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Renewal offer not honoured, customer support ignoring pre-contract

wificallerrors
Dialled in

Hi, a few days ago (Monday) I received an email with renewal offers, due to my current contract nearing its end. On Monday evening I reviewed the automatically generated offers (which were pretty bad), and I was given the option of customising a renewal offer.

I generated a pre-contract using this method, and the next day I called retentions to confirm some uncertainties. Despite the renewal offers being based on my current contract, the pre-contract PDF (which I received via email) did not mention Netflix Premium, or an additional TV box (both of which have been included in my current package). The pre-contract also did not make any mention of TNT sports (which used to be included as part of my contract as BT Sports 4K). 

The first person I spoke to (at retentions, on Tuesday) explained extremely clearly that the renewal offers are based on my current bundle, and that it is in principal not possible to remove anything of that which I currently have as part of the price listed on the renewal offer page (listed under "My Current Contract"). The only exception to that rule is TNT, which nowadays costs £18 per month, and is therefore "too expensive" for Virgin Media to continue providing as part of my bundle. This retentions support agent confirmed multiple times that the price in the pre-contract I had generated does without a doubt include the same Netflix Premium and additional TV box as I already have. 

At the time I felt that the price was still a bit too high considering that TNT sports (worth £18 per month) had been removed from my bundle (in the renewal offer), and the offered price was still higher than what I am currently paying. I confirmed with the retentions support agent that I would be able to think about whether to accept the pre-contract or not, and I was told that if I want to try getting additional discount (monthly credit) added on top of my pre-contract deal then I should try calling the sales team.

The next day (yesterday), I called sales early in the morning, and basically asked for a measly £5 monthly credit (to compensate slightly for the loss of TNT). Sales said they are unable to arbitrarily add monthly credit, and they said only customer relations have the power to do so. I was forwarded to customer relations, and after wasting yet another hour over the phone they offered me a deal which was around £30 more expensive than the pre-contract deal I had just generated. I declined, and they gave a new offer which was the same bundle that they had proposed, but with added monthly credit (for only 15 months for some reason...) to bring down the cost to that of the pre-contract. I said I wasn't interested in that, and ended the call.

A few hours later I tried calling customer support again, and asked if they could do something to compensate for the loss of TNT. I kept being connected to various departments, until I finally gave up. At around 6 PM yesterday I called retentions and said that I've given up on trying to get a small amount of discount, and instead I was happy to just go with the pre-contract as this was getting tiresome. 

This support agent initially questioned whether Netflix Premium and the additional TV box was included, but after explaining that I've been clearly informed (and assured) by retentions, and also customer relations, that it would be included, then the retentions support agent agreed to honour that.

For about 30 mins I was put on hold whilst the retentions support agent was arranging the contract at the agreed price with everything exactly the same as the pre-contract (including making the base price identical), but with the addition of adding a note to clarify that Netflix Premium and the additional TV box were included in the written contract (which they agreed to typing in to make sure it is accurately reflecting what I am getting). Around 7 PM the support agent said that she was experiencing a technical issue with her computer, and she said she would call me back in 10-15 mins time with the new contract. I never received any callback that night...

The next morning (today), at 9 AM, I received an email from Virgin Media with the title: "Thanks for making those changes!". Great, I thought - even though it was extremely late (and even though I never received any callback), I assumed the support agent from the night before had finally created the contract as promised. When opening up the email, I quickly discovered that it contained a completely different contract. The price was £30 pounds higher, and at the same time almost half of all the pros were missing. No Netflix. No Sky Cinema HD or UHD. No additional TV box. And needless to say, no TNT. Basically, it was like a very bad joke.

As soon as I discovered the contract which I had never agreed to, let alone even seen or discussed with anyone, I called customer relations. The person that I spoke to wasn't the least apologetic (despite it being pretty serious that someone has signed up to a new contract on my behalf without me agreeing to it). Towards the end of that call, I asked how one would go about reporting this or making a complaint. The customer relations agent said Virgin Media doesn't have a complaints procedure (which I now know isn't true), and that I would need to contact Ofcom. I also asked I could submit a subject access request (SAR) via customer relations as I was curious to see who of all the support agents I had spoken to it was that had signed me up for a contract without my consent. The customer relations agent didn't seem to know what a SAR was, and when I explained she said "We don't provide that service at Virgin Media". I explained as kindly as I could that it isn't a service you "provide", it is a law which Virgin Media and every other company in the UK is forced to abide by whether you like it or not...

Following this I called retentions (again), and asked them to cancel the contract which had been created without my knowledge the previous night. Retentions apologised profusely, and said that they would forward me to the cancellations team who would be able to assist me. After the cancellations team agent had reversed the contract, I asked if he could help process the pre-contract which was pending since the previous evening. To fast forward a bit, after a lot of back and forth the agent insisted on creating an "identical" contract instead (which had a far higher default/base price). I received this agent's pre-contract via email (thinking he would send me "my" pre-contract as agreed), and although he has adjusted he price, his contract was lacking several things such as Sky Cinema UHD and the additional TV box. That, coupled with the fact that the base price was far higher (which would have a very negative impact on the price next year, after the April annual price increase), made me question whether he had sent the right contract. When I asked that, he became silent (literally cut off his mic I think). The call was active, but no one was replying for several minutes so I hung up and tried calling retentions again. Whilst calling retentions, I clicked on the pre-contract which I had just received via text message, and to my astonishment I was brought to Virgin Media's website showing the contract, with the message on top: "We've got your order!", and below that there was a banner in green saying "Approved - You approved your documents on April 11 2024."

So to sum things up, in the span of just a couple of hours, I've received two contracts, which someone has agreed to without my consent, or without even me hinting towards consenting to anything of the sort. Are Virgin Media simply forcing contracts on customers and hoping they won't notice? Or perhaps I've just been increadibly unlucky in the past days. 

This is my last attempt before I cancel altogether and go with another provider. If any staff here could help make sure to honour the pre-contract and deal which I have been promised at least twice, by separate people (I have audio recording of the phone calls if helpful), then that would be great. I am not interested in receiving a third contract/alternative which would likely be far more expensive than my pre-contract, or which would remove various things from my current contract. I simply want for someone to process the pre-contract (I can share the reference number) as agreed (which as explained retains my Netflix Premium and additional TV box, but without TNT, which I'm happy to accept). Thanks 

6 REPLIES 6

wificallerrors
Dialled in

You really can't make this stuff up. I just received a third contract, also which I have never in my life seen before. This one takes the cake, most of my current benefits are removed, and the price per month is an astonishing £178 (my current contract was £68 per month (before inflation/price increases), and the pre-contract is for £81, to put things in perspective).

Is this legal? Who is harassing me by creating all of these really bad contracts without consulting with me or without receiving my approval? What on earth is happening?

2024-04-11.png

 

Thanks for your post @wificallerrors, and welcome back to our Community Forums!

Sorry to hear of the poor customer journey you've been on with our team.

I'd be happy to take this in for a private message to see if we can get this resolved for you.

Check out the envelope in the top right hand corner for a private message from me

Thanks

David_Bn

Thank you David for offering to help. I have replied to your message with the information you've requested. 

wificallerrors
Dialled in

Update for the record. Yesterday I received in total five contracts, none of which I had agreed to. Today I have received yet another contract (also not agreed to). Today, a customer support agent (retentions) said multiple times that she would honour the contract/deal that I was offered earlier this week, but in her version (which was not based on the pre-contract I provided to her) the base/main services cost was significantly higher, and she added Sky Sport UHD and Sky Cinema UHD as hidden add-ons (not written in her contract draft as proper add-ons), priced at £0. That might sound good on paper, but when I asked whether I would be able to remove the Sky UHD add-ons (which in the case of every other customer can be done with 30 days notice, and with a price decrease) she replied that I would be able to remove them but the price of my contract would stay the same. In the pre-contract from earlier this week, the UHD channels are clearly written as add-ons. In that contract, the actual base/main services cost is £68. And the total of all the add-ons (which customers have the freedom to remove at anytime), is £13.

Long story short - today's attempt at "honouring" the previous offer was to create something that looks similar, but which takes away the freedom to remove the 30 day rolling add-ons, and with a significantly higher main services cost (this is the cost that the annual price increase is based on, hence why it is important). The higher main services cost would results in a higher price increase next year in April (most likely around £3-5 extra per month according to my estimates, compared to the pre-contract I've been offered).

@David_Bn and @Sabrina_B have offered to try to help solve the situation. In the meantime I've submitted a complaint and a SAR, as I am taking it very seriously that someone at Virgin Media is sending me "approved" contracts without my consent.

Hi wificallerrors,


Apologies, I was out of office over the weekend, I can see that you have reached out to our contact team, and chosen your next path with us. Apologies that there was not a way to retain you as a customer. 

Sabrina

Jenny24
Joining in

I had the same issues. Was promised a resolution. Told to phone back in 24 hours because they could not make changes on same day, When I phoned back I just selected the leaving option. I went ballistic at them and told them to sort it or I would cancel everything.Also mentioned breach of contract emailing ceo and financial ombudsman.They came back with a massive offer at less than I was paying with everything included. They put everything through whilst Inwas on the phone so Incoulld check it.