There’s a job I’ve been putting off for a while now – cancelling the ntl service (cable TV, phone and dial-up Internet) at our old house. I’ve been putting it off because I’ve been dreading it. Telcos never take kindly to being cancelled at the best of times. We’ve had a few problems in the past with ntl’s billing people, including threats of legal action over unpaid bills because they stopped taking the direct debit and never bothered to tell us there was a problem.
Plus, although the old analog equipment we haver is completely useless now, the set-top box still belongs to them, so arranging for them to collect it would be a major pain (since we don’t live there any more).
Also, it’s a 30-day cancellation period, so we would still be paying for another 30 days after I cancelled. I know that should be all the more reason to do it quickly, but in my head that becomes no quick payoff, no hurry. Silly head.
Oh, and to top all that, ntl have been bought out by Virgin Media recently, so the whole thing has just changed hands, which always brings in new bucketloads of confusion and complexity.
Anyway, I finally plucked up the courage to give it a go yesterday afternoon. After going through a few menu options, I was told the wait would be around ten minutes. I settled in to wait – if I didn’t do it then, I’d end up finding some excuse to put it off for at least another couple of weeks.
Finally, a pleasantly Geordie-sounding guy answered, and went through the usual pre-amble questions, in a much more friendly manner than I’d expected. The result was that the services were all cancelled within about two or three minutes, and he even volunteered to waive the 30-day cancellation time – on condition that I promised to remember how nice they were if we end up moving somewhere they can provide service again in future. Sounds like a good deal to me. They’ll send out a final bill confirming everything to our new address.
And the set top box? No use to them, so just dispose of it.
It actually seems like things may be getting better at ntl/Virgin Media – it needed to happen.