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Can I make a claim again virgin in the small claims before the ombudsman?

Joining in

I tried to sign up with virgin broadband in April and I still don’t even have a virgin cable into my house let alone service! And yet they keep taking money from my account. They say they can’t allow me to disconnect because I was never connected! And they won’t refund me. They keep hanging up on me or passing me around. I’m beside myself. It’s hours every day. I can’t cope anymore. It’s just like all in the Ofcom complaints. The crazy thing is I we have three other accounts with virgin/02. Our whole family. I had been such a loyal customer for so many years. How can they be allowed to bully people in this way? I cannot afford to wait for it to go to the Ombudsman it takes so long. Wouldn’t a judge realise I had no other choirs


Alessandro Volta

Details are everything when trying to assess compensation claims under the automatic compensation scheme. It is hard to make out the details from your description.

The only way VM might start charging you without any service is if you had a failed 'Quick Start' kit (where they can start charging you after delivery of the equipment on the assumption you plug in the kit and start using the service).

Your description sounds more like you were expecting a new cable to be installed in order to receive the new service. In those circumstances you shouldn't be charged until the service is activated.

How exactly have you come to be paying for a service which does not work and has no VM cable to supply it?

AIUI, the courts expect you to have used arbitration first before resorting to a court process.

On our wavelength

You can use the Small Claims Court to re-claim your monies back if VM refuse to re-imburse you.  However, you will be wise to exhaust all other avenues as goslow outlines.  Go to the highest levels first by writing to the ceo of VM and/or Global Liberty.  Place a complaint with Ofcom.  Agree to arbitration with the Ombudsman.  The Small Claims Court will be greatly impressed with those efforts.  By the way VM/Global Liberty cannot represent themselves in a SCC, they have to appoint a Barrister.  O.K. they will have a legal team on call either on fixed fee or more probably retaining annual amount.  If not, it will cost them about £1,000 for that hour in court. 

Alessandro Volta

Yorkist, Whilst most of what you say is correct, I believe you're incorrect about companies having to use a lawyer (and especially a barrister) to represent them in a case using the small claims track.  They definitely can, but unless there's exceptional circumstances (such as a vexatious or frivolous claim or unreasonable behaviour by the claimant) they won't get their legal costs awarded by the judge even if they win.  The whole point of small claims is to reduce the complexity and cost of the process, and if the claimant puts together a clear and detailed case then it's likely that the judge will not require an in-person or on-line hearing.  Sometimes companies fill in the paperwork to defend a claim, but if there is a hearing they simply don't send anybody.  In that case they avoid the costs of either legal or management time, and probably inconvenience the claimant, but the judge will take a no-show into account in making their decision (ie it increases the probability of the claim being upheld).