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Mis-sold Virgin fibre

I originally had a salesman at my door around 4 weeks ago when Virgin installed cable in my street. He offered me a deal which I considered but then said no to. Virgin called me a few days later and offered me a better deal but I said I was already with Sky Fibre. Virgin offered to pay my Early Termination Charge (up to £100) with Sky. When I cancelled Sky, they billed me £114 for Early Termination.

Virgin confirmed I would receive 3 months service absolutely free, that I would pay nothing in December, January or February and my first payment would be in March. I then received an email from Virgin saying I was about to be billed so I called Customer Services again, this time to cancel everything as it was within the 14 day cooling-off period. This time someone assured me I would not be billed anything until February where I would be paying for the service for March in advance.

I then log in to 'My Virgin Media' to find I have been billed £56 and it has to be paid by 20th January. This is a complete joke - how can Virgin mis-sell their packages like this? I called today and was told I could get £65 credited to my bill as a 'good will gesture' - a gesture that was still leaving me £49 out of pocket for leaving a perfectly good service with Sky Fibre! I have cancelled my Virgin service today and was informed that there is a 30 day cancellation period - it has been 18 days since my installation (days including Christmas & New Year holidays) but surely my account can still be classed as within the cooling-off period as I had already called to cancel the whole service which I was mis-sold? I was not informed today of any new charges - I hope there are not any!

I've tried explaining this on the phone plus sent in a complaints through the web form twice and also used the 'Message us your issue' option but still have nothing resolved. Who will actually listen to my complaint? How many other people have been mis-sold a service from Virgin?! I've got in touch with Trading Standards today and will see what they say in reply. Hard to believe such a large company can get away with this.

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Re: Mis-sold Virgin fibre

I'm surprised the web form even worked - it doesn't function at all for many people. 

Give it a day or two for the forum staff to pick this up and see if they can help.  Fingers crossed that they can, as that would be the quickest and easiest way for both sides to achieve an acceptable outcome.

If they can't, then you need to use the Virgin Media Complaints Policy.  I take the point you filled in a web form, if there's been no acknowledgement, and since VM don't appear to be very good at communicating by voice or phone, I'd suggest complaining in writing by post.  In the complaint to VM, make sure your case is simply and clearly explained - the person dealing with it will know nothing about the case.  Use short paragraphs or bullet points, and if you can, get a friend or colleague to read it to make sure that it is clear without additional explanation.  Be clear on the background and the outcome you want - whether that's a further discount to put you where you thought you would be, or whether you want to leave now without penalty (and in either case don't forget compensation for the hassle and ineptitude).  Tell them that under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 any terms offered by VM's sales team, even if only verbally or without authority, are still legally binding where you relied upon them when deciding to join VM.  If they point to the letter of the standard contract or T&Cs they might want to believe you agreed to, know that the Consumer Rights Act is clear that any different terms you were offered take precedence.  Also state that if they do not agree to settle your complaint to your full satisfaction, you request a deadlock letter in order to escalate the complaint to the arbitration service CISAS, and if they fail to settle or issue a deadlock letter, then you will take the matter to CISAS eight weeks from the date the complaint is registered by Virgin Media, and request a larger compensation sum from CISAS in terms of the inconvenience.  The eight week figure is because that's part of CISAS terms of reference - read their consumer guidance carefully.

Various possible outcomes, and possibly time consuming, so consider what you might regard as acceptable outcome at each stage.  Be aware there's a fair chance VM will try and stall at the half hearted offer they've already made - this strategy is essentially hoping that the customer is all mouth and no trousers, and won't escalate the complaint to arbitration, and that probably does work for them when looking at overall complaint numbers.

A quick note about CISAS (although more detail in link above) - the process is free to customers whether they win or lose.  It operates in a similar manner to Ombudsman Services.  It costs VM money - I guess around £150 for a complaint accepted by CISAS within their terms of reference, and perhaps £400 if the complaint goes as far as a full CISAS adjudication.  The majority of complaints (something like 80%) are either settled in the customer's favour by a CISAS ruling, or the company itself settles after a complaint goes to CISAS but before they make a ruling.  The data also shows that only around 8% of broadband complaints to CISAS about VM aren't successful, meaning that CISAS conclude that the company have acted fairly in only those 8% of cases.  A CISAS ruling is for the most part binding on Virgin Media.  Note that it can take CISAS a few weeks to resolve a complaint, so the end-to-end process is not a quick one.  

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Message 3 of 8
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Re: Mis-sold Virgin fibre

Hi Big-Mac, 

 

Welcome to forums, I hope you enjoy our community and thank you for your first post. I am sorry about your journey with us. I will happily take a look at what has happened for you I will just need some account details I will pop you over a private message, just keep an eye out for the purple envelope.

Many thanks,

Zoie_P 

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Message 4 of 8
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Re: Mis-sold Virgin fibre

Wow, thanks Andruser - thank you for sharing your knowledge and the advice!  Trading standards replied too saying it sounds like a "breach of the Consumer Protection Amendment Regulations 2014 which has been breached due to the misleading advertising provided".
Fingers crossed Zoie_P may be able to help before things go further.

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Re: Mis-sold Virgin fibre

Someone from the complaints team called me this morning and said £100 will be credited to my account within 24 hours. Why couldn't anyone else at Virgin have dealt with this so quickly and smoothly?!

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Message 6 of 8
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Re: Mis-sold Virgin fibre

Hi Big-Mac

That's great news 

We do appreciate you keeping us updated 

Gareth_L

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Message 7 of 8
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Re: Mis-sold Virgin fibre

Well so much for that... yes I did get a £100 credit on my account but Virgin still took £56 out of my bank account on the 20th January! Unbelievable!  😠👿😠

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Message 8 of 8
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Re: Mis-sold Virgin fibre

Sorry to hear that you have had money deducted Big-Mac. You will be able to do an indemnity claim with the bank and they will be able to recall the direct debit payment. ^Chris 

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