Ask LH: How Can I Stop My Former Credit Card Company Hassling Me?

Hi Lifehacker, I opened a credit card with Virgin Money four years ago, and cancelled it completely three years ago. About six months later I received an email stating that my "credit card statement was ready" for me to "take a look", along with a letter sent in the mail saying the same thing. Confused, I called the company, and was then assured that they had now deleted my contact details off the mailing list, and that my account was completely closed. Since then, I've received plenty of the same kinds of contact, mainly email.

After the last call, they told me they had placed a special note on my account that I was to not receive any more contact, and I told them that I'd call the relevant ombudsman if it happened again. About two weeks later, they sent me another email. I have no idea what to do but I just want the emails to stop. Please help! Thanks, Virgin On The Ridiculous

Picture by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Dear VOTR,

That does sound annoying. Many businesses will justify continued contact of this kind under provisions in Do Not Call regulations and similar legislation which allow them to contact "existing customers". However, that's not acceptable when you've made it clear that you want that contact to stop and given that you've cancelled your existing account.

If you do receive further emails or phone calls, the most relevant body to name is the Financial Ombudsman Service, which handles disputes between financial services providers and their customers. As with most ombudsman services, you need to give the relevant provider a chance to fix the issue first (the FOS terms require 45 days). While more than 45 days have passed in your case, I'd suggest specifically telling Virgin Money that you intend to contact the FOS the next time this happens, and document that you have done so. If contact persists, you'll have all the evidence you need for your complaint.

A related tactic that might be worth pursuing is setting up a rule in your email system to automatically delete any emails from Virgin Money. That's relatively simple to do. Yes, the company should take responsibility for not bombarding you with unwanted offers, but setting up the rule will probably be less frustrating than talking to a call centre. If you're not already registered, also consider signing up for the Do Not Call register -- if you're on the register, it's an offence for companies to contact you (even if you're a former customer) once you've told them not do so so.

Good luck!

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    This stuff destroys me. I also hate when you give your Mobile number out and the companies start TXT'ing you. Car yards have been the worst. I have said "here is my number but I dont want to go on your database and get txts. " and then a month later I'm getting txt's about finance and loans and their specials for the month.

    or he could have clicked on the unsubscribe tab at the bottom of the email. calling India isn't going to help cause they have no idea what happens in other departments, and probably don't have access to the relevant system, plus they pay them nothing so they really don't care about customer service. And yes i used to work in a bank but not virgin.

      +1, although the system should be designed so that it removes all contact details from all departments

    Has anyone thought that maybe it's a phishing scam or not related to virgin at all? Have you shown virgin the emails and gotten confirmation that they are indeed from them?

    Tell them your fee to deal with unsolicited mail is $100/item, payable within 24 hours of invoicing.

    Works every time.

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