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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Virgin Media Horror Story



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 15th 08, 03:51 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Chris Dent
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 11
Default Virgin Media Horror Story

Apologies for the cross-post from uk.telecom but its relevant to both
NGs. Any advice most gratefully received:

For the sake of brevity I'll spare you *all* the grim detail but
essentially we took over a new Virgin VIP phone/broadband/TV package
last month. On Saturday morning we realised that none of phone,
broadband or TV were working.

I got onto technical support and was told there was a network error and
that it would be fixed within the next 12 hours. A few hours later I
called again to check on progress but was this time told that there
was...erm...no network error; the problem was simply that we had
exceeded our 'credit limit'. Hmmm... credit limit? Didn't know I had
one...

In fact it transpires that because of installation costs and prepayment
of £86 for a month that hasn't even started yet, there was a 'debt'
showing on the account of (only) £176 outstanding, which is why, they
said, they withdrew service. However, we had to agree to pay by direct
debit on order and the *very first* payment was not due to be taken from
the account until 22nd of this month. So they have cut off the phone,
broadband and TV on the basis of not paying money which *they have not
even tried to collect*. Needless to say there was no letter, phone call
or email advising us in advance that they wished for funds outside of
their own agreed schedule, let alone that taking such draconian action
might be on the cards.

Thinking we'd agree to pay by card to get reconnected and complain
later, we paid £65 on Saturday pm to get back within our hitherto secret
'credit limit'. We were then told it would be 2-24 hours before service
was resumed. Why so long? On Sunday (i.e. 19 hours later with still no
service) I called again to find out what was happening. This time tech
support said nothing could have possibly been done about this until the
billing department got to work on Monday so that, in effect, the £65 had
been collected under false pretences.

Trying another route through the labyrinth that is their call routing, I
later spoke to somebody else--Janita de Souza, thank you--and, bingo, as
"such good customers" service resumed immediately. All was relieved and
tired smiles...until an hour later it had been disconnected again...

Today, with the billing department back at work having presumably been
able to enjoy their weekend (unlike ourselves), we're now at last
reconnected. However, Virgin Media refuse to pay compensation.
Actually the woman I spoke to was quite unpleasant but claimed a letter
was sent informing us this might happen, dated 13th September. When I
pointed out this was 'sent' the very same day they disconnected the
service, so giving us absolutely no time to avoid their action she at
last sounded a little apologetic. But I emphasise, only a little.
Janita was to blame for "wrongly" reconnecting us (just because thanks
to the unscheduled payment we made, the account was back within their
own secret credit limit) and explicitly she felt it was correct that we
should have been disconnected again.

Frankly, I find the whole thing to be an absolute disgrace. Who should
I complain to, how, and how much compensation should I be prepared to
accept? I should also point out that the real situation is much worse
than outlined but that none of my ommissions are in Virgin's favour.

Chris

PS Virgin's news server seems to be down 90% of the time (working only
10% of the time). Yes, really.

  #2  
Old September 15th 08, 04:32 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Eeyore
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,222
Default Virgin Media Horror Story



Chris Dent wrote:

Apologies for the cross-post from uk.telecom but its relevant to both
NGs. Any advice most gratefully received:

For the sake of brevity I'll spare you *all* the grim detail but
essentially we took over a new Virgin VIP phone/broadband/TV package
last month. On Saturday morning we realised that none of phone,
broadband or TV were working.

I got onto technical support and was told there was a network error and
that it would be fixed within the next 12 hours. A few hours later I
called again to check on progress but was this time told that there
was...erm...no network error; the problem was simply that we had
exceeded our 'credit limit'. Hmmm... credit limit? Didn't know I had
one...

In fact it transpires that because of installation costs and prepayment
of £86 for a month that hasn't even started yet, there was a 'debt'
showing on the account of (only) £176 outstanding, which is why, they
said, they withdrew service.


Take it to the Police. It's online or telephone fraud.

I've had so many problems with them too I don't even want to go into it, but
my latest bill looked suspicious and I'm I won't bother with talking to them
anymore since they never tell you their full names, nor can you contact any
individual again.

It is basically THEFT ! It should go to court.

Graham

  #3  
Old September 15th 08, 05:02 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Bill Ridgeway
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 114
Default Virgin Media Horror Story

"Eeyore" wrote in message
...


Chris Dent wrote:

Apologies for the cross-post from uk.telecom but its relevant to both
NGs. Any advice most gratefully received:

For the sake of brevity I'll spare you *all* the grim detail but
essentially we took over a new Virgin VIP phone/broadband/TV package
last month. On Saturday morning we realised that none of phone,
broadband or TV were working.

I got onto technical support and was told there was a network error and
that it would be fixed within the next 12 hours. A few hours later I
called again to check on progress but was this time told that there
was...erm...no network error; the problem was simply that we had
exceeded our 'credit limit'. Hmmm... credit limit? Didn't know I had
one...

In fact it transpires that because of installation costs and prepayment
of £86 for a month that hasn't even started yet, there was a 'debt'
showing on the account of (only) £176 outstanding, which is why, they
said, they withdrew service.


Take it to the Police. It's online or telephone fraud.

I've had so many problems with them too I don't even want to go into it,
but
my latest bill looked suspicious and I'm I won't bother with talking to
them
anymore since they never tell you their full names, nor can you contact
any
individual again.

It is basically THEFT ! It should go to court.

Graham


Yet another example of a communications business unable to communicate -
internally or with its customers. They're good at taking your money though!
The Call Centre is a boon to poorly organised businesses. The call centre
jockeys are seemingly not allowed to do anything other what they are told to
do - on pain of dismissal. Presumably this brick wall approach to 'customer
care' puts off all but the most determined. The next step is to seriously
limit the possibiliuty of taking the problem to someone who can understand
the problem and has the authority to take appropriate action. This reduces
the complaints statistics. I could expand on this theme ad naseum but I'd
probably be preaching to the converted. There was a time when the customer
was always right and the business everything practical to remedy a problem
it had created. Now it seems the business is always right and a sense of
"do as little as possible for as much as we can take from them" previals.

I would offer two golden nuggets (which have worked for me)
* make a note of date, time, numbers called, persons spoken to and an
outline of the conversation as soon as a problem is encountered - otherwise
useful information may be lost.
* phone (or email) the problem to the Chairman's office. You wont speak to
the Chairman, of course but you may find the business will sit up and take
notice and, to use an americanism "kick ass and get something done".

Play them at their own game and you may just get what you should have in the
first place without the cost in time money and stress!

Good luck!

Bill Ridgeway (aka Victor Meldrew II)


  #4  
Old September 15th 08, 06:00 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Chris Dent
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 11
Default Virgin Media Horror Story


"Eeyore" wrote in
message ...
Take it to the Police. It's online or telephone fraud.


That's what I *think*, and insofar as there is a distiction between
telephone and online, this would be an example of *telephone* fraud.
OTOH, if the CRM rep genuinely believed it would be sorted within that
time ("2-24 hours"), Branson's in the clear. Given that during the
course of these difficulties we have been twice reconnected *instantly*,
that does seem unlikely, I'll grant you. It becomes even more unlikely
when you consider the contributions of Feroz of technical support on
Sunday am and the nasty unhelpful woman I dealt with today, both of whom
said what actually happened twice could not be done. The question has
been unambiguously asked and we shall neither take waffle or
unsubstantiated protestation from VM for an answer. Excerpt from
partners letter:

blockquote
I require your specific written assurance that Saturday's lady did
actually believe that service was to be resumed according to her
promised schedule.
blockquote

Thank you, too, Bill for your own wise comments. Actually, before this
service expansion there was a long (3-year?) period of absolute harmony
on broadband/telephone service inherited from NTL.

Putting to one side the (genius) police idea, what about quantifying
appropriate damages and how best to go about it?

Thanks,
Chris

  #5  
Old September 15th 08, 08:47 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
kráftéé
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,765
Default Virgin Media Horror Story

Chris Dent wrote:
"Eeyore" wrote in
message ...
Take it to the Police. It's online or telephone fraud.


That's what I *think*, and insofar as there is a distiction between
telephone and online, this would be an example of *telephone* fraud.
OTOH, if the CRM rep genuinely believed it would be sorted within
that time ("2-24 hours"), Branson's in the clear.


I agree with the sentiment, but why refer to R. Branson. He doesn't own or
have any part in Virgin Medias business, so of course he is in the clear, he
had nothing to do with it in the first place anyway. What he did do, & got
a nice sum to boot, was sell NTHell & TeleWorst the rights to use the Virgin
name, & that is all!!!

If you drop the ball on this simple issue you effectively lower the value of
anything you can, or do, say.


Given that
during the course of these difficulties we have been twice
reconnected *instantly*, that does seem unlikely, I'll grant you.
It becomes even more unlikely when you consider the contributions
of Feroz of technical support on Sunday am and the nasty unhelpful
woman I dealt with today, both of whom said what actually happened
twice could not be done. The question has been unambiguously asked
and we shall neither take waffle or unsubstantiated protestation
from VM for an answer. Excerpt from partners letter:

blockquote
I require your specific written assurance that Saturday's lady did
actually believe that service was to be resumed according to her
promised schedule.
blockquote

Thank you, too, Bill for your own wise comments. Actually, before
this service expansion there was a long (3-year?) period of
absolute harmony on broadband/telephone service inherited from NTL.

Putting to one side the (genius) police idea, what about quantifying
appropriate damages and how best to go about it?

Thanks,
Chris




  #6  
Old September 15th 08, 09:13 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Rex M F Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Virgin Media Horror Story

In message [email protected] , Chris Dent
writes

what about quantifying
appropriate damages and how best to go about it?


I'm NOT a lawyer ... you might take your "how to" to uk.legal?


Presumably you were billed for the calls to their "support"; (since the
Virgin line was, itself, down). Those calls should have been
unnecessary; the cost of those calls


anything they told you you must put in writing ... reasonable cost of
preparing and delivering, according to their directions


any charges you incurred due to making the demanded payment early; any
money you LOST (?interest?) due to that money not being available


interest on the sum they demanded early, for the period they keep it


since you made the payment by card and the amount Virgin now hold
against it is affecting YOUR ability to use that amount of your credit
limit / balance for something else ... a small amount of compensation
for that (amount difficult to quantify exactly ... unless it impacts
some plan in place already)


compensation / a proper apology / flowers ... (some reasonable
compromise) for their mucking you about;


that they tell you what processes they have put in place so that this
doesn't happen again


a designated contact within their company that you can communicate with
if you have account problems again



The other way is "Small Claims"; this can now, probably, be done online



If you pursued and won, the cost of filing the claim would be added to
their bill ... so, you can "save" them over £30 by getting them to agree
to something *with you* and not *with the court's imposition*

Keep a record of anything they say they will do; have a witness present
and hearing the call ... speakerphones are useful :-) ... keep notes

You *can* record a call if the other party *agrees* and you should tell
them that you intend to record the call ... (after all, when you rang,
I've little doubt THEY told YOU they would record the call ...)


Be firm and *very* polite ... even if you can't record it ... they will
have done



Good luck!!
--
Rex M F Smith
  #7  
Old September 15th 08, 10:16 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Ian
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Virgin Media Horror Story


"Chris Dent" wrote in message
news:[email protected] P...
Apologies for the cross-post from uk.telecom but its relevant to both
NGs. Any advice most gratefully received:

For the sake of brevity I'll spare you *all* the grim detail but
essentially we took over a new Virgin VIP phone/broadband/TV package
last month. On Saturday morning we realised that none of phone,
broadband or TV were working.

I got onto technical support and was told there was a network error and
that it would be fixed within the next 12 hours. A few hours later I
called again to check on progress but was this time told that there
was...erm...no network error; the problem was simply that we had
exceeded our 'credit limit'. Hmmm... credit limit? Didn't know I had
one...

In fact it transpires that because of installation costs and prepayment
of £86 for a month that hasn't even started yet, there was a 'debt'
showing on the account of (only) £176 outstanding, which is why, they
said, they withdrew service. However, we had to agree to pay by direct
debit on order and the *very first* payment was not due to be taken from
the account until 22nd of this month. So they have cut off the phone,
broadband and TV on the basis of not paying money which *they have not
even tried to collect*. Needless to say there was no letter, phone call
or email advising us in advance that they wished for funds outside of
their own agreed schedule, let alone that taking such draconian action
might be on the cards.

Thinking we'd agree to pay by card to get reconnected and complain
later, we paid £65 on Saturday pm to get back within our hitherto secret
'credit limit'. We were then told it would be 2-24 hours before service
was resumed. Why so long? On Sunday (i.e. 19 hours later with still no
service) I called again to find out what was happening. This time tech
support said nothing could have possibly been done about this until the
billing department got to work on Monday so that, in effect, the £65 had
been collected under false pretences.

Trying another route through the labyrinth that is their call routing, I
later spoke to somebody else--Janita de Souza, thank you--and, bingo, as
"such good customers" service resumed immediately. All was relieved and
tired smiles...until an hour later it had been disconnected again...

Today, with the billing department back at work having presumably been
able to enjoy their weekend (unlike ourselves), we're now at last
reconnected. However, Virgin Media refuse to pay compensation.
Actually the woman I spoke to was quite unpleasant but claimed a letter
was sent informing us this might happen, dated 13th September. When I
pointed out this was 'sent' the very same day they disconnected the
service, so giving us absolutely no time to avoid their action she at
last sounded a little apologetic. But I emphasise, only a little.
Janita was to blame for "wrongly" reconnecting us (just because thanks
to the unscheduled payment we made, the account was back within their
own secret credit limit) and explicitly she felt it was correct that we
should have been disconnected again.

Frankly, I find the whole thing to be an absolute disgrace. Who should
I complain to, how, and how much compensation should I be prepared to
accept? I should also point out that the real situation is much worse
than outlined but that none of my ommissions are in Virgin's favour.

Chris

PS Virgin's news server seems to be down 90% of the time (working only
10% of the time). Yes, really.


You're not entitled to compensation unless you can prove that being
disconnected
caused a major problem that Virgin agreed to compensate for.
Exactly what do you think you are entitled to compensation for?
First complain to Virgin, we only have one side of your story and Virgin
might
just tell a very different one.

You need to complain to www.ispa.org , but as it's all fixed now there is no
point.
They are the people that sort ISPs out but not widely advertised.


  #8  
Old September 15th 08, 11:07 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Mark McIntyre
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 192
Default Virgin Media Horror Story

Chris Dent wrote:
(snip lengthy story of CS incompetence)

Who should
I complain to, how, and how much compensation should I be prepared to
accept?


In the first instance, Customer Services by phone. If you don't get
satisfaction, write to the Complaints Dept listed on their website. Be
absolutely accurate with the dates, and with the times & any names of
anyone you spoke to, give them no room to wriggle. Ask for copies of any
correspondence they allege were sent to you.

If this also gets nowhere in 4-6 weeks, make a formal complaint to the
ISPA. You need to leave a fair time between these attempts as otherwise
the ISPA will reject your complaint on the grounds that you didn't give
your ISP time to respond formally.

PS Virgin's news server seems to be down 90% of the time (working only
10% of the time). Yes, really.


Not in my experience, but maybe you're connecting to the wrong one?
news.virginmedia.com
  #9  
Old September 16th 08, 02:03 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Eeyore
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,222
Default Virgin Media Horror Story



Chris Dent wrote:

"Eeyore" wrote

Take it to the Police. It's online or telephone fraud.


That's what I *think*, and insofar as there is a distiction between
telephone and online, this would be an example of *telephone* fraud.
OTOH, if the CRM rep genuinely believed it would be sorted within that
time ("2-24 hours"), Branson's in the clear. Given that during the
course of these difficulties we have been twice reconnected *instantly*,
that does seem unlikely, I'll grant you. It becomes even more unlikely
when you consider the contributions of Feroz of technical support on
Sunday am and the nasty unhelpful woman I dealt with today, both of whom
said what actually happened twice could not be done. The question has
been unambiguously asked and we shall neither take waffle or
unsubstantiated protestation from VM for an answer. Excerpt from
partners letter:

blockquote
I require your specific written assurance that Saturday's lady did
actually believe that service was to be resumed according to her
promised schedule.
blockquote

Thank you, too, Bill for your own wise comments. Actually, before this
service expansion there was a long (3-year?) period of absolute harmony
on broadband/telephone service inherited from NTL.

Putting to one side the (genius) police idea, what about quantifying
appropriate damages and how best to go about it?


Just a quick addendum. Ask them to write to you to confirm any changes in
charges or to confirm what has been said. They never do. IF they do it's a
miracle. Another point against them. They seem to think they're a law unto
themselves.

Not to mention the invented invoices I've had that didn't even seem to add
up ! Even when referred to a senior manager in Swansea ? he couldn't work it
out either and gave me a complimentary credit, except then it seemed to get
cancelled.

They are FRAUDSTERS, short and simple and should be shut down and wound up.
I'm not one for nationalisation, but it hardly be worse. What's good for
Northern Rock is good for Virgin Media.

Graham

  #10  
Old September 16th 08, 02:05 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Eeyore
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,222
Default Virgin Media Horror Story



kraftee wrote:

Chris Dent wrote:
"Eeyore" wrote

Take it to the Police. It's online or telephone fraud.


That's what I *think*, and insofar as there is a distiction between
telephone and online, this would be an example of *telephone* fraud.
OTOH, if the CRM rep genuinely believed it would be sorted within
that time ("2-24 hours"), Branson's in the clear.


I agree with the sentiment, but why refer to R. Branson. He doesn't own or
have any part in Virgin Medias business, so of course he is in the clear, he
had nothing to do with it in the first place anyway.


Isn't he still a Director ? That would make him liable. And as a franchise I
expect he has liability too.


What he did do, & got a nice sum to boot, was sell NTHell & TeleWorst the
rights to use the Virgin name, & that is all!!!

If you drop the ball on this simple issue you effectively lower the value of
anything you can, or do, say.


Not sure what you mean by that.

Graham

 




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