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Re-contracting fiasco

jayneharrison
Tuning in

I'd really appreciate someone from VM getting in touch with me to try and resolve my issue, I'm getting nowhere with the WhatsApp chat, my complaint has apparently been resolved by someone parroting back to me the information on which my complaint was based, I've been cut off on the phone more times than I care to remember and nobody ever calls me back when promised.

To summarise, I received a re-contract offer email in mid-January offering me "the same great deal at the same great price". Naturally, I took this and completed the recontract process online, receiving contract docs and an order confirmation via email. All good, until I received my March bill for three times the usual amount. A bit of digging with customer services revealed that the new contract hadn't been processed at the VM end. Six agents later, someone finally agrees to match the recontract deal I was offered and sort out the overbilling before the direct debit was taken. However, the package price has now increased so a rolling bill credit needed to be applied to bring this down to the recontract price. Again, contract docs and order confirmation received by email on 12th March. I was assured repeatedly that my March bill would be corrected and I would only pay the recontract package price when the direct debit was due to be taken on 2nd April.

Shortly after, we settle down to watch Moto GP on TNT Sports and realise the channels have vanished. Whilst on endless hold to VM, a google search reveals that these channels are no longer part of any VM packages and is now only available as a paid add-on. I lodge a formal complaint regarding this (ref C-170324684), as my recontract offer was "the same great package at the same great price" and this is clearly not the same package with a number of premium channels removed. I understand why VM can no longer offer TNT in TV packages, my complaint is based upon the fact that I was effectively mis-sold the recontract deal as VM did not advise me that TNT was no longer in the TV package and so far, I've been unable to any anywhere in VM's T&Cs or on their website that this is the case, it's all been done very quietly.

I received a response to the complaint two days later advising me that TNT is no longer available, but I can add it to my package for £18 per month, and to ring them if I wasn't satisfied with this solution. Obviously I wasn't, so I rang - and got nowhere. I was promised a call back from a manager on two separate occasions, nether of them happened.

The chat was transferred back to WhatsApp where an agent agreed that the recontract offer was mis-sold and would add the channels back and apply a rolling bill credit to cover the cost. At this point, we discovered that the other rolling bill credits had not been applied as promised. The agent was then no longer able to help as the combined bill credits required were beyond his authority, and the shift was ending.

The chat continued the following morning with a different agent who repeatedly told me that TNT was no longer in the package and refused to acknowledge the mis-selling issue, and that you cannot advertise "the same great package" when it is NOT the same with key channels removed! I was told by this agent that my complaint was under manager review and someone would call me back within a day or two. Unsurprisingly, this hasn't happened. 

Today, I received a text message from my bank advising that I was using the arranged overdraft in my bills account. Upon checking my statement, I can see that VM have collected a direct debit of THREE TIMES my agreed package price, despite being assured multiple times in writing that this would not happen. As I am now in my overdraft, I am incurring bank charges and have had to re-budget for the entire month. To say I'm furious is an understatement.

I've logged into my VM account and my old contract from September 22 is showing as the current contract. There is also no way to track my complaint, I am told there are currently no issues or complaints logged on my account. I've been a VM customer since the Telewest / Blueyonder days in 2002 and am utterly fed up with this situation. All I want is what my recontract email offered me - the same package, at the same price. What's so hard about that?

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Kath_F
Forum Team
Forum Team

Hi jayneharrison, 

Thanks for sticking with me via private message. 

I'm glad I was able to get everything sorted for you. 😊

If you have any further issues, please pop back to us in the Community. 

Take care,

Kath_F
Forum Team

New around here? Check out the do's and don'ts, in our Community FAQs


See where this Helpful Answer was posted

8 REPLIES 8

Cardiffman282
Knows their stuff

Ugh. It has been long proven that VM's marketing and billing systems are completely broken but this is about as bad as it gets. 

Don't contact Customer Services again Jayne as it will be futile and bad for your blood pressure. Wait for the forum team to respond. If that route fails escalate your complaint to arbitration. Also please let Ofcom know all about your complaint experience with VM https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Community-Natter/Breaking-OFCOM-investigating-VM-over-difficult... 

I'm not a Very Insightful Person (just a little bit, sometimes). I don't work for Virgin Media (but then nor do any of the offshore customer service agents).

Matthew_ML
Forum Team
Forum Team

Hey jayneharrison, thank you for reaching out and I am sorry to hear this.

Does your documents  / paperwork state a different price to what you should be paying?

TNT sports is no longer included it has been like this for a long time now, it is only free as an add on.

Let us know what your paperwork states.

I can also see you've been speaking to the team, have they looked into this at all for you? 

Matt - Forum Team


New around here?

Thank you for posting this we have sent a message to the find out what has happened.

Matt - Forum Team


New around here?

Hi Matt, 

I've been in touch with various agents in the phone and via the WhatsApp chat over the last few weeks, all of which have turned out to be futile when the latest conversation uncovers that the promises made during the previous conversation haven't been actioned. I'm finding it really hard to believe that agents can't simply read back through the chat transcripts and see how much I've been messed around, explaining it all over and over again is just exhausting and frustrating.

Yes, my most recent contract docs show a different price to what I should be paying but I was promised that this would be taken care of via rolling bill credits. My package should be £64 as per the re-contract offer from January that VM never processed at their end. The latest contract docs show this as £86. The direct debit taken from account yesterday was for almost £160.

I'm happy to go through security with you Matthew, if this is something you can help with? I have saved copies of all emails, contracts, bills, chat transcripts etc. 

Thanks Cardiffman, I will definitely do that, and you're not wrong about my blood pressure! 

Jayne, please keep copies and records of all the interactions you have with VM, they will be invaluable when you inevitable have to escalate this to the Ombudsman service for adjudication - and naturally, in your submission you will also request VM be ordered to pay you, oh, £100 extra in compensation for the inconvenience, over and above any bank charges that you may have incurred due to their incompetence.

As ‘Cardiffman’ suggests, do not engage at all with the VM customer service provision (or ‘the team’ as they like to refer them as), on the grounds that they are terminally incompetent, which, of course you have already found. The forum team members here do seem to be better at sorting this thing out, so by all means give them the benefit of the doubt, but be prepared to cut them off and simply ‘go legal’ at the first sign of messing you about!

You might also consider making a complaint to the Advertising Standard Agency, as VM are still advertising a product which doesn’t exist - ‘the same great package etc.’ Until they are fined and given a proverbial kick in the unmentionables, they will continue to do it and, well, basically, rip people off!

Hi jayneharrison, 

Thanks for coming back and explaining things further. 

No agent will have any access to chat transcripts I'm afraid as these are not saved on the account and only accessible via a DSAR request and only to the customer. This is due to privacy rules as the chats will contain personal information that not every agent would need to know. 

This is something we can certainly check for you but in order to do that I will need to confirm some information with you to pass security. 

I have sent you a direct message to allow us to do this with you in a private space. If you are using a PC/Laptop then you can just click on the little ✉ at the top right-hand side of the page to access your inbox. If you are on a mobile/tablet device then instead click on the little circle icon in the top right then select 'Messages'. 😊

Thanks, 

Kath_F
Forum Team

New around here? Check out the do's and don'ts, in our Community FAQs


Kath_F
Forum Team
Forum Team

Hi jayneharrison, 

Thanks for sticking with me via private message. 

I'm glad I was able to get everything sorted for you. 😊

If you have any further issues, please pop back to us in the Community. 

Take care,

Kath_F
Forum Team

New around here? Check out the do's and don'ts, in our Community FAQs