Why has Virgin Media charged me for a month’s phone bill? I’ve cancelled my contract!
Reader cancelled her contract and paid for her usage for the six final days used. But Virgin Media tried to take £148 for a full month’s bill.
By Angharad Carrick | Updated: 06:00 BST, 18 September 2023
I left Virgin Media on 18 August after giving the required month’s notice. My final phone and internet bill should have only covered the 6 days from 13-18 August. However, I received a bill for £148.14, which covered the period from 13 August to 3 September.
When I questioned this, I was informed that I needed to pay for the full month and that any owed amount would be refunded by Virgin after 31 days. I expressed my refusal to do so and paid £20.44 over the phone for the 6 days I owed. At the same time, I cancelled my direct debit.
Despite numerous attempts via online chat and phone, I have been unable to obtain an accurate final bill from Virgin.
Now, I have received another request for £148.14 from Virgin. – Anon, via email
Rogue bill: Our reader received a bill for £148 despite only owing £20
Angharad Carrick of This Is Money replied:
I apologize for your experience with Virgin Media. As a loyal customer for eight years, this is not how you should be treated when cancelling a contract.
Being presented with a £148 bill that you know you don’t need to pay, especially during a cost of living crisis, must be extremely frustrating.
Unfortunately, you are not alone in facing difficulties when cancelling a Virgin Media contract. In July, Ofcom initiated an investigation into similar complaints from customers who found it challenging to cancel services with the company. Some customers struggled to reach agents, while others had to repeatedly request cancellation.
Fortunately, you were able to cancel with minimal trouble, but you still received an inflated bill despite paying for what you had used.
I understand that you decided to leave Virgin Media due to a significant increase in the cost of your package and consistent wifi signal issues.
For those considering cancelling a Virgin Media contract, it’s important to note that the company may charge an early disconnection fee if you are still within your minimum contract period. This fee is typically agreed upon at the start of the contract and can range from 6 to 24 months. The fee will not exceed the charges for the remaining services during the minimum period.
However, considering your eight-year tenure with Virgin Media (four years at your current address and four years at your previous address), it’s unlikely that the excessive charge is an early disconnection fee.
In fact, when you questioned the bill, intended to cover the final six days from 13-18 August, you were informed that you needed to pay for the full month and would receive a refund after 31 days. Since you had already paid for the days you used and owed no additional fees, I contacted Virgin Media to inquire about their request for the remaining amount.
You recently received a phone call from Virgin Media where they offered profuse apologies for mishandling the contract termination. They explained that bills are automatically generated, and in your case, the bills were generated towards the end of each month with payment due around the 14th of the following month.
As a result, your final bill was generated in late July for £148. However, Virgin Media acknowledges that one of its agents made an error, and the final bill should have been corrected when you informed them of your departure.
If a customer pays more than their final bill via direct debit, their account will have a credit balance, and Virgin Media will refund any excess within 45 days after the account is closed.
A spokesperson stated, “We have spoken with [the customer] directly to assure her that we have received her £20.44 payment as her final payment. [They do] not need to pay anything further, and we apologize for the error.”
If you have experienced issues when cancelling a contract with Virgin Media, please contact us at [email protected].
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