I am being charged £70 to end my broadband contract with Virgin Media.
However, the firm do not supply a service to where I am moving to so I have no choice but to switch to another provider.
Why am I being charged if I have no choice as to whether or not I can stay with Virgin or not?
Virgin Media has been charging customers who move house to an area Virgin doesn’t supply
Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: This has long been a bugbear for Virgin Media customers.
When a customer on a fixed contract moves home and their new property cannot be supplied by Virgin, they are often charged to cancel the contract.
This can be hundreds of pounds in some instances, depending on the contact.
This is frustrating as customers are unlikely to know in advance when they will be moving and where to, when signing their contract with the provider.
Virgin say the cost of early disconnection fees depends on a number of factors, including the services taken and the duration left on a contract.
If a customer cancels while still in contract, it says its agreement states that an early disconnection fee will be applicable.
However, it does offer 30 day rolling contracts for those that do not want to sign up for a minimum period because they need more flexibility.
Virgin said it is investing to expand its network meaning more people will be able to take their services with them when they move home.
A spokesperson for Virgin Media replies: Our contracts are designed to apply over a specific period, so we urge all of our customers to consider the length of a contract before entering into it.
Details of early disconnection fees are clearly set out on our website.
Grace Gausden, This is Money, adds: You’re not the only one frustrated with Virgin – a number have taken to social media to share their irritation.
This user said they were charged £240 for cancelling their contract with Virgin Media
Another user said he wanted a rolling contract as he wouldn’t want to have to pay for leaving
This Twitter user said he was charged a £230 from Virgin as it doesn’t provide service
Ofcom previously fined both EE and Virgin Media a combined total of £13.3million for overcharging phone and broadband customers who wanted to leave their contracts early.
In November 2018, the watchdog found that almost 82,000 Virgin Media customers were overcharged a total of just under £2.8million and failed to clearly set out the charges customers would have to pay if they ended their contract early.
However, information on its website shows that, if you’re switching to, or from, a fibre-to-the-premise or ‘full-fibre’ service or a provider that doesn’t use the Openreach network – such as Virgin Media’s cable service – you could be subject to fees.
Unfortunately, if a customer is switching between networks, whether that be because they move home or are just changing providers, they could also be charged.
It adds that your old provider will confirm that your contract is ending – and explain any charges that might apply – while your new provider will let you know when your new contract will start.
However, if your current broadband service runs on the Openreach phone network, and you’re switching to another provider that also uses this network, you can follow a ‘one-stop’ switching process.
Under this process, you will not need to contact your current provider at all and your new provider can arrange the transfer for you.
If customers have broadband complaints, they can take it to the Ombudsman to resolve
For those who have an issue with your broadband provider, you can complain.
Firstly, you should always speak to your provider first as hopefully you can come into agreement with them about what to do.
If this fails, however, you can speak to an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme, who will step in and resolve issues. All broadband providers are signed up to one.
If this still doesn’t work, you can escalate the complaint to the Ombudsman.
You will only be able to do this once you have a deadlock letter which proves you couldn’t find a resolution with your broadband provider.