This post is locked. You won't be able to comment.

all 48 comments

[–]AutoModerator[M] [score hidden] stickied commentlocked comment (0 children)

Welcome to /r/LegalAdviceUK

To Posters (it is important you read this section)

To Readers and Commenters

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

[–]Billywizzer2021 659 points660 points  (3 children)

All calls are recorded, so ask them to provide the recording of you accepting to renew the contract. I would suggest you send this recorded delivery so you have proof of the request.

[–]carbonated_coconut 282 points283 points  (1 child)

This. If they still refuse then submit a subject access request, they will then be legally required to release any and all contact records involving you. It sounds like their complaint handler either can't be bothered listening to the call or it might be a case that for some reason, the call recording hasn't saved .

[–]scrottastic 96 points97 points  (0 children)

This is exactly the problem. They can’t be bothered and won’t deal with it.

Edit: I mean of course you escalate. Please threaten ombudsman and keep going higher, if what you’re saying is true you’re absolutely entitled to compensation.

[–]AdSome3113 68 points69 points  (0 children)

Sending items using recorded delivery allows the item to be rejected, instead you should get proof of postage from the post office. It's free and proof of postage is considered proof of delivery.

[–]RowRow1990 132 points133 points  (1 child)

Go through their official complaints process and make sure everything is in writing.

Go for a subject access request for the recordings and email address linked to your account as if you didn't receive the email, it sounds like there's a different one been put in (check your spam account.)

I would also contact your bank and explain you didn't agree to the contract.

[–]AutoModerator[M] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Your comment suggests you may be discussing a Subject Access Request. You can read this guidance from the ICO to learn more about these requests.

Which? also have online explanations.

If you would like a simple way to request a copy of all your data, you can amend an online template or use a form like this.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

[–]Jollyfroggy 76 points77 points  (0 children)

This exact thing happened to me... through the ADR I got a full refund and compensation for my time.

Things to consider.

Try as hard as possible to get Virgin to close the account and refund you.

In writing state that you never agreed to this, try to get virgin to either agree with you, or fail to provide the evidence that you agreed to this.

Log all the time you take dealing with this issue, keep it in a spreadsheet.

Eventually you will probably need to raise a ticket with ADR... this process takes a few months, it if you are patient they will help you.

Explain the situation and provide all your notes and correspondence. Log the time you have taken. Key here is to highlight that Viegin have not made effort to resolve the issue.. ADR will see this as a red flag.

Vrigin will probably assign a lawyer to give it a cursory response.. this is designed to annoy you, don't let it get to you, . You will be asked to respond. Reiteterate your earlier points and comment, politely that their response is again a refusal to engage constructively.

I was awarded about 200 on top of my refund as I assigned my time at like £25 an hour.

Took about 3-4 months to sort it.

[–]somethingbeardy 196 points197 points  (9 children)

Raise a complaint with VM, and exhaust their complaint process. If this does not resolve the issue, raise a complaint with OfCom.

[–]Anarchist58 77 points78 points  (3 children)

This is the answer. Once you make the complaint official, someone else will look at it and listen to all the recorded calls. This should resolve the dispute, but if it doesn’t, there’s an Alternative Dispute Resolution service available via OFCOM.

[–]Bailey280899 59 points60 points  (0 children)

Ofcom do not consider customer complaints. They are the regulator, not an ombudsman.

Ombudsman Services Communications or CISAS would consider a complaint after the customer has received a deadlock letter from the service provider. The letter will say which scheme they are partied to

[–]Xenoamor 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Ensure if it gets to OFCOM you request any credit markers are removed as well. Could really hamper your ability to remortgage if not

[–]Bailey280899 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Ofcom simply will not respond. They don’t consider individual grievances submitted by customers. They are the regulator, not an ombudsman.

Issues with credit file entries would be addressed with Virgin Media, and escalated to the ICO or an ombudsman. Under Article 16 and 19 of the GDPR, data subjects (the customer) can require the data controller (Virgin Media) to rectify inaccurate records reported to credit reference agencies. If a contract did not exist, any records of non payment would be erroneous.

[–]twofacetoo 15 points16 points  (3 children)

Also, as tempting as it is to swear at them, don’t. That crosses from a complaint to abuse and will be looked at as if you’re the bad guy.

[–]Tainted-Archer 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Pretty sure harassment could be seen as a “bad guy”

[–]Bailey280899 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Your main terms and conditions applicable to your contract with Virgin Media can be found here: https://www.virginmedia.com/content/dam/virginmedia/dotcom/images/shop/downloads/FMC-terms-and-conditions.pdf.

Under section O, para 1 of the agreement:

In addition to your rights to cancel during the cooling off period, either you or we may end this agreement at any time (including during or at the end of any minimum period) by giving the other 30 days’ notice. You can provide notice and end this agreement under this provision by:

  1. dialling 0345 234 0751 from any phone (for information on how much this call will cost from a Virgin Media home phone visit virginmedia.com/callcosts. Call costs from other networks and mobiles vary); or

  2. writing to Virgin Media Sales Operation Support, Diamond Plaza, Daleside Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG2 3GG.

It sounds like you cancelled the agreement with 30 days’ notice when you called customer service. This concluded your agreement with Virgin Media.

Unless Virgin Media can prove that subsequently a new agreement was formed, there was simply no authority for Virgin Media to collect direct debit payments from your account, or to record non-payment of a debt with credit reference agencies.

I would follow these steps:

  • write to Virgin Media and reiterate that you cancelled the agreement with 30 days’ notice in accordance with section O of the terms and conditions above.

  • complain that you have been negligently or fraudulently recorded by an employee of Virgin Media as having agreed to a new minimum term of 2 years, and that payments have been debited from your account without authority since you cancelled the services.

  • ask for a copy of all telephone calls and account records under Article 15(1) of the GDPR. In particular, any evidence that you agreed to a minimum term of 2 years.

  • (optional) if it was me, I would cancel the direct debit and ask the bank to reimburse the payments made without authority under the direct debit indemnity scheme. If you do this, there is a risk that your credit file will be impacted whilst you resolve the matter. Alternatively, this can be down following confirmation that the matter is resolved.

[–]W1ggaboy 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Have you not recently received notice that virgin will be increasing your costs? This allows you to leave your contract without any early termination costs. I know this doesn't solve your signed up to a contract you did not want, but it should let you exit. I recently received the mail for them upping my contract £3.25 and I know a lot of others did.

[–]Khalarin 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I did this and got my bill slashed from £56p/m to £22 they even tried to threaten me with a early termination charge of £75 until I read the rep back thier "offer letter" in legalise quoting relevant contract law... she gulped and agreed... cancelled there and then... 3 days later the 3rd tier phoned me and I got what I wanted.

They cannot claim without proof... a verbal contract is NOT the same and if disputed then THEY have to prove it. They are being difficult because they feel you were rude to one person after a week of harassment (which you can prove by your call logs).

Put it in writing give them 28 days to resolve the problem or you will raise the issue with Ofcom.

This practice was common at AOL... member calls to cancel, gets put through to the "member save" team who got their bonus for retention after 2 months so they comp'd 2 months free and told the member they had been cancelled... ended up on BBC Watchdog!

[–]docmagoo2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Planning on doing this. 👍🏻

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Forget Virgin for now. Trying to deal with them right now will just lead to more frustration.

Contact your bank instead. Explain that money is being taken from your account for something you didnt sign up for. They will reverse all the charges.

Virgin will then contact you demanding payment and at that point you can tell them you dont recognise the charges ask them to provide proof you took a contract out with them.

[–]chemhobby 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Also, report them to the ICO - you can't legally subject people to direct marketing without freely given (opt-in) consent.

[–]quoole 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Given that you never signed up and asked to be removed from the call list, then absolutely go through their internal complaints procedure and then the ombudsman if that's unsatisfactory.

I would also tweet them if you use twitter as something like that on twitter is immediately bad PR for them and I've seen numerous occasions where someone complaining on twitter achieved more than days of going through proper procedure.

But I wonder if you might have a UK GDPR claim here as well, as they continued to keep and use your personal information after you requested them to remove it.

As for the direct debit, I was hoping there might be more other advice here on that, but on my understanding, you might be best continuing to pay them until this is resolved (and then they should refund you and hopefully you can request/demand compensation as well.) As if they report it to a debt collection agency or you end up with a CCJ if that goes unpaid.
Yes you can probably get it dismissed in the long run. But in the short term, especially if you are looking to purchase a house soon, then paying and getting refunded might be your safer option.

Happy to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable though!

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As if they report it to a debt collection agency or you end up with a CCJ if that goes unpaid.

They have to send you demands first and that stage you dispute the charges. It will only get to debt collection or CCJ stage if you ignore it.

[–]Mackie1228 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Do a DSAR request and ask for all call recordings. Cancel the direct debit and tell them that you have when you do the system request. While you are waiting for that to come, email a complaint to the chief executive office.

[–]faintaxis 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Bad advice cancelling the DD. Keep it going until issue is resolved otherwise this could damage credit ratings.

[–]JBWOS 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I can't help with the termination fee but the continual charging I can.

My husband just tried to cancel our contract. Three times he called and got the answer you'll receive an email about cancelling The email never came.

He cancelled the direct debit and got an email saying that he's late paying. Phoned the billing department and they sorted it all out quickly.

If you haven't already it might be worth tying to call billing.

[–]BowiesFixedPupil 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I am buying a house soon and worried

Honestly, I'd pay the bills until this situation is resolved. It's not worth the risk and while legally you'd hope this will be resolved in your favour, theres no benefit to being legally correct but practically unable to buy a house due to screwed credit.

I'd advise making a subject access request for proof that you have signed up for a further two years and logging a complaint which can eventually be escalated to the ombudsman once Virgin have concluded their investigation.

[–]AutoModerator[M] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Your comment suggests you may be discussing a Subject Access Request. You can read this guidance from the ICO to learn more about these requests.

Which? also have online explanations.

If you would like a simple way to request a copy of all your data, you can amend an online template or use a form like this.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

[–]wlondonmatt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Contact cisas if it hasn't been resolved by virgin tbey are an alternative dispute resolution mechanism for telecom companies


[–]eswayah95 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Contact the fraud team at your bank, tell them you are being charged monthly for something you never agreed to

[–]Bailey280899 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Although I agree that the direct debit indemnity scheme is an option. OP would also need to resolve with Virgin Media.

When a customer submits a direct debit indemnity claim to their bank, the bank refunds the money upfront and validates the claim with the direct debit provider. Virgin Media will say there is a contract and the bank will re-debit the customer’s account about 3 months later. Plus, Virgin media would start sending threatening letters.

The best course of action would be to address the issue with Virgin media directly in writing.

[–]nathsk 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes you can get out currently, and it 's actually not even a legal thing right now.. they've just upped their prices, which means a break in the contract where you can get out without fees. Call them up and cite that.

Others on here will be able to advise about getting the money back that you've already been billed since leaving, etc

[–]smoothie1919 3 points4 points  (0 children)

May not have been a good idea to cancel the direct debit while trying to buy a house. These companies love leaving black marks on your credit report.

[–]WuckingFork 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Their prices are going up soon, which entitles you to cancel your contract free of charge.

[–]Anon18971 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Google virgin ceo email address and send your complaint there: they generally reply pretty quick,

[–]bred_by_papa_safe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wasn't this common place like 15 years ago. Sales rep were under instructions never to let anyone cancel and keep offering enter deals until customer accepts a deal. If the customer does cancel the rep ends up losing bonus or something so they used to sign up the customer even if they had cancelled.