Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, has initiated an investigation into Virgin Media following numerous complaints from customers regarding the company’s handling of service cancellations.
The regulatory body expressed concern over the substantial volume of complaints it has received, indicating that Virgin Media has made it arduous for customers to terminate their contracts.
“We are committed to providing our customers with excellent service, supporting them with any issues and giving clear options should they wish to leave,” A Virgin Media spokesperson said.
“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.”
Virgin Media said complaints relating to difficulties leaving in May 2023 were at the lowest level they’ve been this year. Virgin Media said it increased customer care staffing levels by 56 percent in the second half of 2022.
According to the most recent Ofcom data, customer complaints fell across all Virgin Media fixed products in Q4 2022 compared with the previous quarter – broadband (-22 percent), pay-TV (-11 percent) and landline (-36 percent).
Additionally, Ofcom’s latest annual comparing customer service report showed that the majority of our broadband (81 percent) and landline (70 percent) customers were satisfied with their overall service.
Virgin Media in a statement said it is investing in every part of its business to create an excellent customer experience, with a real focus on resolving issues at the first time of asking.
The annual comparing customer service report also showed that Virgin Media has reduced call waiting times for customers, from almost 4 minutes in 2021 to just over 3 minutes in 2022. Other providers had higher wait times.
Virgin Media website says call us on 150 from your Virgin Media landline or Virgin Mobile. Or 0345 454 1111* from any other phone. Our team is available Monday until Friday, 8 am until 9 pm and Saturday until Sunday, 8 am until 6 pm.
Ofcom said customers have reported various obstacles when attempting to cancel their services with the company. Many have faced challenges in reaching a customer service representative over the phone, experiencing dropped calls or extended periods on hold.
In addition, a significant number of customers claimed that their initial cancellation requests were ignored, necessitating repeated and prolonged efforts to terminate their contracts.
Ofcom emphasized that their regulations explicitly state that telecom providers must not implement conditions or procedures that discourage customers from canceling their contracts.
In light of these complaints, the investigation aims to ascertain whether Virgin Media has adhered to the regulatory requirements for contract terminations. Furthermore, the investigation will scrutinize whether the company has fulfilled the necessary obligations concerning complaints handling, including informing customers about their right to escalate complaints to an independent ombudsman.