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Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Hi,

After a tortuous morning on the phone (with over an hour's holding time) speaking to several members of Virgin's Customer Service team, I have a query regarding email (or 'emails', as I doubt I am the only one to have been misled in this way) notification of the ending of one contract term and advising of the details for the new contract period ongoing.

On 4th Nov, I received an email from the, seemingly mythical, 'Rachel Barrass' advising that when my current contract period expired, my monthly bill would be increasing from £74 to a hefty £86. So far, so painful, but I did note that it clearly stated that the '12 months' free Amazon Prime' that had been added to my account a year ago due to repeated broadband outages, was also included in the renewed contract package (my previous and projected future packages were shown side by side, and were identical, other than the price increase, and Prime listed in both). This was enough to make me hold off from the annual tedious haggle call, or this time jumping ship, for a moment, at least until I had time to research current competitor deals.

However, today I called Virgin, just to 'quickly' (ha!) check whether they would be contacting Amazon to renew the Prime subscription by tomorrow (i.e. Day 1 of the renewed contract term) as otherwise, my Amazon account details showed I would be debited by them (Amazon) for the Prime sub in a few days' time. It's probably a good thing that I did call Virgin today, as, though it's taken over two hours, I have learned that there will, in fact, NOT be an 'Free Amazon Prime' sub. included in my ongoing contract at all. Disconcertingly, no-one - not even the last CS agent who was the only who was helpful and seeming to be in the least bit switched on - were particularly concerned about this (as though I should have understood that when they stated in the email that Prime was included it was clearly untrue and just for sh*ts and giggles) nor could they provide any explanation re. why Virgin were sending out incorrect information in regard to my contract and, no doubt, also securing renewals with others under false pretences (one agent even expressed doubt on my having been sent the email on the 4th - as I had it open in front of me (screen-snip below) I offered to forward it to them there and then, but they weren't interested).

I accept that Prime would have been a bonus (though with Virgin's premium pricing, more accurately a compensatory sweetener) but if it's stated in a formal communication that it will be included, the expectation is, naturally, that it WILL be.

I'd be interested to hear from any Virgin reps on here who may be able to shine any light on what is a pretty serious failure of your contractual communications. Thanks.

Virgin email - misrepresentation of new contract.JPG

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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Totally agree with you i have spent hours trying to resolve this, Finally  i have spoken to someone in the Customer Retentions team, after being passed around like a ping pong, He seemed very helpful, But i am yet to see the outcome, i should hear by Thursday, he said he would call me back. 

He said that the Amazon prime has been added on the contract when i renewed by the Sales Rep , I have his name the date and time i spoke to him so they can listen to the conversation where i got him to repeat 3 times that Amazon Prime would be activated on the renewal. I spoke to someone when my Amazon Prime ran out and they said the code would be sent out to me after a month incase i cancelled within the cooling off period so i said fine they said i would receive it by the 16th of this month. No Code ! I have since spent the whole day on the phone getting cut off , I have been told that they are now going to follow this up and try and get the activation code. I am not going to let this go and will if need be take this to the Ombudsman as they have the records and the girl earlier read back all the notes as did the chap in Customer retentions. Do hopefully this will get resolved. Don't let them hoodwink you, They promised it which is the only reason i didn't move to Sky.  Hopefully if you persist it will get sorted. But i am still waiting since 14th October.

 

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Message 3 of 10
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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Hi,

I did give up on the Prime subscription in the end (as two of the three people I spoke to today clearly had no clue, and the last agent - helpful though she was - was adamant that Prime wasn't going to be included for the forthcoming contract term. It was becoming clear that a protracted battle was on the cards that would run into days or more, and in the meantime, Amazon would go ahead and debit my registered card for the year's sub on the 22nd anyway, complicating matters still further). However, after a lengthy conversation with the last agent, she did offer a reasonable reduction on my monthly package fee (a 'discretionary discount' which I'm well aware is normally kept up their sleeves to be used when they know you've really had enough and are an imminent flight risk) albeit it then locks me in for a further 18 months and I'll be paying Amazon for Prime myself. Accordingly, the hair-tearing did at least bear some fruit, but I would STILL like an explanation from a member of the Virgin team about what amounts to a fradulent email being sent out 'from Ms Barrass' re. contract renewals.

To further illustrate what a shambles the whole thing is, when I subsequently received the confirmation email this afternoon re. my new, discounted-rate contract, it states that Amazon Prime 'has been removed' (i.e. implying that - contrary to their assertions during the calls today - it WAS in the package, but had, 'with my agreement', been taken off). Aaaargh!!!

Good luck with your own battle and hope you receive your code soon. If anyone from Virgin is reading this thread, your thoughts would be welcome!

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Message 4 of 10
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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Hi MarianS,

Thanks for using the forums to get this issue with your package looked into, I am sorry if this has been causing some frustration. I would be more than happy to offer some advice however just to give you the proper expectations - we can't change anything in your package or contract here on the forums, I will be happy to offer some advice though. 

You've given lots of information above and from what I can understand the summary is that you received a letter for your end of contract terms, which stated you would have free Amazon Prime. However when you spoke to us you found out this was not the case, but then you had another contradictory email which stated you did have it but it was removed?

Is that correct? 

Thanks,

Megan_L

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Message 5 of 10
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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Hi Megan,

Thanks for your reply. The intention of my post was purely seeking an explanation from Virgin - which hasn't been forthcoming after speaking to three of your agents yesterday - as to why customers, as in my case, are being emailed with information outlining what they can expect to receive as part of their renewed contract, which then turns out not to be the case. It's misleading, frustrating and took two hours to try and resolve yesterday and, I think deserves some clarification (and also I thought there may be others on the forum who have experienced the same, or a similar, issue - or indeed, have recently renewed and are unknowingly anticipating a promised Amazon Prime sub which they aren't actually going to receive - which indeed there was). I don't expect anyone here to make amendments to my contract terms (I stated in my second message yesterday that I had dealt with that), and my remark re. the mention of 'Prime being removed' in the subsequent contract change confirmation email was just to highlight to the other poster who replied to me how shambolic & nonsensical the whole 'we've said in our email earlier this month you have Prime for another 12 months; but you actually won't have Prime for another 12 months; ah, but we're now we're saying we're removing the Prime that we just told you today you don't actually have' is! 

So if you are able confirm why Prime is being shown as included in contract renewal notification emails, when it isn't actually true, it would be helpful to know. Thanks.

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Message 6 of 10
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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Hi MarianS,

Thanks for coming back to me about this and for understanding my parameters on the forums! I totally understand your point of view with this and I do apologise for the confusion this clerical error has caused. Have you made a formal complaint about this yet? If not I can create one for you so we can follow the correct process and get this experience noted and fed back. 

Let me know if you would like me to do this and we will go into a PM to resolve it 🙂

Thanks, 

Megan_L

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Message 7 of 10
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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

That would be great, many thanks.

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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Brilliant, I'll send you a PM now 🙂

Speak soon!

Megan_L

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Message 9 of 10
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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Hi Megan

I am waiting on an outcome from Ian in Customer Retentions, I am told he will come back to me on this issue on Thursday but if i do not hear anything could you please keep in contact to follow this up.

Thankyou

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Re: Misleading contractual information in email from 'Rachel Barrass'

Hi MarianS,

Thanks for chatting with me in our PM, I am really glad we managed to talk about what happened and how we were going to develop our processes in order to avoid this confusion in future. 

Thank you for your feedback and your understanding with this issue. 

I have now closed your complaint, but please don't be hesitant to come back to us if you need more help in future. 

Thanks so much, stay safe and have a lovely week ahead!

Megan_L

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