Plusnet - break contract early?

Hello everyone,

I recently took advantage of an offer advertised on MSE to take advantage of the deal that Plusnet ran a couple of months back for ridiculously cheap broadband (with cashback etc I think we're paying about £13 p/m). Their minimum guaranteed speed was 3.6mb/s which I'd be more than happy with. Since installing however, the speed fluctuates hugely day to day. I'd say that for 80% of the time we've had it installed (approximately 6 weeks now) we've been getting speeds of 200k approx which basically makes it unusable (no gaming, netflix or uploading of client drafts for my partner's business). I've been in constant contact with their customer services who have been through various remote fixes none of which seem to have cured the issue.

My thought is that I'd like to leave, mainly given that the problems are meaning that my girlfriend is having great issues with her business. So I may have read this wrong, but isn't there an argument that Plusnet are breaking contract if their guaranteed minimum speed has only been hit for 20% of the contracted period to date? We've hit our side of the bargain and paid up, so my argument is that they're defaulting as a result of the poor service and should therefore be able to terminate a contract they have defaulted on...

Am I barking up the wrong tree? Do I need to suck it up and keep on with their customer service (and potentially pay a £65 callout fee to get our internet to where it should have been where we started?).

Confused of Bristol.


  • AndyPKAndyPK Forumite
    4.2K Posts
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    I think you need to give them 30 days to fix.

    Unless you are going to virgin you are Likly to have the same problem with others so worth trying to get it resolved.
  • mije1983mije1983 Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Name Dropper
    Firstly, I'd forget the business angle as it is immaterial on what is a residential tariff.

    Secondly, I assume the £65 charge you mention is the OR call out charge? If so, you will only have to pay that if the issue is with your equipment/wiring. If the issue is outside this (up to the master socket), then you won't have to pay. It may well be there is an issue at the exhange, or the line from the exchange, but without them coming out they won't have a chance to fix it. You do need to give them a chance to rectify it.
  • We've come from Virgin which despite some dodgy customer service has been very reliable, thanks to I'm guessing it coming down the fibre cable as opposed to the ADSL. We switched as we're saving to buy a house and wanted to cut our costs wherever we could, a decision I'm starting to regret...!

    Thanks for your advice. I'll see what they can do with an engineer coming out.

  • AndyPKAndyPK Forumite
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    well I think that's an excellent reason and decision, just have to work with them to get it resolved.
  • teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    After a brilliant service with Sky, which gave over the predicted range, PlusNet's connection dropped several times in an hour and dropped to speeds where the speedcheck sites could not even load;once at 2am when usage is unlikely to be high.

    It took lots of calls, some denying there was a problem with others saying they could see the problem and would get it fixed (didn't). We had a replacement modem ('sorted' things for all of one evening) and I did the reboot with power off and wired connection, but as the service was erratic, seemed to work but actually hadn't.

    An engineer was mentioned and I said it couldn't be my equipment as the speeds/drops were the same for two laptops and the TV's smart . They said they preferred not to send one, but asked for one more test which was to unplug the cordless phone, during two agreed times, when they would test for interference.

    Tests showed the phone was not at fault (not expected as it was fine with Sky),so they said they knew the cure and from then no drop outs, but speeds are above the guarantee but nowhere near as good as Sky's (They are now predicting the same speeds as PlusNet, so moving back may be a risk, so I'll see what deals emerge, at the required time.)

    Contact service was terrible and there seemed to be lots of staff who were ill-informed, but now people are saying that the once very efficient Sky is proving difficult to contact.
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