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Problems with Virgin Media took a while to get ironed out.
Member Name: hildy
Advantages: Easy / quick set up / fast broadband
Disadvantages: Lots of different call centres / difficult to get through to the right person / expensive
Firstly, I must say that it wasn't my choice to sign up to a Virgin Media contract. The tenants who had lived in my house previously had been customers of VM and as they had already set up the phone line and internet to come to the house via a cable connection, BT informed me that it was going to cost me £127.99 to get the line changed back to BT. As someone on a low income, I couldn't afford to pay this amount of money out so the only feasible option was to stick with VM.
At first, I must say that I was very impressed with the service that was provided. I set everything up online and went through a cashback website which promised £90 if I set up a contract with VM. I opted to pay by DD as this was the cheapest option and went for the simple Medium package which included, line rental, some free weekend calls to landlines and of course, broadband. This package cost around £25 per month, however I could have added a basic television package for a few pounds extra but as I don't currently own a television, I thought this to be a waste of money.
After setting up the contract online, I was really happy to learn that the start-up kit arrived by courier the very next day, which meant that I could get started and use the service almost immediately. Inside the start-up kit was router, power cable, ethernet cable, co-axial cable, splitter etc. and the start-up for the internet was fairly straightforward and easy to follow as Virgin Media had already been installed in the house. However for some reason, I was unable to set up the telephone connection but after a quick call to Customer Services, an appoitnment was organised for an engineer to come and install this for me. This appointment was booked at a time which was convenient for me and the installation was handled very quickly by the engineer.
My only one gripe at this point was that a set-top television box and remote control had also been included in the set-up kit, which meant that I then had to contact VM to confirm that I had not opted for a package which included the television service. I was told by a member of staff that this was standard practice and had been sent to me in case I wanted to add on the television service at some point in the future, however I was assured that I would under no circumstances by charged the extra few pounds for the television service.
So the first month passed and we were happy with the service. We just used the telephone line for incoming calls and mostly used the service for internet, which seemed to work fine on the most part. Then after going through my bank statement, I noticed that the second month's payment had been taken but this time around £29 had been debited from my account. I immediately called VM to question why this had amount had been taken this time and was told that it was for a package which included, line rental, weekend calls, internet AND television. I quickly explained that I had never wanted the television package and was told that because I had a set-top box, I was getting charged for the full amount. This obviously angered me as I had taken the time to call VM when I first received this and was told explicitly that me owning this piece of equipment but not using it would make no difference to the amount I was charged. The telephone operator told me that this was incorrect and that they would arrange for someone to collect the set-top box from me the next day. I was also told that I would be refunded for the extra charge on next month's bill.
When after a month had passed, I had been refunded for the extra amount and still no one had called to collect tne television box, I decided not to waste my time calling about the problem again. A few months passed and all was fine (except for a few minor blips with the internet connection at certain times but nothing out of the ordinary) until I checked my bank statement in the new year and noticed that this month, I had been charged £29 YET AGAIN. I immediately contacted VM and was transferred to about 3 different people before I lost my temper and informed the operator that I wanted to make a complaint. I was then immediately transferred to a very helpful lady who apologised profusely for the problems that I had experienced and even informed me that there were several notes on my customer record which clearly stated when I had called regarding this problem and what had been agreed with the operator who handled my call. Apparently, one note even stated that I had informed the operator I spoke to orignally that I did not even own a television and therefore didn't require the box!The person who took my call on this occasion was completely different to the people I had spoken to previously. She was sympathetic and apologetic and handled my complaint faultlessly. I was refunded the money the next month and since then there have been no further problems.
Summary: Okay overall although there have been a few blips.
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