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Problems with VM and thier late payment charges


MikeMurder
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I have been a cable customer with Telewest and now Virgin Media who took over for as long as they have been in buisness more or less and i have always been an advocate of thiers until recently.

 

i dont pay by DD because my wife is on disability and ime her carer, her income support, disability, Family Allowance and my carers allowance all go into our bank on different dates and so it's easier to make card payments to VM over the phone.

we cannot afford to pay the bill in full so we pay it in portions over the period of the month, but we do ALWAYS pay even if sometimes we are a day or two late. on these occasions we pay the £10 late payment charge without question.

 

last saturday (13th Oct 07) i phoned VM customer services to clear the outstanding amount on my bill which was £20.76, it was right at the end of the time we had to pay before incurring penalties so i asked the CS guy if that was everything cleared for the Sept 07 bill and he said yes it was paid in full and our Oct bill had to be paid in full by early Nov (cant remember the exact date he gave).

 

today (17th Oct 07) i got a letter and my new bill from VM, the letter dated 12th October said that we had £20.76 Outstanding and they had added a late payment charge of £10 onto it. i open'd the bill which was dated the 9th Oct 07 and it had a balance of £30.76 brought forward.

when i phoned VM to clear my Sept bill on the 13th i was told that bill had been paid in full and at no point was i told there was a late payment charge added, even though my bill dated the 9th which was 4 days prior states they had added a late payment charge ?

 

to say i was confused would be an understatement, i phoned VM CS and spoke to a woman named Jenny who told me i had to pay the £10 charge, i explained i had already cleared Septembers bill on the 13th by debit card and at no point was there any request to pay a late payment charge, she tried to make me believe that even though the charge had been added to my account 4 days prior the person taking payment from me wouldnt of been able to see it on his screen where he was looking at my account info and payments.

at this time i could feel the anger building because jenny was very unhelpfull and just kept telling me the charge stands, i asked for her name, told her i wasnt going to pay it, said thank you jenny and hung up.

 

now i have calmed down and had a chance to reflect i intend to phone them again and see what can be done, i do not want to pay this on principal as i believe it wasnt on my account when i cleared my Sept bill even though the paper bill i recieved dated Oct 9th says otherwise lol

i have broadband, large TV, phone and mobile sim card from Virgin and do not want to leave them but i feel realy frustrated with all these late payment charges which they apply if you go 1 day over the bill due date.

incidently i can not find anywhere on my bill where it tells what date the bill has to be paid by ?

 

if you can offer any advice, ime all ears.

 

Thanks,

Mike.

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after giving myself most of the day to think about the situation and calm down a bit (i didnt shout at them when i phoned but she could probably tell i wasnt happy) i phoned VM Customer services again, the guy i spoke with (lee) was very polite and chirpy but after he brought up my account details his attitude changed and he became "all buisness" which is the best way i can describe it. i guess there was a note on my account from the woman i spoke to this morning, i explained the situation and he adminted the person who suposedly cleared my Sept bill should have informed me of the late payment charge but still he insisted that the charge will remain and he was powerless to squash it (yeah right) i even explained to him that there is no due date on the bill so how am i suposed to know when it needs paying by and he explained to me (as if i was stupid) that it had to be paid 30 days after the date the bill was printed, i asked him where does it say that and he couldnt tell me.

to cut a long story short he was unhelpfull and bloody minded and just kept repeating the same thing "you have a late payment charge" over and over, despite me doing everything short of pleading for a bit of leeway lol so i kept him on the phone for almost a half hour :D

 

when Sky TV took Sky1 away from VM the VM customer support gave us loads of stuff which we thought was great, free upgrade to 10mb BB, reduced bill, free TV upgrade, free movies etc etc they even gave my friend a free V box, i would probably have been content if they had treated me decently, explained things and told me i had to pay the $10. as it was they admited a cock up but where not going to give a single ounce of leeway. i almost didnt phone the 2nd time because i still felt anxious over the way i was treated 1st time around. i understand that customer support is a difficult job but it wasnt as if i ranted or insulted the woman, i wasnt even rude although you can always tell when someone is upset or annoyed from thier voice :roll:

 

i have just gotten of the phone with Sky TV who are very eager to provide me with digital TV (i already have the equipment instaled) all thats left to do is cancel my TV package with Virgin. i only wish i could find an internet service that rivaled Virgin's broadband then i could get rid of VM altogether :D

 

 

incidently, this is not the first experiance of grouchy customer service people i have had with VM, but it is the straw that broke the camels back.

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Well, you didn't agree to the charge and it is being used as a penalty (mind you Sky are no better). Explain that as OFCOM is currently looking into their unfair charges, you would like these to be returned immediately, as you reserve the right to pursue them for these amounts, plus interest. This usually means you get a letter back saying they'll waive the charge 'this time only', but no matter - if it is applied again, you can still take them to court to challenge it.

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when i called the 2nd time i touched on the subject of these charges being penalties and the guy simply said that i should write a letter of complaint and that i still owed them a £10 late payment charge lol

 

i have just phoned VM a 3rd time and pressed the options on the phone to disconnect, the guy i got through to was eager to listen and very apologetic but once he had heard all i had to tell him he told me that he was actualy from the billing dept and would have to transfer me :confused:

the guy i finaly spoke to asked why i wanted to disconnect my TV. I told him i was fed up with the way i had been treated by thier customer services and he imediatly replied "ok then, is it just the TV or all of the services you want to cancel?" lmfao :D

it's just a good job i wasnt trying to bluff him aint it. TV is cancelled and they pick up thier TV equipment on the 16th nov at which time i will phone SKY and ask them to ZAP! my Sky Digital box with a long over due dose of SKy One :)

 

i think my next course of action is to start with these rather handy letters regarding penalty charges, thanks ;)

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