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Saying I owe money when I don’t

A little history to my issue. I rang to cancel my virgin media service in the middle of December 2015 as I was moving house. The man I spoke to told me that I was still in contract and would have to pay a fee. This surprised me as I knew my contract had finished, but was told it was because I had extended my contract when my broadband speed was increased a few months before. However I had no knowledge of having extended my contract, had not agreed to it, and I had not been informed of this. As this was a sunday (13/12/15) the man I spoke to told me that the relevent department were not available to resolve the issue and that he would call me back the next day. However nobody called me back. I rang again a couple of days later and was told that the first person I spoke to had not done anything with the matter, had in fact not even bothered to cancel my connection. My connection was cancelled and the man I spoke to told me he would contanct customer services who would listen to the original phone call to find out whether or not I had agreed to take out a new contract and would get back to me within 48 hours. No one contacted me. I then received a bill for £149 for a cancellation fee for a contract I hadn’t agreed to. This is really terrible customer service, if you tell a customer you will get back to them it is important that you do, and not ignore their issue on separate occasions.

Anyway, I was at no time provided with any proof that I had agreed to a new contract. When no one replied to my previous attempts to contact you or returned my calls I thought the matter was finished with. However I was recently contacted by a debt collection agency trying to recover the money and I have also found out that it is listed as a default on my credit report. You cannot extend someone’s contract without their permission, and then chase them for a charge based on this.
I’ve had zero luck chasing Virgin about this so I will obviously be contacting Ofcom to find out what course of action is best. Overall I think this is really atrocious service and I can’t believe it is legal.

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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

You are correct that VM can't automatically enroll you in a fixed term contract without your knowing agreement.  However, given VM's diabolical customer service unravelling this is going to take some doing (unless the forum staff leap in, take ownership and sort it out).

Given the inability of the company to have competent staff answer telephones, no point wasting your time with that.  If the forum staff aren't on this pronto, search, read and follow Virgin Media's Consumer Complaints Code of Practice, I suggest submitting a complaint in writing, by registered post, and detailing that you are to be contacted only by letter.  Also state that if this is not promptly resolved then you will escalate to the industry arbitration scheme CISAS at the earliest opportunity.  Details for CISAS are in the code of practice, and normally you have to allow VM eight weeks to sort out a complaint before CISAS can consider it.

In your complaint, ask that VM provide the evidence that you knowingly entered a new fixed term contract, and if they cannot, then they are to provide a written apology, significant compensation for the hassle, inconvenience, wasted time and the considerable distress of being pursued by debt collectors, that they correct the inaccurate data on your credit history file, contact the debt collection agency and tell them to desist from any further contact or pursuit of this matter.  And then to confirm that they have done each one of those things.  Personally I'll be surprised if VM can achieve that modest and reasonable set of demands in eight  weeks, and suspect you'll be contacting CISAS.  On the plus side, for genuine complaints to CISAS within their terms of reference, VM get clobbered for hundreds of pounds in case fees.  The service is free to you regardless of outcome.

If the forum staff can sort this out (including all those requirements above plus any others you reasonably want) that will be your quickest and easiest fix.  if you have to go through complaints and escalation to CISAS it's going to take about three to four months.  

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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

Thanks so much for setting out this information, that’s really really helpful! I’ll get in following your advice right away!

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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

Good morning @DLI 

 

Welcome to the forums and thank you for taking the time to post. 

 

The best cause of action would be to raise a complaint for this to be investigated further, You can find out how to raise a complaint  here. 

 

Kind regards,

Zak_M  

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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

As I raised a complaint several times by phone in 2015 and 2016 and have since also filled in your web form and received no response from any of these, is the best way to raise a complaint by letter, or will this also be ignored?

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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

Thank you for coming back to me. 

 

When did you raise the complaint via the web forum? 

 

Kind regards,

Zak_M 

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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

It would have been early 2016

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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

I’ve just tried to send in your web for again, but it won’t let me sign in as it says my account details aren’t valid. I presume this is because I haven’t had an account with you since 2015. 

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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

Thank you for coming back to me. 

 

I am sorry that we didn't manage to resolve your complaint in 2016. 

 

If you could re-raise the complaint via the forum that would be the best way to proceed. 

 

Kind regards,

Zak_M

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Message 10 of 13
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Re: Saying I owe money when I don’t

I’ve just tried to send in your web form again, but it won’t let me sign in as it says my account details aren’t valid. I presume this is because I haven’t had an account with you since 2015. 

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