£50 a month is too much. I pay £21 for 150mbps and I'm aware others have it for even less than this but the person I haggled with in the virgin outbound team on the phone would not budge any further. Hand in your 30 day notice, wait for a call from them to keep you as a customer and discuss the ridiculous price and voila, results.
Many thanks for the advice. The second call with Virgin customer services was interesting... the price came down to £32.25 immediately, for broadband only, vivid 150. (I will use freeview again for TV instead). They will not offer me a refund on their past over-charging, but they agreed it was a farce that customers have to ring up and threaten to leave before contract renewal, or for some periodic rebates, every three months. The sales team would not refer me to disconnections / retentions. I asked, but I was told that all that could be done was to take my 30 day notice of disconnection and that no further discount would be offered. The £32.25 was their final offer, which they claim is a match to their Vivid 100 offer to new customers.
I'm afraid they suggested that those on this forum claiming they were paying around £20 a month were 'incorrect'. I think Virgin may be 'incorrect', in the same way that an earlier customer service person was 'incorrect' to up-sell me from £50 to £52 for Vivid plus basic TV because that would be 'better value'.
Is this worth a formal complaint... or is it better to just suck it up, leave and go to Sky or BT and drop back to 38Mbps and return later if I really miss the extra speed?
I came across your post when I was trying to find out more about the 150mbps speed fibre internet. I found the question you asked helpful and I was able to use some of the advice you were given, so thanks for that.
150mbps is not advertised anywhere I see and the virgin media agent told me they reserve this exclusively for their existing customers. (What I understood as, no we won't give you the full 200, you are not a new customer, do you won't get the best deals as we've got you already! You see I'd argued my case that I'd been on 50mb for the last year and paying £22 a month, on the introductory/ first yr rate, so they needed to offer me something better to keep me as a customer.
He offered me 100mb for £21 and told me that's the minimum speed they now do and told me if I go with bt infinity 1 my max speed with them will be 52. I told him after the bt reward currently advertised infinity 1 would cost me £13.25p a month and to match that and if not, offer me a better speed or I'm off and I told him I had to go and if he had anything better to offer me in the 28 days left of my notice then give me a call back or I'm going to bt.
Got called 2 weeks before my 30 days was up. (I'd intended on calling cs and asking for a call back from the outbound team, as per the advice from people on hukd forum, if it got to the last wk of my notice) This time he offered me 150mb for £21, for the 200mb he wanted £26 a month, if not paying my line rental upfront. I said 150 sounds ok for £21. I then asked for a £50 credit on my bill. He said he'd ask his manager and put me on hold( I read about asking for a credit on that same retentions forum, as some people who also have TiVo with them get up to £200 credit upon asking ) he came back, said no, but said he'd make the first month free for me, by adding a £21 credit to my account. I said ok and agreed to another 12 months with them. this was about 10 days ago.
I was able to get it at £21, for my 150 internet and line rental with the weekend calls plan (not that I ever use my land line) that's a fact and that's what I'll be paying for the next 12 months. I do not find that figure amazing as others (on the forums I mentioned in my last post) have gamer, that's the 200 truly unlimited and no traffic shaping for £18 a month. Now that I would love to have but like I said, my outbound agent wouldn't budge on the 2nd call he made to me, after I handed in my notice of 30 days.
Not that I need to prove it, as others clearly have a better deal than I do, but should you wish to see proof. I can screenshot next months bill once it's updated on my account.
Speed wise, you ask an interesting question. Would you miss it? I opted for the 150mbps for £2 more and not the 200 for £7 more as I weighed up a few factors, a 50mb difference for me. I'd been on the 50 speed and rarely did Netflix on my smart tv buffer. And that's on a wifi connection, so going from 50 to 150 was fine for me. Only 2 people in the house, 2 smart phones, an iPad and Lappy connected sometimes and 2 Sky hd boxes connected, at all times. (Now I'm planning on using the 20m Ethernet cable I have lying around, just to see what I get speed wise) I thought that'll do me. I have thought of plusnet and sky fibre of upto 38mb, the current speed you get, if you find you don't use the internet so much. You kilt be ok with the upto 38.
A few more points I considered was consistency and customer service. In the last yr I've had 5 days of internet outage due to an engineer error for which they gave me a £20 credit when I kicked up a fuss.
I also read of the horror stories of BT customer service, although no one could top talk talk....I remember feeling like I've lost the will to live after most of the calls I had to make to them regarding no internet signal. I was with them before joining virgin last year and was able to get out penalty free (when a bb or tv service provider raises its prices, one can leave penalty fee within 30 days of the announcement and without giving them a notice period ) and thank goodness I did. In the 2 months I was with them, this is just normal adsl internet connection, I had to call them over 10 times to report no signal and the cs were mostly rude and unhelpful, and some, were just outright bizarre....when I called up after 4 days of no connection, to check on where this blooming new router was, which I was supposed to have received 2 days ago as they were supposedly sending out next day delivery to me, one cs person said to me, I am ungrateful that I want to open up a complaint and that I wouldn't wait another 3-5days, until the new router finally arrived. On another of the many calls I made to them, told me she can't give me the sky and I must be patient when I had another 2 days in a row of internet dropping several times a day. Another told me, she is begging me to not hand in my notice ( when I got that email plus letter in the post from talk talk, clearly stating due to their price rise, existing customers can leave penalty free, I was sooooo happy! High, if you like, that I'll finally be free of the evil that is talk talk! and I was baffled, she said I'm begging you miss, please don't do this. I did leave, she took my request to cancel all services however talk talk then took £144 odd from my account in error...this was the penalty I would have paid had I been in contract, but clearly it was charged in error as no penalty was due....months later, they still hadn't refunded me. I escalated it to the CEO office and asked to do everything in writing, email or letter. I will never touch talk talk. I do think I'm a savvy shopper, but even for nowt, for nothin even I'd never have talk talk anything, ever again. Im Sure you can feel the anger and pain with which I explain I loathe talk talk, just like that I have noticed people on the forums, warn others to stay away from BT. However I still considered it.
I factored all this in Nick, and stayed with virgin due to the very little disruption I've suffered since Ive been with them since May last year and cs is not too bad either. I however am not keen on their prices, so started with a search on the tinternet to see what's available. Both the retention threads I've found on both mse and Hukd convinced me, handing in my notice was the only way to getting a decent price from the 'outbound' team, which are just that- outbound, they do not receive in coming calls.
Why did I have to go to so much trouble? I'm disgusted with Virgin for doing this to their existing customers but then again Sky also do that. I had to do the same with them, to get my current entertainment package for half price for 12 months plus £50 credit and that I really am happy about. Fantastic price. I first had to hand in my notice and then webchat to get it at the price new customers get it for.
I will stay with virgin for the next 12 months, in month 11, I'll once again hand in my notice and repeat the above. It's hassle, making the calls but, worth it. I hope by sharing my experience I am able to help you and anyone reading this to get a better price from virgin.
I've just re-read your post Nick, I don't feel I can go back to adsl anymore, to think we even had 7-11mb internet is shocking for me and I'm used to fibre speeds now, just the prices are extortionate. I am glad they immediately reduced yours down to £32, however that's just not low enough I feel. I'd go the disconnections route too and see if you also get a better deal like I did. They won't connect you to retentions or disconnections, they act like hard- as ses and say we can an only take your notice.... after they took my notice, cs confirmed, only when one has an active disconnection date on their account do the outbound team get involved. If you wish, handing in your notice, there is no harm in doing so, as if I am wrong,( say no one calls you to offer you a better deal) on day 27 of your notice period you can always call cs, say you have changed your mind and cancel the disconnection. If you've had 38mb before and found it ok, why not do that, but definitely look at the costs. I know my neighbour who has both sky tv and internet was given sky fibre for £10 a month with no line rental to pay. They wouldn't offer me that tho, as I don't have the sports and movies expensive sky package, just the basic one.
Sarah, this is a fantastically useful post. I am very grateful. I hope that Virgin, and the regulator take note of this. It's a failure of the market. Broadband should be a commodity service, fairly priced, with premium services for those who want them. Instead, it's a commercial minefield of options and a constant haggle for customers. I agree that the others are mostly just as bad. In the meantime, all I can do is to switch, as you suggest. Overall this cannot be efficient for anyone, and for some, like elderly long term customers who are victim to up-selling, it is very unfair.
Agree. My elderly neighbour was paying £120 a month before I spoke with her son, this was for basic TV, landline and slow bb. She simply thought Virgin would be good to her as she'd been with them years. Her sons have now managed to get her bill down to £43.
If only there was an ethical company which did 150mbps +speeds, I'd change. Origin claim to be an ethical company but don't offer Virgin, Usain bolt speeds as such. Until another company does fibre at these speeds, Virgin have no competition for now.