cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

New Customer: Mis-sold services and contract problems.

FeelScammed
Joining in

I am a new customer to Virgin Media and need some help and advice please.  I have spent about 5 hours typing this through my iPhone, to try and explain my situation, out of desperation.

Previously I had all services (broadband, landline, television, multi room, UHD, Netflix etc) with Sky, but experienced problems with my copper line broadband connection and max speed.  Unfortunately, Sky were unable to upgrade me to full fibre broadband, so I considered an equivalent service provision from Virgin Media.

I was phoned by a very enthusiastic Virgin Media sales agent, who started by asking me all about my current Sky package, cost etc.  To summarise the conversation, he promised to match my existing Sky products and services whilst also offering to transfer me onto a full-fibre broadband internet connection.  Also, as an existing O2 customer with a SIM card under an existing contract, he explained that I would be eligible for the respective Volt benefits (which provided a cost saving and was appealing to me).

Because the cost to me for Virgin Media broadband and television services (if I enter an 18 month contract) was equivalent, but offering a new full-fibre broadband connection, I requested the install of full-fibre broadband and initially signed up to Virgin Media.

Problem 1: When providing my personal details to the sales person over the phone, the agent asked me for a 2nd ‘backup’ email.  I only have one personal email address (which I have used for about 20 years), and was forced to provide my work email in order to proceed.  The agent assured me that the work email address WOULD NOT be utilised for any correspondence.  The following day, I arrived at work and found multiple emails from both Virgin Media and O2 (which is inappropriate and in contradiction with what he had assured me).  Furthermore, my employer would not be impressed.

Problem 2: A brand new O2 SIM card arrived at my home in the post and a new direct debit was set up to immediately pay O2.  After about six weeks, I discovered that the agent had signed me into a NEW ADDITIONAL 18 month mobile phone contract with O2.  I did not require this contract because I am already an O2 customer with a contract in place.  I spent many days trying to sort this out with O2 via both web chat and over the telephone.  In the end, I had to drive an hour to my nearest city which had an O2 store, to explain the mistake in person and appeal to have that superfluous contract cancelled.  I had never installed that SIM card into any mobile phone, nor activated it in any way, but I had already been billed £50 from my bank via direct debit.  This never got refunded, however they did remove me from the contract and credited the remainder of the exit fee.  
It would appear that the reason the sales person required my second email address, was because his system recognised that I had an existing O2 mobile phone contract and he wanted to justify signing up a new customer to receive a commission.

Problem 3:  The Virgin Media engineer arrived at my house approx 7 or 8 weeks after my initial phone call and agreement to install my new full-fibre broadband and television services.  (The new fibre optic cable needed to be buried under my concrete drive, so third party installers needed to do their part first).  Immediately the engineer identified an unforeseen issue.  The virgin media television service / package WAS NOT a like-for-like replacement of my sky package because;

1: Virgin Media television service will only serve three televisions (and not 5 as I currently have installed with sky multi room) so two of my televisions will loose connectivity if I proceed.

2: Every one of the three Virgin media television set top boxes would require the installation of a physical cable from the fibre optic hub to the box, which would need to be tacked along skirting boards inside my recently decorated house.  Again, this is not a like-for-like upgrade of my Sky Q package, which serves my five televisions wirelessly via Sky mini boxes.

We discussed the matter, the disappointment and frustration.  The engineer called his supervisor for guidance on how to proceed.  It was agreed by all parties that the order would be split from this point.  The Virgin Media television service would be removed from the contract, and they would proceed with the installation of the full-fibre broadband.  I would continue to receive my television service through a renewed Sky contract, which I have now entered into.


I initially had concerns and questions about my Virgin Media contract and my future billing, and was reassured (by the engineer) that his supervisor is a good man who knows what he is talking about.  The engineer told me that this is a very common situation, and it is frustrating to the engineers that television services are mis-sold as ‘like-for-like’ by over-enthusiastic telephone sales representatives who stand to receive commissions based on the quantity and values of sales achieved.  In response to my billing concerns, the Virgin Media supervisor told the engineer to assure me that the full-fibre broadband would be cheaper, faster and more reliable than the Sky equivalent and that I would be contacted later that day to sort out my revised contract.  Eventually I was happy to proceed with the installation of the Full Fibre broadband under these assurances, which were given directly from Virgin Media, the drilling and installation of my new broadband hub commenced.

My broadband hub has been installed and activated and appears to be working well.

Problem 4: I did not receive a phone call as promised to discuss my billing or my contract.  I tried to find a phone number to contact Virgin Media, but all support requests via the internet page state that ‘95% of issues can be resolved using online resources’.  I cannot understate the amount of hours I have spent on the Virgin Media website trying to find a help page or article explaining where I can amend my account or my contract under these circumstances.  The site keeps sending you in circles back to the same pages.  The hours of trying turned into days and now over a week.  The live chat kept disconnecting and had me on hold for hours, sat at my computer waiting for an agent to be connected.  The chat bots were of no help with my situation.

I eventually found and phoned a customer service number and spoke to a person.  After explaining the situation, they asked me for my account password.  I don’t have one.  I was told that this would have been provided initially when I set up my contract with the over enthusiastic sales person.  I am certain that I did not provide such a password, because I would have written it down!  I was told not to worry, that I can log into my account and reset this.  I was given instructions on how to do this and the phone call terminated.

Problem 5: When I log onto my Virgin Media account, the page is blank.  I do not have the options available to me as described, so am unable to set an account password.  Hours were spent and multiple explanations of my situation provided to Virgin Media agents to try and get my account access activated.  More days wasted.

Problem 6: I have installed the Virgin Media app on my phone and logged into my account.  This shows me on the front page that £134.99 is soon due to be taken from my bank account by direct debit.  This is way more than the monthly contract for broadband, television and landline that I was originally quoted.  When I click on the page to show me my bill breakdown, I get an error saying ‘Oops, Something’s gone wrong…’

This whole experience has started to cause me a great deal of stress and anxiety.  I am literally loosing sleep due to this situation and the inability to actually speak with a Virgin Media agent who can get my contract sorted.

I managed to eventually find a phone number which put me through to another Virgin Media person to speak with, and they spoke and understood English.  At this point I literally broke down into tears with the stress, upset and worry.  I explained my whole situation and circumstance to them and they were very patient and apparently helpful.

This customer service (retentions) agent asked me to look on the Virgin Media website and select which broadband package I wish to take up as a new customer.  I chose the M500 package on the introductory offer of £33 per month for an 18 month contract.  The agent assured me that I was allegeable for this package as a new customer, and that he had applied it to my account and taken off the television and landline services.

Problem 7: This agent has told me that although my Virgin Media App tells me that my first payment is going to be £134.99, I should not believe this.  Apparently he has arranged it with ‘the back office’ to credit the difference and that for each subsequent month of the term of the contract (the brand new 18 month contract), a significant credit of the difference will be ‘automatically’ applied by the back office.  I asked him to record notes of these assurances on my account, so that if there are any subsequent issues, the history of what has been agreed and arranged is clear to another Virgin Media agent.  I asked for a new contract to be sent to me to reflect my selected product and terms.

Problem 8:  A revised contract was emailed to my work email address, which states the cost of my broadband will be £68 per month (not £33 as per the introductory offer for new customers).  There was a button to click on the email which says ‘Let’s lock this agreement in’ and I have not clicked it because it is not the £33 that was agreed.  In fact, the entire cost of all services including subscribing to the entire television service was only £7 more than this and I have since had to make alternative arrangements to receive my television through Sky.

My current situation:

1: I have no confidence that I have a meaningful contract in place with Virgin Media for the provision of ‘M500 Broadband only’ for the introductory cost of £33 per month for 18 months, despite this being agreed and assured.  They have not sent me a contract document which honours this.

2: The Virgin Media app tells me that I am going to be charged £134.99 for the first month, with no breakdown of the costs due to a failure on their website and application billing page.

3: When I called Virgin Media again to query the incorrect contract terms and shared my concerns, I was told not to worry because if they do take that amount from my account in error, that I am protected by my bank under a direct debit guarantee. 😳

In short, I would like my Virgin Media contract to stipulate the exacting agreed terms of service being provided, and the agreed cost per month.  Only this would give me confidence of what payments will / should be taken from my bank account.

What do I need to do to get this contract produced and sent to me?  Why is this so difficult?  Am I always going to experience difficulties with Virgin Media over the next 18 months of my contract?

I am in my first month, and genuinely feel like I am being scammed by Virgin Media.

If £134.99 is taken out of my bank this month in error, I will not have enough left to pay other bills regardless of any direct debit guarantee.  It would still endure time, effort, worry and stress to get it retrospectively sorted.

Virgin Media, PLEASE contact me and get my contract sorted.  I do not feel comfortable with the words of your telephone agents who have promised me that ‘the back office will credit the difference’ every month.  These are the people who set up a brand new mobile phone contract in my name which I did not require, who set the account up against my work email when they promised not to.  And now they are promising to automatically credit money every month to my Virgin Media account, instead of issuing me with an accurate contract?   

Please, Please help.

2 REPLIES 2

Molly_T
Forum Team
Forum Team

Hi Feelscammed 👋 Welcome to the community forum!

Thanks for posting this thorough account of your experience. So sorry to hear about all the issues that you have experienced with our service. There's a couple of things we can advise straight away to address these issues;

1) You should only need to provide one contact email address. Sorry to hear that this happened! We can ensure that the correct contact email for any correspondence on your account. (We will just need to complete security via PM to do so.)

2) Sadly for any O2 SIM or package issues you do need to speak to O2 Directly. (Including cancelling any services with them). Unfortunately we can't offer support with O2 issues, but if you get in touch via 👉 https://www.o2.co.uk/contactus 📲8002 from an O2 mobile or over 📞 0800 977 7337 from a landline, one of the O2 Team will help get this sorted for you! Just let them know you want to cancel the SIM and they will help do this. 

3) The 'Like for Like' package vs your former sky services. In terms of the TV service. Sadly you were correctly advised by your installing engineer about our TV services - you can have a total of 3 TV boxes in the home through our services, and these do require a hard-line connection. It sounds like this aspect of your issues has been somewhat resolved with the removal of the TV services from your package already? We can check this for you! 

4) Your experience in accessing our online support services. Sorry to hear this feedback about your experience with our website, and also getting support via phone. You can contact us for support via any of our direct contact methods (including Social media - Instagram/Facebook/Twitter) or 📞0345 454 1111 or 150 from a VM landline & WhatsApp 📲+447305 327 112 or 👉 https://virg.in/contactvm . If you don't know your account memorable word when contacting us by phone, you should be offered the option to use secondary security questions, or to have a password reminder letter sent out to you by post. - Sincerest apologies that this wasn't the case! 

5) Blank Page showing for My VM 👉  virg.in/myVM - we will need to take a closer look to see if you are registered correctly for My VM. We can then offer further troubleshooting support with access, as and when needed. You have also advised being able to access My VM via the app in your next point, so it sounds as though you do have access? It would be good to get a little more clarification on whether the access issue is specific to a device, or the desktop site. 

6) Your first bill. We have a help page which helps understand your first bill here 👉 https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-media-first-bill . Sorry to hear about any stress or inconvenience caused! Your first bill is a double bill, as we bill a month in advance, and will include any installation & activation costs. As there have been some changes to your services (for example the removal of all of the TV services) your bill may be higher than expected. When changing package to remove services, it takes 30 days notice these to be removed, and for the billing to be updated. It's likely this first bill is including the TV services you have since been cancelled. We can take a closer look and make sure this is correct moving forward. 

7) We would need to check the account to confirm any billing adjustments  or hidden rolling credit's have been applied and will be reflected on the next generated bill. (Please be aware, we can't change a bill that's already been printed, but we can ensure the account is showing the correct amounts and the next generated bill will reflect any changes made, including any credits or discounts applied.)

😎 The new contract sent to your work email - it sounds as though your listed contact email address may be this one, rather than another of your preference. We can ensure this is updated for you after completing account security. (As addressed in point 1.)

In order to take a closer look and address some of these points further individually, we will need to take a look at the account. We will need to send you a PM to confirm a few account details to do this. You can find the PM in the top right corner of the page in your Inbox. 📩 We can then return to this public thread with another update when possible.

There's a-lot to address here, so thanks in advance for your patience and co-operation whilst I investigate and offer help to get things resolved. 

Wishing you all the best. 🌞

Molly

JC6310
Joining in

Well, I just took the time to read your entire post, mainly because it sounds so familiar. I'm afraid you will continue to get false reassurances from VM until you log a complaint with the Communications Ombudsman. I have been through very similar circumstances (Sales agent sending out a spurious extra contract for what I assume was commission purposes), continually being overcharged and I was reliably informed that Virgin Media has more overcharging complaints than all the other providers combined. 

I would suggest that you carefully document your conversations and log a complaint sooner rather than later.