Price changes mean you can cancel your Virgin Mobile contract

7 June 2010

A couple of Virgin Mobile customers (thanks to avid readers Andrew and Toby) have tipped us off to the network's changes in pricing for local and national calls from 28 June. Customers have been receiving texts pointing them to this online statement:

Bitterwallet - Virgin Mobile

A quick check against the current standard charges shows these changes to be an increase of 60 per cent:

Bitterwallet - Virgin Mobile's current standing charges

We've been asked if these changes are grounds for customers to cancel their contracts free-of-charge; the answer is yes, but only in specific instances. Here are the relevant clauses from Virgin Mobile's Terms of Service for Pay Monthly customers:

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.

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.

What this means is if you call local and national numbers enough that the charges you pay are significant (Ofcom's rule-of-thumb is 10 per cent of your overall bill), then you have grounds to cancel your contract without penalty. How this is calculated is more open to interpretation; some mobile providers assess your eligibility based on the previous month's bill, some on the previous quarter.

If you think you might be eligible and want to cancel your Virgin Mobile contract, then be prepared before speaking to customer services. Review your last three itemised bills, and highlight all calls with local and national toll prefixes - there are more of them than you might think, so check the full list here. Add up the charges for all these calls, and if this is more than 10 per cent of your total bill before VAT, you have the right to cancel your contract without paying additional charges.

Have everything to hand when you call customer services, including your bills and the relevant terms of your contract (which you'll find above). As always, be firm but polite if you choose to cancel; dickish behaviour rarely helps matters. And of course, ask yourself if it's worth cancelling; check the mobile deals available with cashback on Quidco.

Remember, you only have until 28 June if you want to cancel; after this date, it'll be assumed you have accepted the changes.

TOPICS:   How To Guides   Mobile


  • Mike H.
    I'm a chav, I drive a BMW/Audi, I watch Jeremy Kyle all day whilst eating wotsits and drinking coke. I bought an iPhone on Virgin with my dole money, I want a new phone and want to change provider as I like the look of Orange logo, I spend £300/month on calls to my dick head chav mates next door using your tax money, can I cancel my contract?
  • Mike
    Mike Hock: What is the point in your post? To me it sounds like your jealous of people who have a nice car/or a good phone.
  • Brian
    To be honest, whether it's been part of your last bill or not, you should have the right to cancel. What if you wanted to call 0870 numbers next month? You didn't agree to these prices, therefore you shouldn't have to accept them.
  • lee
    Wow, i havent been informed about these changes so i appreciate seeing someone write about this!. I have had my vm contract (HD2) since jan 30th, was good for 2 months then i went from a 80% 3g coverage (my experience) to 1%, ive had 3g signal twice in 2 months and 1 of the times was in a different city!. The signal is really poor and makes me unable to maintain a call as the basic signal is far from stable and high strength anymore, i would have used my phone to call student finance (0870) to talk about my student loan and some other companies but the fact the connection is so bad and the call quality is not good either now, its too risky to waste 5+ minutes on hold or what ever and then being disconnected so ive used my vm land line for these calls. So obviously my phone contract wont have any premium rate phone calls logged on my bills..... Do you think its possible for my to use my phone to contact these numbers over the next few days and be able to log enough to cancel my contract? Or does it have to be 3 months, thanks
  • Mike H.
    Yes, I'm jelous, I have a BMW/Audi and an iPhone. I'm jelous of people who drive well and haven't wasted money.
  • lee
    Oh another thing, my bill is only £25 p/m so making 30minutes of 0845 calls would mean it contributes to 10% of my bill (if split in a 3 month period). Raising it to 40p would mean that 30minutes instead of costing £7.50 would cost me £12! Am not happy purely because the service is absolute shit, and i just cant use my phone to ACTUALLY CALL PEOPLE... im normally stuck waiting to text people now which is rediculus, compared to using my old vodafone contract/ 02/3/orange, these are soo much better its stupid.
  • SysOp
    Mike Hock you are pathetic. Keep saving up YOUR dole money then maybe one day you will be able to afford that BMW/Audi & iPhone.
  • joanna
    Why do these childish comments always get posted straight away? Is there something wrong in your head that makes it hard for you to concentrate on the matter at hand and keep your comments relavent to the article Bitterwallet has provided? If you have an opinion which is on topic by all means post it, but all these comments bashing others are stereotypical, unsupported and a general waste of time reading. Not to mention, as SysOp said, but to put it more bluntly; make you sound like a complete dick. In any case, it's nice to see a mobile provider offering customers an opt out which is more than I can say for VODAFONE. Who obviously like keeping their customers in the dark and refuse to post an official word which is not subsequently altered/edited or removed completely afterwards. God forbid the other 97% of customers find out about the changes to their contracts which they have the right to know about there would be an uproar.
  • Dai
    Yes, I agree Mike. If my mobile service provider puts my prices up then if I use my legal right to hold them in breach of contract to change to a supplier that charges me less money then I'm a stereotypical "chav". Do you work for Virgin? I hope so, I can see no other reason why you would make a post like that. "Don't try and save money, it's common!" Cock.
  • lee
    Are you kidding me Galaxy? Only people with more money than sense go for virgin? Where you get that from? Im sorry that at the time virgin mobile offered me a £25 p/m contract with a HD2 500minutes/unlimited text/ unlimited internet (with a 2gb fair usage, instead of 1gb for some reason), unlimited calls to virgin media land lines. Gave me 2 months free aswell so how is this bad?. It was at the time better than paying £35 for a vodafone/orange contract with like 500mb data!. You sound like a complete idiot tbh.
  • Galaxy
    @ lee First of all, how long was this contract for? 18? 24? You DO have more money than sense if you think VIRGIN (of all the phone companys out there) yes VIRGIN would let you get the better end of any deal they offer you! And especially one that lasts nearly 2 years! It's common sense what companies like Virgin do. They play nice, reel you in then take you to the cleaners.
  • The B.
    That Richard Branson touched me inappropriately in a lift once.
  • lee
    Its an 18 month contract, i dont have more money than sense.... i simply look for the cheapest and one that offers a sufficient level in quality which for 2 months was virgin, as virgin use the t-mobile network i would still have the same issue but be further out of pocket because of the contract price (if i went with t mobile). Ive been with telewest/ntl for about 13 years now and NTL is Virgin media bar the name change so in essence i was expecting the same quality/level of service as i have had over these 13 years, seems i have been so lucky this time. They arent taking me to the cleaners because im still paying £25 p/m, ive stopped using my phone for pemium numbers and use my landline instead so the inconvenience of having to move to make texts and risk phone calls is the bad part, however they arent getting anymore than £25 a month from me. If successfull i will be able to ditch this contract and nab a sim only or get a new htc desire and sell on ebay to cover my line rental :P.
  • Mike H.
    I'm sure they're gutted that they're not getting more than £25/month from you Lee, that makes a massive dent in their small profits.
  • Galaxy
    Okay.. the best thing to do if you are wanting to set up a new phone/contract with a provider is to search and buy online. There are a few comparison websites out there which will give you better offers than from buying instore, such as £5 off each month/ free Playstation 3 etc. Search google for the contract comparisons.
  • TomAss
    People people! Stay clear of Virgin everything, their customer support is beyond a joke, much like their national ADSL service. It is clear they are just after your monies!
  • lee
    rofl..... Mike your such a cool person :), bet they are gutted that you earn less than £35k a year and you cant afford a contract. @ Galaxy, im not a retard mate i actually look myself for contracts and ive got one currently so wont be picking up a new one now while its still running. I dont care for consoles, pointless and boring for me (my opinion) so i always look for the ones that will provide unlimited internet and texts for being in contact with work from home. Why are there so many pointless comments on this website? Im asking a genuine question and yet the majority of posts are just from social rejects who have nothing better to do than just live on the computer.
  • lee
    ROFL Is this really how you pass your time? Such an achievement their mate, your parents must be proud.
  • kris
    hey, I called virgin cancellations today they were about as useless as a chocolate teacup, they don't have a clue about contract terms, they said that they've been informed by the legal dept that everything is above board and has been checked with ofcom, however they couldn't expain anything just that they couldnt do anything. but that I can make a complaint by emailing the complaints department. I have since done this and i am now waiting on a response. I also noticed that the contract says they will give " at least one months notice" I recieved the message on 4/6/2010 and the changes are effective on 28/6/2010 thats 24 days not one month. This is a direct breach of a contract term!!
  • Andrew
    I don't see why you would need to demonstrate that you are likely to be adversely affected by the change. Clauses 5.4 and 10.2(c) give you the right to cancel in the event of any change that falls within clause 5.3. Clause 5.3 says that Virgin will give notice of changes "likely to be of material detriment to you" - i.e. you plural, the customers of Virgin Mobile at large. In other words, 5.3 defines the class of "[s]ignificant changes", to which any customer can appeal under 5.4 and 10.2(c), regardless of whether the change is likely to be of material detriment to them in particular.
  • Klingelton
    Virgin are useless when it comes to customer calls. expect to keep calling them for at least 3 months every night to get this sorted out. The frustration lies with calling an indian call centre, which wouldn't be all that bad if the representitive you speak to isn't told "do not deviate from the script". So no matter how many times you call, you will always get the same drivel until eventually you get through to someone with common sense. best thing is to bypass the call centre and go straight to complaints i'd say!
  • kris
    I got it cancelled, as I said I had to email the complaints team, they got back to me this evening. Basically they said that they appreciated the change may be detrimental but that there was no way to determine this as they couldn't see it making a difference until the change becomes effective, they claimed they had looked at my last 3 months bills and could see that i call toll numbers but that they couldn't say whether i would call toll numbers in future. I said that they should look at more than the last three months, and that anyone reasonable person looking at my last 10 months bills would see that I am obviously going to call toll numbers again at least £5.00 per month (@ current price) ergo I wasn't prepared to wait and see. They came back after putting me on hold for 10 mins and said that they would cancel as they could see that i was likely to call toll numbers again. I don't see why they can't just say Ok fair enough, right from the get go. anyway phone shopping tomorrow!!! X10 or Desire, decisions decisions
  • toby
    kris, what is the complaints team email?
  • Ten B.
    [...] Price changes mean you can cancel your Virgin Mobile contract [...]
  • B
    Can I just inform those who don't know, there is a website called "saynoto0870" which lists alternative numbers and may be of use to those affected by this who cannot get out of their contract.
  • chemo
    SysOp - STFU you piece of shit and go suck on a few more cocks you faggot motherfucker!!!
  • mick
    I phoned Virgin today and twice palmed off with the same story that these numbers were not in my call allowance and that I had to accept it
  • Dan
    I drive a lovely BMW, but I don't use an Iphone, (Android FTW) and I work full time and own my own home through nothing but hardwork and responsibility. Never claimed a single penny from the State. Bite me. I'm 13 months into a 24 month (apparently) Virgin mobile contract, which I'm sure was 18 months when i signed up, and i just got a message saying that the prices for pretty much all calls and texts outside of my current tarrif are going up. I will be in touch with them to get out of this contract, they can even have this battered 13 month old phone back if they want! (But i would much rather get £100 from Mazuma for it!!)

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