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Virgin Mobile UK Drops Unlimited Mobile Broadband Data from PAYG Tariff

Thursday, June 13th, 2013 (12:59 pm) - Score 8,214

The mobile division of Virgin Media has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that they will next month drop the “unlimited data” (Mobile Broadband) aspect of their Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) based Big Data and Texts top-ups, which launched at the end of last year (here), in favour of a capped usage allowance.

Under the original Big Data and Texts tariff customers who topped-up by £10 were given unlimited data and 300 texts, while those who paid £15 got unlimited texts and unlimited data. But from the 1st July 2013 a £10 top-up will now get you unlimited texts and 1GB (GigaByte) of data and a £15 top-up delivers unlimited texts and 3GB of data.

The matter first came to our attention earlier this week after one of our readers suggested that the “unlimited” data pledge had been removed following one of their own complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). However a spokesperson for Virgin Media stressed that the changes had been “planned for while” and weren’t the result of a complaint to the ASA, although they did acknowledge that a related complaint had been “informally resolved“.

The ASA classifies Informally Resolved Cases as those where a complaint has been received but was not pursued via a formal investigation because Virgin Mobile would have agreed to “amend or withdraw the advertising” in question. We have requested further details of the original complaint but are still awaiting a reply.

A VirginMedia Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

Like all providers, we regularly review our products and sometimes make changes to ensure we keep on delivering what our customers want. Next month will see some changes to our PAYG tariffs as we introduce unlimited texts and revised data limits for new and existing mobile customers. As a result, we’re removing our unlimited data tariff from our PAYG range.”

Contradicting all this is Virgin Mobile’s FAQ page, which still appears to make mention of a “summer special offer” that will give customers “unlimited SMS and unlimited data” when they top-up by £10 between 1st July until 31st August 2013. It then states that the new data CAPs will be introduced from 1st September 2013 and not 1st July 2013.

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time that Virgin Mobile’s new Big Data and Texts plan has hit rocky waters. The service also caused a fuss earlier this year after the operator confirmed that its tariff would restrict maximum download speeds to 2Mbps (0.5Mbps uploads) to help improve network performance (here), although we’re told that this was later “removed in March“.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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