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earwax
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Price increase discount until July 2021

Hi

I've searched these forums but I can't find answer but surely someone else did what I did.

In January I got the price increase email. I called to cancel because better deals were out there but an automated message said I could have a 6 month discount if I stayed. I pressed a button to accept and a few days later I got confirmation. No new terms were read to me, I didn't speak to anyone and it was just automatic. 

I've been with Virgin a few years but renewed contract for 18 months in October 2020 so April 2022 is my current contract date.

My question:
When my bill goes up again in July this year do I get the chance to cancel without fee because it's the price increase I delayed?

I'm not unhappy with virgin. The price is reasonable and the service is adequate - we get the occasional downtime and the upload is very slow but that's typical VM service. However, I like to game and I find I get a better ping and faster download and upload via 5G connection using my  mobile SIM (three) so I'm often swapping to that.

Essentially we're only keeping home broadband for a wifi connection we use for scrolling and occasional streaming (or when I can't be bothered to tether)

The discount I refer to is 6m ce3.50 RIV Discount (until 13th July 2021).

Any help much appreciated.

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Andrew-G
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Re: Price increase discount until July 2021

It should show the contract details including the fixed term end date in "My Virgin Media".  As a general rule any change of package, price or discount is treated as a new contract, and defaults to 18 months fixed term with early exit penalties, although it is certainly within VM's gift to vary that, and the six month discount MIGHT be without starting a new contract, so do check.

If .....

  • My Virgin Media shows a new 18 month lock in and only six month discount, and
  • you weren't advised of the new contract length before making the decision, and
  • you're unhappy with that,

you can try and revoke the discount and the new contract by disputing it NOW.  In these circumstances, the concept that applies is a "deemed" contract, which exists and has legal force if you pay the bill for a reasonable time after becoming aware (or having the opportunity to make yourself aware) of the full terms and conditions.  VM don't have to flag up every piddling clause of the T&Cs, but they should have been clear about all material aspects, which would include extending/renewing a lock-in clause.  You might have missed the boat since it's been three months, but it's worth a try if you don't like it.  If all of this applies, suggest you raise a formal complaint with VM (again, in My Virgin Media there's an online form) that this automated offer and contract did not provide you with the full material facts prior to you consenting, that you formally reject the new contract and wish to revert to your prior contract, and if VM cannot agree to that, you'd like a deadlock letter in order to escalate to the industry arbitration scheme CISAS.

Possibly the forum staff can take a look and advise you by PM, pretty sure that if there's a new lock-in they won't be able to change that as they won't have full access or authority to do so.

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Anonymous
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Re: Price increase discount until July 2021

you accepted the discount that was you accepting the new price and discount.
So no once the discount expires you won't be able to cancel.

You accepted the price rise with a 6 month discount.
Andrew-G
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Re: Price increase discount until July 2021

@Anonymous is correct, the question I was answering was whether you'd now extended your contract end date from April 2022 to October 2022 by virtue of accepting the discount.

To clarify (I hope), as you accepted the discount, you can't then say "I want to cancel" after it ends, that option has to be exercised within 30 days of being notified of a price rise (and I think the rise has to exceed CPI as well for that option to exist). 

If there's no new 18 month term, you're locked in until April next year, or until October if they set it as a new contract.   And as per my comment, if they have set a new 18 month term to October 2022, you can probably get that reverted to the April 2022 by objecting and giving up the six month discount, BUT you will then have to see it out until next April unless VM put up prices again.  

I think your best option is to sit it out, considering that you will probably get another chance to cancel due to price rise if (as is probable) VM shove through another inflation busting price rise in 9-12 months time.

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newapollo
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Re: Price increase discount until July 2021

Tthere's nothing to stop you trying to negotiate a new discount as the current one is ending. 

Speak to Retentions (thinking of leaving us) and advise you weren't made aware of the new contract length, you took it on trust that you would be able to negotiate when it ended, and only just noticed it when checking the end date of the discount.

Dave

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Re: Price increase discount until July 2021

True, nothing to stop a customer asking when a discount ends before the fixed term, but VM's agents know full well that very few customers will pay a £240 early exit fee if refused a discount.  The original tactic of offer a six month discount just for pressing a single button on the telephone was quite sly.  Nothing really good is that easy, so at best the original fixed term runs to conclusion at full price, or more likely they've conceded a modest short term discount and renewed the contract for a further 18 months. 

In a very dark way I quite admire that "press 1 to accept this offer" move - I'd imagine when it was dreamt up in the dungeons of Virgin Media Towers, it was a moment where the henchmen did the forced, scared laughter and said "You're da boss, Dr Schüler Evil, you really do the best for stick it to them valued customers schmucks".

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earwax
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Re: Price increase discount until July 2021

As stated. I'm not totally dissatisfied. But Andruser said it's a sly tactic which you could admire and I fell for it because I was busy and trusted 'em.

I used to work for Telewest - before that Yorkshire Cable. Fun days. They gave me my first proper job and since it was during the dot com boom (I left 2001) I was definitely overpaid for some of what I did. So maybe it evens out and if they are likely to have another price rise maybe I'll just use that exit.

Thanks everyone, you've been very helpful.