Now you can cancel your Virgin Mobile contract
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!