I would welcome anyone's views on the grievances outlined in a letter of complaint I sent off by email today.
I have now noticed that since sending the letter off, the speed has considerably dropped. It might be worth mentioning also my yearly contract had finished back in September. I had only been paying 29 sterling as a special promotion for 100mbps when I initially signed up. By telephone, I attempted to renew the contract and at first I was offered the same packet but for 59 sterling. I refused to accept it and hung up. But didn't give up and rang again. But I didn't give up. By some sort of fluke I managed to get through to Marianne at Customer Retention. She offered me something completely different for 28 sterling but the same packet for the same speed. I asked her how so, since I was originally quoted a different price. She said, in future, just ask to be put through to Customer Retention.
What is this? There is no option for Customer Retention when you make a call. Press 1,2,3, 4 for limited options no mention of Customer Retention. After reading all the reviews of people in similar circumstances, I thought it was worth a mention. Only after reading other reviews of people being encouraged to accept the initial quote did it ring a bell.
Getting back to my grievances over the last 2 days, here is the letter:-
Please note that my reference to being a 'satisfied customer' was in regards to the high speed only. This was why I signed up in the first place.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,
I have been a customer with Virgin media since October 2019 and in that time, I have been more than satisfied with the quality of services provided. A situation has now arisen in the past two days that requires me to move to another home. Consequently, I decided to act right away in an attempt to transfer my account to the new address. The address was in the same town, not far from the present address. By doıng this, I had no inclination ıt would turn out to be a problem lıke the one that unfolded.
Yesterday, I went online to check if your services were available at the new address. I entered the postcode several times on the facility provided via my online account. However, there was an instruction 'please wait' each time I entered. I assumed that maybe this was because there were lots of apartments in the building. Subsequently, I proceeded to enter the online chat facility under 'moving home' to get further clarification on the issue.
From the outset of the chat, I specifically outlined the nature of my enquiry ie I would be moving home and I wanted to find out if Virgin Media was available in that area: and, that my previous attempts to enter the postcode had been unsuccessful. This was not clarified immediately by the agent but instead, he proceeded to ask for security details and lots of information relating to the new address. He also asked if I wanted Virgin Media at the new address to which I replied 'I did'. Since this turned out to be a lengthy procedure, I interpreted it as meaning that the service was indeed available at the new address; after all I had not been advised otherwise. Or, indeed my interpretation was that I needed to go through this procedure just to find out if services were, in fact available in the area. The correspondence ended with the agent advising me that another agent would be in touch in the next 45 minutes.
In the meantime, I decided to call Virgin Media for further clarification. I explained what had happened as outlined above. The agent advised that it was an unnecessary procedure and there should have been a check beforehand to establish if the service was available at said location. He then kindly proceeded to check this out and was able to confirm that it wasn't in fact, available. He also advised there would be a fee for disconnection. I was disappointed when I heard this and the agent was sympathetic to my concerns. He was very helpful and kindly offered to transfer me to customer care which I accepted. I waited for 20 minutes but there was no reply.
Despite this, I continued to the chat facility in the hope that maybe there would be some other options available. Before I could get to explain what had happened, the agent took me through the whole process again asking for lots of information. In between times, I asked if he could see the messages from the first point of contact where I had already given all the same information. As time went on, I became increasingly frustrated and the conversation was just one of disarray and confusion. At the end of it, he said the service was indeed not available and that there would be a fee for disconnection. Then he encouraged me to book a cancellation date.
My account of the correspondence, leads me to my poınt in writing to you. My grievance is twofold:
1 I can only describe yesterday's communication as a mission impossible. For at least four hours, I was trying to clarify something that could have been clarified at the outset. In addition, there was no consistency in the means of communication, at least not what one would expect from a high profile service provider. It provided nothing but unnecessary confusion for such a simple inquiry. Of course with exception to the agent's help via telephone call. My hope is that in highlighting the matter, you may take it on board and review it for whatever purposes.
2 The above, coupled with the fact that I was alarmed to learn that I would have to pay a disconnection fee. This, I find totally incomprehensible. Taking into consideration the fact that I did not wish to leave Virgin Media in the first place and that your broadband service was not available for that location. It was not a matter of me being dissatisfied with your services. Why, therefore should I be penalised for something that is totally out of my control?
When I renewed my contract back in September, I could not foresee that I would be moving home in the future. It came about out of necessity. Just like I could not foresee the service would not be available at the new address. The terms of the contract do not allow for such a predicament. In other words, when I agreed to that contract, I did so, because I was happy with the service after one year's subscription. I never perceived that I would leave it, no matter what the circumstances.
I could understand it would be different if It had been a situation whereby I had chosen to leave the service as a dissatisfied customer. Indeed, I would accept, via the terms of the contract, I was liable to pay a disconnection fee. This however is not the case.
Furthermore, I am a single parent who is really struggling to make ends meet under the benefits system at this period of time. The internet connection is a valuable lifeline for me and my child. In that respect, no matter how a little money I receive every month, I have always made it a priority when it comes to paying the essential bills. Thereby a loyal customer. I would also add that even if I was of affluent status, the principle of the matter outlined above would still remain the same.
Now, I find myself in a situation whereby I must move to another home which incurs further costs. Perhaps you can understand, that such a fee on top of that, I would struggle to pay; and simply have not got the funds to do so.
In light of these circumstances and for the reasons aforementioned, I would appeal to you to consider a waiver of the penalty fee.
Trusting you will acknowledge.
I am enclosing a record of yesterday's correspondence for reference.
So the above letter outlined my grievances. I again decided to contact them out of sheer frustration, not wanting to let it go This time, (after waiting 30 minutes for a response and paying for the call) I asked what the options where. This individual advised that when I pay the diconnection fee and hook up with another provider, that provider will cover the cost of the fee as part of their payment plan. Now, I ask all of you out there. Have you ever heard anything the likes of????? He's on the other side of a phone call and he thinks I was born yesterday!!!! Honestly as we say too good to be true. Wish it were that simple!
I then asked if there was any way of airing the complaint since the address I sent the mail off to was the only address I could find (after much deliberation on Google Search). There was no facility on their online system for making a complaint. He further advised me to make the issues known on twitter and facebook. Really, can I trust this?
Really folks, should customer care not be of utmost priority? They are Virgin Media and invincible because of their good reviews for high speeds. Was that not a ploy to get the customers in the initial stages. Why have so many perople mentioned that speeds have been reduced. How can the customer have faith? Like a Lamb to the Slaughter.
I rest my case. Feedback welcome.