Virgin Media ripping me off - who do I turn to?

in Phones & TV
3 replies 1.4K views
I've been a Virgin Media customer for around 4 years, getting Phone, Broadband and a basic TV package through them.

The bills that I have had with very little usage of the phone and no add TV expense is around £40 a month.

About 6 weeks ago on a Sunday I contacted them through their on line customer service chat and asked them how much it would cost to upgrade the TV package and have BT Sport for the last two or three months of the football season. They said it would cost £15 a month extra.

I was expecting it to be around £10 so declined their offer then like a good Money Saver thought I'd chance my arm at giving them a call on phone to see if it'd be any cheaper.

I spoke to a very helpful person who had said I'd been a good customer for a number of years, I'd been paying for a Virgin TV box for a number of years, and that he could offer me a discount on on a BT Sport upgrade to the £15 quoted.

He said that do this by applying a loyalty discount and upgrade my total package to a TV XL package including BT Sport (from Medium) for just an extra £12 a month. I was told not only would I get BT Sports I'd get lots of other channels as well. Brilliant I thought extra sport for me and other channels for family just for an extra £12.

I was told my extra channels would be turned on instantly (great) but as it was a Sunday afternoon he couldn't apply the discount to my bill straight away. He said I needed to call back the next day, he'd put a note on my account and I wouldn't need to explain anything they'd take some further details and that would be everything sorted. Brilliant.

I called back the next day, gave them all my details. I was told that there was no notes on my account. I explained what the person had said the previous day. I was put on hold for a while. I waited patiently. The person then came back, said everything was sorted out, I was told that the relevant paperwork would be sent out, that my next billing period had passed. The increase to my monthly charges wouldn't be applied to the next bill but to check my next bill after that and if there were any problems to call back.

I got my next bill soon after and as promised there was no extra charges applied.

I then received my bill after that I was horrified to find it nearly £80.

I immediately contacted Virgin via their online chat customer service. I spent over a painful hour and half online and was eventually told he was sorry for the 'miscommunication' and that I had to call their customer services phone number to resolve my issues.

I then called their phone number where I spoke to another polite young lady who apologiaed for the problems I was having but told me that I was well out of the 7 or 14 day cooling off period. I was now signed up to this £85 month contract for the next 12 months.

I was told that my only option is to reduce the TV package down to £65 to include BT Sport or I could go back down to the circa £40 I was paying previously but it would mean starting a new 12 month contract with them.

I'm absolutely disgusted by this experience and don't really know what to do about it? Is it appropriate to contact Ofcom? Or is there another route?

Despite all this I really like the convenience of the Virgin TV system and I'm loathe to sign up to Rupert Murdoch's Sky for moral reasons. What other alternatives are out there?

Finally when I asked if any of my phone calls had been recorded I was told that it they were recorded just for training purposes and that I wouldn't be able to get hold of them? Could I ask for them as a Freedom of Information request?

Replies

  • tykesitykesi
    2.1K Posts
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    I'm absolutely disgusted by this experience and don't really know what to do about it? Is it appropriate to contact Ofcom? Or is there another route?

    Despite all this I really like the convenience of the Virgin TV system and I'm loathe to sign up to Rupert Murdoch's Sky for moral reasons. What other alternatives are out there?

    Finally when I asked if any of my phone calls had been recorded I was told that it they were recorded just for training purposes and that I wouldn't be able to get hold of them? Could I ask for them as a Freedom of Information request?

    You generally have to have exhausted the provider's complaints process before taking anything to the regulator, have you actually made a formal complaint to VM? If not I would say that's your first step - write to them detailing all the conversations you had and the dates times if possible, keep emotion out of it and stick to the facts. See what their response is to that and take it from there.

    FOI requests only apply to government and official bodies, not private companies. You could try a Data Subject Access Request but they should be listening to the calls as part of any official complaint so start that process first and see what happens.
  • BuzbyBuzby Forumite
    8.3K Posts
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    It is important YOU record your dealings with any third party. I was waiting for you to say you just discovered you were locked in to another 12 month minimum term and they hadn't told you.

    Once you changed the package VM sends you a letter explaining what you've ordered and the costs - it is this that gives you the get out should something not be right. If you did get this and not do anything then your stuffed. If you got no letter, then use this as the basis of your complaint to get the service cancelled.
  • burnageblueburnageblue Forumite
    16 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Thanks for the replies.

    I have written directly to the Virgin Media complaints dept.
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