/ Technology

Virgin doubles your speed, but could it lead to a new contract?

Virgin Media Logo Black

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?

Comments
Member

I had a letter saying I’d been doubled, but when I tested the line it was still coming in at under 10mb. There was no mention of needing a new router, although I kinda guessed that that would be part of the problem.

I’m still annoyed that since they started going on about this free doubling, my price has gone up 3x , so to me its not free at all.

Member

Ok, I’ve just rang up and requested a super hub (as I thought that was why I still only getting 10mb). The lady mentioned that getting a Super Hub would require a new 12 month contract as the superhub allows for upto 30mb and is therefore a change on my existing package. After mentioning that I’m still on 10mb and haven’t noticed the “doubling” she agreed to pass me over to a technician. Turns out everything was fine, but my modem was still thinking it should only give me a 10Mb connection. My account was setup for 20Mb though. So after the technician rebooted the modem and upgraded it, I’m now on 20Mb with no extra contract.

I guess something didn’t happen correctly as part of their doubling process. As according to the technician it should have all just worked without me needing to ring up.

Member
sawdoc2013 says:
11 May 2013

So in a way then it did cost, unless you got VM landline or mobile phone?

Member

It didn’t cost anything apart from the 3 ninja price risies between them advertising the doubling and me getting it.

Luckily the 0845 call to customer services is free on the package I’m on. although I shouldn’t have needed to do that.

Member
Steve Ellis says:
11 May 2013

I’ve been upgraded from 20mb to 60mb recently and absolutely no mention of a new 12 month contract. If I decide to switch (which I’m not) good luck with them trying that one on me !!!! However, it was a bit of a coincidence that my monthly bill went up by nearly £5 shortly after the upgrade.

Member
sawdoc2013 says:
11 May 2013

Check ya bills then. It seems to me they have done sommat with ya contract without telling you, which in itself is against the law. A contract works both ways. If you’d of broke it VM will soon jump on ya but if VM break their side of the contract they don’t really care. People seem to forget a contract is a 2 way thing.

Member
Mandy says:
11 May 2013

We were 10MB and it did double to up to 20MB (basic virgin modem) ,however I noticed we were being charged an extra £1.15 per month,not much I know but new customers were being charged less for 30MB per month. Hubby phoned to complain and we were offered a free virgin superhub with 30MB but we would have to pay £20 postage! Hubby says no way,VM eventually agreed to send free postage. We were told it would be a 12 month contract. (We did the set-up ourselves, otherwise would have had to pay for engineer) We were refunded the extra we paid while on 20MB and we are now paying the same price as new customers are for an upto 30MB speed.

Member
sawdoc2013 says:
12 May 2013

Sounds ok but I’d still keep an eye on ya bills for a few months just to be sure hun.

I’m with e-on for gas and levy, been with them for nearly 8 years. About a month ago I called just to check how much I owed to keep tabs, and they said on the phone cos I’ve been with them a long time there was a tariff witch would save me x £ over 12 months. This tariff was only a12 month thing and if i didnt like it i could go back to my origina tariff. think they wanted me to say yes there and then. I’m daft but I ain’t stupid as the saying goes. I asked them to post out the information to me. Got it with in a few days, checked it and did the sums. It wasn’t that much cheaper. So didn’t do anything about it.

The moto is don’t sign up for anything until you’ve done ya homework, read the small print as there are always catches, and as the saying goes if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.