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Rbt-M
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Message 1 of 14
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Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

Every month I pay my bill at my bank via a 'fast payment' as a secure wire funds transfer straight into Virgin Media's account. I receive a confirmation receipt at the bank; it shows the date, time, amount transferred, and the account number of the recipient of the payment.

For a long time that worked just fine - but for the last few months, my service [phone and broadband] have been disconnected for non-payment of my bill. Despite knowing the bill has been paid, I've repeatedly needed to send a scanned copy of my bank receipt to Virgin Media's 'missing payments' email address.

Then nothing happens; my service isn't restored and I have to call the useless (non-UK) customer services who then say they haven't received the receipt - then I phone someone else in customer services who confirms they have received it. Meanwhile, my service still hasn't been restored and despite receiving the receipt via e-mail, customer services still say I haven't paid my bill.

I find myself in a revolving door for days trying to get the problem sorted out - then I speak to someone in the UK customer service and the issue is fixed in 5 minutes. I'm used to many 'foreign' accents and can pick them out easily - but some of the Indian dialects are so hard to understand that it becomes frustrating - so I just hang up and try again.

Virgin Media customer services NEVER used to be this bad.... it's a chaotic shambles now - AND the quality of connectivity has fallen so much in the last few years. It's not reliable... going off and on several times a day; I can't even watch video on youtube some times because of the buffering. Over all, I'm very disappointed about the billing problems AND the bad manners of some of the Indian call centre workers who can barely speak English. I'm sick of being interrupted by them when I'm talking. Customer 101....  Don't talk over a customer.... wait until they've finished speaking. AND I don't take kindly to being called a liar when my bill clearly HAS been paid.

This service is abysmal and something needs to be done before a lot of Virgin Media customers get together with a complaint to OFCOM. I used to be a Broadband engineer for Telewest (before it became Virgin Media) and I can honestly say standards have taken a nose-dive since I last did that job. Now my credit rating has been affected through no fault of my own. No compensation for all the time I've been deprived of phone and broadband. Speaking to other Virgin Media customers, they say it's easier dealing with a government department. I couldn't agree more.

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deviousiphone
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Message 2 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

I think the honest answer here is why wouldn't you just pay by direct-debit? It would avoid any of these problem at all? I can understand your frustration but paying right at the last minute is always going to be risky even with fast payments, which are then going to be processed probably by a human checking the payments to each account, direct debit is the way forward to avoid all this.
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Rbt-M
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Message 3 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

Pardon me, but I do not pay my bill at the last minute - and what if I do ? It still gets paid.

It is obvious you do not know my situation; You have have made assumptions and also made generally incorrect statements - AND tried to fob me off. The proof: By NOT addressing my complaint fully (and choosing to answer only the bits you want), that is known as OBFUSCATION - which clearly indicates you have made a conscious decision to use an avoidance tactic followed by an attempt to make out that the customer is in the wrong. You cannot fob me off about banking either; I worked in the banking industry (in IT) for 14 years and know how IT-related financial transactions work - from TAX to SWIFT and from suspense accounts to electronic auditing - and so on. You have stated that 'fast payments' made manually is 'RISKY' (while avoiding the the fact that an acknowledgement of receipt is sent back to the sender and a  traceable route to the recipient account is logged). The so-called 'missing payments' go into a 'suspense account' and the date of receipt can be audited and checked against the sending bank's authentication code + time/date stamp. IF they are as risky as you say, I'm sure the relevant financial governing authorities would want to know about the BIG problems at Virgin Media which make the way they handle incoming funds 'risky'. I'm sorry, but you do appear to be talking way outside your area of expertise. So why don't I pay by Direct Debit ? The honest answer is that I used to pay by Direct Debit until Virgin Media screwed that up as well - and repeatedly left me with bank charges. The number of times I have wrongly been cut off through Virgin Media's in-house problems has now affected my credit rating. No apologies, no compensation. If customers cannot trust Virgin Media to 'handle' a paid bill without screwing up and regularly breaking the terms of their customer agreements / contacts, something needs to be done to remedy this.

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jamesofmerton
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Message 4 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

you say you worked in the banking industry, well so did i at a senior level. the direct debit payment scheme allows for any errors not your fault to be rectified and dealt with ultimately by the FOS. any bank charges would be refunded as a matter of course. no banking charges should be payable by you.

as for the method you are paying by now, i've come across that several times and it is usually down to insufficient information on the payment being transferred over. the payment receipt you get is normal but does not mean it is enough to be able to identify you to your account with virgin.

back to your first line of disagreement with deviousiphone. if you do pay your bill at the last minute it will always take time to process it no matter what method the bill is paid by even by CHAPS..

personally i would try the direct debit method again. the reality is that this offers a lot of protection unlike several other payment methods.if things then do go wrong. you are protected by the dd mandate.

as for the call centre issue....if i do call virgin i hang up at the first sign of a foreign voice. they work to a script and can't understand much beyond that.
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deviousiphone
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Message 5 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

You seem to think I want to fob you off which I find mildly entertaining as I already said I am not virgin and the money doesn't benefit me remotely, what I couldn't understand is when I imagined I was in your situation, and had been cut off several times because of the payment method "I chose to use" was not working how I needed it too, then why on earth wouldn't I find a more practical way of paying my bill that would then fix the issue, to hell if the way I was paying was allowed by virgin if I kept getting cut off and having to phone up for hours at a time, I would change the way I pay!
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deviousiphone
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Message 6 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

Debit card through "My virgin media" would be more effective as it is automatically linked to your account and you don't have to risk someone not picking up your payment manually and applying it to your specific account, and please don't preach banking to me, I am fully aware of the guarantee's in place such as the direct debit guarantee quoted by the previous sensible forum member. To quote someone who I feel would benefit you here "If I don't change, how can I expect my problems too".
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Rbt-M
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Message 7 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

Not Helpful.

Perhaps the "previous sensible forum member" doesn't possess the critical thinking skills to have worked out:

If Virgin Media don't change things when they are at clearly at fault, one can only expect Virgin Media's problems to continue to affect their customers - which is basic bad management. Or; One can't change Virgin Media if they're unwilling to put those who make them huge profits first. Or; If Virgin Media are so badly managed and don't adapt in a changing world to keep customers, they will lose them. Or; It's not what I can do for Virgin Media, it's what they can do for me if they want my money.

Apologists !

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Rbt-M
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Message 8 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

Not helpful.

I can be just as rude as you (and I'll come to that) - but I am one of the many customers who keep you in a job, so I'm am entitled to complain when a company does something very wrong. I'm also retired now and have plenty of time to 'pursue' matters which can help other people. Unfortunately. Some companies just cant stand hearing that parts of their organisation are incompetent or badly managed. They hate tell it like it is people and eventually without thinking, paint themselves into a corner. It looks like deviousiphone needed a bit of support and suspect he/she called one of his/her mates in to help. Obviously going on the attack with: "you say you worked in the banking industry, well so did I at a senior level" is clearly an attempt to invalidate what I've encountered through incompetence on Virgin Media's part. Bank charges are NOT refunded as a matter of course. The bank has to verify the fault at the receiving end (which in my case was Santander's acknowledged fault); only after that was I refunded. You said that: "the payment receipt you get is normal but does not mean it is enough to be able to identify you to your account with virgin". How convenient to have some sort of black hole excuse to absolve Virgin Media of any blame. However, the Bank of Scotland ledger proved the transaction went through to a Virgin Media account held at Santander (which Virgin Media mysteriosly 'found' about 14 days later. I will be sure to speak with my local Bank manager at BoS to let him know that you said: "the payment receipt you get is normal but does not mean it is enough to be able to identify you to your account with virgin". As as for receipts, I get two; one of them shows the electronic transaction details which contains ALL the information to trace the payment to Virgin Media. Maybe you want a bigger shovel - but it seems a JCB is in use already. As for the method I'm paying; It works just fine for all my bills - except Virgin Media (at times) - so that in itself proves my method of payment WORKS at Virgin Media. There is an obvious failing in the way Virgin Media handles transactions; rather than **bleep** about it, wouldn't it be better if Virgin Media remedied this problem for ALL those customers affected by it ? You have also chosen to obfuscate by not replying to ALL the points I made - but apparently managed to misquote me, giving out the impression to all readers of this complaint that I am some kind of racist. Perhaps that was your intention. You cannot just make up stuff; I did not say anywhere that:  "if i do call virgin i hang up at the first sign of a foreign voice". Very careless of you - unless this you stating what you do. If you are referring to me, however, all you need to do now is withdraw the offending misrepresentation, apologise for making it, and then stay out of this conversation to prevent me from taking legal advice. I have flagged your reply to the moderator. Have a nice evening.

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Message 9 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

I think it maybe best to take a bit of a time out here before things get too heated. 

No-one has posted on behalf of Virgin Media - all posts are made by members of the public, trying to help another customer with their situation.

There are many different ways to make payment for your services, and we respect your decision. I've flagged this situation to be investigated further for you. 

Thank you 


The do's and don'ts. Keep the community welcoming for all. Follow the house rules


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Rbt-M
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Message 10 of 14
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Re: Problems at Virgin Media's Billing department.

Thank you, Huw_B

In my post, "you" means Virgin Media employees. My error.
Interestingly, it did come across from the person making the reply that he/she had access to information about my account that an 'average' forum poster would not.
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