Cancelled Virgin Media 18 months ago, but contract got renewed instead.

Hi All,

I manage the utilities bills and contracts for my elderly parents; with the need to enquire and make changes that can only be done as an account holder, compare the market and shop around at the end of contracts, it is just makes things infinitely easier if everything's under my name.

Last Feb 2022, I called up to terminate their Virgin Media Broadband contract (it was ending after a 18 month period and due a price hike), and after that I signed up with Talk Talk. TT came along to install everything in March, I connected my parent's phone to the wireless and I as far as I can remember just switched off the VM router waiting for their collection.

Fast forward to July 2023, I noticed I still had VM monthly payments going out. How and why have I not managed to notice this payment for the previous 18 months? It's because I have VM on my own property for the past decade, and seeing monthly VM payments go out is just normal and I'm desensitised to it I guess.

So I called up VM to enquire and apparently, my call for termination is registered and they do see it on the system, but a new contract renewal was also accepted for 18 months. I obviously can only go by memory, but who will accept a renewal contract and then open a second BB line with another company, for the same property. I pressed for retrievals of the original recordings, as that as far as I'm aware is the only evidence binding me to the contract. They only keep 180 days of their call recordings, gone are the days where you sign on the dotted line as a physical contract, do they not need to keep the recordings as proof of contractual obligation for legal purposes? 

I will admit that there are emails covering the new contract details and monthly bills, so this is at least partly my own fault. My parent's VM account is registered to a secondary email address of which I don't actually use, I had to create it just to separate from my own VM account to my own home.

The agents I have spoken to the past few weeks have just stated that they have investigated the issue and cannot refund any of the money, and pointed me towards a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) as I requested the Broadband usage as supporting proof that the line has not been used to corroborate my side of things.

I requested the DSAR and intend to raise a formal complaint to Virgin just so I can start having a paper trail of the situation, should I need to escalate to Small Claims Court. I am keen to hear what your thoughts and opinions are on this rather odd scenario I find myself in.

Thanks in advance everyone.


  • 400ixl
    400ixl Forumite Posts: 1,857
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    So you have your elderly parents contracts in your name? Isn't there a big risk in that should the unfortunately pass that you are left with contracts that you are stuck with paying until they come out of their minimum term as you can't stop them due to the policy holder passing?

    It sounds like you have made a number of errors here, with not reading the emails and seeing that an auto renewal happened and then not spotting the continued payments. I assume it is now cancelled as the 18 months is now up.

    Not sure what you can reclaim, but I would certainly look at how you are doing all of this as it could have other issues than this as per the first point.

    Do it in their name with you as authorised to represent them. 
  • Charsiu
    Charsiu Forumite Posts: 10
    Seventh Anniversary First Post
    That's certainly food for thought in terms of how to manage their utilities, but one I'll think about moving forward. I absolutely take the fault for not keeping a close eye on emails and keeping better track of all payments.

    I'm somewhat focussed on the point on whether ultimately they have a legally binding contract covering that period? If they don't have proof of a contract, what stops them from just debiting all previous customers? (A completely facetious example of course).
  • littleboo
    littleboo Forumite Posts: 1,353
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    You say it was cancelled over the phone, they say it was renewed over the phone. They have sent the documentation to the (presumably) agreed mailbox as confirmation of what they say you agreed, which provided an opportunity to dispute their position. It would have been possible to refer to the call recording if the renewal was disputed when the documentation was sent. I think you may be hoping for some goodwill from VM. 
  • Charsiu
    Charsiu Forumite Posts: 10
    Seventh Anniversary First Post
    Yeah, it does seem very much of my word against theirs and your points are valid in terms of  me not checking e-mails etc, I don't disagree with that actually.

    But consider the below:

    I say: I don't have a contract with you (Virgin)
    Virgin: You are actually bound in a contract with us, which is why we can charge you every month
    I say: Show me the contract where I authorised the 18 month renewal
    Virgin: We no longer have the recording, because it's beyond 180 days.
    I say: The contract is for 18 months, not 180 days. Where is the legal paperwork/proof to hold me accountable for the 18 month duration?
    Virgin: We only keep it for 180 days.

    I do understand that I had the opportunity to raise this ages ago had I just checked the emails, but does that not feel like "OK, we are putting you in this contract for 18 months, UNLESS you dispute this within X days", as oppose to "This is proof you explicitly agreeing to this contract for 18 months. End of. You must pay."

    If only I kept a closer eye during termination, but can only blame myself for that.

  • wild666
    wild666 Forumite Posts: 2,014
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    What I do when I cancel a contract that has a DD is go to my banking app and cancel the DD that way the company cannot take any money from the account. If you owe them money for part of a month then you can just pay that but if they try and claim for a longer contract period dispute it claiming you cancelled the contract at the end of the last contract period no company can renew a contract just because the last contract period has run out. 
    Someone please tell me what money is
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 338.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 248.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 447.5K Spending & Discounts
  • 230.7K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 600.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 171K Life & Family
  • 243.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards