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coffeypot2
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No Network Coverage

My 95 year old mother has a Nokia mobile on Pay As You Go which she keeps for emergencies when she goes out and about. She doesn't use it unless necessary, and it has not been necessary for some time. There is credit on the phone but she has now received a message on the phone saying "No Network Coverage" even though there clearly is network coverage. She tops up the credit in the post office and so has no direct account with Virgin and doesn't use the internet. 

I assume that the phone has been disconnected by Virgin because she hasn't used it. If this is the case, how does she get it reconnected - or how does she get her money back for the unused credit on the phone?

I tried calling Virgin but the wait time was over 45 minutes. I tried again later today (Saturday) to receive a message saying that from 10pm to 8am they only handled lost or stolen calls. It was only 8.15pm so that message made no sense. There is no method of contacting Virgin via their website for those who don't have accounts.

What would you suggest? Or would it be simpler to write off the holding on to money that does belong to them and move to a provider who has accurate messages on their call lines, has contact details on their website which can handle general PASYG queries who don't have accounts, or has people that actually answer the phones.

I look forward to any thoughts on the best way forward.

 

 

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Andrew-G
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Re: No Network Coverage

@coffeypot2 "would it be simpler to write off the holding on to money that does <not> belong to them and move to a provider who has accurate messages on their call lines, has contact details on their website which can handle general PASYG queries who don't have accounts, or has people that actually answer the phones."

In a word, Yes.  You could sort this out with extensive effort and possibly engaging formal complaints procedures, but how much is your time worth?  I just picked my elderly mum up form an unscheduled hospital appointment, and on that basis I would say your time spent fighting VM is worth less than time spent in your mum's company.

But if that's how it goes, don't forget this.  If the outcome with VM leaves them with unearned profits, make sure you never, ever become a customer who pays them, and share those views in your social circle.

There is an alternative outcome, that the VM forum staff leap in and sort this out.  Using my VIP superpowers I'll flag this for their attention, let's see if they can do a service recovery.

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John_GS
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Re: No Network Coverage

Hi coffeypot2

 

Thanks for posting and welcome to the community.

 

Sorry to hear of what's happened with the phone. I don't want to assume that's what's happened with the disconnection as we wouldn't be able to reconnect if so.

 

I'll PM you now so I can investigate this for you

 

Kind regards,

John_GS
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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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coffeypot2
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Re: No Network Coverage

Someone had a look at this and simply confirmed that after 180 days of no use the service is disconnected and any credit left handed over to charity.

 

My view is that many vulnerable people have a phone for emergency use if out and about and may not need to use them in normal day to day living. 

If they have to turn them off in this way, how much would it cost them to send a text message to a phone a few days before the disconnection reminding a user of an imminent disconnection. 

A poor service in my view and something perhaps for OFCOM and Watchdog.

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BeardedBlunder
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Re: No Network Coverage

Virgin aren't the only ones who do this exact thing to PAYG users, I've lost numbers a couple of times through not using the phone in the distant past.

For what it's worth, I'd suggest a SIM only contract, as this doesn't happen to contract customers, it does end up costing slightly more, but it's not excessive in the grand scheme.

enlli
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Re: No Network Coverage


@coffeypot2 wrote:

Someone had a look at this and simply confirmed that after 180 days of no use the service is disconnected and any credit left handed over to charity.

 

My view is that many vulnerable people have a phone for emergency use if out and about and may not need to use them in normal day to day living. 

If they have to turn them off in this way, how much would it cost them to send a text message to a phone a few days before the disconnection reminding a user of an imminent disconnection. 

A poor service in my view and something perhaps for OFCOM and Watchdog.


The truth is that PAYG will be something confined to the history books of mobile communication in the next year or two. O2, with whom Virgin are to combine no longer do new PAYG, following Virgin who also gave up over 12 months ago. Three have stopped also stopped doing their 3 2 1 payg. 

The move now is to pay Monthly and these take various forms, some more suitable for pensioners than other.

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