Virgin Media left us without internet after account switch

After my partner moving in we have switched from my account to his, but they have left me, a vulnerable customer who has a falls alarm which needs to be connected to the internet to work without internet for 48 hrs after disconnecting my account early. They have told me they haven't done this and there must be a fault with the line - but they cannot fix it over the phone. They said they would send an engineer within 24 hours, but that didn't actually get arranged first time and its now become the 4th of January. My partner also works hybrid so this has meant he will have to go into the office tomorrow. If no engineer arrives on the 4th or they don't fix it, are we then within our rights to have our contract cancelled? How long without service do we have to be before going to a new provider? I honestly don't believe there is a fault on the line, suddenly, just before I disconnected, I believe that they have bodged the switching of accounts. They have also told us that new equipment won't be with us until the 4th now, which is not what my partner has in writing. There is no local outage and I am registered with virgin as a vulnerable customer - but that's made no difference. 
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  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,700
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    edited 2 January at 3:03AM
    I too am registered with my ISP as vulnerable. I think it is because I am over 70. The only difference I have seen so far is that they send me a nice letter now and again hoping I am keeping well and if I want letters in braille or big print they can do that.

    Virgin media, like all ISPs, offer several levels of service. I don't think you have the correct package for your falls alarm. You might need a SLA (service level agreement) which will guarantee you a priority response if there is a fault on the line. Or you might need a backup system which automatically switches to mobile 4G service if the land line goes down. Virgin Media, like other broadband providers you might be considering, can set these up. Really, whoever installed your alarm should have advised you about these issues.

    You can cancel at any time of course. If you mean cancel without penalty then I don't think that is an option but you will get an automatic refund off your bill for the days you are without service. Ofcom say you will receive an initial £9.33 if the service is not fixed two full working days after you report it, and then £9.33 for each full day it is still not fixed after that.
  • Miss_Riot
    Miss_Riot Posts: 43
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    Alderbank said:
    I too am registered with my ISP as vulnerable. I think it is because I am over 70. The only difference I have seen so far is that they send me a nice letter now and again hoping I am keeping well and if I want letters in braille or big print they can do that.

    Virgin media, like all ISPs, offer several levels of service. I don't think you have the correct package for your falls alarm. You might need a SLA (service level agreement) which will guarantee you a priority response if there is a fault on the line. Or you might need a backup system which automatically switches to mobile 4G service if the land line goes down. Virgin Media, like other broadband providers you might be considering, can set these up. Really, whoever installed your alarm should have advised you about these issues.

    You can cancel at any time of course. If you mean cancel without penalty then I don't think that is an option but you will get an automatic refund off your bill for the days you are without service. Ofcom say you will receive an initial £9.33 if the service is not fixed two full working days after you report it, and then £9.33 for each full day it is still not fixed after that.
    If they aren't providing a service they are breaking the terms of the contract. I just need to know how long that outage has to be before its deemed unreasonable for us to continue with this contract as we cannot be without an internet connection or my partner will be out of a job. 
  • Ayr_Rage
    Ayr_Rage Posts: 836
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    edited 2 January at 3:20AM
    Was the switch planned to be a cancellation of one Virgin account and a new order in another name?

    If so, then there could well be a period without service to the address.

    If you are switching accounts why do you need new equipment and an engineer?

    With the account no longer in your name then your partner will have to register the household as vulnerable again.


  • timjim
    timjim Posts: 77
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    How quickly do you think you could get an alternative service from another supplier?
  • RefluentBeans
    RefluentBeans Posts: 854
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    Miss_Riot said:
    Alderbank said:
    I too am registered with my ISP as vulnerable. I think it is because I am over 70. The only difference I have seen so far is that they send me a nice letter now and again hoping I am keeping well and if I want letters in braille or big print they can do that.

    Virgin media, like all ISPs, offer several levels of service. I don't think you have the correct package for your falls alarm. You might need a SLA (service level agreement) which will guarantee you a priority response if there is a fault on the line. Or you might need a backup system which automatically switches to mobile 4G service if the land line goes down. Virgin Media, like other broadband providers you might be considering, can set these up. Really, whoever installed your alarm should have advised you about these issues.

    You can cancel at any time of course. If you mean cancel without penalty then I don't think that is an option but you will get an automatic refund off your bill for the days you are without service. Ofcom say you will receive an initial £9.33 if the service is not fixed two full working days after you report it, and then £9.33 for each full day it is still not fixed after that.
    If they aren't providing a service they are breaking the terms of the contract. I just need to know how long that outage has to be before its deemed unreasonable for us to continue with this contract as we cannot be without an internet connection or my partner will be out of a job. 
    I’m afraid that most normal consumer contracts do have scope for outages. That’s probably why Alderbank mentioned the other type of service contracts - if there is a priority contract where VM have put in redundancies in case of an outage, and you still experience an outage then you probably do have grounds for compensation or termination without fees. Consider that hospitals have redundancies if there is a blackout. 

    When you signed up to the contract was Virgin aware that you couldn’t be with internet - ie you told them this device needed to be connected 24/7 and if not then you’re at risk? If not - then they may treat you like a normal vulnerable customer - meaning they offer services (like braille/large letter/audio of letters etc) that most consumers wouldn’t need. The vulnerable label can vary from someone who is on the autism spectrum, to someone who is in a wheel chair, to people with Alzheimer’s, to people with long term health conditions, and most of these people don’t need to have uninterrupted connection, whilst you clearly do. But if they don’t know that, then VM can’t put those redundancies in place. 

    In terms of cancelling your contract, you said you were cancelling the contract and moving to your partners contract. So have you already told them you were cancelling your contract? I guess my question is - what do you want from VM - other than fully working internet which if sounds like they’re working on? 
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,805
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    Miss_Riot said:
    Alderbank said:
    I too am registered with my ISP as vulnerable. I think it is because I am over 70. The only difference I have seen so far is that they send me a nice letter now and again hoping I am keeping well and if I want letters in braille or big print they can do that.

    Virgin media, like all ISPs, offer several levels of service. I don't think you have the correct package for your falls alarm. You might need a SLA (service level agreement) which will guarantee you a priority response if there is a fault on the line. Or you might need a backup system which automatically switches to mobile 4G service if the land line goes down. Virgin Media, like other broadband providers you might be considering, can set these up. Really, whoever installed your alarm should have advised you about these issues.

    You can cancel at any time of course. If you mean cancel without penalty then I don't think that is an option but you will get an automatic refund off your bill for the days you are without service. Ofcom say you will receive an initial £9.33 if the service is not fixed two full working days after you report it, and then £9.33 for each full day it is still not fixed after that.
    If they aren't providing a service they are breaking the terms of the contract. I just need to know how long that outage has to be before its deemed unreasonable for us to continue with this contract as we cannot be without an internet connection or my partner will be out of a job. 
    Not necessarily.  What does the contract say about outages?  That's what will determine whether they've breached the contract or not, and under what circumstances you can cancel.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,709
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    Miss_Riot said:
    After my partner moving in we have switched from my account to his, but they have left me, a vulnerable customer who has a falls alarm which needs to be connected to the internet to work without internet for 48 hrs after disconnecting my account early. They have told me they haven't done this and there must be a fault with the line - but they cannot fix it over the phone. They said they would send an engineer within 24 hours, but that didn't actually get arranged first time and its now become the 4th of January. My partner also works hybrid so this has meant he will have to go into the office tomorrow. If no engineer arrives on the 4th or they don't fix it, are we then within our rights to have our contract cancelled? How long without service do we have to be before going to a new provider? I honestly don't believe there is a fault on the line, suddenly, just before I disconnected, I believe that they have bodged the switching of accounts. They have also told us that new equipment won't be with us until the 4th now, which is not what my partner has in writing. There is no local outage and I am registered with virgin as a vulnerable customer - but that's made no difference. 
    Where was partners acc previously registered?

    Would have been easier to leave yours running, given your vulnerable status, of which can you confirm are they aware?

    Trouble with Virgin is if there is a outage, what happened in the past?

    As only option would have been to use a mobile service, but pretty sure their routers do not have the facility for back up via mobile network.

    Virgin only state.

    https://www.virginmedia.com/help/accessibility

    Broadband and home phone faults as our priority


    Whether you’ve pre-registered any impairments & barriers or tell us when reporting a fault*, we will prioritise your appointment over our standard level of care. Please note that bad weather (floods, storms) can stop our service technicians repairing overhead cables or working in maintenance holes.

    *If you have no dial tone, can’t receive / make calls from your home phone or you experience total loss of service of broadband, we can prioritise your service appointment.
    Life in the slow lane
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,700
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    edited 2 January at 6:30PM
    Miss_Riot said:
    After my partner moving in we have switched from my account to his, but they have left me, a vulnerable customer who has a falls alarm which needs to be connected to the internet to work without internet for 48 hrs after disconnecting my account early. They have told me they haven't done this and there must be a fault with the line - but they cannot fix it over the phone. They said they would send an engineer within 24 hours, but that didn't actually get arranged first time and its now become the 4th of January. My partner also works hybrid so this has meant he will have to go into the office tomorrow. If no engineer arrives on the 4th or they don't fix it, are we then within our rights to have our contract cancelled? How long without service do we have to be before going to a new provider? I honestly don't believe there is a fault on the line, suddenly, just before I disconnected, I believe that they have bodged the switching of accounts. They have also told us that new equipment won't be with us until the 4th now, which is not what my partner has in writing. There is no local outage and I am registered with virgin as a vulnerable customer - but that's made no difference. 

    Trouble with Virgin is if there is a outage, what happened in the past?

    As only option would have been to use a mobile service, but pretty sure their routers do not have the facility for back up via mobile network.

    Virgin only state.

    https://www.virginmedia.com/help/accessibility

    That might well be so.
    I don't use Virgin and don't know about their routers but the company does offer what they call 'back-up dongles' on their business Broadband page for exactly this reason.

    ...stay connected with our 4G start-up and back-up dongles. Instant Connect and Constant Connect for Business Broadband. Get connected instantly and stay connected with our 4G start-up and back-up dongles. Call us on 0808 134 0165 

    This issue should really have been addressed by the company who set up the fall alarm. Basic home broadband from any supplier is not robust enough for life-critical applications. 
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,709
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    Alderbank said:
    Miss_Riot said:
    After my partner moving in we have switched from my account to his, but they have left me, a vulnerable customer who has a falls alarm which needs to be connected to the internet to work without internet for 48 hrs after disconnecting my account early. They have told me they haven't done this and there must be a fault with the line - but they cannot fix it over the phone. They said they would send an engineer within 24 hours, but that didn't actually get arranged first time and its now become the 4th of January. My partner also works hybrid so this has meant he will have to go into the office tomorrow. If no engineer arrives on the 4th or they don't fix it, are we then within our rights to have our contract cancelled? How long without service do we have to be before going to a new provider? I honestly don't believe there is a fault on the line, suddenly, just before I disconnected, I believe that they have bodged the switching of accounts. They have also told us that new equipment won't be with us until the 4th now, which is not what my partner has in writing. There is no local outage and I am registered with virgin as a vulnerable customer - but that's made no difference. 

    Trouble with Virgin is if there is a outage, what happened in the past?

    As only option would have been to use a mobile service, but pretty sure their routers do not have the facility for back up via mobile network.

    Virgin only state.

    https://www.virginmedia.com/help/accessibility

    That might well be so.
    I don't use Virgin and don't know about their routers but the company does offer what they call 'back-up dongles' on their business Broadband page for exactly this reason.

    ...stay connected with our 4G start-up and back-up dongles. Instant Connect and Constant Connect for Business Broadband. Get connected instantly and stay connected with our 4G start-up and back-up dongles. Call us on 0808 134 0165 

    This issue should really have been addressed by the company who set up the fall alarm. Basic home broadband from any supplier is not robust enough for life-critical applications. 
    I would guess the fall alarm is going to be something like Telecare which runs via phone line, they do offer a GPS service but not exactly cheap.
    Virgin runs via a connection to router & over cable. 

    So other than the option as suggested by you. It is not something home service offers.
    We have to use WiFi hotspot via phones when our virgin goes down. 
    Life in the slow lane
  • powerful_Rogue
    powerful_Rogue Posts: 7,467
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    Miss_Riot said:
    Alderbank said:
    I too am registered with my ISP as vulnerable. I think it is because I am over 70. The only difference I have seen so far is that they send me a nice letter now and again hoping I am keeping well and if I want letters in braille or big print they can do that.

    Virgin media, like all ISPs, offer several levels of service. I don't think you have the correct package for your falls alarm. You might need a SLA (service level agreement) which will guarantee you a priority response if there is a fault on the line. Or you might need a backup system which automatically switches to mobile 4G service if the land line goes down. Virgin Media, like other broadband providers you might be considering, can set these up. Really, whoever installed your alarm should have advised you about these issues.

    You can cancel at any time of course. If you mean cancel without penalty then I don't think that is an option but you will get an automatic refund off your bill for the days you are without service. Ofcom say you will receive an initial £9.33 if the service is not fixed two full working days after you report it, and then £9.33 for each full day it is still not fixed after that.
    If they aren't providing a service they are breaking the terms of the contract. I just need to know how long that outage has to be before its deemed unreasonable for us to continue with this contract as we cannot be without an internet connection or my partner will be out of a job. 
    This is a consumer broadband account. If your partner requires the internet for his job, he should register for a business account with virgin media with a SLA. Although this will be £££ more expensive.


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