I left Virgin Media on 18 August after the requisite month’s notice. My final phone and internet bill should have covered 6 days from 13-18 August, instead I was presented with a bill for £148.14 covering the period 13 August to 3 September.
When I queried this I was told I needed to make a month’s full payment and that after 31 days Virgin would refund anything owed.
I said I was not prepared to do this and paid £20.44 by phone for the 6 days I owed. I cancelled my direct debit at the same time.
Despite contacting Virgin on several occasions via online chat and the phone, I have been unable to obtain a correct final bill.
I have now had a further request for £148.14 from Virgin. Anon, via email
Rogue bill: Our reader was handed a bill for £148 despite only needing to pay £20
Angharad Carrick of This Is Money replied: I am sorry to hear about your experience with Virgin Media. As a loyal customer for eight years, this is not the way you should be treated when you cancel a contract.
To be slapped with a £148 bill you know you don’t need to pay, in a cost of living crisis no less, must be extremely frustrating.
Unfortunately, you’re not alone when it comes to having some difficulty with cancelling your Virgin Media contract.
In July, Ofcom opened an investigation into Virgin Media following similar complaints from customers who said the company made it difficult to cancel its services.
Some customers say they have struggled to get through to an agent while others said they had to make lengthy and repeated requests to cancel.
Thankfully you were able to cancel the contract with minimal fuss, but you were still handed a huge bill, despite paying for what you had used.
I understand the reason you decided to leave Virgin Media was because the cost of your package was due to increase significantly, and you weren’t happy with your wifi signal dropping.
Anyone looking to cancel a Virgin Media contract, should be aware that it does charge an early disconnection fee if you’re in your ‘minimum period’. Typically this is agreed at the start of the contract and can range between 6-24 months.
The fee will not be more than the charges you would have paid for the services for the remainder of the minimum period.
However, given you have been with Virgin Media for eight years – four years at your current address and four years at your previous address – it is unlikely that the rogue charge is an early disconnection fee.
In fact, when you queried the bill, which should have covered the final six days from 13-18 August, instead you were presented with a bill that covered the period between 13 August and 3 September.
When you asked Virgin Media why they had included the days from 18 August to 3 September, you were told you needed to make a month’s full payment and after 31 days, Virgin would refund anything owed.
Given you had already paid the amount you had used, and you did not need to pay any other fees, I asked Virgin Media why it had asked for the rest of the money.
You then received had a phone call from Virgin Media who you say apologised profusely for the way they had handled the termination of the contract.
Mis-billing: Our reader refused to pay the extra £148 and instead paid simply what she owed, around £20 – but then received further demands from Virgin Media
Someone from the team told me that bills are automatically generated and in your case, the bills were generated towards the end of each month, and paid on or around the 14th of the month.
It meant that your final bill was generated in late July which came to £148. However, Virgin Media admits that one of its agents made a mistake and the final bill should have been amended as soon as you said you were leaving.
If a customer pays more than their final bill via direct debit, their account will be in credit and Virgin Media will refund any balance to them within 45 days of the account closing.
A spokesperson said: ‘We have spoken with [the customer] directly to assure her that we have received her £20.44 payment as her final. [They do] not need to pay anything further and we apologise for the error.’
Have you had an issue with Virgin Media when trying to cancel a contract? Get in touch: [email protected]