Archive for the ‘Virgin Media’ tag
Virgin UK extends its offer by adding a flexible contract tariff that enables to tweak your offer on a monthly basis.
This week Virgin has announced that they go live with new flexible tariffs know as Freestyle. In a nutshell, customers will be able to change their tariff every month and get a new phone before their 24-month long contract ends, as long as they pay for the handset in full.
Virgin’s customers will be able to move around five tariffs priced between £10 and £25. There is no restriction for whether you move up or down, which basically means that one month you can choose the £20 tariff and then drop to the lowest one next month. In terms of what the tariffs come with, the lowest £10 tariff offers unlimited texts, 250 minutes and 250 MB of data. The next tariff is the £13 one and it has four times more minutes and twice as much data. The middle £17 tariff gives unlimited calls and texts plus 1GB of data, then for £20 you will get 2GB of data more. Finally, the highest tariff comes with unlimited calls, texts and data for £25 a month. If you already have Virgin broadband, TV or home phone, then you will get £5 off on all tariffs.
The second innovation offered by “Freestyle” tariffs is the possibility to upgrade your phone before the contract ends. However, to do so you need to pay off all the remaining balance on your mobile phone. It is possible, because essentially Virgin sells handset in “Freestyle” tariff through a credit agreement. This means you pay for your phone in monthly instalments but there is no interest rate. This monthly phone payment is added to your tariff price which together gives you the final value of your monthly bill.
You can get a wide range of phones with the “Freestyle” tariff. This includes all major state-of-the-art models like iPhone 6 and 5S/5C, the newest Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z3 or HTC One. However, if we take, for example, Samsung Galaxy S5 then the monthly instalment is £19, while the newest iPhones start at £29 per month. Add to this a middle-priced tariff and you can end up with a monthly payment of £36 or £46.
All in all, Virgin Media launched a nice novelty that gives contract customers some degree of flexibility, so that you don’t end up with a too high or too low tariff for the next two years. However, the option to pay off your phone doesn’t seem to too alluring, but we must admit that it creates an opportunity to take your phone on credit with zero interest rate.
After negotiating with Ofcom, majority of British operators signed a deal about capping stolen phones’ bills, mid-contract price hikes and included a promise to end roaming fees by 2016.
The deal struck between the government and EE, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone (O2 did not decide to take part in it) on December 3 regulates some issues that customers complained about. It is a result of intentions announced in September to improve the consumer experience. The plan tackles such issues as avoiding unexpectedly high bills, contract transparency and invariability, but also getting rid of roaming charges.
First, the operators agreed on establishing a cap for customer liability in case of lost or stolen handset. This will help averting problems like high bills caused by thieves. It expands the services already provided, for example, protecting the customer from the moment the phone is reported as stolen or lost. Mobile operators have not decided yet on the level of the cap and the terms and conditions, but pledged to work on it to be ready to unveil such services in spring 2014.
Second, in the last two years customers were outraged by mid-contract price hikes, that although happened according to the contract, came as a unpleasant surprise to customers. Operators who signed the deal agreed to improve the transparency of mobile phone contracts so that they comply with guidelines presented by Ofcom. Additionally, the providers are considering allowing customers to cancel a contract without any fees should there be a price-hike.
Finally, all major operators (except O2) promised to bring down roaming charges in the EU zone by 2016. However, even now operators are improving their offers by constantly lowering roaming rates and launching services that let customers use their allowances when travelling abroad. Obviously, both the government and the operators see a need to introduce necessary protections to prevent abuse and guarantee that British mobile providers are still willing to invest in networks and providing better mobile coverage.
Just last week we have reported that Virgin Media brought new SIM-only tariffs for students. However, it turned out that Virgin’s autumn offensive is not over. The mobile operator has introduced more SIM-only tariffs not just for students. The new range of SIM-only tariffs for 30 day-long Pay Monthly contracts goes from 5 to 12 pounds or for BlackBerry users from 12 to 35 pounds. The top offer from the first group provides 1200 minutes, 1 GB of data and unlimited texts and minutes to Virgin customers for £12 a month. The BlackBerry deals seem to be tuned more for smartphone users as for £25 Virgin Media gives you 2500 minutes in addition to unlimited data and texts messages.
On top of that Virgin Media is offering a 50% discount on their Premiere tariff for the first 6 months. This means that if you sign a contract in September they will get 2,500 minutes + unlimited texts and data for £9.50 (for the first 6 months of the contract).
Virgin boasts that their SIM-only deals offer the best money for value ratio on the market. However, we will see if their new offer stand for long and lures enough new customers to make a difference. The question is whether 30-day rolling contracts can compete with PAYG SIM cards.
Virgin’s SIM card deals for students
The summer time is over and school days are back, so to tap into the market Virgin Media relaunched its offers that are catered for students. The two deals that are available exclusively to Virgin customers are: £5 a month SIM card -only 30-day rolling contract or £10 a month Blackberry SIM-only 30-day rolling contract. The first offer gives free unlimited calls within Virgin Mobile network and 100 minutes to other networks, plus an additional unlimited number of texts messages to any British mobile phone. The Blackberry deal has the same minute and text allowance, but customers will also get 500MB of data and free Blackberry mails and messages – Virgin’s SIM card deals for students.
Moreover, all students will get 15 percent discount on their mobile phone bills and mobile broadband. All they need to do is confirm that they are really students by entering their NUS Extra card numbers at a special website.
Virgin Media has added a new smartphone to its pay as you go SIM card deals. It’s yet another phone produced by Chinese company ZTE. The handset is called Grand X and it is truly a massive smartphone, that belongs to the top of its class. It runs on the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, but what is more exciting, is that it is packed with 1Ghz Nvidia Tegra 2 Dual Processor. Thanks to such a processor, the speed of the phone is vastly improved and the gaming experience is enhanced. Phones with Tegra also have access to a special marketplace called Tegra Zone, where you can get games build to take advantage of Tegra processors. Grand X has also 4.3 inch QHD display and 5 megapixel camera for photos and HD video recording.
What ZTE Grand X delivers is a high-end smartphone perfect for videos and gaming, but the question is how expensive it is be. Not as much as would you think. Virgin Media offers ZTE Grand X for £199.99 in a PAYG SIM card deal. For that price you get the phone, 12 months of free data, £10 of airtime and 300 texts as a welcoming gift. So we get here is another fine smartphone deal from Virgin for those who prefer to use pay as you go SIM card.
Since July 12 Virgin Media has a smartphone PAYG SIM card deal for just £50. It is an Android-based smartphone called the Kis from ZTE, a Chinese phone maker that is entering the British market. Technically the price is 60 pounds because you need to pay 10 quids for Virgin PAYG SIM card top up. Nevertheless, it is a low price for an Android phone. The ZTE Kis might not be the top-notch smartphone but it certainly delivers all smartphone capabilities. The phone’s OS is Android 2.3 Gingerbread with 3.5 inch screen and 3.2 megapixel camera. It has only 512MB of memory but thanks to SD slot it can be maxed up to 32GB. To give good smartphone experience to PAYG customers Virgin Media is offering 1GB of free data for 12 months as an extra if they top up £15 each month. It seems that Virgin wants to lure PAYG customers who want to get a smartphone cheaply without signing a contract. Whether the Kis will help Virgin Media increase its pay as you go customers base is yet to be seen, but definitely it puts a pressure on other mobile operators to provide cheap smartphones in their PAYG SIM card deals.
Link to ZTE Kis deal and specs: http://www.virginmobile.com/vm/viewProduct.do?productId=14915523
Virgin Media also announced that in the last quarter of 2011 its revenue from mobile services dropped by 4.1 per cent. According to them it was mainly caused by lowering the MTRs and decreased number of pay as you go SIM cards in use.