I set up a broadband contract with your company in late 2022. The original set-up was problem-free, and we were fully up and running in our old flat on day one. Unfortunately, due to the current renting market and cost of living, our landlord chose to sell their property, meaning we needed to find a new home mid-way through our contract.
I had no issues maintaining the Virgin Media contract and transferring it to our new property if possible. So I phoned your team well in advance, 4th October, a month before our moving date, 4th November, to ensure this would be ok, and I was advised that it would be possible. Also, Your team could install it on our move date. I was delighted with this and gained my new landlord’s permission to have the installation.
The problems started three days before our moving date when I received an email informing me that the set-up would be delayed because it required permission from the two adjacent homeowners. This late notice did not give me enough time, and I needed to interact with neighbours myself when I was not even living at this property. This delay was unsuitable as I work from home, edit videos, and upload large files; my partner is a game developer. However, we were willing to try to connect with Virgin Media for the sake of high speeds, and I thought this might only leave us a few days without internet, so I worked on the permissions.
Unfortunately, the couple at number 7 were away on holiday and number 6 was an elderly lady living alone. It was challenging to ask for permission as any cautious person would be weary of a stranger knocking on their door in the evening, asking for personal contact information to get Wi-Fi with nothing more than an email from Virgin Media to validate the request. Why could your team not write to the owner of each property officially, allowing me to advise them to expect a letter, and could they help me. I think this would be a better process, especially for customers who are just moving in and unaware of neighbours, so it may be an improvement point for you to consider.
In the meantime, our existing service was stopped on November 2nd at 11:59 pm, a day early. Again, I was willing to overlook it as I thought it wouldn't take long to get a connection again.
Eventually, we gained permission, and I provided it to [email protected]
, who 1st emailed me requesting the details. They took three days to reply, confirm receipt, and longer to take action. Eventually, both neighbours received emails with permission forms and instructions to print, sign, and scan back in before sending it back. Again, your process of using only email electronic interactions meant that this was a problem, as neither of them had access to a printer or a scanner. So I had to ask me to arrange to print the forms, which I had to go to my parent's home, at my cost, as I also didn't have access.
I got the forms completed, but both neighbours wrote conditions on the form to make sure they got restoration of their property to their satisfaction. I then called customer service to speed up response and was advised there’s no direct way to speak to the “residential wayleave” department. You can only reach them via email, which wasn’t a fast response time again, and as I continued down this timeline, responses only got slower.
At this point, customer service finally offered a pocket Wi-Fi, which was irritating since no other time I phoned before was this given this option, and I advised I worked from home. I accepted this offer and received a pocket Wi-Fi with 250GB capacity until December 14th. I had already been without Wi-Fi for 10 days (I had to increase my mobile contract to cope with its use at my own expense).
The email response from the "residential wayleave" department. It took five days this time, and only to advise of a new problem, in that they couldn’t accept the forms, as they had been written on, not just a date and a signature. I didn’t see how this was an issue since their additional comments were making clear their expectations, and no one had advised how to share any expectations of the neighbours. The form still permitted with their signature. So, I had to repeat the process, inform my neighbours, and return to my parents to print off new forms. I got these back, but it took five days for any response, with no way to speed up the process as the team is uncontactable.
We were now three weeks without Wi-Fi, and the pocket Wi-Fi couldn’t support a working household with a 250GB data limit, so we had to constantly limit our Wi-Fi usage to stretch it out and make it last.
I was told that the earliest your team could install was December 14th, six full weeks after we moved in! You seem to get put to the back of the queue whenever you need to answer a question or issue raised by the uncontactable "residential wayleave" department. I asked to escalate this and spoke to someone on the pre-installation team. They said there was nothing they could do to bring it forward due to external work and then credited £75 to my account to compensate for the delay, as it was the best they could do.
I asked if I could speak to someone to help your company improve this process for future customers and was told I could raise a complaint. However, based on their experience, nothing changes as these processes have remained inefficient and have been this way for a while. Hence, I decided to write a review due to this lack of customer acknowledgement which does not align with the customer-first organisation policies.
I then waited patiently for the 14th and took the continuing financial impact as I had to travel to cafes or family members' homes. I use my phone data to do my work. Unbelievably, I received an email on December 11th, just three days before installation again, saying it was delayed. This was followed by a phone call from the company to tell me that the install date will now be the 30th of December. This would make it 8 WEEKS after my initial set-up date.
I had no confidence that the new date would be met! So I demanded to be released from my contract with no penalties and compensation, as the failure to deliver an acceptable service in an acceptable timeframe has long passed.
They released me from my contract with no exit fees and when I asked for the £75 credit on the account to be sent to me to help cover the cost I had taken waiting for them to provide a service, I was told they could not do this. I proceeded to ask why this was and they said that they had cancelled the account and therefore it should be sent to me automatically. I never received this!
I am appalled at the process and treatment of this affair and the lack of urgency to complete my move process and keep my business. I have been left out of pocket during a cost of living crisis and the company Virgin Media showed no remorse or customer care for causing me stress and an unnecessary financial burden.
Their website states "customer first company." But this is a lie!