Virgin Media Pricing Scam?

I’ve had a Virgin Media account for broadband only for 14 months. The price of the service is clearly advertised at £22.50 per month, with an introductory discount of £5 a month for 3 months.

After being with them for 11 months, I got an email saying that the price was increasing by £1.15 per month. Nothing to write home about, I ignored it.

I was therefore surprised to see that the price advertised on the website today is still £22.50, not £23.65 as I’ve been paying for the last 3 months.

I decided to call Virgin about this and ask why. I was told that the actual price is £28.65 and that my discount was reduced from £6.15 to £5.00. I started to discuss how the price could be £28.65 if the advertised price was £22.50 with no mention of a discount and there’s nothing mentioned about it on my bill. The guy at the other end started getting pretty angry and rude, so I asked to make a complaint about him, at which point he immediately transferred my call to a different department! Ha!

Not entirely sure about the ins and outs of this, but it definitely seems like some subversive and potentially dishonest pricing is going on.

Update: I eventually got transferred back to someone else who put in a complaint against the guy that was rude, confirmed that the price is £28.65 and now I’m on a different discount structure but credited me £5 for the hassle. They told me they could reduce the price to £22.50 again if I was staying with Virgin, but because I’m moving they can’t.

I’m finding it really hard to believe that the price can be a value which is not shown or advertised on the purchase page or the bill, and that I can receive an unquantified discount which can be adjusted at any time. I reported this to Ofcom while waiting on hold, so trust that someone now knows about it and I can sleep in peace.

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