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Jake21
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Unfair contract

Today I tried to cancel my TV and Broadband subscription because we’re moving house soon, but when I tried to do it I found that I have been tied into a new 18 month contract so will have to pay almost £250 to cancel.

It turns out that when I recently downgraded my Sky Sports package a whole new contract was set up for me, tying me into a contract with Virgin for another 18 months - something which I never would have agreed to if I knew the full details because of our house move.

when I spoke to someone from Virgin they said there’s nothing they can do because I agreed to the new contract - has anyone else experienced anything similar and is there any way to get out of this?

I think it’s ridiculously unfair that Virgin make you commit to a new fixed term contract just because you want to downgrade your package, but the fact that the full details and timeframe of the contract weren’t explained to me before I agreed to it just seems so shady and wrong - it seems like this company is just trying to fool people into taking out contracts with them so that their money is guaranteed for longer periods of time!

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japitts
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Re: Unfair contract

When was this "recent" change - how recent is "recent"?

And regardless of when it was, you would have received an emailed contract within a day or so of amending your package, that contract would have included details of your new package and minimum term dates.

It's entirely normal for package amendments to trigger a new 18month contract if there's any discount or promotional offers thrown in, as is probably the case here. Again - check your contract that would have been emailed to you, and is also available to download from within your "myVM" online account. This is usually the case with "upgrades", but it's entirely feasible for the opposite to be true.

As an aside, have you checked for whether your new address is serviceable? The early disconnection charges (which are capped at £240) are only applicable if you're moving to a non-serviced address and are therefore cancelling prematurely.

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Jake21
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Re: Unfair contract

I made the change towards the end of May so the new contract has only just started.

I realise it was naive of me to not check the contract once it was sent but it never once crossed my mind that downgrading my sports package would tie me into a contract for a further 18 months. 

I will probably end up keeping Virgin at my new address if I can because I don’t really want to spend the money to cancel early - I guess my issue is with the way Virgin are almost tricking people into extending their contracts. Not once was I told that cancelling my sports package would result in me being tied in for a further 18 months, if that was explained to me when I cancelled it then I would have just kept the sports package for a bit longer rather than being tied into this contract for so long. 

 

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japitts
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Re: Unfair contract

It's an interesting scenario.. Sky premiums (sports & movies) come with 30day notice periods, so presumably you made the change end of May, effective around a fortnight ago - so even being generous with when the 14day "cooling off" runs from, you're probably out of luck there.

Again, your contract will show any promotional discounts that are active on your package, that's usually the trigger for a new minimum term.

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Andrew-G
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Re: Unfair contract

If you decide to take your service to the new address job done. 

If you can't, or choose not to, then you've got a fair claim against VM that you were not informed of the principle terms of the contract when you agreed to it.  A lot of the small print of a contract can be binding when hidden away, and that's accepted in law.  But when you agree it has to be on the basis of the agent explaining all principle terms (bundle, cost, duration).  If the agent did not explain that this started a new fixed term contract, that's probably a misleading action by omission.  So in that case open a complaint with VM, if they don't settle it by letting you off the early exit fee, escalate to the industry arbitration scheme CISAS.

 

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Megan_L
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Re: Unfair contract

Hi Jake21, 

Thanks for using the forums to get this issue with your contract looked into, I am sorry if this has been causing some frustration. I would be more than happy to look into this for you.

I am sorry that you feel the agent did not specify specific aspects of your contract which leads you to believe you were not in a new 18 month contract. 

I have already taken the time to check over your service notes and can see evidence that these aspects were indeed spoken about, we can go into details about this in a PM soon if you would like to further your complaint. 

I know this may not be the answer you may be looking for, however there may also be another way to resolve this which has already been covered above. 

If your new address is serviceable with Virgin Media, you can simply take the services with you to the next address, eliminating the need to cancel the services. 

I will send you a PM now so we can chat more in depth about what you would like to do, as well as check if your new address can have Virgin services. 

Thanks,

Megan_L