Monday, May 18, 2009

Talk to Kevin....

.... it's better than being put on hold by a Customer Services Advisor.

I have for years subscribed to Virgin Media Broadband\Telephone\TV services, initially it was ntl: who provided the service, but then Virgin came along and rebranded the services they acquired from Telewest, ntl: and others.

The actual service of broadband\TV\phone is great, very little if any downtime, but their customer service if you have a query is awful.

A couple of things of late have annoyed me, an example being a telesales call to my Virgin phone line offering me a great deal if I took up Virgin TV & phone services to go along with my existing Virgin Broadband service. When I told the caller they were calling me on my Virgin provided phone line and I was sitting in front of my TV watching Sky Sports via my Virgin provided TV services they were somewhat perplexed, needless to say my complaint that they were incompetent idiots fell on deaf and unconcerned ears.

Today tipped me over the edge when I got some mail shots from Virgin offering all sorts of services, sadly to an address in my name, but next door. When I called the Customer Services (haha!) Centre to rectify the address issue (which I thought I had done 5 years ago after many, many attempts) they too were incompetent idiots who put me on hold for minutes at a time, then tried telling me that they were clearly providing the services I pay for to 2 different addresses and that was quite OK.... I got bored after 35 minutes and hung up.

So I decided to call the man who signed the mail shots - Mr Kevin Elliott - MD of Customer Service for Virgin Media on the main switchboard. Now you may think this was a pointless and probably fruitless course of action, surely the MD of Customer Service wouldn't take the call of a mere customer.... well, you are right he didn't. But the switchboard is clearly so well prepared for such calls that I got put through to the UK Executive Group Complaints Dept. where they take ownership of the issue. I actually had a phone conversation with someone who understood what I was talking about, agreed there was a problem, empathised and explained what they were going to do about it.

So my advice, don't bother calling Customer Services, just try calling Kevin - 01256 752000.

19/05 UPDATE : Virgin Media called me back today - twice! To tell me they had fixed the billing\address problems and wanted to give me a discount as I now qualified for a combined tariff! hmmm something I tried last year, but failed miserably at doing, so Virgin have back dated the discount and given me a mega saving on Broadband - more than 50%. They even then gave me a BIG discount on a V+ box as a gesture of goodwill, and agreed an installation date there & then. Amazing difference between calling the normal Customer Services line that should have dealt with my problems and short circuiting the normal channels by calling Kevin directly - even if I didn't get to talk to him.

So, in summary the bog standard Customer Support of Virgin Media sucks, the UK managed Customer Complaint section of Virgin Media are very, very good. So good in fact that they have kept me as a customer, something that wasn't on the cards 24 hours ago. Given my latterly positive statements, I hope they let me off for using their logo!?

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