I am about to finilise a mortgage application and have been advised on a potentially unsuccessful outcome due to a wrongly applied default to my credit file.
It was wrongly applied in 2017 after we were issued with a section 21 by our landlord who wanted to sell her property. We contacted Virgin to arrange a home move when the stated that the area we were moving to was not serviceable. They advised that the only option was for them to terminate my contract and that £240 was due as a result as an early disconnection fee (EDF).
I queried the accuracy of this charge and proposed several options to reach a resolution but they maintained that the charge was accurate.
I followed their complaints procedure but never received a deadlock letter, despite a senior manager advising to expect one by certain point. In fact I still haven't received any letter/correspondence from VM since leaving my previous address despite providing a forwarding address.
Several unsuccessful attempts were made to get an update on the outcome of my complaint, particularly so that I could decide my next steps - going to an independent adjudicator (CISAS) etc.
Just before I decided to approach CISAS, I realised that a default had been applied to my credit file July 2017.
CISAS ruled in Virgin Media's favour following my application in December 2017 and I was unable to exploit the option of an appeal because I was out of the country. Specifically, CISAS's judgement stated that the charge was accurate and that it is Virgin Media's (VM) obligation to show a true and fair picture of my/the customer's account history making the default appropriate.
I eventually settled the account in April 2020. I had been anxious about parting with £240 for no fault of my own but was surprised to learn that all I had to pay was £84. They couldn't explain to me the reason for the change and unprepared to engage in a seemingly futile debate I settled the stated balance.
Again, with the aim of removing the default from my credit file, I asked my credit reference agency (Experian) to query the default on my behalf. However I got a response asking to contact VM directly to resolve the issue. This led to a letter/email in December 2020 to the Credit File Amendment, who unfortunately are only reachable by email. Essentially, again I did not achieve my outcome.
Since then I contacted CISAS but was advised that I couldn't make a new claim that is linked to a previously resolved/decided case. This was disappointing to learn, however I was advised to approach VM for 'data subject access request.' This advice has proven to be game-changing.
When it was eventually released by VM in April 2021, I identified several remarkable findings, particularly the fact that shortly after CISAS's ruling in December 2017, VM made an adjustment on my account specifically stating, "This customer has received a one-off credit which will appear on their bill. A mistake was made with the amount we charged them for ending a service, and we have now credited their account to rectify this. Please advise accordingly and do not repeat the credit for this issue. Please follow BAU Customer Ownership Process where necessary."
In my most recent (June 2021) email to the Credit File Amendment Team I flagged the following issues (as excerpts from my letter):
That yes, in line with Virgin Media’s terms and conditions and as per my contractual obligation an early disconnection fee (EDF) was appropriate
However, Virgin Media failed in its duty of care and contractual obligation to me at the point of calculating my EDF based on the evidence (see evidence item #8), having admitted their error on 08.02.2018
That the miscalculation of my EDF is critical to my complaint about the accuracy of the charge of £240 from 2017 and subsequent impact on my credit file; and that Virgin Media have failed in their obligation to provide and true and fair reflection of my payment history with the company
That I was right in my previous claim that questioned the accuracy of the fee/charge from Virgin (see evidence items #6, #11, #16 and #19)
That the default on my credit file was wrongly applied and Virgin Media admitted to the error in calculating EDF (see evidence item #8). The previous point has recently been confirmed by Virgin Media staff (see evidence items #23 and #24 – audio recordings of telephone conversation with Virgin Media staff confirming the above)
That upon realising their error on 08.02.2018, Virgin Media did not contact me either by email, telephone, or letter to offer an apology and take reparative action including removing the default from my Credit File, which again was a direct consequence of the miscalculation
That rather painfully, it has taken receiving my DSAR to learn of these errors which I unfairly continued to take responsibility for
That despite Virgin Media advising on a couple of occasions as confirmed by customer service agents (, that the default was going to be removed this still has not been done see evidence items #23 and #24 – audio recordings of telephone conversation with Virgin Media staff confirming the above)
That the error in calculating my EDF led to the default and that Virgin Media applying the default fail in their duty to give and true and fair view of my payment history (CISAS), because this is not currently the case
Finally, that in line with CISAS determination of what constitutes a breach by the company or service provider (see quote below), Virgin Media failed in their duty of care and customer to provide accurate information, which has led to complicated sequence of events and adverse financial and emotional implications or harm/distress to me as a customer
“In order to succeed in a claim against the company the customer must prove on a balance of probabilities that the company has broken some term express or implied of the agreement which existed between them or failed in the duty of care which the company owed to the customer and that because of this breach the customer has suffered loss. (A duty of care is a responsibility or a legal obligation of the company to avoid acts or omissions which can be reasonably foreseen to be likely to cause harm to others). If no such breach or loss is proved the company will not be liable to pay compensation however disappointed or upset the customer is.”
I got an acknowledgement email confirming receipt (11 days ago) and to expect a resolution in 21 days. Since then, I also received an email from the executive team advising to expect a resolution in 28 days.
I am pleased to be getting some form of response from VM, however I am slightly concerned that the most recent email has not come from the credit file amendment team, as it is their action and involvement that I need to achieve my outcome.
Should I be worried that it is being treated as a customer service complaint instead of a credit file amendment query? Can I be hopeful about any of this at all? What is the likely outcome in light of the evidence? Any support/feedback would be appreciated.
Many thanks for your post. I'm so sorry to read of the experience you've had with your complaints as well as the issue with your credit file. I appreciate how stressful this must be especially since you are currently applying for a mortgage.
I would be happy to look into this for you, but will need to securely access your account in order to do so. I'll send you a private message so I can get these details from you, so please look out for the purple envelope at the top of the screen and I can discuss this further with you.