Hmm... I have a little sympathy
I don't like premium rate numbers for tech support - I remember when freeserve had one and that was annoying as hell...
However, as Captain Jamie says "telling you to do things you've already done" - unfortunately the problem is that a lot of callers haven't already done that, they are the issue that a premium rate number aimed to solve.
I can imagine that you also didn't like the long waits on the line before you got to speak to someone - doubtless a large reason for this was because the phone operators were busy telling callers to 'try turning it off and back on again' and other assorted goodies.
The issue is that there are far too many people through either a lack of common sense, laziness, lack of knowledge or a combination of them all who would quicker pick up a phone to pester Virgin than try rebooting or whatever first. These are similar to the people that post questions on forums asking how to find out X when the first link on a google search for X spells out the answer plain to see.
People like this may potentially think twice if it was going to cost them 25p/minute. Maybe they'd think "Why should I pay 25p/min for someone to tell me to turn it off and back on again when I can do that now for free... oooh, f*ck me it worked". This leaves the lines free for genuine support calls to be given quicker attention. Let us not muddy this discussion with opinions on whether the call will glean any useful support as that is not the issue.
The fact that they will refund the call if the fault is theirs should be good enough for anyone with genuine issues to accept.
The other system goes like this:
Dummy: "Hi, I'm having a problem with X'
Op: "Have you tried rebooting"
Dummy: "No, I haven't, shall I do that now?"
Op: "That would be good, yes, do you know how to do that?"
Dummy: "Yes, it's rebooting now"
Dummy: "Oh wow! That fixed it, thanks a lot"
Op: "That's no problem, the service charge will appear on your next bill as 'f*ckwit fee'."
Dummy: "But I thought this was free?!?"
Op: "Well, yes, that's true for genuine support calls. Have a nice day now, goodbye"
Dummy: "Ok. Bye"
One thing is almost certain, Dummy will only ever see 'f*ckwit fee' on his bill once...
Maybe instead of playing lift music and telling us how much they value our call, they could instead say "While you are waiting, you may like to do such things as rebooting your problematic PC, stopping kazaa, ensuring that your network cable is firmly inserted into the correct slot on your PC....." - potentially this would weed out timewasters?
Paris, because even she knows that 25p/min is too much to waste on nonsense support calls....