Just wondering if I could get some opinions on some issues I've been having trying to get Cable installed. It's a pretty long read so apologies in advance.
- VM say that installation without disturbing my neighbour is financially unviable. I don't see how it can be that much more costly than their proposed route which greatly disturbs my neighbours. Is there anything I can do to convince them?
It all started about three years ago when I signed up for VM. Before the installation they had drawn things on the ground with paint, including where the little 'catv' cover would go. However, the installation date came and went and I hadn't heard anything from them (other than being charged for it!). After chasing them up they told me that I couldn't get it but were unable to provide any further explanation. They then continued to charge us for service for the first month and it took another month to get them to refund the money.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago. I stumbled upon the link where you can fill out a form and ask them to investigate an area further. A few days later I received a call from a gentleman who was a local representative. He offered to come round and confirm whether it could be done as my immediate neighbours to the left have had cable in the past as have neighbours in the same block of houses (on the other end).
He said that it is not a problem when he came round and also said that the cable runs right alongside the top of our garden. The day before installation was due to take place I saw two men from Virgin Media having a look around (I guess this is the pre-installation team?). I didn't have time to chat to them as I had to get ready for work and they were gone shortly after. I received a phone call later that day from someone saying that they needed to cut through the downstairs flat's driveway and they were unable to get permission. I was perplexed as to who this downstairs flat referred to, it turns out it was my neighbours and they had approached them during the day about cutting down and across their driveway. I'm not happy about them asking my neighbours this completely out of the blue without telling us the situation first. My neighbours quite understandably were not going to give their permission for work to be done without due consideration and consultation. The VM guy who told me on the phone was unable to offer details about where exactly things needed to be cut but from speaking to my neighbour it seems this is what they wanted to do:
There is already a cable line (I think its unused now) going through the neighbours concreted front garden and into their property. The installation team wanted to cut across the bottom of their driveway (its about 6 or 7 metres - that diagram is not to scale) and connect the end of that cable to our property. The whole area is concreted so it would have been quite messy but since it wasn't explicitly explained to me I'm not sure this is even what they wanted.
That was about a month ago, and since then I've been trying to get through to my local representative to confirm exactly what work needed to be done and for what reason, given it was supposed to be going right outside my garden. Unfortunately, the number seemed to be connected to a FAX machine for a long period of time until a few weeks ago when another gentleman picked up (the other chap is on holiday) and said he would come and check it out and it should be possible to do so without disturbing my neighbours. He has said that actually we can just cut across the private road, it could be that the engineers didn't realise this at first.
He also quite candidly said that a lot of subcontractors in the area are very lazy and since they get paid by the job they don't want to spend the time doing it if its slightly more complicated than average and that may have been what happened.
So the install was rebooked (as the previous job had been cancelled). I was told that a survey appointment was made for the morning of Saturday 27th. The local rep said that he will discuss the options with us when he comes, including properly explaining the route via the neighbours. Unfortunately, this survey person never turned up (or if they did they didn't speak to us about it).
After phoning VM, they said the technician has now declared the property unserviceable again. Apparently he came (he didn't knock on the door to speak to us and I was looking out of the window for most of the morning in anticipation and didn't see them so I have my doubts about that). According to VM Customer Services, he has said that the only way to do it is to dig across the neighbours driveway. Digging across the private road is apparently financially unviable according to the team manager of the team that came. The local rep told me specifically that if the technician says that I should say something about 'the spotter has preapproval' from somewhere or something in that tune. Of course, since they didn't let their presence known to me I couldn't tell them that and the VM Customer Service were having none of that and saying that the Team Manager hath spoken.
The issue I have is that I do not for one second doubt what the spotter said about some subcontractors not wanting to do a job which is a little more complicated. If that truly is the case then I do not accept that as an outcome. The reason I think it might be is that the actual digging across from where the cable on the neighbour's property is maybe at best a few metres shorter than they would be digging from the street. If they are digging to the 'catv' cover then it would be about 5/6 metres extra digging. If they are digging just to the street pavement it would be the exact same distance pretty much as digging from the neighbour's house. I don't know the technical stuff behind it, but I don't see how 5 or 6 metres can make it financially unviable.
Is there any possible avenue I can still pursue to be able to get Virgin Media? I even asked on the phone about getting more packages to make it viable (right now its just broadband + phone but I have no problem with swtiching from Sky and getting several TiVO boxes + sports + HD + movies if that means they can do it) but the CS rep said the team manager would only say the same thing.
At the very least I want the technician who comes out to speak to me about what route they actually want to take. Right now I'm just assuming based off what my unsure neighbours seemed to think and the local rep who came round. We need to know what they are planning to even begin to discuss it with our neighbours (if it comes down to the last resort).
Is there anything at all that I can do to get them to install their services? Is there anyone else I can contact? Is there a local manager at all?
Thanks in advance for your advice!