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Vulnerable elderly person being exploited financially

spt1
Joining in

I have spent 6 hours on the phone this week trying to get my elderly and vulnerable mother's bill reduced. She has been a customer for nearly 20 years and is paying nearly £50 a week for services she cannot use bacause of her illness and partial sight. She doesn't need tv as she cannot operate the complicated remotes or use the many channels and only needs internet so I can work there when having to care for her/contact people in emergencies. However, she relies on a Lifeline button which saved her life recently and she has used several times recently so she must have access to a landline 24/7. Virgin Media do not seem to care that my vulnerable mother with little income is paying over the odds and when I said she didn't need the tv they actually quoted an 18-month contact at £74 and said it was the best they could do!! REALLY??? After 6 hrs of calls to lots of staff I was offered a £1 discount to £48 provided I sign an 18 month contract...?!!!!!! Nonsense. They offer new contracts at £26.50 a month but won't put her on it. I see no option but to cancel but, in doing so, she will be potentially at risk if there is any delay whatsoever in the transfer process....I know from personal experience that very often there is. The telephone lifeline is essential. She has used it several times in the middle of the night recently. I cannot put her at risk. They show no compassion or care for someone in a vulnerable situation and only seem to care about getting you to sign a new 18 month contract. Nobody is listening. My mother is immobile, cannot get to the front door and cannot sort this for herself. I have Power of Attorney for her and Virgin won't make any concessions. I am absolutely appalled at their money-making callous disregard for her.

VIRGIN - your reply is a standard one and if I phone your general line I will also get the same experience I relate to here ie. no help whatsoever. In order to resolve this you will have to give me the telephone number of a named individual that can help me....

Also - the Virgin Facebook page doesn't allow anyhow to post any comments - so that is useless as well.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

The Telecare providers should be all ready for this. BT customers are supplied with the Smart hub 2 and the Telecare alarm is connected to the phone socket on the hub.

--
Hub 5, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, 360
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM hub 5 broadband connection

See where this Helpful Answer was posted

9 REPLIES 9

goslow
Alessandro Volta

Do you need the higher speed broadband connection speeds offered by VM?

Could you get a new Openreach connection for broadband/phone with an acceptable speed?

Do you have any alt-net providers available who may be able to offer a connection?

If you moved to an Openreach connection, that would be an independent connection to VM so you should be able to overlap the two with no break in service before then cancelling VM. You would also get new customer pricing elsewhere.

Worth noting that if you did move providers you would still be left with a phone-via-router connection which might have implications for the lifeline device you mention as all new phonelines now are dependent on the router working. You would also need the VM phone line to be fully working if you wanted to port a phone number elsewhere.

Also worth noting that wherever you did move to, you would still very likely be stuck in a cycle of a discounted term for 18 months to 2 years (with pre-set price rises along the way each year) before the package price jumps up again at the end of the minimum term when you would have to renegotiate on behalf of your mother.

A new provider (very likely) should be able to offer better ease of contact and customer service as VM's measures for these are a very low benchmark to compare against.

You are unlikely to get a VM reply here in 'Community Natter'. A moderator or VIP might move your topic to ‘Managing Your Account – Cable’ where a VM person should reply within a few days.

Alby41
Dialled in

Sad Sad Sad ... I am just a punter/customer here as everyone else is .. my immediate thought is the quicker you depart from VM .. the better .. why do they not shew some compassion and realise your predicament // beyond belief I say .. incredulous I hope it works out buddy ... round here we have just got 900 mgb and phone from ZEN and SKY following suit I see ... NW St Helens....now for considerably less pm then what I am paying to VM... now that kicks VM into touch on prices ... but no TV... alas but hey ho free view etc / recorder ... I will be adios amigos at the end of my contract which is unfortunately some good months away for me ... if only VM would do or appear to help things with vulnerable folk things would be sorted ... every penny is a prisoner it would appear ... No joy OFCOM for you but VM masters in squirmology and prevarication as it would appear would find a way to block you not help you.. I hope your mum gets sorted and a deal can be done and help her..😉

Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

When does her contract end? This will enable you to calculate the EDF.

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Hub 5, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, 360
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM hub 5 broadband connection

she is not under contract...I'm concerned that there may be a delay if she changes supplier and she needs 24/7 support as she uses a lifeline and often has falls.  therefore to change supplier might put her at risk.  

Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

If she contracts with an ISP which uses the Openreach network, like Sky or BT, she can get her broadband and phone installed without interaction with VM (so long as she opts not to have her number transferred).

--
Hub 5, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, 360
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM hub 5 broadband connection

She has to have a landline for the LifeLine to work.

Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

The Telecare providers should be all ready for this. BT customers are supplied with the Smart hub 2 and the Telecare alarm is connected to the phone socket on the hub.

--
Hub 5, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, 360
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM hub 5 broadband connection

elaine19
Joining in

i understand i ring for my mother every year and just go straight to disconnections, hers is £36 monthly now but before the contract was up it has jumped to £70! I have again got it down to £35 but not without a fight!!!

Hey elaine19, thank you for reaching out and a warm welcome to the community, I am so sorry to hear about this but I am happy to hear we've managed to get you a new deal for your mother at a great price.

If you need anything going forward please do let us know 🙂 

Matt - Forum Team


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