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Tonysylvian
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Compensation Hell

Since August 2020 (after having a Hub Upgrade) I experienced terrible Wifi.  Days with no connection, horrific hours spent trying to get through to anyone at Virgin media on Phone.  

For some of this time I wasn't at my home- isolating elsewhere with partner.  But when I returned to home internet connection was unstable, spotty if I managed to connect at all.  In January 2021 an engineer came.  Fixed it up and said the whole system had been shot since August due to 'outside works' and 'Split signals' or something.  Suggested I make a complaint toward compensation - credit on account.

Made a complaint via email. Got a reply 'You have no cause for complaint. If you disagree, call this number'.

Called number. On hold with horrific music for hours. Got through.  'You need to speak to someone else'.  Put on hold. Got through to disconnections?

Explained my rage.  Bloke said he understood and that I should fill in automatic compensation form.

I went to my virginmedia while on the line to him. Told him I couldn't find form.

He said he'd email me one within 24 hours.

Didn't receive form, needless to say but did receive 'Sorry you're leaving us...' etc??

So. How do I fill in and submit this mythical form?  I cannot find it anywhere.

 

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Grumpster
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Re: Compensation Hell

Hi Tony,

Good luck and if you ever do find this form, can you please PM it to me.

I've been trying to get VM to sort out my daughters supply for weeks now, but I'm getting now where and I'm getting there fast !

I no longer get any response from VM at all.

G

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Andruser
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Re: Compensation Hell

To my knowledge there isn't a form - by definition this is an "automatic" compensation scheme, and I suspect you'll be very disappointed when you read what's covered.  However, just because something isn't covered by the automatic compensation scheme doesn't mean you cannot request compensation for it.  VM have obligations under UK consumer law to provide their service with "reasonable skill and care", and the company have also signed up to the Ofcom Fairness Commitments, that state "Customers’ services work as promised, reliably over time. If things go wrong providers give a prompt response to fix problems and take appropriate action to help their customers, which may include providing compensation where relevant. If providers can’t fix problems with core services they have promised to deliver within a reasonable period, customers can walk away from their contract with no penalty."

If you want compensation, and your complaint has been rejected, then eight weeks from the date you originally had it acknowledged by VM, you can escalate to CISAS.  They undertake independent arbitration of complaints, costs you nothing, and the outcome is binding on VM.  Read the CISAS customer guidance carefully, this is a slow, bureaucratic but effective system, and be clear on all details and background to the complaint along with what outcome you now want.  It'll help if you can avoid mixing up broadband and wifi.  Wifi is the wireless connection from your hub to devices in your home, broadband refers to the cable connection and VM's network.  VM are wholly responsible for the performance of the broadband cable connection, they're also responsible for providing a wifi-capable hub of reasonable quality, but they're NOT responsible for things outside their control that might affect the wifi performance, such as interfering signals, or poor wifi coverage if (say) you lived in a castle with thick stone walls. 

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Tonysylvian
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Re: Compensation Hell

Thanks.

 

Why then did the VM chap tell me to go online and 'fill out a compensation form'? And when it wasn't there, say he'd send me one? (which he didn't)?

 

If it's all automatic why am I writing this at all?

 

But no, don't live in a castle and the engineer confirmed the poor service was down to VM.

 

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g0akc
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Re: Compensation Hell

Use the CISAS process - but you are supposed to wait until 'deadlock' has been reached at 8 weeks - and should have a letter from VM referring you to that scheme.  Raise online complaints or write in. It can be long and drawn out - expect it to take months.  And chase it up by phone to CISAS periodically (put a note in your diary to do so).

Collate all the evidence and any documents etc.  to put in the online case files. VM have their chance to put their side and you put yours with messages back and forth.  If you can't reach an agreement an arbitrator decides.  Don't discuss details of the case with others.

VM have taken to paying compensation by a credit to customer bills.  If you leave, or have already left, they should issue a cheque or direct debit refund.  Don't close the case until you receive such remedy.

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I know a bit about Wi-Fi, Telecoms, and TV as I used to do it for a living but I'm not perfect so don't beat me up... If you make things you make mistakes!
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Tonysylvian
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Re: Compensation Hell

Thanks, but I'm loathe to pursue this to such a degree.  I just don't have the inclination or energy.

The 'automatic compensation form' sounded nearly straightforward enough for me to follow it up.

But as it doesn't seem to exist, I guess big business wins again..

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Andruser
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Re: Compensation Hell

@g0akc Use the CISAS process - but you are supposed to wait until 'deadlock' has been reached at 8 weeks - and should have a letter from VM referring you to that scheme. 

That's wrong.  To take a complaint to CISAS, you must have raised it (or tried to raise it) with the company first.  If the company reject the complaint and any requested resolution, or offer an unacceptable solution, the customer can request a deadlock letter and with that they can immediately escalate to CISAS.

However, all complaints can be escalated to CISAS without a deadlock letter, if the customer is not happy, subject to the company having had eight weeks from the complaint being submitted.  This still applies if the company has rejected or lost the complaint, has closed the complaint, or offered no resolution, or offered an unacceptable resolution. 

The process is explained in CISAS publications on their web site.

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Andruser
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Re: Compensation Hell


@Tonysylvian wrote:

Thanks, but I'm loathe to pursue this to such a degree.  I just don't have the inclination or energy.

The 'automatic compensation form' sounded nearly straightforward enough for me to follow it up.

But as it doesn't seem to exist, I guess big business wins again..


It's a certain amount of additional effort to escalate to CISAS, I agree (I've got a case against Avro Energy with the very similar Energy Ombudsman scheme at the moment).  Big business only wins if you choose to take a back seat and let it.

I don't see why filling in the online forms for CISAS (or emailing them to discuss) is any more effort than filling in the mythical auto-compensation form on VM's website?   

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g0akc
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Re: Compensation Hell


@Andruser wrote:

@g0akc Use the CISAS process - but you are supposed to wait until 'deadlock' has been reached at 8 weeks - and should have a letter from VM referring you to that scheme. 

That's wrong.  To take a complaint to CISAS, you must have raised it (or tried to raise it) with the company first.  If the company reject the complaint and any requested resolution, or offer an unacceptable solution, the customer can request a deadlock letter and with that they can immediately escalate to CISAS.

However, all complaints can be escalated to CISAS without a deadlock letter, if the customer is not happy, subject to the company having had eight weeks from the complaint being submitted.  This still applies if the company has rejected or lost the complaint, has closed the complaint, or offered no resolution, or offered an unacceptable resolution. 

The process is explained in CISAS publications on their web site.



alright, I was over simplifying/not using the right wording despite the ‘’ I put, and stand corrected - point is you have to have raise it with the company first and exhausted/got nowhere with that or CISAS will reject.  Having used the process several times I was just trying to add some first hand experience.

Just see the process descriptions - but timescales are often much longer than boasted about....

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I know a bit about Wi-Fi, Telecoms, and TV as I used to do it for a living but I'm not perfect so don't beat me up... If you make things you make mistakes!
Andruser
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Re: Compensation Hell

@g0akc Having used the process several times I was just trying to add some first hand experience.

Which is always welcome.  If I came across as tetchy it wasn't intentional, merely offering a correction of how I read that.

 but timescales are often much longer than boasted about....

Absolutely.  All industry arbitration schemes are slow.  Mostly they exist because it isn't practical for individual customers to take unresolved disputes through court against multi-billion pound companies, and the adjudicators approach problems quite "legalistically".   Customers need to understand that, build their case, try and resolve through the company's own complaint system, and then take to arbitration.  

Going back to @Tonysylvian 's thoughts, yes it is a certain amount of hassle, but once he's formalised and written out the complaint (eg as a text document), submitting it to CISAS is simple, subject to a few rules, and then he sits back and waits to see what comes back.  

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