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skeggman
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Message 1 of 16
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Why no written communication?

I've been 'contributing' for a few days on this forum and have struck on a recurring theme - people want things in writing so they have a record of what has been agreed. Having skimmed though just the 'Account>Cable' forum, there are lots of posts with people wanting email addresses or means to communicate in the written form other than by traditional postal services, myself included.

Does someone from VM have a good answer to why this is (I suspect other forum users may have cynical answers but I'll remain positive on the topic for the purposes of constructive feedback). My case for / against providing written communications are:

For:

1. Allows customers to lay out their problems or needs in a structred and prepared way

2. Allows supporting evidence for their arguments / issues to be supplied with the communication

3. Provides a paper trail to refer back to should a problem arise

4. Is more suitable for those customers without fluency in English (it is usually easier to translate the written word than the spoken word)

5. Customers clearly want this service

6. An email is available 24 hours per day.

Against

1. Possibly more costly to staff, however presumably fewer call-centre staff would be needed to counterbalance this. Setting an expectation of a 48 hour response would also allow batch processing of enquiries to further limit / enable outsourcing of written enquiries.

Sorry, that's the only non-cynical thought I have for this section.

Thoughts welcome and encouraged.


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spell
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Message 11 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?

Unfortunately the reasons why customers want email contact are the same reasons why VM will not provide it - mainly a record of accountability.

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arrgee1991
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Message 2 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?


skeggman wrote:

 

Thoughts welcome and encouraged.


There is written communication.  Try the chat service.

https://help.virginmedia.com/system/selfservice.controller?CONFIGURATION=1001&PARTITION_ID=1&TIMEZON...

Interestingly Now TV only have a chat service with no phone nor email for one on one communication.  Not having phone staff is probably cheaper as they can have multiple conversations at the same time.

I suspect the reason for no written communication. like email, is simply speed.  Emails can be missed or can be open to interpretation.  A lot of what people want confirmed, namely cancellations and package changes is on my.virginmedia.com.  It could be made clearer, but it is mostly there.

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skeggman
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Message 3 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?

I don't really agree that the chat is a substitute for an email or web enquiry form. It's a nice extra but it's almost impossible to get someone on it and they don't have the ability to do cancellations - something which demands a paper trail. I want the ability to send a considered question with documentation / relevant extras and receive a considered reply.

My current predicament needs a paper trail (a lack of which is causing the issue). They are essentially trying to exploit me as I can't prove what I was told on the phone. If I want to go to small claims or complain to OFCOM, I have a lack of supplementing evidence to support a claim. I can't understand the reasoning behind their argument following a verbal exchange and would like it laid out on paper so I can understand their refusal to assist and decide in my own time how to proceed.  Also, quite frankly, their telephone customer service manager was quite unpleasant and very aggressive so I'd prefer not to be put in a situation where I might lose my temper and jeopardise any future claim.

Lots of people seem to want an email address and I want an email address, so my question back to the VM guys is 'why not?' unless it is to reduce or dilute negative consumer feedback?

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skeggman
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Message 4 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?

Also, NowTv have an email address as well as live chat.

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arrgee1991
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Message 5 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?


skeggman wrote:

Also, NowTv have an email address as well as live chat.


Thay have an enquiry form.  I don't know their email address.  And it isn't used for one on one issues like cancellation.

Dare I say it for fear of my response not being welcome and discouraged,  the subject was "Why no written communication?"   I answered that there was and then you wrote it wasn't a substitute for email.  It isn't but that wasn't the question you asked.  

 

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frank_gm
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Message 6 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?

skeggman

As you have discovered on this thread, and it is apparent on other threads as well, you basically need a lawyer sitting next to you when you post a complaint about VM, otherwise someone is going to pick you up on some point or other.

Regardless, I think that your initial post is well founded.

Nice to be able to post again, after their mistake (removed by the Censorship team).
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arrgee1991
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Message 7 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?

there are lots of posts with people wanting email addresses or means to communicate in the written form other than by traditional postal services

Case proven?


frank_gm wrote:

you basically need a lawyer sitting next to you when you post a complaint about VM, otherwise someone is going to pick you up on some point or other.


Crikey, I complain about Virgin more than most.  

When I answered the question, I went on to give some sort of justification as to why a request form/email is not available and then got a disagreement about something completely different.  The original post was laid out like a case for the prosecution, so a legalesque response isn't entirely unwarranted.

From my point of view, I think it would be great if everything including cancellations, sign ups, upgrades etc. could be done via chat and a transcript sent.  Amazon, Talk Talk and Now TV do it.  I have dealt with all three and never spoken to anyone.  Nor sent them an email.  

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frank_gm
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Message 8 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?

Given the numerous posts about the difficulties of using VM's web chat then I have to say that an alternative using a written form, e.g. email, would certainly be of benefit.

The main problem, and I doubt if many disagree, is that neither the phone lines nor the web chat seem able to cope with demand, especially at the moment when a mixture of technical issues and price increases seem to have them permanently overloaded.

 

Nice to be able to post again, after their mistake (removed by the Censorship team).
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arrgee1991
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Message 9 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?


frank_gm wrote:

The main problem, and I doubt if many disagree, is that neither the phone lines nor the web chat seem able to cope with demand, especially at the moment when a mixture of technical issues and price increases seem to have them permanently overloaded.

 


Yes, I agree.  All too often there is no web chat available for existing customers (though always there for prospective customers).   The problem with email is it wouldn't necessarily be answered that promptly and could be ignored altogether.  What might be useful is a message service for customers within my.virginmedia.com.  My banks have it and it is useful for resolving issues that aren't time critical such as swapping between current accounts or cancelling direct debits.  Having it within the virgin world would also mean it would be clear that it was the account holder contacting virgin.  And it could be used for tailored offers to customers.  Win win?

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skeggman
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Message 10 of 16
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Re: Why no written communication?

OK, to address this correctly, Why no email?

I think that the thrust of my enquiry is this, to spell it out in no uncertain terms:

The telephone staff and the webchat do not meet my needs (as I've not seen webchat available for the last few days), nor do they appear to meet the needs of many of the other forum users, this is a popular source of disquiet as far as I can see.

I require a better way of communicating with Virgin Media in a more formal capacity without awaiting a postal delay or incurring the cost of postage. I don't think that this is at all unreasonable.

I have little interest in what other busineses such as NowTv offer, should I ever fall out with Now TV and their email contact form transpires not to be adequate, I dare say I will have a similar gripe.

Email would just seem a logical step. I cannot see any especially valid reason for not wanting to provide it.

Interestingly, the silence from the VM forum team on this issue is deafening, especially as it took them all of 2 minutes to edit my post and remove the name of an unhelpful VM employee when I posted it the other day (despite his openly identifying himself to me as a senior customer service manager and named representitave of the company). So come on VM gang, speak up, what's the answer?