Q1) Does it need to be EXACTLY 30 days notice or can it be 31 or 32 etc?
Minimum 30, maximum 60 days notice. legally there's no max, but that appears to be hard coded into VM's systems. Note that a few agents are idiots and think it needs to be exactly 30.
Q2) If exactly 30 days notice, is it from the last day of existing contract (13th March) i.e. 11th February (Saturday)? OR is it from the first day of new rolling contract (14th March) i.e. 12th February (Sunday)
30 days runs from when you serve notice by phone or post. So you could phone for example 38 days before your current deal ends and serve notice that you want your contract to finish on 13 March.
Q3) Do VM operate on a weekend, and are the phones manned 0800-2000 SAT and 0900-1700 SUN ?
Broadly speaking yes.
Q4) Re the mobile phone aspect of this Oomph package, would giving VM 30 days notice cease the mobile at said date as well or who would I need to contact to cease that part of the package - Virgin Mobile or O2?
You'd need to contact O2 separately. Whilst that should change, they operate as separate companies other than for new bundle sales.
Q5) Best time to call VM (first thing I assume) and the best number, is it still 0345 454 1111?
Yep, 08:00 is widely seen as the best time to phone. Bear in mind with the stonking inflation plus increase and everybody having the cancel or renegotiate opportunity that getting through will be a challenge.
The ideal would be for VM to give me another contract to start from 14th March but it would need to at or very close to my present contract cost. Not expecting it TBH and like I say I know there are cheaper alternatives available for the short-medium term.
Well, look out for the inflation busting price rise that's imminent this April, and then a further rise in a year's time that next year you won't have the option to reject due to the change in VM's T&C. Best deal is probably by cancelling and hoping to get an outbound retentions call, but the point about inflation still applies, and the bigger your discount, the higher your personal increase is. Here's a worked example:
VM currently quote the introductory offer for the Big Bundle at £29.99 a month, and the undiscounted price is £65 a month. From VM's point of view that's not 53.8% discount, that's a fixed £35.01 discount. If the standard rate changes, your underlying price gets increased, and then VM keep taking off your £35.01. So a 13.8% increase - assuming that's the rate VM apply to this bundle - on £65 will be an extra £8.97, when that's applied to the £29.99 bill, what that customer pays is going up by 29.9%. Since VM like to keep standard pricing in round numbers, the actual increase varies a bit on each bundle, but the effect is much the same as outlined here, maybe you are on the Big Bundle. Now see what happens next year:
If we guess RPI is 6.1% between now and early next year, then that's a 10% rise to the basic price. For anybody still "in contract" for the Big Bundle deal by that time, then the maths are as follows:
March 2023: Discounted rate £29.99. New price is (£65.00 x 1.138) - £35.01 = new discounted price £38.96, new standard price £73.97, effective price rise 29.9%
March 2024: Discounted rate now £38.96. New price is (£73.97 x 1.10) - £35.01 = new discounted price £46.36 (new standard price £81.37), effective price rise 19.0%
If negotiating with Retentions, here's my suggestions. None of this worries me though, I'm now with a smaller customer-focused ISP on a fixed price deal for the remainder of this year, and my VM equipment return bag has just arrived.