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longwood
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Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

I have been trying to close an account since the end of last October, but am being totally ignored by VM. The account holder is my father and I have power of attorney since he is 91 and unable to manage his day to day business.

I sent a letter to VM at the end of last October asking to close the account. There was no response from VM. I initially tried to do it by phone, but VM would not talk to me, and continue to say they can't talk to me but must speak to the account holder. This is not possible due to my father's circumstances. I am also locked out of the online account.

I have since sent 3 other letters, with a copy of my power of attorney papers, but still VM have ignored me. I have sent all letters signed for so I can proved that they were delivered.

VM have continued sending bills, included late payment fees added on, which is all extremely stressful. I have now received a text message today from a debt collection agency: VM have seemingly enlisted this conpany. I cannot describe how stressful this is for me and my 91 year old father.

Question to anyone in VM: what do I have to do to get VM to actually close the account, and further to cancel the 'debt'. A proper apology would be nice too, but that might be one step too far for a company such as VM.

Do I have to write to consumer complaints? Some Ombudsman? Any help appreciated, especially from Virgin Media.

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Andrew-G
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Message 2 of 15
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

Your father is due compensation for the failure to cancel when instructed, compensation for ignoring you and the PoA requests, compensation for the distress and hassle of dealing with the scumbag debt collection agencies that VM employ, as well as refund of any charges after you asked to close the account.  The compensation here should run into quite a few hundreds of pounds, based on guidelines issues by complaint adjudicators, and including the serious aggravating factor of customer vulnerability.

Forum staff will pick this up tomorrow, see what they have to say.  They'll probably offer to sort it out, but make sure that the company pay an appropriate compensation amount (I'd suggest holding out for at least £400 plus and any charges refunded).  If they fall short of that, which is sadly likely, then read the customer guidance over at Ombudsman Services, and follow the steps to take your complaint there.

Don't bother seeking an apology, they're freely given and totally insincere.  Instead focus on making the company compensate with cold hard cash, because that's all they understand.

longwood
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

Thank you very much for your reply. It means a huge amount to me just to hear that someone is listening, even if it is not Virgin Media.

I hope that someone from the company contacts us soon, the debt colection agency is a real worry. My father is 91, deaf and has very bad eyesight; the thought of a debt collector turning up on his doorstep when I am not there fills me with total dread.

I have taken the step of putting in a formal complaint to ombudsman-services.org in parallel. I hope this is resolved quickly.

Andrew-G
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Alessandro Volta
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

Ombudsman Services can only consider a complaint if you've already complained formally to the company, and either 8 weeks have passed without an acceptable outcome, or before that you'll need a deadlock letter (essentially meaning VM won't budge, you're not happy and have requested said deadlock letter).

If you meet those criteria, then let them get to work and sort this out.  If not you'll have to jump through those hoops and then take it back to the ombudsman.

jem101
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

Now I can’t say I hold out too much hope f this all being resolved amicably but I suppose we need to try.

So, a message to the forum team here (VM employees), now firstly let me say that I do absolutely understand the constraints you are evidently operating under with the new forum manager’s regime, which, I do have to say, does give the impression of just producing a copy and paste response to customer issues and a fairly obvious failure to actually read the thread through before wading in with a fairly pointless response. Of course if the metrics on which you are being assessed on are weighted more towards ‘number of posts made’ rather than how useful or helpful they actually are, well then, frankly I can’t really blame you if you want to keep your jobs!

I can’t help wondering if many of you might be reading this and thinking to yourselves, ‘yep that’s about right, although acknowledging it is a somewhat ‘career limiting move’, no?

Anyhow, I digress. What we have here is a textbook ‘vulnerable customer’, where VM have been sent a letter informing them that the account is to be cancelled, such letter has been ignored, subsequent follow up attempts by a person with a legitimate LPO (and just in case you don’t get the meaning, they are effectively and legally equivalent to the account holder and you HAVE to deal with them on that assumption, or suffer the legal ramifications), also seem to have been ignored, to the point that VM have instructed a depot collection agency to deal with it.

Now, I do understand that this is all automated, and is a logical progression of VM’s fundamentally broken, apology for a customer service provision, however, are you aware of how expensive this will be for VM or how damaging it will be for their (admittedly low) reputation?

So, here’s a one time only, take it or leave it chance for one of you to sort this out amicably, before it goes nuclear and VM get stuffed with a massive bill - vulnerable customer not being looked after? Never ends well!

Over to you? Not hopeful, but you never know!

 

Tom_W1
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

Hi @longwood, thanks for your post here in the Community although we're very sorry to hear of the concerns you've raised here about the account not being disconnected as per your request.

Please allow me to send you a PM so I can look into this further for you. Kindly expect the PM from me to arrive shortly, and respond directly when you can!

Many thanks

Tom_W
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longwood
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

The VM employee is refusing to start a discussion with me citing 'security' and 'data protection'. I have provided the account password, but they are refusing to accept it over PM for some reason. I am sitting here with all the VM correspondence that has been sent to my father, including all the bills. I administer his bank account (in fact I stopped the direct debit to VM when I originally requested the account be closed last October). I have sent a copy of power of attorny documents to VM, I have raised an official complaint with VM, then subsequently the ombudsman. Still this employee will not help, saying they will "send out a password" to my father's address. They did this last year in November but it did not acheive anything. I can send all of the documentation to the employee, but he never even bothered to request it.

The employee has then gone on to ask me to phone the standard customer service line (the one you hold for 3 hours on) - AS IF THE LAST 5 MONTHS OF PAIN AND FRUSTRATION HAD NEVER HAPPENED!

It is an utter disgrace, VM simply won't talk to me. I am literally at a loss as to what to do next.

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Kath_F
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Message 8 of 15
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

Hi longwood, 

Thanks for coming back to us via the Community. 

We can only apologise that we've been unable to assist you with this so far. We're unable to accept password characters via the Community as each time we enter an account it asks for 3 random characters and these change every time. As the Community isn't live, this will be why Tom has given you further options. 

Above all, we have to ensure we are following the security process to not only protect your father's information but also comply with the law. 

I can see Tom has recently sent you another message with further advice. Please reply directly to him via Private Message. 

Apologies once again. 

Kath_F
Forum Team


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newapollo
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Message 9 of 15
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

Hi @longwood 

A lot of people offer the email address password instead of the account password. This isn't the same as the account password, which is the memorable word from when the account was first set up.

VM have recently updated My Virgin Media and you should be able to update ihe security password by logging in there (providing MVM is still active)

When logged in click on Account Settings >  Account Details > scroll down to Telephone Security Details  (memorable word) > and then click on Edit

Dave

I don't work for Virgin Media.

I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge. Learn more

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longwood
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Message 10 of 15
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Re: Cannot close Virgin Media account! Help!

Thank you for the suggestion, but VM have seemed to have locked the account: even after logging in, any action sare greeted with something like "only the account holder can make this change"

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