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  • FIRST POST
    • joncombe
    • By joncombe 6th Dec 17, 8:48 PM
    • 247Posts
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    joncombe
    Switching from Virgin Media without a new line
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 17, 8:48 PM
    Switching from Virgin Media without a new line 6th Dec 17 at 8:48 PM
    I am currently with Virgin Media but pretty unhappy with the service. I have a regular fault with the telephone line which has stopped working again (no dial tone, just crackles). It must have happened half a dozen times now and I'm getting pretty fed up of it because each time it requires an engineer to visit and I have to take time off work. The price I'm paying for just the basic Broadband and Telephone package is now about twice the price of other providers after years of regular price increases with Virgin.

    So I want to switch to someone else, but it seems everyone I try to switch to says I have to have a new line installed, which means the same problem, taking time off work.

    Is there any company that will switch from Virgin Media, or do I really have to get a new line?
Page 1
    • iniltous
    • By iniltous 6th Dec 17, 9:32 PM
    • 1,422 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    iniltous
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:32 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:32 PM
    The VM service you currently have cannot be 'taken over' by anyone else, Virgin Media , unlike BT, don't have to offer access to their 'lines' so they don't.
    if you want service from someone other than VM it would be delivered over 'Openreach' (BT) infrastructure , and if you haven't had service from anyone other than VM in a long time, that would mean a 'new' Openreach line needs to be installed into your property, this would be arranged by placing an order with a phone provider/ ISP , should you proceed with your idea to dump VM and go with somebody else.
    Unfortunately , a new OR 'line' will need someone available on the appointment date should they need access to your house
    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 7th Dec 17, 12:19 PM
    • 2,490 Posts
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    AndyPK
    • #3
    • 7th Dec 17, 12:19 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Dec 17, 12:19 PM
    you need to call virgins bluff basically.


    work out how much a new provider will charge.
    install+new line+postage+monthly payment=x ÷ 12 months.


    Write it down.


    Ring virgin up, select option, I'm thinking of leaving for another reason.
    Tell them its too expensive. And if you go with another provider it will cost you £<monthly payment>.


    Hopefully they will give you are good deal.
    If you aren't happy with the deal don't rush and except it.
    If necessary say you want to leave again. (you have 30 days to change your mind, and they will call back with a better offer).


    Check any paperwork with the new agreement is as expected. (it usually isn't) and call back to get it corrected within 14 days.




    This is generally easier than moving else where, and you don't need time off
    Last edited by AndyPK; 07-12-2017 at 12:21 PM.
    • joncombe
    • By joncombe 7th Dec 17, 6:43 PM
    • 247 Posts
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    joncombe
    • #4
    • 7th Dec 17, 6:43 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Dec 17, 6:43 PM
    Thanks for the advice. It is disappointing that the line cannot be switched, after all if I change gas or electric providers they do not have to come out and install a new line!

    Dealing with Virgin is so frustrating. I have called them and went through to thinking of leaving. I explained the difficultly in getting time off work and was told they could put me through to the technical team who might be able to arrange an appointment for an engineer to check the box in the street or the exchange, as this is where the fault has always been so far.

    I got through to someone who then (after trying to book an appointment) told me they cannot do this. I asked to go back to the person that I spoke to before and told that is also not possible and I will have to call back!

    At the moment I have TV size M, telephone with free weekend (but not evening) calls and broadband up to 70MB (though I don't need it this fast I started out on the cheapest slowest speed and they have gradualy increased it over the years). For this I'm paying £47.45 per month (plus call costs). It does not seem very competitive now. I've been with Virgin for 10 years now so they send letters from time to time about how they will be increasing the speed for no extra cost, only to follow up with another letter a few months later about a price increase! At the time I signed up they were the only company in my area offering fibre broadband, but the competition has caught up now.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 7th Dec 17, 7:29 PM
    • 8,625 Posts
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    teddysmum
    • #5
    • 7th Dec 17, 7:29 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Dec 17, 7:29 PM
    If there is a former BT connection to the house and it hasn't been physically cut, anew line means some work at the exchange; not digging up the path or garden as with Virgin.


    My sister just moved house,a very short distance and taking her Sky phone and internet contract with her,but she had to have a new number as the new house had never had a physical BT line installed.
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 7th Dec 17, 7:35 PM
    • 1,402 Posts
    • 594 Thanks
    Colin_Maybe
    • #6
    • 7th Dec 17, 7:35 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Dec 17, 7:35 PM
    If you do leave Virgin and need a new line then I think Plusnet are reasonable in cost.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 7th Dec 17, 7:44 PM
    • 18,905 Posts
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    Moneyineptitude
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 17, 7:44 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 17, 7:44 PM
    . It is disappointing that the line cannot be switched, after all if I change gas or electric providers they do not have to come out and install a new line!
    Originally posted by joncombe
    Hardly a Utility company, the original cable firms spent literally £billions all told adding completely separate (cable) connections to many homes in Britain. It should not be surprising, therefore, that this private network remains exclusive to Virgin Media.

    Only those with BT lines can easily switch to other providers. This is due to BT formerly having an almost total monopoly.

    As others have said, far easier to negotiate a Virgin retention deal rather than cancel and swap.
    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 7th Dec 17, 8:03 PM
    • 2,490 Posts
    • 663 Thanks
    AndyPK
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 8:03 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 8:03 PM
    If you go thru the virgin cancellation process and ditch tv you can play less than £30

    They will give you options with and without tv. So think about what you are happy to pay before hand
    • phillw
    • By phillw 7th Dec 17, 10:13 PM
    • 1,041 Posts
    • 622 Thanks
    phillw
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:13 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:13 PM
    Thanks for the advice. It is disappointing that the line cannot be switched, after all if I change gas or electric providers they do not have to come out and install a new line!
    Originally posted by joncombe
    That is because nothing actually changes in your gas or electricity supply, it's all the same stuff. The only difference you see is who bills you for the energy.

    Phone lines and cable are completely different technology. It would be like asking why you can't switch from your oil heating to mains gas, when you aren't connected to mains gas.

    Even with a phone line, if you switch to a company that does LLU (local loop unbundling) then you can end up with a charge for switching away and problems porting your number.
    Last edited by phillw; 07-12-2017 at 10:16 PM.
    • iniltous
    • By iniltous 8th Dec 17, 6:08 PM
    • 1,422 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    iniltous
    Hardly a Utility company, the original cable firms spent literally £billions all told adding completely separate (cable) connections to many homes in Britain. It should not be surprising, therefore, that this private network remains exclusive to Virgin Media.

    It is surprising to me that in some local areas the cable company is the company with significant market power ,( a bigger percentage of customers with VM than any other provider ) that the regulator with the supposed aim of promoting competition and consumer choice hasn't mandated that VM have to offer a wholesale access to VM's local network in the same way they insist OR has to offer access to their local loop.....

    Only those with BT lines can easily switch to other providers. This is due to BT formerly having an almost total monopoly.

    Openreach are responsible for the 'local loop' not 'BT'

    As others have said, far easier to negotiate a Virgin retention deal rather than cancel and swap.
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    The OP wants to leave VM due to poor service , getting a better price isn't on its own going to improve that.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 9th Dec 17, 11:52 AM
    • 3,634 Posts
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    onomatopoeia99
    Thanks for the advice. It is disappointing that the line cannot be switched, after all if I change gas or electric providers they do not have to come out and install a new line!
    Originally posted by joncombe
    As others have pointed out, the comparison with gas and electric is invalid. In telecommunications terms, BT are obliged by OFCOM to offer wholesale access to their network to other operators (Sky, Talk Talk, etc) at prices that OFCOM set. So if you have a "BT" line you get a big choice of phone and internet providers. Further, BT (wholesale) are obliged to provide a service to everyone in the UK unless they live in Hull, so if you decide to go with Sky or TT they can arrange for a line to be installed to your house which will be connected to the BT cabinet and exchange but you won't be a BT customer.

    There are no similar obligations on Virgin Media. OFCOM does not require them to open their network to wholesale access and they do not have a universal service obligation. They are a monopoly provider on their own network and they control its extent. Yes the predecessor companies spent a lot building the network, much as the GPO and subsequently BT spent a lot building theirs, particularly when they switched from the strowger SXS / crossbar electromechanical exchanges to the System X / AXE DLE / DMSU network, and again with the switch to IP and 21CN over the last 15-20 years.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 9th Dec 17, 12:02 PM
    • 8,770 Posts
    • 13,389 Thanks
    worried jim
    Just get rid of your landline and go VM BB only. Landlines are yesterday. I got rid of the tv too and just went Freeview and Amazon Prime. Happy days.
    "Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe"
    Albert Einstein
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 11th Dec 17, 3:28 PM
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    Moneyineptitude
    The OP wants to leave VM due to poor service , getting a better price isn't on its own going to improve that.
    Originally posted by iniltous
    Yes, but the alternative is having to pay for a complete new physical installation as well as the loss of their telephone number etc.

    As you point out, if the service has been that bad then there may be no realistic alternative than leaving.

    (Just as an aside, why have you "quoted" me stating things I never said? That sentence about Openreach is not mine. )
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 11th Dec 17, 3:33 PM
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    Moneyineptitude
    Yes the predecessor companies spent a lot building the network, much as the GPO and subsequently BT spent a lot building theirs,
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    Yes, but all that work was an investment in an already "captive" customer base. Virgin were never a monopoly in the same manner as BT (formerly the Post Office) were.

    Telcos are one area in which competition really has benefitted the consumer...
    • iniltous
    • By iniltous 11th Dec 17, 5:46 PM
    • 1,422 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    iniltous
    Yes, but all that work was an investment in an already "captive" customer base. Virgin were never a monopoly in the same manner as BT (formerly the Post Office) were.

    Telcos are one area in which competition really has benefitted the consumer...
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    Virgin were granted ( as were satellite TV providers ) a leg up in the pay TV market , BT were not allowed for decades to enter the 'broadcast tv' market , so the cable company's USP was cable TV and phone service, ' but it's ridiculous to state the cable TV industry invested in building a network so should still be exempt from rules that their competitors have to abide by, after all their competitors shareholders invested in their network, just the same as VM invested in theirs.

    Has the consumer benefitted ?, compared to Gas and Electricity , yes, but electronics get cheaper and smaller all the time, so even if BT were not privatised prices would have probably (in real terms ) reduced ...and if 'BT' were not privatised chances are the vast majority of the country would be fibre to the home by now
    Last edited by iniltous; 11-12-2017 at 5:51 PM.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 11th Dec 17, 7:11 PM
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    Moneyineptitude
    it's ridiculous to state the cable TV industry invested in building a network so should still be exempt from rules that their competitors have to abide by, after all their competitors shareholders invested in their network, just the same as VM invested in theirs.
    Originally posted by iniltous
    I don't agree. The small local cable companies largely bankrupt themselves cabling not even the whole country. BT's customers were already connected by a network paid for long ago by the nationalised Post Office. The cable companies had to start from scratch, unlike BT.

    While Virgin have certainly benefitted from all this investment, they are still paying legacy debt which amounts to £billions.

    As to speculation that BT would have reduced prices and provided fibre to the home for the majority, I'm very sceptical that either of those would have happened even if privatisation had not happened.
    • joncombe
    • By joncombe 13th Dec 17, 11:33 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    joncombe
    If you go thru the virgin cancellation process and ditch tv you can play less than £30

    They will give you options with and without tv. So think about what you are happy to pay before hand
    Originally posted by AndyPK
    Happy to get rid of the TV service, it's really no different from Freeview anyway, I only took it because they told me there was no extra cost in taking it (not sure that is still the case).
    • joncombe
    • By joncombe 13th Dec 17, 11:35 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    joncombe
    Just get rid of your landline and go VM BB only. Landlines are yesterday. I got rid of the tv too and just went Freeview and Amazon Prime. Happy days.
    Originally posted by worried jim
    No I do actually use it. Where I live I cannot get a mobile signal reliable enough to hold a conversation without it constantly breaking up.
    • joncombe
    • By joncombe 13th Dec 17, 11:47 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    joncombe
    Yes, but the alternative is having to pay for a complete new physical installation as well as the loss of their telephone number etc.

    As you point out, if the service has been that bad then there may be no realistic alternative than leaving.

    (Just as an aside, why have you "quoted" me stating things I never said? That sentence about Openreach is not mine. )
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    The issue is primarily one of reliability - I keep getting the same fault on the phone and although engineers will "fix" it, the same fault will invariably come back. In fact I think it is weather related. It seems to go wrong after heavy rain, the line initially crackles badly but you can still use it (just). Then it gets to the state outgoing calls can't be made (the phone at the other end never rings). Incoming calls cause the phone to ring, but if you answer it, you just get cracking whilst the caller at the other end hears it still ringing.

    The reason I think it is weather related is that it went wrong after a couple of days of heavy rain, but started working normally again a few days later. I suspect water is getting into the box in the street as my neighbour, also on Virgin Media, has similar issues.

    I've already had the cable under the front garden replaced and it made no difference at all. Not sure why this fault does not seem to impact the TV or broadband, maybe they use different wiring or something.

    I had a look around and there is an old BT telephone point behind the TV (old enough it has the old "T" logo, the one they used before the "pipers" logo, which I think dates it to at least 1991). There isn't (unsurprisingly) a dial tone if I plug a phone into it so not sure if that line would be in any fit state or if I'd have to get a new one. Mind you the Virgin telephone socket actually has an NTL logo so must also be quite old.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 14th Dec 17, 7:51 AM
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    onomatopoeia99
    As to speculation that BT would have reduced prices and provided fibre to the home for the majority, I'm very sceptical that either of those would have happened even if privatisation had not happened.
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    In the mid 80s, BT offered to convert the whole local loop to cable (much as VM use now), at their own / their shareholders expense, if the government would guarantee that they would retain monopoly access to their own network like the cable companies had / have.

    The government refused. This lead to the competitive market over BT lines that we now have, but meant we still have twisted pair copper phone lines for our broadband.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
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