Friday, 25 November 2011

Leaving Virgin Media

After over four years, a better offer of broadband provision took my fancy. So I did what I should do and called VirginMedia on the phone to tell them what I was doing. I also cancelled my direct debit and asked for a final bill to be sent to me.

Yes folks, beware if you change from Virgin Media to another provider, because they will charge you for the privilege, no matter how long it is since your original contract expired. I wonder if the "philanthropic" Richard Branson is aware of the practices employed to screw more money out of unsuspecting subscribers? Ahem! Well, eight weeks passed and in my naivety, I thought they had got it wrong at the call centre and no charges would be levied. Not so.

On the 22nd of November, I received a letter from, yes, my old mates at Virgin, pointing out that I may have overlooked the need to pay this bill for discontinuing services. Immediately, debit card clutched in my reluctant little hand, I phoned and payed them, as requested, £24.00 which was "inclusive of the £23.50 disconnection charge." The 50p must have been to cover postage, I have no idea, I just paid.

Now please do not be losing the will to live as I continue with what I consider to be a warning to those daring and brave enough to change from Virgin Media. Here the saga continues: today, 25th November, I received a letter from a debt recovery agent, acting on behalf of yes, you've guessed it, good old Virgin Media.

To say I was incandescent with rage and spitting feathers is no exaggeration. After an abortive attempt (due to seeing red, rather than my telephone keypad), I spoke to a very nice woman who said that their records show today that I had paid. Despite her reassurances, I am still concerned that I may have joined a bad debtors list and become unable to get credit anywhere. She said not, but I am tempted to try to buy something from a Virgin store or site, or indeed a Rolls Royce from a reputable dealer, and see what THEY think of my credit rating.

So, the moral of the story is, Virgin will charge if you decide to cease being a subscriber with them. They will not send your final bill when promised and when they do and you pay up, you might also be chased by a debt collector. Now I wonder, does Mr. Branson like them apples?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Paul O'Grady

It is months since any thought collection and dispersal have taken place but I just have to share something. By good fortune, I found Paul O'Grady's autobiography "At My Mother's Knee....and other loose joints" in a local cancer charity shop. This book is a must if you need to laugh out loud or even vent some emotion with tears. It is absolutely brilliant.

Having loved Paul since he burst onto our screens as Lily Savage, the book just confirms what a special, funny and genuinely nice man he is. Actually, his childhood mirrors my own so closely, even down to the plastic Virgin Mary's with screw top crowns, that I wondered if he was in the same house as me when I was growing up. If you can, watch him on Channel 4, and even more important, read his book and weep (and laugh out loud). By the way, Paul, thank you for introducting me to that wonderful poem by Ferdinand Freiligrath, " Love as Long as You Can."

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Doesn't Time Fly When You're Havin' Fun? Doh!

I am ashamed to say that I have abandoned this blogging lark due to the absence of motivation or creative ideas for some time. Judging by the history here, that would be 7 months at least. Shame on me! It seemed as if I entered some sort of fugue state, or even lost my marbles for a time. But thanks to the ministrations of the good old NHS, I am now whole and hearty again, in body if not yet fully compos in the brain department. Do forgive, please?

Having had two operations, a bit of a scare with blood loss, a lot of wonderful care and attention, I really had to get on here and sing the praises of our local NHS Trust, namely Leeds and in particular, the Clarendon Wing at Leeds General Infirmary. What a set of stars the Plastic Surgery team is - all of them golden and shining bright in every aspect. Cannot thank or praise them all enough.

Meanwhile, I must away and once again admire their handiwork wrought upon my person. Believe me, when I say we are so lucky to have the NHS, warts and all, I speak from heartfelt experience. Let us all fight to keep it. And to LGI Clarendon Wing, thanks folks.