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SaraMeLo
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Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

I decided to change my internet provider because I was paying too much. I selected a fibre offer for 40 pounds per month with Virgin (an option for students). I was having many troubles with the website on that day (the offer kept appearing and disappearing from the site, probably due to some sort of site maintenance), so I wasn't able to see any indication that the price would change after a certain period of time.

To avoid troubles, I asked an agent that was helping me (named Dorf), if that price would change after a certain amount of time. I wanted to make sure that it was worth changing providers, as my old provider was now making me offers to stay with them.

Dorf told me the price wouldn't change. I saved the transcript after closing the conversation, so I copy here the specific part where I asked, with his/her response:

Sara: does the price change after a certain period of time?
14:43, Jun 3
Sara: I am making this choice based on the £40 cost, but I'm not sure if after that time I'd be paying much more
14:43, Jun 3
Sara: that time being 12 months*
14:44, Jun 3
Dolf: No Sara, that will still the same after 12 months.

I open the email with the contract today, and surprise! First thing I read is that, after a year (12 months), the price of the internet rises to £47. 

I spent an hour talking to that agent because of all the problems I was having trying to sign up with Virgin. I cancelled with my old internet provider. And now, I see I'm going through all this trouble because of a lie. I contacted a new agent by chat and he re-directed me to a pay phone (?!!). Off to a great start! I will not be signing a contract with this company if that's how they deal with their customers.   

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chenks
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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

regardless of what the agent said, the website would have been clear that the price advertised was a "new customer" price and would revert to standard price after a set period of time, usually 12 months.
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SaraMeLo
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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

Hi chenks:

As I said, I was having troubles with the website, the student offer kept appearing and disappearing, so that is why I asked for help to an agent, who should have known better than me. If I wouldn't have specifically asked for this (stating that my choice would be based on this price being maintained after the 12 months), I wouldn't be as upset as I am now. 

It might be that it was not the agent's intention to lie, maybe even he/she didn't understand the offer, but he/she (as a company representative) should have. I made a choice based on all the information I could gather from Virgin's official website on that day, and it was misleading. And when I asked them today for clarification, the new agent didn't offer me any help and directed me to a pay phone. 

I think I have reasons to not be too happy about them.  

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chenks
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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

ok so what outcome do you want from this?
if it's for them to honour what the intial agent said then that won't happen.
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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

 I will not be signing a contract with this company if that's how they deal with their customers.   

if you have the BB installed and use it you are deemed to have signed the contract - a scribble on a piece of paper or an electronic signature is not needed

the agents dont lie in many cases - they simply either dont know or choose not to tell the facts - with what you were told i have no idea - i would suggest a bit of both - he further did not tell you that there could be another price rise in november when VM apply a yearly increase

its all sad but true and how they seem to work - if you have just had the install you have 14 days to cancel - the one thing that will not happen as has been said above is you are unlikely to find anyone to honour what was said

 

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Tony
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SaraMeLo
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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

What I want is to leave a comment for the public record, specially if they do this on a regular basis to get new clients (an apology would be nice too). I was very clear in my question to the agent, and she/he did not hesitate to answer it.

It is not only one person's "mistake" though: the new agent offered me no help at all, directing me to another customer service for which I have to pay, which I think is unacceptable. Customer service should not be a business apart (now I have to pay for solving the issues a company causes me?).

I've seen here people saying they've been offered deals for opening a new account, that the company didn't honour afterwards. And no apologies from the company whatsoever...

It amazes me the level of conformism though, now if you are lied to is your fault for trusting.

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chenks
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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

i don't see anyone apportioning any blame towards yourself. clearly there has been more than 1 issue that caused you to believe that your introductory price would remain.

however the only 2 outcomes here are you either accept the contract or you cancel.
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SaraMeLo
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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

Hi Tony,

Thanks for your reply. It was not an omission, it was a "no, the price won't change" as it can be read in the transcript.

I have no equipment installed yet, so I will try to undo the cancellation with the other company and see if they still offer the deals they were offering me for staying with them.

I just don't understand the treatment and lack of help afterwards, if you make a mistake at least try and find out why this mistake was made and correct it so that it won't happen again, and offer some sort of reassurance to the customer, that this is not the company's policy.

If that's the treatment now, how will it be later when I am binded by contract to stay with them 12 more months?

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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts


@SaraMeLo wrote:

Hi Tony,

Thanks for your reply. It was not an omission, it was a "no, the price won't change" as it can be read in the transcript.

I have no equipment installed yet, so I will try to undo the cancellation with the other company and see if they still offer the deals they were offering me for staying with them.

I just don't understand the treatment and lack of help afterwards, if you make a mistake at least try and find out why this mistake was made and correct it so that it won't happen again, and offer some sort of reassurance to the customer, that this is not the company's policy.

If that's the treatment now, how will it be later when I am binded by contract to stay with them 12 more months?


you sum it it well - the offshore agents can and do make it up as they go on - they seem to have a thing about telling or confirming what the customer wants to hear - there seems to be no comeback when that happens - yours is just the latest in a long line of similar stories - no one at VM listens or seems to as nothing changes

i sum it up by saying the product [on the whole] is great - customer service is mostly non existent - yes they have people offering their interpretation of it but on a scale of one to ten it mostly does not make one

work from that premise and you wont be disappointed 

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Message 10 of 12
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Re: Lied to by an agent before the contract even starts

Consider making Ofcom aware of the situation here, Tell Ofcom