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Broadband customers from Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Sky Broadband and Vodafone have been issued a fine warning – and it's all to do with answering your door.
People with the above broadband providers have been warned that if a member of staff from the companies visit your house and you don't answer then you could be hit with a £110 fine – depending what company you are with.
Despite many people being loyal to their providers for quite some time, it is not commonly known that you can be charged a fixed fee if an engineer gives you a knock and you don't answer – it has been penned as the 'doorbell' tax.
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The charges are as follows:
- TalkTalk – up to £65
- Sky – £25
- Vodafone – £110
- Virgin – £25
Daily Star have contacted the above brands for comment.
And, some customers are certainly not happy.
Emma Robison, 42, from Surrey, aired her thoughts on being a Virgin Media customer and hit out at the 'door bell' tax – she called it "unbelievable."
“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", the mum told The Mirror.
She is not the only one to share her thoughts on the charges, Martyn James, of complaints handling group, resolver.co.uk, said: “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.”
But, it works both ways.
If the engineer misses a booked appointment to your house, then you could be in for some compensation.
However, it does not quite match what you would have to fork out if you don't answer the door to them.
Set by regulator Ofcom, you could get £26.24 if the engineer doesn't turn up for the booked appointment or cancels it with less than 24 hours notice.
Even better, you don't have to chase brands around to get the money as they are supposed to automatically award it to you.
Despite this, only broadband companies that are signed up to the Ofcom compensation scheme are only obliged to cough up the cash.
Including the four listed earlier, the providers include: BT, EE, Hyperoptic, Plusnet, Utility Warehouse and Zen Internet.
Speaking to the Daily Star, a Virgin Media 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."
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