back to article 'Your infernal cable pipes come up from Hell, Virgin!'

This was the week when Virgin Media was forced to grovel publicly after a deceased man's family posted the firm's demand for a £10 "late payment" when his direct debit was denied because of his death. The new bill clearly states that the direct debit was denied because the payer was deceased, but that didn't stop Virgin from …


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  1. Thomas 4

    "chans of communication"

    Slip of the tongue there? =p

    1. JamesC

      Re: "chans of communication"

      short for 'channels' you think?

      1. Steve Brooks

        Re: "chans of communication"

        Of course not, everyone knows anonymous communicate over 4chan, probably 7chan and 21chan as well. Although I wouldn't suggest the sensitive go looking at 7chan or 21chan, 4chan is mostly harmless (and no that wasn't Douglas Adams pun!)

        1. andy 45

          Re: "chans of communication"

          "4chan is mostly harmless"

          Yeh, mostly repeats of Time Team and Come dine, although to say it's harmless is arguable...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mailing the dead

    I used to work for a hospital which had a charity linked to it. It was common for the charity to mail patients after discharge to see if they would consider making a donation or becoming a sponsor. Nothing too wrong with that except the system didn't check on the reason for discharge.

    I don't think the families were very impressed to receive emails asking for money to support the hospital in which their relative died, especially so close to the event. We fixed the issue so this didn't happen.

    It looks like the makers of software still don't check all cases when processing their data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mailing the dead

      Sorry to correct but this was before emails - should be mailings.

    2. JamesC

      Re: Mailing the dead

      I used to work for a company producing school management software (NOT crapita!). One of the things we would always test for when code was delivered from India : "are any dead people in this report".

      You'd be surprised how often it would happen :(

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mailing the dead

      But 'e's just resting.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "abusing current tax legislation"

    So why are employing incompetent to write our tax legislation? It seems odd that Google get into trouble for complying with legislation while those writing it don't get a mention. I really don't understand how a company is supposed to work if it can follow the laws governing it and still be wrong. What are they supposed to do, throw a dice?

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: "abusing current tax legislation"

      The problem is an intentionally over-complicated tax system.

      Keeping it complex means 'jobs for the boys' all round. The right get to keep tax accountants in jobs to find loopholes in the system for their millionaire customers, while the left keep masses of union membership fee paying Tax inspectors (plus lots of hangers-on) in cushy public sector jobs, rather than on the dole.

      Keeping it complex means lots of ways for politicians to bribe the electorate with tax breaks/exemptions, while pretending that the tax system is somehow 'fair' (though the definition of 'fair' depends on who you talk to in what context).

      Everyone's a winner.... unless, of course, you actually ARE a tax payer (who isn't a tax inspector/accountant/on benefits/a billionaire)...

      1. Andy Fletcher

        Re: "abusing current tax legislation"

        Absolutely. I'm literally angry with rage that an MP has the audacity to come out with this nonesense. If she's that upset, start repealing some (and by some, I mean "most") tax laws and simplify the system. Less talk, more action please.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: "abusing current tax legislation"

      "So why are employing incompetent to write our tax legislation?"

      We aren't, we employ consultants from leading tax companies (like Delloitte and KPMG) and then people wonder where all the loopholes come from when these companies set up new avoidance schemes.

      It would require the combined will of the people to change this, and they're mostly illiterate, innumerate TV absorbers, so I wouldn't count on it happening any time soon. MP's complaining about this sort of stuff are being disingenious to the point of blurting out that we need a morality tax or something equally ludicrous.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "abusing current tax legislation"

        You didn't mention that the Government gets stung for £500 plus per hour to have these consultants write tax laws that they can then earn another £500 per hour to tell people how to get around.

        One of the most memorable speeches I heard Michael Heseltine deliver included a line something like

        "We need to get the unions under control...barristers, solicitors and accountants."

        It got a cheer from the assembled business people.

  4. E 2

    @ Andy Fletcher

    "I'm literally angry with rage..."

    Don't be that way. Be angry, or be enraged. Rage is just extreme anger. If you are enraged then you certainly are angry.


    Some of my co-workers are wont to say that a piece of software or hardware is "raging" them. Strangely the never claim to be "raged" when in that condition.

    The correct words are "enraging" and "enraged".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I'm literally angry with rage" is a direct quote from Futurama.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Good Word for Sky: Best Choice For Dead Customers

    When my mum dies a few years ago, and I was sorting through the bills and stuff, I called Sky to tell them that I thought there was two or three months payment outstanding, and that I would see to it. They told me to do nothing until they had called me back. Within a couple of hours they did so, telling me that they had written off the amount outstanding, and sorry to hear about her death.

    BT were the least sensitive: they just cut the phone off.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice one VIrgin

    This guy Jom Boydent has produced a work of Art with his succint portrayal , typical of any big business.

    Can we have more such prose please?

    1. Gordon Pryra

      Re: Nice one VIrgin

      Indeed, my communications with either BT or Virgin all-ways end up with me "loosing" as I slide into abusive language and shouting (followed by pasting the typed out conversation on every image on their Facebook sites)

      Jom Boydent has written one of those "wish it was me who wrote that" pieces, though right now I guess he wouldn't be to bothered by that.

  7. aliensurfer

    I can recollect when they were still NTL and can see nothing has changed. 8 years ago my mother passed away. I had moved back home when I knew she was ill and had a seperate NTL account for my phone and internet access from her one. Almost as soon as she had passed away, NTL immediately changed her account to mine and started billing me for both. Their argument was it was impossible to have two seperate accounts at the same address - despite it had been that way for a few years. Eventually I managed to speak to someone fairly high up at head office. When I explained the situation and the lack of help I had received, the response was, and I quote 'Well what do you want us to do about it?'. They did finally stop charging me for both accounts, but I never got an apology nor a refund. To this day I have still never had either.

    To show you what they are like regards their stupid automated systems, I moved into a new property a couple of years back, a new build of flats. It is in an NTL area, but they have no services running into the flats - which most be the only buildings in the area to not be able to get Virgin Media fully (they can utilise some services over the BT lines installed (now there is another company who are shocking with customer all services due to the fact they have no cable running into the property. Thus, I have requested they stop sending me junk mail about services they cannot provide. Has it stopped? Of course not. I still cannot understand how cable can be run into bigger older blocks of flats in this town, but I cannot get it installed here, about 50 yards at most from their box in the street. I would sum up Virgin Media as a shambles.

  8. heyrick Silver badge

    I can't believe it!

    If you can read French...

    Same company, same story, different country. What is this, a game or something? How to kick the bereaved? Scum...

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