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Virgin Media, Sky and Vodafone users hit by instant fines – don’t be next

If you’ve booked an appointment for a Virgin Media engineer to visit you at home be warned… not hearing the doorbell could leave you facing a hidden charge. Some customers, who missed an appointment, have suddenly noticed a £25 fee being added to their bill and they are not happy.

The penalty affects anyone who isn’t at home when the Virgin team knock at the door. One customer who recently fell foul of the new rules says she was looking after her two toddlers when she missed the engineers and is now having to fork out the fee.

Speaking to The Mirror, Emma Robinson from Caterham in Surrey, said: “I have two young children and it’s not unusual for me to fail to hear the doorbell ring if I am upstairs giving my baby a bath.

“Now Virgin want to fine me for not answering my door when they rarely pick up the phone themselves and offer some of the worst customer service on the market. Unbelievable.”

Virgin says that it only charges this fee if customers fail to cancel up to 24 hours before.

£25 may sound pretty pricey for missing an appointment but it’s worth noting that the Internet Service Provider (ISP) isn’t the only company charging customers.

READ MORE: Check your router now! Virgin Media issues vital advice for all broadband users

Sky also says that it may add £25 to a customer’s bill if they are not at home and things get even worse for those with services from Vodafone.

The UK network confirms on its website that some users could be charged a whopping £110 if someone is not at home. Other suppliers that add penalties for missed appointments include John Lewis (£50) and TalkTalk (£40).

If you book an appointment for someone to visit your home it’s worth checking the small print to see how much might be added to your bill if you end up being out.  Most ISPs only charge if you cancel a few hours before the visit so if you know you’re not going to be home, give the provider a call and get things changed ASAP.

Speaking about its new charges a Virgin spokesperson said: “Unlike many other providers, all our customers benefit from service and repairs at no extra cost – even if we need to send out an engineer.

“Charges for missed appointments are common across the industry to ensure we best serve all customers and we’re proud that our charges are amongst the lowest in the market.”

In response to the news, Martyn James, of complaints handling group, resolver.co.uk, told The Mirror: “Anyone who has spent ages trying to get an appointment for a fault – or has waited at home till the evening with no knock on the door – will be outraged that a missed appointment could result in a charge.

“The broadband industry has a pretty terrible reputation for missed appointments, service and sorting complaints.

“Until the sector has its house in order, it shouldn’t be charging extra for anything – including missed appointments and exit fees.”

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