After over four years, a better offer of broadband provision took my fancy. So I did what I should do and called VirginMedia on the phone to tell them what I was doing. I also cancelled my direct debit and asked for a final bill to be sent to me.
Yes folks, beware if you change from Virgin Media to another provider, because they will charge you for the privilege, no matter how long it is since your original contract expired. I wonder if the "philanthropic" Richard Branson is aware of the practices employed to screw more money out of unsuspecting subscribers? Ahem! Well, eight weeks passed and in my naivety, I thought they had got it wrong at the call centre and no charges would be levied. Not so.
On the 22nd of November, I received a letter from, yes, my old mates at Virgin, pointing out that I may have overlooked the need to pay this bill for discontinuing services. Immediately, debit card clutched in my reluctant little hand, I phoned and payed them, as requested, £24.00 which was "inclusive of the £23.50 disconnection charge." The 50p must have been to cover postage, I have no idea, I just paid.
Now please do not be losing the will to live as I continue with what I consider to be a warning to those daring and brave enough to change from Virgin Media. Here the saga continues: today, 25th November, I received a letter from a debt recovery agent, acting on behalf of yes, you've guessed it, good old Virgin Media.
To say I was incandescent with rage and spitting feathers is no exaggeration. After an abortive attempt (due to seeing red, rather than my telephone keypad), I spoke to a very nice woman who said that their records show today that I had paid. Despite her reassurances, I am still concerned that I may have joined a bad debtors list and become unable to get credit anywhere. She said not, but I am tempted to try to buy something from a Virgin store or site, or indeed a Rolls Royce from a reputable dealer, and see what THEY think of my credit rating.
So, the moral of the story is, Virgin will charge if you decide to cease being a subscriber with them. They will not send your final bill when promised and when they do and you pay up, you might also be chased by a debt collector. Now I wonder, does Mr. Branson like them apples?