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  • FIRST POST
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 8th Sep 18, 10:21 AM
    • 76Posts
    • 13Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Help with Virgin Claim going to Court
    • #1
    • 8th Sep 18, 10:21 AM
    Help with Virgin Claim going to Court 8th Sep 18 at 10:21 AM
    Hi guys,

    I'm in a serious situation with Virgin Media and would be very grateful if you could help regarding making a claim against them for damage to my property at Small Claims Court. I'll try to give you a short history, without dragging the story too much.

    Problems/Damage:
    • I've been having problems with phone 2-3 months
    • VM sent out installers early August
    • They damaged areas of my garden, including gulley hopper, landscape, patio stones etc with bodged up cement works.
    • They also dug in the center of the garden and the cable wire was laid only 1cm below the soil.
    • Due to it being a strong cable wire, it's lifted the soil ground and is clearly visible.

    After contacting VM:
    • They kept me on hold for ages on numerous occasions, passing me from one department/person to the next.
    • I Logged my first complaint & was only offered 35. The complaint was almost immediately deadlocked.
    • I got a builder to look at the damage, but he's advised that since VM own the cable wire, he can't touch it and he's unable to give a quote.
    • I then called VM retentions to exit the contract. I was advised that the complaint handler should not have deadlocked the complaint & as a way of apology, I was given a small goodwill gesture and 2nd complaint ref was setup.
    • However this was closed down very quickly due to it being related to the same issue.

    I then contacted VM CEO email address with a letter before claim. I have now received what seems to be a bog-standard snail-mail reply stating that I need to follow the procedure on the deadlock letter, which is to contact CISAS. I've already done this action and been advised by CISAS that they only deal with actual service issues and since I don't have anymore service issues, they were unable to take on my claim.

    So I've now contacted CAB, whom have advised that I wait 28 days from issue of email and if nothing is done by VM, that I apply to gov.uk Money Claim Online website - This is where I'm stuck and have a number of questions that I'm hoping to get help with:

    1. Once VM's 28 day period is up, what do I need to do to take VM to small claims court?

    2. In order to resolve the complaint, my original offer to VM was that they rectify the damage done by their installers and provide a small goodwill gesture. In the event of them not responding, am I allowed to increase this amount?

    3. As mentioned earlier, I have been unable to obtain a quote as part of the job requires someone to dig up the land, remove the cable wire and reinstall it in it's new location. Would the judge not accept my case of the basis of this?


    Thanks in advance for your help and I look forward to your replies.
Page 3
    • waamo
    • By waamo 19th Sep 18, 11:49 AM
    • 4,486 Posts
    • 5,871 Thanks
    waamo
    When they ring tell them to email or write to you as you will not discuss it due to potential legal action.

    I'm not convinced they understand they've had an LBA from that letter.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 19th Sep 18, 10:08 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    That's fine buddy. I'll tell them to write their response to me.

    Regarding them not understanding whether the letter is an LBA.... I don't know what else I can do to get it through their thick heads. The letter heading font is around 48 in size and in capital letters: "LETTER BEFORE COURT CLAIM"
    • waamo
    • By waamo 19th Sep 18, 10:51 PM
    • 4,486 Posts
    • 5,871 Thanks
    waamo
    Your only option really is to do what it says you will do. If they don't respond or the response isn't acceptable then issue a claim.
    This space for hire.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 19th Sep 18, 11:02 PM
    • 14,769 Posts
    • 80,134 Thanks
    GDB2222
    Can I ask why you don't terminate the Virgin contract and move to another company that does a satisfactory install? Then, all you need is a quote from a builder to cut off the VM cable and make good.

    It's a much more difficult job for a builder to try and improve VM's existing installation, and I can well understand that nobody will quote.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 20th Sep 18, 8:25 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Waamo - Sure. I'm just waiting to see if they'll reply and will update either way.

    GDB2222 - Being honest, I've been with them for many years and although originally there was a service issue with the phone, this has been fixed and a credit was applied for the loss of services.
    I've otherwise had little or no issues and the main reason for staying with them is my need for the speed of their broadband, which the likes of BT or SKY can't match. It's really fast without any major slowdowns:



    Also it's a bit late as I'm in a contract and if I try to leave, they'll slap all the charges on me, which I won't be able to afford to pay off.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 12th Oct 18, 7:56 AM
    • 76 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Good morning. Hoping everyone is well.

    I posted the letter on the 12th Sept to VM. The only replies I got from them was a bog-standard letter stating they would be in touch, a text message asking me to get in touch and when I contacted them they simply stated the same, that I get in touch with CISAS due to deadlock. Even though I explained the situation that CISAS have already advised they don't resolve damages and continuously asked them to write to me, they have NOT done this. I also now have an email from CISAS to state that they do not resolve issues with property damage.

    Unfortunately, since they haven't replied in writing as I asked them to, I will have to go ahead with a court claim.

    I'm hoping some kind soul could guide me now on how to make a claim against VM in small claims court.

    What exactly do I need to do?

    Thank you.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 12th Oct 18, 8:17 AM
    • 5,079 Posts
    • 4,987 Thanks
    DoaM
    Money Claim Online ... Google it.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 12th Oct 18, 5:01 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Thanks DoaM. I've now registered with MCO. It's asking for the organisation's address. I originally sent the complaint letter to their Complaint's address, However I have used their head office address which is showing on companies house:

    Virgin Media Limited
    Media House
    Bartley Wood Business Park
    Hook
    RG27 9UP

    Is this okay or should I be using their complaint address?


    The next page then asks about something to do with interest...is this relevant to me?



    Also lastly, I've registered today, but am I supposed to complete and pay for the claim on same day or can I take my time on it?

    Thanks again
    • waamo
    • By waamo 12th Oct 18, 5:30 PM
    • 4,486 Posts
    • 5,871 Thanks
    waamo
    Use the address at companies house. Interest is at 8% per annum but you haven't long been inconvenienced so it's probably not worth bothering with.

    The last question I'm not sure of tbh I've only known people do them there and then. I would imagine it will tell you. As you are only putting a paragraph to say why you are claiming I can't see any point in not completing the form.
    This space for hire.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 12th Oct 18, 6:14 PM
    • 14,769 Posts
    • 80,134 Thanks
    GDB2222
    I'm pretty sure you can save progress and go back to it. But, they've updated the website, and I gather the new version has some issues.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 12th Oct 18, 7:33 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Thanks guys for your help. I'll try to complete it today if I can, but apologies I'm really nervous as I don't know want to get it wrong.

    For the short statement, as to what and why I'm claiming....so far, I've written the following:

    "Virgin Media have damaged my property and garden as well as leaving lots of mess, whilst carrying out the replacement of outside black cable running from the VM exchange to our property. Instead of hiding the cable neatly, it's clearly still visible as it's been fed straight through the garden, approx cm deep. It's caused the soil to dry and crack and requires digging the ground and re-routing it. The old clean mortar was removed by VM installers and a very poor standard of mortar has been smeared in many areas such as the patio and gulley. They also left a whole load of mess of cable off-cuts, debris, rubble not just in my garden, but also the neighbour's as well as on the public highway. Some of the large decorative stones were also upturned and soil dug around them. I have been unsuccessful in getting builder quotes due to a large portion of the job involving the removal and re-routing of virgin media's cable as the reason they have given to me is that it's virgin media's property and they would not be able to touch it."

    What do you think? Is it okay? Should I be mentioning the amount I'd like to claim and the issues with their customer services? How would you write it?
    Last edited by halifaxmortgage; 12-10-2018 at 7:36 PM.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 12th Oct 18, 8:23 PM
    • 4,486 Posts
    • 5,871 Thanks
    waamo
    You have to put an amount. The court won't guess for you.

    You make it sound as if it's a bit untidy rather than requiring remedial work. A claim doesn't have to be war and peace. A paragraph just saying that remedial work is required following poor workmanship following cable instillation. You don't need much more than that.

    Your big problem is you need a figure for the work.
    This space for hire.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 12th Oct 18, 8:44 PM
    • 22,342 Posts
    • 11,912 Thanks
    Moneyineptitude
    You have to put an amount. The court won't guess for you.
    Originally posted by waamo
    The OP really needs to get a few actual quotes for the cost of any remedial work..
    • waamo
    • By waamo 12th Oct 18, 9:00 PM
    • 4,486 Posts
    • 5,871 Thanks
    waamo
    The OP really needs to get a few actual quotes for the cost of any remedial work..
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    Yup. As explained as far back as post 2.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 12th Oct 18, 9:03 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Thanks guys. I've tried a number of builders....all willing to provide unofficial quotes and work, but not willing to give a written quotes.

    Their reasons for none-written quotes has been that they firstly wouldn't be able to touch the cable due to it being the property of VM and if they did and there was damage, not only could vm sue them for damage, but would also bill me personally for damaging their cable. As you can understand I wasn't willing to take that risk. That's been my problem right from the start and frustratingly I've not found no-one.

    I'm just wondering if the court were not happy that I didn't have any quotes present, could they still not at least force VM to do the remedial work?

    BTW I've now changed it to:

    "Remedial work is required due to poor workmanship following cable installation by Virgin Media"
    • waamo
    • By waamo 12th Oct 18, 9:07 PM
    • 4,486 Posts
    • 5,871 Thanks
    waamo
    I doubt the court would order Virgin to do the work. You need a best guess in writing at least.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 12th Oct 18, 9:11 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    I don't know what to do waamo. Is there any organisation you know of that would be willing to give me a written quote? I'm feeling like cr*p right now as I've tried everything to resolve the matter amicably.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 12th Oct 18, 9:14 PM
    • 4,486 Posts
    • 5,871 Thanks
    waamo
    Try getting an estimate just to put everything right, as though the cable wasn't there.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 12th Oct 18, 9:21 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    okay mate I'll give it another try. But does it matter that the time limit of 28 days is over and that I take longer than usual to file a claim against VM? Also could a judge not say that in my original letter before action to VM I advised them that I couldn't get a quote, but then how did I get one afterwards? Also would VM require a copy of this before I file a claim?
    • waamo
    • By waamo 12th Oct 18, 9:34 PM
    • 4,486 Posts
    • 5,871 Thanks
    waamo
    You've given them opportunity to put it right, they need no other information other than the claim.

    An LBA doesn't need to be exact. It can be subject to negotiation and merely sets out your position and what you require.

    In England you have six years to make your claim so don't panic about timescales.
    This space for hire.
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