Hi, I recently switched my current account and on the appointed switch day I checked that all my direct debits and standing orders had been transferred correctly which they had. I had two DDs in favour of Virgin Mobile (one for each of my accounts). Three days later I received two letters from VM thanking me for using DDs and telling me that the debits had now been set up. When I checked my new bank account I found that I now had four DDs in favour of VM (the two that had been transferred and the two new ones referenced in the letters). In order to keep my bank account correct I cancelled the transferred DDs and just left the two new ones in force. Two days later I received a text telling me that there was a problem with my accounts. I rang the 0800 number quoted and explained the situation but was told that my accounts would be suspended because I had cancelled the DDs. I explained that there were still two DDs in force on my account but I was told that the only way to retain my accounts was to set up a further DD for each account. Virgin Mobile seem to believe that there is no DD set up for either account while my bank insist that they are still in force. It seems I will need to switch my mobile accounts to another provider and cancel all my DDs for Virgin Mobile in order to correct the situation.
Anyone thinking of switching current accounts should beware of DDs in favour of Virgin Mobile. It seems the banks procedure conflicts with that of Virgin Mobile.
Since I have heard nothing more about my direct debits I checked the billing status of my two accounts and found that one of them was due to be paid on the 25th of the month so I made the necessary payment using my debit card. Today the account shows as having been paid but my son, who uses the handset on this account, could not make calls and just got an automated message saying the account had been barred and to call 789.
I called 789 and spoke to a heavily accented lady about the problem and when I finally managed to explain the problem as being with the account and not with the handset she put me on hold for several minutes while she 'investigated' the problem. She finally got back to me and said that the account was now back in service but couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me why it had been barred even though the bill had been paid.
My bank have suggested that I cancel all my direct debits in favour of Virgin Mobile, wait for at least seven days for the cancellation notices to be processed and then set up new debits on my accounts. I hate to think what problems this action will cause me but I will give it a try. Fingers crossed.
Thanks for the reply. Your colleague did confirm that my payment had been processed and could offer no reason why the account had been barred. Anyway, she re-activated the account which is now working again.
I feel that any potential penalty inflicted against my 'credit rating' is less of a loss to me than the potential loss that I could incur by having spurious, redundant direct debits in place on my current account. Since the bank's suggestion means that I can set up new debits tomorrow I will try that and see if the situation then returns to an acceptable state whereby I have only one debit set up against each of my accounts.
Out of interest your colleague in Sheffield left a message on my landline voicemail in which she gave a reason for not calling me when promised (she was called away to a meeting).
I am still at a loss why Virgin Mobile set up new debits following my switching current accounts. The banks switch guarantee actually states that existing debits are transferred and that payment originators simply need to redirect the requests to the new account and sort code. All of my other debits worked correctly including TV licence, local council tax, Washing Machine maintenance plan, and even my Council tax. I don't see why Virgin Mobile should be any different.
I will post what happens tomorrow when I try to set up new debits with VM
I accessed both my accounts this morning. The first account now had an active direct debit showing (before I even had chance to set one up). I have no idea why this has suddenly appeared. I will leave this one as it is to see if this months debit goes through correctly.
The second account was still showing as 'cancelled' against the debit but was also showing as being eligible for an upgrade so to kill two birds with one stone I selected this option so as to obtain the upgrade and also set up the new DDs.
All went well until the order process deided I was not a Virgin Media customer (dwespite my having Broadband, TV and landline with VM). I decided this could be sorted out later so proceeded with the order. All went well until I got the confirmation page telling me that I should expect the new handset tomorrow (via Yodel) once I had actioned the three e-mails that were being sent to my VM e-mail address. This was at 10:58.
It is now 19:30 and I still have not received any e-mails (I've checked spam folders etc) although the order shows as pending my response. Interestingly the account now shows the new tariff as coming into force at the next renewal although the direct debit is still showing as 'cancelled'.
I think the time has come for me to call a halt to this debacle now. I can get the same handset from Amazon at a cheaper price and if the account gets barred again I can pick up a £5 SIM from Asda. I'll let the order lapse (unless the e-mails do appear in time). I think I'll just go with a change of number, I really can't face any more 789 calls to try and get a PAC code.
PS. I now find that VM have charged me £4.88 for the privilege of calling your Sheffield call centre to try to sort the original problem out. To say that I have learned a valuable lesson from this exercise is putting it very mildly indeed.
Hi Mat, I rang on Wednesday to check what was going on and was asked to wait for the application to expire and then to call again to arrange the contract update. Since I had originally applied on Tuesday 1st I waited until Thursday evening but the application was still showing as 'pending'. I checked again this morning and it was still 'pending' so I rang again and spoke to a very helpful lass (Denise) who said there was a problem with the 'system' and asked me to check again later in the day. Then at 09:32 my three contract e-mails appeared in my inbox followed almost immediately by my thank you e-mail and then by the cancellation/expiry e-mail. Denise did, at my request, re-instate my direct debit for this account so I will NOT now re-apply for the upgrade since this will risk having duplicate debits set up again. I will retain the original air-time contract and purchase a new handset from another source.
Denise has shown that at least some of your call centre people can (and do) do an excellent job when dealing with your paying customers. It is such a pity that this is not the experience that many of your customers receive.