Why did Virgin Media charge me for a month’s phone bill? I have canceled my contract!
- The reader canceled her contract and paid for its use during the last six days used.
- But Virgin Media tried to charge £148 for a full month’s bill
I left Virgin Media on August 18 after the required month’s notice. My final phone and internet bill should have covered 6 days from August 13th to 18th; Instead I was presented with an invoice for £148.14 covering the period 13 August to 3 September.
When I asked this, I was told I had to make a full month’s payment and that after 31 days Virgin would refund me everything owed.
I said I was not prepared to do this and paid £20.44 over the phone for the 6 days I owed. I canceled my direct debit at the same time.
Despite contacting Virgin on several occasions via online chat and phone, I have not been able to obtain a correct final invoice.
I have now received another request for £148.14 from Virgin. Anonymous, by email
Fraudulent invoice: Our reader was given an invoice for £148 even though he only had to pay £20
Angharad Carrick of This Is Money responded: I’m sorry to hear about your experience with Virgin Media. As a loyal customer of eight years, this is not how you should be treated when you cancel a contract.
Being hit with a £148 bill that you know you don’t need to pay, in a cost of living crisis no less, must be extremely frustrating.
Unfortunately, you are not alone when it comes to having difficulty canceling your contract with Virgin Media.
In July, Ofcom opened an investigation into Virgin Media following similar complaints from customers who said the company made it difficult to cancel their services.
Some customers say they’ve had difficulty getting through to an agent, while others said they’ve had to make long, repeated requests to cancel.
Fortunately, you were able to cancel the contract with minimal problems, but you were still handed a huge bill, despite paying for what you had used.
I understand that the reason you decided to leave Virgin Media was because the cost of your package was due to increase significantly and you were unhappy with your wifi signal dropping.
Anyone looking to cancel a Virgin Media contract should be aware that it charges an early disconnection fee if you are in its “minimum period”. This is normally agreed at the start of the contract and can range from 6 to 24 months.
The fee will not be more than the charges you would have paid for the services during the remainder of the minimum period.
However, given that he has been with Virgin Media for eight years (four years at his current address and four years at his previous address), it is unlikely that the fraudulent charge is an early disconnection fee.
In fact, when you looked at the invoice, which should have covered the last six days from August 13 to 18, you were presented with an invoice that covered the period from August 13 to September 3.
When she asked Virgin Media why they had included the days August 18 to September 3, she was told she had to make a full month’s payment and, after 31 days, Virgin would refund everything she owed.
Since I had already paid the amount I had used and didn’t need to pay any further fees, I asked Virgin Media why they had asked for the rest of the money.
You then received a phone call from Virgin Media who, according to you, apologized profusely for the way they had handled the contract termination.
Misbilling: Our reader refused to pay an additional £148 and instead simply paid what she owed, around £20, but then received further demands from Virgin Media.
Someone on the team told me that invoices are generated automatically and in their case, invoices were generated towards the end of each month and paid around the 14th of the month.
This meant that their final bill was generated at the end of July and amounted to £148. However, Virgin Media admits that one of its agents made a mistake and the final invoice should have been amended as soon as you said you were leaving.
If a customer pays more than their final bill by direct debit, their account will be in credit and Virgin Media will refund the balance within 45 days of account closure.
A spokesman said: “We have spoken to [the customer] directly to assure you that we have received your final payment of £20.44. [They do] You do not need to pay anything more and we apologize for the error.
Have you had any problems with Virgin Media when trying to cancel a contract? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org