Thursday, January 05, 2012

Virgin Media Sticky Fingers

Following Richard Branson’s ignorant attacks on trades unions I have been trying to cancel my cable service with Virgin Media without much success. So far I have been told various complete and utter porkies, threatened with a £141 charge, been shouted at and then my Virgin landline goes mysteriously dead.

The story so far is on Tuesday after various doomed attempts to cancel online (you can’t), I rang Virgin Media to find out how to stop my account. After the normal 15 minute wait and going through various menus and being cut off twice. I was finally connected to an operator who asked why I wanted to leave. I told him that Richard Branson had made a very anti-trade union video for Virgin America and as lifelong trade unionist I want nothing to do with him or any company associated with him. I was told firstly that Branson had nothing anymore to do with Virgin Media (He does, he owns the Virgin "Brand", I think 9% of shares and is their biggest single private investor). It was then claimed that Branson owns shares in BBC so will I boycott them? I said that he doesn’t have shares in the BBC, it is public broadcaster and was told again yes he did. I was also told that I either had to give 6 months notice or pay £141 to leave. When I said that this was unfair it ended up with me being shouted at! Then the following morning I found that my Virgin landline is suddenly not working.

I have been a customer of Virgin Media (and the previous cable companies they bought) for 15 years. I pay £70 per month. At times this has been a pretty miserable experience but this is really the pits. I have also worked in front line customer services organisation for over 20 years and have never come across such an appalling service or attitude.

I have made an official complaint about Branson and his remarks; about their so called “contracts”; the lack of supervision and training given to staff; called for the Virgin Cable monopoly to be broken up and for greater regulation and also that my phone is fixed. Needless to say some 48 hours later nothing has been done. I’ll post on future developments.

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