Goodbye Virgin Media, and good riddance…

Virgin-Media-logo

With my move to Brighton imminent, I decided before Christmas to sort out a few things that I’ve been putting off for a while. One of them was to cancel the contract with Virgin Media at my house in Cardiff. Having made the decision to ditch them, I then received a letter from said company announcing that their “broadband” service would go up in price in February 2013 by almost 10%. That’s on top of a similar rise earlier in 2012. A price hike of 20% in a year is nothing short of a rip-off. I wouldn’t mind if the service was decent, but the broadband is particularly poor; I’m supposed to have a 20MB service but I rarely get even a tenth of that. I assume Virgin Media simply doesn’t have enough bandwith to deliver what it promises. And that’s not counting when the connection falls over completely, which is far from uncommon…

In 2012 Virgin Media announced that I was getting a “free” upgrade to 20MB – previously I had the cheapo 10MB service – which sounded great. Then, just over a month later, the cost of my broadband package went up by about 10%. That’s a clear misrepresentation, and I should have cancelled my account right away then. But for some reason I didn’t.

I also get a cable TV package from Virgin Media (which I very rarely watch). Cancelling that will probably mean I spend just a bit more time reading or listening to music, which is a good thing. The woeful state of TV generally, and the dire offerings available at Christmas in particular, make me confident that I can live quite happily without it. And I’ll save the license fee too. I also have a telephone land line which I hardly use either. So scrap it all, I thought.

Anyway, I picked up the phone and called Virgin Media on 8th December with the intention of cancelling my service. A very frustrating experience with automated responses followed. “You now have five options”, you know the sort of thing. After several sets of five options (none of which were to cancel my account), I got through to a vaguely humanoid life-form. Even that wasn’t the end of the story as instead of just following my request she asked dozens of irrelevant questions and tried to persuade me not to quit. In the end I got fed up and said “I’m not going to change my mind, please just cut the crap and cancel the account”. Finally I was told the account would close on 8th January and some packaging would be sent so I could return the box and modem to Virgin Media. Fair enough, I thought.

I was travelling before Christmas, but noticed when I got back that Virgin Media had made a number of attempt to phone me while I was away. Eventually they phoned when I was in. An operative told me he wanted to discuss “changes to my account” and asked for my password. I said there was nothing to discuss as I had cancelled it. He persisted. I put the phone down. When I got back from a Christmas break in Newcastle the same thing happened again, with the same response. Then again the same day. Then again. The third time it happened in the same morning, I’m afraid I lost my temper and told the Virgin Media representative to fuck off. That did the trick.

Yesterday I received a bill from Virgin Media including a charge for the period 8th January to 7th February 2013, being the month after my account was supposed to be cancelled. I picked up the phone and called Virgin Media, assuming that somehow the instruction to close the account had been lost. In fact it hadn’t. The person I spoke to said “yes, your account is to be closed on 8th January”. “Then why have you billed me for the following month?”, I asked. “That’s our standard practice.” was the reply.

Standard practice? Sounds to me like theft! Assuming it would be very difficult to get money back once Virgin Media had purloined it, I immediately cancelled my Direct Debit to stop them taking the funds from my bank account. If they send me a correct bill for what I actually owe, I’ll pay it of course. But I’m never having anything to do with Virgin Media ever again.

P.S. I won’t have internet at home for a while from 8th January, so probably won’t be doing much blogging at weekends. On the other hand, I will have a lot of other things to be getting on with as I gradually relocate to Brighton by the sea…

P.P.S. Just received an email from Virgin Media with the following header…

medialogo

…which is of course exactly what I did.

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84 Responses to “Goodbye Virgin Media, and good riddance…”

  1. I cannot agree more. When “UK Online” was bought out and closed by Sky, I had to fill that gap of great service and I tried Virgin Media. Needless to say that I spent a month diagnosing and trying to fix bandwidth and connection problems and that’s with the 50 Mbps service. I ended up cancelling before the grace period ran out.

    Have a good look at “BE Online”. They’re owned by O2. The provide ADSL2+ service over a phone line and ironically, it completely out-performs Virgin Media’s overloaded fibre optic network. I paid for 24 Mbps (maximum you can get over a phone line) with 2 Mbps upload. Being 1.5 km away from the local exchange, I got 16 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. That connection *never* cut out and *never* slowed down. It was tremendously effective and their customer service was just as good.

  2. We’ve been happy with the Virgin Media internet service we’ve got here in Cardiff (60MBPs – though I doubt we actually get that – I think most companies give a maximum possible rather than what you’ll get). Having said that, I know of a number of other people who have problems. Most have been on the pier bandwidth connections, so I wonder whether Virgin Media focus on the fastest connections at the expense of the slower ones…

    If you’re after the internet at home, I’ve been meaning to try one of the 3g Mifi (or maybe MyFi, or perhaps MyFy) from 3. I used one a while ago and was impressed – at least compared with my Orange mobile boradband which can be flaky at timew. It acts as a mini wireless router, so there’s no dongle leads to cope with and no problems with OS incompatibility. Though I’m sure, as with all such things, some people have had their fair share of issues with them.

    • Elizabeth Duncan Says:

      Good luck with 3! and do tell Abhijeet in customer services I miss him like a dose of the clap.

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

    Check with your bank that cancelling the direct debit does actually mean they can’t take the money. Direct debits are not standing orders; the small print is different and you might be in for an unpleasant surprise.

    I have a friend who had a great deal of trouble cancelling a satellite TV subscription. They continued to bill him and then sent him threatening letters. Fortunately he was a lawyer and knew the true position exactly and at the point where he lost patience he simply scrawled “PISS OFF” across their last letter and mailed it back to them.

  4. Rob Ivison Says:

    I’d echo Anton’s warning. Virginmedia controls the direct debit. Given the *extremely* dodgy tricks they employ (a year ago, whilst trying to re-negotiate my contact, I caught them lying to me, blatantly – the guilty went to the trouble of covering their tracks, pretending to be another operator and/or deleting call logs, and this happened not once but twice), you might find that they hoodwink your bank into paying, and then the onus is on you to execute the so-called direct debit guarantee.

  5. telescoper Says:

    In fact their attempted DD has indeed failed.

    Virgin Media have informed me that they expect me to pay for the full month of Jan-Feb and when I’m disconnected the bill will be modified and an appropriate refund made. Like hell. I’ve heard what trouble it is getting refunds out of these arseholes. Why not just send me a correct bill in the first place?

  6. I echo your comments on Virgin Media, our set top box failed three times, and each time it’s taken the best part of an hour to speak to a humanoid whose interpersonal skills resemble that of a lettuce. I use my 3 phone as a Wifi tethering access point so I can take it anywhere with me. It’s only £25/month for the phone contract with unlimited minutes/texts/tethering (and I frequently use over 50GB/month), which is much cheaper than the Virgin deal, and the speed is usually about 10Mb/s or so, often faster than Virgin too!

  7. Michael Kenyon Says:

    You’ll miss the new series of Sherlock!

  8. Rob Ivison Says:

    I’d forgotten about the nonsense with the Virginmedia set-top boxes. I lost faith in a number of celebrities after they took Branson’s shilling to promote these monstrosities. We pay a monthly fee to use a Tivo, which is only marginally fast than receiving the signal by semaphore – staggeringly slow, with illogical menus, and no volume control I’m no fan of Sky, but at least their boxes don’t run on clockwork.

  9. Steve Jones Says:

    Maybe try ofcom

    http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/telecoms/billing/

    and get on an ADR (alternative dispute resolution scheme)

  10. Despite your problems, Virgin will always be responsible for one fond memory, one of the all-time great headlines. When Richard Branson first sold stock, said headline read “Virgin goes public”.

  11. The extra month is probably the cancellation fee? I had the same thing with my ISP – they said BT has a standard (not cheap) termination charge they have to pass on. Probably Virgin does the same thing as BT then? I agree its a rip-off.

    • telescoper Says:

      Because they announced that they were increasing their charges I am entitled to a free cancellation; they changed the contract so the law gives me that right. They have admitted as such, so if that’s what they’re trying to do I won’t pay.

  12. Allan Stirling Says:

    I’m still waiting for my refund two months after cancelling! I’ve already phoned up and get same old cover story!

  13. I desperately want virgin media out of my life forever! I have 11 months left on the contract and I would rather scoop my own eyeballs out with rusty spoons than stay with them for that long. Does the cancelling contract due to price hikes apply to me or am I tied to the dilemma of paying the cancellation fees?

  14. I have been with this company in its various guises since 1994! I must say that when it was run by United Artists and Telewest Broad band the level of service was of a greater standard in my opinion.Failure of communication with inadequately trained staff is to blame in my opinion.

  15. It’s taken countless phonecalls since my service was disconnected to get rid of Virgin and after another lengthy row this evening I’m still not confident I’m rid of the bastards. My mum is their customer and after 15 years of loyal custom she’s had a massive job cancelling it after terrible service.
    She’s still got a Telewest Broadband box and today someone was supposed to come and collect it. She took an unpaid day off work and they never showed. When she called to ask why, VM said they don’t do that anymore and basically tough. She’s been told to bag it up and call a courier company who will tell her where they’ll collect it from and if she doesn’t she’ll be charged in excess of £125!!! She’s got arthristis and is expected to drag a box weighing a tonne to God knows where so they get it back. I THINK NOT VIRGIN MEDIA!!!
    I’ve just written their MD a filthy letter congratulating them on making a 68 year-old woman with a heart problem cry and if one demand for money arrives I’ll be taking them to court. It’s their bloody box, they can come and get it. I’ve told them after 28 days it’s going in the fucking bin. Best place for VM and their horrendous so-called customer service.

  16. ian farrington Says:

    what a lot of people do not realise is the speeds they offer are only if you connect you pc via an ethernet cable, you will never get the maximum speeds using wi-fi, i have spoken to an engineer and tried both, i got double the speed using my ethernet cable

  17. donna5287 Says:

    Virgin Media do not seem to know “arse from elbow” I have made numerous calls with a variety of different call handlers all over the country/world and each one seems to quote completely different prices “let stick our finger in the air” type job, appauling :-( extremely frustrated and feeling very let down…..

  18. can anyone help me pls i recently cancelled my direct debit to virgin because i was fed up of the service i was getting and i ended my contract early i would like to know if virgin can still take money out of my account for the remainder of my contract without my permission please help many thanks lee

    • Elizabeth Duncan Says:

      I recently asked how much it would be to cancel my contract – they said £140 and im only 7 months in. No doubt if I called back this is now 2 months later it will be more . I think they make it up as they go along. You could cancel the direct debit/standing order with your bank. I feel for you and anybody else suckered into the virgin media circus. Thanks so much Mr Branson, I hope your island sinks!!!

  19. Can only I agree with all the comments. I have had problems with Virgin for 2 years now. My ex husband left over 2 years ago, been trying to get his name off and my name on, no luck. They insist I haven’t made phone calls or sent forms back, and yet they have changed the package and installed a new hub. As far as they are concerned I do not exist. So am I able to cancel with them and cancel my direct debit at the bank, I don’t think so, do you. I want out from Virgin, HELP!

  20. No one can hate them more than I do, Sick to death of their inane ‘options’, I just want to talk to someone in this country that isn’t reading from a script. We have had no phone for 2 days, after spending, what felt like a year, listening to a million bleeping options, I get an automated voice saying will Tuesday be ok. NO IT BLEEPING ISN’T OK!!!. MY HUSBAND IS 73 YEARS OLD, HE HAS PREVIOUSLY SUFFERED TWO HEART ATTACKS AND I NEED A LANDLINE FOR EMERGENCIES!!!. I am so frustrated I also tried to cancel my contract, but can’t even manage to find the cancellation department. I eventually got to speak to a helpful young Indian ma, who apologised profusely, and promised that an engineer would be around last night or this morning, I expect you will not be overly surprised to hear that the phone is still not working, I am going to have a stroke if this keeps on, my head is pounding!

  21. Totally fed up with the appalling service offered by Virgin. I pay them more than £100 per month. They give me a date for an engineer, I am self employed take a day off, no one calls me then tells me sorry no ones coming today and it will be in 1 weeks time!

    So just looking for an alternative to Virgin,

    Keep it up guys you only have cables into so many houses and BT are hot on the heals of you.

  22. Scooby300 Says:

    Just spent best part of 7 hours over 2 days on phone to 4 different Virgin people – including 1 in the part of Customer Service they send you to when you start saying things like, ‘I want to go to Sky’!

    Their billing methods are so complex that even their own staff can’t explain them! Call me cynical, but it’s a level of complexity that can only have the purpose of covering up a rip off!

    When I finally got a breakdown of the items – it turns out I had 3 ‘discounts’ that they have given me and that they will substantially reduce if I try to reduce my package. So if I lower my BB from 60Mb to 30Mb, or get rid of the TV package it will end up costing me more for less because I will lose my discounts! Aggggggghhhhh

    If they were randomly increasing their prices that would look bad – but by giving you made up discounts they can remove them at will and effectively increase your bill – without any comeback.

    When I asked one Virgin Opp to explain what affected the discounts he referred me to the T&C! But I checked them and there’s nothing in the T&C about that at all.

    To make things worse – it turns out that one of the ‘discounts’ (£11.50 billed separately as ‘Promotional Offer’) isn’t a discount at all – it’s actually included within the other 2 discounts (cited as ‘Loyalty Customer [£4] and Standard Collection [£21,25])!!!

    So they’re making out their giving me an extra discount that isn’t a discount at all!

    If one of my kids stole a Mars Bar from the shop down the road, the police would be all over it. But companies like Virgin can ‘legitimately’ steel money from millions of ordinary people and, as far as I can see, there’s nothing we can do about it!

  23. Can somebody help me??
    Last month on the 20th I have called VM to stop my service, after 30 minutes of crap they finally said that I will have to stay for another month and then my contract will end (August 22nd) – which I have agreed to. Last week I have stopped the Direct Debit so that they wont take off any money. But a few days ago I have received the next bill for August to September, what do I do? Do I just ignore them or shall I go to a store and ask them face-to-face?

    • telescoper Says:

      You could do what I did. Do not pay the bill. Instead send a letter pointing out that your contract has terminated and attaching a bill for the cost of storing their modems and boxes at your premises…

      • If I just ignored them and not paying the bill, will they just leave it and forget about it or will they take any action?

      • telescoper Says:

        They might threaten to, but stand your ground. They are just bullies.

      • I decided to go in-store and ask them to confirm if my account has stopped at August 22nd, if they say yes then I’m going to ask them why they have sent me a bill for the following month, and I will state that I will NOT be paying for it no matter what.
        Thankyou for giving me advice!

      • VM is bill it’s customer in a month advance. For any advanced payment you have given before it will gonna be deducted or be an offset to your final bill. And they will credit the remaining amount to you.

  24. After 2 weeks from making complaints, someone actually called yesterday regarding loss of phone use for 4 days (especially exciting when you can’t use mobile because of dreadful reception), I was not after compensation, just a service that works and doesn’t suggest you phone them with your problem, when your ruddy phone isn’t working!!!
    The online booking system was offering me an engineer 4 days away!!!
    I eventually got through to a very polite young Indian, who, when I explained that my husband had previously suffered 2 heart attacks, he assured me that an engineer would be around the same evening or the following morning. Needless to say that no one turned up.
    When I told the lady from Cardiff about this, she said that India, were unable to make appointments!!!
    I really wasn’t interested in compensation, but, upon reflection, the derisory amount offered of £22 seems ludicrous.

  25. I am so sick of the twice weekly virgin media junk mail that if I had no other choice I would not go to them. I have tried to stop this junk mail but contacting them but “as it is to the occupier” i cannot!. Please Virgin Media leave me alone – if anyone has the CEO home address i would like to bombard him with this mail see what he thinks.

  26. I am not happy with Sky, in particular their broadband connection, and was thinking of changing to Virgin (regular letters through the door). I checked this site after hearing about bad experiences with their boxes. After reading the comments above I will be sticking with Sky. Though far from perfect, they are a lot better than Virgin.

  27. Mike Sinclair Says:

    Hi, We have just switched from Virgin to Sky and on every level including; price / value for money, performance, customer service, TV picture quality, TV catch up, internet up-time and especially their attempted exit charge it leaves wretched Virgin standing. Years ago when we moved to our present house we inherited a cable so we went with Virgin. Big mistake!! We were with Virgin for 4 years through inertia and their prices are a disgrace for long standing customers. They milk long standing customers for as long as they can. We are so much happier with a different supplier.

  28. my contract was coming to an end i phoned virgin for a quote and accepted it, one week later i rang to ask them to confirm it, i was given a much higher price, i felt cheated and contacted citizens advice , they advised me to ask for a transcript of the original call i was told this is not possible ,so now i am contacting the distant selling ombudsman to to make a complaint ,in the meantime i have signed up with sky and got an amazing deal ,and the picture seems better, will update when i hear back from the ombudsman???

  29. I’ve just cancelled my account for broadband with Virgin. My package was claimed to be 60Mb (well that’s what I have been paying for), however I was suffering speed issues in the last 3 months which never improved. Now I am on the 30 days notice my broadband speed is peaking at only 5Mb. It seems like they have deliberately throttled my speed. Can they really get away with this? I guess so as they are another big company who do what they like. Beware anyone who joins, think carefully about when you need to leave.

  30. I rang VM and cancelled my contract in August giving 28 days notice.

    I heard that things never go smoothly so today I logged in to my old account to see that although my TV and Broadband had been cancelled, my telephone and line rental was still active and being charged.

    I called them and they stated that it was a Sky mistake and they had not ported the number yet. Now I argued this fact based on

    1) If I dial 150 I get Sky not Virgin
    2) I have already had itemised call bills from Sky
    3) I am still using the same number
    4) Unless someone put something in my tea, I could have sworn I remember BT coming at the end of August with a crane to connect my house up and subsequently fitting my new (non-virgin-fibre) phone line which my phone is now physically connected on

    They would not accept any of this and would not budge and demanded that I send them a headed letter from Sky confirming that they had ported the number before they would refund me.

    I argued further that surely that is irrelevant, based on the fact that I gave 28 days notice to cancel all services and that they should have ceased billing me for anything after that point.

    The halfwit I was talking to would not even put me onto his team leader or customer services.

    Now I know that i can get that letter from Sky, but why should I? I cancelled my contract with them. Also I cant believe that in this day and age that they cannot detect that my phone line has been moved

    Am I in the wrong here with anything?

    I will never go back to VM after today.

    • my contract was coming to an end so i rang the sales team and was quoted a good price so i agreed to start a new contract , I rang back a week later to confirm the price was correct it seems that i was miss sold ,and on top of that there was a feeof £25.00 for a tivo box! so i contacted trading standards who advised me to ask for a transcript of the conversation . virgin have replied saying that all calls are recorded for training purposes only and were kept for a limited time ,,I rang to give a months notice and was told to be carefull if i was moving to sky to check there billing ? I am with sky now and i must say I have a brilliant deal also the picture quality is the best so is the broadband speed ,, so glad i moved never will i go back to virgin or reccomend them good riddance virgin ….

  31. Tony Norris Says:

    I have a similar “customer care” situation. Having cancelled a broadband account we were billed an extra month, and told by Virgin to ignore the bill and await the final bill.
    Eventually the final bill arrived and it was paid online by my bank into the Virgin account number stated on the reverse of the bill. I emailed Virgin 3 times to inform them that this was paid. They kept telling me they could not give me any information without a password. To which I always replied I didn’t want any information and my emails were solely a courtesy to inform them it was paid.
    Anyway they have now eventually sent this to a debt recovery agency. I am looking forward to standing up in court to explain this to a judge. Hopefully I can get plenty of reporters there also.

  32. Tony Norris Says:

    Ever noticed the complete absence of Virgin statements on this website ???

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, I have. I also wonder what fraction of the thousands of hits on this page are Virgin Media employees or solicitors working for them!

  33. A few months ago I signed up with Sky for my phone and broadband. I asked them if I needed to contact Virgin Media to let them know I was leaving them. They said they would deal with it all for me. Now I’m being pestered with bills from Virgin Media for the time I HAVEN’T been with them. When I spoke to someone at Virgin, they said they were aware that my phone had gone over to Sky, but that the broadband was a separate issue, so they have kept charging me for that. I have been told that they were notified that BOTH were being taken over by SKY, but Virgin refuse to admit it. Now Virgin want their box back, but until they send me something to post it back in, it stays with me. I’m not paying the postage. I don’t feel I should pay their bill either, but what can I do?

  34. when i moved to sky i stopped my direct debit to virgin , and told them that i would settle only when i recieve the final bill ..virgin sent me a prepaid carton to put the box and router in …

  35. Paul LInstead Says:

    In september 2012, Virgin Released a new SuperHub that was Modern and something else built in! When i signed up for their TV i was automaticly offered this new hub upgrade (SWITCHED TO A DOWNGRADE) i have had nothing but trouble with them since, They blame area, after area problem. My services where 100% fine before i switched, now all i have with them is Broadband, when it works OMG it is fast download movies in seconds, but when it dosent work, it takes over 45 minuets to stream 5 minuets of STANDARD definition tv show… i dont know what to do the service is so intermittent, i havent played games in months because it would just DC me or wont even connect to the internet. i first started phoning in october 2012, was told it would be fixed next week it was a problem on my phone line, then i have had engerinerr after enginerr out and nothing, i phone in december when someone let it slip it was an area problem (WV11) and they had been area of this since june 2012! I was shocked that they signed me up for this new hub new cables when they new there was problems. i have been with virgin for 7-10 years now and what compensation did i get as a long term customer, i got 1 months free broadband in january 2013, and two months half price broadband in october 2012 and march 2013. The rest i have paid in full despite the fact they know its an ongoing problem. OFCOM needs to get in and set rules and regulations that state if they know there is a problem its an AUTOMATIC Refund and 100% FREE for the affected Services!

    • Paul LInstead Says:

      forgot to mention at the start from late september to mid november they were blaming router firmware…. and had me on this trial firmware thing… utter lies…

  36. patthegooner Says:

    Thankfully my account has now been squared away and I will give credit where it is due.

    My advice if you have a problem with leaving or with service in general?

    Go through the motions with the telephone support. If you don’t get the answer that you believe is acceptable, then hit social media.

    I posted my complaint on Twitter and Facebook and was contacted by their social media team within minutes. They gave me an E-mail address to contact them on, and they took my complaint away and dealt with it in 24 hours. I can’t fault that. It is just a shame their standard support service is so shocking

  37. J.G.Harston Says:

    I have to agree with you here. What on earth am I paying them $45 a month for? How on EARTH does it cost £15 a month for my phone line? That works out at £7.50 a minute for phone calls.

  38. I had NTL since they first installed their fibre cable. When Virgin Media took over the broadband got worse and worse. I recently joined BT infinity. I get up to 40 meg and I find you can check faults on their website.
    BT are not perfect I had a lot of probs with my old B T line. But when you get it working it is no bother.

  39. Tried to cancel with virgin. 3 letters, 2 30 minute premium rate phone calls not answered, 3 visits to the bank to refund money taken by virgin, 1 email complaint , 1 letter from virgin saying they cant cancel my account without a password, 1 phone call from virgin agreeing to cancel my account. more bills for money and fees, threatening letters from virgin. 5 months of stress to cancel an account with a multinational company. Will never use virgin again for anything.
    Tommorrow i contact trading standards and solicitor. They will not get away with it.

  40. Mark Atkins Says:

    I hate Virgin as I pay for 120Mb broadband but I get 126Mb … Ohhhh … Wait a sec … I mean I love them!

  41. I am in a very similar position with Virgin (also in Cardiff) I’d be interested to know how it panned out! Did you have to pay an early disconnection charge? L

  42. I quite agree. They are terrible and there’s something very cynical about their customer service. I can never understand why Which? Magazine never seem to pick up on this. I once had one of their tech support people on the phone trying to sort out a problem. They directed me to delete a folder on my Mac. It turned out that the folder was irretrievable and contained thousands of emails including some from my late father. What did you do about your email? Were you using their system? It bothers me that if i leave Virgin they will no longer give me access to my Virginmedia email. What do I do then?

  43. Cancelled virgin subscription 3 years ago . And still waiting for them to remove cables on outside of house. Last week discovered technician came and used box attached to my house to connect next door neighbour to their service. Just interested to know if I can charge virgin rent for using my property . feedback much appreciated. As calls to this company never seem to get me anywhere.

  44. Being charged to leave virgin media Says:

    Hello!Can you help me please!!!!!!!!
    I was at the store on November 29, 2013 virgin media , I spoke with a representative and I agreed to take a package from internet promotion 20 pounds per month for 3 months then remaining nine months to 25 pounds, he told me said the connection will be made in four days . I paid £ 25 advance card . Thursday, when he began five days , I called to see when they come , but they told me that there are some problems from the old user and as I can connect only on December 17, 2013 .
    They came on the 17th , I was connected , but the internet went three days and since then the problems started . I went back to the store to tell them that I have internet , they gave me a new cable , because it changed from the old connection , I came home I changed , and I had two days internet then disappeared , I called and gave me the phone number of the technical department to tell them to change frequency, I called . changed but nothing has been internet. meanwhile came the post and contract , but I have not signed and not sent it back because I expected to be rendered satisfactory service .I ‘ve called several times , they decided to send me an engineer to see the problem in 5 days, but hi hasn’t appeared .i was at your store and i told them to close the contract because it did not receive any service from them , they gave me a phone number to call back in your TECH SUPPORT , I called at home but the lady who answered told me that if i will have interrupt i will pay the charge , but I don’t understand why , if I don’t have service and I don’t signed the contract with them.
    Thanks

  45. “Why does David Tennant lie?” asks my son when he sees the old Doctor Who pushing Branson’s botched products.

  46. James Jennings Says:

    VM’s priority as a business is not certainly existing customers,look in any magazine and endless junk mail basically it is to entice brand new customers, or as I call them “VICTIMS”, sadly existing customers can basically “go whistle”
    For around six to eight months now I have had continual TV outages sometimes 2/3 fault codes are posted every week, in fact I have just checked and yes, yes another fault. I contacted VM customer services via email no response? then by registered letter once again nothing, so I contacted the new ceo tom mockridge and by the way if you are considering writing to him then good luck with that one because he is never available in fact you are lucky to get a response from his executive office who just seem to spend their days launching complaints sent direct to tom mockridge and back onto customer services passing the complaint back onto the very dept (customer services) that refused to respond in the first place. Virgin Media service is poor but if you are unlucky enough to have issues service or billing then they could not care less, the more you insist on a response the more you are ignored, for example I opted for an e-bill and for no apparent reason they stopped coming? so after a few months I contacted the billing dept and they assured me that they would send me 9 months of outstanding e-bills nothing arrived so I contacted VM again, heard nothing so contacted the executive office and eventually after 6 emails they informed me that the matter had been passed onto their customer service dept? Heard nothing so after a couple of weeks I emailed mr mockridge once again and I rec’d another email back from his executive office advising me that someone would contact me. A few days later I rec’d 9 envelopes through the post each containing a bill for each month and then I got an email from a mr pratt stating that VM would be charging me for the copies I had never rec’d ? that was about six weeks ago and still no January 2014 e-bill and with a few days before February’s bill is due I’m guessing that I will not receive that one either. Today I have had problems with playing tv content recorded also no access to catch-up and whenever I attempt to retrieve recorded content or attempt to access catch-up I get the dreaded No more buffering . . . BUFFERING? Finally I requested that the phone element be cancelled last December and looking at my bank statements because I don’t have VM statements/bills that has still not happened so far I have spoken to VM numerous times and they say “leave it with us” which ironically is exactly what they are doing.

    • i cancelled my vm on 30 jan 2014,giving them the 30 days notice that they required.Paid a payment to virgin media on 24th feb witch will be march payment as you pay in advance.They still tell me that I owe them 80.00 which I am not sure how they work that out.They will not be getting any more money out of me until they send me the final bill.

  47. JTaylor Says:

    Having a right old time too with VM at the moment. Apparently they are experiencing utilisation issues in my area and are unable to provide Broadband speed we are paying for. We have just upped to 120Mb with a view to trying to get an improvement in service. Got 1.7Mb last night! They knew about these problems when we asked for increase in service, so theoretically we are paying for something they have no hope currently of providing. Customer Services are absolutely appalling. Passed all over the place, promised call backs which are never received. We are due a refund for lack of promised service according to them going back to January 2013. This problem is forecast to remain until 26 March. Try getting to speak to someone about getting this!!! They are fraudsters in my opinion. I have advised them verbally that I am not paying any further bills until this is sorted. Curious to see if we end up in court because of this.

    Go somewhere else for your service I say.

    Jxx

  48. Kevan Shimman Says:

    The worst company in the entire world!!! I used to work for them and tried to cancel my account, I got called an idiot by the support staff who was really horrible and abusive; I went in to work the next day and she had put a complaint in about me, probably because she knew I was going to report her. I asked to hear the telephone conversation recording and it had ‘dissapeared’.
    Scummy company, most people who work there are snakes who all look up and suck up to the head snake…Branson who they see as some sort of god. Creepy people!!!!!

  49. Richtea

    Wish I had read these blogs before I signed up with this shower. I agreed to take broadband and phone and this was installed wednesday 26th February. The broadband was installed with the hub flashing right in front of the TV despite with the phone upstairs. ENgineer had misplaced a line monitor so popped out to pick it up and did not return for 90 minutes but in the end all was working fine.

    A week later I lost connection both Broadband and Phone Wdnesday 5th March. Called Virgin to advise and by Friday an engineer had surfaced. Seems that my neighbour was having an installation shortly so they cut my cable as part of the process. There sticking out of the bottom of my garden was a cut cable painted yellow so that the engineers can connnect my neighbour. The engineer told me they would have to lay a new cable to our house and this would not be installed until Tuesday 18th March, if they actually turn up . I logged a formal complaint on Friday 7th March but have had no further contact other than an acknowledgement of my email complaint. Therefore I am on schedule to go nearly two weeks without either a phone or broadband because in their ignorance Virgin Media themselves cut my cable. To add insult to injury yesterday a team from Virgin turned up to install my neighbours services including laying a new cable.

    Si if you do not want to risk complete loss of service I suggest you steer clear of the promises of this lot and take account of the many instances of shoddy service – adding my experience to the warnings in earlier correspondence. I think they really could not care less and as mentioned in earlier correspondence their call centre leaves much to be desired. After I explained I had no dial tone to the phone they asked me If I had rebooted the Broadband service!!,

  50. I have just searched on Google for “leaving Virgin Media” as I intend to drop the growing expense of Virgin Media. to be fair the service has been fine for me but the “3 for £30 costs now £70! and just isn’t value for money anymore. What I need is advice from you guys. I’m about to order a Samsung 8000 TV and will want a new internet provider and way of receiving TV stuff, so many options I’m getting lost in it. Ihave TiVo and want to replace it with a way of recording stuff to watch later but again sooooo much choice. Please help.

  51. Ive just attempted to cancel my telephone and line rental with vm as Ive had a drop in my income and cant afford to keep on paying £60 just for a phone and some broadband. The way Ive been treated is disgusting. I havent had tv with vm since about 2006 when I phoned up and cancelled it because I switched to Sky because I was paying around £90 a month. Except it wasnt actually cancelled, just downgraded. Now Ive tried to cancel my landline, they have tried to get me to change to some other package which if I had agreed to I would still have been paying for a landline which I wanted to cancel. Finally I pointed out that on a price comparison website their standalone broadband is around £24 a month but they suddenly dont do that anymore and standalone broadband is going to cost £30, So I said ok to that however it comes at a price. They will only cancel my landline if I return my set top box which after almost 8 years, I dont have and surely when I phoned to cancel my tv back then, they should have come to collect it or something, right? Anyway if I dont return set top box within 28 days theyre going to charge me around £300. Have reported them to watchdog but any help would be great.

    • You have my deepest sympathy – from my experience VM are beneath contempt and Branson should be eating humble pie

  52. Where to start, i am just on the road to starting a war with these fuckers. Utter contempt for them. I was mislead into a VERBAL CONTRACT over the phone, the phone call is nowhere to be seen to confirm or deny my position, (is that even legal), where from £50 a month for dodgy broadband, tv and a phone line it has leapt to £56. I complained that I made it abundantly clear to the lady who renewed me that I was not prepared to go over £50 per month under any circumstances. This was all agreed. Customer service then stated that the phone call was not relevant. They had it on their system that I had agreed to their terms. Isn’t a contract a two way street? I never agreed to any price rises. Anyway, I was told Offcom approve of their practice of sending out a letter prior to price rises and as long as the customer does not cancel within a month they can then charge the new amount. Needless to say I received no letter, yet their system said I had. I asked if recorded delivery had crossed their mind. Of course it isn’t policy. So, despite making it clear i was not prepared to have a contract with price rises, and not receiving any letters advising of any rise anyway, apparently I am stuck in a contract till November. Then the fun and games of cancelling begins. If Offcom are there to monitor these thieves, (that is what they are), can someone explain their value as they are doing a piss poor job of it? Also if we are looking to bash big businesses, why not pick on the corrupt and useless like Virgin Media. Anyone looking to do some online reputation damage to these cretins let me know and we can see how they like their lack of service and fairness publicised regularly!!

  53. Mr M. Alleline Says:

    Hello my fine fellows of this worthy learned society!

    Thought I would share my experience of with Virgin Media. It started in 2013 when they jacked up the price for internet only.

    Similar to Danial above, Virgin agreed (verbal agreement over the phone) for FIXED MONTHLY FEE FOR ONE YEAR.

    During the phone call – I insisted (by stating on more than 3 occasions) that I was only agreeing to price being FIXED FOR ONE YEAR and WOULD NOT CHANGE.

    Virgin Media agreed. I asked for full details of the conversation to be sent to confirm what had been agreed…they said they would.

    1. They did not send transcript
    2. After agreeing to a fixed monthly fee for a period of one year, they changed the price only a few weeks after the new contract.

    I went ballistic and started contacting them. Requested transcript and they ignored my request.

    Few things people should be aware of:

    If you made an agreement on the phone where you specifically stated that you were agreeing only to a fixed price for a year (EG you agree to £40/month for 12 months) – the months notice part of the T&C does not apply as you have entered an agreement on the understanding that it WAS FIXED FOR ONE YEAR. ANY change to this is a breach and thus the contract is terminated.

    The fact that in my case I stated clearly that I would only agree to a new contract if Virgin agreed to the price being “FIXED FOR ONE YEAR” means that Virgin has accepted this as a ‘modification’ of their standard contract. Ofcom might not state this, but I don’t see how they could argue against this as the verbal agreement you make is the contract, and this modification is a key component. However, you should get legal advice before you make any waves

    In my situation which many of you may also have – the act of changing the price so quickly after agreeing a contract is a form of miss selling, as you are being intentionally miss led to agree to contract. Now, I think this is probably a tacit strategy of Virgin Media, it goes like this.

    1. Customer threatens to leave (for what ever reason) and are close to end of contract so phones Virgin.
    2. Virgin offers a discount to keep the customer.
    3. Customer, happy with discount agrees.
    4. One or so month into the contract, and certainly within 3 months, Virgin jack up the fees thus eroding any discount offered.
    5. Customer complains
    6. Virgin ignore their customer, then embark on heavy handed bully boy tactics to coerce the customer via intimidation to continue to pay for a contract THAT THEY NEVER AGREED TO.
    Very unethical and borderline fraud if this is what they do.

    Another highly questionable practice and strategy Virgin has it that they ALWAYS want to deal with customers on the phone. This is so that you never have written proof of what was agreed to.

    Another tactic they use is to place negative entries on your credit file. Please note – If Virgin is in breach of contract, which in my case they are, then they are the breaching party causing the dispute. Thus, they cannot put negative entries on your credit file. To do so is illegal and one can litigate for damages. It might even be fraud as they are involved in a “Deception whereby someone knowingly makes false representation”

    Don’t take my word for that and seek legal advice, but you should at least make sure they have NOT put illegal entries on your credit file, and if you find out they have – then if you are sure you are in the right and they are in the wrong – it’s time to get serious.

    It may be fraud if any or all of the three statements are true in your case:

    1. Deception whereby someone knowingly makes false representation (i.e. making out consumer to be in the wrong when Virgin breached contract)
    2. Fail to disclose all the relevant information (i.e. Virgin caused dispute not consumer but then makes entries on your credit file when Virgin is in breach)
    3. Abuse a position. (again, making entries into credit references agencies when Virgin has actually caused the breach)

    http://www.sfo.gov.uk/fraud/what-is-fraud.aspx

    I spoke to the Police (SFO) about Virgin. They said that if you think you have been subject to the crime of fraud, one had to get Ofcom to refer it to the SFO.

    This seems strange as I am a resident in the UK, and I think Virgin may be involved in a crime of Fraud against me, not Ofcom…so why add an extra layer of complexity to the crime?

    We all know that economic regulators tend to do be all huff and very little puff, which is why Virgin do these kinds of things with little recourse or care of punishment, so I’m not too hopeful but I am now making that my mission.

    I think Virgin has proved they are not fit to hold a licence.

    So, I hope Ofcom actually wakes up and does something about Virgin Media – I expect most of their tactics would make the majority of the public feel extremely intimidated.

    The jacking up of the fees must equate to SIGNIFICANT financial gain to Virgin over the year if 95% of customers feel intimidated into allowing this.

    Ofcom – Please wake up and represent the consumer and do something about Virgin Media – they are WAY worse than any Bank or Electricity Utility that I have had to deal with!

    • You have suffered exactly the same issues I have. I would therefore put across we try to put a joint complaint in to offCom to try and get resolution. Believe me, I can complain for England, yet was forced to talk to some nobody at Virgin who was just spinning the party line over and over again. Contacting them is pointless. A campaign to Off com may work, or perhaps trading standards? They are blatantly misleading those who enter into agreement and do so, it seems, without any recourse. To have no access to the phone conversation? Well how am I in a contract then? It is fraud well and truly and it is in no way acceptable.

  54. Having cancelled my TV package on June 3rd, but keeping telephone and broadband, I receive a new contract that hasn’t included my service reduction. When I call them I am told that the person who I dealt with forgot to forward my request for cancellation, but remember to add on my new broadband service. I eventually get a new contract for reduced services on June 11. Today I receive an ebill for the full whack. 1st excuse – nobody informed billing. 2nd excuse – you are required to pay 1 month in advance and we will credit your refund next month. Even though my previous bill was inclusive of services that go beyond my cut off date. Change of service 3rd July paid up until 14th July and now billed up until 14th August. Frustrated!

  55. Robert Knight Says:

    I have just come off a telephone conversation with Virgin Customer Services in which I wanted to cancel the 1571 service. That was no problem but the slick tongued operator couldn’t help himself in advising me that he had good news for me and was going to free of charge upgrade my broadband speed to 150Mb (I told him I was advised of that 6 months ago so it wasn’t the greatest news I had heard today) and that he was going to include calls to 0845 numbers, mobiles and overseas all free of charge, and he was going to reduce my bill by 70pence (YES! 70pence – not £70 which would have been more appropriate), AND he was going to send me the new contracts out that day. At the point of hearing about new contracts I asked him if that meant I was going to contract with Virgin Media for another 12 months. At first he had the brassneck cheek to lie to me and say now everything is free of charge. When I emphasised that that was not the question I asked he then admitted that I would be signed up for another 12 month contract period but that it was up to me how I interpreted his words. I advised him that I had been speaking the English language for 63 years and not to try to play semantics with my language and that his selling techniques were a disgrace in 2014 and Virgin need to improve their honesty with their customers. Needless to say I shall be reviewing my relationship with Virgin and taking note of the other comments made in this forum. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to report these sort of abuses disguised under free offers to customers.

  56. My partner and i have used virgin for a year and a half everytime we miss a payment and we get cut off that day we pay it tgen it takes nearily 48 hours to reconnect!! Plus not only have connection problems throughout the month which is there fault we have to pay full price of 70 pounds im so furious with virgin and wouldnt recommend them to anyone.

  57. Thanks everyone – we have Virgin cable in the street we will be moving into and the previous owner’s Virgin connection box is still installed in the living room. We won’t be using Virgin Media!!!

  58. I use Macmail (IMAP settings, not POP3), and my isp is Virgin Media (cable connection). If I leave Virgin and am disconnected from their cable service, can I be certain all my emails will remain in Mac Mail ? Thank you.

    • Mr M. Alleline Says:

      If your email address is not provided by Virgin Media, then you can continue to use it. For example if it was a Johndoe@gmail.com then there is no problem. If the email is Johndoe@virgin.com then that would probably be terminated.

      However, Sky seems to give permanent email addresses.

      While I am here I will give you an update.

      So in it would appear that Credit Reference Agencies in the UK are commercial companies that will make negative entries on your credit file at the instruction of one of their clients – in this case – Virgin.

      What seems unbelievable to me in the UK is this. If the company lies about your credit file and gives the credit company false information (Deception whereby someone knowingly makes false representation which is fraud) the credit companies don’t care.

      They say they do, but what I found out is that ultimately they believe their client. So when their client lies, there is not a check to verify the facts. They will flag what you say, but then agree with the response of the firm – their client. This can cause wrongful denial of financial services.

      So, the consumer has to ignore the credit companies as they have a commercial conflict of interest – (which they admitted to me) and go to the Information commissioner and flag a breach of the disclosure (falsified or misrepresented information) to the Credit Reference company by the firm in question (Virgin)

      Then the information commissioner (if they agree with you) has to file a request to the credit reference company to remove the entries. But – the Information commisoiner state they don’t want to get involed in disputes!

      Does anyone feel this is not democratic? It makes the credit reference business effectively an attack dog for any firm that wants to squeeze their customers.

  59. Virgin are unbelievable trying to cancel is a joke phoned them up payed my outstanding balance off and canceled it 6 yes SIX MONTHS LATER and moved into a new place new owners are fully moved into old house they are still emailing me phoning texting me phoned them up to be back where I started if I pay the outstanding balance for not using there products they will cancel it they can get FOOKED rubbish company wouldn’t recommend them to nobody awful service people are hard to understand on the phones!!!

  60. Hi There,

    i saw this blog and could not resist making a comment.

    I have had a virgin email address for about 15 years, i have been using it freely for that time – assuming that it was a free email similar to hotmail, gmail etc.

    I have of course got all sorts of different sites linked with that email as well as all my friends and family over the years knowing it.

    I received an email from Virginmedia the other day telling me they were going to delete the email address unless i took out a contract with them for their broadband service – (Bear in mind i have had this email free without subscribing to any of their services for about 15 years)

    i instantly phoned them – chargeable from mobile!! and was on the phone to ‘customer services!!’ for ages, then sales for ages!!. They did eventually phone me back.

    It turns out that the only way to keep the email address was to take out a contract with them for one of their services – this i felt i had no option other than to agree. They then checked the services in my area and they are unable to offer me the service as there is no fibre in the road as it is a private road!!

    They then confirmed that there was no way of me retaining the email address what ever i did and that it would be deleted with no option of forwarding any emails to me once it had been deleted.

    As usual – ‘the computer says no’ and there is no one to talk to who seems to be able to listen to the issue and offer some way of assisting/understanding the potential problems that this will cause me, and offering a solution to assist from virginmedia.

    i would add that they said i should not have had the email account as i was not a customer, however i have not been a customer for years so why decide that now – is that some sort of administrative error their end which i am now having to just accept!!!

    It seems they have got me over a barrel!!

    • Hi Gareth

      I empathise with your frustration. I too have had a Virgin email address for almost as long as I can remember. I was one of their early customers back in the dial up days then when broadband came along I signed up (for the first time) with someone else but kept my Virgin address which like you I have built on as my established contact address for everyone who knows me.

      I too had the email a few days ago saying that I needed to take out a virgin broadband account or lose my email. And yes, they can’t provide a service for my area either.

      It’s bad enough having to contemplate switching providers just to keep an email address of 20 years but I don’t see why I should have to lose the address if the only reason is because they can’t provide a service I’m prepared to sign up to.

      Why virgin media are unable to cover my area when all the other major providers can is beyond me. I thought this was the 21st century not the 19th !!

  61. hello….i have broadband and phone from vermin but about 18 months – 2 yr ago I stopped the tv…I was asked for the box back within 2 months…and as I worked upto 16 hours a day then there was no way to get to a postoffice so I advised and agreed I would package up the box and leave it in a dry place at my property on a certiain day…which I did..on my return from work that day the box had gone so I assumed all was as agreed and sorted….now today aprox 2 yrs later they send me an email saying they want equiptment back and to contact them to sort out the return…ive emailed them detailing what was agreed and am now waiting for the repy !…thing is now im on medication for depression and anxiety and this has really exasperating my condition as ive heard I can be charged upto £250 for any equiptment missing….I really need some help here guys as im past myself with worry !!

  62. Ian Cummings Says:

    I also have a virgin email address that I’ve had for about 15 years (it was free when I took it out and I’ve never been a customer apart from using their premium rate technical help phone line) and they have told me they want to cancel it. That’s a real pain in the arse. Do they not have a duty to forward emails etc. to what new email address I set up.

  63. Virgin Media? Never again. Closing my account, their final direct debit failed as alas my bank had frozen the credit card for a few days whilst an overseas transaction (legitimate but unusual) was checked out. Demands for payment followed as I “had not paid the final bill”.

    I rang them, asking for a final bill to be issued and explaining the reason for failure of the direct debit was outside my control. They only took payment via direct debit, they said. As I had by then cancelled the account, they could not take a further, final collection. A cycle of demands for payment and my calls asking to be sent a bill which I could actually physically pay – happy to – followed.

    Then the debt collection agency letters started. I wrote letters explaining the situation, asking for a bill, only to be referred to a telephone number with numerous options. Eventually, after some months, I received a letter telling me to call a different number which I did, and finally they took a credit card payment.

    “Virgin Media” and “wish on your worst enemy”, hmm, that fits.

  64. We had package deal with vm about 4 years ago and was in my husbands name, I called them to make payment after I had cancelled DD, they were happy to take the payment but when I informed them we wanted to cancel account they refused to deal with me as I was not the account holder. Needless to say it took several calls, and the complaints I had made had not been logged.
    A few weeks later they sent out employee to collect box and cables.
    A month later we received a bill for £73 but trying to contact VM was a battle to find out what it was for needless to say after a few notices from vm I was getting frustrated so I just sent payment to them.
    A couple of month ago we tried to move our mortgage and needed our credit reports, was so upset to find vm put a default on my husbands report and I am in the process of trying to get it removed. So difficult to find any contact details for VM unless you have an account. So fed up I got in touch with experian to try and help.

    VM are the worst company I have had to deal with in. If we had known how we would be treated would never have gone there.
    I don’t know who regulates this company but boy they really need to sort this out.
    Lets hope experian can help sort this out or I will have to wait 4 years for this £73 default to be removed

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