When it comes to internet connections, I think speed is everything. So when Virgin Media offered to double my speed for free, I leapt at the chance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite that simple…
If you’re with Virgin Media, you’ve probably seen the adverts, emails and letters proclaiming the good news: Virgin has embarked on a huge project to double the broadband speed of its UK customers.
It’s no mean feat for the company, and I was really excited to hear about the project. According to the instructions on my online account, all I needed to do was select a time for an engineer to come round and swap my old router for the new ‘Superhub’. Then, I’d get twice the speeds without paying any extra.
Unfortunately, as it got closer to the installation, I realised they’d booked me in for the wrong day. So I phoned to change the date, and that’s when the confusion started.
My free 12 month contract
‘No problem,’ said the cheerful guy in the customer service centre. ‘We’ll schedule you for a different day. Your new contract won’t start until it’s installed.’
‘I’m sorry,’ I said, ‘a new contract? I thought this was just a free speed upgrade?’
‘Well, it is,’ he said, ‘but when you get the free upgrade, you’ll start on a new 12 month contract.’
I scratched my head and asked him to cancel the upgrade. Even though I was excited about the double speed broadband, I wanted to give it some thought before I locked myself into a new contract.
Personally, I had no idea there was a new contract until I called the customer service team. So, if I hadn’t phoned, I might be locked in for another 12 months without even realising.
The cost of a free upgrade
When we spoke to Virgin Media about this issue, it told us that no one who’s upgraded as part of the free speed doubling programme should be locked into a 12-month contract, even if they’re supplied new equipment.
We’d love to hear from you if Virgin Media has contacted you about the free upgrade, as we’re investigating whether there might be a wider problem. If you took the upgrade, were you locked into a 12 month contract and, if so, were you warned about it first?