Virgin Media’s Automatic Compensation Scheme
Virgin Media’s “Automatic Compensation Scheme” means the Industryvoluntary Code of Practice for an automatic compensation scheme, approved and published by Ofcom on 10 November 2017
In order to comply with the Automatic Compensation Scheme (“The Scheme”), this policy outlines the provision of credits to customers in circumstances where:
- They experience a qualifying delay in activation of a fixed line or broadband service (defined at paragraph 1 below); or
- They experience a qualifying delayed repair following loss of service to a fixed line or broadband service (defined at paragraph 8); or
- They experience a qualifying missed engineer appointment relating to the installation or repair of a fixed line or broadband service (defined at paragraph 18).
The Scheme applies to the provision and repair of residential fixed-line and broadband services, including existing customer’s service upgrades that result in them being entered in to a new contractual commitment period. Where payments have been made, or will be made, to Virgin Media in respect of residential fixed-line or broadband services, any credits issued under this policy will represent refunds of, or discounts to, those payments only. The Scheme only applies to residential services, and does not apply to business services intended primarily for use by business customers.
Credits are triggered by a failure to meet quality standards applicable to Virgin Media’s broadband and fixed line service. The Scheme excludes credits for loss of service or delayed installation issues resulting from customer-caused faults, for example, incorrect use of devices, in-home wiring issues and missed appointments caused by the customer. The Scheme excludes other services that may be provided by Virgin Media, such as TV or mobile voice/data.
Credits for delay in activation of a fixed line or broadband service
1. At the point of ordering the applicable service, where possible, Virgin Media will provide a date upon which the chosen services will be connected to the premises and the appropriate equipment put in place in order for those services to be accessible by the customer (‘activation’). If at the point of placing this order Virgin Media has reason to believe that additional engineering work may be required in order to provide the service, for example construction to connect the customer’s premises to the network that may require permissions or permits outside of Virgin Media’s control, then a provisional activation date will be provided. Only after the necessary investigation has been undertaken will Virgin Media be able to provide a confirmed date for activation. Credits will not be payable if a provisional appointment date is changed to a different, confirmed date.
Subject to paragraph 35 (exclusions), Virgin Media shall credit a customer if it does not activate a fixed line or broadband service by 23.59pm on the confirmed activation date. This includes customers joining Virgin Media for the first time, existing customers adding a new broadband or fixed line service or an existing customer moving to new premises.
2. Subject to limitations outlined in paragraphs 32-36, the amount of credit payable shall be:
a. £5.25 for the missed activation date; plus
b. £5.25 for each full calendar day that expires after the confirmed activation date until the first available date that is offered as an alternative activation date or, if earlier, the date the customer or Virgin Media terminates or cancels the affected service or services.
For example, if a service is due to be activated on a Wednesday but is delayed until Thursday, then £5.25 will be payable (being £5.25 for the missed initial activation date). If it instead it was activated a day later, on Friday, then £10.50 will be payable (being £5.25 for the missed initial activation date and an additional £5.25 for the one additional complete full calendar day until activation).
3. Virgin Media will notify the customer of their eligibility for a credit when the delay in activation of the service arises. This notification will be made via the email address or phone number that has been recorded on the customer account. The applicable credit will be automatically added to the customers Virgin Media account. If the service is cancelled before a new installation is agreed and delivered, a cheque will be sent to the household.
4. Credits will be payable for this service failure in addition to any credit payable as a result of a missed appointment as outlined in paragraph 18.
5. Where a customer agrees to self-install their Virgin Media service, the required equipment will be sent to their home, unless an alternative delivery address, Click-and-Collect or Retail store collection is chosen. Credit will apply if Virgin Media fails to deliver the equipment by the agreed delivery date and the customer notifies Virgin Media that it has not been received. Credit will not apply in this instance if Virgin Media can demonstrate proof of postage, or provide equivalent evidence that the equipment has been correctly dispatched to the chosen destination. For example, if a courier attempts delivery at a specified time and the customer is not available to receive collection, credit shall not apply.
6. Where a customer agrees to self-install their Virgin Media service and the equipment is delivered by the notified date, this constitutes completion of the activation process. If a subsequent equipment fault or service issue arises during the self-installation this will constitute a fault, and any credit will be applicable from the point at which the customer attempted to install the service and notified Virgin Media of a total loss of service as per paragraphs 8-17.
7. Virgin Media reserves the right to pass on any costs it incurs as a result of a delay in activation resulting from a customer’s action, for example: not allowing necessary access to connect the service or delays arising from in-home issues.
Credit for a delayed repair following loss of service to a fixed line or broadband service
8. Subject to paragraph 35 (exclusions) Virgin Media will credit a customer if:
a. The customer reports a Total Loss of Service (TLS) in relation to their Virgin Media fixed line or broadband service, including during the upgrade or downgrade of a tier of service when signing a new contractual commitment or following the installation of new equipment; and
b. following an engineer visit or remote testing and diagnosis, a TLS is identified and a fault is (or should have been) recorded on that line or service; and
c. the fault is not resolved by 23.59pm on the day two working days after the fault is reported by a customer (the “Payment Trigger Time”), unless the customer has requested a later date for repair. For example, if a fault is reported on a Monday, credit will become payable if the fault has not been fixed by the Payment Trigger Time of 23.59pm on Wednesday.
9. Credit will not apply in respect of any planned network service outage which is notified to the customer in advance. This notice will be provided by Virgin Media no less than 24 hours before the planned outage
10. Subject to the application of paragraphs 32-36 (Limit on payments), the amount of credit payable shall be a minimum of:
a. £8.40 for the Payment Trigger Time; and
b. £8.40 for each full calendar day the TLS continues for after the Payment Trigger Time.
11. The customer is not required to submit an additional request for credit beyond the first notification to Virgin Media.
12. Credit will be payable for this service failure in addition to any credit payable as a result of a missed appointment (paragraph 18). Credit shall be paid in the form of a bill credit, or if the customer or Virgin Media subsequently terminates or cancels the service, via a cheque.
13. If an applicable fault occurs for a customer registered as eligible for “Priority Fault Repair” in accordance with Ofcom General Condition C5, then the time for measuring resolution of such a fault shall start from the time Virgin Media first became aware of the issue, even if the customer is unable to report it until later. The customer is still required to report the fault, even if Virgin Media became aware of it separately.
14. The TLS must be reported to Virgin Media via Customer Services by calling 150 from a Virgin Media phone or 0345 454 1111 from any other phone, or via the dedicated links on virgin Media’s website for reporting faults. If Virgin Media is made aware of a fault via any other channel, such as social media or email, this will not be treated as a valid report under this policy.
15. The resolution of the TLS shall be measured from the time the issue is reported provided Virgin Media has been able to confirm that there is a fault.
16. For the purposes of The Scheme “Total Loss of Service” means:
a. in relation to a fixed voice telephony service either: i) where the customer is unable to make any outgoing calls or to receive any incoming calls; or ii) where the service only allows for one-way transmission;
b. in relation to a broadband service where the customer is unable to access the public internet via a wired connection,
in each case as a result of an unplanned change in the operation of the network(and/or elements of that network) provided by Virgin Media or used by it to provide its services. Total Loss of Service on broadband does not include loss of service of Wi-Fi when the service is still available through a wired connection.
17. Virgin Media reserves the right to pass on any costs it incurs as a result of a total loss of service resulting from a customer’s action, for example a customer caused fault or in-home issue.
Credit for a missed engineer appointment relating to the installation or repair of a fixed line or broadband service
18. Subject to paragraph 35 (exclusions), Virgin Media shall credit a customer if:
a. an engineer appointment is required for the provision or repair of a fixed line or broadband service; and
b. Virgin Media confirms the engineer appointment to the customer and the customer agrees to meet this appointment; and
c. the engineer does not attend at the confirmed appointment provided.
19. Credit does not apply if Virgin Media gives notice of a change or cancellation of the appointment at least 24 hours’ in advance of the original appointment or if the customer otherwise agrees to a change in the appointment time for the same day.
20. Credit does not apply if an appointment is cancelled less than 24 hours in advance of the original appointment due to either Virgin Media or the customer identifying that the original issue has been resolved and no longer requires an engineer visit. Virgin Media, or an agent on its behalf, shall record a change to the agreed appointment which may be made by a customer service agent on the phone, SMS request or by an alternative means.
21. Credit payable shall be a fixed amount of £26.24 per incident.
22. As soon as Virgin Media is aware that an appointment has been missed, credit payment will be made without the customer being required to request it.
23. If a customer contacts Virgin Media to inform it that the appointment was missed and this is confirmed, a payment shall be processed once the missed appointment is validated by Virgin Media.
24. Credit will be in the form of a bill credit.
25. Virgin Media reserves the right to pass on any costs it incurs if a customer misses an agreed appointment.
Payment of Credits
26. If a credit is payable, Virgin Media will pay this to affected customers as outlined in this Scheme. This payment will be in the form of a bill credit. If at the time of payment the customer or Virgin Media has cancelled the service, or the customer is not expected to receive any further bills, the payment will be made via a cheque.
27. Any credit shall be made in a timely manner and no later than the date:
a. One calendar month after a delayed provision is resolved or the customer or Virgin Media terminates or cancels the service intended to be activated;
b. One calendar month after the Total Loss of Service is resolved or the customer or Virgin Media terminates the service;
c. One calendar month after the date of the missed appointment.
28. If the credit is being made by way of a bill credit then it shall appear on the customer account within the above time period.
29. If the customer is due to receive a cheque, it may be received at a different time than if so agreed with the customer.
30. If the customer or Virgin Media decides lawfully to terminate or cancel the service for which the credit applies, then payments are only paid in line with this Scheme up until such termination.
31. The value for credits set out in this Scheme apply on a per customer order basis rather than on a per service basis. Therefore if a customer takes a fixed line and broadband service and both are affected concurrently, only one payment is payable for each applicable service issue. For example, a customer experiencing a delayed installation of broadband and home phone shall be credited once for that delay.
Limit on Payments
32. The application of the credits payable in accordance with paragraphs 1-17 (for a delayed provision or repair for a Total Loss of Service) may be limited to 30 calendar days beyond a notice (“the Notice”) being sent to the customer informing them that credit payments will cease.
33. Virgin Media shall not serve the Notice before the date 30 calendar days after credits start. The Notice shall:
a. set out the date, no less than 30 calendar days from the date of the Notice, on which credits will cease (“the Cease Date”);
b. set out that no early termination or default charges will be charged in the event of cancellation if a customer cancels before the Cease Date (even if service is restored during this period);
c. set out that the customer can still raise the issue through the complaints’ process and seek additional credit via that route.
d. provided the customer has not exercised any right to cancel before the Cease Date, Virgin Media will use reasonable endeavours to mitigate the impact caused by the absence of the service. This will be via the provision of mobile SIM to provide access to mobile data, voice and text message capability.
34. The limit applied to credit payable under this Scheme remains without prejudice to:
a. any right a customer has to cancel their services or claim additional refunds; or
b. any right Virgin Media has to end supply of a customer’s services.
35. Exclusions shall apply under the following scenarios
a. the customer is at fault for the service failure or prevents the service issue from being resolved (based on evidence known to Virgin Media), for example, not accepting the first available date for a repair or allowing access to their premises and/or relevant equipment;
b. Virgin Media reasonably believes that the customer’s report of a Total Loss of Service under paragraphs 8-17 is fraudulent, frivolous or vexatious;
c. the customer does not inform Virgin Media of any known restrictions within their control that would limit the ability to complete an installation or repair, including but not limited to: residential parking restrictions where the customer is required to provide a parking voucher or equivalent, height restrictions for car parks in flats and communal areas that prevent access, restrictions on visitor spaces in shared parking bays that prevent sufficient access where the customer can vacate a space;
d. it was not reasonably practicable for Virgin Media to avoid an obligation arising to pay credits due to the effects of an event for which emergency regulations have been made under Part 2 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004;
e. Virgin Media could reasonably expect that, if it took the action required in order to avoid an obligation arising to pay credit, it would or would be likely to be in breach of any law or regulation;
f. the customer has committed an offence under sections 125 or 126 of the Communications Act 2003;
g. the customer is in breach of the terms under which the affected communications services are supplied;
h. the fault is not in respect of the service provided or it is caused by equipment or activity within the customer’s home, for example the customer using their own wireless equipment instead of that supplied by Virgin Media; or
i. where an existing service is being upgraded, for instance broadband speed being increased, and the existing contractual period remains unchanged, no automatic credit shall be payable.
36. Credit shall still apply if the issue was caused by an event outside of Virgin Media’s or the customer’s control, unless a resolution is not possible due to the limitations set out in paragraphs 32-35.
Provision of information about credit payments to customers
37. When joining Virgin Media a customer will be informed of The Scheme and how to access it, as well as the Customer Complaints Code of Practice
38. When a customer enters into a contract for a service for which credit applies under this Scheme, Virgin Media shall tell the customer in a durable medium that a scheme applies for such services, where the customer can find details of its scheme and the means available to report service issues.
How to make a complaint and the appeals process
39. A customer should raise any complaint under this Scheme in accordance with the principles and process set out in Virgin Media’s Customer Complaints Code of Practice.
40. This includes the ability for a customer to follow the Alternative Dispute Resolution process where they wish to dispute Virgin Media’s decision regarding eligibility for credit or the amount paid under this Scheme.