I used the early payment option given by Virgin and paid the bill over the automated phone system on the 28th of November.
On the 7th of December I received notification from my bank that the Virgin media direct debit had been return unpaid and I would be incurring a £25 charge for that. I was absolutely furious!! I had gone out of my way to pay a bill early and had then been penalised for it.
I called my bank who advised me that, even though they could see that the bill had already been paid, they were unable to refund the charge due to the error being on Virgin Media’s behalf as it was Virgin who did not update their system in time to account for the nil balance.
I then called the Virgin customer service who said that as I had not CALLED to advise them of my payment they were unable to refund.
Now I have examined my contract, my online payment page and listened to the automated payment system and NOWHERE does it say that the customer must call and advise them of an early payment!!!
If my bill had not been paid and I received an unpaid direct debit charge I would be liable for the charge!
To add insult to injury this morning (10th December) I received a letter dated 7th of December from Virgin Media’s finance department advising me of a returned unpaid direct debit!!
If the Virgin payment system is so defunct that it is unable to process an early payment and react accordingly, then the least Virgin can do is either advise of this, emphasis the need to call and confirm the payment with a Virgin customer service adviser, or do away with the option altogether because all they have done is caused me financial problems.
I would like to know how this situation is going to be resolved as the charge was caused by Virgin’s incompetence and not mine.
The statement says that "a one off payment does not reduce direct debit amount", but you have been given the option by Virgin to make early payments without them highlighting the possible problems caused by doing this. If their statement also advised their customer to either cancel the direct debit, as you have, advised their customers to call and let the customer service know of their payment or, DID AWAY with the early payment system altogether, I would not be having to bring this issue up.
thanks for your information, but it does not really address my issue.
I appreciate you getting in touch with us regarding the Direct Debit payment and the duplicate payment you made.
I understand that when making this you were under the impression this would stop a DD from processing.
If you made the payment on the 3rd and the DD was due on the 7th we very probably would not have been able to stop the DD from processing if you had called as these are passed to the bank 3-5 days early for processing on the relevant due date. As the 3rd was a Saturday and the 7th the following Wednesday we would have if you had called us, advised you to contact the bank to stop the payment.
I'm going to send a private message to you for us to offer some further advice for you. If you could get back to me then that would be great.
Just some future info to support you regarding DD's and manual payments.
DD’s are set by the bill when this is created and DO NOT adjust if you make a manual payment with us, eg, via eBilling.
If you make a manual payment and have an active DD with us, you have to call us or speak to us via Webchat for us to arrange to stop the pending payment you have via DD.
If the DD is due to be debited within the next 3-5 days, this would need to be cancelled with the bank, as we may not be able to stop this individual transaction from processing. We pass payment requests in advance to the banks ready to process the DD’s on the date they should be taken usually 2-3 working days in advance.
If this has to be cancelled to stop the DD, you would then have to reset the DD with us.
Resetting a DD with us can take 3-5 working days so if this does happen where a DD is cancelled by you or the bank, please allow as much notice as you can before your next bill is produced when you're resetting this with us.