So the TLDR (yes this is the TLDR... I've spent hours talking to CSR's) version is that after weeks of our phone service being incoming only, an engineer came out to fix it. Except he came to upgrade our hub to hub 3 for 21cv. He said the outgoing call block was a tactic to get us to arrange an upgrade (which they didn't actually tell us that his visit was a hub upgrade so I readied the wrong area)
He couldn't connect our phone to the new hub there and then, so as soon as I was able to connect it up to verify the switchover went correctly (only a day later) there was no dial tone on either line. I rang the CS line and the lady muttered something about a disconnection but then said it would take 24 hours for the switchover to happen.
Still no dial tone so called CS back and after a lengthy discussion discover that instead of transitioning my phone line, it was hard disconnected! he said because it wasn't done before June 21st that the phone line has been cancelled and would take 2 weeks to re-instate, and our phone number released back to openreach and would take another 2 weeks to port back.
I suspect a lot of what the "manager" told me was just a ploy to get me off the phone since for instance the engineer visit was on the 20th. and instead of connecting the 21cv line, they just cancelled it instead.
We are now without even an incoming land line which is THE EMERGENCY CONTACT number for various things including my kids' school (and they are accident prone so we get called on it plenty enough) for potentially a month
How can I escalate this further as the whole situation is totally unacceptable and the regular call centre people don't seem to have enough authority to do anything except "apologize" and "understand where I'm coming from" and act like this farce was my fault. VM has done a very good job of insulating people with authority to make things happen form their customers.
Oh I forgot. this is how you treat customers who have been with you for over 20 years... since the company was called ntl... (and I used to be an employee of that previous company...)