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Virgin Media has responded to criticism of its policy of imposing fees on customers who move to areas not serviced by its broadband network.

Customer Rick Llewellyn this week told the Observer he was surprised to be charged £150.83 to terminate his contract early, as well as having to pay to return his Virgin equipment or face an additional £160 fee.

The article has raised concerns that other Virgin Media customers could be hit with hefty charges if they move to a new house mid-contract. Virgin Media has therefore responded by insisting that section N of its terms and conditions lays out the terms that apply when a customer moves home.

Speaking to the Independent, a spokesperson said this includes the fact that it cannot guarantee to provide services at a new address.

"We urge all of our customers to consider the length of contracts before entering into them," the representative said.

"We make it clear to our customers that a minimum term applies to their contract."

Nevertheless, Mr Llewellyn has been given a refund following the Observer's intervention as a "goodwill gesture".

Telecoms regulator Ofcom is now investigating whether the company's policy is fair and reasonable, in line with the Consumer Rights Act.

Virgin Media customers could therefore be entitled to claim back fees they have paid if Ofcom concludes that the provider has breached the rules.

"We note Ofcom’s investigation into early termination charges and are working with them during their inquiry," Virgin Media said.

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