Our policies

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Virgin Media Telecoms Limited,
Media House
Bartley Wood Business Park,
Hook,
Hampshire
RG27 9UP.
Registered in England and Wales No. 2591237
VAT No. 591 8190 14

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Our code of practice on local and national rate, 0870 and personal numbers

What are local and national rate and 0870 numbers?
They're numbers that usually start with the digits '08'. Like premium rate numbers, national and local rate and 0870 numbers are numbers which aren't tied to a town or place. That's why they're also known as 'non-geographic numbers'. Most charities use local and national rate and 0870 numbers and some company helplines do too - like our 0845 6504500 number for example.
The most often used 08 numbers include:

0800
0845
0870
0871

Unlike premium rate numbers, local and national rate and 0870 numbers are cheaper to call. They are normally no more than 50p per minute from your Virgin Media  phone.

What are personal numbers?
They're 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.

How do I find out the cost of a call to a local or national rate number?
There are three easy ways.

Online - at virgin.com/mobile. Simply clik on 'How do I?' followed by 'Our Tariff' and 'Pay As You Go'.
By phone - simply call 789 from your Virgin Media  phone

Our commitment:

  • We'll always print the full costs of calling a local and national rate, 0870 and personal number on our website and in our joining pack. They'll appear just as clearly as all our other standard call charges. You can also check call costs with our team by phone, anytime you like. It's a good idea to do that, since the costs of calling these numbers can change from time to time.
  • Some local and national rate numbers belonging to charities are free to call and you can see a list of these in each of the places above too. We'll continue to clearly display the list of freephone numbers and let you know if the cost to call these numbers changes in the future.
  • There are no peak rates or off peak rates when you call a local or national rate, 0870 or personal number. Just one simple charge per minute. But if this changes in the future, we'll let you know.
  • And just to let you know, we'll always try to make it clear, including in advertising which refers to a price for an airtime package, whether these calls are included in our promotions or special airtime packages. Right now, calls to local and national rate, 0870 and personal numbers are not included in your airtime package if you're on a Pay Monthly contract or if you've chosen an airtime bundle. But we'll let you know if this changes in future.
  • Finally, when it comes to our advertising and promotional material about call pricing, well always try to let you know the maximum costs and where you can find the full call costs of calling local and national rate, 0870 and personal numbers.

Who looks after the code of practice for local and national rate, 0870 and personal numbers at Virgin Media ?
Virgin Media is dedicated to making sure that our customers have all the information they need to know about local and national rate, 0870 and personal numbers. Right now, the person in charge of this is our code of practice manager.

You can email them at CodeofPracticeManager@virginmobile.com or write to:

Code of Practice Manager
Virgin Media Telecoms Limited
Media House
Bartley Wood Business Park,
Hook,
Hampshire
RG27 9UP.
Who regulates these numbers for the industry?
The Office of Communications - Ofcom

What does Ofcom do?
It's the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.

How do I make a complaint to Ofcom?
You can make a complaint in 4 easy ways.

Telephone 020 7981 3040
Fax  020 7981 3334
Textphone 020 7981 3043 (this number is only for those people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired)
Website www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/

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Our code of practice on premium rate services

What are premium rate services?

Premium rate services are usually information or entertainment services that you can access on your mobile phone.

We're talking about things like:

  • TV votelines (like Big Brother)
  • Competitions
  • Directory enquiry services
  • Information services that bring you weather, traffic etc
  • Ringtones and picture downloads
  • Helplines
  • Chat services
  • Charity donations
  • Sports results

Some premium rate services are for over 18s only. They include gambling services and adult services. To protect our younger customers, Virgin Media restricts access to these services, but if you're over 18 and you'd like to use these services, you can register on our website at virgin.com/mobile and visit Your Account.

How do I recognise a premium rate service?
There are 3 different types of premium rate services that can be accessed from your mobile phone.

  • Premium rate services telephone numbers - usually begin with the prefix: 09.
  • Text services - normally use short codes that are four or five digits long followed by a keyword e.g. 83333 Imogen
  • Directory enquiry services - often six digits long.

There are a few other premium rate services which aren't connected to your mobile phone, but it's good to be aware of them too. At home, your computer may connect to the internet using a premium rate internet service.

You'll spot a premium rate internet service because you'll be requested to download a piece of software, called a dialler. This should tell you the 09 number being used.

You can access premium rate services through your TV too, just by pressing a button on your remote control. PhonepayPlus who regulate products or services charged to a users 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.

What are premium rate text subscription services?
They're 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

Though, not all companies send this info.

Youll normally pay between 25p and £1.50 per message received.

How do I stop receiving premium rate text subscription services?
In most cases you can simply text STOP to the shortcode you got the service from. This will end the service and stop any more payments being taken from your account.

How much do premium rate services cost?
Quite often, the cost of the call advertised by premium rate services is the cost of a call from a landline. Thats why they often mention call costs from mobiles may vary.

You can always check the cost of calling a premium rate number with our team before you call. Or, if you prefer, you can look at the guide in our tariff table online at virgin.com/mobile.

To give you an idea of how much they cost, premium rate services can either be billed by minute or by call. They normally cost between 50p to £2.50 per minute.

If you're downloading things like ringtones, you'll often pay per call. But if it's directory services you're after, you'll pay per minute.

Just so you know, the money you pay for premium rate services is shared between the telephone company you make the call with and the organisation who provides the service. Its a practise thats sometimes called revenue sharing.

Who looks after the Code of Practise for Premium Rate Services at Virgin Media?
Virgin Media is dedicated to making sure that our customers have all the information they need to know about premium rate numbers. Right now, the person in charge of this is our code of practice manager. You can email the CodeofPracticeManager@ virginmobile.com or write to:

Code of practice Manager
Virgin Media Telecoms Limited
Media House
Bartley Wood Business Park,
Hook,
Hampshire
RG27 9UP.

Who regulates premium rate services for the industry?
PhonepayPlus is the UK regulator for premium rate services.

What does PhonepayPlus do?
PhonepayPlus regulates the content, promotion and overall operation of all premium rate services. It does this using its Code of Practice, which sets out the rules with which all providers of premium rate services must comply.

PhonepayPlus role is to protect consumers. Among other things, it asks companies to provide:

  • clear and accurate pricing information
  • honest advertising and service content
  • appropriate and targeted promotions

It investigates all 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.

How do I make a complaint to PhonepayPlus?
You can make a formal complaint by:

  • completing the online form on the website at www.phonepayplus.org.uk
  • calling its free helpline on 0800 500 212
  • writing to PhonepayPlus at FREEPOST WC5468, London SE1 2BR

It helps PhonepayPlus investigations if you can send them the promotional material for the service, together with any other relevant details, too.

A premium rate line that I don't recognise has popped up on my bill. What can I do?
If you need to jog your memory, or track down the company the premium rate number belongs to, just visit PhonepayPlus website at www.phonepayplus.org.uk and use their number checker.

While you're there, you'll be able to see if this company is under investigation for any reason. You can see if PhonepayPlus is taking any action against them, too.

Can I get a refund?
If you've unknowingly signed up for a premium rate service then you should give the team a call on 789 and we'll put you in touch with the content provider.

If you are not satisfied with their response then you can contact PhonepayPlus who will investigate the case further.

PhonepayPlus informs all those who complain to it of the outcome of its investigations, and if a refund is instructed PhonepayPlus will ensure the company running the premium rate service offers a refund.

What happens if my dispute is with Virgin Media?
If any of our customers have any complaints, we do our best to resolve them as soon as possible. All e-mail is acknowledged immediately, with a personal reply sent within 24 hours. Letters and faxes are answered within 4 days, but usually sooner.

We'll continue corresponding with our customers to keep them up to date with what's happening, but this isn't usually necessary - 95% of all our replies confirm that their problem's been resolved!

In the unlikely event that we cant resolve an issue or come to an agreement we'll let you know. At this time, if you wish you may contact CISAS, our independent complaint resolution scheme provider.

Can I bar access to premium rate services?
Yes, absolutely. Just give our team a call on 789 from your Virgin Media phone. But just to let you know if you do, you won't be able to make calls to directory services or make calls abroad either.

How can I avoid receiving unsolicited communications?
You can start by registering with The Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Theyll help make sure that your telephone number doesn't get into the hands of organisations who may cold call your phone number.

You can contact the TPS here:

Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
DMA House
70 Margaret Street
London W1W 8SS

Or here:

TPS Registration line - 0845 070 0707
E: tps@dma.org.uk
W: www.tpsonline.org.uk

You can also make sure that your fax number is better protected too, by registering with The Facsimile Preference Service (FPS). Theyll help to make sure your fax number is no longer available to organisations, including charities and voluntary organisations, who may fax you with offers and information.

The FPS can be contacted at:

Facsimile Preference Service (FPS)
DMA House
70 Margaret Street
London W1W 8SS

FPS Registration line - 0845 070 0707
E: fps@dma.org.uk
W: www.fpsonline.org.uk

Where can I go if I need to find out more about premium rate services?
You can give our team a call on 789 from your Virgin Media phone. Or visit the regulatory body, PhonepayPlus at www.phonepayplus.org.uk

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Our policy on mobile mis-selling

Selling it right

Whether youre buying your mobile service straight from us or through an authorised reseller, we want to make sure that you get all the right information up front.

Ofcom are checking that mobile products dont get mis-sold, so weve put together an outline of what we're keeping tabs on, to make sure we're complying with Ofcom's regulations. To get more information on the regulations themselves, just click here.


So, what's mis-selling?

Here's a quick overview of what mis-selling means:

 Leaving out any relevant information, or giving false or misleading information, when selling to a customer
 Using any kind of unacceptable behaviour to get a sale or get a customer to switch providers
 Using certain types of cashback schemes, usually offered by independent sellers, which make it difficult for the customer to claim any cash they're owed 

When we're selling or promoting mobile services with Virgin Media, we'll never, ever

 be dishonest, misleading or deceptive
 be aggressive
 contact a customer in an inappropriate way

We also make sure that all our resellers are obligated, according to their contract, to behave in the same honest and appropriate way.


Before you buy

Before you buy any Virgin Media Pay Monthly service with one of our phones, whether it's directly from us or through one of our independent resellers, you should be given all this information:

 The name of the company you're buying from and their contact details
 The monthly charge you'll pay and the minimum term of the contract
 The key usage charges under the contract, like calls between other mobiles on Virgin Media, to other networks and to landlines, plus text messaging, media messaging and voicemail costs
 Your payment terms, especially if you cancel your contract
 Your termination rights and how closing your account would work
 Any sales incentive that youre entitled to get after buying your mobile service, as well as its terms and conditions and a detailed and clear explanation of how you can claim it. You should also be given the contact details of the provider
 A clear explanation of your commitment to your new mobile contract and the fact that its separate from any sales incentive contract you have. Youll also need to know what would happen if the provider of the sales incentive went out of business

To comply with Ofcom's regulations, all this information needs to be available on paper, on our website, in the form of laminates in store, or, if you bought through our telesales agents, in the joining pack and letter that'll be sent with your new phone.


Keeping track

When you buy any Pay Monthly service with one of our phones, whether its directly from us or through one of our independent resellers, we (or the reseller) will make and keep records of that sale, including, if we need to, details of any sales incentives that you're entitled to get after buying our mobile service.

We (or our reseller) will keep these records for at least six months after your sale or, if a sales incentive's been offered, for at least 90 days after the final date that you can redeem it (but not for more than six months after the sale).


Our resellers

We're always in contact with our resellers and were constantly checking that they understand and are complying with our guidelines on mis-selling. We do this by monitoring any complaints we receive about their service, using mystery shoppers, checking their marketing materials and techniques, and we use other checks as and when we need them. We also do our best to make that any sales incentives offered by our resellers arent too restrictive for our customers.

If we need to, we can also sanction any resellers who dont comply with our mis-selling guidelines, by way of warnings and establishing official requirements, like preventing any future re-occurrences of particular activities, fixing the consequences of any mis-selling and, in some circumstances, removing the reseller's right to sell Virgin Media services. This also applies to any resellers that they might work with to provide our services.

When our resellers sell Pay Monthly services, we always take extra measures to protect our customer, including:
 Doing a credit check on the resellers and their directors, making sure we check that there's no history of insolvency or not meeting financial undertakings to creditors
 Training our resellers in our services and in their obligations around mis-selling, so they can act on them

If you'd like to talk to us about one of our salespeople or resellers, just give our team a call on 0345 6000 789 they'll be happy to help.

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Mobile Phones and Driving

Since 1 December 2003 it has been strictly illegal to drive while using a hand-held mobile phone. From 27 February 2007, anyone caught driving while using a hand-held mobile phone faces a £60 fine and three penalty points on their driving licence, following a Government decision to double the existing penalty and make it an endorseable offence.

Although the use of hands-free equipment is not specifically outlawed in the same way as hand-held phones, such use has still been shown to be distracting, with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents saying that it knows of at least two fatal accidents involving drivers using hands-free mobile phones.

Under existing laws drivers making phone calls with hands-free equipment can still be prosecuted for failure to have proper control of their vehicle, or even for careless or dangerous driving if, for example, they are involved in an accident while making a call.

So, to be completely safe, we recommend that our customers take a break from calls and switch off their mobile phones before driving, letting calls go straight to voicemail while they're on the road.

For further information on the new penalties, please visit: www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk

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