back to article Plusnet broadband outage: Customers fume as TITSUP* continues

Plusnet has been slammed by its customers for failing to acknowledge or explain the cause of a nationwide broadband service outage. Twitter is stuffed with complaints from around 7am on Friday morning that service has not been resumed following an apparent maintenance period. Plusnet’s service has been struck down across the …

  1. Stumpy

    No problems here...

    ... in Southwest London. Been working from home and online all day from around 05:30...

    1. AndyS

      Re: No problems here...

      Same here in Northern Ireland, or at least it was at about 7:30 before I left this morning.

    2. John Arthur

      Re: No problems here...

      Similarly fine in rural Mid-Wales and has been all day. So far....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No problems here...

        Seems OK here too (two sites checked)...

        1. Mr Sceptical

          Re: No problems here...

          Same here, no issue at office in Southwark or DR site in Maidenhead. Both on FTTC.

          No issues with their service so far either. A better service status page would help more technical folks but the average consumer would say meh....

          1. JC_

            Re: No problems here...

            It was flaky in West London this morning. Some sites - e.g. BBC, wherever Logitech SqueezeBoxes point to - wouldn't resolve at all - while others were unaffected. If I hadn't turned on the radio and also tried to check the weather forecast, I wouldn't have known it was happening.

            Their 'Service Status' site was misleading as it reported nothing except routine maintenance this morning, so they lose respect for fibbing.

    3. Baldy50

      Re: No problems here...

      Fine in Wigan too! No problem ordering pies whatsoever.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Started last night?

    Had some issues last night that were resolved by a router reboot. Lots of packet loss this mornign, but seems to have been ok since 9am

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Started last night?

      It went tits up for me about 3am. Packet loss and any web page taking minutes to load.

      Peak time congestion on their network has been grim for a few weeks, hope this work has improved that.

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Started last night?

        "Peak time congestion on their network has been grim for a few weeks, hope this work has improved that."

        Nope it didn't. 8:45 and download speeds are bad. Multiple download connections combined not reaching half the sync speed.

        1. Adam JC

          Re: Started last night?

          Not surprised, PlusNet have (Or did when I was with them a few years ago) absolutely brutal traffic shaping/bandwidth management. P2P, HTTP downloads, FTP downloads, torrents, all capped to ridiculously low speeds unless you pay way over the odds for their 'unrestricted' service.

          Switched to sky fibre unlimited, never looked back...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Started last night?

      I also had problems last night, which at the time I was tempted to blame on load around 21:00-22:00. Frequent packet loss and odd behaviour including web sites complaining that I was running an ad blocker.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fortuneately

    They have a local call centre so Mr Outraged can speak to a local peson. If you can understand the Northern accent that is :-)

    1. johnfbw

      Re: Fortuneately

      And probably spell fortunately correctly!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Fortuneately (sic)

      "If you can understand the Northern accent that is"

      I find one of the advantages of PlusNet is the absence of strange accents.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grrrrr......

    I pay 27 pence a month for my broadband, this service is just not good enough.

  5. gbru2606

    Gone

    When they upped their price a few months ago, it allowed me to exit the contract without a penalty. Didn't stop them attempting to bill us an exit fee over and over again. But we're finally rid of them. They used to be OK before BT took over imo.

    1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      Re: Gone - They used to be OK before BT took over imo.

      Why would anyone be a customer of plusnet if they are owned by BT, surely just sign up with BT?

      There are only 2 real ISP's in this country, BT + Virgin, the rest are just leaches reselling a product

  6. djstardust Silver badge

    Plusnet

    I have three friends who were outraged by BT then moved to Plusnet not knowing that they are really ...... BT.

    Muppets!

  7. Aleksandr Gekht

    Didn't know there was problem

    I didn't even realised there was a problem until I saw this article... - in Surrey

  8. David Nash Silver badge

    I've always found the PlusNet service to be perfectly fine, although speed is sometimes a bit patchy.

    No sign of BT-related troubles. It seems to be run as a separate unit from their parent, thank goodness, long may that continue.

    It's working fine today anyway.

  9. andy 103

    If you think they're bad...Virgin Media

    Virgin Media fibre was down in my area for over 2 days.

    Their support website (which I checked on 4g) said it was down to a local problem - with no further information. I phoned their lovely Indian call centre who simply read out what it said on the support website and volunteered no further information other than they were "working on it".

    It's back up now and to be fair I haven't had any problems with it for the 10 months I've had it. But Virgin's customer service makes these guys look like pros.

    Ironically I switched from Plusnet to Virgin because all reviews I'd heard suggested Virgin was miles better. I disagree though. Plusnet never gave me any issues and I always thought their customer service was far better than any other ISP I'd dealt with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you think they're bad...Virgin Media

      I've used Virgin cable for years (since it was NTL) and it has generally been very good with decent speeds, very little congestion (if any), and very few outages - maybe 5 I've noticed in over 10 years.

      God help you though if you do have a problem and have to call support.

      1. Halcin

        Re: If you think they're bad...Virgin Media

        Agreed,

        I've had Virgin for longer than I can remember (old Blueyonder customer) And I have always had an excellent connection. Yes, there are the occasional connection problem, but they are fixed quickly.

        And yes, their "customer service" is crap. but as I so rarely need to call, I've been able to live with it. No one is perfect.

        1. cosymart

          Re: If you think they're bad...Virgin Media

          I deal with VM both as a business and a residential customer and the difference is chalk and cheese. On the business side any issues are normally dealt with as I am talking to them and if they say they will ring back they do. Well worth switching to the businesses package if you require a reliable service.

  10. johnfbw

    South East London here

    No problems on their FTTP

  11. Complicated Disaster

    Buckinghamshire

    No problems here.

  12. slinkywizard

    FTTC down in rural Somerset seems fine as well

  13. Steve Graham

    Ex-customer

    I left Plusnet a few months ago (for Co-op Broadband) because of their customer service. Or, to be honest, because of their television adverts crowing about how great their customer service is.

    A storm took out an overhead cable. It happens, and it's BT's wire, not Plusnet's. But I was without service for 19 days, having been told twice it was fixed when it wasn't. When I phoned for updates (which was most days) I had to hold on for about 20 minutes before speaking to someone. Except this one time when, after 20 minutes, the call was dropped.

    If I sent a message through their support ticket system, it would be promptly answered in three days.

    My feeling is that Plusnet has greatly expanded its customer base without expanding the support teams in proportion.

  14. John Miles

    Is this new network related?

    My router disconnected at around 10:00 am - but other than that no real issues (but I am VPN'd into work)

    https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/High-packet-loss-and-other-DNS-issues/td-p/1354749

    I know Plusnet is migrating from a BT shared network for small ISPs to a new dedicated network, and there has been a lot of issues on new network - fortunately I believe I am still on old n/w as I picked a static IP some time ago

  15. 0laf Silver badge

    Par for the course

    It was all going a bit wibbly last night but never actually cut out.

    I'm not surprised that Plusnet is taking the tack of burying it's head in the sand and pretending there are not problems. It took them six weeks to turn on my phone line. There was nothing wrong with the line Plusnet just couldn't grasp the idea that because I was moving exchange I couldn't keep my number. I knew I couldn't keep the number, they told me they knew I couldn't keep the number but they kept cancelling the order because I couldn't keep the number. Of course they didn't tell me they'd cancelled the order (I had to ask them to redo it six times), head in the sand you see. Can't hear anything, la la la.

    And that promised refund for the weeks without service?

    La la la la can't hear you

  16. Alfie

    Assumed it was me

    Yeah network was up and router lights all flashing as per normal this morning, but couldn't get any data over breakfast. Assumed it was just my shitty EO line which drops out just when you dont want it to every week or two. I switched my phone wifi off and was surprised to discover 4G connectivity from my kitchen on O2. Needless to say data and streaming were much better than the broadband, but that is OpenReach's fault, not PlusNet.

    I dont use Twatter (i'm on it, but dont use it), so wasn't aware there was a problem until El Reg mentioned it.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Assumed it was me

      "Needless to say data and streaming were much better than the broadband, but that is OpenReach's fault, not PlusNet."

      Problems with the lines are an issue between your ISP and Openretch, not yours to assign blame to.

      The Big6 are all equally bad when it comes to letting Openretch get away with doing nothing or closing faults without fixing things properly. Smaller ISPs (such as co-op broadband) tend to saddle up and keep riding them until it's fixed.

  17. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    I must be leading a charmed life. My TBB monitor only shows a short outage at 12pm.

  18. SteveK

    Web connections seemed 90% flaky this morning, SSH and VPN seemed unaffected so just connected to VPN and browsed over that, so any packet loss seemed to be confined to certain types of traffic. Or coincidence.

  19. Ayemooth

    No problems here in Lincolnshire.

  20. breakfast

    I was offline this morning too. I find it a little reassuring when a story about that kind of problem shows up on the Reg- at least it means it's a big problem that will probably get addressed. If I have a problem that means they have to get BT involved ( they're part of BT, but apparently not in any useful sense ) then it will be a long time before I see any internet.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      If I have a problem that means they have to get BT involved then it will be a long time before I see any internet.

      That's a fact of life I'm afraid. With Openreach still responsible for the 'last mile' no matter if your ISP is PlusNet, TalkTalk, Sky and just about everyone else apart from Virgin and a few local companies (Hull Telecom etc)

      No one wants to own (and thus have to pay for the upkeep) the poles and cables coming out of all those green cabinets. so we are stuck with them, good or bad (mostly bad).

      The same goes for the Exchanges that don't have the kit (for several reasons) owned by your ISP in them.

  21. Planty Bronze badge

    No Problems here (southwest)

    Seems like a storm in a teacup (again)

  22. John Joyce

    Plusnet is BT

    Surely you all know this......Plusnet IS British Telecom. You don't really believe is good ole Yorkshire Broadband do you? It's an advertising trick.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    plusnet

    I live in surrey and the outage hit me at 3am...ping to America went to 999+.. trying to reconnect the problem got worse... could not open any of the three browsers but teamspeak would still work. but was dropping 10% packet loss.....after 2 hours of unpluging and reconnecting and trying different things.decided to connect direct to the fibre box still nothing... conclusion was not my fault....5am phoned plusnet .... found out no longer 24hr service....went to bed...12 am the next day still suffering packet loss.

    I normally get 65-70mb been with plusnet for 3 years and get the odd hiccup....just hope this will get fixed soon

  24. King Jack

    Just Jumped ship

    Just moved away from Plusnet after being with them for over 3 years. Never had any real problems with them. Apart from the lies that their customer service seem to spout instead of being honest. I can take outages but I cannot tolerate lies. Glad I've moved on.

    PS Still getting emails from them about my bounced payments even though I am no longer with them.

    1. Joe Montana

      Re: Just Jumped ship

      Most mass market ISPs try to bullshit their customers about outages, often they will make customers believe the problem is their equipment and have them reboot endlessly until the problem is resolved.

      Personally i'd rather just be told theres an outage and how long they expect it to take to fix, but ISPs think that will make them look bad.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    And this is why...

    You won't easily get me to use an Internet-only product such as Office 365. Once the Internet goes down my demand to be able to work or at least do something goes up. Heck, even Minecraft works perfectly without Internet, so why shouldn't all the other stuff?

    1. Adam JC

      Re: And this is why...

      Office 365 is cloud e-mail, would you prefer to host your own exchange server, on premise? Think about that for a second... (And your office 365 locally installed software doesn't immediately stop working the second the internet cuts out).

      At least if your internet fails and you have hosted exchange/365, you can still hop onto the internet via a 4G hotspot with your phone and continue like nothing has changed. Try failing your on-premise exchange over to a 4G connection... best of luck!

  26. Smoking Gun

    I do sometimes wonder how we lived without the interweb.

    These days, an outage is front page news and social media is full of customers #outraging, initial reaction is to phone support (that's often India), this only results in more #outrage, asked to turn it on and off, more #outage maybe a #disgrace then 30 mins later told its an issue in the local area and reaction is a massive #outrage #disgrace and perhaps a rofl emoji.

    I mean, things go wrong from time to time, that's life, if it isn't working, chill, facebook will live on, go outside, see a tree, ask your kids how their day was, take them for an ice cream, watch a movie.. go see some friends and converse, have a pint, have a few pints, get in trouble with the Mrs, blame your ISP for it. You will survive. #brofist.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well being older most of my friends live in other parts of the country now, of those that are "local" as in also live around London one is off climbing mountains and the other is busy.

      I've drasticaly reduced drinking for both financial and health reasons, but even then the work colleague I do go drinking with has to go take care of a dying relative and I don't have a functioning TV anymore (discovered a few years back I wasn't ready for the digital switch over). I don't have kids, nor a partner. I could look at a tree, but I don't want to look at a tree. I was quite looking forward to watching some streaming on twitch and playing games with my friends from afar. Live streams really don't like packet loss.

      Also this weekend is the GSL, ASL and SSL grand finals as well as the COPA invitational, so while I'm not too irritable at the moment if it's still down tomorrow I'll be mighty mad. The problem has evidently been going on since last night. So they should pull a finger out and get to it.

      10% packet loss atm

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        update woohoo must of got fixed just after midnight so watching the ASL without problems, game one was wild. So no reason to get salty.

  27. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Ahhhh. That's why I couldn't ping anything outside the corporate net this morning. I had to USB all my documents and take them home to email them to head office. There was me with a nagging feeling I'd killed the router or something.

  28. Pat Att

    Absolutely fine in Worcester.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flaky in Birmingham, Edgbaston area.

    Speeds where flaky around 6:00 am and didn't really return back to normal till around 10:30 am

  30. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Plusnet are pants

    They have always been pants, and will continue to be pants long into the future.

    Awards?? Set up by big ISPs, Funded by big ISPs and given almost exclusively to big ISPs.

    AND they have a habit of secretly capping your line speed; I warned my parents for years that the excuses given were not true - there is no congestion on the exchange - I was on the exact same exchange - lived FURTHER from it in cable length - yet got 3 times the speed.

    Eventually, after 10 years they admitted there was a problem - when I installed a new router that could display the line data, and they tried to get PN to sort it out - which led to nothing but prevarication for over a month - until I PUBLISHED what was going on.

    WHOA!!! within 24 hours their line speed nearly trebled, from 2.2Mb to 6Mb.

    1. Adam JC

      Re: Plusnet are pants

      2.2Mb sounds suspiciously like the 2272kbps ADSL2+ rate limit, sounds like they had her on the wrong package?!

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: Plusnet are pants

        The line was sync'ed solidly at 6.6Mb, and the only time I have had 2.2Mb was on ADSLMAX, my ADSL2+ connection, before I switched to fibre - was 6.8Mb sync/6.4 throughput.

        The router I gave her shows a lot of line stats, including the ADSL settings, and the line was on the correct ADSL settings. ADSL2+ - which is up to 24Mb, not upto 2.4Mb.

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. cd / && rm -rf *

    80Mbps FTTC. Was flaky for a while early Friday morning but still usable, Recovered around midday and is now faster than ever. Torrents used to be bursty - varying up and down - but now coming in at a solid 8.2 MB/sec.

    Apparently +net are moving away from BT's network to their own and this maintenance overrun was a result of that work.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Apparently +net are moving away from BT's network to their own"

      Why would a wholly owned brand of BT be moving to another network?

  33. bin

    Plusnet Account Security

    What really bothers me is that the account name and password on your PN router has to be the same as the acount name and password that you need to use to log in to your account at PN.

    The CS rep then uses that password as part of your ID check.

    It therefore follows that your account password is either stored in plain text or easily decrypted.

    Surely that is verging on criminally irresponsible in these days of mega login and data breaches.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PLUSNET outage

    I have just read about some people having slow connections for 1 hour. My connection is terrible and this has lasted for 4 or 5 days!!! I live in East Anglia and have never had problems before. I have tried re-booting my router and this made no difference.

  35. ritey

    I've not seen a single comment from anyone who has no internet access??????

    1. Lotaresco
      Meh

      "Ritey" quoth...

      "I've not seen a single comment from anyone who has no internet access??????"

      Either you're very unsure about that, or your keyboard is jammed, or you don't know the difference between a question and a statement and you're unsure of how many question marks are needed to indicate the preceding statement was a question. Here's a hint, the number of question marks required for that is an integer (n) such that 2 > n > 0. HTH.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Ritey" quoth...

        Hey! A real live grammar Nazi! Got to correct other people's views at all cost.

        I think he meant to put !?!

        ie that's surprising, isn't it, yes it is.

        PS Sorry I omitted the full stops from ie.

  36. adam 40

    A comment from someone with no internet access

    Yeah we had problems too in Cambridgeshire. Even hit the red light on the modem sometimes - no t'internet.

    PN speeds have been generally good for downloads, we get about 20MBps now over ADSL, but uplink speed is appalling, only about 300k.

    Data usage is fine too - I think we hit 200GB last month with no problems - in the old days with Demon that would have reduced speeds to a crawl.

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