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Worries about Virgin charges.

curioustoknow

Casual Member
First time poster, so hello everybody.
I have been a Virgin Media customer since what seems like the beginning of time. My needs are simple and I have generally found their broadband more than adequate. Until recently, cost hasn't been a major issue, however, I am now retired and on reduced income, not helped by increases all around.
I am currently paying £51 a month for the following -
Mix TV, V6 Box, M200 Fibre Broadband, Telephone Line Rental, Talk Weekends. I only run two devices, a laptop and a smart TV, so probably do not really need the level of fibre broadband they talked me into going with.
Unfortunately, I am in contract and cannot leave without incurring a termination fee at present.
However, as things stand, I am resolved to put in a cancellation when I'm able, and prepared to enter into the game of brinkmanship with them, which I know many of their customers do in the hope of seeing their bills appreciably reduced.
In the past, this is something I have been reluctant to do, but I will be taking this action when the opportunity arises, and if necessary, will take my custom elsewhere.
Any comments/advice will be appreciated. Do you think I'm paying too much?
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
When I hear Virgin Media usually alarm bells go on in my head. :)
You need to sit down and calculate how much all those features mean to you. Do you need a fixed line, do you use it much? Do you watch all the TV channels or would Freeview be enough? Clearly 200 Mbps is way too much broadband, so that can be reduced to 50 or even less if they allow.
 

Msh

Pro Member
It's also worth asking if there are any competitors around. Once out of contract, if you can get good VDSL for example, you have a wide range of much more affordable options.
 

curioustoknow

Casual Member
Many thanks for the replies. I live in the Manchester area, and when I type my post code in various price comparison sites, a number of cheaper alternatives come up. At the moment I'm drawn to either Plusnet or EE, but, as mentioned, my hands are tied a little at the moment because I'm under contract.
One of the reasons I'm a bit peeved, is because on a forum thread on Money Saving Expert, a member has posted a copy of his contract and he appears to be paying £24 a month less than me!
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
member has posted a copy of his contract and he appears to be paying £24 a month less than me!
Unsurprising. You are a very long term VM customer. In their eyes unlikely to baulk or move. So they will do their utmost to extract as much as possible from you.

If you are truly prepared to leave, then it’s amazing what they move to retain you. But you must be prepared to pull the trigger (once out of contract).
 

plunet

Regular Member
Agree, you must be prepared to serve your 30 days notice. Don't say anything to box yourself into not being able to go back to them. Just know what deals are available from others, be able to quote some numbers, and wait a few days for retentions to give you a call. The person you speak to to cancel won't be able to offer a decent deal although they will.no.doubt try, so just give them notice.
 

uknowiama

Pro Member
Not had Virgin Media - but long term Sky customer. After the first year I have never played full price. Each time I have asked to cancel and started my 30 day notice period. Then get emails and calls from retention. My father now has my sky package on Sky Q - Just went up from £58 to £61 - but that is Sky TV (no kids but everything else), Sky Sports, BT Sport and HD. Checking website now for same on Sky general public offer is £80+. So def worth going this route. Agreed though it is a pane having to do this at the end of each contract. Then when factoring in the deal, they offer so many months at one price, then more expensive remaining months, then there can be mid contract price increases.
So my Dad has Sky Q. I am trying to "cut the cord". BT Sport and Now TV (for Sport), Netflix, Discovery+, Disney, Amazon - all streamed over the Internet via Fire TV stick. Freeview channels via HDHomerun and app on Fire TV or catchup on the apps. So there are alternatives to getting your TV from Sky or Virgin and still getting all the channels you want / only paying for channels you want.
 

curioustoknow

Casual Member
I'm very grateful for the input and advice from members.
I suppose for the rest of this year I'm just going to have to grit my teeth and pay, because as mentioned I'm under contract.
My last throw of the dice for the time being is that I will log on to my Virgin Media account and send an email complaint about what I now perceive as being miss-sold a level of broadband (M200) I did not need, based on the devices I have.
When the opportunity comes to cancel, I will certainly be doing this, and unless they offer me a truly great deal, I will up sticks and move.
I may do it anyway, on a matter of principle.
When you're with a company for years and years, you expect greater attention and service, but it doesn't work like that, does it?
Thanks again.
 

Tony Gamble

Pro Member
My last throw of the dice for the time being is that I will log on to my Virgin Media account and send an email complaint about what I now perceive as being miss-sold a level of broadband (M200) I did not need, based on the devices I have.
Have you decided where to go to?
 

eccles

ULTIMATE Member
The only serious threat is one you can actually follow up on, so do your research and have a viable alternative you can live with and that is costed properly. Worth looking at 4G/5G in your area too, that was my route away from BT.
Another ex-Virgin customer here. 2-1/2 years ago I got a 4G mobile router and signed up to a Three Mobile contract for £16 a month. The router gave between 30-60mb/s download and about 20mb/s upload. I was able to stream BBC iPlayer in HD and UHD when available with buffering almost non-existent. Needless to say I said goodbye to Virgin. They pestered continually until I told them to stop.

I've since upgraded to a better 4G router that increased speeds to 70-140 mb/s then recently to 5G which gives around 300-400mb/s down.
To be honest the original speeds would have been adequate, but it's been kinda fun to eke out the fastest speeds.

There are two advantages.

1. No Virgin billing. Three raise their prices by about 4% every April and that's it. No nasty surprises. No calls to Retentions after yet another few pounds added to the bill. I think the other mobile companies have similar pricing structures.

2. Redundancy. If the 300mb/s 5G tower is down for maintenance there are various 4G options from other masts that I can switch to ranging from 100mb/s to 60mb/s to 15mb/s. The mast for the last option is 7 miles away and requires a relocation of the router to pick up a signal.

Oh yes, the latter point means I can take the router with me if I go away. As long as I can get a signal it'll work.

If you have a smart phone you can get an idea of how it might work by turning on your phone's hotspot and linking a PC to the SSID frm the phone.

There ARE disadvantages to using a mobile network. The main one is that they can often be heavily contended, in my case 4G+ would drop from 120mb/s to 20 mb/s intermittently during evening peak hours.
Also it is pot luck whether your region is well served or not. You can get an idea of your chances with the mobile company signal maps.
 
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