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Standard User fradalo
(newbie) Wed 10-Jul-13 12:54:43
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Virgin Media misselling cable services


[link to this post]
 
Hi all,
I have read several posts about VM retention period and disconnection fees.. Please find below my story..

I relocated to thee UK last August and, after finding an house, I had to look for broadband services.

After some research I almost decided to go for VM, but I was not really convinced of the contract length. Therefore, I called them and a very nice guy assured me that if I was ever going to move in an area where VM cable services weren't available, I would have not be forced to pay any disconnection fee... He told me he was going to add this information on my account and blah blah..

After few hours I was a new happy VM customer...

Now, after 12 months, I need to move house.. My new house is in an area where VM cable services are not available.. So, I thought, let's call them to double check and, in case, to cancel the contract..

First person I spoke with was keen to accept my request, she offered me to consider ADSL VM services, but she said that, if I didn't want to accept, she would have cancelled my contract. Unfortunately she told me she needed to call me back to finalise this action..

After not receiving any call, I called them back the day after.. The second person had a different approach.. I soon found out that he wasn't very keen in accepting my request.. he told me it wasn't possible to cancel the contract and he apologied for what I was told by his colleague the day before and by the account manager who convinced me to sign the contract..

I told him that his apologies were very nice, but in regards to the account manager, convincing a client with lies is not only a bad practice, but a criminal offence..

To make a long story short, he didn't want to proceed with the termination of my contract, he passed me through his supervisor, who apologied and confirmed they weren't going to terminate my contract without a disconnection fee..

Anyway, I've learned some interesting information about VM contact center..

1- They are based in Manila, Philippines.. Therefore they store and process UK personal data outside of EU. This is in contrast with the Data Protection Act 1998.

2- They record and store all the phone calls to check what has been said - Therefore they store and process UK sensitive data (for example I gave sensitive information about myself during the call) and they don't record calls only on a random basis in order to improve the quality of the service, as they declare when you call them.

3) The supervisor admitted and adknowledged that, sometimes, account managers give incorrect information to clients in regards to disconnection fees.

I am going to report them to the Information Commissioner's Office, Watchdog and Ombudsman.. but, in the short term, I'm trying to find a solution to my problem (avoid paying the disconnection fee)..

Reading posts on this subject I found the following ideas:

1- upgrade my current virgin services and then cancel within a few days as it constitutes a new contract.

2- move to the new house, sign a new ADSL broadband contract, and then cancel within a few days.

What do you think?

Many thanks,
Freddy
Standard User kwikbreaks
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 10-Jul-13 13:06:06
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: fradalo] [link to this post]
 
As I replied to this exact same post on another forum...

I think you are on a hiding to nothing. In an ideal world the verbal contract you made with the original salesrep would stand and you'd be able to cancel without paying the early termination fee.

In the real world VM will wriggle out - perhaps by pointing out that there is no disconnect fee but there is an early termination fee or maybe some other way - for instance I doubt you have any proof of the verbal alteration to their standard contract.

Still in this world if you don't pay they'll pass on the debt to a credit collection agency and your credit record will be trashed.

My advice is pay up. Don't mess with any scheme to accept and cancel a new contract as that will just increase the cost.
Standard User broadband66
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 10-Jul-13 13:51:49
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: fradalo] [link to this post]
 
IF they record everything, as you suggest, then ask for the recording and prove your point.

Surely any company with an overseas CS service has to allow them to access a database of your details!

Was Eclipse Home Option 1 & VM 2Mb
Now O2 standard


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Standard User Daemon66
(regular) Wed 10-Jul-13 14:50:05
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: fradalo] [link to this post]
 
A couple of points of clarification:

Lying to obtain a contract is not a criminal offense it is a civil matter. However, if you could prove that they did lie then a civil court would no doubt agree that the contract could be considered null and void. Beware of taking any action on this, if the court doesn't think you have sufficient evidence then you could end up paying both yours and their legal costs.

The Data Protection Act does not prohibit the passing of your details to other parts of the world, there are just a number of rules that have to be followed. If you wish your complaint to get anywhere then you'll need to be clear exactly which of those rules you think they have broken.

As others have said, you are unlikely to get anywhere, just pay up and get shot of them.
Standard User fradalo
(newbie) Wed 10-Jul-13 15:00:12
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: broadband66] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by broadband66:
IF they record everything, as you suggest, then ask for the recording and prove your point.

Surely any company with an overseas CS service has to allow them to access a database of your details!


Thank you for your reply..It is not my assumption.. I was told by the VM supervisor that they record every call.. Surely they have system in place to share information around the globe... I'm not sure they are 100% compliant with UK law then.. the ICO's investigaton will clear this up!! wink
Standard User fradalo
(newbie) Wed 10-Jul-13 15:01:43
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: kwikbreaks] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by kwikbreaks:
As I replied to this exact same post on another forum...

I think you are on a hiding to nothing. In an ideal world the verbal contract you made with the original salesrep would stand and you'd be able to cancel without paying the early termination fee.

In the real world VM will wriggle out - perhaps by pointing out that there is no disconnect fee but there is an early termination fee or maybe some other way - for instance I doubt you have any proof of the verbal alteration to their standard contract.

Still in this world if you don't pay they'll pass on the debt to a credit collection agency and your credit record will be trashed.

My advice is pay up. Don't mess with any scheme to accept and cancel a new contract as that will just increase the cost.


(thank you for replying on many forums smile I will post this answer on both as well)

You are right, I won't stop paying or messing around with my credit record..

As I said, maybe at the end I will pay the early disconnection fee, because of my foolishness..

In an ideal world no VM account manager would have mis-sold a service to clients..

In a real world you should check terms and conditions in any contracts and you shouldn't believe to account managers (now I've learned this).. but you also should fight for your rights and do whatever is possible to get justice..

I come from a country where everyone thinks that "in this real world", even if you are right, you won't get anything if you start fighting against big companies or against the government burocracy... that it is just better and easier to accept abuses and miconducts.. Despite this, I have always fought for my rights..

I won't stop now.. wink

Edited by fradalo (Wed 10-Jul-13 15:02:43)

Standard User fradalo
(newbie) Wed 10-Jul-13 15:08:42
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: Daemon66] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Daemon66:
A couple of points of clarification:

Lying to obtain a contract is not a criminal offense it is a civil matter. However, if you could prove that they did lie then a civil court would no doubt agree that the contract could be considered null and void. Beware of taking any action on this, if the court doesn't think you have sufficient evidence then you could end up paying both yours and their legal costs.

The Data Protection Act does not prohibit the passing of your details to other parts of the world, there are just a number of rules that have to be followed. If you wish your complaint to get anywhere then you'll need to be clear exactly which of those rules you think they have broken.

As others have said, you are unlikely to get anywhere, just pay up and get shot of them.


Thank you very much indeed for your reply!! Very clear and very helpful!

I will not go to court.. not for a 150£ early disconnection fee .. You are right, it is a civil matter, and I'm not going to tangle myself in useless court actions.. but I will report them to ICO, Watchdog and Ombudsman..

I work with ICO and I know quite well about DPA.. I'm quite sure that, from what I've collected, an investigation will start after my complaint wink

Anyway, thanks again for your sensible reply!
Standard User Bob_s2
(experienced) Wed 10-Jul-13 15:11:17
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: fradalo] [link to this post]
 
Far to mail people now place contracts by phone. It is always preferable to do this by snail mail or email. They should in theory send you copy of the agreed contract but frequently will not. You should always insist on a copy of the contract before agreeing to accept it. Never trust what you are told verbally always get the contract in writing and check it.
Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Wed 10-Jul-13 15:16:07
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: Bob_s2] [link to this post]
 
They do. However the contract sent is void because it's only the contract on the phone that matters. As per the current consumer selling laws.

Most people (me included) don't sign it. The agreement is already done.
Standard User ukwiz
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 10-Jul-13 16:51:15
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Re: Virgin Media misselling cable services


[re: Bob_s2] [link to this post]
 
This is why I am in the habit of recording any calls that I make to CS departments. A softphone and voip are very useful!

David

BT (poor) -> Zen (excellent) -> O2 (started well, went downhill -> IDNet (No complaints)
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