Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Hell is Virgin Media

So, I finally have home broadband in my new house after several weeks of trying to get it transferred from my old address. I could provide an incredibly detailed account of exactly what happened with lots of description and emotional reflection, but I just can't bring myself to do that. I started writing out a simple blow-by-blow account of my dealings with Virgin Media including dates, but I just couldn't bring myself to finish that either. So here's what you need to know: Virgin Media are the worst company I have ever had to deal with (and believe me, Hayley and I have had trouble with quite a few companies recently). Here's a selection of reasons as to why that statement is true.

  • They have given me three activation dates over the past five weeks. On the first two, my account was not activated. The third I didn't want, but they put it in anyway without asking me.
  • Told me various things that weren't true about problems with my order, and assured me they were true.
  • Cancelled my account at my request. Except that they didn't cancel it properly. So when I tried to get a new account set up with O2 Broadband, O2 were unable to proceed as the line was occupied by my "cancelled" Virgin account.
  • Told me (quite rudely) that my account definitely was cancelled even after I told them the technical details O2 had given me. After I refused to accept this, I was put on hold, and then told (rather sheepishly) that the account had now been removed from the line and would take a further 48 hours to clear.
  • Sent me two bills detailing connection fees of over £80 each. Told me not to worry, as I would not be charged any connection fees. One then came out of my account anyway, meaning I had to contact Virgin again to request a refund, which was sent by cheque.
  • Assured me I would be contacted by phone on several occasions, and never got back to me, meaning I then had to call them. Again. And again. And again.
If Hell exists, for me it will be perpetually trying to sort out broadband for my burning, sulphurous corner of Satan's neck of the woods with Virgin Media. I will never-endingly sit on "hold" listening to their eclectic mix of "hold" music (jumpstyle drum and bass one minute, classical string quartet the next - "Oh, look at us, we can mindlessly juxtapose genres, aren't we cool and down with absolutely everyone!"... No, you fucking aren't). And I will sporadically be put through to a customer service advisor who gives me another date in an endless string of activation dates for all eternity.

If I never have anything to do with them ever again it will be too soon. My advice at the moment is to go with O2 Broadband. Aside from when they could do nothing as Virgin was still ruining my life, they've so far done everything in a straightforward and pleasing manner. That said, after all the trouble I've had, my feeling towards home broadband is currently akin to the feeling one has towards food after having a particularly painful and violent case of food poisoning. If we're still connected in a fortnight with no problems, maybe I'll be back to my former gorging self.

1 comment:

James said...

My parents had a similarly poor experience of Virgin Media. Basically when Virgin installed the internet / phone line they broke the existing phone line so the phone wouldn't work for long periods of time. It then took them forever to fix (and obviously the first few times it wasn't really fixed at all).

This is all affirming my view that it's almost more important that a company has good help desks than functioning products.