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  • FIRST POST
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 18th Sep 16, 12:36 PM
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    zuliano
    Please Help me with Virgin conundrum?
    • #1
    • 18th Sep 16, 12:36 PM
    Please Help me with Virgin conundrum? 18th Sep 16 at 12:36 PM
    My story is that, my mum is elderly has got dementia, and more and more responsibility is on me as I am the only child, and carer, to look after har affairs, bills, etc and mum herself of course.. And it is overwhelming because I have my own psychological issues, and when it comes to figures and such I ALSO find myself overwhelmed, so places like this can hopefully be of support. Though please be gentle with me
    We are in financial difficulties with more going out than coming in.

    I will try to break it down what I am asking for help with as easy as I can:

    I was shocked to see bills from virgin, £70 odd to more and more £80 odd, and then the final straw was last bill of over £98 where it is said that telephone charges were £38!!! I was gobsnacked because I seldom use the phone (I do not own a moblie phone and only ricg from a landline)

    All I can assume is it was me in that month period trying to sort out my mum's affiars in her account and find out what direct debits are coming out.

    So first question:

    will I be able to ask for a get a complete itinerary of all the calls that clocked up £38 quid? I am REALLY frightened of using the phone at the moment. I mean eg numbers like the CAB where you have to listen to a robot for AGES. Is that also fleecing us?

    So anyhow, I phoned Virgin and said there HAD to be a dramatic reduction in my mum's bills, and was straightaway offered a new deal, of 'unlimited calls' and a a box upgrade (its been fitted and is their new TIVO one) and he said the rental for this new package would be £64 odd (we also have a desktop computer and virgin broadband) . Then he suddenly offered me a deal of £61 odd, but after he talked with his --must have been manager--he came back and said no it has to be the £64 odd deal

    Because I am so overwhelmed with everything, I cannot remember if he said that the deal WAS made then and there, or is there something I have to do. Do you think it will be automatic as soon as the new box has been activated. As far as i know I didn't receive any email confirmation of this new package. Should I phone them up to check? Is Virgin's 150 number still free???

    They said you have a 14 day cooling off period where you can come out of the 12 month contract.

    Anyway, what do you think?
Page 2
    • latecomer
    • By latecomer 29th Sep 16, 4:33 PM
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    latecomer
    they might - particularly if they put in the cancellation first. And it pays to know exactly what your options are when dealing with Virgin.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 29th Sep 16, 4:39 PM
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    Cornucopia
    I went to the Uswitch site and put in postcode and copied these three deals from top of list:

    I am guessing the virgin one is for NEW and not loyal customers??
    Originally posted by zuliano
    But it will also give you a clue as to where to pitch any negotiations as an existing customer.

    But I am confused if the others are or are not better deals than the actual deal Virgin has given me of £57.48 per month going up to £60.48 per month...?
    They are better deals. There are also PlusNet and Talktalk to consider, who tend to be cheaper still.

    And why in the Sky and BT in SKY deal does it say in the section 'Free' whilst underneath it has £17.40?
    OFCOM and the ASA allow the comms companies to factor out the line rental when considering if a package is free or not. You still have to pay it (although some companies give a discount when you pay a year in advance).


    The big question about this thread that I don't see an answer to, is what do you actually want and need? It may be that you are confused as to what the options are, or you think that all the packages are the same?

    - Do you need Pay TV (i.e. premium channels and downloads that are not part of Freeview)? If so, which channels do you need?

    - Do you need Catch-up TV on your TV? Which channels?

    - Do you have an aerial on the property, or an existing satellite dish? Do you know which TV reception options are available there?

    - What BB service do you need? What do you use it for?

    The most basic option of ADSL broadband with free calls will cost from about £7.50 per month plus line rental. Depending on your answers to the questions above will determine how much more than that you'll need to pay.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 29-09-2016 at 4:50 PM.
    "He knows more about the UK TV Licence than anyone I've ever met".
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 29th Sep 16, 4:50 PM
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    zuliano
    If your mother has Dementia I wouldn't be installing a decoder from another supplier to her TV. Does she actually watch TV? Does she use the telephone?

    Do you live there with her?
    These are all questions I'd be asking prior to accepting a "deal" whereby she'll be paying around £60 a month in a new 18 month contract, especially as you say you are in financial difficulties.

    If it's only your TV, telephony and broadband needs being catered for then you might need to seriously consider Freeview for TV and a basic landline and broadband package (with whichever supplier offers the cheapest deal).
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    Hi Moneyineptitude (lol your user name explains how I am feeling lately )
    Just to fill you in first where I am at. I looked at Virgin community site, and somone had said to another 'ask for a loyalty discount'. My mum has been with these people well before Virgin took over. IE from the very first cold call at the door when they were planning to lay the cables. Then it was Cable&Wireless. later it became NtlWorld, and then/now Virgin. We have TV, Computer (desktop), and TV with them. So I really feel she/we desrve a loyalty discount.
    HOWEVER, after telling the TV advisro he said I needed to depat to the err 'Retentions Team (if I remember right, and then promising me it would remain a free call, I get a recorded voice saying I will have to wait !% minutes, and am having to bear the most awful muzak ever!!!


    OK answering your questions. My mum has vascular dementia. She is not, thank goodness, totally gaga, but does have serious memory problems so much so she cannot drive a car anymore. But she does watch tv
    And she can use the phone.
    we dont have mobile/smartphones

    yes I live with her and am a carer

    We have three tellys. the one in the lounge is the one connected to the Virgin Tivo box. The one in the living room is freeview as is the one in mum's bedroom

    Can you get catchup TV with freeview (you cannot with the ones we have) and Eurosport, we love tennis

    If it's only your TV, telephony and broadband needs being catered for then you might need to seriously consider Freeview for TV and a basic landline and broadband package (with whichever supplier offers the cheapest deal).
    yes your not first person to mention FREEview! it sounds good! when i think about it most of what is watched are the soaps. film 4, sky arts, eurosport

    JUST been speaking with member of Retention Team, he NOW says mum can have deal of £53.00 per month, unlimited calls, 50MB broadband, and player bundle channels for full annual contract

    From today we have 14 day cooling off period whether we accept this contract or not
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 29th Sep 16, 5:16 PM
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    Cornucopia
    Some freeview broadcasters have free catch-up services, these are: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, Demand5/My5, QuestOD and UKTV Player(Dave, Really, Yesterday & Drama).

    If your catch-up service(s) are not on that list, the chances are that you will have to pay for them and/or pay for the box that receives them.

    Likewise, FilmFour, Eurosport and Sky Arts may or may not be available on various services. Each of them has a published channel list that you can check. Filmfour is available on Freeview.

    Unless you are catching-up several programs simultaneously, you do not need 50Mb BB, so don't be misled into thinking that 17Mb ADSL will not suit your needs, as it may do. You need to check the likely speed at your address on the Website of your possible new provider.

    If you want to access the Catch-up services above without a full Pay TV contract, the easiest way is to get a Youview box. You can either buy one, or get one in a Broadband/TV bundle from BT, Plusnet or Talktalk (as Youview is proprietary to them (kind of)). e.g. Talktalk Essentials TV is £7.50 pm + £17.70 line rental.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 29-09-2016 at 5:19 PM.
    "He knows more about the UK TV Licence than anyone I've ever met".
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 29th Sep 16, 6:57 PM
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    zuliano
    But it will also give you a clue as to where to pitch any negotiations as an existing customer.


    They are better deals. There are also PlusNet and Talktalk to consider, who tend to be cheaper still.


    OFCOM and the ASA allow the comms companies to factor out the line rental when considering if a package is free or not. You still have to pay it (although some companies give a discount when you pay a year in advance).


    The big question about this thread that I don't see an answer to, is what do you actually want and need? It may be that you are confused as to what the options are, or you think that all the packages are the same?

    - Do you need Pay TV (i.e. premium channels and downloads that are not part of Freeview)? If so, which channels do you need?

    - Do you need Catch-up TV on your TV? Which channels?

    - Do you have an aerial on the property, or an existing satellite dish? Do you know which TV reception options are available there?

    - What BB service do you need? What do you use it for?

    The most basic option of ADSL broadband with free calls will cost from about £7.50 per month plus line rental. Depending on your answers to the questions above will determine how much more than that you'll need to pay.
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    what do you actually want and need? It may be that you are confused as to what the options are, or you think that all the packages are the same?

    - Do you need Pay TV (i.e. premium channels and downloads that are not part of Freeview)? If so, which channels do you need?

    - Do you need Catch-up TV on your TV? Which channels?

    - Do you have an aerial on the property, or an existing satellite dish? Do you know which TV reception options are available there?

    - What BB service do you need? What do you use it for?

    yes I am confused. THIS phenomenon, the multichannels etc just seems to have taken over (when I was a kid there was two and then BBC2 which gave us 3 came, and then channel 4, and now...!!! I don't ever remember begging for 100 channels or whatever, and there are LOTS I don't watch as I am sure you and others here dont? Main reason is the godamn adverts. Most often than not you surf the channels and it is nearly always ads.
    But there is a novelty of sometimes surfing through stuff and hitting on some interesting thing. But my favourite channel went online, BBC 3. I also like Eurosport (as does mum) for tennis, and Sky Arts

    IF I could get money down even further by telling them the channels I dont want I would, but they have their own 'packages'. I got A price-deal down a short while ago by agreeing to reduce channels to the 'play bundle'

    Do we need pay TV? GREAT question! I suppose we have just accepted this for some reason. i DO like using catchup in the morning for stuff I may have missed at night. if it wasn't for mum I would get rid of TV and just use computer. Does freeview have a catchup service ? The freeview we have seem quite limited.
    It never occured to me that our existing TV could access freeview!

    We have an aerial but not a satellite dish

    Which channels for catchup? Usually the main ones. The ones provided BY Virgin are fairly limited also. Just the channels you could get with freeview
    - What BB service do you need? What do you use it for?
    you mean broadband? I am on the computer a lot and frequently use the internet
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 29th Sep 16, 7:00 PM
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    zuliano
    Some freeview broadcasters have free catch-up services, these are: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, Demand5/My5, QuestOD and UKTV Player(Dave, Really, Yesterday & Drama).

    If your catch-up service(s) are not on that list, the chances are that you will have to pay for them and/or pay for the box that receives them.

    Likewise, FilmFour, Eurosport and Sky Arts may or may not be available on various services. Each of them has a published channel list that you can check. Filmfour is available on Freeview.

    Unless you are catching-up several programs simultaneously, you do not need 50Mb BB, so don't be misled into thinking that 17Mb ADSL will not suit your needs, as it may do. You need to check the likely speed at your address on the Website of your possible new provider.

    If you want to access the Catch-up services above without a full Pay TV contract, the easiest way is to get a Youview box. You can either buy one, or get one in a Broadband/TV bundle from BT, Plusnet or Talktalk (as Youview is proprietary to them (kind of)). e.g. Talktalk Essentials TV is £7.50 pm + £17.70 line rental.
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    Thanks. I am going to really study what your saying. I have had nearly a full day of this business with Virgin and need now to chill out, so I will get back on this etc tomorrow.

    Thank you and everyone here for this great help
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 29th Sep 16, 8:03 PM
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    Cornucopia
    But my favourite channel went online, BBC 3.
    Originally posted by zuliano
    Not being funny, and good luck to you, but you're not exactly their target audience.


    I also like Eurosport (as does mum) for tennis, and Sky Arts

    IF I could get money down even further by telling them the channels I dont want I would, but they have their own 'packages'. I got A price-deal down a short while ago by agreeing to reduce channels to the 'play bundle'
    Unfortunately, that would be too easy. It can be configured, but you have to do the work in deciding whether the bundle of channels is enough for you. FWIW, each of the main providers now have TV bundles, Sky & VM with their own technology, BT, Plusnet & Talktalk with Youview boxes. EE also have a TV service based on their own proprietary box (which seems to be well regarded).

    Do we need pay TV? GREAT question! I suppose we have just accepted this for some reason. i DO like using catchup in the morning for stuff I may have missed at night. if it wasn't for mum I would get rid of TV and just use computer. Does freeview have a catchup service ? The freeview we have seem quite limited.
    It never occured to me that our existing TV could access freeview!
    Catch-up and Pay are not necessarily the same thing. See my other comments about the Catch-up players you can access for free with a Youview box.

    The question of whether you want Pay TV or not is not a chatty interlude. It's probably costing you c £30pm for your current Pay setup compared to something more basic but functional.

    you mean broadband? I am on the computer a lot and frequently use the internet
    Okay. But not gaming, so not high usage.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 29-09-2016 at 8:18 PM.
    "He knows more about the UK TV Licence than anyone I've ever met".
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 30th Sep 16, 11:42 AM
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    zuliano
    OK fresh new sunny morning!

    Here is a receipt I got from Virgin late yesterday:

    Please take a minute to read through and check everything is as it should be. This email is not a bill, so the price quoted does not include any paper bill or direct charges you may have on your account. It does contain useful information about your services and about our billing.
    Your Updated Package ...

    Player Bundle Talk More Anytime
    Player TV (M)
    TiVo Monthly Fee
    SuperFibre 50





















    Bundle charges total £34.00 Promotional offer(s) Loyalty Discount £7 per month for 18 months









    Promotional offer(s) total £7.00CR Phone line rental Telephone Line Rental








    Phone line rental total £17.99












    New monthly package total* £44.99 Chargeable from 30 September 2016






































    *Prices correct as at today's date.

    THAT nis their current offer--as far I I am aware. they seem to chop and change at a whim. That's my experience in last few days of 'wheeling and dealing' with them!

    For example this is about the 3rd deal I have had where I actually get a receipt confirmation

    I am a ver ynaive technological consumer. I really do not know what is what. All I know is I use a desk top computer, and we have telephone (landline. No mobile phones) and the TV and box (Tivo box )

    I am not sure if 50 MB just refers to computer? or computer and TV. So I am going slow with this so I can understand hopefully what is going on!
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 30th Sep 16, 11:51 AM
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    Cornucopia
    I am not sure if 50 MB just refers to computer? or computer and TV. So I am going slow with this so I can understand hopefully what is going on!
    Originally posted by zuliano
    50MB is total data - so Computer + Catch-up TV. Your live TV is on a separate signal on the same Virgin cable but doesn't count as this kind of data. 50MB is way more than you need based on the usage you have described.

    Unfortunately, and I totally understand where you are coming from, you are probably not going to get much further with this until you know what you want/need and what you can do without. You also need to decide whether your preferred premium channels (Eurosport & Sky Arts) are worth the c. £25-35 per month that they are probably going to cost in terms of the subscription required and the necessary equipment to receive them on.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 30-09-2016 at 12:07 PM.
    "He knows more about the UK TV Licence than anyone I've ever met".
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 30th Sep 16, 2:14 PM
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    zuliano
    we have a sony widescreen TV. These type of sets just preceeded the TVs that started looking very slim width
    However it has great picture, and like this neighbour who is professional electrician said, the audio of these kinds of models have better audio than the stick thin TVs because of the depth of them

    So. am wondering if like pay tv, freeview can be adapted to the older type of TV?
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 30th Sep 16, 2:36 PM
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    Cornucopia
    So. am wondering if like pay tv, freeview can be adapted to the older type of TV?
    Originally posted by zuliano
    Yes, it can.

    There are basic boxes from around £25, recording boxes from around £100 and recording boxes with catch-up from about £125.

    You will also get a Freeview-based box included if you subscribe to a TV & Broadband bundle from BT, Talktalk, Plusnet or EE.
    "He knows more about the UK TV Licence than anyone I've ever met".
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 30th Sep 16, 2:49 PM
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    zuliano
    Yes, it can.

    There are basic boxes from around £25, recording boxes from around £100 and recording boxes with catch-up from about £125.
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    OK. I will look into this

    You will also get a Freeview-based box included if you subscribe to a TV & Broadband bundle from BT, Talktalk, Plusnet or EE.
    but wouldn't this be keeping on the pay TV wagon?
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 30th Sep 16, 4:35 PM
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    Cornucopia
    but wouldn't this be keeping on the pay TV wagon?
    Originally posted by zuliano
    ISTR some of these deals being only £5 or £7.50 per month so it could make sense. OTOH, Now TV Entertainment only costs £7pm, and that is probably better value.

    Personally, I only watch Catch-up (excluding the BBC) and Youtube, and I don't need a TV Licence for that, so I save a further £145.50 per year. I have an old Youview (Freeview+catch-up) box which provides ITV Hub, All4, Demand 5, UKTV Player, and Quest OD. That's enough for me. I pay Talktalk £27.70 for Fibre Broadband, free calls and line rental because the ADSL service in my area is too slow for TV streaming.
    "He knows more about the UK TV Licence than anyone I've ever met".
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 6th Oct 16, 11:29 AM
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    zuliano
    ISTR some of these deals being only £5 or £7.50 per month so it could make sense. OTOH, Now TV Entertainment only costs £7pm, and that is probably better value.

    Personally, I only watch Catch-up (excluding the BBC) and Youtube, and I don't need a TV Licence for that, so I save a further £145.50 per year. I have an old Youview (Freeview+catch-up) box which provides ITV Hub, All4, Demand 5, UKTV Player, and Quest OD. That's enough for me. I pay Talktalk £27.70 for Fibre Broadband, free calls and line rental because the ADSL service in my area is too slow for TV streaming.
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    [I have really needed to do so much research etc etc on computer, but my security kaspersky updated, and this clocked me from being able to access other sites, and I didn't have an alternative browser to go to. A technician is helping me today DAYS later]

    OK, I am confused at the moment.

    You mentioned Youview? I only heard of this the other day, and there is a guy from there going to telephone me later to answer inquiries I have about the box.

    Is it good?

    Be honest, what do you think about Virgin's latest deal? (see my last post where I copied the details):

    Bundle charges total £34.00 Promotional offer(s) Loyalty Discount £7 per month for 18 months

    Promotional offer(s) total £7.00CR Phone line rental Telephone Line Rental
    Phone line rental total £17.99

    New monthly package total* £44.99 Chargeable from 30 September 2016

    IF I was to say I wanted to stop the subscription for the TV and go onto Youview do you think they would give me a better deal?
    What would be an ideal offer/and what do you think I could haggle for?

    If not, you agree mum would save money stopping for pay TV and getting a Youview or Freeview box?

    I worked out their deal of £44.99 for 12 months = £540
    The Youview box I saw was about £239...? so that already is an annual saving of hundreds. But them comes the question of how good is the box, warranty etc isn't it?

    Mum doesn't have to pay a TV license because she is an OAP.

    Once channel we'd miss with Youview/Freeview is Eurosport because we love tennis and only Eurosport show the American tennis open, and other tennis touranaments that the mainstream don't cover
    Last edited by zuliano; 06-10-2016 at 11:33 AM.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 6th Oct 16, 11:45 AM
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    Cornucopia
    I appreciate you are in a quandary, because what you want will depend on how little money you have to spend to get it.

    My Youview box is now 3 years old, originally being supplied by Talktalk as part of the TV package. That's now gone, and I got to keep the box. Having said that, I don't use the recording or Freeview parts of the box, because I don't have a TV Licence.

    I think it's a good box, but I got it for the cost of less than 18 months subscription.

    Have a look at Plusnet TV. They use Youview boxes and their TV package includes Eurosport in the channel lineup, if that is essential to you.

    Costs £50 for the recording box, and then £5 per month TV. 38 Mbps Fibre BB is £14.99. Line Rental is £17.99, unlimited calls is £8. There is an introductory BB price of £5pm for the first 6 months, and £50 cashback (which would make the box free).

    I don't know whether this box can record channels received via Internet, although the Talktalk one can.

    Virgin are not known for negotiating much, but the £38pm above is not that far from £45pm...


    As far as I can see, £38pm is going to be about the least you'll pay for Eurosport, given all the other requirements that go with it.

    Without it, you could get away with Talktalk TV essentials, which is £29pm including line rental and broadband, with a Youview recording box. Unlimited calls costs £5, I think.

    Or just buy a Youview box and get broadband & calls from anyone.

    I don't think anyone here is likely to have any great insight on this decision - it's down to you.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 06-10-2016 at 12:10 PM.
    "He knows more about the UK TV Licence than anyone I've ever met".
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 7th Oct 16, 11:57 AM
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    zuliano
    that is the problem. I am very indecisive about this. I remember the days all you had to do was buy a TV and that was that! Then all you had to worry about was paying the BBC license every year!! ...and NOW...? O M G

    I just don't know what to do. My cooling off period with the Virgin deal ends on the 13th, so I better get a move on
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 7th Oct 16, 12:42 PM
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    Cornucopia
    I tend to take the view that one of the things you get with an all-in-one deal like Sky or VM is that they are simplifying things for you. You undoubtedly pay for that, but it may be money well spent, or it may be your only real choice.

    In your case, I think there is really only one key question: do you want to maintain access to Eurosport?

    If you do, I think your minimum sub is £38pm with Plusnet. Not that far short of VM, although there are some new customer incentives. You may not consider that small saving to be worth the effort of moving.

    If you are prepared to forego Eurosport, then there are more options.

    I suggest you make that decision, and then come back if the answer is no, and FMs can help you go through the other issues that will help decide how to ditch VM and what to go for.
    "He knows more about the UK TV Licence than anyone I've ever met".
    • zuliano
    • By zuliano 10th Oct 16, 10:37 AM
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    zuliano
    well I now only have to the 13th to cancel. BUT I am betting if I tried they would claim that I agreed to annual contract by getting the Tivo box (eg since getting that the so-called contract has run out BUT I got two new deals since then)

    There is also the hassle that if they DID cancel my account, then I would have to buy the box, Freeview or Youview, and struggle to fix it--I am a technophobe---. The local electrician is always hard to get hold of, and comes when he is not busy which can take ages. I dont want to screw up my mum's TV ciewing in the most relaxing room!
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