Virgin Media contract and billing
By Claire Nottage | Monday, October 26th 2020
When you sign up for a new broadband deal, you are doing exactly that – signing a legal contract between you and Virgin Media, with responsibilities lying on both sides.
However, there is a lot of information stored in the small print, from additional fees and rights of cancellation to terms of acceptable use and general standards of service. In this guide we look at the details of a Virgin Media contract, including what to expect when it comes to your all-important monthly bill.
Package and pricing
Primarily, your broadband contract contains the essential information unique to you and what you have agreed to pay for, including your broadband speed, and a TV bundle and mobile deal if you chose to add one. It will also include the date your contract began, the date your minimum term will end, your current monthly fee, and what your new fee will be after your initial contract period finishes.
As well as this basic information, the contract also contains a whole host of terms and conditions, including legal limitations, any additional fees you may be subject to, credit check requirements and information on how to complain or request compensation.
Virgin Media offers broadband and TV contracts on both an 18-month basis and a one-month basis. The one-month deals are a lot more expensive than the 18-month deals. After this period, you are entitled to cancel your service and switch to another provider, or choose to stay. If you are on an 18-month contract, your monthly fee is likely to increase, but it is possible to negotiate a discount. If you decide to cancel your contract before the minimum term, you will be charged termination fees.
If Virgin makes changes to your contract mid-term, such as introducing a price rise, it is obliged to give you advance notice and give you the opportunity to cancel without incurring any fees. You should give 30 days’ notice if you intend to cancel your broadband service at any time, unless you are on a one-month contract.
When you first sign up with Virgin Media you will be supplied with all the equipment you need on an agreed date. This is likely to include a Virgin Media Hub or Super Hub router and a V6 TV box if you have ordered a broadband and TV bundle. Be mindful that the equipment is loaned to you – it does not belong to you and you are not permitted to sell it at any point.
Virgin Media expects you to use and look after all its equipment properly and return it all if you cancel your contract. This includes both TV boxes and routers. Virgin will send you pre-paid packaging in which you can return these items.
If you do not return the equipment or it is not in a good condition, then you may be charged up to the full value of it. In some cases, Virgin may be able to collect it from you if you are unable to post it. If you return the equipment after you have been charged but within 80 days of terminating your contract, Virgin will refund you, and issue a cheque if your account is in credit.
If you decide that you want to cancel your contract with Virgin Media, you can do so without incurring any fees within the first 14 days. This is 14 days from receiving your contract, receiving the equipment, or your service start date – whichever is latest.
After that initial cooling-off period, if you decide you want to cancel before the minimum term of your initial contract is passed, then you will be charged termination. This is likely to be calculated in accordance with how many months you have left on your contract.
You are also entitled to cancel your service without penalty if you receive slower than 50% of your download speed for three consecutive days or more and Virgin cannot fix the problem within 30 days.<3>Download speed
Virgin Media’s speeds are generally very fast – a lot faster than those available through the Openreach network that supplies services to BT, Sky, TalkTalk and most other providers. This is because Virgin Media uses a different network of cables capable of providing far faster speeds. As a result, you have a good chance of receiving the advertised average speed.
Virgin does offer a Minimum Guaranteed Download Speed which states you should receive no less than 50% of the advertised speed. If you do receive less for more than three consecutive days and Virgin cannot fix the problem within 30 days, you are entitled to cancel your contract without penalty.
If you find that you need to move house mid-contract, you can take your contract with you if Virgin Media services are available at your new address. You should give 30 days’ notice of your intention to move. If Virgin Media is not available, you may be expected to pay early disconnection fees. However, if the services are available but Virgin is unable to supply you for some reason, then you can cancel without penalty.
Fair and acceptable use
There are a number of behaviours that are not deemed acceptable for Virgin Media customers which can result in Virgin terminating your service. These include illegal activities such as publishing or transmitting illegal material including images of child abuse, committing fraud, illegally downloading copyright material such as films and music, deliberating releasing viruses and other illegal software to cause damage, attacking the Virgin Media network in any way, or sending abusive or defamatory messages.
If you are found guilty of any of these behaviours, Virgin Media is entitled to suspend or terminate your service or may contact the police or take legal action if necessary.
Rights of privacy
Virgin Media is obliged to protect your personal information but may use it in certain circumstances. This includes recording phone conversations you have with customer services, monitoring email and internet communications when required to by the authorities, or if a suspicion exists that fraudulent or illegal activity is taking place.
Virgin Media does not collect data on a customer’s personal browsing or email correspondence, but it can give authorities access to that information if illegal activity is suspected.
Virgin Media billing
When you sign up with Virgin Media you will be asked for your bank details so that a direct debit payment system can be set up. Each month you will be billed for your services and the money will be taken directly from your bank account. If you do not wish to pay by direct debit you will be charged a handling fee. Alternative accepted methods of payment include cash, cheque, debit or credit card.
Once you set up your account online, you can view your monthly bill online. If you prefer to receive a paper bill you can request this in your online account, but you will be charged for it. You can expect to receive your first bill approximately 16 days after you sign up, by which time your service will be live. Your first month of service commences on the day your service goes live and you will be billed monthly on that date thereafter..
Late payment of bills
If you are more than 31 days late paying your monthly bill then you will be issued with a fine. Late payments will also affect your credit rating which could prove a problem getting credit elsewhere. If you continue to not pay your bills, Virgin Media will terminate your service.
Frequently asked questions
Can I cancel my Virgin Media TV and keep the broadband?
You can only cancel all or part of your package at the end of your minimum term contract period, unless you are prepared to pay cancellation fees. However, if you choose to add a TV service to your broadband mid-contract, this can be done, but will likely result in a new 18-month contract.
What happens when my minimum term contract expires?
At this point, if you do nothing, your monthly price will rise to the amount stated on your contract. If you are happy with your service, it is worth calling Virgin Media to see if you can negotiate a better price. This will then tie you into a new 18-month contract. Your alternative is to leave and switch to a new provider.
Can Virgin Media increase my monthly payments during my minimum term>?
Yes, providers are permitted to raise their prices during your minimum contract term, but only once in a 12-month period, and not during the first 60 days of your contract. They must also not raise it by more than 10% of your previous fee or by more than the UK Retail Price Index rise over the past 12 months. They must also give one month’s notice of any intention to raise prices, at which point you can leave your contract without penalty.
Can I get Virgin Media broadband with Sky TV?
Yes, you can get broadband from Virgin Media and Sky TV. This is because Sky TV is supplied via a satellite dish that needs to be installed on your property. You will need to sign up to a separate contract with Sky to do this.
Can I keep my Virgin Media email address?
No. The email address that Virgin Media gives you when you sign up is only available to use while you are a customer with Virgin. If you decide to leave, your email account will stay live for another 90 days at which point it will be closed.