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charliesparra
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No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable customer too!

My son is a vulnerable person, We need the phone line to make sure he is ok & for a backup for the mobile phone as the signal & battery can cause issues, It's been down for weeks, There is no way of registering the complaint other than calling 150 which is impossible if the phone line is down, I attempted to call the high rate phone number from my mobile, 45 minutes then cut off, Cost a fortune. Pointless exercise. There should be an online contact form at least!

Virgin claim there is a way of registering faults & outages online in the "help" spiel for compensation, £8 a day we are entitled to apparently but no link to this mysterious form.

Would anybody care to share a link to a contact form, As i said there isn't one on the site we could find.

I want an engineer call round to fix the issue without using a phone, Phoning is not an option. How does one achive this?

This is a rediculous way of runnning a customer service. The help pages just loop around & around avoiding any real help apart from check you cable & the power cable, Press reset etc.

We even purchased a cable to connect to the Hub 3 phone port but the telephony is disabled & no setting to activate, What's the point of that? Are customers not trusted to activate an emergency backup way of keeping the phone line operational? Apparently Virgin want nearly £100 cash to do so going by other posts on the subject indicate.

I'm sure they would send a message rather than call without any issue if i missed a bill so the message service is definitely operational & implemented only not being utilised for customer contacting virgin.

Oftel is the next stop if we aren't able to move forward after this message. I'm pretty sure this is fundamental rule breaking by not having online contact available. Especially if you have vunerable customers who may be unable to use a phone.

Thanks in advance

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goslow
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Message 2 of 22
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable customer too!

I believe the 'online' methods VM refer to relate to running the automated tests by logging in to 'My Virgin Media' and running the online tests for the phone line from service status

https://www.virginmedia.com/help/home-phone-line-faults

These may identify a fault and allow a technician to be booked. Quite often the reports on here of this automated process are 'inconclusive' but may be worth trying if that is an option.

One of the VM forum team should pick this up in a day or two and be able to assist further.

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BenMcr
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Message 3 of 22
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable customer too!

As mentioned the forum team will respond to this post as quickly as they can, however I did just want to reply to a couple of your comments.

@charliesparra wrote:

I attempted to call the high rate phone number from my mobile, 45 minutes then cut off, Cost a fortune. Pointless exercise. There should be an online contact form at least!


What number did you call? The number for Virgin Media is 0345 454 1111 from non Virgin Media phones. That is charged at as a standard landline, so you shouldn't have high costs to call it.


@charliesparra wrote:

We even purchased a cable to connect to the Hub 3 phone port but the telephony is disabled & no setting to activate, What's the point of that? Are customers not trusted to activate an emergency backup way of keeping the phone line operational? Apparently Virgin want nearly £100 cash to do so going by other posts on the subject indicate.

The phone socket on the back of the Hub isn't an emergency backup. Virgin Media are moving their phone technology over from the separate cable to a IP based service that's provided through the back of the Hub. Openreach are doing similar work for other phone providers.

For Virgin Media that's something that all new home phone customers have and existing customers with a separate line have started to be moved over with appropriate notice and where Virgin Media can continue to provide appropriate service for emergencies.

Customers may also get moved where a fault engineer identifies that it's best way to fix a phone fault, again taking into account the needs of the customer and their household.

**********************************
I work for Virgin Media - but all opinions posted here are my own
charliesparra
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable customer too!

Thanks for the replies but you are a both mistaken, The 0345 number is charged at 35p a minute from my mobile provider, It maybe cheaper from a virgin mobile. So the call cost £16, I had a shock when my mobile bill was so large last month.

The online form is described on the site, Look at the screenshot attached, i underlined it. No link in the text as you would expect, 99% of other websites seem to manage to implement this user friendly technique.

I don't see anything in the Hub 3 settings to send a message.

The port on the back of the hub should have zero restrictions connecting a phone, Especially as i have pointed out the 150 number only works from a virgin landline, I should be able to plug in the phone & use it. It should all be hooked up during installation, Future proofing any potential issues, Especially in this particular situation. Poor implementation of a feature, No logical reason for this restriction apart from generating cash in my opinion & that of engineers who work for rival telecommunication companies (my neighbour). Should be done during installation, takes minutes.

Still no reply from any Virgin employee...

 

Screen Shot 2021-07-10 at 21.08.09.jpg

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goslow
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Message 5 of 22
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable customer too!

I believe the section you have underlined for 'registering it online' refers to the 'service checker' feature highlighted in red immediately before and in #2 above. It is not very well worded. This feature is from within 'My Virgin Media' not a hub setting.

The fine-print of the compensation scheme is here

https://store.virginmedia.com/the-legal-stuff/terms-and-conditions-for-fibre-optic-services/automati...

there are plenty of ways VM can (legitimately) avoid paying. Key points are to do with the means of logging the fault and starting the clock running (namely by ringing in/remote diagnosis, running the online tests from 'My Virgin Media' to identify a fault or following a technician visit).

Wait for one of the VM forum team to pick this up and help you. Unfortunately, interaction with VM staff on the forum is not an instant-message type of arrangement and they do take time to respond. They will typically get to your thread in a day or two.

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John_GS
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Message 6 of 22
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable custom...

Hi charliesparra

 

Thanks for posting and apologies for the phone line issue

 

I'll PM you now to get the address and hopefully we can fix remotely if not we'll get a tech out

 

Best,

John_GS
Forum Team

Need a helpful hand to show you how to make a payment? Check out our guide - "How to pay my Virgin Media bill"

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BenMcr
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Message 7 of 22
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable customer too!


@charliesparra wrote:

Thanks for the replies but you are a both mistaken, The 0345 number is charged at 35p a minute from my mobile provider, It maybe cheaper from a virgin mobile. So the call cost £16, I had a shock when my mobile bill was so large last month.

Any 03xxx number would be covered by any airtime plan minutes you have as part of your mobile plan. I'm surprised that your plan didn't do this as most providers have unlimited allowances for calls (and texts) these days.


@charliesparra wrote:

The port on the back of the hub should have zero restrictions connecting a phone, Especially as i have pointed out the 150 number only works from a virgin landline, I should be able to plug in the phone & use it. It should all be hooked up during installation, Future proofing any potential issues, Especially in this particular situation. Poor implementation of a feature, No logical reason for this restriction apart from generating cash in my opinion & that of engineers who work for rival telecommunication companies (my neighbour). Should be done during installation, takes minutes.


Historically phone services for Virgin Media customers have been provided by a separate phone line cable installed along with the coax cable used by TV and Broadband. This provided the phone service to the separate physical sockets in a home and is based on analogue technology that's been around in one form or another since the telephone was invented.

That technology is now reaching it's end of life, so a couple of years ago Virgin Media introduced its replacement technology - a digital IP based phone service that is based on Broadband technology. That is what the socket of the back of the Hub 3 is for, and allows for existing UK approved handsets to be used.

For new customers that's now only way the phone service is provided, and it's made clear when customers join that that is the case. But for customers who already have the phone service provided by the older technology, they keep that at the moment. 

Eventually all existing customers will be moved to the Hub based phone service and the older separate phone service completely turned off. Some customers are already having this done, but that is a planned swap with appropriate notice and options to ensure that the new provision of service works for each customer.

As the Hub based phone service is a replacement for the existing analogue phone line into a home, it's not possible for both lines to be active at the same time for an account and phone number.

**********************************
I work for Virgin Media - but all opinions posted here are my own
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charliesparra
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable customer too!

Thanks Ben for taking the time to reply,

My Neighbour did already inform me of a bulk of the info, The old BT socket/box isn't functioning/active hence we bought the cable to go into the back of the hub expecting that to be active as the other connection isn't. Someone messaged me yesterday from virgin to say they would see if they could activate the hubs port remotely. It's not happened yet & i have restarted the hub just incase it needed to register this on startup but the phone screen still indicates "check tel line" as it does when connected to both the BT socket/boxes.

There is actually 2 BT boxes here an older style one in the hall & a newer style one in the front room, Both are dead/inactive & when you follow the cable for both it goes up into the loft space.

The BT lines in the street come via a telegraph pole in the back garden of the neighbouring building, it's so old the engineer has to climb it to activate a line etc. The buildings are over 130 years old.

The BT line comes via one of these cables but is not direct to the glass insulator below the back window anymore, It did at one time but it must be daisy chained from inside the loft space or in the conduit that feeds many cables along the outside of the buildings?

The green cabinet at street level is a new smaller one door version that i assume only contains fibre connections, This must be connected to a larger cast iron double door cabinet at the top of the street where they patch into the BT network (an old red phonebox was located there until 20 years ago). The pole at the back must be connected to this large cabinet via an underground connection also. They have been digging up the whole area & adding a competitors fibre network in the area, You can see them connecting bunches of the fibre into small cabinets & larger ones, The workmen were leaving the doors of cabinets open at night & exposing the patchbay so we though this could have been related to the issue but no other neighbour is experiencing any outage & the broadband has no issues.

Really strange decision to use the antiquated method rather than the modern way of connecting to the BT network if switchover was imminent.

Unfortunately these cheaper mobile contracts have small print where 0345 numbers & daytime calls outwith the mobile network are excluded from call plans, I phoned up when i recieved the bill & was infomed this by EE the provider, Thi sinfo is available online as you can see in the attachment :Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 14.48.27.png.

Regards

 

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David_Bn
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Message 9 of 22
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable custom...

Thanks for coming back to us @charliesparra

 

Can you confirm who messaged you to activate the port on the back of the hub? 

 

Kindest regards,

 

David_Bn

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BenMcr
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Message 10 of 22
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Re: No online contact form! Phone line down for weeks 150 obviously not working, Vunerable customer too!


@charliesparra wrote:

Thanks Ben for taking the time to reply,

My Neighbour did already inform me of a bulk of the info, The old BT socket/box isn't functioning/active hence we bought the cable to go into the back of the hub expecting that to be active as the other connection isn't. Someone messaged me yesterday from virgin to say they would see if they could activate the hubs port remotely. It's not happened yet & i have restarted the hub just incase it needed to register this on startup but the phone screen still indicates "check tel line" as it does when connected to both the BT socket/boxes.

There is actually 2 BT boxes here an older style one in the hall & a newer style one in the front room, Both are dead/inactive & when you follow the cable for both it goes up into the loft space.

The BT lines in the street come via a telegraph pole in the back garden of the neighbouring building, it's so old the engineer has to climb it to activate a line etc. The buildings are over 130 years old.

The BT line comes via one of these cables but is not direct to the glass insulator below the back window anymore, It did at one time but it must be daisy chained from inside the loft space or in the conduit that feeds many cables along the outside of the buildings?

The green cabinet at street level is a new smaller one door version that i assume only contains fibre connections, This must be connected to a larger cast iron double door cabinet at the top of the street where they patch into the BT network (an old red phonebox was located there until 20 years ago). The pole at the back must be connected to this large cabinet via an underground connection also. They have been digging up the whole area & adding a competitors fibre network in the area, You can see them connecting bunches of the fibre into small cabinets & larger ones, The workmen were leaving the doors of cabinets open at night & exposing the patchbay so we though this could have been related to the issue but no other neighbour is experiencing any outage & the broadband has no issues.

Really strange decision to use the antiquated method rather than the modern way of connecting to the BT network if switchover was imminent.

Unfortunately these cheaper mobile contracts have small print where 0345 numbers & daytime calls outwith the mobile network are excluded from call plans, I phoned up when i recieved the bill & was infomed this by EE the provider, Thi sinfo is available online as you can see in the attachment :Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 14.48.27.png.

Regards

 


Virgin Media use their own cables for their phone service which run alongside the coax cable from the pavement not over the BT poles, so although I appreciate all that you've put, the Virgin Media phone service shouldn't be using a BT socket at all. For older wiring connections there should be a separate socket which says Virgin Media or one of the earlier providers like ntl or Telewest.

Does your son's Virgin Media bill show an active phone service?

Secondly I'm not sure where that table is from - EE mobile don't charge extra for 03 numbers - unless you've used up mobile minutes:
https://ee.co.uk/help/help-new/billing-usage-and-top-up/call-text-and-data-charges/charges-for-calli...

"Many organisations use 03 numbers such as 0300, 0344 or 0345 as an alternative to more expensive 084 and 087 numbers. Calls to 01, 02 or 03 numbers will come out of your inclusive minutes." 

EDIT: found it, but you missed off this bit from the link - https://www.numbersupermarket.co.uk/much-cost-call-0345-numbers-mobile/

  • Calls to 0345 should first come out of your inclusive minutes – only once you’re exceeded this limit should you be expected to pay. This is, of course, only for those who have inclusive minutes in their tariff.
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I work for Virgin Media - but all opinions posted here are my own
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