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hellodave
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Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

Virgin are a farce - I thought BT were bad but they're amateurs in comparison! I've been experiencing constant disconnections since April, and despite Virgin being fully aware of the problem, they've completely failed to fix it in almost six months. Other than being customer service buffoons, I can't think of anything Virgin excel at - I've lost count of the amount of time my connection has been down.

My internet failed yet again on Monday morning, so after playing a game of "go around in circles and see who cracks first" with the online status checker, I managed to book an engineer for today, and even got a text confirmation. I waited in all afternoon and nobody turned up, but I had no message saying the engineer was canclled. I'd like to know how I get my "missed appointment" compensation, as I have zero confidence it will be automatic - no doubt there will be some pathetic excuse.

If someone from Virgin could tell me what on earth they're doing to improve the reliability of the frayed length of wet string that connects me to the internet that would be a bonus. I can only assume your engineers' efforts up to this point have been limited to "hit it with a hammer and pray".

I know I could phone 150 but to be honest I'd get more sense out of the cat. And he's deaf.

Thanks

 

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hellodave
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Message 2 of 16
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

Anyone? 

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David_Bn
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

Good Morning hellodave, 

 

Thanks for your post and a very warm welcome to you!

 

I'm sorry to see you've been having issues with your services. Looking into the local area, it appears that we have an outage that's due to be fixed at 4pm today

 

Have you been made aware of this outage, or any other outages of late? This is most probably the reasoning for the engineer visit being automatically cancelled or not entering your property

 

Kindest regards,

 

David_Bn

 

 

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hellodave
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

Hi David 

Thanks for your reply. I don't think I gave you my location but my area has been experiencing regular outages every few days since April - I stopped counting at 30 (10+ min disconnections, not blips). Virgin seem incapable or unwilling to fix them. The last engineer who visited (a few weeks ago) told me the area fault had been prioritised, would be fixed in a few days and he'd call me to check. It wasn't and he didn't.

I have called, texted (the Virgin SMS "assistant" has to be an April fool, surely), written and reported faults online for nearly 6 months and got nowhere. Every time a fault is "fixed" there's another one. Nobody at Virgin is interested in taking ownership of the issue and the call centre just trawl through the same script, say "yes" to everything and do nothing. I've lost all confidence that the fault will ever be fixed and Virgin just don't care about providing me with a usable connection or anything that could be called customer service.

To answer your question, yes I am aware of (many) outages, but to say they're fixed is meaningless because another one happens shortly afterwards. The last engineer was the most helpful person I have spoken to so far, and so I was annoyed when they didn't turn up, especially when I waited in all afternoon for them. Whether they were automatically canceled, got lost or went to a Game of Thrones convention isn't the point - nobody told me they weren't coming! Therefore I should be entitled to the £25 for a missed appointment. 

Thanks for any help you can give. 

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Jodi_S
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Message 5 of 16
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

Hi hellodave,

 

Thanks for coming back to us. We do apologise regarding your technicians appointment being cancelled without knowledge. This only happens when it is revealed to be an area fault affecting several customers at one time.

 

Looking remotely from our end with the details you have provided from your community profile, we have located your account details and can see that you have another area fault which is affecting you currently. The estimated fix time for this is 12 pm today, however this is subject to change. The faults ticket number is F008425733 if you wish to get updates on this current issue.

 

With regards to the £25 missed appointment credit please check our T&C'S here

 

Kind regards Jodi

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hellodave
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

Hi Jodi, 

Thanks for your reply. 

As you may have seen, my area has constant faults, which are raised and closed as fixed, but my connection is still very unreliable. An occasional fault is OK but several a week is ridiculous - a "fix" that breaks 24 hours later is not fixed! What are Virgin doing to fix the problem permanently? My wife works from home for the NHS (seconded to the Covid pandemic response) and is constantly in videoconferences - the daily drops in our Internet connection make her job much more difficult and stressful than it needs to be! 

Re the missed appointment T&Cs, they say:

"If we promised to be with you on a particular day and we don’t turn up that day, or cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice, we’ll automatically apply a £25 credit to your bill."

So as I was promised a visit, didn't get a cancellation notice and nobody turned up I should get a credit. What should I do if the credit doesn't automatically appear?

Thanks 

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Jodi_S
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Message 7 of 16
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

Thanks for coming back to us hellodave,

 

We do appreciate this situation is not ideal especially when working form home which requires a permanent connection.

 

Have you raised a complaint over this matter? If not you can do so here  under our complaints code of practice.

 

If your account has not automatically been credited this means you would have not qualified for the £25 missed appointment compensation.

 

As you mentioned you were not informed the appointment was cancelled please raise this in your complaint and we will investigate this for you.

 

Kind regards Jodi 

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hellodave
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Message 8 of 16
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

I raised a complaint several months ago, both online and by letter, and it was completely ignored. I had to take it to CISAS in the end, and even then Virgin only replied at the last minute with the bare minimum response. They agreed to compensation but didn't give a proper apology or an explanation as to when my connection would be fixed, which is what I really wanted!

I cannot believe that my area has had network problems for almost 6 months and Virgin have made zero progress fixing it. I just get fobbed off at every turn. If someone could take ownership of the problem and keep me updated on progress that would be a start. As it is your complaints team don't have a phone number and can't call people back! Unbelievable!

I clearly meet your T&Cs for a missed appointment but I'm sure Virgin will see it differently. As the complaints process doesn't work, if there's anything you can do to credit me that would save a lot of hassle. 

If there's anything you can do to find out what is going on with my connection and when it will be permanently fixed I would really appreciate it. As you can tell, I'm fed up with being ignored! 

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goslow
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Message 9 of 16
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

I had a similar issue some years ago (over utilisation in my case). That dragged on over a period of 12 to 18 months until it was fixed. Once I had the VM fault no. I was able to agree some ongoing compensation with 'retentions' (which, IIRC, was 50% off the broadband part of my package). Had to ring up every month to claim it as long as the fault no. was still in place. It was a small amount each month but added up over a long period of time. IIRC it was back-paid to the start of the when the fault number was first generated.

This was probably 5+ years ago and before the automatic compensation scheme. Sadly, VM's customer service seems to have been in a slow, gradual decline since then and whether or not you would get anything like that now I couldn't say. Generally, VM seem to be a bit indifferent about losing customers now but you could maybe give it a go and see.

I would guess this would only work while you have the fault ongoing. I would imagine zero chance of claiming any money back for a part-working system in retrospect.

Your other alternative would be just to leave and come back 12 to 18 months later, by which time VM might possibly have fixed the issue plus you would also be a ‘new’ customer. Openreach have been very busy in this area in lockdown installing FTTP here and some of my neighbours have already moved from VM to that if that is an option for you.

Hope you can make some progress with it and either get a working system or some kind of rebate.

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hellodave
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Re: Engineer Failed to turn up, connection issues since April

Interesting to hear your experiences. According to the engineer, my problem is to do with old and unreliable equipment in a nearby cabinet, but (until he visited) this was a P4 priority which I interpreted as "we'll look at it occasionally in between box sets". He assured me it had been raised to a P2 but nothing appears to have improved. Unfortuntely, VM believe it's acceptable to continuously raise and "fix" faults every time said cabinet fails, so there isn't an ongoing fault number. Nobody at VM appears to have the sense to combine all these faults into an overarching problem and work hard to fix it permanently.

After a long battle I got some compensation for my lack of service, but it was like pulling teeth to get that far and my connection still isn't fixed! I'm not sure if VM customer service could be said to be in decline - it must have hit rock bottom a while ago! Even BT (my yardstick for incompetence) will answer a letter of complaint - out of three I sent to VM, two were ignored, and one had a reply saying "we hope everything is fixed, if it isn't, text us." Text. Seriously! Phoning them up is no better - you just get a script-reader who's only goal in life is to get rid of you. They either don't listen to your question or say "yes" to everything, with no intention of acting on it (how many times have I heard "yes, we will definately call you back" - they never do!!). Incidentally the engineer told me he reguarly gets verbal abuse from customers driven mad by VM's pathetic attempts at "customer service", and I can believe it!

Stupdily I did attempt to contact the text service, which is focussed entirely on testing your sanity. Their "digital assistant" sends you around in circles before the service drops your connection as soon as you're connected to a person. My record is an ~8 hour circular conversation which got nowhere. This is bad enough for normal queries but whoever thought it was a good way of handling complaints needs their head examined!

I've lost all faith that VM will ever get off their incompetent backsides and actually provide me with a working network connection, and it's just a question of riding out my contract lock-in period (because no matter what, VM won't let you off that) until I can go to someone else. 

Open challenge to VM - prove me wrong, take ownership of this and fix my connection. Shouldn't be an unreasonable expectation for a service I'm paying for...

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