Switching to Virgin fibre optic

edited 27 March 2014 at 2:10AM in Phones & TV
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GabikaGabika Forumite
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edited 27 March 2014 at 2:10AM in Phones & TV
Hi all,

Today I ordered online a new bundle from Virgin Media containing fibre optic internet, TV and landline. Virgin website says that I don't need MAC and I need to notify my current provider about cancellation 30 days in advance. So I called up BT and cancelled my current broadband with them from 11th April when my new Virgin should start.

To my surprise, despite contract being finished, they still will charge me £30 cancellation fee. After extensive research online I found out that I should not use word CANCEL but SWITCH the service and ask for MAC code. However, the Virgin website clearly states NO MAC NEEDED! :mad::mad:

So I called up Virgin Media customer service and try to ask the guy why they wouldn't use MAC code and why their website says I don't actually need one. The guy lost his patience with me and said that he couldn't help me and I should contact BT and ask for refund of the £30 fee once they charge me :wall:. When I asked him on the base of what they should refund me the money he has alrady rased his voice as if I was asking something incredibly stupid.

Does anyone know if I could avoid paying the fee and why Virgin doesn't advice the potential customers on proper procedure for switching the service?

Thank you for all constructive advice.
Gabriela

Replies

  • edited 27 March 2014 at 9:32AM
    eddddyeddddy Forumite
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    edited 27 March 2014 at 9:32AM
    Hi Gabika

    Unfortunately, Virgin Media and BT are both correct. You would need a MAC code if you switched to another broadband provider who used your BT line - e.g. Talk Talk, Plusnet, Sky etc.

    But Virgin will lay a new cable to your house - they will not use the BT line. (So they don't need a MAC code.)

    You can't really get around this. If you told BT that you wanted to switch and requested a MAC code, they would continue to provide your broadband service (and charge you) until they heard from your new supplier. i.e. They would continue charging you even after you had Virgin Broardband installed.

    Here's some info about it:
    http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProducts/dynamicmodules/pagecontentfooter/pageContentFooterPopup.jsp?pagecontentfooter_popupid=26823&s_cid=con_FURL_ceasecharge

    (I'm not very technical, but I think the reason is that in your case, a BT engineer will have to disconnect your broadband at the BT exchange.

    Had you moved to another supplier who used the BT line, the disconnection/reconnection at the BT exchange would have been a single process covered by your new suppliers activation charge.

    Virgin Media will not do anything at your BT exchange)
  • zaaxzaax Forumite
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    There is no charge from Opeareach[1] for ceaseing a line as they do not remove any equipment.

    It is pureley a charge for the profits for BT

    http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/pricing/loadProductPriceDetails.do?data=LI%2BLzfp8sh2Y2DndjiRMoqOJDXc5GerAOSBb9tNt8RglMnGHsqdC0vzO163bJmh34D91D7M0q8u%2F%0AIlSgtIFAKw%3D%3D
    Do you want your money back, and a bit more, search for 'money claim online' - They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    A MAC is only used for ADSL to ADSL transfers-it does not apply to ADSL to cable transfers.
    The BT OR cease charge has been applied for several years now and is passed on by all providers, including BT Retail. You'll find it in the current T&C's.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • duchyduchy Forumite
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    If however you are asking to keep your number BT and Virgin have to communicate and the number port request means BT can't claim they didn't know you were switching.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

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  • GabikaGabika Forumite
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    Thank you guys for explanation. I got it! ADSL is very different connection to fibre optic. (Thanks EDDDDY and MACMAN.) And yeh, I told to BT that I'm switching to Virgin and I want to keep my land line number DUCHY as they could not provide me with broadband speed beyond 3.2mb :(

    I wish customer service could explain those things when they're asked. They would certainly avoid many complaints. I'm still not happy about the cease charge ZAAX and I agree that's pure rip-off but I came to terms with it. I wish they would only bother to explain.

    Cheers guys,
    Gabriela
  • BuzbyBuzby Forumite
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    The cease charge is valid - it is stated within the terms as to what happens when you terminate. The work is done at the exchange as if requires an unblinking of your cable pair to the aggregator of the ISP you use so Zaax is way off the mark.

    Further - your Internet connection with VM is not fibre but co-ax. It was only BT's nonsensical marketing push (where FTTC customers still don't get fibre) as a way of fooling punters.

    VM from day 1 has been fibre to the street cabinets with co-ax to the premises. Only now BT is taking fibre to the streets, but only customers willing to pay considerably more will get fibre to the door (called FTTP). VM doesn't need to as they can deliver up to 152mb with no difficulty.

    I'm surprised if you were in a cabled street all along, why you bothered with BT at all. My BB connection was been with VM & NTL for 10 years and consistently out performs BT's offering from inception.

    The £30 may sting, but countered with the speeds you will get, remains an investment - not a waste!
  • edited 30 March 2014 at 8:50PM
    GabikaGabika Forumite
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    edited 30 March 2014 at 8:50PM
    Buzby wrote: »
    The cease charge is valid - it is stated within the terms as to what happens when you terminate. The work is done at the exchange as if requires an unblinking of your cable pair to the aggregator of the ISP you use so Zaax is way off the mark.

    Further - your Internet connection with VM is not fibre but co-ax. It was only BT's nonsensical marketing push (where FTTC customers still don't get fibre) as a way of fooling punters.

    VM from day 1 has been fibre to the street cabinets with co-ax to the premises. Only now BT is taking fibre to the streets, but only customers willing to pay considerably more will get fibre to the door (called FTTP). VM doesn't need to as they can deliver up to 152mb with no difficulty.

    I'm surprised if you were in a cabled street all along, why you bothered with BT at all. My BB connection was been with VM & NTL for 10 years and consistently out performs BT's offering from inception.

    The £30 may sting, but countered with the speeds you will get, remains an investment - not a waste!

    I cannot quite understand that it is not fibre optic, as it is reffered to it that way all the time. That is dishonest and unethical marketing then. (Why I'm surprised?!) But as you said, if I get the speed I need, I don't really care what cable they pull. And regarding VM coverage, no, we only got them in our area last couple of months... London suburb :embarasse:
    Thank you for your answer BUZBY. Again I'm bit more informed...
  • edited 31 March 2014 at 7:19PM
    iniltousiniltous Forumite
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    edited 31 March 2014 at 7:19PM
    Buzby wrote: »
    The cease charge is valid - it is stated within the terms as to what happens when you terminate. The work is done at the exchange as if requires an unblinking of your cable pair to the aggregator of the ISP you use so Zaax is way off the mark.

    Further - your Internet connection with VM is not fibre but co-ax. It was only BT's nonsensical marketing push (where FTTC customers still don't get fibre) as a way of fooling punters.

    VM from day 1 has been fibre to the street cabinets with co-ax to the premises. Only now BT is taking fibre to the streets, but only customers willing to pay considerably more will get fibre to the door (called FTTP). VM doesn't need to as they can deliver up to 152mb with no difficulty.

    I'm surprised if you were in a cabled street all along, why you bothered with BT at all. My BB connection was been with VM & NTL for 10 years and consistently out performs BT's offering from inception.

    The £30 may sting, but countered with the speeds you will get, remains an investment - not a waste!
    VM started calling their broadband fibre optic broadband before BT had infinity, so when FTTC was made available by BT then they followed suit and called it fibre optic broadband, you may well have a preference for VM ( good for you) but you can hardly complain that BT mis-represent FTTC as fibre optic broadband when happy to use and not having a problem with VM using the term fibre optic broadband ,a hybrid system, same as infinity
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