Is Plusnet broadband any good?

plusnet logo

Plusnet sell themselves as customer service superheroes with super low prices.

Do those claims stack up? We've taken an in-depth look at the BT owned provider to find out.

Click through or read on for more on:

Plusnet prices

Let's start with those low prices. Here are the main Plusnet deals:

Package Speed Usage Line rental price Broadband price
plusnet Unlimited + Talk Weekends Up to 16Mb Unlimited £15.95 £2.50
for 12 mths,
then £9.99
Visit Plusnet
plusnet Unlimited Fibre + Talk Evenings & Weekends Up to 38Mb Unlimited £15.95 £3.75
for 6 mths,
then £14.99
Visit Plusnet
plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra + Talk Evenings & Weekends Up to 76Mb Unlimited £15.95 £12.50
for 9 mths,
then £19.99
Visit Plusnet

The deals above include Plusnet's line rental but they're also available, for a little more, with any other line rental provider, some of which are cheaper.

Package Speed Usage Price
plusnet Unlimited Up to 16Mb Unlimited £12.49 Visit Plusnet
plusnet Unlimited Fibre Up to 38Mb Unlimited £17.49 Visit Plusnet
plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra Up to 76Mb Unlimited £22.49 Visit Plusnet

For more details on how prices change with Evening + Weekend, Anytime or International call plans or 30 day contracts, search Plusnet's deals here.

special offer

Be aware that the following Plusnet offers will only be available for a limited time:

Unlimited Fibre Extra 76Mb £12.50 for the first 9 months (then £19.99)
ends 2 Sep 2014
Sign up for Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra broadband and phone for this offer here
Unlimited Fibre 38Mb £3.75 for the first 6 months (then £14.99)
ends 2 Sep 2014
Sign up for Plusnet Unlimited Fibre broadband and phone for this offer here
Unlimited broadband £2.50 for the first 12 months (normally £9.99)
ends 2 Sep 2014
Sign up for Plusnet Unlimited broadband and phone for this offer here

The UK's cheapest broadband?

Plusnet used to proudly wear the 'UK's cheapest broadband' crown, largely because of the Essentials package, which had a 10GB download limit and was withdrawn in June 2014.

Now, they're not in the top three, or even top five, cheapest. Just to compare, here's that top three.

Package Broadband Price Line Rental Total Cost Initial Cost
sky Broadband Unlimited + Talk Weekends Up to 17Mb
Unlimited
Free
for 12 mths,
then £10
£15.40 £15.40
for 12 mths,
then £25.40
Free Visit Sky
primus Unlimited Basic Unlimited £2.50 £14.90 £17.40 Free Visit Primus
tesco Broadband + Evening & Weekend calls Up to 14Mb
Unlimited
£2
for 12 mths,
then £6
£15.40 £15.40
for 12 mths,
then £21.40
Free Visit Tesco

And here's Plusnet's lowest cost option.

plusnet Unlimited + Talk Weekends Up to 16Mb £2.50
for 12 mths,
then £9.99
£15.95 £18.45
for 12 mths,
then £25.94
Free Visit Plusnet

As you can see, Plusnet are still very low cost, even without a 'top three' place.

Fibre prices

Plusnet are among the cheapest available when it comes to fibre services.

Fibre from TalkTalk is slightly cheaper, not including the special offer, but Virgin Media are a bit more expensive and the same deal that are Plusnet are offering is considerably more from BT:

Speed Usage Price Line rental Total
talktalk Up to 38Mb Unlimited £6.75
for 6 mths,
then £13.50
£15.95 £22.70
for 6 mths,
then £29.45
Visit TalkTalk
plusnet Up to 38Mb Unlimited £3.75
for 6 mths,
then £14.99
£15.95 £19.70
for 6 mths,
then £30.94
Visit Plusnet
virgin media Up to 50Mb Unlimited £7.50
for 6 mths,
then £15.50
£15.99 £23.49
for 6 mths,
then £31.49
Visit Virgin Media
virgin media Up to 100Mb Unlimited £15
for 12 mths,
then £20.50
£15.99 £30.99
for 12 mths,
then £36.49
Visit Virgin Media
bt Up to 38Mb Unlimited £16
for 3 mths,
then £23
£15.99 £31.99
for 3 mths,
then £38.99
Visit BT

Check our packages by cost table for more options.

Plusnet home phone (if you want it)

As you can see above, Plusnet's cheapest prices tend to depend on taking their line rental. Without Plusnet home phone, there's a extra charge of a few pounds a months and a £25 setup fee.

Unlike most budget providers, however, Plusnet subscribers can choose to keep their existing landline if they'd like to, though it does pay to take home phone in terms of broadband and because it's generally good value.

There's a choice of three Plusnet call plans: inclusive Weekends, free with line rental, inclusive Anytime for £5 extra a month, and inclusive Anytime with international minutes for £7 extra.

All offer a basic voicemail package and free anytime calls to other Plusnet phone customers.

At the time of writing, calls outside of inclusive time were comparable to BT charges, though 0845 and 0870 numbers count as UK landlines within inclusive periods, which is a nice extra.

Extra features - like caller ID and a more advanced voicemail service - cost from 99p to £4 (most are around £2.50).

Geographical pricing

Finally, note that, historically, Plusnet kept prices low by only passing the biggest discounts on to those in market 3 exchanges, the most competitive areas and the cheapest to supply.

However, as of July 2012, Plusnet's cheapest deals are now available in both market 2 and 3 exchanges which means that their cheap prices are just as widely available as other providers'.

All in all, Plusnet are still one of the cheapest ISPs out there but they are no longer always the cheapest.

So what else have they got to offer?

Customer service superheroes

Plusnet's reputation for customer service has, for a long time, beaten that of most of the larger providers.

They've made it their focus by providing:

The provider's own polls and independent surveys show high levels of customer satisfaction when compared with the big providers and they rank in our top 5 for customer service.

However, as the provider has grown larger and we've seen, perhaps inevitably, to hear more complaints regarding the quality of the support on offer.

In early 2014, we reported that Plusnet customers had been experiencing long wait times to get through to customer services, a problem Plusnet tell us they have now resolved by opening a second call centre.

For the time being, however, while Plusnet's reputation for service is still pretty good we think heroes might be pushing it.

Although Plusnet prices and their broadband, see below, make them a good provider in many ways, there are now better providers out there for service.

The nitty gritty: broadband

Finally, let's get into the details: broadband speeds, usage limits and contracts.

Plusnet speeds

Plusnet's standard deals are advertised as up to 16Mb. According to Ofcom's most recent research released in April 2014 actual averages are:

24-hour average Peak (8-10pm weekdays)
Up to 16Mb 8.3Mb to 10.5Mb 8.2Mb to 10.4Mb

The last Ofcom report, in March 2013, revealed that Plusnet had become the UK's fastest provider for up to 16Mb.

Plusnet fibre broadband is counted with BT in the Ofcom figures, those averages are:

24-hour average Peak (8-10pm weekdays)
Up to 38Mb 31.4Mb to 34.2Mb 31Mb to 33.9Mb
Up to 76Mb 61.6Mb to 68Mb 60.8Mb to 67.2Mb

Plusnet are one of our top four for fibre broadband in the UK.

More on traffic management

Plusnet are unusual in that they take considerable effort to explain their traffic management system so it's worth mentioning here.

All traffic management aims to keep speeds up by prioritising the activities, such as browsing web pages, that you need to keep running fast as you go about your day-to-day online business and slowing others, like downloading files.

There's also a limiting system which restricts certain activities - such as P2P file sharing and streaming - at peak times.

All in all, these restrictions are likely to result in generally more consistent speeds. Traffic is managed as follows:

This is worth knowing about especially if you're looking at fibre: often when we say we want fast broadband, actually we want something more like broadband that doesn't stall.

And that's what Plusnet are going out of their way to try to offer here.

All unlimited

Plusnet users used to pay based on monthly usage but, as of June 2014, all their deals are unlimited.

Plusnet have only offered any unlimited packages since 2012 so this is a big change.

Flexible contracts

Plusnet offer a no contract option with a minimum term of 30 days on their standard broadband (e.g. not fibre) for a £25 setup charge.

That means take broadband and home phone without a contract and setup is £25, broadband without home phone and without a contract will cost £50 to setup.

While contracts at least a year long are standard practice in the broadband world, Plusnet's opt out does mean that you can leave at any time with 30 days notice and no penalties.

This might be useful, for example, for student house shares. We've looked at these savings, as well as other short term packages, in our student broadband guide here.

All in all: the best Plusnet deal

All in all, Plusnet broadband deals have a number of unique features - from unlimited downloads, to a unique traffic management policy - which have seen them slowly garner customers over the years and keep them, even in spite of some rough months in terms of service.

They're also one of the UK's cheapest ISPs.

Don't forget to keep an eye out for Plusnet's special offers, which are frequently changed.

Comments

1
7 August 2014
frankie_b

My experiences with Plusnet have been the exact opposite of the previous poster's. I migrated from BT fibre over to Plusnet fibre a few days ago and the changeover was flawless. What impresses me most about Plusnet is their call center staff. Every time I've spoken with them they have been absolutely great, you won't find them reading from scripts, they get things done and are really friendly. That to me is worth it's weight in gold and something that BT needs to understand. UK customers do not like using overseas call centers.

2
5 August 2014
MarkF

Be wary when joining if you ever plan to switch away. I was with Plusnet for many years, decided to switch away, then got 5 emails and a text demanding money after the switch date when I was no longer a customer! Plusnet said they weren't notified of the switch (even though it's automated), so I had to pay for 2 weeks after the switch date and then another 2 weeks after that to cover "notice" which they already should have had from the automated switch-over, then pay £30 fee because the new provider "wasn't on their network". None of this is clear or fair, but it's all buried in the T&Cs so you're stuffed. All that money and years of being a Plusnet customer and then they get you for a few pounds if you try and leave. I've put in a complaint and another to Ofcom. Shameful.

3
2 June 2014
Cliff

Since I changed to Plusnet Fibre I have been very pleased with the service.

4
30 April 2014
Brady

Whilst some people seem to have only negative things to say about Plusnet, my experience has only been exemplary. I have been with them since 2004 and have had several different price plans including a price match when I asked them to match what Sky was offering at that particular time. Once I had a slow connection, I phoned them and quite literally they had the newest router to me with new telephone 'thingies' within 36 hours and phoned me to see if I was happy, now that is service!
I have now just ordered fibre optic from them, and I have an engineer coming within the week, I received the new router 5 days after ringing no hassle.
They answer the phone quickly, which you know is in the UK, and are polite and helpful.

5
18 March 2014
ezygeeza

Plusnet home move is extortion. Wish I'd never heard of them!

Unfortunately moving home with Plusnet is a cost option as you are threatened with losing all discounts.

The alternative is to pay extra per month and extend your contract for 24 months.

" Thank you for your call today.
As discussed, if you wish to cancel your account we will require 2 weeks notice and the cancellation fees are applicable.
Alternatively there are 3 options available to you:
12 month contract: We will move the service free of charge but you will lose your discounts
18 month contract: Same as above
24 month contract: We will move the service free of charge and the monthly cost of Unlimited will be £5.99 per month.

Kind regards, "

6
9 March 2014
Marc

I have been with Plusnet for approx 2 years, I have had 1 or 2 minor problems but these have been sorted out in no time at all.

Anytime I have spoken to customer services they have been incredibly polite and knowledgeable, I could not rate them highly enough.

I pay for their 'up to 16Mb' service and receive approx 19.5Mbps downloads.

By comparison, I had my phone and broadband supplied by Sky for 2 years, I was plagued with problems and their Customer Services were awful.

I was paying for their up to 8Mb service and received, on average, 0.5Mbps and 0.75Mbps.

7
27 January 2014
Alchy

I love this review, and am thinking of jumping the good ship BT, but the comments below pretty much scare the life outta me!

18 July 2014
secretagentmole

Dont jump, BT own Plusnet!

8
23 January 2014
Deborah

I am sorry I chose Plusnet. Very dependant on BT who failed to come once and then came in the morning for an afternoon appointment. No comeback for me having to take three mornings/afternoons off work. Be very warned.

31 May 2014
Townman

Of course they are dependent on "BT" just like every other ISP because "BT" supply the wires!

9
17 January 2014
Alex

Hi People, you need to put them in to context with the other suppliers, are any of the suppliers perfect -- No! I've used Plusnet for my home since 2005 until 2009 where I switched to O2 and then this time last year, March 2012, switched back to Plusnet then in May had issues which they got BT to resolve within 2 weeks. I had internet issues in my last house and again they sorted fairly quickly paying for the expense of a BT engineer to fix, hence why I return to them I know their support is good. My father has a business and he has three suppliers, EE, Orange and Virgin Media, and I find their customer service is sub standard compared to Plusnet. By the way I've also used BT again I found their service sub-standard compared to Plusnet, even though they bought them out. I can talk technical which you will find helps enormously when dealing with broadband providers as you can get straight to the issue so out of the six providers when you tell them straight the problem both O2 and Plusnet will get the problem resolved. Of course O2 broadband is now defunct. Other suppliers you have to cover the same ground over and over again to get the issue resolved. I strongly recommend Plusnet as one of the better suppliers out there as none of them are perfect.

10
8 January 2014
stp

Promised fibre waited in all day for an engineer not to show, to then be told as they didn't place the order on time with openreach I missed out, even though my neighbours who placed their order 3 days after with a different company got it fine.

11
2 January 2014
johnonthe4thbend

I had really good reviews from friends who were with Plusnet. We were moving and I specifically asked when I signed up how fast they were with their house move service. I mistakenly signed up and finally moved in December. I contacted them 2 weeks before the move to be told they would carry out the phone connection first and the broadband would follow in 5 working days. The phone connection took 3 days (something to do with having to wait for a stop notice to expire) the broadband finally got (sort of) sorted today - 2 January. Like Barrie Nott below, I have become annoyed waiting and phoned to cancel. They swung the lead to extend answering my request until the 14 day cooling off period had expired on the new contract and the annual bulk line rental payment I also took out. Now they say I have no alternative but to lose my payment and pay extra for the contract to be terminated early. I only found out they were owned by BT during this. I left BT due to their incompetence long ago. Looks like I now have another 2 years of this to go. Happy New Year everyone.

12
2 January 2014
david.w

WARNING
We were in the process of changing to Plusnet, but the internet indicated £9.50 pm. for our postcode, rather than the £2.50 introductory offer. When we checked with them on the phone, we were told that it was FROM £2.50 pm and that did not apply. When we added the various extras, it was so close to the BT contract, that it wasn't worth changing. We have had good service from BT, although Yorkshire accents may have been easier to understand than their Indian ones, so in view of the comments on Plusnet's service, perhaps we had better stick with BT.

13
11 October 2013
J1 Phantom

I'm moving out soon and thinking of going for their Fibre Unlimited. What with all the gaming and streaming that I do it seems like the best option for me.

14
24 September 2013
Mark

I made the dreadful mistake of choosing Plusnet to supply us - they have been absolutely useless beyond belief. Our phone and broadband was booked in for 1st August and we currently have neither working and don't even have an engineer coming for another 4 days... that's over 8 weeks since the installation date!! Can you imagine 8 weeks without phone or internet?! Every time you phone them (because they never phone you) it's excuses and never so much as an apology for the massive inconvenience caused. They really have perfected the "couldn't care less" attitude. The last attempt to book an engineer resulted in me wasting 5 hours of my weekend sat waiting for an engineer who didn't turn up - it turned out Plusnet hadn't actually booked the appointment properly despite 2 phone calls and an email to confirm it was booked. They then emailed to say they would "be in touch as soon as they can" - I heard nothing again for 3 days and have had to phone to chase them again. Their service is non-existent and I can honestly say they are the worst company I have ever EVER had to deal with. I cannot recommend strongly enough they you do not touch these people with a barge pole. Not even someone else's barge pole.

28 May 2014
Kitchen Foyle

One thing to bear in mind here, as with all reviews, is that Mark may well be a genuine poster with genuine, first hand experience of bad service from Plusnet. However, there are many cases of bogus posts placed by representatives of competing providers which can have a huge effect on decisions taken by potential client.

That being the case, as someone who, like many here, is looking to change my present provider to one that is, hopefully, better and who has no axe to grind (and yes, by all means, take or leave that, claim, too) all I suggest is that the best way to approach reviews is to ascertain the consensus of all the reviews given, as it is highly unlikely competitors with a vested interest in discouragement will be responsible for more than a handful of opinions given.

Even then, changing providers will always involve a leap of faith, as no provider is going to get it right all the time and you, or I, could just be one of the unlucky ones, even with the best of them.

28 December 2013
Masum

Omg Thanks mate I am currently with EE - but was going to join Plusnet, now I have second thoughts - I'd rather pay more and get a better service.

15
21 September 2013
Alan Thorburn

BT gives me BT Sport 1 & 2, FREE !

16
16 June 2013
Andy Swain

I've been with Force9, which is now Plusnet, since the modem age of 240bps, which is nearly 14 years now. To date I've not had a problem, well if I had would I still be here after this length of time? There was a small hiccup when they moved to the BT backbone but every problem that has ever arisen has always been sorted. I must admit the support does seem to have lost its personal touch from the days of Force9. I can remember the middle of the night I had a problem and the guy stopped on the phone for well over 30 minutes until we got it sorted. So all I can give them is praise. I admit I'm still on a very old package, I bet its possibly 4-5 years old as the off peak runs from 12midnight to 4pm the following afternoon, which is the only reason I have not switched to fibre optic as yet. And the fact that I've been with them so long I get a fair discount on my broadband package. So yes Plusnet has been kind and has a great history as far as I am concerned, and would recommend them to anyone. Andy.

17
5 April 2013
paul

The wireless is terrible and I only get 0.245Mb pathetic. I have had 2 routers, was told by one of the engineers that the person that sent these should have known that was not the problem. Wonder if they actually read the history and look at what I have already done half a dozen times. Unplug, fit new filter, try ethernet cable, changing channels etc. give it a break and do your job. Have now had an Openreach engineer apparently fix a fault on the line. The support team also say, it could take up to 10 days for the broadband to stabilise. Pity they did not have the manners to contact me. Amazing how the money keeps coming out the bank, but no service in return. Please do not be fooled by their cheap prices.

18
3 March 2013
Ben

Still waiting, considering cancelling. I started trying to buy broadband from Plusnet in December 2012 it is now March 2013 and I'm considering whether I ought to bother booking another half day from work for a second attempt at line fitting or cancel.

To be fair the line connection errors have been Openreach so Plusnet haven't had a chance to mess up their provision yet but having read what others have to say I am now apprehensive.

Also after signing up they cancelled and remade my order when I rang to investigate/complain I became aware that even though I'd called the same number as before I was being presented with a different menu and much longer wait time. I hung up, went in to settings on my phone and withheld my number and called back... I got the original menu also answered in less than a minute. That's right, once they have your money they save your number and divert you to a lower priority service that regularly interrupts the music (usually Reverend & The Makers - Heavyweight Champion Of The World) to tell you in a friendly northern accent how much they "value your custom" and how "sorry they are to keep you waiting"... freeing up more of their staff to sign up more people and create a bigger backlog of unhappy customers for their poor complaints staff to deal with.

I have found all staff to be very friendly and helpful but they seem to be the interface for a woefully lacking system. They have offered me a 50% refund on line installation but they are simply passing that on from Openreach.

19
1 February 2012
Matt

I've been with Plusnet for around 6 months on DSL, and have recently decided to upgrade to fibre with them. So far the line, service and support from them has been excellent. Reading some of the other comments here it's obvious that they aren't providing a perfect service for everyone. But just from personal experience I'd highly recommend them.

20
23 January 2012
tony

I've been with Plusnet for nine months now, they charge you for calls you don't make and the speed varies throughout the evenings. Uploading is a joke!

BT all the way, I shouldn't of ever changed, can't wait till my twelve months are over.

21
28 November 2011
Barrie Nott

I gave Plusnet 2 weeks notice regarding moving house, requesting they transfer their service to my new house. The phone worked on the right day, but no broadband as they had not put the order in to their supplier. There would be a delay of 7-10 days. The supplier's website was down so there was another delay over a weekend. The order has now been put in - another delay of 7-10 days. An hour ago the telephone went dead. Draw your own conclusions.

22
24 November 2011
Richard

I had Plusnet for 2 years before moving in Dec 2010 due to the end of a tenancy. Plusnet agreed to move the service to my new property for free but said they would charge if I moved again.

I had no option but to agree as I was moving to a property for 6 months to do up and sell. When I sold the property and moved again Plusnet charged me the £65 moving fee and cessation. With these costs included they are not cheap.

23
2 November 2011
Mike

I joined Plusnet (Metronet) in 2005. For six and a half years, I have been mostly happy with the Yorkshire guys on service and friendly/efficient support.

But two problems - VoIP (Skype) up to 2 seconds transmission delay a few years ago - I blamed this on their BT ownership and told Skype this many times. Eventually Skype sorted this problem with Plusnet and my Skype calls are now mostly OK.

My current problem is still not sorted out though. After Plusnet 'reminded' me about their Pro service for £5 per month extra, news videos (eg. smh.com.au) and websites with high image content (eg johnlewis.com) suddenly became impossible to enjoy. Videos keep pausing because the streaming is too slow and website pages with several images can take a couple of minutes to refresh. I am finally looking for a new ISP that will provide me with acceptable bandwidth, even if the monthly charge is higher than Plusnet's £6.49p.

28 December 2013
Masum

EE is fab - I pay £2.50 unlimited - can watch 1080p movies and play games without any issue.

24
19 October 2011
sinead

I'm with Plusnet and my home landline has a credit limit of £55 (don't know why, I didn't ask for this) but when I reach this my outgoing calls are cut off and I am forced to pay a minimum of £9 to be reconnected only to then be asked to put credit on for the rest of the month in order to use my phone (like a mobile). This would be ok but this money does not come off my existing bill so, in essence, I am paying for those calls twice and all because they have imposed a credit limit on my calls monthly.

25
29 July 2011
Jason Clark

Plusnet's service started out alright but then on evenings it got slower and slower to the point of freezing, then dropping our connection all the time. They blame BT's local exchange and keep giving us updates but nothing has changed. The Isle of Dogs area hasn't sprung up overnight and stretched their capacity but they just don't care and there's no compensation.

26
14 July 2011
Lorna Clark

I can honestly say their service is pretty good but please do not get trapped into a business contract with them. They keep on changing the dates you can leave and every time you get to the date they said you can cancel your contract, they move the goalpost. I am seriously thinking of just paying the £126 I owe them to make sure that they can't do it again. I really want out but can never seem to do it.

27
4 July 2011
Kayley

If you read on their T&C page, there is a £30 'cessation fee'. A bit naughty if like me, you are interested in NOT having a 12 month contract to tie you down (especially in case the service is not good).

4 July 2011
Choose team

The £30 'cessation charge' (£25 if you signed up before 15th April 2010) is levied only if customers require a full line stop. In the vast majority of cases when you leave you'll request a MAC code to sign up with another provider in which case there's no cessation charge.

Like most broadband providers, Plusnet charge you for the remainder of your 12 months contract if you leave before those 12 months are up. After the first 12 months, Plusnet customers are put on a rolling 30-day contract.

Unlike most broadband providers, new Plusnet customers can choose the 30-day contract option on sign up but that means there'll be a £25 activation charge and no free router.

Hope this helps.

28
21 June 2011
Laura

I've had a really good experience with Plusnet so far. I've been with them for a year and have never had any problems, their customer service advisors are really friendly and efficient and I have absolutely no reason to complain! (The price really helps, too!)

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