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Beccy1976
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Ombudsman

This is a last ditch attempt to resolve a long running issue on my account. I have had service issues since the day my account opened which have got progressively worse and I made a complaint back in January. I was told then my area is due for upgrade work that would be happening in April. I received a small credit to compensate. April came and the work was moved to may, then July, then September. At this point I was offered a further small credit that amounted to £6 per month off my £48 bill, which is for stand alone broadband, which is increasing to £51 I believe this month. Guess what, September arrives and it’s now going to be december! Absolutely had enough now all my attempts to escalate the complaint including numerous calls, online chats, Facebook posts and writing have got got me no where. Has anyone successfully taken virgin to the ombudsman and won?

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Superuser
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Message 2 of 9
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Re: Ombudsman

what are you hoping to win - the service is not as it should be they have admitted that and compensated you - seems a small amount maybe you should try for more - work is planned but the dates you have been given are not fix dates just some date i the future for review - as frustrating as it is you have nothing to win i think 

they do publish minimum speed figures - i think if you are constantly under that you can leave with no penalty if you are in contract but with the price increase coming you can use that as a reason to leave once you have notice of it

the ombudsman may think £6 a month an unfair credit - thats the best you can hope for if they get involved - they will not force VM to solve the problem

____________________

Tony
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Andruser
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Re: Ombudsman

For Virgin Media complaints, the "ombusdman" service is provided through the Communication and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS), but in principle it works in a similar way to Ombudsman Services, in that the service is free for customers (regardless of outcome), and the outcome of a complaint review is binding on VM.  The review is carried out by an independent and trained arbitrator, and I'd emphasis the "independent", in that they aren't there as a consumer advocate or representative, they are there to examine the facts of the case and come to a dispassionate and fair resolution

Have people taken VM to CISAS and won?  Certainly, as only around 10% of complaints to CISAS about VM are not upheld (ie no action).  The evidence for this assertion is here. What that also shows is a lot of VM complaints are "settled" rather than upheld.  When a customer complains to CISAS they first of all check to make sure that the complaint is within their terms of reference, If the complaint is within ToR, Virgin Media are liable for the costs of the adjudication (called a case fee).  If VM resolve the complaint immediately with an offer that meets the customer's demands, then the case is described as "settled", and VM are only charged a small case fee (I believe around £150).  If VM don't do that, then CISAS investigate and come up with a settlement that is binding on VM, and VM get charged the full case fee that I believe is somewhere in the range £400-600.  The data indicates that VM resist many complaints on their internal process, but then roll over as soon as the customer raises it with CISAS (of course, most give up before that, which is why VM resist in the first place).

I suggest you read the CISAS guidance and phone them to make sure that your complaint is fully compliant and that you've got the necessary information.  If you don't have accurate records, you can make a subject data access request to Virgin Media and they'll have to provide (free of charge) a copy of all data they hold on you, including either transcripts or recordings of all voice calls you've made to them.

Be clear with CISAS about the outcome you want, potentially they can force VM to bring forward the work they've claimed they are always going to do tomorrow.  Personally I'd be asking for VM to be compelled to carry out the upgrade work they've repeatedly promised and (in addition, not a substitute) I'd suggest you ask for significant compensation for the protracted and continuing hassle and inability to provide the contracted service (£250?).  

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Forum Team
Forum Team
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Re: Ombudsman

Hi Beccy1976,

 

Thanks for posting and welcome to the community.

 

I am sorry to hear of the broadband issues; I fully appreciate the inconvenience this would cause. 

 

I'm gonna send you a quick PM to discuss your account further, as can see some technical issues.

 

Kind regards,

John_GS
Forum Team

Need a helpful hand to show you how to make a payment? Check out our guide - "How to pay my Virgin Media bill"

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jiggy
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Re: Ombudsman

OMG!!!!! Was thinking about returning to VM for better BB but after reading this and several others, I can see the same old issues are still happening?? I left about 3 years ago for the same reason, absolutely complain to whomever you can, companies rely on on about 1% of customers actually complaining so they are willing to give compensation rather than fixing the issue (it’s way cheaper) so don’t worry about being cheeky and asking for a BIG discount, they can afford it, of course if you’ve really had enough then gather some evidence and leave for another provider (I went with sky but am now on BT, the speed is way less but never drops and I don’t notice any difference if I’m honest) 

They don’t care about 1 or 2 customers leaving and as I said most people complain then do nothing?? You are the customer, you are paying for a service that they are not providing, I have spoken to many CS reps at VM and they all say the same, are you wired or wireless is the best one HA!!!! Wireless speeds may drop about 10% so on a 200MB speed you should still get 180, which I highly doubt you are, then if other factors like walls, neighbours on the same channel etc are brought in try reminding them of their own adverts about “SUPERFAST SPEEDS” “ SIGNAL ALL OVER THE HOUSE” and any other rubbish they come out with? All these factors can equate to a percentage of loss but are they really saying it can drop from 200 to about 20???? Because that’s what I’m seeing on these posts? (Or less in some cases) 

You are the customer and they won’t stay in business without you, if you all got together and left at once I’ll bet they’d do something about it then? They’re taking your money to do these “upgrades” but you’re not getting them so where is that money going?? I’m so glad I left, I’ve not wasted countless hours on phones talking to someone abroad who “understands your frustration” 😂😂😂 do some research for your area, find a decent provider and leave, you’ll find your stress levels go down considerably.

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Beccy1976
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Re: Ombudsman

Thanks that’s been really helpful. 

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Andruser
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Re: Ombudsman

A pleasure. 

I should have added that if you can resolve problems directly (eg through John_GS of the Forum staff) then that is always your best option.  CISAS (like Ombudsman Services) are there as a last resort, because it is difficult, risky and costly for individual customers to take legal action against multi-billion pound companies, or resolve problems where "fairness"  or service quality are a regulatory requirement but not clearly defined in law.  Even in the unlikely situation that a customer wanted to sue VM, the courts require that they have exhausted both the company's complaints process and tried arbitration - in this case CISAS.

And taking a complaint to CISAS isn't a quick fix.  When a customer first complains to VM, the company have up to eight weeks to resolve the problem, during which time CISAS cannot consider the complaint (unless VM issue a "deadlock letter" that states that they cannot or will not resolve the complaint to the customer's satisfaction).  After eight weeks (or with a deadlock letter) you can take the complaint to CISAS, but they have a non-binding objective to resolve complaints in up to six weeks.  I also believe that VM can get out of addressing some issues if they can justify that it is uneconomic to resolve them - but in those cases they wouldn't be able to hold customers to early exit penalties, and the customer could still expect compensation for VM's inability to resolve the issue, and the inconvenience.  

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Beccy1976
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Message 8 of 9
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Re: Ombudsman

John was no use at all. Just offered another £6 per month credit till 11th December (the new date for work completion)

i have said I will proceed via CISAS, as I expect December will come and go with no resolution.

thanks for your advice.

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rocketman007
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Re: Ombudsman

I cancelled virgin media 3 weeks ago it was to cancel my account totally as i had a bad experience with them they were told to cancel my whole account from the 5th of September the gentle man at the end of the phone said they would send out boxes to re-send their  tevo boxes and hub back i am still waiting and so annoyed at the way i have been treated with virgin media I tried to down size my package from £80 per month to basic tv and broad i was informed that the payments would still be the same this is the reason i cancelled in the first I am now with anther company and have been since the 5th of September and virgin media have sent me a bill again for £75 plus.i stopped the direct Debit from the 5th of September .I am a Disabled Pensioner with spina bifida and I dont need any aggravation like this at all .I would appreciate it if these so called boxes were sent and I can send their items back WITHOUT any cost to myself ,I cannot phone them as i have changed company so i dont have a free phone number to call

Regards 

James Bell

 [REMOVED] 

[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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