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SONY007
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Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500

So here is the thing.... Over the last few years I haven't really had much dealings with Virgin's customer services/retention team to have a negative opinion. But that all changed on the 07/07/2020 when I phoned up their retention team to discuss either terminating my broadband or providing me with something which increases my speed and also provides me with a saving, especially in these uncertain time which now appear to be the new norm.

So I spoke to a lady called Samantha in the retention team and expressed my desire for something better in pricing as well an increase in speed to be an option. I asked about the M500 as I was already on the M350 but I have been out of contract since September 2019 so I have been paying circa £53 which would my latest bill. I was never notified that my contract was coming to an end at the time so I just continued with the service as that wasn't sometime I spent much time really thinking about. Anyway after Samantha had told me when my ended in last year I asked her why I wasn't notified of this to which she completely ignored the question so she could tell me the Ofcom I think it was she said have put in place starting from this year that all providers now have to inform their customers 1 month prior before their contract expires that it is coming to an end. 'Okaaaay, so how does that help me', ignored again and repeated the same thing she just told me.

She offered me a price of £40pm should I want to remain on the M350 and £52pm for the M500. So now in my head all I am thinking is 'wait...since September last year hitherto, I have been paying £53pm for the M350, no email, sms or a call to suggest an alternative to reduce cost'. As for the M500 with the price being offered of £52, I did try to justify this in my head, but this is over an 18 month contract not even 12 months which may have been more favourable. I explained to Samantha that this is too expensive for an 18 month term and if she could bring the price down, to which she said she will need to get a discount authorisation from someone else who I can't remember, would I please hold the line.....!

 

....£3 discount was what I was on hold for, to bring the monthly cost of the M500 to £49pm. At this point there was silence on the phone line  on my part as I took all this in. The purported maximum £3 discount took me by surprise, I'm not even sure as to why, I just knew it did - just not in a good way.

I ask if she would bring the cost for the M500 down to £45pm to which she said the system does not allow for this. In my head the word 'REALLY' was in bold capital letters. She wasn't budging on her stance so much so that I couldn't help thinking that there must be something in this for her besides hmmmm... customer satisfaction. 

In the end I decided to go for the M500 at £49pm over 18 months. She was kind enough to advise me that if I wasn't happy with the M500 I would have 14 day to cancel.

 

                                                              TODAY 08/07/2020

 

I happen to be on my laptop and decided to visit the virgin website and WACK SMACK KABOOM - ***Virgin M500 broadband for new customers £46pm*** - Seriously are you [REMOVED] kidding me! 

I got straight on the phone and explained my situation. 'Why is someone who has been with virgin for circa 8 years paying more for a service than a new customer'. I was speaking with someone call Dale. He said he empathised with me and he understands my concern, unfortunately the discount had already been issued and there is nothing he or anyone else could do now. This was obviously infuriating as it made me realise that Samantha probably lied to me yesterday and you know that feeling you get when you feel like that has happens.

'Okay, please revert me back to my previous M350 plan so I am still out of contract if what you're saying is that you are unable to match the price for the M500 that a new customer would pay. I know my price will go back to £53pm but as long as i'm out of contract I can look elsewhere.

'I can do that but I need to inform you that going back onto your previous M350 plan would mean that as from the 01/07/2020 your monthly fee would now be £56pm'.

WACK SMACK KABOOM.....I'm out cold !!!!!!

 

So where it has been left is I am still on the M500. I have 13-12 days to decide what I'm going to do.

Is it possible that someone could be kind enough to look into this and consider 'at least' matching the price for an existing customer for the M500 to that of what a new customer would pay.

 

 

I wasn't sure as to what category to post this which is why I posted it here. If it is in the incorrect location, what section should it have been placed ?

[MOD EDIT: Inappropriate language removed, please review the Forum Guidelines]

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gary_dexter
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Message 2 of 21
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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500

Virgin inform you of the expiration and new price after the initial # term on your contract when you sign up - you need to make a note of that and follow it up closer to the time to arrange for a new deal or to terminate your connection with Virgin.

New customers always get better deals than existing customers, likewise you were a new customer once paying a lower price than existing customers at that given time as well.

Also this is the wrong place as billing and account queries cannot be looked into on here at all.

You'll need to call up again.


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Andrew-G
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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500

The best deals are always offered to new customers, and that's normal across many perhaps most residential services sectors.  VM play a balancing game with existing customers that tries to keep them, but with the minimum giveaways on discounts.

If you talked about cancelling but didn't do it, then the retentions agent knows you're not THAT serious.  Each agent plays this game with hundreds of customers every single week, they have a very good idea of where to pitch the discounts and how much to offer, and if can be different on every single call.  The best deals for existing customers are usually for those who have already cancelled and are in their 30 days notice.  For those customers, there can be very good offers from outbound retention calls....but don't cancel unless you're willing to leave.  Some people have tried that purely as a tactic, and the call from retentions never came, and they just got disconnected (which I must confess appeals to my dark sense of humour). 

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gary_dexter
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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500


@Andrew-G wrote:

Some people have tried that purely as a tactic, and the call from retentions never came, and they just got disconnected (which I must confess appeals to my dark sense of humour). 


Agreed.

And likewise VM are in no means obligated to call back with a "please don't leave us deal".

I've seen the same thing happen at Sky as well.


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SONY007
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Message 5 of 21
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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500

It does inevitably leave a sour taste in ones mouth to know that loyalty counts less and less each passing contract. Yes, you are both correct in that I shouldn't leave virgin unless i actually intend to do so. Unfortunately for me Virgin is the fastest service in my area for now. It is possible that a company called HyperOptic will be branching out further than their current offering which caters more for apartments in blocks than individual houses so maybe in 18 months I'll have more of an option.
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gary_dexter
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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500

Loyalty to me mean paying the higher price to show your supposed "loyalty" - not looking to be as cheap as possible.

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SONY007
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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500

I think you’re on your own with that one Gary_dexter, but naturally if that makes you feel better about yourself with your loyalty when paying your mortgage, insurance as well as broadband... then as long as you’re not an accountant or in a role that offers financial advice I’m sure your view won’t be much of an concern to others. 

jhuk
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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500

LOL

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Andrew-G
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Message 9 of 21
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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500

It is possible that a company called HyperOptic will be branching out further than their current offering which caters more for apartments in blocks than individual houses so maybe in 18 months I'll have more of an option.

Maybe, but your chances are better of getting an Openreach FTTP connection.  Build out of FTTP is area by area, but that area approach is delivering phenomenal roll out rates - around half a percent of the UK housing stock a month.  Which might sound unimpressive, but only to people who don't understand less than nothing about infrastructure.  Hyperoptic's approach is based on apartments because that dramatically lowers connection cost per property, and with FTTP being built out I'd be very surprised if they'd move to serve individual houses - completely undermines their cost to serve and balance sheet.  There is of course the various other companies building out high speed networks.

The one thing that strikes me about VM's executives lack of response to the various competitive threats is not their pricing, but their complete, wilful refusal to admit that their customer service is unsustainably poor.  People grumble about price, but more people leave because of poor service/poor connections than leave because of the price.  And those who would leave on price can always be offered selective discounts as VM do.  Now would be the time to bring all customer contact back to the UK, improve training, institute automatic issue escalation after multiple customer contacts, improve complaint handling and escalation, use the Hub 4 to do proactive fault finding and resolution.  Doing all that wouldn't be a quick fix, problem is that VM execs don't even seem to see there's a problem.

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Re: Pricing for existing customers M350 to M500


@SONY007 wrote:

I think you’re on your own with that one Gary_dexter, but naturally if that makes you feel better about yourself with your loyalty when paying your mortgage, insurance as well as broadband... then as long as you’re not an accountant or in a role that offers financial advice I’m sure your view won’t be much of an concern to others. 


…and of course new customers need that sort of support from us existing customers to get the heavy discounts they enjoy (mind you I was a new customer once and not only got the enticing discount but got £££ from a cashback site too).

@SONY007 what sort of discounts did you manage in your previous 8 years with VM - or did you just 'let it ride'?

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