A couple months ago I contacted virgin after reading on the internet news article that they're joining in with the other big providers to help people with the cost of living crisis by lowering speeds and bills mid-contract with no penalty
I spoke with an advisor on live chat asking them what options I have regarding that and they were really confused by my question and declined saying "this isn't something we offer"
After reminding them that they should be and sending links as evidence to the article, he spoke with the supervisor "pfft" and eventually offered me this:
Keeping in mind I'm on a very expensive gig1 £62/month internet only package which I hugely regret signing up to-
"We can offer you 150mb for £60/month"
That is a drastic 90% reduction in speed for a 1% bill discount
So not only do they lie and say they don't offer that~ despite it being on the news for those Juicy brownie points but when you actually try and use it, it is worthless.
Is there any advisors around that can confirm this joke?
This is the part I am interested in and are accusing them of not keeping
"At a summit held at Downing Street, ISPs and telcos including BT, Openreach, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, Three, TalkTalk and Sky all agreed to introduce several measures to support poorer customers. The measures, which will take effect immediately, include removing penalty charges for struggling customers who wish to move to a cheaper deal, and supporting flexible payment plans if necessary."
It also says what you have said about social tariffs but when I tried to challenge the moving down without penalty part I got laughed out the room
You could argue that they did agree to let me move down but 90% reduction in speed for a pathetic 1% off is more of punishment than a helping hand
The following is from the Essential Broadband page that was linked by @Ernie_C
"What if I’m already in a contract with Virgin Media?
If you’re already in a contract with us, we’ll swap you over to our Essential broadband package straight away and you won’t have to pay any fees or extra charges. Simplyfill in our existing customer form."
There has been a new VMO2 press release today regarding essential broadband <<< link here >>>
VMO2 say, "we will also expand our eligibility criteria to include a wider range of benefits so even more people can access our social tariff. On top of this, to ensure customers know about the support on offer, we’ll soon start including information about Essential Broadband in the communications we send to customers every year related to their contract."
They are also asking the government to cut VAT on social tariffs to 5%
"While these steps will help to improve the availability, awareness and affordability of essential connectivity, we can still go further. By cutting VAT on social tariffs to 5%, as Which? has been calling for, Government could put more money back into the pockets of those struggling most in a targeted way. We would pass on any social tariff VAT cut in full and urge the next PM to review this as a priority."
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The thing is, if you read the statement, it's all; a bit vague and bland, to the point of being fairly meaninless. So are you in a position to leave VM without an early disconnection penalty and find a cheaper supplier? Downgrading your current provision, and I'm not sure where the 150 Mb/s came from because VM don't offer that, will start a new minimum 18 month contract. The only real way you will get anywhere is to actually call VM and give them notice that you want to leave and go elsewhere. You will probably (but not definitely) get a call back offering you a deal to stay with them, but you can't rely on this even happening let alone being acceptable, so you really do have to be prepared to leave and go elsewhere.
Otherwise if you aren't prepared to leave, and I'm afraid if this sounds harsh, but VM aren't a charity and will want to get the most they can out of you, they won't bend over to help you out in any way at all - they owe you precisely nothing, and similarly you owe them the same. So you need to leave, or at least start the process and see what happens but you absolutely have to be prepared to go through with it.