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Everything you need to know about Virgin Media's cooling-off period

By Richard Murphy
Thursday, July 27th 2017

Signing up with Virgin Media is a big commitment, but its cooling-off period gives you an easy exit if you want it.

There’s any number of reasons to cancel your broadband or TV contract, (a change of circumstance, a better offer from another provider, it’s the zombie apocalypse, and so on) and during the cooling-off period is the best time to do it. But when is this fabled golden window of opportunity and how does it work?

What’s Virgin Media’s cooling-off period?

The cooling-off period for Virgin TV, broadband and phone is 14 days, so if you’re thinking of purchasing Virgin Media package, you have a two-week window in which to cancel your contract without major expense, if you decide it’s not right for you or if your circumstances change.

The 14-day period represents 14 calendar days, as opposed to working days, so make sure you factor that in. You don’t have to give a reason for your change of heart either, just let them know you want out, and it’ll happen. Simple.

When does the cooling-off period start?

The cooling-off period starts from the date you subscribe to Virgin’s service. Make sure you take note of when this is to ensure you can cancel in time. Your subscription begins on the day of installation, provided it is successful.

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How do I cancel Virgin Media?

Giving Virgin the bad news can be done one of a couple of ways. The most immediate is to give it a call. If you’ve got a Virgin Media phone line already installed you can call for free on 150, if not you can call 0345 454 1111.

If verbal confrontation isn’t really your thing, you can speak to a Virgin Media agent through its online chat function. You can find this in the Account and Billing tab of the ‘Contact Us’ section of Virgin’s website.

Will it cost me anything to cancel?

No. Well, nothing major; certainly not as much as it would if you were cancelling outside the cooling-off period. Cancelling within 14 days means you avoid a cancellation fee. The cost of this is usually calculated by how long is left on your contract.

If you’re not 100% sure about your package, it’s prudent to cancel during your cooling-off period to avoid undue expense. Better safe than sorry (and bankrupt). That said, there are still some expenses.

Return all your Virgin Media equipment to avoid charge

Yes, all your lovely new Virgin Media equipment, like the Super Hub or 500GB TiVo box will have to be returned - sorry. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to keep the equipment in good condition during the brief period it’s in your care.

When you cancel, Virgin will send you a pre-paid postal returns pack. This is to be filled with the Virgin gear you’re returning before you drop it off at a Collect+ store (you can find the nearest one to you from Virgin’s website).

Here’s what you can expect to pay if you fail to return Virgin gear:

  • Remote control - £12
  • TiVo Box - £150
  • V, V+, V HD box - £125
  • TV Smartcard - £50
  • Super Hub - £40

These charges will be taken from any money you’ve paid to Virgin Media that was due to be refunded.

Will I get my money back if I cancel?

If you’ve paid in advance for certain services, or have paid a deposit for something, you are entitled to a refund. Virgin Media will get in contact with you with regards to how and when your refund will be paid to you.

Virgin will take anything you owe (such as the cost of damaged or unreturned equipment) before your refund is sent to you. Also, if the refund is so small that it will cost more for Virgin to process than the amount it owes, it will donate the money to a charity. Which is nice.

Cancelling Virgin Media outside of the cooling-off period

If you’re outside the cooling-off period, but still within the initial contracted period and want to cancel, then you’ll be hit with cancellation fees. You’ll still have to go through the rigmarole of sending all your kit back to Virgin Media too.

How much you’ll pay is determined by how long you have left on your contract. The longer you have, the more it’ll cost.

Are there any other ways to cancel for free?

Yes. First, you can wait until the end of your contract. Most Virgin Media contracts are either 12 or 18 months long; when you reach the end of this period you are automatically moved to a 30-day rolling contract. This means you can freely cancel your contract and only have to give Virgin one-month notice. Super.

You can also cancel mid-contract freely if Virgin Media decides to up its prices. Virgin has to give you 30 days to make a decision on whether to cancel or not after it informs you of the change. This is great because it means you’ll never be railroaded into paying more than you signed up for.

Unfortunately, you never know when Virgin is going to put its prices up, unless you’re psychic.

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