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Switching from Virgin Media without a new line

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
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joncombejoncombe Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
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?
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  • iniltousiniltous Forumite
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    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
  • edited 7 December 2017 at 1:21PM
    AndyPKAndyPK Forumite
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    edited 7 December 2017 at 1:21PM
    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
  • joncombejoncombe Forumite
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    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.
  • teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
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    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.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    If you do leave Virgin and need a new line then I think Plusnet are reasonable in cost.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    joncombe wrote: »
    . 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!
    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.
  • AndyPKAndyPK Forumite
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    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
  • edited 7 December 2017 at 11:16PM
    phillwphillw Forumite
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    edited 7 December 2017 at 11:16PM
    joncombe wrote: »
    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!

    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.
  • iniltousiniltous Forumite
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    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.

    The OP wants to leave VM due to poor service , getting a better price isn't on its own going to improve that.
  • onomatopoeia99onomatopoeia99 Forumite
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    joncombe wrote: »
    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!
    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.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
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