Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Virgin on the ridiculous...

I moved out of my rented house in such a rush and now seem to be paying the consequences. Either that, or am a victim of complete incompetence. Hmm.... you decide.

This was the only time I have ever moved without notifying all of the utility companies in advance, and I contacted Virgin Media the day after I had moved out to cancel my Broadband, TV and Phone package. They advised me that normally they require 30 days notice, but that I could opt for immediate disconnection if I was sure that I no longer needed to use the phone. I'm not quite sure which part of 'I have handed in the keys and no longer have access to the property' they didn't understand, but there we go.

After confirming that I wanted immediate disconnection, I asked for an estimation of the final account, given that I paid for the service one month in advance as part of my contract. The woman advised that I owed roughly £8, plus any call charges.


Oh that it were true.

Two weeks later I was browsing my bank account, cancelling any remaining direct debits. And there it is: a debit from Virgin Media for £39.82. £39.82? That's not what I had written down on my notepad. That's not £8.

I rang them up to query the charge, slightly curious as to what they were feeding their bills to make them grow by nearly £32. The man I spoke to couldn't answer my query, except that the early disconnection fee was apparently £15 and I owed £18 for the days remaining on my contract, although he couldn't give me the exact dates this covered. He said that according to the system, I had been advised of the early disconnection charges, although the woman hadn't recorded the actual value. More than a little disgruntled, I was advised to write a letter to the Customer Care team, and he gave me the address.

I wrote the letter, but due to a) my envelopes being stored in my Dad's workshop and b) the black ink on my printer being extremely low, it didn't make it past the hard drive of my laptop.

I did, however, get round to printing out the cancellation of my TV Licence, with a request for refund.

Today my redirected post started to arrive. In the first bundle were 3 letters from the TV Licensing authority - the first two confirming the cancellation of my licence, with refunds of £70 and £12.12 respectively. Thank you very much. The third was a letter explaining that they had noticed I had recently cancelled my direct debit, and therefore it was not possible to take further instalments, and could I contact them to provide my bank account details?

Er, in a word, No.

Also included in this bundle was a pre-court notification from a Debt Collection agency, stating that I owed Virgin Media the sum of £39.82, and that failure to pay would result in further proceedings.

Interesting. How do they manage to type these letters, given that the left hand clearly doesn't know what the right hand is doing....


  1. indeed, it sounds very much like it doesnt.

  2. Sounds suspiciously like a government agency, right and left hands have no knowledge of each other...