How to cancel your Virgin mobile contract - update
While covering 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 are making to pay-monthly customer terms. Looking through the changes, they're likely to effect most customers - in essence, if you call landlines or other Virgin mobiles, or make any other calls that less than a minute, then you're going to pay more than you originally agreed to when you signed the contract.
Here's the email that was sent to Steve, that every Virgin Mobile customer should have received:
Is this an opportunity to cancel your Virgin Mobile contract? Yep. Virgin's terms and conditions mention material detriment (i.e. your bill is likely to increase as a result of these changes) which is subtly different to Orange's terms, which didn't. That said, the changes are so fundamental they're bound to effect you. Short of leaving your phone permanently switched off, you're probably going to be worse off:
- Call any landline or Virgin Mobile number and calls will cost 20p per minute at all times, instead of 15p per minute for the first five minutes of the day, and 5p per minute after that - so a call that lasts two minutes will cost 40p instead of 30p, a six minute call will cost £1.20 instead of 80p and a 10 minute call will cost £2 instead of £1.
- Make any calls to any landline or mobile number lasting less than a minute, and you'll pay for a full minute rather than the actual duration of the call
What to do next
Here are the particular Virgin terms and conditions relevant to your situation. Have a read through so you're aware of what you agreed with Virgin:
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.
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 are aware of several examples per month of calls which will cost more once the new price structure begins - so any calls to landlines or Virgin mobile numbers of any sort, or to landlines or mobiles that last less than a minute. By doing this you'll have clear proof, based on your billing history, that the new prices are likely to be of material detriment to you.
Judging by the comments in the original thread, readers are finding it far easier dealing with Virgin Mobile customer services than they ever did with Orange. One recurring trend is that customers are being told they can't cancel until the date of the changes in September. This is incorrect - as clause 10.2 states, it's your right to cancel immediately once notified of the changes; more importantly, if you don't inform Virgin Mobile within 30 days of being notified, it'll be assumed you accept the changes and your right to cancel will be void.
Above all else remember to be polite and calm with operators at all time - treat them with disrespect and you'll probably find that any goodwill and helpfulness suddenly dries up. As before, support other readers by telling us how you get on. Good luck!