With the phone line and broadband company market being big business these day, there is no surprise companies are doing their upmost best to get our custom. Internet adverts, high street shops, junk mail, television adverts you can’t go very long through the day without seeing a supplier offering you a faster, better service than your current or a.n. other supplier. I get so used to receiving junk mail from the same companies on a monthly basis I now don’t need to open these letters as I already know who it’s from and what they’re offering I can simply put these letters straight into my recycle bin.
In case you haven’t seen my previous blogs I have been with Sky television for over fifteen years, my family is growing, more technology is finding its way onto my router that my children are asking me more and more for the WIFI password. Although the broadband speed into the house isn’t too bad. When you divide this speed up now amongst all the devices being used simultaneously, it comes to a grinding halt and simple web pages load so slowly at times I feel I might be using a Windows 98 computer with a 56.6K Modem. In this modern day where speed should come as standard, I started to look for a solution, a faster broadband supplier.
My research highlighted a few teething problems but considering my property is exactly one mile from our phone exchange I couldn’t see this being too much of a problem regarding distance. Well it is as although or exchange is scheduled for a upgrade, according to BT OpenReach work has not been started and even after a year there is no scheduled start date which is quite a nuisance. This now means companies who supply the latest Fibre broadband service (Not broadband itself but fibre, there's a difference) I will not be able to subscribe to them as our exchange is not ready yet. This now means Sky, BT, EE, Vodafone, TalkTalk, PlusNet, and O2 would not be able to benefit from my custom as this service cannot be supplied due to us living near and old exchange station. An alternative would be to switch to a cable supplier. The only cable supplier available is Virgin Media. Virgin Media on paper moving your package away from and in my example, Sky to Virgin would save my household an incredible amount of money per month! Multiply that over the term of the contract and you wouldn’t need to be Einstein to work out the huge financial savings i would make. Then when this contract is about to expire the trick here is to renegotiate with your supplier and if this fails then join/ re-join the rival supplier as a new customer to maintain your cheaper and monthly outlay. Sneaky? No common sense to save money.
Sitting in stores, listening to sales persons and speaking on the phone Virgin Media assured me as a new household receiving a new cable to connect me to Virgin Media would be straight forward and easy to lay a brand new cable. The fact over the last two years, monthly i have received mail from Virgin themselves stating we are ina Virgin enabled area and its easy to switch as the infrastructure is already in place, it makes sense to move my services to Virgin. I currently receive an average broadband speed of 8mb per second (Already i can hear some of you laughing! a measly 8mbps) switching my broadband speed would increase to nearer 200MB. For less than I am currently paying BT and Sky! A faster broadband speed for less each month? Brilliant I thought so I went online and signed up to Virgin…
This was four months ago! This has entailed promises of installation dates virgin have given to me that they can connect me to their network. These are dates I have then had to arrange time off from work so an engineer can complete my installation in house. These are THREE promised installations, cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice with excuses of leaf blockages (I kid you not!!) of not being able to push a cable through a pipe, or needing council permission to gain access to a cabinet or exchange. Please note above I said Virgin have given me! dates that they can connect me to their services, so I would have thought within the timescale they have given to me!... That they could have made sure whatever behind the work needs to take place that they are capable of completing the task by the agreed date. What surprises me now this has failed to happen on three occasions and now three months after my initial connection date, this would have meant me being three months or a quarter of the way though my current contract. A period where Virgin would be monitoring me that i keep up with payments and me monitoring Virgin Media’s service and contemplating my next move if my contract is worth extending albeit in nine months’ time? As it is my contract has now not even started! I have spent a lot of time and energy ringing their customer service team, spending however long being kept in the queuing system, sending emails and writing letters, awaiting for call backs just to hear broken promises or excuses as to why it’s so hard to obtain council permission to various sites to complete the necessary work. This takes four months to complete does it? This happens every time Virgin themselves give me an installation date to fulfil this work that they then decide they now need more time to complete the connection. Even before my connection and binding contract, how can they promise that they will complete the work in hand and then... move the goal posts? The most recent cancelation I rang their offices at 12:45 to confirm their attendance the following day, which indeed I was assured an engineer would be attending. By 18:30 that same day I received a TEXT message to inform me that the booked installation has now been cancelled?
Just as in December 2016 when my installation then was cancelled the assistant informed me that they are cancelling but cannot give me a new rearranged date due to the length of the repairs needed at their end. Having rung in January t confirm the work had now been completed and to now book my third installation scheduled for 7th February 2017. This was cancelled and again just as it was in December and I have no new rearranged date installation date until they finish the necessary work behind the scenes.... again??
I cannot fathom how a company as large as Virgin Media functions this way, telling me in more than one way that they can provide my household with a service, making promises and then repeatedly breaking them way before the service has even started. Rubbing salt into my wounds on by sending me text messages on the day of the cancelled installation that If I were to refer a family or friend to Virgin Media we would both receive £50!!…. They assume, after the last four months I would honestly offer to refer a family or friend to Virgin Media to experience the same poor customer service that i have had to endure. It’s not as if I had received a good, prompt and reliable service so what positivity and praise could I possibly find and tell my family, friends and neighbours about Virgin Media’s wonderful service because after four months there is nothing in my experience that even springs to mind that I could possibly say to influence anyone to leave their current supplier for a company who are still not delivering what they said they could to me since October 2016.
My time spent complaining to Virgin Media has reached my maximum effort. Emails, Phone conversations and letters and it feels no one is listening and no one is prepared to take responsibility regarding this issue to get me a protentially new customer connected to Virgin Media.
Therefore my next option is to complain and raise a case against Virgin Media via the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS). A company who regulate and oversea that companies such as Virgin Media are doing just what they advertise they do. (clearly they are not with false advertising) CISAS are the equivalent to OFCOM who a company name you may be more familiar with.
Thank you and goodbye Virgin Media!