TapVirgin Media Pricing

About this time last year, as a foot note to a post about Traffic Management, I remarked that I had been overcharged and how that was resolved.

We take what they now call “Broadband Size L” with “Phone Size M” which is a bundle which offers 10Mb/sec internet (and comes close to achieving it), a phone line and free calls at weekends. We don’t use the phone enough to be worth taking any of the other packages. At the time I made the complaint, the published price was £16 + line rental (for a 4Mb/sec service). When we originally signed up the cost was £25 + line rental (and only 2Mb/sec I think) so the way they “fixed it” was to put a £8 rebate on our bill—not quite right but close. As I reported, they also gave me the £5.50 “new customer discount” which I wasn’t expecting but was, none the less, welcome.

On the last bill received this second discount expired so we are now paying £17. In the mean time the advertised price for this service, after all introductory offers have expired, is £14 + line rental, so we are now paying £3 a month too much. I am going to contact them again and this time I am going to try and get the base price changed, not just discounts applied

This is reminiscent of how the banks pay interest on old savings accounts—unless you keep moving your money into the latest accounts, the interest rate dwindles to almost nothing. And we know how popular banks are at the moment.

Update: Later the same evening I rang them—they are completely bonkers! As before, trying to convince the customer service department that the price is wrong is only good in as much as you get forwarded on to someone else. Not that there was anything wrong with the customer service girl, just that it was beyond her script. After being forwarded to another nice girl who had more latitude I discovered that the prices on the web site are assuming that you want to use ebilling (which we don’t do at the moment) so that would add another £1 onto the expected cost—still £2 too much though. She acknowledged that it was far from clear on the site and they have already asked for it to be made clearer.

It was at this point I discovered that her department was called Account Retention and is clearly there to persuade existing customers not to leave. After having discovered that the services we had were the ones we still wanted, she made an offer of £22.20 including the £11 line rental. This was not only a lower price than I was asking for (£3.80 less), but doesn’t bear any relation to any published offer. I sort of think that they make up the figures on the spot. The only string, once again, is a 12 month contract which is what she is there for. Again I have no problem with this as, at that price it is a good deal. And I was proved right—they work the same way as the banks—unless you complain they will continue to rip you off.

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