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Virgin Media Nightmare

DJMurray

Member
Virgin have recently put in fibre to my area in Slough and have been advertising in all the local papers and billboards. Having had a lowly 1mb adsl connection due to the exchange being so far away for years I jumped at the chance to get the whole package, 50mb broadband, xl TV, V+ box and phone.

I placed my order on 23rd April and they confirmed the two engineers would be booked, one for around the 22nd of May to lay the cable up to the house and a second on 29th May to do the internal installation. I needn’t be present for the 22nd but needed to be available on the 29th. I was happy to wait a few weeks after waiting years for high speed internet. The contract arrived through the post which I completed and returned and made sure I kept the Saturday free as I try to get away on bank holiday weekends.
On Weds 26th I called Virgin to confirm that the engineer would be visiting on the Saturday and they said yes, there are two booked. I asked why two and they said the external engineer would do his part at the same time. On Friday 28th Virgin called me at lunchtime to confirm I’d be in the next day. Good customer service I thought, this should go well especially as I’d taken the day off to make sure everything outside and in was accessible.

At 6pm Virgin called again to say the engineers had not had some trunking delivered which was needed to bury the cable, they were three metres short. Installation cancelled. They asked that I wait until the following week for the materials to be delivered for the installation, the installation team would confirm by the following Friday that they had everything ready. I asked if it would be a big delay as my existing services, broadband (needed for work!), tv etc were all being disconnected on 3rd June, disconnection charges would be applied. They said no problem, it’s just missing trunking for the cable.

I waited for a call all week and eventually called on Friday the 4th to be told that the area manager needed to visit to evaluate where the cable would be routed, the engineer had decided they may need permission to run across the edge of my neighbours garden where the old C&W cables currently run. No problem I thought, my neighbours are currently in mid contract with BT and want Virgin too, they’re very interested in seeing how I get on with the service before they order.

I mentioned that I now had no services at all and while I can live without TV the lack of broadband for work would become a problem, customer services said they may be able to do something with Virgin ADSL or mobile if the delay was much longer. Despite the delay I thought this was pretty good of them to suggest as there are inevitable hiccups with these things and keeping the customer happy during these times is good, thumbs up to Virgin I thought.
I waited until mid the following week and no contact from Virgin so I called again on the 10th. This time I was put through to the installations team themselves. They told me that the area manager hadn’t responded to any of the emails or voicemails left about my installation that had been sent. They would chase his manager for a response. This concerned me a bit as he was due to visit my area and decide where the cables were to go, maybe this is going to take longer than I expected.

I was awayon holiday for the following four days but they promised they would have definite answers when I returned the following Tuesday.

No call on Tuesday so on Wednesday I called again. I was passed to the installations team who told me that due to where the cables would run they may need to subcontract the cabling and get written permission from the council, it may take several weeks before the work can be done. They would call back during the week to advise.

At this point I was very confused, I can literally connect a LAN cable from my router, out my front door and across the grass of my neighbour’s front garden and into the box on the wall on the side of their house. It’s about eight metres if that! While I was out looking at the existing C&W cable my neighbour appeared and as we discussed Virgin he told me he had already given them permission to lay the cable and was happy to sign any forms required to do the work. This sounded like progress so I thought I’d give them a few more days as I didn’t want to be a nuisance if they were busy with lots of installs in Slough.

A couple of days later I get a letter from Virgin. It said that they cannot provide cable services but they can provide great ADSL through my phone line. At this point I am truly baffled so I call the installations team. They tell me that because my neighbour has a small porch over his front door that they can’t lay the cable and my property is unserviceable. I ask if they can go around it, it really is small, a diversion of a couple of metres? The old C&W cable runs around it to my house (and I used to have a C&W TV package). They say they’ll refer it back to the area manager and primary engineer, they will contact me by the 18th.

Again, no call from Virgin so I call then on the 21st June. At this point I’m getting very frustrated, I’ve had no services for almost a month and been given all sorts of conflicting messages. I speak to the installation team again, who told me that the engineers notes said there was no way to lay the cable apart from around the edge of my neighbours garden which they would not do. Despite the neighbour giving permission, they may move one day and the next owners may deny access. I said BT run their lines through my garden to my neighbour and I always give them access and it’s never been a problem. The guy said he understood this and was very apologetic but couldn’t take it any further, he recommended I call customer services and complain.

Back to customer services who tell me they will log a complaint but it won’t go any further, the property is unserviceable, my account has been closed and they recommend I cancel my direct debit.

So now I have to have all my old services reconnected which will cost more money and I will be chasing Virgin for the costs, I just hope they will still speak to me as the last call seemed to be along the lines of you’re not our customer so go away.

My recommendation if you’re considering Virgin Media is make sure they have all the cable and connections in place well before you cancel anything or accept an internal connection appointment!
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Ouch, a very well written and disturbing report :( .

It seems like you've been very unlucky there and others have also had experiences of small, but easily overcome, physical problems getting in the way of a full cable installation being able to complete. Sadly if they just give up on you (usually because a bean counter somewhere has decided that it would cost too much to get around the difficulty) then you're out of luck but can still complain:

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/new/complain/complain.shtml

It is worth seeing how much it will cost to reconnect your old service and then adding an invoice covering those costs to your various complaint stages. It might not work as consumer contracts are somewhat "soft" but is always worth a try.
 

akbray

ULTIMATE Member
I particularly liked the comment: "At this point I’m getting very frustrated"

If it had been me, by that point I would have been apoplectic
 
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