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Hi,

 

Just need some guidance on this issue.

 

Virgin Media came yesterday and laid some cable from the street drilling a hole in my front wall to put the cable through and then digging the garden to lay the cable . Now I have never ordered virgin media for any services nor am I a current virgin media customer. About 2 weeks ago I got a letter addressed to someone else but with my address on it that had a direct debit for virgin media, I got in contact with them and explained about and was told by the call centre that it would cancel due to incorrect details.

 

I emailed the CEO explaining the situation and am awaiting his reply. Is there anything else I could be doing to get a resolution

 

Regards

 

Richard

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Hi,

I mailed the CEO explaining the situation and am awaiting his reply. Is there anything else I could be doing to get a resolution

 

It depends: what resolution are you looking for?

 

Time for some gardening?

Might you be digging deep in your garden??

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Ideally you would want to send an SAR to discover all the details they have about this case on their files. Unfortunately as you are probably not the customer unless there is a case of identity theft, this personal data will not be accessible to you.

 

Were you there when they started the work? Can you tell us anything about the damage that has been caused?

 

You certainly have the basis for complaining that there has been a trespass. However you need to realise now that Virgin are unlikely to be very helpful about it. Tell us about the damage


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Hi,

 

Just need some guidance on this issue.

 

Virgin Media came yesterday and laid some cable from the street drilling a hole in my front wall to put the cable through and then digging the garden to lay the cable . Now I have never ordered virgin media for any services nor am I a current virgin media customer. About 2 weeks ago I got a letter addressed to someone else but with my address on it that had a direct debit for virgin media, I got in contact with them and explained about and was told by the call centre that it would cancel due to incorrect details.

 

I emailed the CEO explaining the situation and am awaiting his reply. Is there anything else I could be doing to get a resolution

 

Regards

 

Richard

 

Sounds a bit odd.

 

Why start drilling in a front wall, if they could not access the house to put the cable through ?

 

When you have Virgin or any other installation, the installation engineer comes into the house to check where you want the cable to run to. If no one was in the house at the time, why would an engineer start working, when they would not be able to complete the installation ?


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Are talking about the garden wall?


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I assume it was just the brown Virgin feed box.......the cables then run from this to the desired locations of entry .


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Are talking about the garden wall?

 

Yes they probably are after reading it again,


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Hi,

 

Yes it's my front stone garden wall that they have drilled (damaged) through. Can't seem to upload pictures but I twittered virgin media the photo, I can't post link here but my twitter handle is @grillflame.

 

There was no attempt to notify me what they were doing

 

Regards

 

Richard

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As its half installed, get Virgin to finish it off. I moved from a rubbish BT internet years ago and its been great since.

 

400Mb down, 20Mb up and its never dropped out.

 

H


40 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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What other damage they cause to the garden?


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As its half installed, get Virgin to finish it off. I moved from a rubbish BT internet years ago and its been great since.

 

400Mb down, 20Mb up and its never dropped out.

 

H

 

I'm still under first year contract with plusnet., But if virgin were to offer to buy my contract out and do 60% off contract I might be tempted.

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There's no other damage within the garden

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But presumably the virgin installation is now running underneath your garden?

 

I think it might be useful if you would itemise all the losses/damage/things your suffering – including cabling under the garden et cetera

 

Then we can work out an approach. If you are prepared to shift to virgin and this might be a good way of negotiating something like a years subscription for free. What is the cost of abandoning plusnet and going to virgin? How bad is the damage to the wall? Assuming that you had asked virgin to supply the service, with the damage that they caused to the wall have been acceptable in any event?


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Ya if virgin want to pay my get out costs and give me free internet for a year I would change. From the look of it, it's a normal way of installing the cabling before it gets hooked up to the house.

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Yes but you not dealing with the questions we are asking you

 

But presumably the virgin installation is now running underneath your garden?

 

I think it might be useful if you would itemise all the losses/damage/things your suffering – including cabling under the garden et cetera

 

Then we can work out an approach. If you are prepared to shift to virgin and this might be a good way of negotiating something like a years subscription for free. What is the cost of abandoning plusnet and going to virgin? How bad is the damage to the wall? Assuming that you had asked virgin to supply the service, with the damage that they caused to the wall have been acceptable in any event?


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Yes but you not dealing with the questions we are asking you

 

Sorry about that.

 

The main items would be damage to the garden about 1.5 metre in distance. The cable can easily be pulled up but it would unearth the garden width of grass.

Hole in the wall, probably would need for someone to come out and access and quote price of repair.

Inconvience to sort the issue out.

 

Never had to do anything like this so unsure what can be itemised.

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I don't really understand how they managed to let the cable under the grass and not damage it – but they would have to damage it in order to remove it.

 

Is this a modern wall or an old wall? Is it made of brick?


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It looks like they partly cut into grass to lay the cable as it's not very deep down, as per the photos on my twitter, but pulling the cable out would potential ruin the grass.

 

The wall is an old stone wall which has been there for donkeys years, definitely not a new brick wall.

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Utility cables should be buried at least 12 inches below surface.

Now i think that is recommended and not governed by legislation like electrical cables are. So more research required.

 

I, however, regularly dig in my lawn to create '" new borders and planting areas"

 

Sharp spades go through cables.

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Virgin seem to bury their cable about 2 inches down. I twice damaged next doors cable when mowing the lawn (on the brder between properties). They then dug a trench about 6 inches deep to lay it but didnt fill it in afterwards. A fox then chewed it.

What to do? well, I wouildnt entertain any thoughts of switching to then as any company that gets things this wrong will certainly screw up big time and have access to your bank account as well. Rebuilding an old stone wall will cost you about £2000 so use that as a starting point in your negotiations. As for no other damage, oh yes there is, that area of the lawn will die now it has been disturbed and you may have to get new turf laid because you cant be expected to put up with a patchy lawn just because Virgin dont want to make good their trespass.

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I've just looked at the photographs on your Twitter account. @grillflame

 

It looks like a shocking piece of work. The blue corrugated conduit is aboveground coming into the garden for at least 12 inches or so. Then you can see the track where it has been sunk below the ground – but clearly not very deeply – and then it rises again for – maybe you can tell us how long?

 

It's completely unsightly and unacceptable and I hope that this is not what virgin customers have to put up with. The danger of putting a spade or something through it is quite high and I wonder whether if it were damaged, virgin would want to say that you are responsible.

 

 

I think you have a clear action for trespass and that could force them to remove all the work and to make good to a high standard and also give you some compensation for the trespass.

 

If you make a complaint to virgin they will try to route this through their usual channels and insurers et cetera and I guarantee you it will take months and months.

 

I think you have to decide on the outcome you want. You also will have to decide on what you are prepared to do about it.

 

In terms of outcomes, you could either decide to have it removed and suitable compensation.

You could negotiate with virgin to switch over your service supplier for them and to give you a free service for a while – and I would suggest a year minimum. But I would want this accompanied by the re-establishment of the cable to a proper standard. It seems clear to me that it certainly shouldn't run right across the lawn like that. It should be routed round the edges and also the proper depth. I wonder whether it is normal to route this kind of thing in a protected conduit which can withstand an accidental spade cut.

 

I think those are the only two outcomes available.

 

You could achieve these either by complaining to virgin and then let the thing go through their standard procedures. This will take time and also it will take persistence because I'm quite sure you will have to chase it up all the time and you could go on for months and may be more than a year.

 

You could give virgin a short warning and then issue a small claim in the County Court. This will probably focus their attention on the problem and bring them to the negotiating table or force them to take action very much more quickly than had you gone through their normal procedures.

 

I think it would be useful to get somebody to quote for the removal of the cable and the restoration of the wall to its previous condition.

 

I see that the outside of the cable has been fixed to the joining line between your property and the adjacent property. Was the cable in fact intended for the adjacent property? Do you know who was meant to be the customer? Do you know if they have now received their installation and service?


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Hi,

 

Yes I think you are right that there are only two possible solutions for this mess. I'll have to decide which one for me is the best option.

 

On a side note, I've just had virgin media come and say there taking the cable away, nothing about the damage to the wall or the garden. I asked him to hold off until I get info from them about their solution to the wall and garden. I'm not doing anything until I have it in writing from them.

 

Don't want them getting away with doing nothing about the damage they have done.

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You're quite right not to permit anything unless it is on your terms. If I were you I would give them written notice that they are not enter onto your property until there is full agreement as to the complete solution to the problem. Tell them that they have already committed a trespass once and if they enter your property once again without permission it will be a further trespass. Send this off in writing straightaway recorded delivery.

 

I think you better hurry up and make a decision as to what you want to do.

 

Incidentally, if you decided the you wanted to bring a small claim on this then exceptionally I would recommend that you indicate that you are amenable to mediation. This would be a good situation where mediation could work because you would be able to have a proper conversation with them through the mediator about the trespass, the compensation you want, but the alternative which you would be prepared to accept – which would be a properly installed cable, repair to all damage, and free service for, let's say, one year. I would suggest that you start off at two years and then back down to one year. Don't forget, they might just be stupid and prefer to spend loads of money in going to court where they would eventually lose – although they might save a few quid on the compensation you ask for.

 

In terms of allowing them back onto your property, there has to be a very clear agreement as to the condition in which they will leave your property if they remove the installation. This means that you will have to be very clear about the repairs to the lawn and to the wall. If you want to go that route, then you would have to make understand that you will sue them and the eventual solution would be subject to a Tomlin order which will permit inspection of the property after they have finished the removal of the installation.

 

Frankly I think they are in a no-win situation

 

In fact the more I think about it, the more I think you will have to sue them. I'm quite sure they won't talk to you and they won't do anything rationally. They will imagine that they can simply remove the installation and that you will give up.

 

If you issue the court papers then suddenly they will start listening. If you can agree a solution with them without going to court and so much the better – but the court papers will give you the muscle you need. Any agreement – whether it means a complete removal and cleaning up plus compensation, or proper installation and free service – should be subject to a Tomlin order. Once there is a Tomlin order in place, you can be certain that they will behave themselves. A Tomlin order would also impose proper timescales


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As I was replying I noticed that the guy was taking photos of my front garden but couldnt tell whether he had stepped onto my lawn to take them. I have turned my cctv onto the area on the lawn so when I am away it will detect and record anybody in the area.

 

Thinking about it I would go down the take cable and repair lawn and wall route. I am of the mind that so far the quality of the service a customer gets from them is below what I would expect.

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Well make up your mind. Also, if you get home and find that it has all been removed then take photographs immediately. Have you written to them and put them on notice?


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