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seamusvr
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Virgin not honouring a contract

Our TV & Broadband package was finishing on  03/01/2021. We decided on the 11/12/2020 to agree to an offer made by Virgin Media website whilst signed in to an upgrade to another package for a 12 month  contract, an increase of £1 per month. We received an e-mail summary of the new contract. 
Then we received our new bill in December, To our surprise we had started to be billed for an increase to our existing contract of £10 per month. Despite doing everything that Virgin requested to do for a change of contract,they now refuse to acknowledge the new agreement, of which we have a referance from them agreeing the price and  details of the new package. I spent 3 hours talking to an Indian call centre without success. They referred to the problem as a price mis-match, whatever that means. I have tried to complain to  Cisas,but you have to wait 8 weeks until your complaint has been dealt with by Virgin. We have been with Vigin for 25+ years, and any dispute before was handled extremely efficiently.
 
We have been offered and accepted a deal and have confirmation of and now Virgin are back pedalling on it as the deal was "not available to existing customers" even though we had logged into our account and clicked on "my upgrades and offers". Now they are trying to offer an alternative like for like package at even more expense! They have changed our prior tariff without giving 30 days notice (against their T&C's) and they have backed out of a contract due to their mistake which we are now being punished before. Completely unfair and in my eyes illegal to do.
Andrew-G
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Re: Virgin not honouring a contract

Stock reply...

These "didn't get the deal I agreed" situations happen from time to time.  However, your legal rights are crystal clear - information provided by a company verbally or written is binding if the consumer relies upon it when entering a contract (Consumer Rights Act 2015), so VM have to honour whatever was promised, whether they like it or not.  And perhaps they need to re-train some of their staff...

Hopefully the forum staff can pick this up and get it sorted - by which I mean that you get exactly the deal you were promised, not some less attractive compromise.  That would be the cheapest and quickest resolution for both parties, and the best way of trying to recover some goodwill in a bad situation.  If they can't get it sorted in that complete manner, you need to search, read and follow the Virgin Media Complaints Code of Practice.  Don't start a complaint until you've seen if the forum staff can get this sorted, because I believe they can't get involved once it has become a formal complaint. 

If you do need to raise a formal complaint (I suggest in writing, by recorded post), reject the contract they're trying to impose, and demanding that as per your legal rights the company honour what was promised, and pointing out that if the company can't honour its agreement you will escalate to the industry arbitration scheme CISAS as soon as permitted by the rules.  In the meanwhile, don't do anything daft like stopping your direct debit, that'll be recorded as a credit default, and opens up whole new realms of difficulty for you.  Don't worry if VM contact you claiming that they couldn't get hold of you, so will close the complaint if they don't hear to the contrary, this doesn't stop you being able to take the matter further.

If VM still won't honour the contract despite the complaint, or say they're going to close the complaint, then you follow the process and escalate to the industry arbitration scheme no sooner than eight weeks after your initial complaint was received by VM.  Explain the background and request that VM be required to give you the promised deal, fully backdated, and add on a request for compensation for the hassle.  Not only does escalation to CISAS cost VM money (free to you, costs of several hundred quid are ALWAYS paid by the company) but it gets your case investigated and impartially heard by expert dispute resolution staff.  From published data, the majority of complaints escalated to CISAS, either the company immediately concedes, compromises, or loses at the end of arbitration.  Sadly that's not quick, and VM have up to eight weeks to resolve the complaint before you can go to CISAS, on the other hand your legal rights are very clear.

As I said earlier, hopefully the forum staff can get this resolved quicker and without the formality.

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jackielee
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Re: Virgin not honouring a contract

Wonder how many times this sort of thing happens.  At the end of 2019 I agreed a new contract (verbally) with the "disconnect team".  This was confirmed by email.  Within two months the price had been increased even though it was supposedly guaranteed for 12 months.  Hours (approx 16) communicating with representatives of virgin media ultimately ended with them saying that I had been overcharged and would be reimbursed.  I never was.  Finally this was accomplished after the case being referred to CISAS arbitration (This all took several months).  When contract ended I was determined to leave and again spoke to "disconnect team".  I already had a deal with Plusnet for £31.50, but for some reason decided to accept a deal offered by Spencer Smith for £35.00.  Surprise, surprise: the contract was not emailed through til after the 14 day cancellation period: it was for £10 per month more than agreed.  I am incensed! This is deliberate duplicity.  At the moment I am struggling to take on anymore stress that is caused by the appalling levels of communication when trying to raise this as an issue.  Any guesses as to the likelihood that I will renew with VM at the end of this contract.

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Andrew-G
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Re: Virgin not honouring a contract

@jackielee Take it back to VM, formal complaint, if they don't roll over then escalate to CISAS again.  I know this is a pain and extra time, effort and stress (I've just raised escalated an energy complaint to the relevant arbitration scheme, I know what it's like). 

I don't know the exact numbers, but I've worked for an industry under a similar arbitration code, and when you escalate a complaint to arbitration, it costs the company about £150 if they immediately roll over and offer you an acceptable result, and if the don't and it goes through arbitration the company get hit with a full-fat adjudication case fee of around £450 (plus any compensation or service actions they have to comply with.  And serve them right!

I'll flag this for the forum staff, and see if they can sort it out before you have to go down the formal complaint route.  If they can, that's a lot cheaper for the company, and a lot quicker and easier for you.  Don't be fobbed off though - the company are legally bound to honour whatever was agreed.

 

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Zak_M
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Re: Virgin not honouring a contract

Good morning @seamusvr 

 

Welcome to the forums and thank you for taking the time to post. 

 

I am sorry to hear that you have had some issues with your contract. 

 

I would like to take a further look into this for you, so that I am able to discuses this further I will need to drop you a PM.  keep an eye out on the purple envelope on the top right of the screen. 

 

Kind regards,

Zak_M

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seamusvr
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Re: Virgin not honouring a contract

I hope what happened to you does not happen to us. We spoke to the dis-connect team,not an Indian call centre I might add. They were very helpful,but only after we e-mailed them them the summary of the agreement as proof. We have not recieved our first monthly bill yet, here,s hoping that it is for the same as stated on the summary.

 

Corey_C
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Re: Virgin not honouring a contract

Thanks for your message and update, seamusvr,

 

Cheers,

Corey C

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jackielee
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Message 8 of 8
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Re: Virgin not honouring a contract

Good luck! I'd be interested to hear if it went well.  I'm beginning to feel picked on.

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