Virgin Media says I owe it money
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.”