Fury as millions of Virgin Media customers told they could face £25 charge if they don't answer the door to engineers | The Sun

MILLIONS of Virgin Media customers face a £25 fine if they don't answer the door to engineers.

The charge, dubbed a "doorbell tax", will be added to Brits' bills if they request assistance but fail to be home when help arrives.

Virgin already sparked fury among its millions of users for hiking monthly broadband, TV and phone line prices in March.

But this new fee, combined with the fact the company raked in £10.38billion in the last fiscal year, has tipped many over the edge.

Users were warned of the possible penalty by text message.

It read: "A £25 charge will be added to your next bill if you miss this visit."


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Among those to receive the warning was mum Emma Robinson.

The 42-year-old, from Caterham, Surrey, told The Mirror: "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 new rule will run alongside an existing one which orders internet providers to cough up £25 to its customers for each appointment they fail to fulfil.

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This also applies to slots they cancel within 24 hours of taking place – though many claim they are still waiting for compensation.

Martyn James, from 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."

Virgin Media joins a growing list of venues which issue fines for missed appointments.

Pubs and restaurants often punish "no-show" diners by withholding a reservation fee if punters are late or fail to turn up entirely.

Some hairdressers and dentists also operate a similar system, as do gyms and fitness studios.

Even a handful of airlines include a "no-show clause" in their booking terms and conditions.

It means if a passenger misses the outbound leg of their flight, their connecting or even return flight can be cancelled and no refund will apply.

And doctors have said patients who don't turn up to GP appointments should be fined £10.

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Around 40,000 people fail to show for their slots in England – while thousands struggle to secure an appointment.

The Sun has approached Virgin Media for comment.

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