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In the past year, Virgin Media seems to have been plagued with problems. The biggest issue recently was the Virgin Media email service going down. This started in mid-June, with many, if not most, users losing all access to emails. This issue continued for two weeks, and by the start of July, customers could send a receive again, but many users affected by the problem have lost all the emails that were stored on the servers, for some people, this is years worth of emails.
On 25th May, one of its broadband cables was cut, leaving homes and businesses in north Leeds without internet access.
Back in April, Virgin had nationwide issues that lasted most of the day, and Downdetector showed more than 54,000 people reported their broadband was not functioning on Tuesday afternoon.
Around the same time as the April outage, Virgin contacted customers to advise them of price increases – averaging a 13.8% higher bill.
This has therefore left many customers unhappy and wanting to leave Virgin.
But, if you are locked into a contract, it can be expensive to try and leave, and many people will no doubt wonder if it is possible to cancel without paying a cancellation fee.
Unfortunately, you only have limited options to try and get out of contract, and this guide will try and help you.
How long’s left on my Virgin Media contract?
The first thing you should do is check how long is left on your contract.
- You will need to go to – https://www.virginmedia.com/my-virgin-media
- Login with your username and password
- Where it says Latest Bill, you should see a link to view the contract
- When you click on this, you will see your contract details, including when it started and the minimum period.
- Under the minimum period, you will see a small notice saying if you cancel before X date, you may have to pay an early disconnection fee.
What are the Virgin Media cancellation fees?
Virgin Media don’t make it too easy to work, and the cancellation fee is so high it probably isn’t worth doing the maths.
- For broadband only, if you are on standard pricing, the cancellation fee is 93-96% of your current monthly charge.
- If you are on a discounted offer for your contract, then the fee is 90-95%.
So, at best, you’d save 10%, which doesn’t really seem like it is worth bothering with. In my example above, the best I could hope to save is £4.10 per month, and once I cancel, I’d have to find a replacement ISP as I’d have no Internet.
How do I cancel Virgin Media without paying cancellation fees?
Due to the high cancellation fees, people will inevitably want to find ways to not pay them. But there are not many options to get out of paying this.
If you are moving home
One common concern is if you are locked into a contract and moving home. In this scenario, if you want to stay with Virgin Media when you move home, you can just transfer the service.
There is a £20 charge, or £35 per transfer if you are a new or re-contracting customer on or after 25th May 2023, to cover the cost of transferring our services to your new address.
What if Virgin Media is not available at your new address?
If you move to a new home with no access to Virgin Media, you are in luck. Back in 2022, Virgin Media changed the UK home mover’s policy so that customers moving to a home not connected to its broadband network will be able to leave without paying an early disconnection fee.
If you think you can sneakily tell Virgin you are moving home to get out of an early cancellation fee, it is not that easy.
Customers will need to provide proof of their new address with a wide range of readily-available documents accepted, including mortgage and rental agreements, utility bills, bank statements and driving licenses.
Price increases above the allowed RPI
Providers can increase prices mid-contract by the rate of inflation plus an extra amount on top, as set out in their terms and conditions.
The extra amount on top should normally be 3%-3.9%. Anything over this is not allowed (I think).
Some companies use different inflation figures, this can be the Retail Price Index (RPI) or Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Unfortunately, for 2023, this means a huge price rise due to high inflation. Most ISPs have jacked up the price between 12% and 15%
Virgin Media announced a 13.8% which became effective in April 2023 (and probably another massive one in April 2024).
In the past, with Virgin Media, the contracts allowed mid-contract price increases, but they did not stipulate a pricing formula in the same way as rivals, meaning customers were given the option to switch away.
When Virgin hiked the price in April 2023, you had the opportunity to leave without a penalty.
However, looking at the May 2023 contract (yes, I actually read it), they specifically state that they will raise the price in April by the RPI + 3.9%.
Just to take the p*ss, if the RPI happens to be negative, they will ignore that and increase the price by 3.9%.
It is unlikely that you will be able to get out of your contract in the future annual price increases.
Broadband speeds not matching your speed promise
This is your only realistic option of getting out of the contract penalty free.
Virgin Media has signed up to regulator Ofcom’s voluntary Broadband Code of Practice.
“If your service doesn’t deliver the speeds you were promised by your provider, get in touch with them. If the problem is on their network and they can’t fix it within 30 days, they must let you leave your contract without having to pay an early exit fee.“
You will need to look at your contract to find the minimum guaranteed download speed.
For me, on Virgin Gig1, the advertised broadband speed is 1,130 Mbps, and the minimum guaranteed speed is 565 Mbps. The guaranteed speed is basically 50% of the advertised speed.
Virgin Media will obviously do its best to get out of this, and its documentation states:
You need to keep your Virgin Media Hub plugged in, switched on and set to enable us to obtain speed information from it, which will help us to diagnose any problems. The minimum download speed guarantee does not apply to outages.
If the actual download speed provided from our network to your Virgin Media Hub falls below the Minimum Guaranteed Download Speed, and this happens for 3 consecutive days or more (whether continuously or intermittently during each day), and we are unable to fix the problem within 30 days of you reporting the problem to us, you may have the right to end your agreement without paying an Early Disconnection Fee.
Just to make it clear, the download speed needs to be what the Virgin Media Hub achieves, not what you personally get. If you are connecting via WiFi, then it is quite likely you will get slower Internet speeds than advertised.
Read my guide on why is Virgin Fibre Internet slow.
No other get-out clauses
Apart from the Minimum Guaranteed Download Speed clause, there are no other clauses you can use to get out of the contract early. So, for those people that lost all their emails, you have no way of cancelling. This also applies to other issues, such as packet loss and lag.
You can, of course, complain and hope they might do something about it. You can go through to retentions and state your complaint with the hope they may provide some sort of resolution.
How to cancel Virgin Media broadband?
Virgin have a dedicated leaving page here: https://www.virginmedia.com/help/cancel-virgin-media
This page has a live chat button on the right of the page that you can use to cancel.
To cancel by phone:
- Call on 150 from your Virgin Media home phone or 0345 454 1111 from any other phone.
Threaten to cancel with the retentions team to get a new deal
Lastly, if you are out of contract and are happy to stay with Virgin, then I’d strongly recommend phoning them up and saying that you would like to leave.
You will need to go through to the retentions team, and they will ask you why you are leaving.
When I called, I stated that I was unhappy with the recent outages and that City Fibre had recently been made available in my area.
City Fibre wasn’t actually available yet, but it was rolling out in my area.
They asked what deal I was planning on moving to, and I told them that the exact deal from the City Fibre provider in my area was 900Mbps up and down for £40. I think they will check this, so you will want to provide a real deal.
Virgin then offered me the Gig1 deal taking me from £72.25 per month for the M500 deal to £41 per month for the Gig1 deal. Doubling my speeds and giving me a 43% discount, which I am pretty happy about.
Alternatively, if you are not looking for a discounted upgrade, you can say you can’t justify/afford the cost due to the cost of living or whatever excuse you want. They will likely offer you the same contract but discounted.
If you don’t get the deal you want, many people say you should go through with the cancellation on your call, and then a day or two later, the retentions team will phone you up with another deal. I have never had the guts to try this because Virgin is the only decent provider where I live (until City Fibre is enabled).
Christopher Carter, a committed contributor to Mighty Gadget, balances his full-time job as a Royal Mail postman with his enduring passion for gaming. With a particular penchant for PC, SteamDeck, and PS5 platforms, Chris provides a unique perspective on the latest gaming trends and hardware. His close friendship with our chief editor, spanning two decades, has fostered a rich collaborative environment where his gaming insights are highly valued.
When he’s not immersed in the digital realms or diligently delivering mail, Chris is cheering for Manchester City, showcasing his unwavering support come rain or shine. Besides football, his world revolves around his young son and two lively beagles, who provide a joyful respite from his daily pursuits.
Chris’s contributions to Mighty Gadget are crafted during his spare hours, where he meticulously delves into the gaming world, translating his experiences into engaging reviews for our readers. His authentic take on the latest gaming endeavours makes him a trusted voice within the Mighty Gadget community. Through his writings, Chris offers a genuine glimpse into the gamer’s world, making him an integral part of our team.