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Virgin Media - moved house cancellation charges


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Hi

 

I am having some issues with Virgin Media and would appreciate some advice.

 

I took out a contract with VM in February of this year when we moved house into rented property. It was an 18 month contract for phone and broadband only.

 

Then in July we were given the opportunity to purchase a property on a government scheme in a new housing development which we did.

 

I had hoped to transfer the contract over but VM said they couldn't supply me in the new property so I would have to cancel the contract but they would charge me £240 for the pleasure of doing that (the remaining months on the contract)

 

I felt this was unfair as they can't supply me and I would have taken the service with me. I also have heard they turned down the option to install cables to the estate which would have allowed them to supply me.

 

I cancelled the contract, cancelled my direct debit and wrote to their complaints department. To which I got a letter addressed to my new address informing me they only agree to supply the property at start of contract not the person therefore I have to pay up.

 

I still don't think this right and refused to pay. I sent the equipment back. Then I didn't hear anything from then for a month.

 

Yesterday I get a call from debt collection company saying they are chasing the outstanding fee. I am told the VM have written to me a number times but turns out these letters went to my old address as that's all they have on record. That isn't the case as they have written to me in current property. They also have my email address they could have written to me at but didn't.

 

Generally I am fed up with VM and won't be going back even if they can supply me in the future. I would like some advice on where to complain to next, on what grounds and if I have a case. I was thinking that they can only charge me to cover their losses not a loss of income. The term in the T&CS sounds like a penalty clause which isn't enforceable in court.

 

Mike

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Tricky one as you wanted to transfer your contract to your new property so they have failed to mitigate their losses. Any idea who is at yourold property and do they have a VM contract? It is possible to arrange a transfer of undertakings when vacating a property, the plethor of telephone and electric companies make this a general requirement at some point so it would be worth asking VM as you are suggesting that they are not telling you the truth and are possibly open to claims of enrichment. They should at least give you the decency of a reply otherwise they will make it very difficult to claim any breach of contract.

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Hi Mike1983

 

Welcome to CAG

 

Write a Formal Letter of Complaint, mark it as such. Explain what's happened (you took out a contract, you've moved to a new property, you've asked for the services to be installed at your new property, Virgin state that they have no coverage, so it's virgin canceling the contract not you, you want the services- remember they invite you to take Virgin Media with you when you move) and how they have let you down (debt collection agency chasing you for) and what you want them to do (tell them you are giving them 14 days to install the services or cancel any cancellation fees).

 

Send it to:-

 

Mr Tom Mockridge

Chief Executive

Virgin Media

[email protected]

 

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland/consumer_s/consumer_protection_for_the_consumer_e/consumer_contracts_s/unfair_terms_in_consumer_contracts.htm

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Just a quick update. I emailed the CEO's office as suggested in other posts and Got a call back. VM are sticking to their guns and won't back down or accept a compromise.

 

They say they don't make a profit on a contract until at least 2 years which is why they have these charges. They won't tell me about new tenants due to data protection.

 

He referred me back to the legal section of their website. I don't see terms that directly apply to this scenario but see the terms they are relying on.

 

The position I am in now is as I have gone to the top the only way to take it further is to go to CISAS for adjudication. I still think I have a case. I wondered if anyone had experience of similar cases and going to adjudication?

 

I tried to look up online for cases similar but can't find any taken this far.

 

I want to make sure even if I lose people are aware of these terms before taking out their contracts.

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Hi Mike1983

 

It's clearly 'unfair', hold fire, you clearly need to respond to their response.

 

This is what they say in their T & C's:-

 

K Moving home

 

 

  1. If you move to another address within our service area, you may ask us to provide the services to your new address. You must provide at least one month's notice to do this, but we cannot guarantee to provide you with the services at your new address.
  2. If you move to another address during any minimum period paragraph J2 will apply, unless you continue to receive our services at your new address (in which case paragraph K3 will apply).
  3. If we agree to provide the services to your new address, you may have to pay a service transfer charge (to be paid to Virgin Media Payments). Details of the service transfer charge are set out in the price guides. We will also send you a new contract for the services at your new address and you will have to keep the services for the minimum period. The service start date for your new minimum period will be the date that the services are installed at your new address. You may not be able to keep your phone number if you move house.

J Ending this agreement

 

2. If you end one or more services during the minimum period for such services (other than in the circumstances outlined in section K or paragraph J3), or if you break this agreement and we and/or Virgin Media Payments end this agreement under section L (including for non-payment of charges) within the minimum period applicable to those services, you must immediately pay (to Virgin Media Payments) an early disconnection fee in respect of each cancelled service by way of compensation to us for ending those services early. You can find details of these charges on the Virgin Media website. The early disconnection fee will not be more than the charges you would have paid for your chosen services for the remainder of the minimum period less any costs we save, including the cost of no longer providing you with those services.

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they are not agreeing to provide services to your new address so it is what is called a frustrated contract. That is one where both parties are willing but unable to abide by the terms.

For example I agree to sell you 2 tons of coal that is specifically for steam locomotives and the government bans steam locos. We are both stuffed as I cant sell you what you want and you cant use it.

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Hi Mike1983

 

Write to the CEO again.

 

Explain that you are not cancelling the contract with them, you want their services at your new address.

 

Explain that they are cancelling the contract because they can not provide you with the service as requested by you as they have no infrastructure in place to provide the service.

 

Explain that it's 'unfair' because they want to profit from you even though they have been not provided the requested service.

 

Explain that Virgin Media are in breach of Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

 

Explain that Virgin Media has failed to make a reasonable pre-estimate of the costs it saves and the loses it can mitigate on termination of the contract.

 

Virgin are saving costs as they will no longer be providing services to you, but can provide those same services to another customer (whether a new customer or increased demand from an existing customer).

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I have an Identical situation, however their system shows the property I moved to is in service, I have been trying to sort this out with them for over 18 months and have today agreed to them re-trying to supply me with service, however after agreeing this with the CEO office my application was referred to their risk team due to the default they had added to my credit file.

 

 

I have also been told that if they find that they are unable to supply service to the property I will still be liable to the £241 they have registered as a default against me.

 

 

Is there anything else I can do?

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  • 4 months later...

We are having to move due to my wife's deteriating health. She has MS and our property is becoming a death trap. We have now been offered a property but it is in an u-cabled area and are being told we will have to pay £200 plus to cancel. Is there anything we can do?

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We could do with some help from you.

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How long is your new contract ...12/18 mths?

 

One way around it is to move their services...from cabled to copper...I assume you will be wanting BB/TV in your new property?

We could do with some help from you.

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Okay so BB only 8 x £25 (if you have XXL broadband) £200...so just transfer the BB...who in their right mind would want SKY Broadband ?:!:

We could do with some help from you.

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Exactly. We would much prefer to keep virgin broadband. I didn't realise there was another option. I had checked the location database to see if we could get it at the new property but it didn't tell me about the copper option

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Did you specifically agree to a new contract ? Agreeing a new package does not constitute a new contract, unless they told you it would be and you agreed to it. So if you don't want or cannot stay with them, make a formal complaint to them.

We could do with some help from you.

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Exactly. We would much prefer to keep virgin broadband. I didn't realise there was another option. I had checked the location database to see if we could get it at the new property but it didn't tell me about the copper option

 

I think its now trading under Talk Talk....but may still be available through Virgin as a virgin customer.

We could do with some help from you.

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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group The National Consumer Service

 

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Do you suggest writing to make a formal complaint before or after we move?

 

Make a formal complaint now. You can do it by phone first, as it is free if you phone them using the 150 number. You will have to speak to customer services first and see how it goes. Just say that when you made changes to the account you did not agree a new contract period and when phoning about a change of address cancellation charges were mentioned. They may resolve it for you, but if not ask them to elevate it to their complaints team.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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