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Terms and conditions

Virgin Media acceptable use policy (October 2017)

1. Introduction

1.1. This acceptable use policy (“AUP”) outlines the principles that govern use of the systems, services and equipment (e.g. your cable modem or your Airtime plan) provided by Virgin Media Limited or any other member of the Virgin Media group (“Virgin Media” or “we”) in connection with your Virgin Media services (broadband, telephone, TV and mobile).

1.2. You must read this AUP very carefully. It is important. It forms part of your agreement with us.

1.3. “User(s)” or “you” means customers or anyone else who uses or accesses Virgin Media’s services.

1.4. We may amend, modify or substitute this AUP at any time. Your continued use of any Virgin Media services after any such amendment, modification or substitution constitutes your acceptance of any new AUP. We recommend that you visit our website regularly to check for any updates or amendments to this AUP.

2. Virgin Media’s enforcement actions – our rights to investigate, suspend, restrict or terminate your services

2.1. We reserve the right to investigate any suspected violation(s) of this AUP. When we become aware of possible violations, we may initiate an investigation, which may include gathering information from the User involved and the complaining party, if any, and examination of material on our servers, networks or any other equipment associated with the services.

2.2. We will take action if you abuse our services. The actions we may take, in our sole discretion, at any time include but are not restricted to:

(a) a quick chat on the phone or an informal email asking for your cooperation;

(b) a formal warning to you;

(c) suspension of your account or service (with or without notice);

(d) restriction of your access to all or any part of our services (with or without notice); or

(e) termination of your account (with or without notice). This is not a full list of the action we may take. See also the terms and conditions of your residential customer service agreement and your Airtime agreement with us (“terms and conditions”), as applicable, and paragraph 2.3 below.

2.3. Notwithstanding our right to restrict, suspend or terminate your services, if you breach this AUP and/or our terms and conditions we may issue a formal warning to you specifying the unacceptable conduct and notifying you that repeated breaches may result in all or part of our services being temporarily or permanently withdrawn from you.

2.4. If, after we have issued a formal warning in accordance with paragraph 2.3 above, your conduct continues to breach this AUP, then we may withdraw all or any part of the services from you until such time as we are satisfied that you have implemented appropriate steps to ensure that your use of our systems, services or equipment will comply with this AUP. Read the guidance in paragraph 3.4 below about reviewing your Virgin Media mailbox regularly or providing an alternative preferred email address to ensure you are aware of any warnings we send you.

2.5. If such a suspension is imposed, then this may be lifted at our discretion upon receipt of a formal written undertaking from you not to commit any future relevant abuse. Until the formal written undertaking is received by us using the contact details we specify to you your account will remain suspended. Virgin Media is in no way responsible for any loss during transmission (post, email, fax).

2.6. Prior to terminating services as a general rule, we will attempt to work with Users (but are not obliged to do so) to avoid future violations of the AUP and to ensure that there is no reoccurrence of the incident(s) in question.

3. Use of the services

3.1. You must not use our services in any way that is unlawful or illegal or in any way to the detriment of other Internet users. You also must not allow anybody using your connection or device(s) to use our services in any way that is unlawful or illegal or in any way to the detriment of other Internet users.

3.2. In addition to and without prejudice to your obligations pursuant to our terms and conditions, you agree to comply with (and ensure that others using the services comply with) all applicable laws, statutes and regulations in connection with the services. As the User of record, you are liable for all use of all accounts in your name, irrespective of use without your knowledge and/or consent.

3.3. You are required to keep your contact details provided to Virgin Media up to date. Keeping such records up to date is important as we may need to send notices or other information to you using the contact information you gave us.

3.4. Users are expected and required to review email messages in their primary Virgin Media mailbox provided as part of the services or the preferred email address registered with Virgin Media on a regular basis. This is to enable us to advise you of any significant issues that may affect your use of the services. We recommend that you check your primary Virgin Media mailbox or preferred email address at least every 3 days. We normally notify customers of AUP-related issues prior to suspension/disconnection of services and it is important that you read these emails.

3.4.1. It is the User’s responsibility to ensure the primary Virgin Media mailbox remains active and therefore capable of receiving emails or to provide Virgin Media with an alternative preferred email address that can be accessed on a regular basis.

3.5. In the event that your use of our services is under investigation by relevant authorities, we reserve the right to suspend the services for the duration of the investigation.

4. Your responsibilities – security

4.1. You are responsible for the security of the information you send and the other services you use through your Virgin Media services. We are not responsible for the consequences of your failure to employ adequate security measures (e.g. lost or corrupted files, identity theft, fraud).

4.2. Wireless routers should be secured by applying the encryption methods specified by us on our website, visit our help pages and search for ‘protecting your wifi network’ for more information. Unsecured Wi-Fi connections could lead to you being held legally responsible for misuse on your account by a third party.

4.3. Device security: Users are responsible for the security of their own devices that are directly or indirectly connected to our systems or services via your home connection and/or your mobile connection. This includes, but is not limited to: PCs, iPods/iPads (or equivalent), laptops, your mobile handset(s), wired and wireless home networking devices and games consoles.

4.4. If we identify that devices on the end of your connection are causing significant impact to our service or are part of a “botnet” (machines hijacked by others to distribute malicious software or other forms of abuse), we reserve the right to suspend or disconnect your services without notice.

4.5. Users must ensure that their devices are protected with up-to-date anti-virus software and a properly configured firewall as a minimum where applicable. For advice on anti-virus software and firewalls please visit our help pages and search for ‘security’.

Account security

4.6. You must keep your password(s) confidential and secure. If you think that your password(s) has become known to any unauthorised person or may be used in an unauthorised way you should take steps to change your password immediately. If you believe that any of your devices have been used to breach the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy you must inform us immediately.

5. Your responsibilities - Virgin Media’s systems, services and equipment

5.1. Users must not take any action that may restrict or inhibit any person, partnership, company, firm or organisation (whether a customer of Virgin Media or otherwise) in his/her/its lawful use or enjoyment of any of our systems, services or products.

5.2. Specific prohibited acts in relation to Virgin Media’s systems, services and equipment are:

5.2.1. the sale or resale of our services and products;

5.2.2. any form of advertising or marketing practices - deceptive, misleading or otherwise;

5.2.3. furnishing false data on our sign-up forms, contracts or online applications, including fraudulent use of credit card numbers (and such conduct is grounds for immediate termination and may subject the offender to civil or criminal liability);

5.2.4. trade or business use of our services, except for  remote access to your employer’s corporate network (and remember in any case that we are not liable for any loss occurring as a result of such use), unless you subscribe to a a product that is specifically stated as a business product. If you are a residential customer and you wish to use our services for trade or business use, go to https://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/ for more information;

5.2.5. attempting to circumvent user authentication or security of any host, network, or account (also known as “cracking” or “hacking”). This includes, but is not limited to, accessing data not intended for the User, logging into a server or account the User is not expressly authorised to access, or probing the security of other networks without the express authorisation of the owner of such third party network(s);

5.2.6. effecting security breaches or disruptions of communications. Security breaches include, but are not limited to, accessing data of which the customer is not an intended recipient or logging onto a server or account that the customer is not expressly authorised to access. For the purposes of this section “disruption” includes, but is not limited to, port scans, ping floods, packet spoofing, forged routing information, deliberate attempts to overload a service, any otherwise unspecified form of Denial of Service (DoS) attack, or attempts to “crash” a host;

5.2.7. using any program/script/command, or sending messages of any kind, designed to interfere with or adversely affect a User’s enjoyment of our network by any means, locally or by the Internet, including violating the privacy of other Users; and

5.2.8. conducting, for malicious purposes, any form of network monitoring or interception of any data that does not belong to you.

6. Your responsibilities - content/material

          General

6.1. You are prohibited from storing, distributing, transmitting or causing to be published any “prohibited material” through your use of the services, including for example your use of the services to send emails, post on online forums or blogs and use social media. What constitutes “prohibited material” shall be determined by us (acting in our sole discretion). Prohibited material includes (without limitation):

6.1.1. material that is threatening, harassing, invasive of privacy, discriminatory, defamatory, racist, obscene, indecent, offensive, abusive, harmful or malicious;

6.1.2. material that infringes or breaches any third party’s intellectual property rights (which shall include, but not be limited to copyright, trade marks, design rights, trade secrets, patents, moral rights, paternity rights and performance rights) - this includes the use, distribution and/or copying of any material without the express consent of the owner;

6.1.3. material that is in violation of any law or regulation that is enforceable in the United Kingdom;

6.1.4. unsolicited promotional or marketing material;

6.1.5. chain letters or pyramid selling schemes; and

6.1.6. programs containing viruses, Trojans, malware (malicious software), hoaxes or any tools designed to compromise the security of Internet users, websites and/or systems. However, you may pass samples of malware in a safe manner to appropriate agencies for the purpose of combating its spread.

6.1.7. phishing - material that is designed to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details or other personal information through masquerading as a trusted source.

6.2. For the avoidance of doubt, the storage upon and/or distribution via our systems and/or services by any User of “pirated” software, or any other materials that are not expressly licensed to the User, will constitute a violation of this AUP.

6.3. At our sole discretion (and without prejudice to any of our other rights pursuant to this AUP and our terms and conditions), we reserve the right to remove any material from any server under our control. In addition to any other action we may take, we reserve the right to notify relevant authorities, regulators and/or other third parties of the use, storage, distribution, transmission, retransmission or publication of prohibited material (and/or any other materials the dealing with or use of which may constitute unlawful conduct by Users).

Usenet news usage

6.4. Our services allow access to many Usenet discussion groups (“newsgroups”). You acknowledge that some newsgroups contain language, media or discussion of subjects intended for adult audiences. We do not monitor access to Usenet newsgroups or the content of posts by our customers or customers at other sites. Accordingly, we are not responsible for the content of any posting made to Usenet. Without prejudice to the generality of the terms of this AUP, the specific terms relating to Usenet newsgroup usage are as follows:

6.4.1. We reserve the right to discontinue access to any Usenet newsgroup at any time and for any reason.

6.4.2. We will investigate complaints regarding posts of inappropriate material to Usenet by Users and may, at our sole discretion, take action. Criteria for determining whether a post is inappropriate include (without limitation):

(a) the written charter of the newsgroup(s) in question;

(b) the established Usenet conventions outlined below;

(c) the system resources consumed by the posting; and

(d) applicable laws.

6.4.3. Usenet news articles posted using our services must comply with the written charter of the newsgroup to which they are posted. If a newsgroup does not have a charter, its title or recent content may be considered sufficient to determine the general topic of the newsgroup. You are responsible for determining the rules of a newsgroup before posting to it.

6.4.4. You may post advertisements only in those newsgroups that specifically permit them in the charter. Some newsgroups may permit “classified ads” for single transactions between private individuals, but not commercial advertisements. You are responsible for determining whether or not a newsgroup permits such non-commercial advertisements before posting.

6.4.5. Users may not alter the headers of posts to Usenet to mislead other Internet users as to the origin of the posting. This includes but is not limited to, pre-loading the path, using another user’s details, using an incorrect “Date:” line. Using an invalid “From:” address for the purposes of combating e-mail spam messages that would otherwise be sent to you is not considered to be misleading. We may cancel Usenet articles posted via our servers if they breach this AUP. Users should not cancel Usenet articles of any third party without the express consent of such third party. You may not use our resources to cancel articles that you did not post. The sole exception to this rule is for moderators and retro-moderators of formally moderated newsgroups or newsgroups specifically allowing this in their charter, in which case the moderator or retro-moderator of a newsgroup may cancel any articles in a newsgroup he or she is moderating.

6.4.6. You may not attempt to “flood” or disrupt Usenet newsgroups. Examples of disruptive activities include posting multiple messages with no text in the body, or posting many follow-ups to messages with no new text.

Email use

6.5. It is your responsibility to back up the contents of your Virgin Media email account. Upon suspension or termination of services the content may be removed and permanently deleted by Virgin Media without notice.

6.6. If you do not access any your Virgin Media email account at least once in every 150 days we have the right to delete that email account and its contents without prior warning.

6.7. If the email account is not used in any 90 day period we will suspend that account without prior notice. This will not impact any other email addresses associated with that account, as long as they are accessed within a 90 day period.

6.8. The email account will remain suspended for a further 60 days. During this time you can reactivate it by calling customer care.

6.9. Any e-mail accounts not reactivated will be closed and the contents permanently deleted.

6.10. For the purposes of clarity the term ‘unsolicited’ can be defined as ‘not asked for’ or ‘unwanted’.

6.11. Without prejudice to the other provisions of this AUP, we will investigate complaints regarding email and may take action at our discretion, which may be based on but not limited to the following:

6.11.1. you may not use your email to send unsolicited messages;

6.11.2. if so requested by us or any recipient(s), you must desist from posting messages to said recipient(s);

6.11.3. malicious mail, unsolicited e-mail and unsolicited bulk e-mail is prohibited from being sent from or via a Virgin Media connection. Users must take all appropriate precautions to prevent such use of their machines by third parties. We will not forward mail from accounts terminated for bulk mailing or unsolicited advertising;

6.11.4. chain letters are unsolicited by definition and may not be propagated using the services;

6.11.5. you may not send, distribute, or reply to mailbombs (whether malicious or otherwise). “Mailbombing” is understood as causing individuals to receive large amounts of unrequested email by any means;

6.11.6. Users may not construct, alter and/or forge the headers of email messages to conceal the sender’s email address, or to prevent other Internet users from responding to messages;

6.11.7. harassment, whether through language, frequency or size of messages sent, is prohibited.

6.12. Violations of this AUP may result in a large amount of email traffic. If our customers send and/or receive so much email that our resources are affected, we reserve the right to take such action(s) as may be necessary (to be determined at our sole discretion) to protect both the services and our Users, including, but not limited to, deployment of appropriate network security software.

7. Your responsibilities – mobile

7.1. Virgin Media’s mobile services (“our services”) are for private, personal and legitimate consumer use only, and are not for business or commercial use. As such, you must not use our services in any way that is not in keeping with that reasonably expected of a private individual.

7.2. Virgin Media reserves the right to impose network protection controls which may reduce your speed of transmission if your data usage is excessive and not in keeping with that reasonably expected of a private individual.

8. Servers

8.1. Users may only run servers to provide Internet Protocol Services (“IPS”) within the limits set out in Sections 4, 5 and 7. Users are deemed wholly responsible for any and all network traffic emanating from relevant servers and are required to ensure that such IPS are secured against abuse by third parties. This includes (but is not limited to) ensuring that servers are running up-to-date security patches and are configured so as to not act as relay servers at any time. “Relay servers” mean servers that can be utilised by another Internet user to relay spam, or any other type of abusive network traffic.

8.2. Failure by Users to secure servers against such abuse may result in immediate suspension or termination of service by us (acting at our sole discretion), with no prior notice, in order to protect the overall network and the services we provide to other customers.

8.3. In addition to the above, Users’ provision of IPS must not adversely affect any other users of our network (including telephony and internet services). Further, Users may not include within and/or distribute via an IPS any content without the express consent of the owner of all relevant rights in such content (including but not limited to intellectual property rights). We reserve the right to monitor network traffic and to take appropriate action as required, including the right to restrict any IPS. We will not offer any technical support for the provision of IPS.

8.4. We may contact Users at any time to instruct them to stop making server(s) available via their Virgin Media services. Upon being notified Users must cease to operate the relevant server(s) with immediate effect.

9. Making a complaint

          Complaints

9.1. Complaints regarding the conduct of Users on our network will be accepted by our reporting webform available at https://www.virginmedia.com/netreport and via any other standard abuse reporting mechanisms notified by us on our website. Any complaint must include as much quantitative and supportive evidence as possible to enable us to investigate the alleged conduct properly, such as a full email header and body. Submitting all relevant evidence in the original abuse report will significantly speed up the resolution of the issue by us.

9.2. In the event that we request from the complainant further evidence or clarification of some kind, and the information is not forthcoming in a timely fashion, the investigation will be closed without notice. Investigations will be kept open for a maximum of 15 days before being closed.

9.3. Please do NOT send excerpted parts of a message. Sending a copy of the entire message, including headers, helps to prevent misunderstandings based on incomplete information, or information used out of context. For example full headers demonstrate which path the message has taken, and enable us to determine whether any part of the message has been forged. This information is vital to our investigation.

About the Virgin Media acceptable use policy

Legal, honest, decent, truthful

That's how we hope you'll use our services. Read on to find out more below.

What is an Acceptable Use Policy? 

It lets you know how to use our services safely and legally. All internet service providers and mobile phone providers have usage policies of some kind. Here's where you can read more about ours.

Our Acceptable Use Policy covers a range of prohibited activities, but it mainly focuses on the most severe misuse of our services. That's activities that are:

  • Illegal
  • Unlawful
  • Or inconveniencing other internet users.

To put it simply, it's there to protect our customers and make sure everyone gets the best experience possible.

Our Acceptable Use Policy is all part of our terms and conditions which you accept when you join.

What is the difference between the Acceptable Use Policy and the Traffic Management Policy?

Our Traffic Management Policy is used every day to make sure our home broadband service is fair for everybody. We sometimes moderate the speeds for the top 5% of customers who are downloading and/or uploading an unusually large amount. We do this to try to make sure that the service doesn't get blocked up with people using more than their fair share - which means a lot fewer traffic jams.

Our Acceptable Use Policy is all about the misuse of our home and mobile services, where customers' broadband or 3G/4G connections are being used for activities that are prohibited by law, or by our Terms and Conditions. If we notice any misuse of the service, we'll contact the customer directly and work with them to resolve the issue.

When is it used?

We'll only use our Acceptable Use Policy in serious cases of misuse, where a customer's connection is being used for purposes that are illegal, unlawful or inconveniencing other Internet users.

What activities are prohibited by the Acceptable Use Policy? 

In general, customers should make sure that they don't use our services for unlawful or illegal purposes, or to inconvenience other internet users.

This means making sure that your internet connection isn't used to abuse other internet users or to purposefully receive or distribute unsuitable material, like copyrighted music and films without permission, spam, viruses, etc.

For more details, have a look at the full acceptable use policy.

What happens if I breach the Acceptable Use Policy? 

If we find that our internet service is being misused, we'll get in touch with you to let you know we're aware of what's going on. If we need to, we'll work with you to resolve the issues without taking any further action as much as possible, but we reserve the right to do so, if necessary.

What happens if I am not the person who actually carried out the prohibited activity? 

It's important to know where you stand here. The account holder (that's the bill payer) is responsible for ensuring that their connection is used safely and legally, within the guidelines of the Acceptable Use Policy. They're also responsible for making sure that any devices connected to their home broadband account  or using their mobile internet are secured and that their connection is only used with their permission.

To help protect you , it's a good idea to secure your home wireless connection and install up-to-date security software on any device that accesses the internet in your household, as well as installing security software on your mobile device. This will help limit any unauthorised activity on your account and keep your personal details safe.

How will I know I have breached the Acceptable Use Policy?

If you breach our Acceptable Use Policy and/or our Terms and Conditions, we'll get in touch by letter or phone and you'll receive what we call a formal warning. We'll talk you through how to resolve your issue and avoid any further action being taken against you, but we reserve the right to do so, if necessary.

What happens if I continue to breach the Virgin Media Acceptable Use Policy after I have received a formal warning?

Under certain circumstances, if prohibited activities are still being carried out on your account after receiving a formal warning, we may suspend your services until we're satisfied that the activity has stopped and won't happen again.

Sometimes we might reinstate your services if we receive a written undertaking from you, stating that you will not breach any part of the Acceptable Use Policy again.

Does the policy ever change?

Yes, so we recommend that you visit our website regularly to check for any updates or amendments to the Acceptable Use Policy. We'll make sure that any updates or amendments are clearly signalled at the top of the page.

How do I report someone who I think is breaching the Acceptable Use Policy? 

The best way to report any abuse of our network is to use our online webform.

We need to be able to verify any misuse, so please include as much detail and evidence as you can when make a complaint.