The Anonymous Widower

Why I Don’t Use Virgin Media!

Look at this picture!

Enough said!

March 26, 2020 Posted by | Computing | , | 2 Comments

How Not To Deal With Deceased Customers

Virgin Media is called over the coals in this article on the BBC web site, where they messed up over the account of someone who’d died.

When C died, I didn’t have anything similar although dealing with some organisations was more difficult than others. I actually had a letter published in The Times about it.

I was widowed last year, and it is only now that I’m starting to get my life together. The response of the various government and local authority departments in handling all the paperwork involved has been very patchy.
Registrars: excellent, very sympathetic and efficient; Work and Pensions: bereavement allowance came through with a few hiccups, but not too difficult; Premium Bonds: system worked but could have been better; council tax: this was reduced automatically on signing a form by St Edmundsbury — totally painless; DVLA: its online systems worked well; winter fuel payment: found difficult to claim and missed it for last year.
The private sector wasn’t that much better, with some companies having people whose sole job appeared to be to deal with bereavement faring much better than those that didn’t. Some wanted death certificates, some accepted faxed copies and others took my word.
We need a lot more joined-up thinking in this important area, as, with nearly a million deaths in the UK every year, it would surely help the bereavement process for those left behind if every company, organisation, government department and authority were automatically notified. After all, if St Edmundsbury can do it here in supposedly sleepy Suffolk, then surely everyone else can.

The best private company was undoubtedly Carphone Warehouse, who had a dedicated person dealing with the accounts of customers who’d died.  They even sent me a refund, which I spent on a good bottle of wine.

April 24, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | , , | 1 Comment

Are Virgin Media the Worst Junk Mailers?

Every few weeks, I get one of these through the post, delivered by the Royal Mail.

Unwanted Mail from Virgin Media

I have registered with the Mail Preference Service and I do have sign which says No Junk Mail. But the mail is addressed to the Occupier, which is apparently not covered by any rules. Perhaps, I should send it on to the Occupy London people.

Virgin shouldn’t really worry, as except for their trains, I don’t and won’t use any of their products. And anyway Virgin Media is expensive.

February 7, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

BT Broadband/Vision and Virgin Media Compared – Prices

A couple of months ago, I compared the two systems for getting TV and broadband.

The only thing, I didn’t have was any sensible price comparison. My last seven months of Virgin cost me an avverage of  £132.75 and I’ve just paid my first BT bill without any setup charges.  It was £45.85, which is a saving of about a thousand pounds by using BT instead of Virgin.

I’m also still getting junk mail from Virgin.

November 21, 2011 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 2 Comments

BT Broadband/Vision and Virgin Media Compared

When I first moved, I went the Virgin Media route and subscribed to Sky Sports 1 and 2.

A couple of months ago, I threw the cable out, as Virgin Media couldn’t give me a working landline telephone.

I now have BT broadband, with which I use BT Vision to get the same Sky channels.

I don’t regret the changes one bit.

  1. BT is much cheaper.  Not sure totally how much, as I haven’t had a bill with all my landline calls. It looks like it might be about £70 compared to £130 for Virgin.
  2. The BT service appears to be more reliable.  Virgin cable seemed to go up and down like a whore’s drawers. Perhaps this was partly due to the state of their boxes in the street, which had had the doors removed.
  3. Since I signed up with BT, I think I’ve only had one spam e-mail or leaflet in the mail. Virgin still keep sending them, although in the last week, they seem to have stopped. Perhaps, they’ve got the message.
  4. With BT, if I lose broadband, I still have the TV without Sky through Freeview.
  5. I know this is personal taste, but I think the BT website is easier to use. The login is certainly better.

So bye-bye Virgin and never may you grace my door again.

I suspect though it will be all irrevelant in the future, who your broadband supplier is. You’ll get all your TV channels other than the free-to-air ones on subscription of some sort through it.

I suspect too, that you’ll be able to subscribe to advert-free versions of things like Sky. At a premium of course.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Computing | , , , , , | 6 Comments

BT Vision

I have just installed BT Vision.

It seems to work well and I’m just watching the cricket on Sky Sports 1.

Technically, I like the concept of watching most things free through Freeview and getting other things from broadband or by unlocking channels on Freeview.  I think it is a concept that will grow like Topsy.

I know too, that I’m paying a lot less than I did for a poor service from Virgin.

A few points of comparison.

  1. I have Freeview television in my bedroom, so now I have the same channel numbers in my living room and my bedroom. I didn’t with Sky or with Virgin.
  2. Picture quality is good, but I have just fitted a new aerial.
  3. All the features like stop the picture and then contunue are there.  Virgin may have had them, but I never found out how to use them. The designer of the Virgin box, was probably a games-optimised person, who didn’t understand logical system design for those who don’t and never will play games.

I’ll add to this list as time goes on.  But I’m not regretting moving away from Virgin.

September 16, 2011 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Virgin’s Bare-Faced Cheek!

Today’s Evening Standard ia wrapped in an advert for Virgin Media. Many were just tearing it off and using it as litter.

But the thing I objected to was this on the back.

Our repair team won’t take your money.

Well not directly, but if you haven’t got a landline because of a fault, and you have to use a more expensive mobile phone, isn’t that costing you money.

Hopefully, I’ll have got rid of the shower in a few weeks.

I have submitted a complaint to the ASA.

This was my description of the complaint.

The advert contains the wording “our repair team won’t take your money.”

About the 1st of August my landline with Virgin Media failed. I have used my mobile phone to make several calls to them to try to get it fixed. They did once. but it failed a couple of days later.

So their repair team, hasn’t taken my money directly, but in practice I have been charged quite a bit in trying to get an adequate response from Virgin Media.  I have done what any sane man, who has lost his wife and son to cancer would do and cancelled. I have a feeling that my anger is so great that it caused Richard Branson’s house on Necker to burn down.  I am of course sorry if it did, as I wish him, his family or his companies no harm, other than what they are due because they have offended against various codes.  

Let’s see what happens.

August 26, 2011 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Did My Anger Burn Richard Branson’s House Down?

If it did, I of course apologise, but then the response of Virgin Media to my lack of landline would try the patience of a saint.  And of course, I may be many things, but I’m no saint!

My landline probably failed about the 1st of August, but I’m unsure when, as my TV and broadband was still working and I mistakenly thought that the landline came through the cable.  I may be an electronic engineer, but hardware and especially telecoms hardware has always been a mystery to me. Those that tried to reach me on the landline failed and so tried my reliable Nokia 6310i connected through o2.

Only about the 10th of August did I realise that the landline was broken and eventually phoned them on the 12th.  Virgin Media support, said that the line was OK and would I try another phone.  Not so easy when you live by yourself and don’t have a spare one handy.  So in the end I bought a new phone from Maplin for about £30 to test the line.  That may seem expensive, but it is a twin one and I needed that anyway. The lack of phone line just brought my purchase forward by a month or so.

The phone didn’t connect either, so I spent another hour or so trying to get through to Virgin.  At one time, I was left on hold to rediculous music, which I couldn’t stand.  And of course I was paying for the expensive call on my mobile phone. One idiot at Virgin might actually told me to use the ladline as it would be cheaper but another did try to sell me a new calling plan, which would be cheaper.  It strikes me that Virgin have already found me a very cheap calling plan.  It’s called the no phone plan.

At this point I phoned BT and they will be taking over the phone from the 30th of August.

I finally got some sense out of Virgin by phoning them up and cancelling.  But this will cost me £70.   The lady with the sense also made sure that an egineer would come round on Monday the 22nd.

They did and fixed the phone.  But the engineers did say there was a problem with the cable and it would need properly fixing later. This would of course mean digging up the new pavement.  They actually accused the works of causing the problem with the phone, but retracted that when I told them, that the phone line had failed before the work started.

Yesterday, someone very polite, (Unlike me!) , from Virgin phoned to check that everything was OK.  The phone hasn’t worked since.

My Landline

Looking at the cable from the outside, it doesn’t look as though it’s a much better piece of work than their cabinets.

This morning it was the usual Virgin get connected obstacle race and I lost it.  Wouldn’t you?  In the end they phoned back a couple of times, but always at inconvenient or noisy moments.  It doesn’t help that there’s a road drill outside.

So now I’ve decided to wait until BT connect my broadband on Tuesday.

I have completely lost what little faith if any I ever had in Virgin Media.

I hope Sir Richard didn’t have to call the emergency sevices on one of his own phone lines! Or perhaps he was waiting for the lines to be fixed and the firemen didn’t get the message quick enough.

August 25, 2011 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

BT 2 Virgin Media 0

I had a letter from BT this morning, saying could I contact them, if I thought there might be a problem setting up my landline.  As the Virgin Media line has been down for a couple of weeks now, and to check my side I asctually bought a new phone handset, I sent an e-mail to BT saying that they may have trouble connecting.

They phoned me within ten minutes and even went to the trouble of ringing me back on the Virgin number to see if it did work.  It didn’t.

So that made the score BT 1 Virgin Media 0

Then when I was at the checkout in Sainsburys about half-an-hour ago I got a call on my mobile marked Private.  Usually, I don’t answer these, as they are often scammers or crooks.  But this time I did and it was Virgin.  I politely asked them to ring in a few minutes as I was at the checkout.

They haven’t so far, so that makes it BT 2 Virgin Media 0.

I shall wait in all night to see if they call!

August 19, 2011 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Virgin Find a New Way to Deliver Phone Calls

I’ve just had some junk mail from Virgin Media, which of course I opted out of, which is entitled “Excitement? We’ve got it by the bucketful.”

It would be good if they could get me a working landline that I pay for.

I’ve actually got a yellow bucket in the garage.  If I put it outside the front door, will they put my messages in it.

As a company they seem to go out of their way to annoy people who might want to use their service.  If I was to rate, Sky, BT and O2, all of whom I’ve used without trouble for many years, I would give them perhaps 8 out of 10.  But Virgin would be up there with the old Eurovision joke of nil points.  And that would be generous!

August 19, 2011 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment