Virgin on the ridiculous – UKTV dropped. Your RIGHTS!

Virgin Media packages your rights

Update 12/08/18 Virgin Media and UKTV reached an agreement. So well done to those who followed my advice and got a discount! BONUS!!!

What’s going on with Virgin Media packages?

On Thursday 19 July 2018 Virgin quietly released a statement on its website. It announced that it would be removing Drama, Really, Yesterday, Home, Gold, W, Alibi, Dave, Eden and Good Food. This includes +1 and HD channels, as well as On Demand and TV Go content.

The situation seems to have arisen because of  a failure by Virgin Media and UKTV to reach an agreement on fees to be charged for the television content that UKTV provides to Virgin Media customers.

Eagle eyed customers took to social media to vent their frustration. JayBird summed up most people’s comments in both her original tweet to VirginMedia and her reply which did not get an answer.

What did Virgin Media say?

Questions regarding cancelling the contract and getting a reduction in the price people are currently paying were met with the same statement and link or blanked.

I challenged VirginMedia and got the following response:

So what can you do about the change in virgin Media Packages that you have paid for?

I disagree with Virgin Media’s tweet. People wanting to cancel the contract should be able to do so. When consumers signed up to the package it included UKTV. If UKTV is removed from the bundle it is not the bundle they paid for under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Virgin’s Terms and Conditions state that it can, at any time modify, amend or alter the terms of the agreement and/or the services if: “We decide that the services should be altered for reasons of quality of service or otherwise for the benefit of customers or, our reasonable opinion, it is necessary to do so;”

I am not impressed. This could be considered an unfair contract term, as it is weighed in favour of the company. Who decides if the channels replacing UKTV are better quality? Offering Murder She Wrote rather than the award winning TaskMaster – about to enter its seventh series – is questionable! (If you haven’t see in it you are missing out, it is THE funniest programme on telly).

If consumers are unhappy with the new bundle and want to change or end their current contract without any penalties I advise writing to Virgin Media and stating that it is in breach of contract under the Consumer Rights Act. This and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations both protect consumers from unfair contracts. You should not be out of pocket and so any refund should be backdated to the date of the change so long as you notify Virgin Media within a reasonable time.

You could also email  Virgin Media’s CEO. He won’t respond personally but hey let’s fill up the inbox with hundreds of emails requesting a refund or cancellation! Virgin Media CEO contact details (and any other CEO for that matter!) As a Virgin Media customer for many many years I can tell you that  the Executive Office aint good! But keep at it!

I am hearing of lots of people who can’t get through on the ‘phone. You do not need to so this. It would be an unfair contract term to say you can only cancel by phone. There would be no evidence if you want to take the matter further or proof that Virgin Media made the offer it did. To say nothing of saving you time. Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively

Some people are not getting discount some are. Some people are getting out of their contracts penalty free some aren’t. My guess is that the people who are winning are quoting consumer law. Make sure you are armed.

Mixed results from people who are ringing Virgin (see the comments under the blog post!) But! People who are following the advice above are getting good results, so do it!

FB post - complained to CEO weekly discount for year FB post terminate contract for free or £3 a month reduction

Contact Trading Standards to report Virgin Media

You can also report Virgin Media for this breach through CAB. Enough people do that perhaps we can get them fined as well! Just copy and paste stuff from here or simply send the link, it gives the law breach and their stance. (Unless you write and quote your rights!)

Ofcom and Virgin Media

Ofcom also now says could be considered unfair contract term and is in discussions with Virgin Media. So mention this when you negotiate with Virgin Media too.

UKTV

Meanwhile:

Update 23 July 2018

26/07/18 In a statement to me UKTV said:

“UKTV ratings have been down by 4% since we’ve been off Virgin Media, and we’ve had thousands of viewers telling us that they’re in the process of switching to other providers so they can continue to watch our channels. We’d love to thank our viewers for all of their support.”

Taskmaster and Virgin Media

Currently the best programme on tv.  A spokesperson for @TaskmasterUnoff  (the Twitter account set up by the makers of the programme before the official account was set up by UKTV/DAVE) said “4 million customers have the bundle so that’s 4 million potential viewers down.”

4 million!!!

Virgin Media comment on their package fiasco

I asked Virgin Media press office for a comment. It refused to provide one.

Didn’t get a response to this either:

There’s a petition against Virgin Media too!

Warnings about taking a reduction in package cost with Virgin Media

Also be careful if you go for a price reduction. Look through the offer carefully:

Also be warned. The scammers were quick off the mark:

https://twitter.com/shaun_131/status/1020672594603888640

How will new Virgin Media customers be affected?

How’s that for misleading consumers? Those who sign up for UKTV tonight (Saturday 21 July 2018) find that they don’t have it? Oh yes breach of consumer law! Feel free to copy and report to the Advertising Standards Authority.

ITV and Virgin Media problems

Looks like could be an issue with ITV programmes too. Virgin Media could lose ITV programmes in long-running dispute. 

Certainly the same legal rights and what you should do apply.

28 July 2018 last minute deal has been signed to  keep ITV on Virgin Media for 3 years.

Greg Davies Alex Horne Taskmaster on tv on wall

More help with complaining effectively

Want help writing that complaint? See Top 20 tips for complaining effectively.

lap top on woman's knees phone in one hand

 

For more help complaining about telecom providers see All you need to know about complaining to telecom providers

 

 

 

Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

And for more advice, stories, consumer laws and template letters GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

 

 

Passengers doubly likely to be delayed on flights will need double the help!

More flight delays likely

School holiday time is upon us again. For many people this will mean taking a flight abroad to a favourite destination. But it is now more likely than ever that you will encounter problems with your flight. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently revealed that delays so far this year have already more than doubled, compared to 2017. European Air Traffic Control Delays Loom over Summer Air Travel.

IATA says “Data from Eurocontrol shows that in the first half of 2018, Air Traffic Management (ATM) delays more than doubled to 47,000 minutes per day, 133% more than in the same period last year. Most of these delays are caused by staffing and capacity shortages as well as other causes such as weather delays and disruptive events. The average delay for flights delayed by air traffic control limitations reached 20 minutes in July, but the longest delay reached 337 minutes (5 hours 37 minutes).”

Companies do not do enough to inform people of their rights and most people do not get the compensation they are owed. So, here are some tips on what to do if your flight is postponed, cancelled or you are denied boarding.

aeroplane wing in sky "Flight delays more than doubled in the EU. Your rights"

1)    Compensation for delays is only due on flights in the EU or when using an EU airline arriving two hours (for cancelled and denied boarding flights up to 1,500km, 3 hours for over this length) or more late. How much you are entitled to depends on how long the delay and how long the flight. It changes again if the flight is cancelled before/after seven days before you are due to depart. It does not reflect the price of the flight and is a fixed amount of compensation.

2)    If your flight is cancelled or delayed for several hours – the airline must look after passengers. It must provide food, drinks, and some communications. If you are delayed overnight, this also means providing you with a hotel and the travel to and from it. (All these must still be provided even if the delay was out of the airline’s control).

3)    If your flight is cancelled – the airline must offer an alternative flight or a full refund. You may also be entitled to compensation if the flight was cancelled less than 14 days before the scheduled departure.

4)    Denied boarding or “bumped” from a flight – the airline must offer an alternative flight or a refund. Passengers are entitled to compensation. (Between €125 and €600 depending on length of flight).

5)    If your flight is delayed by more than 5 hours and you no longer want to travel you, and your fellow passengers, are entitled to a full refund.

6)    If you miss your connecting flight and so arrived at the final destination more than 3 hours late, you are entitled to compensation of between €250 and €600. However, this is only the case if you book both flights together but they can be with different airlines.

7)    Airlines may advise you to make alternative travel arrangements, then claim back the cost later. If you do this, try to keep costs down as much as you can, keep receipts and write down the name of the person giving this advice. Book with the same airline if at all possible.

8)    Airlines may try and fight your claim! Be ready with quoting your legal rights. You are due to compensation under Regulation (EC) 261/2004. In March 2018 the Supreme Court ruled that airlines must pay compensation when passengers miss a connecting flight and arrive more than 3 hours late, even for destinations outside of the EU.

9)    The airlines do not have to respond to complaints within an official time limit, so set them a date by which you expect to receive a response. At the very least they should send you “holding letter” of investigation upon receipt of your complaint.

10) If you are not satisfied with the response you can take the issue to an Alternative Dispute Resolution provider, such as CEDR for BA flights, or make a claim through the online small claims system.

You have up to 6 years to request compensation, so look at cases where you have been refused compensation in the past. It is such a small minority of people who claim this compensation, airlines should do more to ensure passengers are given what’s due instead of blatantly ripping them off!blue sky aeroplane

 

For more information and details on delays (including strikes) and your rights see What to do when your flight is delayed  and Airline compensation rates and claim letter template.Look out timber frame on a beach "researching, booking and complaining aabout holidays and flights. Tips, ideas and your rights"

See  All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights for more information about flights delays, including compensation levels and holiday complaints.

 

Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

For more advice, tips, consumer law and template letters….

GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!