Can anyone offer any help or advice please. My elderly mother was without a landline for nearly 7 months, it was only fixed 10 days ago. She lives in an area with poor mobile reception so her landline is her lifeline. Trying to get someone to take ownership of the problem or to call you back is virtually impossible.
Her phoneline went down back in March. An engineer attended and confirmed there was a problem with the underground cables and it needed to be passed to another team. That's where the problems started..
To keep it short, we had M V Kelly start digging up roads and running new cables, then COV-19 hit and the work stopped, work started again but this time with Connex, and then the work stopped again. We've had numerous dates for engineers to arrive and they didn't turn up! Numerous times engineers arrived when they weren't due ! The job kept on being passed from one dept to another. No-one could give us an update as to what was happening with the job. Connex ran a new cable to the house early Aug and left a roll of cable hanging from the drain pipe. Nothing happened for over a month. Having chased them several times I was advised approx. two weeks that everything was ok and working (it wasn't)- although the person on the end of the phone couldn't understand why we still had unconnected cable hanging down. He agreed to send an engineer.
Said engineer attended about 10 days ago and got the landline working in 10 minutes - he had no idea why there was a new cable run to the house and said the problem could have been sorted out back in March without all the digging. The cable was left hanging from the drainpipe.
More engineers turned up out of the blue last week and have "upgraded" her connection by connecting the hanging cable.
Two "managers" knocked on my mothers door un-announced on Thursday apologising for this whole fiasco. They left saying they would look into.
To summarise, I've spent best part of x24hrs if not more on the phone to Virgin over the past seven months. No one and I mean no one will take ownership or responsibility for this mess. Being told by customer services that they think "all the managers and supervisors may be at lunch" is appalling. I've logged two complaints now (latest one COM104233612) and still I get no contact from Virgin. Can I call and speak to someone regarding my complaint - of course I can't ! To be told "the complaints team" is outbound calls only" is farcical. I called last Saturday and eventually spoke to "Mike Phillips" a floor manager who raised this latest complaint, I was assured someone would call me back - nothing again. I've just come off a 45min call from customer services and the guy I've just been speaking to is telling me "he can't see that we had an issue in March" it is just a joke. I've just asked him what is happening the above complaint - he doesn't know! He suggested trying the web app.
Someone suggested taking the complaint to OFCOM which I think we'll end up doing. I was under the impression that Virgin had signed up to the OFCOM compensation scheme and would automatically contact myself/mother when the issue was resolved and sort compensation. She's been offered £50 for all this hassle which I personally think is insulting. I thought that Virgin should compensate £8 per day as per the scheme. The last engineer who repaired the phoneline and got her phone working was insistent that this was easily resolvable back in March and COV-19 had nothing to do with their complete incompetence in resolving this matter.
Unfortunately, you seem to have been caught in a shambolic series of events involving VM and their contractors. Obtaining permission to dig up roads can also cause delays. You won't have to look too far in the forums to find other similar examples stretching on for extended periods of time. The arrival of coronavirus at the same time will only have worsened the situation.
If you haven't found it already, the VM compensation page is here
There are lots of T&Cs and small-print at the bottom about how/when/if the compensation applies including the 'official' means of reporting an outage so you need to check those and see how they apply to your situation. Worth noting that the scheme was temporarily paused at end of March because of coronavirus (so I would assume that affects compensation for that period) and it fits your time frame.
If you take your complaint beyond VM then it would go to CISAS which is an arbitration service. There are also T&Cs about contacting them inc. an 8-week delay from making your complaint to VM (which presumably allows VM to make a response to the complaint).
If your complaint goes to CISAS then I believe VM do not deal with you directly until the complaint is resolved.
It is actually in VM's own interest to resolve the issue for you and the forum team are usually good at making progress with these sorts of issues where other parts of the VM support network have failed.
Clearly that length of time with no phone is totally unacceptable. Now the phone is working again, VM will hopefully step up and calculate a suitable amount of compensation for no service for such a long period of time.
Other forum members will hopefully be able to offer some more detailed advice, otherwise wait for a VM forum team member to respond. They can take up to a week to reply but normally answer within a few days.
Hope you can make some progress with it and get you some kind of meaningful refund from VM.
Thank you for your very details reply goslow, apologies for not responding earlier. You’ve given me some good points and I’ll certainly be reviewing the VM compensation page.
A VM moderator has already made contact this morning so hopefully we can find an amicable solution to this whole saga.
Ive got to say covid aside, I honestly can not believe how poor their customer service is. Whether I’ve been lucky in life I don’t know but I’ve never felt the urge to write a letter of complaint before. I’ve lost count of times over these months where I’ve been on phone for 60mins or more and have come off the call at end fuming. It got so bad my wife tried to stop me calling because she knew the call wouldn’t resolve anything...how bad is that !
Just to update, although Virgin had offered compensation, I was advised a week ago that my mother’s account would be credited within 24hrs. It’s now a week later and nothing has been received so my complaint is still open until funds are received.