl so bad it was down for 3 weeks.

  3. Buggerlugz says:

    If it was a ” voluntary code ” when did it change to non-voluntary? And is Plusnet “nonplussed” it?

    1. Occasionally Factual says:

      Signing up to the code is voluntary.
      Once you sign up then you have to implement the code by the dates that OFCOM set. And make any changes as agreed at a later date.
      So Plusnet said “Yes we will be part of this” and then didn’t implement the code in the timescales laid out. The other companies which joined this scheme did that work in time.
      Now Plusnet have a marketing claim about being part of the scheme and make themselves look good, but they haven’t implemented all the requirements.
      So OFCOM had rightly called them out.
      Basically if you join a club, you agree to the rules.

  4. Ben Watkins says:

    Plusnet – without doubt the worst ISP in the country. Hopeless customer service, random disconnections, throttled speeds… I could go on. Customers leaving in their thousands already. The only reason they’re still in business is because customers are stuck in contracts they can’t get out of. If it’s made easier for customers to leave there won’t be any left and THAT is why they’ve missed the deadline.

    1. Coco says:

      It’s easy to extrapolate your own personal situation and assume everyone has it the same, and it reflects the whole company. But as a Plusnet customer for something like a decade, I feel the need to add another view point.

      I haven’t been in touch with Plusnet customer support since the first year I joined – the service has been so stable that I simply haven’t had to. I therefore can’t comment on what their customer service is like now, but it was excellent several years ago, when I quickly got through to a knowledgeable handler who assigned a static IP (the reason for calling).

      I’m on 80/20 FTTC, and constantly get around 78/18. I work from home most of the time (even before COVID), so stability is important to me, and Plusnet hasn’t let me down there.

      I will however say that’s it’s incredibly disappointing that Plusnet aren’t offering FTTP products. My view on this is that their overlords (BT) are doing this purposely to shit-can Plusnet, with the ultimate aim of moving everyone to BT. A real shame, because Plusnet have been great, and I *want* to stay with them – but staying on FTTC when faster FTTP speeds are available isn’t an option.

    2. Martin Hardy says:

      What do you expect paying £20 a month. Horrific equipment etc. Complete wifi at BT yeah it’s expensive but it works brilliantly for me.

    3. Mick McEvoy says:

      Plusnet customer service is the worst ever. Phone them and waiting 30/45 minutes to talk to someone very bad service

    4. Ex plusnet user says:

      If your service is blighted by throttled speeds, poor customer service then you simply ask to leave the contract with no termination charge. They should agree especially if its a reoccurring issue. Please avoud getting into the customer service loop as this will only wear you down. Plusnet have no xompeeling reason to resolve your issues of poor speeds and service.

  5. Broadband Betty says:

    They guess what speed you might get and say “That’ll do”

  6. Pete says:

    The price should be pro rata based on your speed, eg upto 40 is the product you get 20 you pay half price, it would soon seem them sort the networks out!

    1. Alex Haines says:

      This has been suggested before and would just end up with providers choosing who to supply. Anyone on a crappy line would then not be able to get service, or at best, an ISP that only has bad line customers so charges £100 pcm to compensate for the reduction in speed and charges. Ergo, a bad idea!

    2. Martin Hardy says:

      Plus the network is Openreach, no longer anything to do with the ISP.

      Buy cheap buy twice my friend.

  7. Dave winder says:

    My 5 years with Plusnet, bad service ,30 minute wait to get thro, half the speed they advertised.. im with post office now, it as adverised..

  8. Carl says:

    I’ve had Plusnet fibre since march 2020 and recommend it,unlike other people it’s never been down throughout lockdowns unlike sky and virgin which have been all over the country this year.I am running a 4k smart TV on Plusnet amongst other items which have all worked continuously very well.Same as was said earlier it’s not always about the fastest ide rather take a reliable 70ish mbs.

  9. Gary Grimshaw says:

    Yep everyone got it spot on only hope they get bitten by the regulater ho ho ho meet Xmas to all

  10. David says:

    To be honest I have been a Plusnet customer for over 3 years now and have never had any serious problems. Initially I did suffer from random line drops but after hassling them every week for about 3 months, they sent an engineer round who changed our outside line and reconfigured our inside cabling for nothing. We have not had any problems since other than the occasional unexpected random router reboots which other than just annoying, isn’t a real problem. I think a lot of reported problems are probably like our initial issue – worn out and weathered outside cabling and misconfigured internal connections.

  11. Junayd Ahmad says:

    I have had Plusnet for over 2 years now, and I can’t fault them on their Customer services – it is spot on!
    Around January 2019 we started getting broadband drops in our service and what then started was 18 months of BT OpenReach engineers visiting and for the most part not actually doing anything. A handful did some work and the very last one finally fixed the problem – telling me that the line was being affected by a ‘bridge’ in the connection from the outside to the main box in the house. Since then the connection has been fine with no dropouts.

    Throughout this time Plusnet did what they could do and kept me updated and were always available for me to talk to them. It wasn’t their fault, OpenReach just couldn’t send me a competent engineer who could just fix the problem, until 18 months later and multiple call outs.

  12. Elaine says:

    I been with plusnet for 8 month think iv only had 3mth of internet runs slow and always drops been told because I’m too from the box and now been told I’m at the end of the line that’s why I’m not getting good internet I feel I’d be better paying to cancel and go elsewhere

    1. s7eve says:

      Sadly being at the end of the line means that regardless of whos name is on the bill…its the same end of the line…but seeing some of the comments on here then its understandable why you would think it would help but sadly not.. things can help.. helps if you say if you are on fibre or adsl too

  13. AGB says:

    was with Plusnet for many years , cant fault their broadband , only reason I left was because of a problem with their billing system which gave me free internet for 2 years
    t/he only way they said they could fix it was to take me off the FTTP trial and put me back on FTTC and give me a new account . Going from 80 mbps to 3 mbps was not an option , so had to leave them

  14. Thomas Bevan says:

    I’ve never once had a problem with plusnet’s super fibre offering. Its the cheapest out there for the speeds you get and it’s never down.

    SOMETIMES I get a drop in speed at peak times from 78 to around 45mb but having grown up with dial up, I’m grateful that we can get 45mb at peak times lol

    People forget just how bad it was in the day.

  15. adslmax says:

    I am with Plusnet since 2012 (first two years with ADSL2 then from 2014 onwards with FTTC 80/20) never have any issues with FTTC.

  16. Mark Bates says:

    Never had any problems with Plusnet whatsoever
    Customer Service is great

  17. Bob Smith says:

    Given plusnet are part of BT, surely this means they have the same data feeds as BT.

    On top of that openreach have all the raw speeds and data necessary for this requirement, which is probably where all ISPs using openreach circuits get their base data from…

    1. s7eve says:

      Yep…all open to the public too thata why im sat here laughing at some of the clueless idiots on here…plusbet this that and the other..same lines..different name on the bill..
      Here for all the clueless idiots giving it large with no idea at all….

      https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com

      Thankyou and go get educated

  18. Brian Thornton says:

    You don’t need good customer service if you have a good product. People don’t then need to phone so dont need good customer service. I’m leaving plusnet this month as they lied to me to keep me in a contract 18 months ago. Bye bye.

  19. Stephen Brown says:

    I rarely get the guarenteed speeds Plusnet said i would get,ill be moving once my contract is up and its impossible to speak to someone about issues.

    1. AT says:

      Have you logged into your router and checked the sync speed? Forget speed test sites, they don’t prove your point.

  20. Reg Balchin says:

    I was with plusnet and couldn’t get the speeds they said I was getting now with EE and no problem

  21. Kemins says:

    I have been with plusnet for many Many years,cannot remember exactly.I have never had anything other than first class service, and always very competitively priced. Speak as you find,and I find them to be excellent.

  22. Joe Thomas says:

    I still stand by a lot of the speed drops and connection issues is down to the hardware they give the consumer the routers we’ve been given have been trouble and causing our line to constantly fault and get banded.. We’ve now received compensation and able to get out of our contract early. moving to a FTTP provider.. although it has taken months..

  23. DaveH says:

    was with plusnet for the best part of 8 years, hardly any issues – but have noticed customer service go downhill in the last couple of years, been waiting for FTTP , gave up waiting with plusnet and now moved to Zen, with no landline, my Pnet landline number is being ported to a VOIP provider next week.

    Wonder how many customers they have lost due to not having a FTTP product… i reckon a lot..

  24. Warren says:

    The irony of waiting 5 minutes for this page to load because I’m on plusnet…

  25. Chris says:

    I had a disconnections problem with my broadband in October. After 3 weeks of intermittent service, Plusnet reluctantly called in Openreach, who diagnosed a faulty cable going to the pole. They replaced it the next day.

    My service was restored, but download speed (previously 40Mhps), was now 7-8Mbps. Plusnet continued to deny this, claiming their records showed I was connected at 40Mhps. Of course that we the speed of the line, not the data flowing through it.

    Same results with 3 different routers. Openreach called again, said “it’s not us”.

    After 2 months, I finally proved to Plusnet, with figures from their own website that my support person didn’t know existed, that they were throttling me to 8Mbps. This had been done for good reason, during the actual fault, but was never restored.

    After a lot of arguing, they agreed to refund me for my last two months service. BT took over my line on Monday, and I am now looking at downloads of 55Mbps, and still improving.

    If Plusnet can’t even tell the connection of my line, when alerted to a problem, what hope have they got?

  26. Gordon says:

    My plusnet drops connection on a regular basis, i have tried to get in touch with them but just fobbed off with them telling me its my fault, roll on end of contract…

    1. AT says:

      Ask for your connection logs – it gives a good indication as to the drops. You never know, they may be right, your devices might be dropping from the wifi.

  27. Adrianmsmith says:

    Been with Plusnet since before they were Plusnet. Still have a force9 email address.
    Cheapest out there. Great speed. Work from home . In conference calls whilst family streaming to 4k tv. Can’t remember It dropping service since a tree surgeon cut my line 6 or so years back.
    Are there 2 plusnets as the one on here sounds far worse than the one I am with. Would hate to have to pay the prices of others I would have to be with if I left llusnet.

  28. AT says:

    Suspet many people commenting on here blaming everyone for their speed “issues” haven’t looked in the mirror recently at the problem. Or looked at their crappy old laptop causing a problem, or looked at interference on wifi … or plugged in a ethernet cable.

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