Saturday, June 16, 2007

Virgin Media Rant: Lots of Swearing

I'm sitting in the living room with rain lashing down outside and Stan asleep in his pushchair. Emily's away for her sister Lucy's Hen Night and I'm babysitting the boy. As I sit here, I'm looking at my Virgin Media set-top box with loathing (well, glancing at it in between typing, but why ruin the dramatic effect?)

Long-standing readers of my blog will know that I've been consistently pissed off with Virgin Media ever since it stopped being NTL. They've charged me twice for months, made reconnecting after moving house into a gruelling endurance test, repeatedly miscommunicated or simply failed to communicate at all.

The latest bit of corporate cuntery from Branson's operation is taking on-demand services away from me and trying to charge £5 for the honour. Most of the time the services didn't actually work anyway, so it's no great loss. What infuriates me is that I signed up to the TV package on the understanding that on-demand was part of the deal. There was FUCK ALL in the advertising that suggested that it would be taken away. It's so shitting duplicitous.

The worse thing is this: as a customer, THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT! Is a rant to a phoneline drone going to make a difference? Is writing a letter going change Virgin Media's ways? Are they bollocks going to. What's left? Go over to Sky? Will they really be better?

There's plenty of marketing theories about the consumer being king these days, but Let's face We are all powerless in the face of these capitalist behemoths.


Steve said...

The consumer being king is rather akin to the story about the emperor's new clothes... they tell us we're king while lording it over us and throwing us a few crumbs of crap service from off the sides of their lofty tables.

DJ HELLO! said...

If it's any consolation the day I had my V+ installed they cancelled Sky. In addition I kept my old box in a different room on the understanding that this would make installation 'free' (as opposed to the £75 they wanted for 5mins work).

Did I get free installation? No.

Did they charge me £75? No.

What they did do is charge me £150 - £75 for the installation of the new box and £75 for the installation of the box that was already sitting there installed.

When I pointed this out I was told the only way to get the money back was to raise an indemnity claim with my bank. So I did and eventually got the money back, then they switched off all my services claiming I owed them over £200. I called and explained that there had been a mistake and they apologised and said that they would credit the account the full amount.

Two weeks later they did exactly the same again. I called, they reinstated everything and said I owed nothing.

Two hours later the service was switched off. After the weekend I called again and was told that I now owed them around £260 which they were taking from my account.

I asked if this included the £150 that was incorrect. They said 'Oh... yeah, sorry about that' except in a very very quiet Indian accent which frankly would have been easier to hear if he'd have put the phone down and shouted down two coconut shells and bit of string stetching from Bromley to Bombay.

I am now at the point where I have cancelled all direct debits so they can take no more money and I am waiting for them to call me so I can put them on hold for an hour and then tell them I'm moving to Sky unless they do some serious, serious arselicking.

Anonymous said...

You can avoid the suicide routine if you can prove you're Willy Nelson.