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Can someone advise me on whether VirginMedia hold themselves accountable under any of the following. Please advise which of the following legislation you do adhere to, which parts of the legislation you ignore, and what someone is able to do if you break these laws of the land. Please advise as CISAS run by CEDR is meant as an adjudicator but has no power at all and is paid for in large measure by the Telecoms companies. 

The Equality Act 2010
The Communications Act 2003
The Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
The Consumer Rights Act 2015

Which of these laws does VirginMedia freely ignore and do as they wish regardless of the content of the above legislation. Does VirginMedia have any intention of applying the above to its commercial practices. Who can a person approach, beyond Citizens Advice who are essentially of no use, so that the breaking of regulations within the above can be effectively looked at. CISAS is in the pocket of the Telecoms companies and is the representing adjudicator for Ofcom. 

I am requesting this in writing on your forum so that it can easily be found for others that may suffer through the wrongful decisions and motivations of VirginMedia. 

This request for information is mainly towards VirginMedia staff themselves but I appreciate anyone's help. I am solely interested in knowledge of how someone can complain about problems with VirginMedia while also not being blocked by the following element of CISAS' Terms and Conditions which points out the following is a major problem as this type of problem cannot be dealt with by CISAS. 

2.2.11 A dispute that is about the fairness of a subscribing company’s general
commercial practices

This essentially means that there is nothing can be done for practically anything VirginMedia chooses to do even when it is blatantly against all the relevant legislation mentioned above. What recourse does a person have and through who does the person go. The telecoms industry is essentially running itself and has as little regard for the law as shown in many films about the Wild West. This cannot be right and needs to be changed. 
Thank you all. 


Accepted Solutions

Alessandro Volta

"Just £50 to be a nuisance and potentially win."

Thinking that's one thing.  Writing it in a public forum is another, since if you go to court, then Joe Paralegal will be asked to look things over, if he sees this he'll present it in court and say the case is vexatious and ask the judge to dismiss the case.  Save the £50, I'd suggest.

When it comes to new ISP time, do your research, so you know what to expect.  No point going from VM to Vodafone, for example as they're pretty similar in business model and customer service.  The web site ISP Review is very good, and might help identify a range of options.  I'm about to heed the advice I've often given to others, and take my internet business to one of the small customer-focused ISPs, rather than the heavily marketed major companies, but you need to consider what you want versus what you're prepared to pay. 

See where this Helpful Answer was posted



I’m not sure where you are getting your information from, but firstly CISAS are NOT in the pocket of the telecoms companies, but if they are, then I would welcome seeing what contrary evidence you have. Indeed the published statistics reveal that a vast majority of complaints submitted to CISAS result in a judgement AGAINST the telecom provider and in favour of the consumer. Such adjudications and orders to pay compensation are legally binding.

As for which of the following Statute Laws do VM simply ignore, the answer is none of them, on the grounds that Statutes are binding on everyone and companies are looking at massive fines, if not, in extremis, employees going to prison for disregarding them!

Now if you feel that another party has acted illegally, you, like every citizen have the right to petition a Court for redress should you so wish.

Anyhow, you obviously have some grievance against VM which you feel has not been properly addressed, so if you would like to cite it on here, I’m sure we would be able to advise accordingly.

I am currently going through an issue with CISAS but have, via VirginMedia's defence been shown that the CISAS term mentioned above, I have added the point at which it comes up:

2.2 The Scheme cannot be used to settle disputes that fall into one or more of the
following categories:

2.2.11 A dispute that is about the fairness of a subscribing company’s general
commercial practices

That this effectively removes CISAS from intervening in so much of what VirginMedia has done wrong. The context of the problems I have will remain between myself, VirginMedia and CISAS at this point. I asked in which manner we, as individuals can ensure we are treated fairly by companies such as VirginMedia, and your answer appears to state CISAS but with such a term effectively removing them from the picture. One problem caused by VirginMedia is a post phone call increase in pricing for a package, another is non-adherence to how to treat vulnerable customers and a third is ensuring a disconnection fee in a situation where the person moving home has no opportunity whatsoever to take up a package beyond the original house. That person has moved back to his parental home, my house, and has through no fault of his own lost his home earlier in the year. The fairness element of much of the legislation is being ignored. This is an obligation placed on all companies but without a means to achieve redress, other than through later court action, who does a person, any consumer, turn to. When CISAS is limited by its own Terms not to bring a case against VirginMedia even when the problems are directly relevant to each of the pieces of legislation under which consumer protection values are meant to be accomplished. Small claims court after the event should not be the requirement placed on individuals, some of whom cannot face that sort of extra hassle due to particular needs. 

As for the issue regarding CISAS being in the pockets of such companies. I could be wrong but it is hardly surprising when other adjudicators and commonly used advice bodies are far from independent. But on Legal Beagles website you can find, I won't bring up names or similar but if you choose to look it up under the post on there 'VirginMedia and non independent ombudsman CISAS' the statement is made that:

Virgin Media pay them a fee to look into their complaints, it could be as much as £550 plus. So they can come out with 'stupid decisions'.

With no apparent means of fighting a company within the major telecoms companies without going to small claims court, there appears to be a major failing in the UK to provide consumers with truly effective and truly impartial adjudication that is not limited to avoiding matters that would be deemed unfair in all relevant named legislation, and though covered by other relevant factors, are unable to be pursued by CISAS. Can you provide me with any written information that can give me some belief in an adjudicator that prevents its own involvement in a great many potential complaints through terms item 2.2.11 stated above. Trading Standards and OFCOM as far as I am aware only deal with major issues and not individual issues. The Financial Ombudsman is mentoned on VirginMedia's own website but gives no further guidance as to what issues TFO can deal as CISAS is the main adjudicator. Perhaps I am best going directly for Telefonica who is the parent company of VirginMedia and are directly connected by legislation to the Financial Conduct Authority. 

What do you suggest that will not cost money at this point? Who does a consumer rest his hopes on when CISAS clearly removes a large part of potential complaints directly with term 2.2.11?

Thank you for your input.

The Legal Beagles link. The statement may be in error but most such statements do not come from nowhere. 

Within CISAS' rules it states:

Powers of the adjudicator
5.1. The adjudicator will be fair and unbiased at all times and will make a decision that is in line with
the relevant law, any relevant codes of practice, and contracts between the company and the
customer. The adjudicator will act quickly and efficiently

Which is fine and grand if the other term 2.2.11 can be overruled so as to allow them to adjudicate based on a company failing to apply the relevant law, any relevant codes of practice, and contracts between the company and the customer. The fact is which overrides the other as there is a conflict between clauses here. Can anyone explain the likely route for decision making in arbitration for this conundrum. 

Sorry the paragraph that would appear to help consumers due to issues being relevant to the laws of the land is not applied by Telecoms rules of CISAS but in theiir rules in dealing with Chartered Surveyors. Different rules for different fools it would appear. Caveat emptor even applies now to ombudsmen and adjudicators as some have far more clout in one situation than another. Law matters in one guise but not another. 

I have now checked again and in the original CISAS rules for Telecoms it states:

5 Powers of the adjudicator
5.1 The adjudicator will be fair and unbiased at all times and will make a decision that
is in line with the relevant law, any relevant codes of practice, and contracts between
the company and the customer. The adjudicator will act quickly and efficiently.

So, bearing in mind term 2.2.11

2 Scope of the Scheme
2.2 The Scheme cannot be used to settle disputes that fall into one or more of the
following categories:
2.2.11 A dispute that is about the fairness of a subscribing company’s general
commercial practices;

As section 2 comes prior to section 5 I must presume that 2.2.11 is the overriding rule and other laws and relevant Acts are ignored and cannot impose on VirginMedia or any other telecoms provider even when they are dealing manifestly unfairly according the main consumer protection laws of the UK. The relinquishing of such a power is effectively handing over the choice of type of complaint a customer can bring to CISAS over to the company being complained about. As far as I am aware VirginMedia chooses to be adjudicated by a body but that body's powers are already known to the company prior to accepting adjudication in future cases. An adjudicatory lapdog. 

Alessandro Volta

If you're not happy with a CISAS adjudication, then you are of course free to take action against VM through the courts for any breach of law.  It would be sensible to seek legal advice before doing that, but you don't have to.  Taking the matter to court is straightforward if bureaucratic process that can all be done online, but taking a large company to court is unwise unless you really are confident in the aspect of law that you are seeking to have enforced.  Chances are that if there is some "commercial" dispute here, such as VM not offering you new customer pricing when an existing fixed term contract ends, then CISAS decision is correct, and you'd probably lose by taking the matter to court.  

But if you won't explain the case here, we can't really offer any better advice.


Thanks for additional response. It is irrelevant, think about it, what my issues are. If a person goes to their GP who tells them they can deal with their breathing issues but cannot deal with the bacterial infection causing the breathing issues. You would feel understandably let down. It is not a fringe, or specialist issue, but current GP's bread and butter. VM through CISAS Terms and Condition  2.2.11 enable a large demarcation on this point between a wrongful action that matters to them, and a wrongful action they can consistently make and get away with. You don't need to know specific infringements but simply know infringements of 4 major UK legislative Acts are being committed. Variety of such issues means that there really is no specific relevance to whether  issues are affecting me one way, and you another. The infringements are the important fact when ombudsman's own terms restrict action on them. There are ways around everything but this is an additional unwarranted hoop to jump through as the law should be the relevant issue. Not an ombudsman inability to action that law.

Though I've suggested the variety of issues going on in a post above. The fact is that CISAS is the relevant adjudicator passed to consumers by OFCOM. If they are to do that as a means of assuring compliance with each of the relevant Acts that apply to telecoms and all consumer protection issues then there cannot be blanket exclusions regarding what CISAS cannot touch.

What if someone ran over your foot as they drove out of Tesco. Would you expect to be able to make a complaint of dangerous driving yo yhe police. But hhen you are told they don't deal because it was on Tesco land. The best you can hope for Sir is clubland points as a bonus for harm caused. No you would expect the main dangerous driving law and subsequent compensation to apply.

VirginMefia have an ombudsman's adjudication process which deflects huge swathes of potential problems by way of CISAS term 2.2.11. If you think this is fair then carry on. But companies such as VM, Sky and BT are effectively self policing if ombudsmen cannot look at all things that are both unfair to customers but also unlawful in regard to four separate Acts that are all current legislation. All of which are now presenting themselves as laws under which firms can be prosecuted. But none of which can easily be actioned against all telecoms companies.

There is a mindset of complete acceptance on this forum. VM fan boys perhaps. If not, then yiu should be worried about erosion of all forms of consumer protection. There are ways around 2.2.11 but I'm waiting not for comments off those willing to back down in light of CISAS limitations. But for responses from VM agents themselves. But they are unlikely to answer as they will know that laws they are meant to work within, because of limitations imposed on adjudicators, VM can effectively ignore. The previous reply I had was that CISAS wins this and that. But is there specificity in that group of wins. The issues VM make go away due to non acceptance due to CISAS 2.2.11 will have no comparative level to give consideration to. How many consumers back down and carry on losing out to VM?

As for courts. Small claims is the standard minimally cost restrictive and controlled cost version of litigation. £80 allows you to claim up to £1000. But why should this be a case when four distinct Acts or legislation are being ignored by VM and the Competition and Markets Authority, Trading Standards are outside of the scope for individuals being treated unfairly, read illegally, by VM approach. 

You may notice during the coming years that the The ECHR, The Equality Act 2010, The Consumer Rights Act 2015, The Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and The Communications Act 2003, all of which should be enforceable, are without great effort NOT. You may notice other person centric protections falling away without complaint. Ask those on zero contract hours and similarly harsh cuts in protection how its impacted their lives.

There was a time where telecoms, like other providers, would limit fir instance early disconnection fees to say 90 days value of package. That is now £288. All for what true loss exactly. These are not cost based but formulaic manifestations if an industry built, not on serving customers, but on monetary gain far beyond necessary. This is an example of a market ensuring retention of customers through costs being too high to leave. The list goes on.

Please no more answers from general users. The questions I put at the beginning need to be answered by VM staff. Not by those unwilling to recognise that ombudsmen are very often, for no fault of the consumer, unfit for purpose and that this has been actively developed to be this way. Take care all and thank you.

Hi dulede, thanks for the message and sorry to hear about your experience. 

I will send you a private message to see what has happened and advise on the next steps

Kind regards, Chris. 

Jem101 and Andrew-G

One problem I am currently fighting happened towards the end of last year. This matter has been going on some time and is only now reaching the end through CISAS and this may then end up elsewhere. VirginMedia, like all other companies have a role as a telecoms provider, not just to service the 'mechanicals' of its operations. But also to act within the confines of the legislation I mentioned earlier. 

My mother was suffering severely from dementia and was well understood by VirginMedia as such. They understood as does anyone what dementia is and how it impacts on a person with that condition. It makes them vulnerable. So the question put to VirginMedia here now, is bearing in mind that VirginMedia will sanction service removal within no time at all when someone misses a payment of their bill, why do they not place themselves in the position of the vulnerable party in the same manner?

I had to ring VirginMedia to have my mother's phone number changed as she was being affected through increased worry and anxiety through 'scam' fake calls suggesting her bank had had hundreds taken out by VM or by Amazon or similar. It was an attempt to avoid this issue. We told her not to answer the phone at all due to the state she got in. Before someone says why not just take the phone off her? My mother needed the phone line and a phone for safety issues. She would talk most of the day to us and would also need to use the phone line if she had a fall or similar so that emergency services could access her verbally through the wall based lifeline. Her own lifeline itself was a pendant worn around her neck which needed to be pressed. But the main function from that point on required a phone line. 

As time went on her ability to remember and understand what she was doing became more impaired and upon checking her bank account one day I noticed a very significant increase in her VM direct debit. I traced this back to the previous couple of months where she had made hundreds of calls to 123 'The Speaking Clock' and my mother had clocks and visual evidence for the time anywhere. But by this point the time meant nothing to her and she couldn't understand it. She knew she was tired or hungry or similar and her life revolved around this. Not time. I noticed within a couple of months that this was happening but it could have been my mother had nobody to do this for her and would have remained vulnerable to this issue. Please bear in mind that when a parent is going through dementia they are often not reasonable, aggressive and hard to deal with for many other reasons. My entire life revolved around her other issues which led to us having to alter locks on her doors and windows so she could not leave the home; all agreed to legally through the court of protection. Dementia keeps you on your toes from morning til night and VirginMedia was not the most obvious concern for us and it is only by chance that you may realise things, such as the speaking clock issue are happening and do things to stop this. 

But VirginMedia, like all other companies are bound by legislation to make adjustments for those who are known to be vulnerable for one reason or another. VirginMedia could place individual sections of maybe three or four people based in Hook in charge of monitoring the accounts of the vulnerable for deviations from the norm. This is written into legislation and that means law. This is not optional but forms a part of how they run their business in every bit as concrete a manner as ensuring cabinetry and cabling is always done safely and with minimal interruptions to those living in work localities. 

This agreement to deal with vulnerable, disabled or otherwise, in specifically amended ways where necessary is an obligation. Yet VirginMedia do not see things this way and accordingly there has been no refund of the very many calls made by my mother through major cognitive illness. She is regularly marked in their notes as vulnerable and is now deceased but there is no monetary return. This is 'only' my mother's fault. Now this could have happened at a larger scale and over a longer period. Direct debits are simply collected by VirginMedia but this with vulnerable people is a chance to consider why a bill has doubled or more this month. The Speaking Clock dialled every minute for an hour is not normal behaviour and could have been isolated by VirginMedia but had to wait until I saw this by pure luck. Had my mother nobody watching out for her the direct debits would have remained being paid, perhaps increasingly large in cost, month on month. Perhaps for a year or two until she died. Could have been calls billed to a vulnerable disabled person in the £thousands when this could have been spotted by a dedicated 'vulnerable person's agent' directed to that task by VirginMedia. It is wrong for them not to be considerate of the needs of the vulnerable and not to have such a department in place. This is a company employing many thousands of employees and it is no 'mom and pop' operation. 

My mother's speaking clock calls based on viewing of video camera footage at her home came down to my mother often speaking into her TV remote control and not her phone. Using her phone to turn over her TV channels. And other similar scenarios. VirginMedia had to turn off her TV at my request not long before this as my mother could not use VirginMedia TV and we had to alter things so that confusion of remotes left her unable to watch anything. We found a way of her using only the TV provided by her aerial. This was another point at which they became more aware of her needs. 

VirginMedia have made no payment back for the calls she made up until now. She is now passed away and this matter is less important than it was but it should still be back with her estate and not with a money siphoning sponge of a company concerning itself less with its obligations under law and more in keeping anything that it can take from the most vulnerable in society. That is one of the issues being fought at the moment. But that is only one issue. 

These are some of the reasons I want a VM agent to answer, to deny that their company is behaving appropriately, they are not and so far there has been no answer on this forum from a VM agent.