Vir­gin Me­dia says I owe it money

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

Over a year ago I can­celled the Vir­gin phone and broad­band pack­age I had used for 15 years as I found a cheaper of­fer else­where.

As far as I was con­cerned that was the end of it. The fact that my con­tract was can­celled was con­firmed by Vir­gin Me­dia on the phone and also by its re­peated writ­ten re­quests for me to re­turn to it.

Un­for­tu­nately I was then taken ill and in hos­pi­tal for some time.

Vir­gin Me­dia then con­tacted me to claim that only the phone had been can­celled and that I owed it for broad­band, de­spite con­firm­ing that I had not used it.

Af­ter much ar­gu­ing by me, pres­sure from Vir­gin Me­dia and re­ceiv­ing a de­fault no­tice threat­en­ing court ac­tion, I paid £462, although I feel I was black­mailed into do­ing this.

One year on, Vir­gin Me­dia is still con­tact­ing me and sug­gest­ing I may owe it fur­ther sums for pay-per- view when I have ab­so­lutely not used its ser­vice all this time and did not have the tele­vi­sion op­tion. RAY­MOND HER­RON, WEST SUS­SEX

You hadn’t stopped the di­rect debit. As ap­par­ently you had over­paid, you went to your build­ing so­ci­ety to get the money re­trieved un­der the di­rect debit guar­an­tee.

Too much money was clawed back. Some pay­ments were in­cluded for the time you had been us­ing your Vir­gin Me­dia ser­vices. Also, the 30 days’ no­tice pe­riod had not been fac­tored in.

You paid all the money back for fear of un­pleas­ant con­se­quences.

Un­der­ly­ing this is the fact that there ap­pears to have been some con­fu­sion over who could can­cel your ser­vices.

It seems your new provider gave the im­pres­sion that the Vir­gin Me­dia broad­band as well as the tele­phone would be can­celled when your new ser­vices were in­stalled.

New providers can can­cel Vir­gin Me­dia tele­phone ser­vices on be­half of in­com­ing cus­tomers by re­quest­ing a num­ber be ported. How­ever, Vir­gin Me­dia broad­band can only be can­celled by the cus­tomer or by a third-party act­ing on their be­half.

You did not have TV but, adding to the con­fu­sion, Vir­gin Me­dia had writ­ten to you men­tion­ing pos­si­ble pay­ments for pay-per-view.

Vir­gin Me­dia said that, although it was asked to port the tele­phone num­ber, there was no other can­cel­la­tion re­quest un­til you called much later to ques­tion your bill.

The dis­con­nec­tion for your broad­band ser­vices was done on the same day and the ac­count closed.

Vir­gin Me­dia knew noth­ing un­til now about your ill health.

Af­ter my in­volve­ment, Vir­gin Me­dia re­funded £292 for pay­ments made for the time you were not us­ing the dis­puted ser­vices.

It also paid the re­main­ing bal­ance of £34 on your ac­count and added some­thing for good­will, tak­ing the sum to in all £359.

A Vir­gin Me­dia spokesman said: “We ad­vise our cus­tomers to con­tact us di­rectly should they wish to can­cel their broad­band.”

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