I tried to downgrade my package last week. After speaking to five different people on one call with varying degrees of English and line quality. I was unable to remove everything and just leave broadband without signing up to a 12 month package. I pointed out that on the web there was a 30 day rolling contract and I wanted that. I was refused as that was for new customers only. I said the costs of winning me back etc, seem to outweigh the benefits for VM - and I'd like a complaint raised so that it's tracking this issue so maybe the powers that be will change the policy in the future.
The operator refused to raise the complaint, which I think is self-selection of what to raise. Which I believe a regulated industry shouldn't be doing and could be illegal. I've raised this matter with OFCOM and CISAS - although with them they want a complaint to be raised... which obviously the operator refused to do and VM's website says to call - which I'm not sure I could stand the trauma again. I am happy to leave or happy to stay on the terms of removing items from my package.
What I am most concerned about is that VM could be breaking the law by allowing operators to self-select which complaints they raise. This really is wrong. Luckily I have the call recordings.
Looking for quick and easy way of forwarding my email to OFCOM onto VM - but there seems to be no route.
The rolling day contracts are for new customers, they are for ones who can’t commit to the year contracts. Downgrading to them doesn’t work. If you want to change your package it will incur a new minimum term contract.
Regarding the call recording, did you advise the operator you were recording the call?
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The point isn't the packages, they're happy for me to leave and rejoin if necessary - their costs for doing that are higher than mine. So, so be it. I wouldn't run a business like that, but they seem okay with it.
The point is, their operator made a judgement call whether or not to raise a complaint based on his own assessment on whether it could be resolved. It's matterless whether he could have resolved it or not - in a regulated industry like telecommunications, water, gas, electricity, there are enforced legal processes from their regulator and I believe they chose not to follow them. This roles onto public stats like complaints raised and customer satisfaction. Essentially, by refusing to raise a complaint, they're massaging figures that are reported about them in the industry.
I believe I advised one of the five people I spoke to on that call that I was taking my own recordings, which was after I got the general message that they were recording me. However, I believe the law is on the side of the consumer on this one and it doesn't matter. The DPA at the moment (before it changes to GDPR) covers protection of 'individuals' not companies.
You asked if Virgin Media can sell you a rolling contract. They said no, only for new customers.
You then said you thought that was a poor business decision and made a suggestion that you thought you would like Virgin Media to change that decision for the benefit of all customers and Virgin Media’s business.
So what is your complaint you want raised? ...or am I missing something?
Depends on your definition of a complaint. In many regulated industries - banking for example, you tell your bank you're simply 'unhappy' about something it triggers the 'complaint process' you may be in acceptance of the result (which I am in this case) but their is a process of review that is instigated. This allows VM's own management to track the issue, ensure it's been thoroughly reviewed and dealt with - not by a front line operator but actual management.
I don't believe the outcome will change in my instance, but it is only proper that the complaints process is triggered and a review is made. A front line operator should not be able to self-select in a regulated industry when a customer has specifically asked to raise a complaint for review to management - regardless of whether he feels a positive outcome for a customer could be achievable.
Just feeding back that OFCOM agreed with my assessment - a telco isn't allowed to pick and choose whether they should raise a complaint based on their assessment on whether they can resolve it to my satisfaction. It should have been raised and the operator broke industry rules.