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Monday, February 11, 2008

F***ing Virgin Media! 

On Saturday, a Virgin Media repair crew was supposed to turn up at my house, dig up the footpath and lay a new phone line for me. They didn't.

I wasn't at home. I was told there was no need for me to be there so I stayed at David's. Probably a foolish move.

The was evidence for a visit: my recycling bins had been moved and there was a 12" length of cable left on my doorstep. No digging though so I decided to call them to find out what was going on.

Apparently, the crew had turned up and tested the line. Very clever. That wasn't what they had been booked to do.

I was given a date for them to come and try again. It was for the end of the month: two weeks away. That would mean that I was without a phone line for two whole months. I wasn't happy and asked to be put through to disconnections.

After trying to get me to agree to another repair that was miraculously nearer but I told the man that I really had no confidence in Virgin Media whatsoever and that I really did want to disconnect.

He agreed, stopped trying to keep me as a customer and proceeded with the disconnection. However, there was a problem; My account had been frozen.

"Why?"

He would find out. Hold. Horrible loud music.

He cam back and told me my account had been frozen becuase my call charges for this month were rather high.

"How high?" I asked.

"£475," he replied.

"WHAT?" I asked. My highest bill to date has been £60.

Don't forget as well that both my phone lines have been out of action for the last six weeks. There is no way I could have made those calls.

Although he couldn't tell me the numbers called, he could say that they were to other Orpington numbers and were for four or five hours at a time with the occasional call to the speaking clock.

I'm now waiting for them to call me and tell me how I could have made the calls and what's to be done.

Needless to say, any reservations about disconnecting from Virgin Media have been blown away. Even if they were the only phone company on the planet, I would rather use two tin cans and a piece of string.

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Scottish writer Alan Campbell has been having really serious problems with BT since they accidentally cut him off and have since refused to reconnect him without a standard fee of over £100. (You can get to his blog via mine.) I'm really beginning to wonder if the two-cans-and-some-string isn't a better option. Sadly, the Royal Mail is no longer a reliable alternative for frequent communications.
 
Sounds like someone else has been using the line
 
I think people get lonely, and call the speaking clock just to hear another voice. Speaking clocks in foreigh lands are the holy grail. Who wants to speak with native tongues, when talking clocks the world over wag theirs over your crossed wires.
 
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