Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Virgin Mobile UK Moves to Scrap Pay As You Go Packages UPDATE

Friday, July 16th, 2021 (12:16 pm) - Score 17,184
virgin_mobile_sim_swap

Customers of Virgin Mobile’s (Virgin Media) Pay As You Go (PAYG) plans have been informed that the service is “ending” and it will be gradually phased out between October 2021 and January 2022. During this period, customers will find that their SIM “will stop working … if you don’t take any action.” Talk about harsh.

The operator informs customers that “we’ll be in touch closer to the time to inform you of the date when your SIM will stop working” (oh.. how nice), although the only real options open to those impacted by this will be to either adopt one of Virgin Mobile’s Pay Month plans or switch to a different network operator. If you’d rather not wait around, then you can give them a call first on 789 to discuss your options.

We regularly review our offerings to make sure we’re meeting our customers’ needs and usage. After careful review, we’ve decided to close our Pay As You Go services and focus on providing even greater Pay Monthly plans. You have at least 3 months to switch to Pay Monthly or request your PAC, after we have notified you,” said the operator.

In fairness, the move isn’t all that surprising, particularly when you consider that Virgin Media’s prepaid (PAYG) mobile base has collapsed to 123,500 (March 2021) customers from 233,400 a year ago.

One slight irony of this is that Virgin Mobile states that their “friends at O2 offer a great Pay As You Go service” that you can switch to, which is a fascinating thing to say given that Virgin Media just merged with O2 and in a few years’ time O2 will replace Vodafone as the service provider for Virgin Mobile (assuming they retain their individual branding).

Don’t forget to use up your credit up before our Pay As You Go service ends or request a refund for any leftover credit,” added the operator. Thanks very much. Credits to Dafydd for helping to spot this development.

UPDATE 2:23pm

We’ve had a comment from Virgin Media (VMO2).

A Spokesperson for Virgin Media told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We regularly review our products and services to ensure our offering reflects our customers’ needs and best supports their usage.

Over the last few years, we have seen a 75% reduction in active Pay As You Go use, so have decided to close our Pay As You Go services and focus on providing even greater Pay Monthly and SIM only plans.

Customers impacted by this change will be notified in a clear, timely way and will be offered an alternative Pay Monthly plan or the option to switch provider.”

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Tags: , , ,
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.
Leave a Comment
24 Responses
  1. Tom says:

    This seems a bit of an odd move. Closing their Pay & Go service – sure. Makes sense. But why not just transition them all onto O2 to keep the custom there?

    1. Damien says:

      Indeed not everyone wants or can get a contract even simo

    2. Nick says:

      It has not been possible to join Virgin Mobile pay as you go since late 2019. All pay as you go sim cards on sale were pulled and have not been around since.

      Virgin Mobile then introduced a controversial tariff that charges £2 for the first call/text or data used that day and then offered 200 minutes for the rest of that day, this was very expensive for light users who may just spend a few minutes a day or who use less than 50mb of data or send 1 or 2 texts.

      This move was to force customers off pay as you go onto pay monthly or switch to another network although very high spending customers were not moved onto that tariff.

      In 2004, Virgin Mobile had 3 million customers on pay as you go, pay monthly wad just starting off on Virgin Mobile, it used T-Mobile and was actually better than T-Mobile pay ad you go.

      Virgin Media decided to close the Trowbridge Virgin Mobile head office and call centre and this is when all your calls to Virgin Mobile ended up in Philippines or South Africa, Virgin Mobile went from the very best to very worst for customer service and the takeover by Liberty Global excellerated even worse customer service and redundancies even more.

      I last used Virgin Mobile in 2019 on pay monthly sim only and the service was awful, the data never worked despite having full bars of 4G especially in urban and busy areas at peak times, it turned out Virgin Media didn’t want to pay EE at the time for more bandwidth, well that’s what EE told me and I believe them because I was sat in a room with people on EE and they had no issues at all.

      The customer service was useless and the only advice I got was actually off Virgin Media community forum with people telling me to switch off 4G and use 3G which sort of helped but isn’t ideal when you pay for a 4G service that was advertised as faster than O2,Vodafone and Three at the time.

      Community forums exist because companies want its own customers to offer customer service and advice to other customers for free.

  2. David Chambers says:

    PAYG on Virgin was due to close in the summer of 2020 but this was pulled. Doing so created a problem as all the old EE based SIM cards had to be withdrawn by the end of December that year. Virgin’s answer? Send new SIM Cards to all PAYG customers, totally forgetting that many were using old handsets that would require unlocking.

    The Community Forum was awash with complaints; unlock codes were sent out with no instructions how to enter them. In the end many PAYG customers were giving replacement handsets F.O.C.

    Joined up thinking is not Virgin’s strong point

  3. Yatta! says:

    The profitability of PAYG is likely so low, that it’s not worth Virgin’s while.

    Zero commitment SIM only deals, which do not require credit checks, are available from other providers, which likely workout cheaper than PAYG, for all but the lightest of users.

    1. Nick says:

      Yes you’re right especially when termination rates are almost 0 now.

      This is the problem when you cut termination rates, revenue has to come from somewhere else and if there is no alternative it will have to be withdrawn.

      Yes termination rates cost you money when you call other networks or from a landline but in the 90s and 00s when pay as you go was popular, even if you top up twice a year, incoming calls generated revenue.

      O2 did not cut off pay and go sim cards if incoming calls were received but no outgoing calls were made, so this clearly shows termination rates have an impact on low usage or pay as you go services.

  4. Ig Og says:

    Leave VMo2 , pronounced vomit, at the same time you leave their mobile, whatever network they have at the time. 0800 952 2277

  5. A Jarvis says:

    Of course, it’s no coincidence that this move ties in with the banks making two factor authentication using text messages mandatory/mobile apps mandatory, given people have no choice in the matter but to own a mobile phone with an active sim.

    Vodafone PAYG-£1, used to be a fairly competitive tariff before the change in January 2021, previously a £1 capped charge per day, but with that, you got 500MB of data. On January 12th, call and text messages increased to £1 and the inclusive daily data reduced to 50MB. I mean 50MB, is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, Vodafone.

    Three increased their charges from 3-2-1, 3p a minutes calls, 2p per text and 1p per MB to 10p a minutes for calls, 5p per text and 5p per MB.
    To put that in context someone on a low income is charged £50 for 1GB of data, compared to previously only paying £10 per 1GB of data.

    If they have to phone to pay outstanding Council Tax, there’s never a free number so a 20 minute call now costs £2, where as it used to cost 60p.

    This isn’t 2% inflation on the poor, this is three-three-three hundred percentage inflation, or thereabouts.

    o2 has dropped its 3-2-1 tariff for new customers.

    To the CMA, and Ofcom, for all your so called ‘effort to regulate’, there really doesn’t seem much competition in the PAYG sector right now (1p mobile is the last man standing).

    This seems on the surface, a blatant “collective push” by the industry to force SIMO/Phone contracts.

    1. Ryan says:

      Most network traditional pay-as-you-go nowadays only sense if you’re usage is low, most network nowadays got pay-as-you-go bundle with zero credit check.

      1p Mobile sure it’s competitive but you’re forced to top up ever 120 days and if you do use all you’re credit within 120 days you’re probably better off with a bundle anyway.

      If you’re very very low usage Asda Mobile at 4p call text mb is probably better than 1p mobile since they don’t force a top-up ever 120 days.

    2. Chris says:

      £10 per GB is bonkers.

      I pay ID mobile £8 for 15GB that rolls any unused every month.

      Data rates are terrible whenever it gets busy but it’s £8 a month!!!!

  6. Buggerlugz says:

    This has come about because of Internet of things devices that use hardly any data but cost telco’s a fortune rather than make them any money.

    1. Spurple says:

      A sim card that consumes no data or voice is only a marginal cost to the telco of almost zero. One reason they want everyone to be paying a monthly fee is that those low usage low cost sims bring down their average revenue per user, which makes them look bad and their stock perform worse.

  7. Gary says:

    We haven’t had ‘pay as you go’ for a long time now on most operators plans.

    A top up that you lasts a month isn’t pay as you go it’s a rolling 30 day contract.

    Putting credit on your phone that you could use until it was gone or you could afford to top up was pay as you go..

  8. Buggerlugz says:

    Also I guess it stops the criminal element from using PAYG phones for nefarious purposes.

  9. alan jones says:

    For low users like me,iv switched to rwg mobile,uses ee. 50 mins or texts,and 250mb data for £0 a month. Renews every 25th of the month. Everything good so far

  10. Richard says:

    Smarty network, piggy back off three and via uSwitch offer 3gb unlimited calls and texts for £5 per month

  11. Andrew says:

    Anyone remember when Virgin’s whole thing was that they had no contracts? Even had those adverts with Wyclef Jean being tricked into signing a marriage contract.

  12. Susan Bevan says:

    I live in France, visiting UK once a year.(before Covid restrictions) I found my very old mobile (only calls and texts) very useful during my visits. I still have money on the phone but now cannot call 789 to recover that Monet or change the account. What do I do?

  13. Pete says:

    Well thanks for telling us. Needed Police, ambulance. Road accident. find I have no service.You Bunch of moron’s.

  14. Sean says:

    ..so Virgin is ending pay as you go SIMS; in that case I will be leaving them, as I do not wish to waste money on a contract. I do not want to waste time looking at the ‘net, via a tiny screen, you thieves!

    here’s the address to send you complaints to:

    Virgin Media,
    Sunderland,
    SR43 4AA

    Don’t try the Website; it’s a ‘computer says no routine’

  15. James White says:

    Asked for new monthly sim card it’s being sent to me but now my old pay as you go sim has old signal. If I restart my phone I get about 6 minutes of coverage then nothing. Sick and tired how I’m I meant to update a new sim with no network coverage.

  16. linda radforth says:

    how can i keep my number

  17. Keith says:

    Would i be able to get any credit refunded or is that wishfull thinking.

  18. John says:

    I’d love to be able to stay on the old Pay As You Go system. I only have an older cheap handset I keep for emergencies. Other than that, I’m lucky if I make more than 10 calls in a year and I don’t text whatsoever. It’s not worthme have a pay monthly plan for my phone usage.

Leave a Reply to Susan Bevan Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.50 (*22.50)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: BIRTHDAY10
  • Shell Energy £21.99 (*30.99)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.00 (*38.20)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £60 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £24.00 (*49.00)
    Speed: 300Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £24.00 (*27.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £25.00 (*27.50)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: BIRTHDAY10
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*52.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3558)
  2. BT (3023)
  3. Politics (1937)
  4. Building Digital UK (1926)
  5. FTTC (1887)
  6. Openreach (1837)
  7. Business (1691)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1479)
  9. Statistics (1408)
  10. FTTH (1365)
  11. 4G (1277)
  12. Fibre Optic (1174)
  13. Virgin Media (1170)
  14. Wireless Internet (1160)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1148)
  16. Vodafone (846)
  17. EE (834)
  18. 5G (771)
  19. TalkTalk (769)
  20. Sky Broadband (747)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact