Feeds

Virgin Media admits broadband upgrade 'confusion'

But consumers need to act when their contract ends

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Virgin Media has denied claims from broadband customers that it is cheekily charging them more to upgrade their cable broadband packages than it asks new punters to pay up.

One customer who contacted Reg Hardware told us that punters on Virgin Media's 20Mb/s XL tariff who log on to the account management section of the VM website are currently being told the upgrade to 50Mb/s XXL broadband will cost £52 per month.

However, potential customers checking prices on the main VM website will see that XXL costs £38 pounds per month when similarly ordered without a phone or cable TV package.

Over a year, that's a £168 difference.

Virgin Media XXL

Virgin Media XXL: New customers see this...

Subscribers who contact VM to query this discrepancy are immediately given a "special offer" of XXL at £38 per month, we found when we called the ISP's sales line. However, this only happens after the caller has got through to a customer service representative. Initially, callers are told by recorded message that it's easier to upgrade their broadband by going online.

Easier, maybe - but more expensive, surely?

A VM spokesman told that, no, it isn't. Customers who select the £52-a-month update package on the website will nonetheless find they pay £38 a month when they have reached the end of the update process, he pledged.

"The [£38] headline price is correct," he said. "The basket lists the full, unbundled price," but customers will only pay the 'discounted' price.

Indeed, when we checked back with the website, selecting the £52 option tells you to call the sales line, where, as we found, you will be offered the £38 package.

The spokesman admitted that presenting the higher price up front is "slightly confusing" - and one that may put some customers off upgrading at all - but claimed this was an "anomaly" that VM's web team are aware of and working to fix. He could not say when this might be done.

Upgrading enters you into a new 12-month contract with VM, he said, but he stressed that, at the end of that period, the price would not rise to £52.

Other packages do default to a higher rate once the initial 12-month contract period is complete, he said. For example, the XL tariff rises from £30 a month to £37 a month.

The best course of action open to upgraders is clear. You should plan for the end of your contract and call your ISP - whoever it is - to ensure you're getting the best deal when it has run its course. At that point, consumers can switch providers without penalty, and ISPs eager to retain a customer will offer them a better deal than the default price.

The downside is being tied to a further 12-month contract, which may be expensive to exit before the completion date. But the advantage is lower monthly payments. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.