How to prevent my dad subscribing to more TV packages?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Mumof3kids, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    Hello all,

    I noticed on my parents bank statement that their Virgin Media direct debit had increased by £56 in May and then by £31 in June. Perplexed I called VM to find out why. After finally passing through security I was told that a Sky Sports package had been added to their account via their remote control. My dad has vascular dementia and denies that he has done this and got angry at the very suggestion. Although he will have, he just can't remember. I have cancelled the subscription. But does anyone know of a way I can permanently block him from adding such packages in the future?

    I have posted a thread on the Virgin Media Help board, but no responses so far.

    I don't find VM call centres the most helpful, hence asking on TP in case anyone else has experienced the same issue.
     
  2. witts1973

    witts1973 Registered User

    Jun 20, 2018
    673
    Male
    Leamington Spa
    Hi do they actualy use it for film packages etc?I had a tv package and after the annual bill went up again I decided to cancel the tv package and landline and just use their broadband,I have freeview on my tv so don't miss anything,I can't record programmes on the tv box,but I can't say I have missed that either
    So if they have a freeview tv they could forget about virgin tv
     
  3. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,067
    Female
    Chester
    Is there an email address for VM - I'm presuming you have power of attorney. I'd try that method as otherwise you are relying on the (non uk in my experience) call centre understanding and making suitable notes.

    Is there a password on the TV box.

    I've had to give the kids the password as if you record a post 9pm prog and watch it before 9pm you have to enter the password (it was bakeoff on channel 4 - so nothing unsuitable)
     
  4. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    On sky you can passcode protect things using your remote control, so you can’t buy in sky store. I have this set up for both my Dad and for my 6 year old niece to stop them purchasing
    Is this an option on your VM remote?
     
  5. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    Thanks so much for your replies..... much appreciated x

    @jugglingmum - yes I do have POA so yes, that's an idea to drop an email explaining my predicament. As I set their VM online account up I can access their account but it's not very clear what I need to do to prevent him from doing this again. And he most probably will if he can.

    @Rach1985 - I will have to look at this when I go round this evening. The only problem is getting the remote off my dad. He is very protective over it. And I have found I have to tread very carefully when I am helping - as he can interpret help as me 'taking over' and then the whole situation blows up
     
  6. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    @witts1973 unfortunately the TV is my mum's lifeline - their world is so small these days, the telly, my dad's antics and their medical appointments are all she talks about..... so to reduce her channels wouldn't go down well. Although it would be a great way to simplify things :)
     
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,696
    Female
    London
    Freeview has over a hundred channels though, plus radio channels. I get by just fine on Freeview alone.
     
  8. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,067
    Female
    Chester

    I think you can do this on Virgin, and I think mine is set this way, more to stop kids accidentally buying something than anything.
     
  9. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Oh yes I know that feeling. My Dad was completely baffled by something or the other a few days back so I helped him. Apparently I took over and he knew what he was doing all along
     
  10. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    72
    Not really any help here, just wanted to post a comment about a VM experience:
    When my mum died last year, pretty much all bills were in her name, so me and my sister spent a day or so going through everything, cancelling things, and helping dad getting things put in his name and setting up direct debits etc. Every company we spoke with were very helpful and helped us get things in order with no issue, and had no issue with talking to me or my sister.... except Virgin Media.

    They were a pain from start to end, wouldn't speak with me or my sister, and just confused my dad. They ended up transferring things over to my dad, but CHARGED him for the privilege, despite fully knowing the circumstances and have having a form and death certificate etc. They also bumped up the bill for spurious reasons. At the time we had so much going on (obviously) that we just didn't really have the time to fight it. I'm thinking of really going to town with them about the bill (no point with the 'transfer' charge now as it is almost a year ago, as the entire package is coming to around £100 a month (phone, tv, internet) which is just crazy.
     
  11. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    Not entirely related but what about getting a dementia friendly tv control (the usual numbers are hidden under a cover so can still be used - not sure would work for sky, MIL has Freeview) might help as would stop the random adding - not helping with the bill at the moment but just a thought for going forward
     
  12. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    Sorry to hear about your mum @AztecCamera87

    Yes my experience with anything to do with Virgin be it Virgin Media or Mobile has been awful too. I've since moved our mobile phones when their contracts had finished. But to change provider for my M&D would be horrific and stressful with my dad. I have just written a letter and found the address to post a copy of the LPA to at VM - although I'm under no illusion it will be that simple. I'm also rather shocked that it would appear very simple for my dad to add Sky Sports on to his TV package, just like that. He's ALWAYS been very angry at having to pay for such channels so I know he wouldn't have knowingly bought the package £33 per month with a £25 admin fee :-(

    One saving grace is that since I set them up with an online account - they will no longer received paper bills so I don't have to worry that the monthly bill is coming through the letterbox for him to get angry about.....

    xx
     
  13. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    thanks @Donkeyshere - I'll Google them and have a look. I hadn't realised there'd be such a gadget. It's worth looking into.

    We do have a constant fight with remote controls. My dad finds it easier to navigate using the 'normal' telly control which gives him access to freeview. Quite often he manages to activate 'voiceover man' who narrates through whatever they're watching. When I suggest he uses the Virgin control I can see he's not keen. Which I know is because it probably confuses him and he doesn't really know how to use it.

    He's even been know to try and change channel using the phone. At least that doesn't result in them receiving a hefty increase.

    Thanks again x
     
  14. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,915
    Male
    North Manchester
    Moving up the food chain can have surprising, and satisfactory, results.

    In this case a concise, factual email to the CEO tom.mockridge@virginmedia.co.uk may not be amiss.

    • Your problem
    • Does a solution exist?
    • If not, why not?

     
  15. witts1973

    witts1973 Registered User

    Jun 20, 2018
    673
    Male
    Leamington Spa
    I know what you're saying I didn't notice that there were any less,I suppose I don't watch it that often though,I was annoyed about the the free tv license being stopped though as my mum watches hers all day and isn't on pension credit but her monies only just pay for her care at home so she's stuck in the middle
     
  16. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    No problem we had the same issue, I showed the MIL and the control on computer and said it would help so she knew what it would look like and was a bit more prepared, it literally is a "control issue" - its quite basic the control the one we have from amazon but only issue is that the channel goes up and down and they can end up on some random channel (watch out for the shopping channels!) but if you pull the "bottom" part down and just put in 101 for BBC etc. So it all and connects up with your tv when you tune in initially and as we had built in freeview was easy to sort. We just say to her now "oh what you watching and say oh thats interesting do you fancy itv instead" - that gives her the "control" and we just flip it over for her - cant put the amazon link but look this up on it only about £20 - we had her trying to change the channel pressing the red stand by light on the tv so appreciate the phone issue - maybe just check you will be ok for sky (they might even had something). The title on Amazon is Flipper Big Button Remote for 2 Devices for Seniors. Good luck
     
  17. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    Thanks @Beate and I wish my mum would give it a go. But she likes the idea she can watch programmes on demand which I think is down to my dad talking non stop through her favourite programmes and asking so many questions (unrelated to what they are watching), that she has to watch something several times to make sure she has seen and heard it all :)
     
  18. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    @nitram Thank you :) That is very helpful and I will email him. Brilliant x
     
  19. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    @nitram email sent - thank you !!
     
  20. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    62
    @nitram - I received an email advising Mr Mockridge left VM in June 2019!!
     

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