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Angrycustomer4
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Lies and missed appointments

I’m at the absolute end of my tether due to the sheer incompetence of Virgin Media and now have nowhere else to turn so I figure I may as well post here in the hope I might be able to shame someone into doing something.

My wife and I recently purchased our first house. We were already Virgin customers and despite having over two years of abysmal internet and customer service we weren’t permitted to leave without paying out the remainder of the contract due to them being able to provide internet at our new address (or so they claimed).

I therefore gave two months notice of the moving in date (17th July) telling Virgin that we need the router installed on that date. Apparently external work needed to be done (this wasn’t mentioned before, otherwise I would not have continued with you) as I received a text from Virgin on 26th June asking permission to carry this out. I confirmed this was okay within half hour and that was the end of the matter.

Fast forward to Saturday and at about 9AM a virgin media van arrived (Hooray!). Jubilation quickly turned to disbelief when the guy told me he couldn’t install the router because the external work hadn’t been done yet.

Since then I have spent over ten hours on the phone being passed around departments and close to three days now on the webchat talking to a variety of people who cannot help.

The first two calls on Saturday were directed to the Philippines, and on both occasions the person at the other end cut me off. The next call appeared to be more fruitful, getting through to a [REMOVED] who appeared to be more knowledgeable. He told me he’d look into this and get back to me within two hours. Of course, Samir never got back to me after hanging up.

Sunday brought another variety of phone calls, passed back and forth between sales, the pre-install team and the moving team, none of whom could help. It was around this time that my suspicions were confirmed, when I was told that Virgin actually outsource the external work and so cannot contact the people who do the work, cannot view their diary and certainly can’t put me in touch with them. However, one of the people in the Philippines had told me that the work was scheduled for Saturday but it was guaranteed by Monday (today) at the latest, so whilst I was certainly not pleased, one more day of annual leave was feasible.

Which brings me to Monday. Another barrage of phone calls to useless people passing me back and forth until I spoke to someone who again, seemed a bit more knowledgeable than the others who claimed that he had escalated my case and also logged a complaint (C190721463). He then told me that he could have the installation performed on the 22nd of July and that he would inform a manager of the situation who would call me back today. By the end of the phone call the 22nd July had moved to the 24th and I still have not received a telephone call.

I then received a text message from +44 744 557 6718 which appeared to be a scam (it appears even your own moderators have trouble determining this) but I proceeded, only to be met with another person who was useless – they first told me to call the general line and ask to speak to the manager (as if I haven’t tried this countless times already), then proceeded to tell me that the earliest date available for installation is 11th August and that “At this moment I don’t think there is anybody who can help”, which pretty much sums up all my experiences with Virgin Media.

So my wife and I are both meant to be working from home today, hence why we put this address change in motion two months ago. We have now lost an entire weekend and a day of annual leave each due to sheer, absolute incompetence and we are being told that we will have to wait another three weeks which is just not happening.

We gave you notice, we arranged 17th July and we want this looked into by somebody who isn’t following a script immediately. I have never seen such abysmal customer service in my entire life – you should be ashamed to operate this way.

I haven’t even mentioned yet the fact that nobody from Virgin has reached out to us yet to explain, we’ve been left totally in the dark – I can only guess you’re embarrassed to admit fault. As far as we’re concerned we should be invoicing you for hours wasted, which already far exceeds the remainder of our contract, and will continue to rise with every day we cannot work from home.

It gets to the point now where I imagine it would be faster for us to sign up to BT which would require no external work (the previous owners were with BT) and hope for the fastest possible slot (I’ve been told two weeks) and just cancel my Virgin direct debit as you are now undoubtedly in breach of contract.

It just baffles me that such a large organisation can be so useless. Are there any mods at all that can escalate this or does the entire organisation have their hands tied?

Sincerely


Another angry customer

[MOD EDIT: Personal and private information has been removed from this post. Please do not post personal or private information in your public posts. Please review the Forum Guidelines]

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Andrew-G
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Message 2 of 9
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Re: Lies and missed appointments

VM pre-install has been causing howls of protest here for some weeks now, with repeated delays in some cases of several months.  VM's pre-install has always been a shambles, but it seems to be especially bad now.  A very few lucky customers have got to speak to someone in this country who knows what's going on and can help, most seem to be fobbed off with no help at all by VM's trademark offshore call centres.  I suspect that the massive Openreach FTTP roll out has sucked the country dry of available telecoms cable pullers and diggers, VM failed to spot that coming and simply don't have enough contractors to install the house moves and new connections.  None of which helps you.

I'd suggest you protect your own interests and order an Openreach ISP (I'd suggest Zen Internet, Aquiss, uno, IDNet or CIX if you want good service and don't need bundled TV), and then continue with whichever connection is installed and working properly first, cancelling the other under your cooling off rights before they connect you (and do cancel, don't just cancel the direct debit, as that alone could cause you all manner of trouble).  If this sounds sensible, check to make sure you won't be hit with any VM early exit fees if you're transferring an existing discounted contract to the new property - anything that applies should be visible under the contract section of My Virgin Media.

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Anonymous
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Message 3 of 9
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Re: Lies and missed appointments

If it exceeds the remainder of your contract why didn't you just pay them out?

Leaving earlier is the remainder of your bills capped at £240.

Sounds like you have good grounds to move on in anycase they've failed to keep their end of the contract they hold us to.

Serve your notice and make enquiries with an openreach provider. 

I had new fibre from them and then BT (but you can use another FTTP provider like Andrew-G said) set up inside 2 weeks.

My BT speeds are 903mb download and 115mb upload. Which I never came close to on VM Gig1.

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Zach_R
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Message 4 of 9
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Re: Lies and missed appointments

Hi @Angrycustomer4,

Thank you for your post and welcome to our community forums. We're here to help.

I'm very sorry to hear that you've been having these complications with getting services installed at your new property. It's in our benefit to get you installed ASAP, so I assure you that we'd do all that we can to make that happen.

When did you last speak with the team about this and what have they advised? Have they explained the reason for the delay at all?

If you did want to discuss potentially terminating your contract of service with us, please contact the retentions department on 0345 454 1111 (or 150 from a Virgin Media landline) as I'm afraid we're unable to process cancellations from here. They can then advise you of your options. I would also advise against cancelling your Direct Debit as this can cause some further complications.

Thanks,
 



Zach - Forum Team


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Angrycustomer4
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Message 5 of 9
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Re: Lies and missed appointments

Thank you all for the information - I will certainly be complaining to the regulator.

Literally immediately after posting this I received an email to say that I would now have internet on 11th August, almost a month after initially agreed, and judging by the rest of the posts on this forum there is certainly no guarantee of this happening anyway, so I signed up to BT instead who will be giving me internet next week.

As far as I'm concerned, Virgin haven't honoured their contract and so I am well within my rights to walk away without paying for the rest of the contract. I will also be requesting a refund of the most recent direct debit (why should I pay for no internet?) and compensation for being without the internet for three weeks and also for my multiple days of wasted time.

Opened web chat just now to notify them and surprise surprise they can't help but instead want me to call the pre-install team! Apparently I've managed to escalate my complaint further and will receive a call from a manager within 24 hours, however as the past two calls from managers never materialised I'm not holding my breath...

I will keep this updated if and when there is any progress.

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Angrycustomer4
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Message 6 of 9
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Re: Lies and missed appointments

Oh, one last thing I totally forgot to mention. When I initially requested to move house Virgin actually extended my contract without even asking me! And it took even more days of phone calls and web chat to rectify this (and of course it still has not been rectified). So to anyone moving house, be sure to check your contract dates. Or better yet, just go with an alternative provider.

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Andrew-G
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Message 7 of 9
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Re: Lies and missed appointments

@Angrycustomer4 When I initially requested to move house Virgin actually extended my contract without even asking me! And it took even more days of phone calls and web chat to rectify this (and of course it still has not been rectified)

Make sure this is sorted out at the same time as the cancellation, otherwise VM will either take money via the direct debit, or if that's stopped VM will mark your credit history with a default under a credit agreement, and sell on all alleged debts to debt collectors.

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Angrycustomer4
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Message 8 of 9
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Re: Lies and missed appointments

I think this thread will now turn into a log of incompetence.

So yesterday I was promised a call back from a manager today (for the third time) and that my complaint was being escalated. I explained my entire problem (in post 1) for the umpteenth time. Today I wake up to this email (and obviously no phone call):

 

Angrycustomer4_0-1627028684071.png

 

You couldn't make it up....

Is there any chance at all of being able to speak to someone at Virgin who can actually do their job?

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Andrew-G
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Message 9 of 9
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Re: Lies and missed appointments

I'm afraid that I've rejected that image because it contains personal info (your name), but in previewing it I'd agree it seems a bizarre response to the issues you've reported here.  You can of course escalate to the industry arbitration scheme CISAS eight weeks from the date your complaint was acknowledged, which won't be quick, but should be effective, hopefully the forum staff can step and take ownership to get this all sorted quickly.

It does seem from what I see in the forum that VM have a complaints process specifically designed to achieve poor outcomes for customers, with no attempt made to actually address the meat of complaints.  That will be a gamble - when a customer escalates a bodged complaint to any arbitration scheme, it costs the company several hundred pounds in case fees, and the majority of escalated complaints are found in the customer's favour.  That's true in most regulated industries, and regardless of the particular arbitration scheme used.  However a good proportion of customers give up when a company complaint is fobbed off, so I assume that the maths has been done, and VM think it cheaper to fob off all complaints, and take the hit for the minority who take the matter to arbitration. 

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