Now you can cancel your Virgin Mobile contract

28 July 2009

Yesterday we told you how Orange were making substantial changes to their basic mobile charges that allowed customers to cancel their Orange contracts. There's a flurry of activity in the comments section, and we'll bring you a round-up of what's happening later in the week.

Meanwhile Bitterwallet reader Steve let us know that Virgin Mobile are also planning changes to their call charges for pay-monthly customers. Customers have been emailed the following notification:

Is this an opportunity for Virgin Mobile customers to end their contracts early? We've had a pick through Virgin Mobile's terms and conditions for contract customers:

2.2 Minimum Term: This Agreement will continue for at least the Minimum Term although you may cancel it during the Minimum Term in accordance with Clause 10.

10.2 Your right to cancel: You may end this Agreement immediately in the following circumstances:

(c) if you do not accept any change that we notify you about in accordance with clause 5.3 and you notify us in accordance with clause 5.4 that you do not accept such change.

5.3 Significant changes: We will notify you at least one month in advance of any change coming into effect that (in our reasonable opinion):

(b) is a change to your Agreement, your Contract Allowance, the Services or any Additional Services you are using, or to the Charges for any Services or Additional Services you are using, which is likely to be of  material detriment to you.

This contract is subtly different to that of Orange; whereas Orange clearly stated that a customer could cancel if their rights were detrimentally effected, Virgin are stating there is only a case for cancellation if such changes have a detrimental effect on how much you pay.

So where does this leave you? Well, if you call just a handful of landline numbers every month, you're going to be far worse off - your first ten minute conversation of the day will double in price, from £1 to £2. And if you make a handful of short calls a month, you'll be paying more than you are now, because any call lasting less than a minute will be rounded up and you'll be charged for the full minute.

You'll have a better chance of cancelling your contract if you a) know the relevant terms and conditions (which you do, because they're above) and b) go through your last three bills and highlight several examples per month of calls which will cost more once the new price structure begins - so any calls to landlines, or to landlines or mobiles that last less than a minute. By doing that you'll have clear proof, based on your billing history, that the new prices will be of material detriment to you.

Three further points:

  • you don't have to return the handset, despite what the agents may tell you:

2.4 Your handset: This Agreement only covers the provision of the Services by us to you. It does not cover any handsets or other devices you may have received with your SIM or as part of a package, either directly from us or through a third party retailer.

  • the contract states that you can only cancel in writing. You can argue that the point and you'll probably be successful, but be aware you signed an agreement that states:

5.4 Non acceptance of changes: If you do not accept a change that falls within clause 5.3 you may cancel this Agreement by writing to us within 1 month of us telling you about any change, to let us know that you want to cancel.

  • the changes don't come into effect until the 28th September; if you do cancel your contract on the grounds of detrimental change, you probably won't be released form it until this date.

As always, let us know in the comments below how you get along. Good luck!

TOPICS:   How To Guides   Mobile

55 comments

  • Marc
    The contract says "You may end this Agreement immediately...", so I'd assume you should be released immediately, and not on 28th September.
  • Paul S.
    Good spot, Marc. But I wonder if they'd do that in the case of somebody who has several months left on their contract? I think they could say (quite fairly) that you can't end the contract until the day before the changes are enforced, since they don't have any detrimental effect on you until then. Perhaps the key word is "may" :) Hopefully somebody will try and let us know.
  • Tom P.
    Good sticking one up that publicity seeking bearded twat http://www.bitterwallet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/bearded.jpg
  • michael g.
    This sounds really good but will it work if you took out your contract through a third party like mobiles.co.uk?
  • Marc
    Paul, that's probably what they'd say, but I reckon you could (equally fairly) say that once you've notified them that "you do not accept [the] change", at that point you have fulfilled your side of the contract (5.4 and 10.2c) so can "... end [the] Agreement immediately".
  • Joe
    Well you have got something wrong in the article although i see why. You've interpreted the charges as 15p for the first 5 minutes as a total charge whereas it is actually 15p per minute for the first 5 minutes so theres not quite as much a difference on the landlines =P
  • Paul S.
    Ah, see that Joe, cheers. It still stands though - and re-reading it, it's actually the first five minutes per day, so if you make more than five minutes of calls a day to a landline you're out of pocket. I've changed the example. Ta!
  • Joe
    I did find that when i was on virgin mobile they have quite good customer service, a lot better than orange which i'm on now! It's worth taking into account although i should imagine a lot of people will still cancel.
  • Ducky
    michael guest :: you would indeed be able to cancel your contract if you purchased via a third-party company/retailer (e.g. CPW, mobiles.co.uk, etc) however you wouldn't be able to claim any cashback you're still due from them (if you've signed-up for a cashback contract). Duck.
  • Mo
    Just phoned orange to cancel. They said that you need to have received a text message to qualify. They told me that without the text message I cannot qualify and that in the last 4 days they have put a system in place whereby they can tell whether or not you have received this message. Can they do this????
  • Paul
    Ducky | July 28th, 2009 at 9:10 pm michael guest :: you would indeed be able to cancel your contract if you purchased via a third-party company/retailer (e.g. CPW, mobiles.co.uk, etc) however you wouldn’t be able to claim any cashback you’re still due from them (if you’ve signed-up for a cashback contract). Duck. I got an orange contract, with a free tv from a third party site, i have canceled my contract with orange with no problems and not been asked to send the phone back or anything, will i not be held to give my tv back then? thanks for your help guys!
  • Kenny
    Just tries to cancel. The bloke on the other seemed a bit flustered but basically said I cant cancel until the day the charges change. B%gger!!
  • Navcity
    Great advice! I rang up just to sound them out and the guy seemed like he was making stuff up...said it was simply to bring things in line with other providers and that they were simply rounding off call charges to the nearest minute as opposed to by the second
  • JB
    Kenny - the t&c's state "you may end this agreement immediatly," did you read that to the operator?
  • JB
    I emailed Virgin Mobile on Monday evening and have just had a call from them. I've switched from my £25 a month contract to a 30 day sim only contract for £18, I get 300 minutes, 3000 texts and unlimited internet. I've only had my contract and Nokia 5800 for 6 weeks of an 18 month contract.
  • Navcity
    JB, if you wanted to cancel you could have kept ur 5800 for free right? I think I'll cancell ang go to O2's bundle for £18/month
  • JB
    Navcity - thats right, I could have kept the phone but Virgins sim only deal saved having to unlock my phone, plus the original contract terminated immediatly without a notice period so I would have been without service for a couple of days if I'd requested my PAC.
  • Kenny
    JB - I am still in a contract with them. It ends in December so i could see where he was coming from. I have also emailed them asking the same so I will see what happens there. I will cancel in September at latest though!!
  • JB
    Keep us updated of your progress!
  • Kenny
    I got a reply to my email saying they are sorry to see me go and one of the "team" will be in contact with me in next 48-72 hours with my PAC code!! Fingers crossed!
  • HappyDundee
    After reading this, I contacted Virgin Mobile and quoted the T&C's via the webform, Got a text from them today, saying contract had been cancelled and sim was now on a PAYG, in case I wanted to use it. I was 8 months into a 18 month contract at £12 a month for 150 mins and text. Think I am going for the HTC hero andriod phone now. Result. Cheers
  • Kenny
    I'm still awaiting a call from "the team" so have chased them up with ANOTHER email. Glad to see another Dundonian getting a result HappyDundee!
  • JB
    Just an update - my wife also had a Virgin Mobile contract, she got the 48 hours email on Thursday, having heard nothing she rang today and went through to disconnections, I think it was option 2 then 2 again. They initially tried to tell her that she couldn't leave until September, she told them she could leave immediately because of the detrimental changes, she then asked to go SIM only and was told that option was only available for Virgin Media customers. She rang me at work while still talking to Virgin, I told her to ask for a Liberty SIM deal as available to all customers on the Virgin Mobile website, as soon as the agent realised she knew what she was talking about he switched her to it. Just be aware that they may lie in order to keep you under contract!
  • Jim
    Can you get your numbers back off them eg demand a PAC code ?
  • JB
    You can but if you do that, they cancel your contract immediately. You'll need at least a PAYG sim card on another network to transfer your number too.
  • HappyDundee
    When you cancel, they put you onto PAYG. so you can take your time and choose another Network/Contract. I phoned and got my PAC Day after I cancelled. I put £5 Credit on PAYG while I wait for my new contract from O2
  • Kenny
    Just an update. I phoned and cancelled with success but like JB above asked to be put on the Liberty SIM. Now i can take my time to find a decent contract to go to. SUCCESS!!
  • Gunslinger
    Has anyone managed to cancel the contract by sending an email ?
  • lam
    Gunslinger ... I sent an email and got a auto-reply but have heard nothing since - been 3 days now. Will wait another day and try again. Let me know if you have any luck.
  • Gunslinger
    lam... I sent an email Sat am, not even had an auto reply yet. I think I will send the email again. If nothing by tomorrow, I will be ringing them. Let me know how you get on.
  • lam
    Gunslinger ... check your spam box, that's where I found the email from them. Saying they would get back to me within 48 hours. Send them another one, be sure to be logged in when you do it, and use the email form that is there on the "contact us " page.
  • Gunslinger
    lam... Found the email in my Spam folder - Thanks. Sent original email via the Contact us page after logging into my account. Will give it till tonight, and then give them a call. Did you qoute the 'Terms and Conditions' in your email to them. Also how long have you had your contract ?
  • lam
    Gunslinger..... yes I did quote the terms and conditions, 10:2, 5:3 and 5:4 in the email ( copied and pasted them from above ). Have had my contract for 3 months.
  • Anthony
    I rang today to cancel and was told I needed to write in and state why they should cancel my conteact
  • Gunslinger
    I received a reply to my email today, saying that if i still wanted to cancel then it would have to be after 22nd September. I replied quoting 10.2 (c) informing them that I can cancel immediately. Anthony .... I analysed my last three bills using the online bill analyser, and I had made 358 calls of less then 1 minute totalling around 90 mins. I used this as an example of how the new changes would be detrimental to me. I suggest you do a similiar exercise, detailing how much worse off you will be.
  • Lam
    Gunslinger...... got a very nice email explaining the new terms and conditions, and they have made me offer to add to my contract while keeping the monthly price the same. Am tempted because it is a good offer and at least it means sticking with a great company.
  • damon
    sent an email the other day quoting all the t&c you mentioned. had the reply saying we will get our team to ring you in a couple of days. they have just rang now. and said my ontract has been cancelled as of now and i can use my sim as a pay and go
  • Gunslinger
    lam...... What did they offer you ? Did they make the offer via email ?
  • Lam
    Gunslinger .... yes offer was via email. Stay with my currect contract, and they will include free calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers ( up to a max of 3000 per month ) Whats happening with you? Have you heard back from them yet?
  • Gunslinger
    Lam..... I received an email on Monday eve. If i still want to cancel then I have to wait until 22nd Sept. No offers or discounts at all. Emailed them back, telling them that I can cancel immediately. Not heard anything back yet. Will give them until tonight, otherwise will call them tomorrow. Good luck.
  • Lam
    Gunslinger .... you are right, you can cancel now. Don't fall that " wait till 22nd September, because if on that day you send a text or make a call, it means you have agreed to the new terms and conditions of your contract, and you won't be able to get out it.
  • Gunslinger
    Lam.... Got an email today, saying that they are sorry to see me leave and that a member of the relevant department will give me a call within 48 hours.
  • Anthony
    I got a reply to an email and said they tried to contact me, but I was out all day. I rang back and they cancelled me their and then, my SIM went onto PAYG, got a PAC code and switched my number to a new contract with o2 as I get a 30% discount with work and a nice new phone. I was 9 months into a 18 month contract.
  • Gunslinger
    Got a call back from Virgin, cancelled immediately. Thanks.
  • Lee W.
    hi all,been in touch with virgin both email and phone,firstly told couldnt leave as on contract then offered more minutes(virgin to virgin),then offered unlimited texts to stay with them.if only these deals at priceplan i'm on were available to anyone.right now been given pac code and transferred to 02 30 day contract ordered and already had.hope this helps just stick out to what your rights are and with little determination you will get out
  • How B.
    [...] Orange’s attempts to change your contract, we also published a post about how you could cancel your Virgin Mobile contract for similar reasons. Bitterwallet reader Steve got in touch to tell us about changes Virgin Mobile [...]
  • andy
    hi guys and galls,just letting you know i foned virgin today and had no problem cancelling my contract but before i could tell them wot a s@#t company they were they offered me a sim only deal for 15 quid a month which includes 600 any network min 3000 virgin to virgin min and 3000 txts all sounds good to me
  • Jason
    Hi, I'm on a Virgin contract phone i've been with them since July its an £18 month, How do i go about cancelling it & will it cost, Many thanks Jason.
  • Andy
    Just spoke to Virgin Cancellations, as my £12 tariff, turned into a £66 hell hole for DEC 09 bill. I dont recall getting any notification of the billing change. They say they sent it, via email - I didnt get it. Anyway, they are saying that now if I want to cancel, I must pay 12 x £12 plus my outstanding balance. And thats it, the cancellation window is closed, they sent an email advising of the contract change and that is it ! I'm left with a contract that all of a sudden isnt really suitable. Cancelling @ this fee is the stupid option. Where do I go, any advice would be good.
  • andy l.
    Andy, you have my sympathy, I feel exactly the same way and have been fobbed off in the same way. As to where to go from here.....nowhere, I do not see a way out of it. My plan is to text rather than make a short call and use my landline more, trouble is that is with Virgin as is my broadband and TV. I feel very bitter!!!!!!And just to make me feel even worse, my lovely wife just spent a ton of money buying us a balloon ride for a christmas present.....guess who with?LOL
  • michael c.
    Hi i hope someone can help I also didn't receive the email or letter and have received a responce saying that i have to stay with the contract till nov 2010 as i missed the oppotunity to cancel my contract ,all i can say is there Customer service needs a lot to be desired looks loke i will have to remove the sim and wait till Oct to give the 30 days notice
  • Einstein
    I'm with virgin mobile but only have their dongle. I got a 2yr minimum term but I've been out of the country for a year and never been able to use it, but thet say I can't cancel it?? Any advice please?
  • Crown S.
    My name is Crown , one of the virgin mobile customer, Actually I have made my contract cancellation After i have completed my two years contract with virgin mobile.They said to me I will wait for 30 days before they can cancel it , indeed i served that 3o days waiting period, so last months they didn't topup my phone and it was fine to me because am now finding it difficult to do the monthly payment and also they didn't deduct my money.So what comes to me as wonders is that they have deducted my money on the 26 of may which is that amount of R149 I used to pay, so as I have canelled my contract guys please I need my money back to my account please my virgin number is 0741168825 and my refference is 46693424
  • Praful J.
    i want to leave sim only 30 day rolling contract. i do not remai with you.thanks
  • Praful J.
    my phone:[phone number removed].please cancle my account

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