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Hard credit check without permission

Hardcreditcheck
Tuning in

VM is still doing this. VM performed a hard credit check without my permission. This is not permitted. A customer went through the same thing in 2022. I have spoken on the phone at least 7 times since 8am this am, being transferred to the collections team twice, however every single call was "disconnected" before they dealt with my query. Virgin, please remove the hard credit check, you did NOT have permission.

 

This is a transcript from another user from 2022, for you information: Its the same thing. Rectify this. Will your staff be trained?

Hi, 

I was able to remove the hard search from my credit report, but it took more than a month with a lot of effort from my side and me ultimately losing a mortgage offer because of this hard search that has been wrongfully run by the VM. 

I received a similar template answer at first from the VM. But I had to email and call multiple teams at the VM to make them look at my particular situation (which was very stressful as customer service is atrocious). It was really difficult to get a hold of a person at the VM who understood credit searches--unfortunately there is a lot of incompetence. The VM credit file team does not even have a phone number to call; they are just sending out template emails without looking into individual cases. So I think your strategy should be to make the VM look at your individual case, because from the way you describe they haven't.

Just to note, that in my case, there was no form of credit, as I was paying for my internet in direct debit in advance of receiving any services. I am not sure what kind of contract/service you use, but if you do not use any type of credit, I do not believe they can do a hard search (as you are not making a credit application). I would advise also to contact the credit agency (Equifax or similar) directly (if you haven't already), explain the situation to them and request to remove the hard search. Only when I did that, my case started moving in the right direction. 

I think the VM knows that it is wrong to do hard searches for every customer, but they just do it anyway for all because differentiating between customers is additional work. Instead, they just decided to deal with individual customers who complain about the hard searches (I believe this is a company policy to save money or whatever). But because their customer service service is so terrible (where you sometimes have to stay on the phone for 40 mins just to speak to someone) and there are no physical stores anymore (at least in the UK), not many customers have the time/mental energy to challenge the hard searches. So I think it's a deliberate strategy by the VM: they know that they are not supposed to do hard searches on everyone, but they use the fact that complaining is so difficult, so almost no one would.

Ultimately, I think what they are doing is illegal and more people should complain about this issue. I should also say that some members of the forum who pretend to understand financial markets and credit applications, give wrong advice about hard searches not mattering for lenders. My lender did say that they don't see the credit score, but they see the hard searches and a single hard search can make or break a mortgage application (as a hard search indicates to a lender that a person is desperate for a credit and might be in a difficult financial position). Lenders don't look at who conducted the hard search--they just see a hard search for a credit application and it's a major red flag. I should say that my credit score increased by more than 100 points when the hard search was removed. So don't listen to the commentators who tell you that a single hard credit search doesn't matter--it does. 

Good luck!

P.S. The VM team here on this forum also provided me with wrong advice about credit searches and some members of the team were quite rude. They are using the same template messages I mentioned above. 

11 REPLIES 11

Joseph_B
Forum Team
Forum Team

Hey @Hardcreditcheck,

Sorry to hear you feel this way and that is might have affected your credit.

As our company it is listed in our Terms and Conditions that we can run a Hard Credit check where needed, you can find more information here.

If you do wish to go about chasing this you directly with our team, you can email them on creditfileamendments@virginmedia.co.uk.

Joe

You are required to ask permission for a HARD credit check. No permission was requested. Virgin Media made an error. This HARD check requires removing from my report. Read my entire post. 

Thanks for coming back to us Hardcreditcheck, please can you get in touch with our credit file team with the email address provided by my colleague and the team will be able to get this investigated further for you.

Kind Regards,

Steven_L

Okay Steven_L, looks like you may have read my full post. 

Here is the post from the customer experiencing difficulty in 2022.This person did an excellent job persevering despite repeated rebuffing: https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Managing-Your-Account-Cable/Hard-search-on-credit-report/td-p/5...

The credit file team states a response within 21 days. This HARD check will impact financial applications, for some time, including MORTGAGE applications. To state the obvious, property purchase and mortgage applications are immensely time sensitive. Virgin Media is completely at fault and is inflicting financial damage on a new customer. Who do I speak to for resolution sooner? Do Virgin customers need to make a point of appearing at your offices to have their issues addressed?

I have spoken to your call centres repeatedly, in excess of 11 separate calls in the last 48 hours, starting from the initial hold due to call volume, the lack of comprehension and communication is mind boggling. I will be obtaining my phone call transcripts. These will be very helpful when contacting the Ombudsman. 

Hardcreditcheck
Tuning in

Update 28th September 2023: 

I received a voicemail of a callback from a UK call centre (after speaking to a very helpful Matthew and Steven) . They have stated that if I contact them to cancel my account, they CAN REMOVE THE HARD CHECK. The problem now is that I am unable to contact these Virgin Media staff. More frustratingly the Virgin Media (VM) call centre staff is providing incorrect information and suggesting that the HARD check cannot be removed - this is incorrect as we know the HARD check can be removed from reviewing the case I referenced earlier from 2022 (many thanks to forum member YI2). Can the VM forum staff assist me in contacting this exceptional team Steven and Matthew?

I must add I am currently on the phone with VM (59 minutes call time thus far). I have now resorted to recording, and informing VM call centre staff that I am recording, the telephone call. Not surprisingly the many previous instances where other calls were abruptly and inexplicably disconnected has not been an issue on this call. 

I am still waiting to hear back from the credit file amendment team.

I am also waiting to hear back from a VM manager who was supposed to call me within 3-4 hours or 24 hours of making a complaint to further discuss my issue. I received 2 drop calls within 3-4 hours: The first call I answered after one ring tone, and was disconnected abruptly. The second call rang once and ceased to ring before I could answer the phone. As no one answered I cannot be certain that these calls were from VM, however I suspect this is more appalling resolution avoidance from VM staff.  I have not had any further calls despite the 24 hour duration having been exceed since my complaint. Can the VM forum team help with this?

YI2
On our wavelength

Good luck! This requires some patience, but the law is on your side. 

spell
Knows their stuff

Same as Y12 - stick with it - VM have difficulties with customers who stick up for themselves instead of allowing themselves to be bullied - it confuses them.

Thanks for coming back to us Hardcreditcheck, I have looked into this and can see that you have a complaint raised for this issue and this has been passed to the appropriate team to deal with this. Were you advised that the team would call you back within 24 hours of your complaint being raised? I will try to get the complaints agent assigned to your complaint to get this looked into further and for them to to get back in touch with you with any updates that they may have, regarding the credit file team, it can take up to 14 days for the team to get back to you on that part of the issue. 

Kind Regards,

Steven_L