Virgin Media to pay ComReg €255,000 in penalties over failure to provide customer contracts
Virgin Media Ireland Limited (“Virgin Media) is to pay the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) a €255,000 penalty after an investigation found that Virgin failed to provide 26,046 of its customers with a contract in a durable form. This is in contravention of the Consumer Information Regulations 2013.
ComReg has imposed this penalty in the form of Fixed Payment Notices (“FPNs”) under Section 85 of the Consumer Protection Act 2007. Virgin Media has accepted that it breached the Consumer Information Regulations 2013 and has committed to pay the penalty in full.
ComReg investigated Virgin Media as a result of complaints from Virgin customers who said they did not receive contracts from the company in durable form. This made it difficult for the affected Virgin Media customers to recognise and see exactly what they were being charged for by the company.
This is the first time that ComReg has imposed FPNs. ComReg has the power to issue FPNs under the Consumer Protection Act 2007 for breaches of the Consumer Information Regulations 2013. The Consumer Information Regulations 2013 give consumers certain protections where contracts are concluded online, by telesales etc. or otherwise by means of what is known as a ‘distance contract’. The Consumer Information Regulations apply to a range of services and goods and to digital content. ComReg has enforcement powers in this regard with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.