Virgin Media disaster – can anyone offer advice on how to get their attention?

I’ve been a Virgin Media customer for eight years. Great TV service, but following some repeated issues with the phone line and dreadful response from their team, I decided to close my account. However, I was persuaded by them to keep it open, but there has since been nothing but errors and overcharging and utter contempt from them, and I’m really struggling to figure out what to do next against a company that simply makes promises and then fails to follow up.

Does anyone have any advice?

Here’s the sequence of events:

  1. I called to close my account. In addition to the issues I’d been experiencing, I’d also been put off by the fact they’d advised in July that the monthly cost would increase from £79 to £83.

  2. I called up, and asked to close my account. They immediately offered a new rate of £62 per month. I told them I’d think about it.

  3. I called up the following week, declined their offer and asked to close my account. They instead offered me a new rate of £41.52 per month for six months, followed by £45.51 for the following six months. I declined again, and told them the reason I was leaving was poor customer experience and repeated technical failures. They then offered me the first month free on that same offer, and to send out an engineer to resolve the issues. I told them I’d wait until the engineer had visited to confirm. They sent me a text asking me to reply with “YES” within 30 days to accept the offer once I’d made my decision.

  4. The engineer visited, replaced the router and changed some of the outdoor cabling, which was apparently worn. However, there were issues with the router. I called up and spoke to their support team who, in spite of my protestations, insisted this could only be an issue related to poor wifi signal, so sent me some repeaters.

  5. I installed the repeaters, but they made no difference whatsoever, so I called up again. Another engineer was sent, who correctly identified an incompatibility between the router and a switch I’d been using.

  6. On 14 August, I texted “YES” to accept the offer, but got no reply.

  7. I received a Virgin Media bill for £83, which was clearly wrong.

  8. I called Virgin Media the following week, and told them that I’d accepted the offer, and so didn’t understand why they’d sent me a bill for £83. They promised to put this right, and set up the contract retroactive to 14 August.

  9. I received a letter from Virgin Media confirming a new contract at £62 per month from 9 September. Both the amount and the start date were wrong.

  10. I called up again to raise a formal complaint. They said that the tariff I’d been promised was no longer available. However, if I raised a complaint, they could put it right. I suggested they listen to all 11 of the previous calls for proof of the tariffs that had been offered to me. They promised to get back to me within seven days.

  11. Ten days later, I called up to ask why I had still not heard from them. The person on the end of the line told me it had all been put right, and that I would only be charged £0.01 for the first month, and then the agreed £41.62 the second month.

  12. Three weeks later, I received a new bill from Virgin Media, telling me the next bill was £126.84 - instead of the £41.62 it’s supposed to be. I called to complain. After listening to everything I had to say, they acknowledged there was an error, and promised to call me back within 48 hours later. They still have not done so.

Do I complain to the regulator, do I take them to the small claims court? Any advice would be appreciated.

I think a letter to them, basically outlining what you’ve posted here is the next step. They should have a complaints dept somewhere.

Be clear as to what you WANT from them though, or they’ll do not much.

Do you want a full refund + compensation? Do you want partial refund and the cessation of your Virgin account immediately? Etc.

Mention your next step is the ombudsman/regulator as well if you are not satisfied with their response.


It would be tempting to write to the regulator and send Virgin a copy on a FYI basis. If I’m reading your post correctly you have no written evidence of any of the offers just a text asking you to accept something unspecified. Might make them sit up. R-


Thank you. Very helpful. That’s what I’ve been considering.

What I want is for them to honour their contract, from the date on which I accepted the terms. And I feel they should pay some compensation for the more than eight hours I’ve so far spent on the phone to them. I haven’t yet paid the latest bill, but that will leave my account next week - so I suspect I am going to need the money back.

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That’s entirely correct. During every phone call, I have asked them to confirm that the call is being recorded, so they can consult it at a later date - and each time, they have confirmed this. However, I don’t actually have any physical evidence.

I do feel it’s now time to get the regulator involved. And, potentially, the office of fair trading.

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I too have recently gone through the complaints process with Virgin Media. They were horrendous at responding to me too. Their call centre staff are clueless and it’s clear that they just follow a script with any deviation throwing mass confusion and further delay.

My advice would be that you need to get things in writing to prove your case if you’re going to take it further. Here are the steps I took:

  1. Call them several times and screenshot your call logs from your mobile.
  2. Email them on their contact us page so you have more proof of contact
  3. On their complaints page it states that you can go through resolver (this didn’t work for me and I wasted 3 month with no reply) - don’t do this.
  4. I went with CEDR as they’re registered with them ( and I finally got an official reply where they rectified the issue and gave me compensation.

You just need proof if you’re going to take it further and a little patience because it does take a while!

I suspect that this rules out going to court. Small claims (or MCOL as it is now), will only compensate you for losses incurred - I believe.

You should be able to get access to the call recordings, or transcripts, by asking for them, or by making a Subject Access Request.

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To be honest, I love the idea of making a Subject Access Request. They’re so annoying and expensive for the company to follow up on, and it also makes them worry about what you’re going to do with them.


I’ve spent another hour on the phone with them this afternoon, and they’ve agreed to put everything in writing, and to sort everything out - though my concern is that there’ll be yet another incorrect bill next month and I’ll have to start all over again. Hence the need to have it all in writing.

I requested compensation for the eight (now nine) hours of phone conversations over 15 calls, and they initially offered £5. I laughed, rejected this insulting offer, and they offered £10. I told them that quality companies admitted to mistakes when they made them, and showed contrition and commitment to not repeating them by offering adequate compensation. They grudgingly increased their offer to £25 - but this is still less than £3 per hour wasted, and I’ve told them I will be spreading the word about the poor level of customer service that Virgin Media provide.

Finally, I’ve told them that any further issues will be emailed directly to the regulator, and to their CEO. The Telegraph published an article a couple of months ago about how to complain to Virgin Media.

Many companies would pay attention to the complaints made by their customers. However, my sense is that Virgin Media have no real desire to improve the way they deal with their customers - so in time, they are doomed to fail.

Make sure you’re speaking with someone in Retentions. Those call takers have the power to do anything on the account.


Thank you all for your suggestions to date. Shockingly, Virgin Media staff apparently have no way of sending out to customers confirmation of what has just been agreed with them on the phone. There’s therefore no way I can get a hard copy of what they’ve committed to doing, which leaves me feeling at risk of further errors. I think @Anarchist 's suggestion of making a subject access request is therefore the only way I’m likely to be able to get any evidence of what’s been going on. My intention is also (with their permission) to record my next interaction with them, so there can’t later be any doubt.


When shit really hits the fan I find emailing the CEO engages the directors office nice and fast and you finally get through to some elite level of support where people are trained to do more than read a script. Worked most recently with Vodafone