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2+ month delay in installing services due to pre-work never being done

Joining in

Services were initially meant to be installed on 14/10/2022, still haven't been installed due to the pre-work never being completed.

Pre-work appointment just rolls forward a day forward every day - e.g. shows 8th december today, will show 9th december tomorrow. Virgin team on phone constantly lie and say an engineer is booked for the pre-work but one has never turned up and done the pre-work.

Installation engineer for 14/10/2022 was cancelled 2 days before and rescheduled to 02/11/2022. Engineer turned up then but couldn't install because pre-work was not done. Was rescheduled to 24/11/2022 but cancelled on the day as pre-work was not done. Virgin then promised the pre-work would be done on the 29th but that didn't happen either. 

What can be done here? The pre-work appointment is still rolling forward, and the team on the phone are useless. It seems to me that either something has gone wrong in their system and it's refusing to assign us an engineer for pre-work, or there's some other delay (e.g. council) that they aren't telling us about.


Alessandro Volta

You might want to search the forum and read some of the experiences of other customers with installation delays.

A brief summary is that VM might connect you (and they might not), if they do it may be tomorrow or it could be months away, and in either case you will be without any accurate information beforehand.  And to add insult to injury, even if they do connect you there's a chance they'll obfuscate and even lie to minimise their obligation to pay the delayed reconnection compensation of £8.40 a day (that's the loss of service rate, not the delayed new connection rate).  Delays of months are not unheard of - the worst we know of were exactly one year, which was then beaten by a delay of thirteen and a half months.  In other cases VM prevaricate for many weeks or months, and then cancel the order as they judge it too expensive to perform the installation - often without telling the customer.

From reports in this forum we can see that VM don't consistently and accurately apply the "automatic" compensation scheme rules (especially if you're asking for it by calling VM's dreadful offshore call centres).  In addition VM have a dismal track record of doing nothing in the typical two weeks before the first installation date, then doing a bit of work and finding they need to dig the pavement up, then passing to a sub-contractor to work out what actually needs doing in detail and how much it costs, then the contractor and VM argue about the estimate, and if VM then give the go ahead, only then do the sub-contractors apply for the permit (what's called a Section 50 permit).  Typically these take a couple of days to issue, but VM will insist that the entire delay up to the issue of the permit was an allowable excuse under the compensation scheme rules, when in fact their (or their subcontractors) delays in applying should fall within scope for compensation as they should known enough about the network to know if permits were needed, and they should have done the survey work BEFORE the original install date.  In a recent post in this forum, a customer had been told that the delays on their connection were due to council permits - they phoned the council's streetworks team, who confirmed that there had been no application from or on behalf of Virgin Media.  This is what experts call "lying to your customers to try and disguise your own incompetence" and sadly it's not the only instance.

Often, to get what's due it's been necessary to use VM's slow and poor quality complaints process, which will then get fobbed off, and then escalate to the industry complaints adjudicator, CISAS.  

Thanks Andrew for your reply.

Actually managed to speak to a helpful member of the pre-install team, who said the issue is due to a blockage in the tee outside my house. First time I'd heard of this after many previous phone calls. This means they have to get the blockage team out who require a permit from the council which is where the issues lie - apparently either the permit isn't quick enough, or the team isn't availible on the day they applied for the permit for (this is just dumb and poor planning). 

The person I spoke to said they are going to get their manager to email the pre-install team to try and shift things along, but there's nothing else that can really be done. Wonder if I could find out the company that does the cable pulls and pre-work in the Brentford area and just contact them directly...

I guess I've just got to wait until the contractor gets their act together..

Hi matt6752, thanks for the message and welcome back to the forums. 

I am sorry to hear that there has been an issue with the installation of your service. 

I appreciate this has been a very frustrating time and you were looking forward to enjoying your new service. We want nothing more than to provide the service but the problem as you may have been made aware is one of construction.


We do not come across these issues until we action the installation. When you first call, the Sales team check to see if the address is marked as serviceable. This simply means the architecture is in place. In this case it is. Prior to you install a crew come out to what we term pre-pull the external cable. It’s at this point we sometimes come across constructions issues. Services are subject to availability.