Virgin Mobile is scrapping some of its tariffs, a move that will raise prices for around 140,000 of its pay-monthly subscribers.
Virgin Media said it is withdrawing from the market some of its older pay-monthly tariffs, including some Sim-only deals, and moving customers onto the closest equivalent tariff from April. Virgin hasn’t confirmed exactly which tariffs it’s suspending but says it is contacting affected customers directly to inform them of the changes.
Some Virgin Mobile customers report that their monthly bills will rise by as much as £7 a year, or £84 a year.
Kallie on Twitter said Virgin had increased her monthly bill from £9 to £15 a month, a 67% increase. Lily (@Lozza160) tweeted that Virgin had hiked her bill from £20 a month to £27, a 35% increase.
As these price hikes are above the rate of inflation— benchmarked at 2.7% for January 2020—customers can leave their Virgin Mobile contracts without penalty, provided they contact the provider before 31 March 2020.
Virgin Media said the “vast majority” of its customers would see price hikes of less than £7 a month.
A spokesperson said: "We’re updating some of our older mobile plans so that our customers can continue to enjoy the best of our services. As always, any changes made will be communicated to our customers in a clear and timely way.”
These price hikes are separate from the annual inflation-linked adjustment mobile providers are allowed to make each year. Virgin’s terms and conditions state that prices on its pay-monthly and Sim-only tariffs increase each July by the retail price index (RPI) rate for April, which will be announced 20 May this year. So those who stick with their Virgin Mobile contracts can expect a further price hike later this year—and one they won’t be able to duck by leaving their contracts for free.
Several mobile providers have announced inflation-linked price hikes in recent weeks. EE will raise prices by 2.2% from March 30, based on December’s RPI, while O2 and Three will increase their bills by 2.7% this spring, based on January’s figures.
In November, Virgin Mobile, which means it doesn’t own its own network, announced it would be ending its twenty-year partnership with EE and moving its customers onto Vodafone’s network from late 2021.
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