Plusnet to Shell and now no phone line

Hi, I switched from Plusnet to Shell at the end of my contract, and boy do I regret it. I was due to go live on the 13th of July but my internet didn't appear till the 14th and worse, I didn't discover until the 15th that I now had no phone line. I found out through receiving two emails from Plusnet telling me I'd cancelled my switch. I hadn't. I phoned Plusnet and they said it had been "done via the website". I told them 'not by me'. They told me to contact Shell and ask them to submit it again. I phoned Shell, which costs - no free customer service line there -  and they said that they were waiting for a BT engineer. Unfortunately I didn't think to ask why because I was so confused and exasperated at the time. But they told me that BT would have it up and running by the 19th. Come the 19th it still wasn't connected but there was now a message on it promising it would be connected by 7.45 PM "tommorrow". Tomorrow 7.45 rolls round and still no phone connection, and back to the same old message "The order on this line has not been completed".

So, 10 days after it was supposed to be set up I still have no phone, and no idea what's happening. My questions are:

1. Has anyone experienced this and have you any idea why an engineer needs to see to this? My phone line is only five years old so I shouldn't need an engineer. I've never needed one before and I've switched every year for the past five years to get the best deal.

2. How do I stand legally here? Can I cancel this and go back to Plusnet, since Shell has still not provided a phone line? I don't want to pay cancellation fees, which would be astronomical since they charge you per month of contract plus a fee. But I feel deeply resentful that they've just left me with no phone and if I hadn't phoned them to find out what's going on they'd never have bothered to tell me, or contact me. I assume they are breaking a contract with me, so does this free me up to go back to Plusnet, or move elsewhere?

3. Can I get compensation for this? As it is, I'm worried that I'm paying both Plusnet and Shell and getting a phone service from neither. Plusnet took a full month's rental, at a higher rate, from me a day before the switch so I should be due a refund of that, but, of course, no word from them on that either. The bloke at Shell said I wouldn't be charged for the phone line but I'm receiving internet from them (which is confusing in itself, since I have no phone) so unless they split the cost somehow I don't see how that works. 

4. Should I really be complaining to BT? Right now I have no idea who is at fault here, so I don't even know who to complain to! I'm 65, alone and disabled. I'm also heavily medicated so dealing with things like this is a real struggle and I am always worried about the costs and getting money back that has been overpaid. It just adds to the difficulty that I don't know who I should be badgering to get this fixed.

 Any advice most gratefully received - Thanks.


  • littleboo
    littleboo Posts: 1,462
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    So for clarity, by BT in this instance is more correctly, Openreach. Openreach is a supplier for both Plusnet and Shell, but not you, so you cannot complain to them. It sounds as if there may be an issue with the voice side of your connection with Shell which requires an Openreach technician to resolve. It's the responsibility of Shell to own the issue and drive the resolution with Openreach, or wherever the problems lies. Do they know that you are a vulnerable customer?
  • BUFF
    BUFF Posts: 2,185
    Photogenic First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    What Shell deal have you switched too? Is it by any chance an FTTP package (in which case having no phone line is normal but you can usually add a calls package via digital voice) ?
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