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fyles-net
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Message 1 of 18
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Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

Hi,

I have a Freestyle contract taken out in April 2016, for a Galaxy S6 with a 4GB data tariff. This was taken out as an upgrade to my previous (non-Freestyle) contract, and arranged over the phone with a VM agent. They advised me that, based on my previous data usage, I should have a 4GB tariff, so I agreed. The website showed that the limit was 8GB.

I later found that I needed more data, as I had been charged for exceeding the 4GB limit. So I called VM, but the agent insisted that 4GB is the maximum. 

I have another two mobiles with VM. One, a Freestyle contract taken out in May 2016, has a 5GB tariff on it, but can be raised to 10GB (VM has confirmed this). The second phone has a VIP Unlimited tariff on it. I know that VM changed the tariffs in May 2016.

Now, at no point during the call when I took out the contract was I told that I wasn't allowed to have 8GB. The website proudly announces that I could change my data tariff up and down whenever I like, so although VM advised that my data usage sensibly meant taking the 4GB option, I was left in the apparent knowledge that I could change it down to 250MB, or up to 8GB.

But now they say that my credit rating at the time of taking out the contract determined that only 4GB was available to me. Which makes no sense, because less than a month later my second 5GB contract allowed me to have up to 10GB.

Despite many phone calls to VM, the agents and the contracts team insist that there is nothing that they can do. Then they told me that I should cancel my existing contract -- and pay off the phone -- then start a new contract with them. I was told that I could "speak to the CEO, but even he won't be able to help you." This is really poor customer service. 

I raised a complaint and was assured of a response in 24 hours, but five days later I've had no reply. 

So now I'm left with a phone that has a data tariff that's not fit for purpose and no way to change it for the next 20 months or so. Virgin Media had misrepresented the package to me and now refuse to help to change it.

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teabag
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Message 2 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

This is info you probably don't want to hear, but while you still have a Freestyle phone contract you are paying - you only have the choice of sim tarrifs which we're available at the time you took the Freestyle contract out :-(

It was/will be cleverly worded in the contract you have.

When the Freestyle phone is paid off, you get the choice to take on any of the new sim tarrifs offered.
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BB 200 - Hub 3, Phone Talk w/ends, Mobile Sim only £9 and £5 big bundle sim. Customer since 1993.
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fyles-net
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Message 3 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

Thanks for your reply.

When the contract was taken out in April 2016, VM was offering the following data tariffs: 250MB, 500MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB. So 4GB was chosen, although I was aware that 8GB was advertised, and that Freestyle meant the ability to change up or down. This was the advertised material put out on VM's website at the time. 

(You can see this at https://web.archive.org/web/20160409070147/http://store.virginmedia.com/virgin-media-mobile/freestyl..., this was how the page looked in April 2016).

During the call, the agent never said anything about not being allowed to have 8GB. This month, I was charged for exceeding the allowance, so called VM to increase it, and only then was I told that it could not be done.

I can find no copy of the VM "Pay Monthly Airtime Contract" anywhere. The Freestyle handset loan agreement does not specify anything about data tariffs as it's not related.

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teabag
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Message 4 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

With that page you linked, 8gig option should be available to you. If they sell it to you is another matter - recently other posters on here with high data allowances have been offered lower allowances or the choice to leave.

The wording I was on about, on today's phones web pages it says
"No need to worry about choosing the right tariff today for the rest of your contract. We let you move up and down between the tariffs you see above to fit your needs."

With "tarrifs you see above" being the limitation.
---------------------------------------------------------------
BB 200 - Hub 3, Phone Talk w/ends, Mobile Sim only £9 and £5 big bundle sim. Customer since 1993.
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fyles-net
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Message 5 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

Absolutely (and thanks again for the reply).

For the "tariffs you see above" at that time, 8GB was among them. The agent at 150 never said I couldn't have 8GB. So I was led to believe that I could have 8GB at a later date if I needed it, because the website listed it.

Surely this has to be misrepresentation.

I have another phone on the same account - taken out less than a month later - that has a 5GB tariff and that I can increase to 10GB if I want. But not this one.

I'm really hoping a VM moderator might be able to comment on this soon...
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Superuser
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Message 6 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

A reply from a moderator will take several days.

The information Teabag has given you is correct, regarding people having their Tariffs changed down, there is always the "get out of jail free" card of "Terms and conditions are subject to change" so it would be pretty difficult to make the argument they HAVE to upgrade it for you, because it was advertised some time in the past. I get what you are saying that you were under the impression you could change up at any time, so the contract does not meet your needs. Unfortunately VM can do what they like with regard to data limits available. And the trend seems to be downwards ATM. 

 

 

 


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fyles-net
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Message 7 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

If VM had said, "we used to offer an 8GB tariff, but we're withdrawing it, and here's our letter notifying you of it" then that would be a change in service. Their get-out-of-jail-free as you put it, and that would be fine.

But, at the time of taking out the contract, VM said that 8GB was available -- because, over the phone, they never said it wasn't -- as that was listed on their website (just to clarify, it wasn't some time in the past, it was current at the time of taking out the contract).

If you're promised something that is later not delivered then surely that's mis-selling, which can't be lawful?
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Forum Team
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Message 8 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

Hi fyles,

Thank you for your post on the Forum. I’m sorry that the 8GB option is no longer available. I appreciate that this was an option at the time you took out your 4GB contract. Our tariffs are subject to change, so please regularly check in on Virgin Mobile online or give us a call to discuss available upgrade opportunities on 789 or 0345 6000 789 where our teams will be happy to help.

 

Kind regards,

 

 


Need help changing SIM card? Find out more about activating your 4G ready SIM. 4G SIM Swap Help


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fyles-net
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Message 9 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

Thanks for your reply Terri.


I’m sorry that the 8GB option is no longer available. I appreciate that this was an option at the time you took out your 4GB contract.

Are you saying that it's not available to all users who took out Freestyle contracts before 4th May 2016 (when VM changed the tariffs)? If so, this is a really poor and unfair lock-in. But an agent on 789 told me that 8GB was not available specifically to me because of my credit rating. Even though I have another Freestyle phone with a 5GB tariff (taken out in May 2016, just after the tariffs changed), that can be upgraded to 10GB if I want. Where's the logic in that?

There's no consistency here at all.


 Give us a call to discuss available upgrade opportunities on 789 or 0345 6000 789 where our teams will be happy to help.

I've done that, but everyone at 789 just says there's absolutely nothing they can do. The last agent said, "You could ask the CEO but even he won't be able to help you."

The only option that 789 offered was that I cancel my existing contract, then find nearly £400 to pay off my phone, then start a new contract. But I took out a Freestyle contract so that I wouldn't have to pay for the phone up front!

So, basically, I'm locked into a contract that, when it was sold to me, I was originally told I could upgrade in case it wasn't enough, but now am told that I can't. So it's not fit for purpose for the next 20 months or so.

Does anyone here see that this is unfair and inconsistent?

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fyles-net
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Message 10 of 18
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Re: Mis-selling of Freestyle data tariff

Well, I took your advice and called 789 again. This gets even better.

So 4GB and 8GB are tariffs that belong to the pre-May 2016 "family" (as the agent put it) that no longer exist, while the 250MB, 500MB, 1GB and 2GB tariffs exist in both the pre-May 2016 and post-May 2016 sets.

VM has tied the tariff set to the time at which the contract was taken out. So I am on the 4GB tariff, but this no longer exists. I can't move up to 8GB because this no longer exists. I can move down to 2GB or less, because that also exists in both the old and new tariff sets. But the agent said that if I did move down to 2GB or less then I wouldn't be able to move back up to 4GB because it no longer exists! But VM have never warned about this.

So anyone with a pre-May 2016 Freestyle contract that moves down from 4GB or 8GB would be stuck on 2GB or less, and can't move back up.

This is really poor and not at all what we were led to believe Freestyle was about. It's really unfair that VM have not made this clear anywhere.

I raised a complaint about this on 10th August, but of course no-one has called me back despite me asking three times.

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