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Broadband ISP Plusnet UK to Stop Taking YouView TV Orders

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 21,888
plusnet uk isp logo image 2020

Budget broadband ISP Plusnet, which is part of the BT Group, has announced that they will “no longer be taking orders” for their YouView (IPTV) powered Pay TV box and service from 19th January 2021, although some customers are already reporting difficulties in adding the service to their package.

As a quick recap, YouView is a broadband internet (IPTV) based video-on-demand and catch-up TV platform that is being bundled by several ISPs across the United Kingdom. Plusnet joined this club all the way back in 2015 and subscribers typically pay from £5 per month (18-month contract) in order to receive it (plus an optional £57.99 setup charge if you want the YouView+ box with PVR capabilities).

The package gives you access to the Freeview channels, various on-demand video apps (iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Netflix etc.), 20 premium channels and BTSport TV Lite content. At present you can only get this service on the provider’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC / VDSL2) based packages and your line must also be able to support a download speed of at least 15Mbps.

However, over the past few weeks a number of Plusnet’s customers have informed ISPreview.co.uk about difficulties when trying to order the service. We’ve since found similar reports on their support forum (example) and last week a member of Plusnet’s Help Team stated that he was “not aware of a plan to discontinue YouView” (here), although some customers claim to have been told otherwise.

Sample Complaint by MasonHarris02

” I have spoken to plusnet’s TV tech team and have been made aware that Plusnet TV will indeed be scrapped. They are unsure as to whether it will be replaced with a youview service similar to BT and TalkTalk’s as they have only been informed that the service is to go away. The tech team also expect that people under contract will be able to keep the current service however this is also not currently a guarantee.”

Sample Complaint by sheffpete

“Just tried to change my BT Sport pack only to be told that PN is to remove all TV options …. only leaving an app to purchase to presumably allow casting to TV, can anyone confirm ?.”

The provider has now added the following statement to their TV page: “From 19 January, we’ll no longer be taking YouView orders. If you’d like to add TV to your current package before this date, please call us on 0800 587 1952,” although it doesn’t clarify precisely what is actually happening and how existing customers might be affected. We reached out to Plusnet and were given the following statement.

A Plusnet Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“As a value provider, we’re all about giving customers simple, reliable broadband with great customer service. We are simplifying our product range and from 19th January we will no longer offer YouView TV. Existing customers can continue to watch their YouView TV package and still be able to enjoy great content as part of the BT Sport App.”

So that’s it then, no more Plusnet TV for new customers after next Tuesday. Existing customers of the TV plan may continue to be supported for now, but without a replacement product its days may also be numbered.

Leave a Comment
19 Responses
  1. Avatar occasionally factual says:

    The winding down of Plusnet continues. I don’t see them there in 2 years time. BT Group don’t need 3 ISP brands.
    The customer service has been bad for a while now but they continue to blame covid-19 for the lack of forum answers and phone queue times. After 10 months that excuse doesn’t work and just shows either the incompetence of management or the plan to wind down. The issues with support go back well before 2020.
    Given the fiasco that is the “new billing system” and the creaking old systems that manage the customers, it will be cheaper for BT to shut it down than try to upgrade everything.

    1. Avatar Stephen says:

      My understanding was that Plusnet are still being run as a separate company so may be in less danger than you might think..? I hope so at least – I have my broadband with them!

    2. Avatar occasionally factual says:

      @stephen
      While Plusnet is a separate company, it is not reported as such in the BT Group. Indeed all 3 ISP brands are listed under BT Consumer and the group don’t publish figures anymore for the individual brands.
      It wouldn’t be a major change to repurpose Plusnet staff to the core BT Consumer ISP staff. That’s how call centres work after all. Many clients using the same staff, the staff just change the name of the company when answering the phone.
      Like I said, Plusnet has a lot of bad systems and given the track record for updating, it isn’t beyond the imagination that it will vanish into the BT Group. Probably cheaper in the medium term too to retrain staff in just 1 set of systems. It would also increase the number of UK based customer facing staff across BT.

    3. Avatar Vince says:

      Plusnet exists as the way BT can keep customers in-group when they’re more value focused than a BT Retail customer.

      That way they can still keep people making them more money than if they went elsewhere, but without having to dilute the higher revenue from the main BT brand…

      That’s why it exists.

    4. Avatar Laurence "GreenReaper" Parry says:

      Trouble is, BT TV isn’t compelling, so people are rightly thinking “why not move to Plusnet?” Especially with all the price rises going on.

      The group may be shared, but the retention specialists didn’t seem to care about that when I said we’d switch – competition helped there.

      Just glad we originally moved to BT when you bought the TV box – so we get to keep it and avoid paying Virgin for another TV box. (Their new Horizon-based 360 TV service also has a few issues at launch.)

    5. Avatar Happy surfing says:

      Totally disagree with badmouthing of Plusnet customer service. I’ve been with them (originally force9) qsince 2005 and have nothing but praise for the way any problems have been dealt with – even one last year well after the start of Covid-19. If occasionally factual can provide examples of any better isp for customer service I would be pleased to hear.

  2. Avatar Bob-de-builder says:

    Does anyone on here think that they will simply discontinue the tv service for existing customers and migrate them over to BT on a special “PlusNet” tariff?

    After all, the customers already have their kit working in their homes.

  3. Avatar a welshman says:

    it appears to me that bt have given up on tv all together, they have buckled under and decided that now tv is cheaper and better bt sport will be next

    1. Avatar Scott says:

      I semi agree with this.
      I think the major battle is over – we will not see BT trying to take Sky to court for fair access to channels.

      What I think some people overlook is that BT now supply the channels that are on NowTV as full/linear and recordable channels using the same infrastructure as the BT TV service. I think over time we might see NowTV strategically expand its channel offering and BT work as the strategic partner for that business providing more IPTV channels to its service over time.

      We are now in a position where BTTV is a product that Wholesales NowTV, Netflix, Prime and Britbox. I’m sure Disney will appear in 12-18months.

      Also worth remembering – the next gen BTTV STBs are being tested and expected to be launched this year.

  4. Avatar MountfordD says:

    I have been a Plusnet customer for some 3 years now and have never had a problem with them. With the current Covid-19 situation and working from home, I find that my ordinary Unlimited Fibre plan is more reliable and faster than some colleagues on Virgin with their Fibre To The Premises.

    The main problem is usually a cabling misconfiguration within people’s houses, for example the common practice of plugging in phone extensions that split and therefore weakens the connection.

    1. Avatar Ray Woodward says:

      Ah, the exception that proves the rule …

  5. Avatar Stuart says:

    Ime also very pleased with plusnet, had it since first lockdown began last March and its never let me down unlike other major suppliers who have had outages and problems all over the country. I also have never had a problem if I want to get in touch with them and find the billing format very easy to follow. Would recommend!

  6. Avatar Keith Wilson says:

    Best service I have had from ISP Provider

  7. Avatar Nadine Hall says:

    I have been a customer of plus net for 7 years now I have never had any problems with them until a few months ago when there systems were completely messing my account up. I do hope it doesn’t dissappear as they have provided the best consistent broadband for me than any of the other companies at a reasonable price.

  8. Avatar Thomas Williamson says:

    I have been a customer for at least 7 years and have never had any issues with plusnet and will be a customer as long as they carry on providing the service that I have become used to and I would recommend them even if I had to change my tv provider I would still have plusnet broadband

  9. Avatar David Bond says:

    I been a Plusnet customer for 7+ years and at the start had many billing problems figures just pluck out of the air (they we’re always higher than expected never lower) it got to a point with much confusion that when I was in credit they sold my personal information to a debt collection agency. They were very sorry and gave me many refunds in cash with a few good will payments and a massive reduction on my broadband deal. I get on great with them now and have had no issues for around 18 months.

  10. Avatar Derek White says:

    I’ve been a Plusnet Customer since they took over Force9, which must be in the 1990’s, I guess that shows my loyalty. I get on great with them. I don’t use them for TV, maybe that’s why!
    The only reason I may move away is because my landlord is supplying Fibre to the Home shortly. But I may keep Plusnet as a backup, if I can.

  11. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

    Most Plusnet customers won’t be much affected by this as the majority will have a Freeview-ready TV (or if not a Freeview box can easily be bought) and any VOD content can be obtained with a streaming stick from Roku, Amazon or Now TV. You can also use any Youview box: I have a old TalkTalk Youview box given to me by a friend who never used it, I hooked it up to see what was available and there was a number of apps such as BBC iPlayer and Now TV.

  12. Avatar j karna says:

    R.I.P. Plus.net as the writing was on the wall when they have no plans for FTTP.

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