Ofcom investigates Virgin Media over complaints on contracts

UK watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation into Virgin Media following complaints from customers that the company is making it difficult for them to cancel their services. 

Ofcom said the review comes following a number of complaints it has received from Virgin Media customers who have tried to leave, but said the company had made it difficult.

According to the media regulator, customers complained that they struggled to get through to an agent on the phone, some found their call was dropped mid-way through or were put on hold for long periods.

In addition, customers said they had to make lengthy and repeated requests to cancel, as their initial request was not actioned.

Ofcom will also examine whether Virgin Media has complied with the contract termination rules, and whether it has failed to meet its requirements on complaints handling. This will include whether customers were appropriately informed of their right to escalate their complaint to an independent ombudsman.

In a statement Ofcom said, “Our rules are clear that the conditions or procedures telecoms providers have in place must not act as a disincentive for customers who wish to cancel their contract.”

According to Virgin Media, complaints relating to ‘difficulties leaving’ in May 2023 were at the lowest level they’ve been this year. With increased customer care staffing levels by 56% in the second half of 2022.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We are committed to providing our customers with excellent service, supporting them with any issues and giving clear options should they wish to leave. Complaint rates relating to ‘difficulties leaving’ have halved over the past year, showing the progress we’re making, and we will keep working with Ofcom throughout its investigation, while making further improvements in how we handle customer complaints to provide a better overall experience.”

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