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Virgin tackles ex-Telewest bundling bug

Ex-Telewest subscribers may be paying more for bundled services than they bargained for as the integration of the UK cable company into Virgin Media continues.

Over the weekend, telecoms.com discovered first hand that Telewest subscribers who had signed up for a bundle over 12 months ago were now being charged for single services.

On a triple play combination of TV, phone and broadband for example, this means a customer could be paying £10 per month more than they should.

A phone call to customer services rectified the matter satisfactorily and the representative confirmed that many other customers were experiencing the same complaint.

He added that a dedicated call centre unit had been set up to inform ex-Telewest subscribers of the problem and to put them on to more suitable contracts. However, the company’s customer service department is currently being swamped by callers enquiring about the recent removal of Sky’s basic channels after a licensing dispute.

By way of compensation, dissatisfied Virgin Media subscribers are being allowed to cancel their contracts if they want to move elsewhere, while those that choose to stay are being upgraded to the next best TV package for a year.

A Virgin Mobile spokeswoman was unable to confirm the company’s efforts to inform customers of the bundling bug. But a trawl through the forums at CableForum.co.uk, a UK cable subscriber community site, revealed many more Virgin customers with the same issue.

However, a majority of those complaints had also been dealt with satisfactorily, perhaps indicating that the Virgin Group’s legendary customer service was one of the first things to be implemented at the new company.

In May, Virgin Media will double the speed experienced by its XL cable broadband subscribers, from up to 10Mbps to up to 20Mbps. The upgrade with come at a price increase of £2 per month, from £35 to £37.

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