Re: Charged £14 to call customer service about a service interruption?
06-06-201921:43 - edited 06-06-201921:46
The law on this matter is The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. Regulation 41 says:
Help-line charges over basic rate
41.—(1) Where a trader operates a telephone line for the purpose of consumers contacting the trader by telephone in relation to contracts entered into with the trader, a consumer contacting the trader must not be bound to pay more than the basic rate.
(2) If in those circumstances a consumer who contacts a trader in relation to a contract is bound to pay more than the basic rate, the contract is to be treated as providing for the trader to pay to the consumer any amount by which the charge paid by the consumer for the call is more than the basic rate.
It would perhaps have been better if the words "be bound to" had been omitted. If that had been done, the situation would be clear: anyone who calls the 0845 number by mistake would be entitled to claim the cost back from Virgin Media. However, nothing in the law prevents a trader from operating an 0845 number for customer service *in addition* to a standard-rate number. In that case, the customer isn't "bound" to pay more than the basic rate but chooses to do so (albeit by mistake).
Still, it's clearly against the spirit of the law for VM to continue to operate an 0845 number for this purpose.