How To Negotiate With Virgin Media
Want to get a fairer deal from Virgin Media?
Follow our step by step guide to negotiating a fairer deal.
Firstly it is important to understand whether you are being overcharged by Virgin and you ought to do something about it. Check how much other people are paying for the same services as you by clicking to find out Is My Virgin Bill Fair?.
Some loyal Virgin customers have told us they pay over £50 a month more then new ones. That's £600 a year that they could save. Virgin are constantly increasing the bills of their loyal customers so some people will be overcharged by even more than this. Our data shows some shocking levels of overcharging across the industry.
1. Be prepared
- Before you call, gather all of your current package and bill information together.
- Know your package
- What broadband speed do you pay for, and if possible, what broadband speed do you actually get.
- Do you pay for inclusive home phone calls you may not use?
- What TV channels are included in your package, and what channels do you mainly watch.
- How much is your monthly bill, how much of it is fixed and how much is variable (extra calls, extra films etc)
- Have your Priceometer results to hand so you can quote how much you are overpaying. Remember that loyal Virgin Media customers tell us they pay £15 a month more on average than new ones.
- If you can, find out before you call whether you are still in a contract (you can always just ask the call handler). This information should be on the original contract you signed, or check in your online account. If you are still in contract, don’t be fooled in to thinking they can’t renegotiate your package. Customers are also allowed to leave their service provider at any time, although you may incur an early disconnection fee if you are still in contract
- Know what services you are willing to drop. Virgin Media customers are only contracted to the services they have, not the level of each one. This means it is easy to move between different packages each month, e.g. 100Mb to 50Mb broadband, and there won’t be any penalty. This can be an easy way to save money.
- Decide if you are willing to accept an upgrade in your service for the same price? This can be a good way of getting better value for money, so think about any services you might like to have without having to pay more, e.g. faster broadband, boxsets, a movies package or extra sports.
- Are you willing to sign a new contract? Often the very best deals will require you to recommit to a new contract, so if you are happy to do this it can help to get the best discount. Think about how long you are willing to do this for – 12 months, 18 months etc
Do you really need 100mb + Broadband?
Virgin Media Broadband can be much faster than all other broadband in the UK. That sounds impressive and those of us who have struggled with buffering films and frustrated children will be interested in signing up. However, it is important to understand that you will pay a premium for Virgin's Ultra Fast services and that almost all households do not require broadband to be so fast. As an indication, many UK providers offer standard Fibre Broadband of 63Mbps - 67Mbps for under £30 a month. At 50Mbps four or five people can stream HD content, browse social media, run multiple smart devices and support online gaming.
2. How to call Virgin Media and get a great deal
- Call 0345 454 1111 and follow the menu to get to the Retention team.
- When the agent asks what your call is about, tell them:
- That you have checked your services on ismybillfair.com
- You know what you are being penalised for being a loyal customer
- You want to get a fairer price for your services
- If you aren’t already, that you want to speak to the Retention team. If they do not put you through, threaten to leave – you won’t be forced to go through with it, but it will ensure you speak to the retention team who have the power to give you a fair deal
3. Don’t accept the first offer!
Customer Service agents have been given many different options, and the more you challenge them the more chance you have of getting the best one that they have to offer. Don’t feel pressured to say yes there and then. If you need time to think about it, tell the agent this and arrange a convenient time for them to call back. If you aren’t happy with the response, ask to speak to a manager.
If you are still not happy, then one tactic is to end the call and call back later. You are likely to speak to a different person, who may be more understanding of your situation and willing to offer you the best deal
4. If you are unhappy with Virgin Media’s response
- If you do not feel like you have been treated fairly or appropriately, follow Virgin Media’s complaint process.
- Fill out the simple form on the Virgin website here and your issue will be investigated and responded to within 28 days
- If you are still not happy at the end of the 28 days, follow the instructions that Virgin Media will provide to you when responding to your complaint. This will involve sending your complaint to an ‘alternative dispute resolution’ service, such as CISAS. This is completely free for you, and they will then investigate the matter further and help you to get it resolved.
5. If you have had enough of Virgin Media and you want to Switch Provider
- If you decide to switch away from Virgin Media, think about what services you really need or don’t need anymore.
- Have a look at the switching options available here from our partner uSwitch
Here's some of the things we like about Virgin Media
- They have their own fibre optic broadband network
- Very comprehensive bundles, some of which can save you a lot of money when compared to buying the same services separately
- Good introductory deals, usually all year round
- Virgin Media Broadband is the fastest broadband in the UK, if you can get it in your area it averages 362mb
- All Virgin Media Home Phone packages have free weekend calls to other landlines in the UK as standard
- They offer deals on their Virgin Mobile network to all subscribers. Usually money off their already good tariffs
- Virgin media TV Packages tend to be very flexible indeed so you can get exactly what you want
- Broadband can come without a line rental for a home phone
- Some of the best sports coverage around
Here's what we don't like so much about Virgin Media
- Broadband can slow down a little at peak times as they manage the traffic on their network
- They are not the cheapest and our data shows that they charge some of the highest loyalty penalty's around
- They have the fastest broadband and they know it. If you want to keep very fast data then be prepared for lots of price rises!
- Their customer retention teams can be hard to get hold of and often seem happier to let you leave than to offer you a fair deal
- Installation can be costly and some customers report problems with damage to their property from the installation contractors
- Confusing pricing and options makes it hard for some people to work out what they are paying for
Learn more about providers like Virgin Media
If you want to know more about your options, read our handy guides to the other major players