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Great package, terrible customer service!
Member Name: Wickedinrock
Advantages: Lots of package options
Disadvantages: Terrible customer service
First of all I should say that I'm not a big complainer and that I really do think Virgin is a great brand. I think I pretty much keep them in business with my Virgin Active gym membership, Virgin Media television and broadband, Virgin phone and use of their trains every other weekend to take me to Manchester City games! I also did an 'around the world' trip with Virgin Atlantic when I did a gap year after uni.
We subscribe to a package that includes the quickest broadband internet, the 'large' Virgin TV package and a phone line which provides free calls in the evenings and at weekends.
I'm very happy with all of the other Virgin services and also the rest of the media package, but recently my phone line went down and I wanted to review my experience of the Virgin Media customer service.
I noticed a few months ago that my phone wasn't working. The phone would ring when people were trying to call us but when we answered it, the line either went dead or made a beeping noise. We couldn't call out as there was no dialling tone. We tried another phone to check we didn't have a dud phone but we found that the problem was with the Virgin phone line.
Contacting customer service...
It took me about a week to bother calling them. Without the use of a landline to call their 150 customer service, I had to use my mobile to ring an expensive 0845 number so I really wanted to put off the inevitable long phone call! When I did call up after work one evening, I spent about 10 minutes pressing button after button (Press 1 for help with your broadband, press 2 for your telephone...) to be told that the technical support office was closed! Could they not have told me that at the start rather than wasting 10 minutes of my life listening to that annoying woman's voice and spending over £5 on the call? I was really angry but luckily my Domino's pizza turned up to take my mind off things.
I tried again the next day and after the 10 minutes of button pressing I finally got through to someone. In fairness the man at the call centre was very friendly and kind, but clearly had no idea what the issue was. He tried to refer me back to the website and asked me if the phone was plugged into any other devices and whether they were working. I realise he has to ask these questions but of course I had checked everything I could already and read all the information from the website. There was a definite language barrier between us which meant the phone call took much longer than I would have hoped and he finally decided that he would call out an engineer to come to our house and fix it. They only have half day slots and you can't request a particular time which I know is quite standard, but it's annoying as both my partner and I work full time and have a long journey to work. I managed to book an afternoon slot for a day next week and my partner came back from work at lunch to wait in for the engineer. It got to 7pm (the latest time) and noone had been. We were really angry but couldn't contact them because the technical support line closes at 7pm.
I rang back really angry the next day and after 10 minutes of pressing buttons I managed to get through again. I expressed my annoyance at the engineer not turning up and the man on the phone told me that he had actually just been in the area checking the signal/phone lines to make sure everything was in order - he was never going to come to the house. Strange when I'd arranged a time to be home with his colleague. We then arranged a new time - an afternoon slot for the same time next week. However there were language barriers again and at the end of the phone call I didn't feel confident that the man had understood me or that the engineer would turn up at the right time/place.
Cut to the same time next week. Alex gets home from work for 1pm again and waits in the house. By 5pm still nothing so I call to make sure they are on their way. I'm getting better at getting through to them now so only 6 minutes of button pressing and I decide to go through to the complaints line instead... Success! The man on the other end of the phone picks up very quickly and is a Geordie in their Newcastle call centre. I explain the situation and they tell me that what they have down in their diary is the MORNING session! Arrghhh! However, I had no phone call or note to say someone had been so I don't think anyone did turn up that morning anyway. I tell them that there is someone in the house all evening and that if they can do anything that evening we would be very grateful. The man is really apologetic and tells me that he will try and get an engineer out between 6-7pm that evening. I'm very pleased with this especially as one and two weeks earlier I was told the call out times were blocks of 6 hours and you couldn't specify a time!
7pm that evening. You'll never guess what happened...no-one turned up! I couldn't even be bothered ringing. I decided I could live without a phone.
The good news...
Anyway, I'll end this story by telling you some good news. The following weekend on Saturday morning the doorbell rings and a guy from Virgin is at the door ready to fix our broken phone line! He wasn't invited, we didn't know he was coming but luckily we were in! And the phone is now fixed! Wooo!
I find Virgin a really reliable brand. As I mentioned I am a big fan of Virgin Active gyms. My membership (which is very reasonable for cost in London) extends to most other Virgin gyms so I can pick and choose which I go to. My flights with them have always been very nice and I'm happy with most other services. However the Virgin Media customer service leaves a lot to be desired and with the absence of a home phone line, it has cost me more than a small amount of money! If I could be bothered ringing them up again, I'd ask them to refund me the money I've wasted trying to get through to them, but nothing is worth that hassle!
I'm giving the service 2/5 - bad customer service but a decent package.
I actually wrote this three months ago but thought it sounded too much like rant so never bothered posting it. However, after experiencing further problems since I thought that I would! I now have a ringtone when I pick up the phone but after 4 minutes the phone cuts out and there is a constant crackling noise in the background when I make a call. I assumed it was the phone itself but after trying another one in the socket, it is definitely the phoneline! I hardly ever use the phone line so I'm just going to deal with it!
Summary: Bad customer service but it doesn't stop me going with Virgin Media!
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