on 11-10-2022 12:31
I moved into a rented property in what will be a year ago in a couple of weeks.
After trying to get some broadband installed I was told by Virgin Media that they were unable to get broadband at my property with little to no explanation. 10 months later and I notice my new neighbour is getting Virgin Fibre Broadband installed. I went and spoke to the technician who told me that I definitely should be able to get it at my property too and gave me a number to ring (thank the lord for this as Virgin Customer service is amongst the worst I’ve ever experienced).
I was told it was because my address was down as a commercial property and needed to be changed to a residential one. Why I wasn’t told this 10 months ago or the multiple times I called in between I have no idea. The process in changing this took several weeks and then I was contacted to set up and install date (remedial work followed by a second date for the installation).
2 months later and several date changes I still don’t have it installed. Whenever I call I am told the remedial work needs to be completed. It’s been 2 months why hasn’t it been I ask. Of course no answer. I am told to ‘rest assure’ the install will go ahead. Yeah right!
i have tried calling the the person who I set all this up with and am constantly being ignored.
I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I know when it comes to the next install date I will be told the remedial works still haven’t been completed.
Answered! Go to Answer
on 20-02-2023 20:55
Don’t worry I’m definitely expecting them to make it difficult but I won’t give in until I get the compensation.
on 20-02-2023 23:12
Thanks, I won't get my hopes up then. We thought the end was in sight when a hole was dug in front of our house at the start of January. It has since been dug out and replaced then we had another contractor sit but not leave his van for five minutes before driving off a few weeks ago.
Guess I'll call again tomorrow to hear the usual "don't worry about the new installation date that will get moved forward once pre-pull is completed"
on 01-03-2023 10:55
So I went ahead and cancelled and have been offered some compensation:
"I have had a reply from our compensation team which includes a detailed explanation about how they have worked out your compensation, which is indeed £467.25.
Firstly, as the installation was a two man installation job, the install date (09/09/2022) was just provisional as we expected a delay due to the construction needed at the property. So this first delay was not covered by the scheme between 09/09/2022 – 28/09/2022.
From 28/09/2022 delayed install compensation would start accumulating right up until cancellation date on 17/02/2023, a 142 day period.
However, there were two aspects within this time frame that were not covered by the scheme, see below for details –
When you take the initial 142 days, subtract the 39 days for the traffic management issue and 14 days for the permits, you get 89 days and therefore the credited £467.25.
£5.25 x 89 = £467.25"
I am unsure how to respond. Are their reasons for not paying the full amount valid?
on 01-03-2023 11:14
At a previous address I became well acquainted with this link to Ofcom's website outlining the automatic compensation.
"Unless a specific exception applies, the scheme requires signatories to pay automatic compensation to customers when the problem is caused by an event beyond a customer’s, or the provider’s control. Examples include extreme weather, strikes and third-party acts."
Then within the more detailed pdf the specific exemptions are: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/216962/Industry-Code-of-Practice-for-Automatic-...
"40. A Communications Provider is not required to pay compensation to a customer if:
a. the customer is at fault for the service failure or prevents the service issue
from being resolved (based on evidence known to the Communications
Provider), for example, not accepting the first available date for a repair or not
allowing access to their premises and/or relevant equipment, or not providing
a safe working environment within the premise for the engineer;
b. the Communications Provider reasonably believes that the customer’s report
of a Total Loss of Service under paragraph 14 is fraudulent, frivolous or
c. it was not reasonably practicable for the Communications Provider to avoid
an obligation arising to pay compensation due to the effects of an event for
which emergency regulations have been made under Part 2 of the Civil
Contingencies Act 2004;
d. the Communications Provider could reasonably expect that, if it took the
action required in order to avoid an obligation arising to pay compensation, it
would or would be likely to be in breach of any law or regulation;
e. the customer has committed an offence under sections 125 or 126 of the
Communications Act 2003;
f. the customer is in breach of the terms under which the affected
communications services are supplied; or
g. the fault is not in respect of the service provided or it is caused by equipment
or activity within the customer’s home;"
So I don't think requiring council permits is covered by any of the above points so Virgin should still be liable for the compensation even though it was not within their control.
Of course fighting it requires more time and effort on your part. £278.25 and not letting them win or being able to get closure is what I would be considering.
on 01-03-2023 11:20
I am unsure how to respond. Are their reasons for not paying the full amount valid?
some on here will/might know so sit tight - a call to ofcom or the arbiter may answer it - afaik you can reject it and sk for a deadlock letter - certainly you would do that if you get confirmation they are not paying what they should and go to arbitration - yu would add another £100 or so for the fact VM are in the wrong
if they are correct that because of the permissions required they do not have to pay you need to contact your local council to find when permissions were asked for and when they were granted
VM are guilty of saying it can take 6 to 8 weeks - permissions usually take 48 hours but can be longer for traffic reasons
but if they dont apply for a numner of weeks and then dont act when they have permission thats not your fault and imo compensation is due
01-03-2023 11:42 - edited 01-03-2023 11:51
So I went ahead and cancelled and have been offered some compensation: <snip> I am unsure how to respond. Are their reasons for not paying the full amount valid?
VM have invented the idea of a 'provisional' installation date and the 'two man installation' excuse as a means to avoid paying. The word 'provisional' does not feature anywhere in the OFCOM minimum requirements document nor any reference to the number of people involved in the work.
Go back to the 'the date initially confirmed in writing' for installation/activation when you first placed your order with VM (it will mention something along the lines of the technician coming to install your equipment and activate services).
If VM did not mention a provisional installation date at the time you place the order then it was not a provisional installation date.
This issue of a 'provisional' installation date has been tested at arbitration before as below
and was found not to be a valid reason in that case and compensation was awarded.
In regard to the 'permits' excuse, this is also another well-worn excuse which VM likes to use.
Provision for this is in para 40d of the OFCOM doc above where VM cannot proceed if it would cause them 'to be in breach of any law or regulation' i.e. they cannot proceed without a permit for street work. However, the reduction in compensation only applies to the delay caused by the third party (e.g. a council delay over which VM has no control). It does not cover bungling delays caused by VM's own contractors who (theoretically at least) are under VM's control. E.g. if your installation was delayed by 10 days, 3 of which were waiting for a council permit and a further 7 days waiting for the contractor to organised traffic management then the only legitimate reduction in compensation would be 3 days for the council permit wait, not the full 10 days.
In the topics reported on here, council highways departments seem to be quite obliging in providing information about when permits were issued and for how long. Contact your local highways authority (may be your local council or county council depending on your area) and find out when permits for your street work were issued.
Once you have collected the necessary info, recalculate what you think you are due.
In all likelihood you will have to reject the VM resolution, request a deadlock letter to the complaint and go to Ombudsman Services for arbitration.
VM's strategy to avoid paying is largely based on these dubious assertions such as 'provisional' installation dates and 'permits' excuses. There have been sufficient topics on here in the past to show that these excuses do not usually stand up to any kind of close scrutiny in regard to what the regulations actually state.
Unfortunately though you may well have to persist with some additional research work and the arbitration process to get to a just settlement.
You could also contact OFCOM for further clarification on how the compensation scheme is being implemented by VM and whether this complies with OFCOM's requirements.