Ofcom to investigate Virgin Media after customers complain the phone and internet company is making it harder to cancel their services
- Clients have complained about difficulties in canceling contracts
- Ofcom is investigating whether Virgin Media has breached the rules as a result
Ofcom has opened an investigation into Virgin Media, following customer complaints that the phone and broadband company makes it difficult for them to cancel their services.
The telecoms regulator said it was concerned about the number of complaints it received from Virgin Media customers who tried to leave, but said the company had made it difficult.
Some customers said they had trouble reaching an agent over the phone, while others found their call dropped midway or they were put on hold for long periods.
Many said they had to make long and repeated requests to cancel as their initial instruction was not acted on.
Under investigation: Ofcom will investigate complaints that Virgin Media has been making it difficult for customers to cancel services with the provider
Customers can sometimes save hundreds of pounds by switching to a new offer.
Ofcom’s rules state that conditions or procedures set by telecommunications providers must not act as a barrier to customers wishing to cancel their contract.
As well as investigating whether Virgin Media has complied with Ofcom’s termination rules, the investigation will look into whether Virgin Media has failed to comply with complaints handling requirements.
If Ofcom finds that Virgin Media is breaking its rules, it can issue a fine and order the company to change its procedures.
Ofcom has also published today an update to its action plan to support telecom customers during the cost of living crisis.
This includes renewed pressure on the major telecom providers to introduce social tariffs.
Social rates are cheaper phone and broadband packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and a few other benefits.
Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes said: “Our rules are there to protect people and ensure consumers can take advantage of the cheapest deals on offer.” That’s particularly important right now, as households look for ways to keep their bills down.
“Today we are taking action, on behalf of Virgin Media customers, to investigate whether the company is putting unnecessary barriers in the way of those who want to switch.
“We also expect more from the industry as a whole to help customers weather the cost of living crisis. That means there will be no more excuses when it comes to offering and promoting social rates to eligible customers who could switch and save today.”