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sp0
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Complaints process so bad it's comical

Simple history:  Moved from residential to business VM service.  Residential failed to cancel service, therefore overbilled by >£300.

Several calls to call centres produced no outcome.   Submitted a complaint online: got a letter back listing the action as "Customer has been educated" (can you get more insulting than that?) and telling me to call a call centre.

Lengthy call to the call centre again produced no refund, although this time they did send a box to get their kit back.  

Tried calling again.  Could not get an answer on any phone lines despite 30 mins on hold.  Could not submit another complaint online because they have closed my account.  So I wrote a formal complaint letter by post (!) providing all history and every detail needed to rectify the error.

Reflect for a moment on how a modern organisation could handle such a complaint expeditiously.  Then forget that, this is Virgin Media.  Their response:

- took no action despite everything required being in my letter
- wrote me a letter saying that they were very sorry (yay) and telling me to text the complaint number to 07533051809 and "a member of our messenger team will contact you"
- texts to that number are answered by a bot.  The bot asks questions they says "you're now in a queue" ... with a FOUR HOUR response time.  Then goes silent.  What am I waiting for?  a call? another text?

Honestly, this has to be one of the most frustrating customer service muddles I've seen in ages.  Should I now take it to the complaint adjudicator?

Along they way they used Covid as an excuse.  That is wearing a bit thin from a company which specialises in supporting remote and mobile working.  No one needs to be in the office to process a simple billing complaint.

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Andrew-G
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Re: Complaints process so bad it's comical

Should I now take it to the complaint adjudicator?

If VM can't sort out a formal complaint to your complete satisfaction, then eight weeks after the company received your complaint you can escalate to the industry arbitration scheme CISAS. You can escalate before that if the company refuse to settle the complaint and issue a "deadlock letter".

Make sure your escalated complaint is clear, starts from the beginning, includes as much detail as possible on the contacts you've had with VM, including (if relevant) any rudeness or being cut off or disconnected. It should also specify exactly what you want: Correct charging in future, refund of previous over-charges, and a generous "goodwill gesture" (compensation) for the hassle, wasted time, broken promises and sheer unpleasant inconvenience of the whole thing, or whatever applies to your circumstances.

If the forum staff can grab this and get it sorted that will be quicker and easier for both parties, but don't settle for any compromise or inadequate goodwill gesture just because it's easy.

I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

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sp0
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Re: Complaints process so bad it's comical

Thanks.  Yes, of course it would be helpful if the forum staff could intervene as I have now run out of all options with the regular processes.

In total I have submitted three complaints through the complaints process, plus various calls to the help desks.  My latest complaint was answered with a letter telling me to send texts to a bot (see above) and I can now confirm that after 4.5 hours there has been no further response from that bot beyond a promise that I was in a queue.  Just silence when I send it texts.  Aargh.

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Megan_L
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Re: Complaints process so bad it's comical

Hello Sp0,

Thanks for using the forums to get this issue with your cancellation complaint looked into, I am sorry if this has been causing some frustration. I would be more than happy to look into this for you. 

Can I just ask if the money that you were charged was taken out of your account or is it sitting as arrears at the moment? 

Also, when you contacted us to cancel your residential account, which method of contact did you use?

I will be more than happy to take your complaint and will try to resolve it as best I can 🙂

Thanks,

Megan_L

 

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sp0
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Re: Complaints process so bad it's comical

Thanks for the offer of help.  Well, it does seem sorted now ... I think.  It's just a pity that it took three formal complaints, many hours on hold, many hours giving up because call centres did not answer, and several lengthy interactions with call centre staff.  Especially as the matter is very simple.

After waiting four hours for the bot to return my call, and giving up, it woke up again the next morning.   After another long wait (over an hour) I finally got through to a person and slowly the issue was addressed.  Now I'm promised a refund but I have to wait 12 days for it to arrive.

VM has not covered itself in glory this time around.

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sp0
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Re: Complaints process so bad it's comical


@Megan_L wrote:

I will be more than happy to take your complaint and will try to resolve it as best I can 🙂

I'm afraid I have reached the end of the road with the call centres and will need some intervention if you could please.

On 20 November I was promised (for the second time) that a refund, including a rather meagre additional goodwill payment, would be delivered within 14 days. It didn't arrive.

Yesterday I opened a chat with the SMS helpdesk system.  I really do think something is broken in this system: a chat at 1330 was not assigned to an agent until 19 hours later. Is there really a 7+ working hour backlog in call handling, or are calls just dropping into a bucket for the next day?

Then the agent couldn't verify me.  This was a whole new twist in this bureaucratic nightmare.  Part of this was my fault (mistyping a sort code) although we straightened that out.  But they also wanted the amount from my last bill and would not accept the last two amounts that were debited from my account, direct from the bank statement.  These also match the last bills. I cannot see why any sensible human inspection of the account would not clear this hurdle with the information provided.  I also cannot access my online bill because my account is "closed"; and for some unknown reason they cannot find any password even though I have used one on previous calls.  So they want to post me a password which "will take 5 working days" then I have to start all over again.  They would not refer me to a supervisor to check this manually.  Aaaaargh.

So that was a 19 hour wait for a 70 minute call (!!) which achieved nothing.  On top of about 8 hours already invested in trying to get my account properly closed.

All I want is confirmation that my refund is being sent for overbilling after I left in July.  I am trapped in an endless game of snakes and ladders (mostly snakes).  Please help.

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Zak_M
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Re: Complaints process so bad it's comical

Thank you for coming back to us @sp0 

 

I can help you with all of this no problem. 

 

I am going to drop you a PM so that we can take a further look into this, please keep an eye on the purple envelope on the top right of the screen. 

 

Kind regards,

Zak_M

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sp0
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An update for other observers. The Forum Team has helped, confirming that the second promise of a refund was indeed not actioned and arranging for a third attempt to send me a refund which will again take 14 days. 

Fingers crossed. I have a note in my diary in 14 days to refer this to arbitration, in despair, if this final channel fails. I estimate that I have spent 10 hours on calls, chats, letters and emails just to get back £300 which everyone at VM agrees was overbilled from July.  There has to be a limit. 

Every interaction has been painfully cumbersome and slow, the highlight being 19 hours to respond to a chat message followed by 50 minutes with an agent in which they were unable to access my account.

Not really a shining example of customer service!  And this level of deterioration in call handling and followthrough is hard to blame on Covid, even for the most sympathetic customer, unless 80% of their workforce is unable to work, which seems unlikely. There seem to be errors in processes, systems and training. 

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sp0
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Re: Complaints process so bad it's comical

A refund cheque arrived today but the amount has no explanation and is less than expected.  Of course.  PM to Zak on its way with details.

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