Menu
Reply
AmyUK
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
Joining in
651 Views
Message 1 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Help for a friend

Hi,

I’m after some advice and help.  I have a friend who is struggling right now financially and with the Coronavirus mess, it’s just gotten worse.  He recently lost his job, too, so he’s having a very hard time.  He’s stuck at home in lockdown by himself with no job or anything to do.  He suffers from severe depression and anxiety, and being able to talk to me and others has kept him going.  He also has a 7 year old son who lives with his ex that he doesn’t get to see now because of the lockdown.  He’s been calling him and video-chatting with him to help keep up time together.  His tv and broadband have been his lifeline.  He’s now behind on his bills, and his tv and broadband are going to be cut off on the 30th.  Yesterday, he dropped his mobile and smashed it, and it’s no longer useable.  Now he’s going to end up with no way to communicate with anyone, being stuck in a house alone with anxiety and depression weighing on him.  He blames himself for everything and is really hard on himself.

My questions are these:

1. Is there anything Virgin can do for him?

2. Could I possibly pay part of what he owes so his service isn’t cut off on the 30th of this month?  I’m a paediatric nurse so can’t really afford to pay the whole thing, but if it would keep his service from being stopped, I’ll pay something.  

I want to help however I can, but I don’t want him to know.  He’s very proud and stubborn and doesn’t like accepting help from people.  If anyone has any support they can lend, it would be greatly appreciated.  I’m afraid for him and his well-being. I am willing to verify my identity any way possible.

Thank you.

0 Kudos
Reply
Retro-Tech
  • 659
  • 175
  • 255
Forum Team (Retired)
Forum Team (Retired)
639 Views
Message 2 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

You really need a customer services representative as they have billing access permissions to make amendments to customer accounts.

If you have still been unable to get through on the phones or Live Chat on the Web site then you can send texts to this number 07533 051809 with details of the issue. Might take a while for a response but might be quicker than the other options.

Please hit the Kudos thumb to say thanks and mark answer as Helpful if the reply has helped at all


Here to help! I'm a technician helping out whilst working from home. Find out more


0 Kudos
Reply
HowardML
  • 12.3K
  • 1.43K
  • 5.75K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
621 Views
Message 3 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

The problem with the advice you have been given is that even if you were successful in getting through to VM customer services they would be unable to help you. They would simply not discuss the affairs of a third party with you. Notwithstanding the virus emergency VM must abide strictly by the data protection rules which mean they will only deal with the customer or an authorised representative (very limited circumstances and this is not one of them). If they did not they would lay themselves open to fines and other measures for breaching customer confidentiality. This also rules out making a payment on his behalf (without him knowing) for which you would need his account details anyway. It would be OK for your friend to give you those details but it is completely not OK for VM to do that.

Now you are clearly in touch with your friend. You need to discuss this with him and not try and be covert about meeting his debts. He also needs to talk to VM urgently to explain his position. His position is clearly difficult and he may not be in the mood for this, but there really is no alternative. This could mean a long wait for the phone to be answered.  The lines are very busy. But there is time before the cut off date to get through and sort out something.

Finally, probably the best help you can give him is to get him a replacement phone, maybe you have a spare old one?  The existing SIM should work. And to persuade him to apply for main stream financial help. Two main sources - Universal Credit and his local council has a hardship fund to help in this kind of case. 

I am full of admiration for the help you are trying to give and for your concern. But I have to emphasise that there are limits to working around the system. Best to do this up front and rely on the sources of help that the Government has provided. I hope VM will be sympathetic too - once you can get through.  The numbers are 150 from any VM landline or Virgin Mobile (both free) or 0345 454 1111 from any other phone (chargeable). Good luck.

 

 



I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks

AmyUK
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
Joining in
593 Views
Message 4 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

The problem with another phone is no phone I can give him nor the old one he is currently using are unlocked to the network he was using with the smashed mobile.  🤷🏽‍♀️

And trust me, working in the profession I do, I fully understand confidentiality.  I don’t even want to access his account.  I was hoping VM could take his name and postcode from me and credit his account if I could pay something.  And I needed to know if they’d even accept that part payment for now anyway.  

He’s hard to motivate.  He gives up easily when things are rough.  He has universal credit, but his payment isn’t for another two weeks, and he has ran out of money.  He doesn’t qualify for a hardship loan.  He just needs something to work. I fear for his mental health.

0 Kudos
Reply
HowardML
  • 12.3K
  • 1.43K
  • 5.75K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
587 Views
Message 5 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

Hi Amy

Its stronger than confidentiality, it is data protection legislation and VM will not break it. We know, as VIPs with long experience of how VM  works we see what VM's policy and practices are.  They won't even start the conversation with you, even if you have his identifying details with you when you call. 

He really will have to phone himself to see what payment VM will accept to maintain his services beyond 30 April.  At that stage if you are with him he can tell them that he wants you to speak to them and then you can offer to pay from your account. But you'll have to be there with him for him to authorise the VM agent to talk to you. That really is how it is. If I knew of another way through I'd tell you. 

 



I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks

0 Kudos
Reply
AmyUK
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
Joining in
581 Views
Message 6 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

Unfortunately, the situation is made even more difficult by the fact I’m not anywhere near him, and with the lockdown, I can’t be.  

Thanks for the advise.  I just don’t see a way around this, and I really am terrified for him.

0 Kudos
Reply
HowardML
  • 12.3K
  • 1.43K
  • 5.75K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
575 Views
Message 7 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

I gave you a bit of silly advice - that you would have to be with him when he phoned VM. Sorry about that. But he still has to contact them himself to organise any kind of deal with VM on part payment to prevent disconnection. Then once you know he had done that he could give you the account details for you to make payment for him. But that is not quite what you want.

I still think VM won't talk to you if you do phone but one of the advantages of being a VIP is that we have the ear of the VM permanent staff on this Forum so I am going to ask them if they can think of a way through. Long odds but worth trying? Watch this space






I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks

0 Kudos
Reply
AmyUK
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
Joining in
568 Views
Message 8 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

We’ve also realised that he can’t make any phone calls because he doesn’t have an active SIM card in the old phone he’s using.  And the sim of his broken phone won’t work in a phone locked to another network.  I’m trying to help him figure out if he can do WiFi calling, but he’s getting anxious and upset.


Howard, I’m honestly about to cry from your generosity and offer of help.  Thank you so much.  

0 Kudos
Reply
HowardML
  • 12.3K
  • 1.43K
  • 5.75K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
561 Views
Message 9 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

That's nice of you to say. But please don't get your hopes up. This is a very difficult situation. The Forum Team may not reply till Monday either.

The VIPs aren't VM employees. We just contribute to the Forum as experienced VM users and VM recognise that status with the rank of VIP.


I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks

0 Kudos
Reply
HowardML
  • 12.3K
  • 1.43K
  • 5.75K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
556 Views
Message 10 of 22
Flag for a moderator

Re: Help for a friend

I have a question for you. If VM want to contact your friend how would he take the call. Mobile smashed? Has he got a landline? Just yes or no to that question. No personal information here please.



I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks

0 Kudos
Reply