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Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:04   #1
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Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

Information from https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.ph...ble-users.html

Virgin Media UK has reportedly committed to protect over 100,000 of their most vulnerable customers (e.g. pensioners, the unemployed and those with disabilities), such as by freezing their prices against future hikes or automatically moving them to a better (cheaper) deal.


VM’s Changes to Protect Vulnerable Consumers

· Annual package reviews

Some customers who have not made contact with Virgin Media for a prolonged period of time will have their prices frozen and automatically receive an annual package review. One of the Company’s specially trained agents will assess whether a customer is on the best tariff available to them based on the services they use. If no contact can be made, the customer will be moved to the most appropriate and best available package.

This package review, which goes beyond the requirements of Ofcom’s end of contract notification rules which come into force next February, will ensure customers who struggle to shop around don’t get left behind in a competitive UK telecoms market.

NOTE: By the sounds of it customers must have been with Virgin for over 3 years before a review is needed.

· Bespoke engineer visits

Virgin Media already provides free engineer installs and prioritises fixing faults for those customers who need it. This new service will reflect that certain physical disabilities and accessibility requirements need to be taken into account for an engineer visit. Small changes, such as giving customers more time to reach the door after a technician arrives, can make a big difference.

· Family and friend account management

To make contact with Virgin Media as simple as possible, and provide support at every stage of their relationship with the Company, both new and existing customers will be able to more easily opt for a friend or family member to manage their account and package on their behalf.

· Bill management

For customers finding it difficult to manage their finances, unexpected monthly bill variations will be addressed by a specialist team through proactive customer engagement and account management.

Text and video relay, and alternative formats for bills and other communications are also already provided for those who require them.

· Talk Protected

Virgin Media’s Talk Protected Plan, which launched in 2016, keeps prices fixed for its elderly and disabled phone-only customers. Customers who were on Virgin Media’s phone-only plans and over the age of 65, or who had additional accessibility needs, were automatically upgraded to the new tier. The plan includes inclusive evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and mobiles, inclusive calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers and directory enquiries, free paper bills, flexible payment options and more.

Virgin Media said they will decide on a case-by-case basis whether a customer can be identified as “vulnerable,” although they admit this is “not a clear-cut or simple process“. On the one hand certain factors will help to narrow the field like age, package choice, unusually large bills or a tendency to make uncharacteristic late payments.

Nevertheless, confirming that somebody is unemployed or has a disability is complicated because not everybody wants to share such info. The operator said it would “continue to evolve and adapt its policies and services over time and improve its ability to identify those customers who might need additional support and help.”

Virgin added that there would be no obligation or requirement on the customer to change anything “if they feel comfortable with their current package.”
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:09   #2
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

So the rest of their customers they are free to rip off?
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:24   #3
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

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So the rest of their customers they are free to rip off?
If you allow them....
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:32   #4
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

Wonder how/if they are going to ask for proof of unemployment/disability? What level of disability qualifies ? How will they know if you become employed again ? They aren't the DHSS !

Sounds like corporate BS that looks good in their annual report, but very few will actually claim/qualify. Its also an admission that they vastly overcharge many customers.
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Old 11-08-2019, 13:13   #5
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

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So the rest of their customers they are free to rip off?
I don't view Virgin's packages as being a rip-off. Far from it. TV service including Sky Cinema, Sky Sports and BT Sport, 500Mb broadband, free landline calls and a SIM with benefits, all for £99 per month.

Look at Sky's charges for the closest they can get to the provision of these services and you will see what a rip-off looks like.
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Old 13-08-2019, 00:58   #6
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

I am 73 and my wife is 70 with just pension income and 2 price rises due next month, I am going to call VM to see if I qualify for any assistance.
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Old 13-08-2019, 04:26   #7
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

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committed to protect over 100,000 of their most vulnerable customers (e.g. pensioners, the unemployed and those with disabilities), such as by freezing their prices against future hikes or automatically moving them to a better (cheaper) deal.
What about the rest of their customers ? Very poor
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Old 13-08-2019, 11:22   #8
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr K View Post
Wonder how/if they are going to ask for proof of unemployment/disability? What level of disability qualifies ? How will they know if you become employed again ? They aren't the DHSS !

Sounds like corporate BS that looks good in their annual report, but very few will actually claim/qualify. Its also an admission that they vastly overcharge many customers.
I agree. All they seem to be doing is putting vulnerable customers onto a better available package, whilst this is better than the status quo, they will still be being penalised because they won't achieve as good a price as those of us who are able to negotiate.

I assume that they will identify vulnerable customers by cross referencing with their database of priority repair customers (like myself).

---------- Post added at 10:22 ---------- Previous post was at 10:18 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul M View Post
What about the rest of their customers ? Very poor
I think that the idea is to help (or appear to help) vulnerable customers who are unable to carry out their day to day affairs efficiently due to age, disability etc.

You make a good point though, what about those that are able to manage their own affairs, but are just too busy due to work etc?

Presumably they will be using software to identify customers on their legacy packages, so it shouldn't be too difficult to implement for everybody.
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Old 13-08-2019, 23:38   #9
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

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Originally Posted by gus0898uk View Post
I am 73 and my wife is 70 with just pension income and 2 price rises due next month, I am going to call VM to see if I qualify for any assistance.
It would be good to know how you get on. My Mum is 61 and medically retired due to breaking her neck. My Dad is 69 and has just had kidney failure and a heart attack. Would love to know if they qualify for assistance from Virgin.
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Old 14-08-2019, 09:15   #10
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

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Originally Posted by Chad View Post
It would be good to know how you get on. My Mum is 61 and medically retired due to breaking her neck. My Dad is 69 and has just had kidney failure and a heart attack. Would love to know if they qualify for assistance from Virgin.
Virgin healthcare? .

Hope they are on the road to recovery.

---------- Post added at 08:15 ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by gus0898uk View Post
I am 73 and my wife is 70 with just pension income and 2 price rises due next month, I am going to call VM to see if I qualify for any assistance.
How did you get on ? Wouldn't surprise if the phone monkeys knew nothing about it.
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Old 14-08-2019, 09:16   #11
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

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Originally Posted by gus0898uk View Post
I am 73 and my wife is 70 with just pension income and 2 price rises due next month, I am going to call VM to see if I qualify for any assistance.

I am 76 and disabled plus a hearing impairment I wonder if I qualify.
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Old 14-08-2019, 09:22   #12
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

Tbh with all the 'discounts', 'offers', 'retention deals' and ambiguousness of VMs prices, with their standard non contracted cheapest price you might end up paying more !
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Old 14-08-2019, 09:25   #13
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

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Originally Posted by Mr K View Post
Virgin healthcare? .

Hope they are on the road to recovery.

---------- Post added at 08:15 ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 ----------



How did you get on ? Wouldn't surprise if the phone monkeys knew nothing about it.
Please don’t be abusive about VM staff - whilst there may be individuals who let people down, the rest try their best.
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Old 14-08-2019, 09:30   #14
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

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Please don’t be abusive about VM staff - whilst there may be individuals who let people down, the rest try their best.
I'm afraid standard CS is appalling, always has been. Retentions are the only ones who seem to know what they're talking about.
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Old 14-08-2019, 09:58   #15
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Re: Virgin Media UK Make Changes to Protect 100,000 Vulnerable Users

My experiences with Virgin Media customer services staff and indeed all the predecessor companies stretching back to Telecential in the 1990s has always been excellent.
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