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Cancel Virgin Media contract without paying remainder?

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I have a TV, Internet and phone bundle from Virgin Media but I'm going to University at the end of September and my mum doesn't want it. I rang Virgin to request they remove the TV and Internet from t… Read More
Sharpnel Avatar
8y, 10m agoPosted 8 years, 10 months ago
I have a TV, Internet and phone bundle from Virgin Media but I'm going to University at the end of September and my mum doesn't want it. I rang Virgin to request they remove the TV and Internet from the package as my mum would only use the phone, but apparently that isn't possible. I then asked them to just cancel the whole thing, which I didn't think would be a problem as I've been with Virgin (and Blueyonder) for years, but I hadn't realised that last time I made a slight upgrade of my package I entered a new year contract. So, now my contract only runs out in July 2009.

Is there a way around this? I don't want to pay for something I'm not using, especially because I'll be on a tight budget at University as it is! I would also accept dropping the Internet and TV and keeping the phone, or even just dropping the Internet!

Thanks
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Sharpnel Avatar
8y, 10m agoPosted 8 years, 10 months ago
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#1
Were you told about entering a new contract for 12 months when you upgraded? If not then complain and get them to listen to the phone call where you upgraded.
#2
They don't say over the phone and they don't send out anything to sign either... I had the same problems with them as I wanted to leave and move to sky but as I upgrading my internet it put me in a new contract. You could always kick off as they didn't say anything at the time. I didn't as in the end I got a really good deal out of them, but I am always careful on the phone to them so I don't get into a "new contract".
#3
They never said anything to me over the phone about entering a new contract. It all sounded like a simple change to my bundle. I can't even remember whether or not they sent my contract out, can I claim they didn't or will they be able to prove they did?
#4
>I rang Virgin to request they remove the TV and Internet from the package as my mum would only use the phone, but apparently that isn't possible.

What a load of rubbish.

There is no way they can force you to keep the TV and internet if you dont want it.

If you are the named person and you pay for it then just say you are moving (which you are) and you no longer want their service.

They cannot make you pay if you are not living there.
#5
i always thought you can upgrade and downgrade as you wish?
#6
guilbert53
>I rang Virgin to request they remove the TV and Internet from the package as my mum would only use the phone, but apparently that isn't possible.

What a load of rubbish.

There is no way they can force you to keep the TV and internet if you dont want it.

If you are the named person and you pay for it then just say you are moving (which you are) and you no longer want their service.

They cannot make you pay if you are not living there.



They can make you pay for it if you agreed to the contract!
#7
guilbert53 - That's what I thought but apparently I entered a contract which I have to honour until the July 2009. It even says on the site if you want to cancel that's fine (as long as you pay up). I honestly had no idea about being tied into a contract but then I am foolish for not reading the 'legal stuff'.

loupomm - I can upgrade and downgrade each part of the package (e.g. change L broadband to XL) but they said I can't remove any of the services fully (e.g. drop the Internet part). The cheapest they said they can do is 3 for £30.
#8
Phone up and tell them you never agreed to a new 12 month contract, they can't sign you up to one without your consent.
#9
Benjimoron
Phone up and tell them you never agreed to a new 12 month contract, they can't sign you up to one without your consent.


AFAIK its all in the very first set of small print you got when you take out any service with them, it says that you are agreeing(even by telephone or email) to a new yearly contract every time you upgrade or take out a new service etc soz but they are right :?
#10
kungfu
AFAIK its all in the very first set of small print you got when you take out any service with them, it says that you are agreeing(even by telephone or email) to a new yearly contract every time you upgrade or take out a new service etc soz but they are right :?


Ah, never been with them.

Personally I would give it a shot and kick up a fuss anyway. I would expect something that important to be mentioned, not something hidden away in the small prints from years ago.
#11
Thanks Ben, I just tried but the dept. I want is closed, haha.

kungfu - argh, that's a bit a sly way to rope you into it. It should, like Ben said, be mentioned every time it is relevant.

I'll try again tomorrow and let you all know how it goes. Any other suggestions welcome in the meantime. I'll try anything.
#12
Sharpnel
Thanks Ben, I just tried but the dept. I want is closed, haha.

kungfu - argh, that's a bit a sly way to rope you into it. It should, like Ben said, be mentioned every time it is relevant.
I'll try again tomorrow and let you all know how it goes. Any other suggestions welcome in the meantime. I'll try anything.


Couldnt agree more mate, when you renew a mobile contract or upgrade they always let you know the terms and length on the new contract (usualy 3 times yawn)
banned#13
guilbert53
>I rang Virgin to request they remove the TV and Internet from the package as my mum would only use the phone, but apparently that isn't possible.

What a load of rubbish.

There is no way they can force you to keep the TV and internet if you dont want it.

If you are the named person and you pay for it then just say you are moving (which you are) and you no longer want their service.

They cannot make you pay if you are not living there.


What stupid advice

OP - The advisor should have told you you were entering into a new contract, and they will have sent you a letter telling you this, if it was july this year when you spoke to them.
If they definately didn't tell you, then ring retentions rather than customer service and kick up a fuss, ask them to listen to your call to prove you weren't told. If you were you will look stupid though, so be certain you weren't before you ring!
banned#14
kungfu
Couldnt agree more mate, when you renew a mobile contract or upgrade they always let you know the terms and length on the new contract (usualy 3 times yawn)


The difference with a mobile contract though is when you upgrade you get a new phone. During the contract, you could upgrade a month later for more minutes for example. That wouldn't extend the length of the contract.

I don't use Virgin (which to me is still NT(hel)L, but if that is really in the small print, I would be very surprised if that couldn't be challenged. Particularly if you were not told the change was for a full year.

However, what exactly was the change you made in July? That could well make a difference.

colinsunderland

OP - The advisor should have told you you were entering into a new contract, and they will have sent you a letter telling you this, if it was july this year when you spoke to them.
If they definately didn't tell you, then ring retentions rather than customer service and kick up a fuss, ask them to listen to your call to prove you weren't told. If you were you will look stupid though, so be certain you weren't before you ring!


^^^^^^^ Good advice.

I certainly wouldn't accept that if say I cancelled the internet service, that change signified I'd just agreed to a new contract for the phone line which tied me in for another year.
banned#15
guv

However, what exactly was the change you made in July? That could well make a difference.


That will definately make a difference, if it was a retentions deal (ie stay with us, we'll give you a discount) then it will most certainly have involved a new contract.
If it was just that he lowered the package or increased it then it shouldn't have,
#16
I changed XL TV to L, and L broadband to XL. I didn't add or remove services.

What happened was the XL broadband didn't deliver anywhere near the speeds it should so they sent a technician round who claimed he'd fixed it but after he left I did a REAL speed test (rather than his test which was going to the BBC website and seeing if it loaded 'fast enough') and found nothing had changed. Then when I tried to revert my broadband back to XL they said I couldn't because that package didn't exist so they suggested a different deal.

I've just been reading a thread about a lot of people who have struck deals with retentions, but whether they'll be so eager to cancel my contract is another matter.
banned#17
what deal do you have?
also - not that it helps now but what was the real speedtest you did? going to a virginmedia server and downloading a few large files at once? Thats about the only reliable speedtest you can do.
#18
The deal I have now is L TV, L broadband and Talk Unlimited. It's always been a bundle of 3, just with changing levels of each one.

I did speed tests on sites such as speedtest.net, thinkbroadband.com etc. and I downloaded several files from a website that a Virgin tech guy recommended, as well as Microsoft. I was getting about 700-800 kbp/s on a 'supposedly' 20 meg connection. I would have been happy with 1500 kbp/s. I'm getting 600-700 now and I'm only on 10 meg.
#19
Sharpnel
The deal I have now is L TV, L broadband and Talk Unlimited. It's always been a bundle of 3, just with changing levels of each one.

I did speed tests on sites such as speedtest.net, thinkbroadband.com etc. and I downloaded several files from a website that a Virgin tech guy recommended, as well as Microsoft. I was getting about 700-800 kbp/s on a 'supposedly' 20 meg connection. I would have been happy with 1500 kbp/s. I'm getting 600-700 now and I'm only on 10 meg.


I thought that was the point about Cable, you get full speed no matter where you live?

I'd complain about that too and demand a reduction for the time you've had it, you may need some proof though, it might not help that an engineer has "fixed" it and I guess you haven't complained since?
banned#20
Benjimoron;2887566
They can make you pay for it if you agreed to the contract!

Correct (again!).

A contract is there for a reason.
#21
csiman
Correct (again!).

A contract is there for a reason.


Agreed, Virgin send out a contract at the start of the term, it clearly states that if you upgrade or downgrade your package a new period starts, OK, maybe people don't think that is fair, but it is the way they do business, nobody is forced to use them.
#22
csiman
Correct (again!).

A contract is there for a reason.


I think there's a recurring theme here!

You got any rain your way?
#23
Inactive
Agreed, Virgin send out a contract at the start of the term, it clearly states that if you upgrade or downgrade your package a new period starts, OK, maybe people don't think that is fair, but it is the way they do business, nobody is forced to use them.


As guv said earlier, I expect that a reasonable challenge could be made against that. When agreeing to a new contract you should actually be told that you are doing so. Otherwise they could put something in the t&c's to say that if you ever phone them then you agree to a new contract. I know that's ridiculous but it's just an example to show that just because they put it in the t&c's doesn't make it legal.
#24
I should imagine you could challange the contract anyway as you are not receiving 10MB. Virgin do not say "upto" 10MB but 10MB. You signed up to a 10MB service and if they cannot deliver what you signed up for i cannot see why you could not cancel.
#25
newbie1001
I should imagine you could challange the contract anyway as you are not receiving 10MB. Virgin do not say "upto" 10MB but 10MB. You signed up to a 10MB service and if they cannot deliver what you signed up for i cannot see why you could not cancel.


Another good point.
banned#26
Benjimoron
Another good point.


not that good considering they clearly say 'up to'

http://allyours.virginmedia.com/websales/service.do?id=2
#27
colinsunderland
not that good considering they clearly say 'up to'

http://allyours.virginmedia.com/websales/service.do?id=2


Have definatelty read it advertised before as full speed, as it's cable.
#29
Benjimoron
As guv said earlier, I expect that a reasonable challenge could be made against that. When agreeing to a new contract you should actually be told that you are doing so. Otherwise they could put something in the t&c's to say that if you ever phone them then you agree to a new contract. I know that's ridiculous but it's just an example to show that just because they put it in the t&c's doesn't make it legal.


You are right, that is " ridiculous ".

T&C's are usually laid out by a team of legal experts.
banned#30
Benjimoron
Have definatelty read it advertised before as full speed, as it's cable.


It has said 'up to' in the T&C for years, although their advertising possibly hasn't.
I wasn't aware that it clearly stated in the contract any upgrade/downgrade resulted in a new contract though, and I've done that before and not been tied in

Sharpnel if you aren't getting a retention discount then I would argue quite strongly with them and ask for a copy of the call where you were told it was a new contract.
If you don't get any luck on the phone write them a letter to the complaints department, who usually get back to you in a week or so.
#31
Inactive
You are right, that is " ridiculous ".

T&C's are usually laid out by a team of legal experts.


Doesn't mean they're right!

I wouldn't have thought they could legally enter you into a new contract with the only notification being in the small print from years ago.
banned#32
Benjimoron
Doesn't mean they're right!

I wouldn't have thought they could legally enter you into a new contract with the only notification being in the small print from years ago.


http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/legal/oncable/terms.html

I can't see anything in there that states if you change your package you are tied to a new 12 month period

You may add to or reduce the services you receive from time to time by contacting our Customer Care team. If you ask us to provide any extra services to you, you agree to accept those additional services for at least the minimum period that applies to them.

That reads to me that if you have the phone line (for example) and then ask for broadband then you are tied into a new 12 months for the broadband only.
It doesn't mention anywhere that if you change the package you are agreeing to a new contract.
#33
colinsunderland
http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/legal/oncable/terms.html

I can't see anything in there that states if you change your package you are tied to a new 12 month period



That reads to me that if you have the phone line (for example) and then ask for broadband then you are tied into a new 12 months for the broadband only.
It doesn't mention anywhere that if you change the package you are agreeing to a new contract.



Our top prize goes to ^^^
#34
Success! I rang retentions on 0800 052 0870 and spoke to a friendly guy called James. I asked him which change in my package had triggered the beginning of a new contract in July 2008 and, as I suspected, it was the upgrading and downgrading of TV and BB. He asked me why I wanted to know and I explained about moving to University and then the fact that no mention was made of this new contract during the phone call with Virgin and also that nothing was sent out in written form so I was not made aware of the new contract at the time.

I then went on to say I had recently found out this agreement was in the very first set of small print I received as a Virgin customer and that I felt it was unethical and underhand to expect customers to have absorbed all the saliant information in the terms and conditions, especially after 4 years of being a customer. He completely agreed with me and made terminating my contract early a hassle free process. I decided to just pay the final bill rather than an early disconnection charge of £10 as I'm only losing a week anyway.

So, if you want to cancel or want a better deal just ring retentions and they'll sort you out.

Thanks for all the advice.
banned#35
Excellent, moral of the story, if you want something doing, speak to retentions :)

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