Menu
Reply
Highlighted
  • 62
  • 4
  • 13
Dialled in
894 Views
Message 1 of 17
Flag for a moderator

How is this legal?

My current virgin media deal expires next month, so I did the only sensible thing which is to call and give my notice. However, the customer service rep convinced me to stay on for another 12 months with an excellent deal.

My current deal at a cost of £79 a month includes:

  • 200mb broadband
  • Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD + Sky Cinema
  • Telephone

The new negotiated deal at a cost of £65 a month which I agreed to over the phone is:

  • 200mb broadband
  • Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD
  • Telephone

I figured this was a good deal, and agreed to it. I asked her to confirm the package numerous times over the phone just so that we were clear and there wouldn't be any mistakes!

Imagine my surprise when 3 hours later I get my new contract and it is completely wrong.

The wrong contract at £68 per month is:

  • 100mb broadband
  • Maxit TV
  • Telephone

How on earth is this legal? I immediately called to correct the mistake, the customer service rep even wrote up the notes with the incorrect deal as explained by the very shocked lady on the phone I was complaining to. She assured me that they would listen to the recording and get back to me asap. But it still doesn't answer the question of why? What was the original customer service rep thinking? And how on earth is that even legal? For me to verbally agree to one set of terms but to suddenly have another instead? Did she think I wouldn't notice? Just wow.

Anyway, just as a warning to anyone else, record your own phone calls! I'm extremely sceptical as to whether they come back to me with the original agreed package.

0 Kudos
Reply
Highlighted
  • 3.19K
  • 512
  • 1.25K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
649 Views
Message 2 of 17
Flag for a moderator
Helpful Answer

Re: How is this legal?

Obviously I can't speak for how this will be resolved, but in terms of consumer regulations, any deal that VM's agent offered and you agreed to is legally binding (both obviously under contract law, but also specifically that under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, any information provided verbally or in writing by a company forms part of the contract if the consumer relies upon it.  And that can't be evaded by exclusion clauses or attempts to blame a rogue employee. 

You're certainly NOT bound by the contract that they have tried to impose - if they have the call recordings they will show what was said and what was agreed to, which they will have to honour.  If they don't have any call recordings then there's no evidence of any agreement whatsoever, and therefore they can't enforce any minimum term if you wish to leave, or indeed renegotiate.  If you had paid the revised contract without dispute for a couple of months, then it would probably be deemed that you'd accepted the terms, but that clearly isn't the case.

Hopefully VM can get this sorted as that's quickest and easiest for all concerned.  If not resolved to your absolute and full satisfaction, raise a formal complaint (search, read and follow the Virgin Media Consumer Complaints Code of Practice), do that by post because VM clearly aren't very good at this voice communication stuff, (and the web complaints from doesn't work reliably) and specify that they must only respond by letter.  That last bit is to get it all in writing, and to stop them trying to close your complaint because they claim they couldn't get you on the phone.  From the complaint VM have eight weeks to sort things out, if they don't you escalate to the industry arbitration service CISAS, who certainly will sort it out - that's not quick, but it is very effective.

  

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

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks

Highlighted
  • 62
  • 4
  • 13
Dialled in
619 Views
Message 3 of 17
Flag for a moderator

Re: How is this legal?

I still am a bit shocked to be honest. I doubt it was an honest mistake, seeing as she typed up the notes on my account to state the wrong deal. When I first spoke to the initial customer service rep, she was very well spoken and polite, I had no idea she would attempt to do this. I honestly do not know what internal tools VM use, so I am really perplexed as to how she feels empowered to be able to do this. Does she have the ability to delete or prevent call recordings? Otherwise, how on earth does she feel able to act like this?

I do hope she has some plausible explanation! Otherwise, she deserves at the very least a disciplinary. To lie over the phone so brazenly, to what end? Sorry for rambling on, this situation is so bizarre. I have never found myself in this type of situation before, and I work in customer services, I thought I had seen it all before.

0 Kudos
Reply
Highlighted
  • 3.19K
  • 512
  • 1.25K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
557 Views
Message 4 of 17
Flag for a moderator

Re: How is this legal?

As a broad rule, in these situations, most agents have no ability to access or delete call recordings, but given how so many things about Virgin Media are chaotic and broken, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the call recording was unreliable and they regularly conduct sales when the system isn't working, or they manage to lose call recordings.  I suppose it is even possible at the moment that the agent was working from home, and the telephony system can't record remote calls.  It'd be a pretty crap telephony system if that were the case, but as I say "chaotic and broken" is the corporate motto.  

Regarding the ethics and governance, you have to remember that VM have long, long ago taken a decision that they are a sales & marketing organisation, not a customer service organisation.  That is why Virgin Media customer service is so poor that it would be quire reasonable to conclude that it must be outsourced to the customer care division of the Saudi secret police.  But it also means that the whole of senior management are sales-oriented.  And they all subscribe to the idea "make the sale, earn the commission and do whatever it takes to achieve that".  So whilst there WILL be rules, policies, procedures, that supposedly prohibit this sort of behaviour, in reality they will rarely be invoked unless the agent is not making the sales, or the behaviour is so outrageous that it starts to become embarrassing or result in risks of high cost legal action or prosecution.  In most businesses, exceptionally bad behaviours will be tolerated from successful sales people, because if you sack them you lose those sales, and they may even go and work for a competitor.  There are some exceptions - for example the heavily regulated energy sector can't get away with this because their regulator monitors them and ensures they have staff working full time to actively monitor sales calls, and that these are regularly audited.  Ofcom, on the other hand are a joke, so VM can offer their famously poor service, get away with their very one sided terms and conditions, and their sales staff....well, you're not the first person to complain in these forums that the promised deal has not been honoured.

Why did she do it?  Well, if you were one of sales in the last days of the Q2 sales period that might earn a multi-thousand pound quarterly bonus, that might be why.  Or maybe she's been put on a "performance plan" because she hasn't been selling enough...or because she's not been making enough margin on what she does sell.  Who knows, but there will be a logical reason, even if that's not good logic.

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

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks

Highlighted
  • 14.6K
  • 1.14K
  • 3.4K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
508 Views
Message 5 of 17
Flag for a moderator

Re: How is this legal?

dont be shocked - you are not the first and you wont be the last - its usually offshore that pull that trick - you dont say where the agent was based but no matter

you have choices

ring and revert to your old deal within the 14 day cooling off period and give 30 days notice - chances are someone from outbound retentions will contact you with a much better deal - not guaranteed but very likely

if they dont then you can leave or accept whats offered now

____________________

Tony
0 Kudos
Reply
Highlighted
  • 1.18K
  • 73
  • 143
Forum Team
Forum Team
504 Views
Message 6 of 17
Flag for a moderator

Re: How is this legal?

Hello Wickles, 

Thanks for using the forums to get this issue with your package looked into, I am sorry if the agent had got this incorrect - we'll see if we can get this resolved for you.

The first thing I need to make clear is that I won't be able to listen to calls here on the forums, its not something we have at our disposal. 

But we can help each other to unravel this if you have written evidence to show you agreed to a deal of £65 per month with 200mb broadband, Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD & Telephone? If you do then we can of course get it set up to reflect that.

If you don't have evidence to show this then we will go into a PM to chat more privately about what we can do. 

Thanks,

Megan_L

Highlighted
  • 62
  • 4
  • 13
Dialled in
495 Views
Message 7 of 17
Flag for a moderator

Re: How is this legal?

The agent I spoke to on the phone was not overseas. English was perfect with only a typical British accent. She wasn't speaking from home as I could hear other agents in the background. There is no written confirmation of the deal that I verbally agreed to over the phone hence why I have to rely on there being a recording. 

Hope that answers any questions. 

0 Kudos
Reply
Highlighted
  • 1.18K
  • 73
  • 143
Forum Team
Forum Team
467 Views
Message 8 of 17
Flag for a moderator

Re: How is this legal?

Okay Wickles,

Thanks for coming back and answering those for me, it does help to guide me to a way we can get this resolved. 

Can I just ask for the telephone line, what tariff did you agree to for this? 

Thanks,

Megan_L

Highlighted
  • 62
  • 4
  • 13
Dialled in
460 Views
Message 9 of 17
Flag for a moderator

Re: How is this legal?

It was the basic telephone line, so line rental, talk weekends, and free voicemail. 

0 Kudos
Reply
Highlighted
  • 3.19K
  • 512
  • 1.25K
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
452 Views
Message 10 of 17
Flag for a moderator

Re: How is this legal?

Nooooooo!  That was where you were SUPPOSED to say "it was the mongo phone package with free calls anytime to any number, no 60 minute limit, incoming call barring, free weekly house cleaning by Kylie Minogue, and an Aston Martin thrown in as a retention incentive".  But you've blown your chances now. 

But going back to what you were promised - you can of course challenge VM to produce the call recordings, by invoking your rights under GDPR.  Search out the VM privacy policy, and find the bit where you can request all data that VM hold on you (which has to include call recordings).  That'll confirm whether the company do have a record or not.  I believe this is usually best done by post, and the results will probably come back burned on a CD, because you'll be amazed how much data they hold on you.  Even if you get the deal you were promised thanks to the forum staff, you might want to get the recordings if you want to make a formal complaint to VM about the conduct of the member of staff.

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

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks