Consumer Code of Practice
Updated October 2020
Virgin Media Consumer Code of Practice
At Virgin Media, our customers come first. We aim to give you the best customer service possible.
We’ve set out how we promise to look after you in this Code of Practice which covers how you can find information about our consumer services and how we deal with non-geographic numbers, personal numbers, other premium rate services (such as text short codes) and our dispute resolution process: blocked calls. We also have a separate Code of Practice covering how we handle complaints, which can be found here.
In addition to this Code, we always work to comply with the principles outlined in regulations and laws set both in the UK and Europe. We’re committed to providing full and accurate information in plain language about how our services are run, what they cost and how they should perform.
Nothing in this Code affects your statutory or common law rights, and nothing is intended to form part of a contract or collateral contract between Virgin Media and any of its customers.
Virgin Media offers a full range of communication services including broadband, television, telephone and mobile.
We provide full details of each service on our website.
For more details on each service, you can skip to these pages:
If you can’t access this information, let us know and we can help get what you need.
Selling it right
Whenever you buy a Virgin Media service straight from us or through an authorised reseller, we want to make sure you get all the right information up front. We don’t ever want to mis-sell our products or services, and this means we will always ensure that we provide accurate information and will never:
- Give false or misleading information, when selling to a customer
- Use any kind of unacceptable behaviour to get a sale or a customer to switch from another provider
- Use the types of cashback schemes that make it difficult for customers to claim cash they’re owed
Where we sell Virgin Media services through a reseller, we also make sure they behave in the same honest and appropriate way. If you need a copy of any of our offers in an email (or similar format), just let us know.
Before you buy
Before you buy any Virgin Media service, you should be given key information to make sure you make the right choice. This may vary by the product or service you’re buying (for example, Pay As You Go mobiles will have a lot less information than signing up to a monthly contract for broadband or the latest mobile).
It will be clear that you’re buying a Virgin Media service, how to contact us, the key charges for the service (including monthly charges where applicable), termination rights and cooling-off periods. Full details of the minimum information for Pay Monthly mobile contracts are contained in an Ofcom regulation known as General Condition C8. This regulation also sets out the obligations on all mobile providers not to mis-sell, and to ensure we keep relevant information for the right length of time to be able to respond to any issues. See the full Condition here.
How non-geographic numbers are charged can be more complex than calls to 01, 02 or mobile numbers. So, we set out a short guide to help you understand what non-geographic numbers are and how you can find out how much they’ll cost you to call.
What are non-geographic numbers?
These are numbers that usually start with the digits 03, 084, 087 or 09 rather than being tied to a town or place. Some ranges are also called service numbers or premium rate numbers. There are also specific ranges used for personal numbers – 070, and directory enquiry services – 118. However, it’s important to understand the differences between them.
These are used for customer helplines by companies and public authorities. These are charged at the same rate as normal UK geographic numbers that start 01 or 02. This means that if you have an inclusive allowance for calls to UK numbers, this will include calls made to 03 numbers as well as 01 and 02 numbers.
These are numbers are free to call from any landline or mobile phone. They can be used by charities, helplines or businesses. Calls made to 080 numbers will not be shown on any bill.
084 and 087 Numbers
These numbers are now referred to as service numbers, and tend to be used by commercial organisations. The cost of calling service numbers is split into two parts: the access charge, which is the part that Virgin Media charges and the service charge, which is charged by the service you’re calling.
The access charge is a single pence-per-minute rate set for all service numbers, and we let you know what it is on your bills and on our website. The service charge is not set by us, but has to be advertised by the company you’re calling. Service charges for 084 numbers can’t be more than 7p a minute or 7p a call. Service charges for 087 numbers can’t be more than 13p a minute or 13p a call.
Where calls to 084 and 087 numbers are included in your package, you won’t be charged the access charge or service charge for these calls.
These are numbers are also service numbers so will still be charged in two parts: the access charge (set by Virgin Media and is always the same for any service number called) and the service charge (set by the company you’re calling). 09 numbers can have higher service charges than 084 or 087 numbers, and sometimes it’s considerably higher.
That’s things like:
- TV votelines (like Big Brother)
- Information services that bring you weather, traffic, etc.
- Ringtones and picture downloads
- Chat services
- Charity donations
- Sports results
118 numbers (directory enquiry)
These are used to call directory enquiry providers but are also service numbers, so will still be charged in two parts: the access charge (set by Virgin Media and is always the same for any service number called) and the service charge (set by the directory enquiry service you’re calling). Service Charges for calls to 118 numbers can be no higher than £3.65 per 90 seconds.
You may be able to be connected to the number you’re searching for by the directory enquiry service, but you may still continue to be charged at the 118 call cost rate.
070 personal numbers
These are numbers that start with the digits 070. They offer a single number for receiving calls at almost any of the user’s telephone numbers, including mobile numbers. They aren’t split into an access and service charge and will be charged as set out on our website.
Sometimes these are confused with ordinary mobile numbers (which start 07), but typically the cost of calling a personal number is higher. It’s worth checking to see if you’re calling an 070 number.
How much does it cost to call these numbers?
Calls to numbers starting 03 are charged the same as calls to 01 and 02 numbers. They’ll also be included in any allowance for calls to 01 and 02 numbers. For the cost of calling 01, 02 or 03 numbers when these are not in your bundle go here.
Service numbers (084, 087, 09 and 118) The cost of calling service numbers is split into two parts: the access charge, which is the part that Virgin Media charges and the service charge, which is charged by the service that you are calling.
You can find the access charge on your monthly bill, and also on our website here.
Service charges are set by the company you’re calling, but we do offer a guide to service charges here. The service charge can be either a per-minute charge, a per-call charge, or a combination of a per-call plus a per-minute charge.
Personal numbers (070)
The cost of calling service numbers can be found here.
Our team will also be able to help you with any questions you’ve got about calling these numbers.
Other Premium Rate Services
Some services don’t use “traditional” telephone numbers, so it’s good to be aware of them as well
- Text services – normally use short codes that are four or five digits long, followed by a keyword e.g. 83333 Imogen
- TV access – you can access premium rate services through your TV too, just by pressing a button on your remote control. The Phone-paid Services Authority, who regulates products or services charged to a user’s phone bill, says although the premium rate number won’t be shown, the company should let you know how much it costs to use the service.
Premium rate text subscription services
These are subscription services that offer to send ringtones, jokes or even regular news updates to your phone until you ask them to stop. To kickstart the service, they ask you to send a keyword like RINGTONE to a five or six digit shortcode.
Often you’ll pay for every message you receive, as well as the initial message you send. And the first message you receive should tell you:
- How much the service costs
- How often you’ll receive messages
- How to stop the service when you want to
But not all companies send this info. You’ll normally pay between 25p and £1.50 for each message you receive
How do I stop receiving premium rate text subscription services?
Normally you can just text STOP to the shortcode you got the service from. This should end the service and stop any more payments being taken from your account. It’s best to check with the provider to be sure.
What if I get spam texts?
To report spam, forward the text to 7726.
You may get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions if needed. You won’t be charged for sending texts to 7726.
An easy way to remember ‘7726’ is that these are the numbers on your phone keypad that spell out the word ‘SPAM’.
If you receive a text from an unknown sender it’s best to not reply, then report the text as spam.
How are non-geographic numbers regulated?
Ofcom is the regulator for all communication services in the UK, and sets a number of conditions that all providers have to follow. You can find more information about Ofcom on its website here.
Phone-paid Services Authority
The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) is the specialist regulator for premium rate services or phone paid services. They ensure all relevant services, like directory enquiries, voting on TV talent shows, donating to charity by text or downloading apps on your mobile, follow a Code of Practice. Among other things, it asks companies to provide:
- Clear and accurate pricing information
- Honest advertising and service content
- Appropriate and targeted promotions
The PSA investigates complaints received about premium rate services. Where it decides that its rules have been broken, it can fine the company responsible, bar access to their services, and bar the individual behind a company from running other services under a different company name. Its service is free to consumers and it’s independent, too. You can find out more about the PSA on their website.
The PSA website contains lots of advice about what phone-paid services are, what to do if you have an unexpected premium rate charge on your bill, how you can find out who charged you, and how the PSA can help if you if you can’t fix issues yourself.
They also have a number checker so you can find out who’s running the service you may have called or texted.
The PSA advises contacting the service provider in the first instance, but if the issue isn’t resolved you can contact them either by phone (0300 30 300 20) or online.
Can I block access to premium rate numbers?
If you’d like to prevent access to PRS numbers, you can ask us to add call barring. Just give our Customer Care team a call for more information. You can find out more about PRS services and steps you can take you protect yourself on our website.
What happens if my problem is with Virgin Media?
If any of our customers has a complaint, we do our best to resolve them as soon as possible in line with our Consumer Complaint Resolution Code of Practice, which you can find here.
In the unlikely event that we can’t fix an issue or come to an agreement with you, we’ll let you know. After that you can contact an independent complaint resolution scheme provider if you’d like to, who’ll look into your complaint and our response. You can find out more about how to access these free services in our Consumer Complaint Resolution Code of Practice.
For TV, broadband, phone or mobile complaints
For Financial services complaints (Mobile Handset Agreements)
The Financial Ombudsman Service Exchange Tower
Can I stop organisations calling me?
Sometimes, you’ll receive unwanted calls from organisations trying to sell you something or offer a service. There’s a way to limit this type of call by registering your phone number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). They’ll help make sure your number doesn’t get into the hands of organisations who may cold call you.
You can find out more information about TPS at tpsonline.org.uk where you can register to use their service for free. You can also register by phone (0345 070 0707) or by text. The TPS Protect Mobile app can also be downloaded to your smartphone from the iOS App Store and Android Play Store.
Dispute Resolution Process: blocked calls
Occasionally Virgin Media may block or stop a call from connecting to a customer. There may be many reasons for doing this, including the number being used for fraud or making nuisance calls. We may also block calls with invalid or non-diallable CLI (Calling Line Identification). Sometimes, however, it’s possible that some legitimate calls are blocked in error. Virgin Media has internal processes in place to help customers or partners who believe calls are being blocked in error. If you believe this is happening and want to dispute possible number blocking, you should contact us.
If you’re a residential customer
If you’re a residential customer, please contact customer services on 0345 454 1111
If you’re a business customer or communications provider
Please refer to our Business Code of Practice here for contact information.
We’ll investigate the reason for any block or stop being imposed, and inform you of the broad reason for our decision. If you’re a Virgin Media customer and aren’t satisfied with our response, you always have the right to take this through our complaints process
Need more info?
If you need any more information on anything discussed in this Code, you can check out the help pages on our website. There, you’ll find links to forums that may discuss relevant issues and details on how to get in touch with us with any questions you’ve got.
Available in PDF format - Consumer Code of Practice - October 2020