Investigation into Virgin Media’s early termination charges

27 June 2017


Investigation into Virgin Media Limited (‘Virgin’)
Case opened 28 June 2017
Case closed 16 November 2018

This investigation found that Virgin contravened General Conditions (‘GCs’) 9.2 and 9.3 by:

  • failing to publish up-to-date and clear information about the charges customers would have to pay if they ended their contract early (early termination charges or ‘ETCs’); and
  • by incorrectly setting its ETCs so they were too high and overcharging thousands of customers as a result.

We imposed a penalty of £7m on Virgin for these contraventions.

Virgin also agreed to make a number of improvements to the information it provides to its customers about its ETC policy when they move home.

During the course of the investigation, Virgin contravened information requirements imposed under s135 of the Communications Act 2003 (the ‘Act’). We imposed a penalty of £25,000 on Virgin for this contravention.

Since the closure of this case, HMRC has issued new guidance about the treatment of VAT in the calculation of early termination fees and compensation payments. Further information can be found here.

Relevant legal provision(s)

GC 9.2 and GC 9.3 (now contained in GCs C1.2 and C1.3), and s135 of the Act

Ofcom has published non-confidential versions of the two Confirmation Decisions issued to VM on 16 November 2018:

Confirmation Decision under section 96C of the Communications Act 2003 (PDF, 701 KB)

Confirmation Decision under section 139A of the Communications Act 2003 (PDF, 329.5 KB)


Enforcement team (

Case reference CW/01198/06/17