I did, I called them!
I can’t remember the guy’s name but oh, he thought himself better than me. Huffing and puffing down the line, he was! I’m the one causing him inconvenience. I should be ashamed of myself.
Basically, he gave no joy. He was always going to give no joy. He answered the phone with a sigh.
I explained the situation — a failed direct debit, I receive a letter saying to pay before bill issue, I pay, the bill is issued, and I’m charged the arrears and a late fee — and he said it was because I’d paid a day late.
“Excuse me? I paid before the bill was issued.”
“No, you didn’t.”
“Yes, I did.”
“No, your bill was issued on the 9th, you paid on the 10th, and that’s a day late.”
“I received an email from Virgin saying my bill was ready at 2230 on the 10th. If my bill is issued on the 9th how am I meant to know? Crystal ball?”
“No, you check your virgin account.” He went on to explain how the account works. You log in, yadda yadda. If I looked then I’d see that the bill I received had been amended and reduced, so I don’t owe the whole amount now anyway. It’s just a month + the late fee.
I raise the issue of trust. He’s telling me to trust the website but it doesn’t tell me that my bill has been reduced. It just asks for the full amount.
“This has nothing to do with trust,” he said.
“It has everything to do with trust. You’re wanting me to confirm what you’re saying by using your website when the website doesn’t confirm what you say.”
Unfortunately, he made the mistake of interrupting me. Usually, I let it fly but if I’m rankled, I don’t. I talk louder and I start from the beginning. If I get to the end and they’re still talking, I start again but a bit louder. I add in the odd, “I can’t believe you’re still talking” as I continue repeating myself until they’re listening.
When I heard him mutter and sigh, I said, “It seems you’re not able to assist me so I’ll speak to your supervisor.”
I had to repeat that request 3 times. It took 15 minutes to be transferred through. Mr Manager Man was a very softly spoken gent — I thought, be nice, and I was.
He told me that I’m still considered to be in debt. I may have paid the debt but because it was transferred onto a due bill, which is still outstanding, it’s classed as a debt.
An outstanding balance on a bill is only a debt once you haven’t paid it by the due date, surely? The due date isn’t until March so how am I in debt?
Because I had a debt that’s been cleared.
Also, my direct debit is cancelled and I can’t set it up until I’ve paid.
But I have paid, I haven’t got a debt.
Mr Manager Man lost his patience. I think his misfortune was in his use of words. You see, I just don’t think repeating yourself is an explanation.
He repeated himself again so I said, “Look, I’m a loyal customer — when did I last pay late?”
I was told that it really wasn’t a question of loyalty but he’d waver the late fee as a gesture of goodwill.
And that couldn’t have been done in the first place?
I’ll be calling back tomorrow to doublecheck.
Upon writing this, I may have been a tad difficult. Mr Huff-n-Puff didn’t set things off great, and I’m not paying their late fee. I’m barely late.
It’s true, online does tell me my bill has been amended. Not as obviously as Mr Huff was making out, you’ve got to click on the bill 3 times. 3! Surely by 2 you should have all the information!
Whilst speaking to Mr Huff I did check the email I received from Virgin that told me that my bill was ready. I got it on the 10th, but in quite a prominent place is ‘bill issued: 9th Feb’. Naturally, I kept this revelation to myself.
Overall, it’s the principle of the matter. I paid in the no-mans land between bill issue and receipt. If Virgin billed by post then it’s a different story, but they don’t. They send an email to say to check it. They send that a day after they issue it, and so, in essence, give a day less notice to pay it. It’s very tenuous, but the World we live in is very now now now, so if they want money by a certain date they should say. Virgin don’t say. Virgin keep it vague. It would suggest, Virgin clearly wants these late fees.
And I really don’t like being interrupted, especially when I’m only going to hear the same again. My method for dealing with it this might not be the best but it is effective. I end with the last word because I haven’t stopped talking. People have put the phone down on me. I figure, you interrupted me so I will not allow you to speak until I’ve finished.
You shut it, I finish, you speak.
Besides, Mr Huff should’ve just wavered the late fee because my not paying was clearly an honest mistake. When I had a call similar to this at Portsmouth Water I had access to payment history and everything. It didn’t take much to look through, see the consistency of payments, maybe consult a supervisor, and there we are. Wavered. Done. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Keep the customer sweet, they’re always right.
Mr Huff thought I was wrong and so he got what he had coming.