Have you ever considered how much you are paying a year for your chosen media package: TV, Landline and Broadband? We are on what amounts to almost the minimum package you can get and we are paying over £500 a year, £43/month – and it is about to increase again – and that is without any actual phone call costs (and £150 TV licence). The reason we pay no call costs is because we realised that we don’t actually use the landline; or for that matter watch any of the cable TV channels that we cannot watch on Freeview merely at the cost of our TV Licence alone.
So, with this new found realisation I decided to call up Virgin Media and ask them to cancel the phone and the TV package and we would just keep the broadband (after all, Virgin cable is the probably the best on the market, and doesn’t suffer from reduced speed when all the kids are out of school!).
In my naivety I foolishly assumed it would be as easy as 1 months’ notice and ‘Hey presto!’, reduced costs. If only…..
Having been kept on hold for 30 minutes whilst I was “…to our termination department”, the salesmen who eventually answered insisting on telling me how they could save me money with all the “deals” they could offer me. I advised I was not interested in deals as it did not matter how low-cost a service is if you are not using it! So then he dropped the bombshell that I really had not seen coming: I cannot just stop these items as the whole is a package with “significant discounts applied”. I cannot see the word discount on my invoice or even in the agreement, but apparently if I want to lose these two services I will then have to drop my broadband speed to 50Mbs (currently a mere 72Mbs, with 5Mbs upload), and it would only cost me £35 month!!!!
Let me just digress slightly here and discuss broadband speeds as this is something I am very keen on. I travel a lot for work and pleasure, and everywhere I go I always check the broadband speeds. In Romania this summer I was getting 100Mbs download and upload in an apartment in Bucharest. In Skopje I was getting something similar. In Denmark I can get 100Mbs up and down as a slow option! Even my Danish SIM card get 50Mbs here in the UK (and 10GB/mth EU roaming, but let’s not get onto roaming costs). Here in UK, I recently had to request Virgin to upgrade my broadband as the upload speed was a paltry 1.5Mbs – I could not even hold a Skype call: I know get 5Mbs upload speed.
We have had cable since it was first installed in our street many years ago by Telewest, which became Eurobell, which in due course was gobbled up by Virgin Media. We have been a loyal customer for something like 15 year’s, but now they want to screw us over.
So, if the invoice is itemised with the telephone as separate item, why can we not opt out of it when no longer required? Why can I not return my TiVo box without being penalised? And why suddenly does the Broadband cost £35 when taken as a standalone service (accepting it may be a little more expensive as a single service)?
So, it seems I need to find a different supplier who will sell me just the service I want at a price that is not over the top. Goodbye Virgin Media, it was good whilst it lasted.

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