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How to Use a Contract Change Order Template to Ensure Smooth Project Management
When managing a project, changes are inevitable. These changes can be caused by various factors such as miscommunication, unforeseen circumstances, or even the need for additional work. That’s where a contract change order template comes in handy. It is a document that outlines the changes that need to be made to the original contract and ensures that all parties involved are on the same page. In this article, we will discuss how you can use a contract change order template to ensure smooth project management.
Understanding Contract Change Orders
Before we dive into using a contract change order template, let’s first understand what they are. A contract change order is an amendment to an existing agreement between two parties. It outlines any changes that need to be made and includes details such as timelines and costs associated with those changes.
Change orders help ensure that all parties involved in a project are aware of any modifications being made and can take necessary action accordingly. Without proper documentation of these changes, it can lead to confusion, delays, and even legal disputes.
Benefits of Using a Contract Change Order Template
Now that we know what contract change orders are let’s discuss why using a template is beneficial. First and foremost, it saves time and effort since you don’t have to create one from scratch every time there is a modification needed in the original contract.
Secondly, it helps ensure consistency across all projects by having standardized language and format for documenting changes. This makes it easier for everyone involved in the project management process to understand what modifications were made.
Lastly, using a template ensures accuracy and completeness of information since all necessary fields are included in the document.
How to Use a Contract Change Order Template
Using a contract change order template is simple. The first step is identifying which template suits your needs best based on your industry or specific project requirements. Once you’ve found the right template, fill in all the required fields with accurate information. This includes details such as the reason for the change, timelines, costs, and any other relevant information.
It’s important to ensure that all parties involved in the project management process review and approve the contract change order before making any modifications to the original agreement. Once everyone has agreed upon the changes, it’s time to implement them.
Best Practices for Using a Contract Change Order Template
To ensure smooth project management, it’s important to follow best practices when using a contract change order template. First and foremost, be clear in your communication with all parties involved about what changes are being made and why.
Secondly, make sure that all necessary information is included in the contract change order document. This includes timelines, costs, and any other relevant details.
Lastly, keep a record of all contract change orders for future reference. This will help you track modifications made throughout the project timeline and can be used as evidence if any legal disputes arise.
In conclusion, using a contract change order template is an essential tool for ensuring smooth project management. It helps document changes made to original agreements between parties while ensuring consistency across projects and accuracy of information presented. Remember to follow best practices when using these templates to ensure effective communication and record-keeping throughout your project timeline.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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- Virgin Media price increase 2023: what can customers do?
Virgin Media price increase 2023 — what can customers do?
Virgin Media price hike: what would you like to know?
Virgin Media increased prices for millions of broadband, TV and home phone customers in April 2023. Monthly costs have gone up an average of 13.8%, pushed by extremely high inflation rates in the UK at the start of the year.
Unlike other providers, Virgin Media allows you to switch or cancel your contract without any cost if you're affected. But unfortunately that window to switch early for free has likely now passed.
Virgin only allows a 30-day window to end your current agreement if they increase your prices. And since its price rise notifications went out in January and February, that deadline has now passed.
However, another key difference with Virgin Media is that you will only be charged this price increase once your initial contract term has ended . Which means you'll face a much higher monthly price when your contract ends - but it also means you're free to switch to a better deal before having to pay that higher amount.
Here's everything you need to know about Virgin Media's price increase.
Will Virgin Media be increasing prices in 2024?
Yes. Virgin Media's pricing terms say it'll raise prices for almost all of its customers on the 1st April every year. Even if you're mid contract, you'll see your prices go up from this date in 2024.
We won't know Virgin's exact price increase amount until January, because from next year it'll be mostly decided by the Retail Price Index (CPI) inflation rate in December 2023. But to give a rough idea, the RPI rate for September 2023 was reported at 8.9%, and Virgin has its own yearly price rise of 3.9%. So at current levels you'd see a price rise of 12.8% in April next year.
This would only be one percent lower than its huge 2023 price increase of 13.8%, and given other providers use the lower CPI inflation rate (6.3% in September 2023), it'd make Virgin Media's price increase the highest of all UK broadband providers.
Just keep in mind the inflation rate will likely change in the time leading up to January - this is not an official prediction of the price increase you will receive. For more information on how Virgin Media’s annual price rise works, read below about its 2023 price increase.
How much was Virgin Media's 2023 price increase?
Virgin Media's price hike for the average customer in 2023 was a huge 13.8%. This is a record-breaking increase from the provider, as it's tied to the high rates of inflation the UK has recently been dealing with.
Depending on how much you pay for your current Virgin Media package, your price likely went up by at least £2-3 per month. But if you pay a high monthly price for your service, your monthly cost could increase by as much as £10 , which is £120 per year.
Here's a table to show how much more you could be paying with this price rise.
How Virgin Media's 13.8% price increase average could affect you.
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Which Virgin Media customers are affected?
The price hike is applied to almost all customers using Virgin Media broadband, TV or home phone packages.
The newly-increased rate took effect between April-May 2023 for many customers, though some were notified that they'd receive the increase at the end of their fixed-term contract. So if you're a Virgin Media customer, make sure to check the email you received to see which increase applied to you.
However, the following groups were exempt from this year's price increase:
Those on a Virgin Media Essential broadband deal, which is available to people receiving financial support like Universal Credit
Talk Protected landline customers
All other customers who are considered 'vulnerable'
If you don't fall into one of the above categories, you are one of the millions of Virgin Media customers that will have to pay the 13.8%, which Virgin has said is the 'average' amount extra.
However, not all hope is lost, because you'll be able to cancel your contract and switch to another broadband provider once this price rise comes into effect.
What can Virgin customers do if their prices increase?
If you were affected by the price increase, you would have been allowed to cancel your contract for free and start looking elsewhere for a cheaper deal, but only within 30 days of your notification from Virgin .
As this window has now passed, you won't be able to leave your contract early without paying a penalty fee.
This policy is with other providers, such as BT, Plusnet and EE, who have added an annual price increase of 3.9% above the rate of inflation to their terms and conditions. This means that their customers can’t cancel their contract after their bills rise and avoid an exit fee.
But as a Virgin Media customer, you would have had 30 days to either cancel your contract or switch.
If you missed the cancellation period, you won't have to start paying the increased amount immediately, though. Just make sure you know when your contract is coming to an end, so you can avoid the price hike and move onto a cheaper deal before your rate goes up.
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Should I stay with Virgin Media?
If you want to avoid a price hike from Virgin Media and switch to a cheaper broadband deal, the 30-day window is your best opportunity to do so. But you will also be able to do so at the end of your contract, before you are moved onto your higher price.
However, it's worth keeping two things in mind:
Many other providers have mid-contract price increases built into their T&Cs, so you might be stuck with one anyway if you switch to one of those providers. Find out which providers increase their prices each year.
If you're with Virgin Media because of its internet speed, you might not be able to find another provider that offers the same speed in your area. This is because it operates on its own network, so unless you can also get full fibre broadband where you live, it might be the fastest you can currently get.
How to switch broadband
Switching is easier and simpler than you think. Learn how to find a cheaper or faster tariff (or both!) with our step-by-step guide.
Can I cancel Virgin Media for free?
2023 is the final year that you will be able to cancel your contract for free as a Virgin Media customer within 30 days of a price increase notification.
From April 2024, Virgin Media will have a set price increase in its terms and conditions, much like BT, Plusnet, Vodafone, EE and TalkTalk.
This means that from 2024, you won't be given a window to cancel your contract without cost after a price rise. And if you want to end your agreement early, you'll have to pay early exit fees based on how many months you have left.
So 2023 is the final year that you can cancel your existing Virgin Media deal for free if you're affected by a price rise. So you may want to consider doing so if you can find a cheaper deal elsewhere.
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Virgin Media has issued a statement on its new price rise plans for 2024:
“We know that price rises are never welcome, particularly right now, but like many other businesses we are experiencing significantly increased costs while investing to keep pace with growing demand, as broadband usage rose more than 10% last year and speeds increased by 40%. We’re committed to supporting customers in this tough climate and are freezing prices for vulnerable customers including those taking our social broadband tariffs.
“The introduction of inflation-linked price changes, which comes into effect in 2024 when RPI is projected to be at around 1.5%, will give customers clarity and certainty about what to expect from their bills while fuelling the investment required both now and in future. We will be clearly communicating these changes directly to our customers over the coming weeks.”
Why is Virgin Media increasing prices?
Virgin Media's price rises are usually put in place to combat its own increasing prices as a business. There are two main things that cause Virgin's costs to go up:
Inflation: As the cost of all resources, supplies, products and services increase, so does the provider's business expenses.
Service upgrades: Like all providers, Virgin Media is constantly working to improve its network's speed, reliability and coverage. This is an expensive thing to do, so it often raises pries to cover these costs.
The biggest driver of its price rises in 2023 by far is the inflation rate, though. With the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 10.5% — double what it was last year and 13 times higher than the rate two years ago — Virgin Media has increased its prices roughly in line with this. As have most other providers.
Virgin Media's end of contract price rise
The April price hike isn’t the only price increase you’ll have to beware of with your broadband.
Firstly, any annual price increase you receive during your contract term will be added to a new monthly price that you'll have to start paying once your contract ends. Secondly, you'll likely also be moved onto much more expensive ‘out of contract’ prices when your term ends too.
These out of contract price increases can sometimes reach up to 45% on top of the annual price hike rates you would have accumulated too. That's a huge increase in your monthly outgoings once your contract ends.
The good news is, at this stage you’re also completely free to cancel your contract and switch to a new provider at any time.
If your contract with Virgin Media is ending in the next 40 days or so, you should have received an end of contract notification in the post or via email detailing your new charges.
And if you're already out of your initial contract term, you could already be overpaying for your Virgin service by a very large margin. In this case, you should definitely consider switching or re-contracting with Virgin.
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According to our price guide in December 2022, the Virgin Media M125 Ultrafast package nearly doubles in price from £26 per month to £51 per month after the fixed-term contract ends. And the price of its M500 package increased by 63% from £38 per month to £62 per month.
Virgin Media end of contract notification
Any Virgin Media customer whose contract comes to an end will be moved onto increased out of contract pricing. However, if your contract is ending soon, you will receive a notification from Virgin reminding you of your end date and details of new plans you could switch to for a cheaper price.
Keep in mind that your contract ending also means you can shop and compare elsewhere for a broadband deal that better suits you, if you so wish.
The price increase you’re likely to experience if you stay out of contract with Virgin Media is extremely high. So it should reassure you to know that it also means you can re-contract or switch to a new deal any time to avoid the price hike.
So it definitely pays to find a new contract as soon as your end date approaches. Make sure to watch out for your end of contract notification from Virgin Media and compare broadband deals to make sure you’re getting the best service for you and your money.
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How to contact Virgin Media
If you’d like to contact Virgin Media — whether that’s to negotiate an improved deal, double check whether you’re affected or just to find out more information — you can get in touch with its customer services team in a number of ways.
Phone: Speak to Virgin Media’s customer services by calling 0345 454 1111 for free. Opening hours are Mon-Fri 7am-11pm / Sat-Sun 8am-8pm.
Website: Sign in to your Virgin Media account on its website .
Live chat: Get in touch with a customer representative at Virgin Media through its Live Chat feature.
Twitter: Make your inquiry via Twitter by tweeting @virginmedia
Virgin Media price rises FAQs
Can i negotiate my broadband prices with virgin media.
You might be able to negotiate a better deal with Virgin Media, but it's not a guaranteed way of avoiding a price increase.
So while some people may have succeeded in getting a better deal after discussing with the provider's customer services team, Virgin doesn't have to budge on its pricing if it doesn't want to.
Will Virgin Media increase their prices again?
Yes. From 2024 onwards, the provider will be making mid-contract price increases part of its terms & conditions. This means almost all customers who sign up in the future will have to abide by an annual price rise, and will no longer get a 30-day window to cancel.
Broadband price rises in 2023 explained - Uswitch
Broadband prices gone up mid-contract? Learn why prices have increased by as much as 15% in 2023, and what you can do about it if you're affected.
How to save money on your broadband bill - Uswitch
Looking for ways to save money on your monthly bills? Here's how you can reduce what you spend on your broadband.
Broadband deals for low income families | Social tariffs on universal credit - Uswitch
If you're on Universal Credit or receiving other financial benefits, you can find a much cheaper broadband deal with these providers.
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New Terms and Conditions
New terms and conditions for our services from 17th june 2022.
We're updating our Ts&Cs.
From 17th June 2022, we’re updating our legal information for our services because of new Ofcom regulations designed to improve your rights when we make changes to your services. We’ve also made it clearer which changes are allowed under your Virgin Media Business contracts.
We’ve summed up the main changes on this page, but you can find full copies of our new terms and conditions for our services by heading here .
The changes mean:
1. You may have more frequent opportunities than you do at the moment to cancel your services when we make changes to them. With effect from 17th June, subject to certain exceptions explained below, if we make changes to our charges, terms and conditions or services that apply to you and aren’t exclusively to your benefit, you may be entitled to cancel your agreement early without paying an early cancellation charge.
If we make a change that gives you a right to cancel your agreement, we’ll give you at least 30 days’ notice of that change and let you know about your right to cancel. If you’re still within your minimum period, you’ll need to give us your cancellation notice within 30 days of us notifying you.
2. In some situations where we make changes, you may be able to leave other agreements you have with us. We’ll tell you when that happens.
3. Some changes won’t give you a right to cancel your contract. These are set out in our new terms and conditions , but include:
- Changes to services that are allowed under our terms and conditions – for example, where we tell you we’ll add cost increases on specific services (like the cost of sending out paper bills or international rates), or when changes are just part of providing that service
- Administrative changes that don’t have a negative effect on you – for example, if we change the address we need you to write to
- Changes we have to make because of a change in law
- Changes to add-on services, that are optional services you can choose to take as part of your services with us – they often don't have a minimum term, or sometimes come with a 30-day notice period or less. If we only make changes to an add-on service you’ve already signed up for, and it gives you a right to cancel it, any right to cancel will be limited to that add-on service only – you won’t be able to cancel your main service with us.
- Changes to supplementary services, which are extra services (excluding add-ons) that come with your main services with us (they often come with separate terms and conditions and ask you to register or sign up for them). Where a change is only made to one of these extra services you’ve already signed up to, and the change gives you a right to cancel that extra service, we’ll let you know about your right to cancel it, along with your main agreement without paying an early cancellation charge.
4. We’ll continue to let you know about any changes to your contract where you have a right to cancel with a minimum of 30 days’ notice, and we’ll always make it clear about the changes we’re proposing to make, so you can consider keeping your contract with us (if you’d like to), and how you can cancel them if you decide you don’t want to accept our new changes.
Got any questions about our new changes? The FAQs below should help.
Why are you making these changes?
The changes to our terms and conditions are a result of new EU regulations designed to protect you, otherwise known as the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC).
What’s the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC)? The EECC is an EU directive that regulates electronic communications networks and services in the EU. These rules were written into UK regulation by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, in December 2020 before the UK left the EU.
But the UK has left the European Union, so why does this matter?
The EECC is an EU directive which regulates electronic communications networks and services in the EU. These rules were written into UK regulation by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, in December 2020 before the UK left the EU.
How will I know about any future changes to my services?
We’ll continue to let you know about any changes where you have a right to cancel with a minimum of 30 days’ notice. The notice will tell you which services you’re able to leave without incurring any early cancellation charges
What do the changes to cost based services mean?
It’s very similar to how this works today, but we want to make that clear to customers. Sometimes our partners put up their costs. When they do this there may be an increase in cost for customers too, but they will be able to cancel their plan if the increase in cost is of a material disadvantage to them.
What if I want to cancel when you make changes and I’ve not been told I can?
You can cancel your services by giving us 30 days’ notice at any time, but if you haven’t been given a right to cancel, you may have to pay an early cancellation charge
I am a Public Sector customer either on a framework agreement or bespoke terms. Do the updated Terms and Conditions apply?
Only if they are more favourable than the details of your current arrangement or bespoke terms.
Still need help?
How To Downgrade Virgin Media Package? Complete Guide
Virgin Media Customers’ needs change frequently. Many come across the question – how to downgrade Virgin Media package?
Downgrading is an act of reducing your usage and the amount of either your mobile, TV, or broadband package.
Downgrading usually happens when your subscription has many used services.
For instance, many channels are no longer in use in your household, and you plan to get rid of them to save some money.
To downgrade a Virgin Media Package, try doing it online, contact the Virgin Media customer care via their number or email id.
This guide covers the methods to downgrade your Virgin Media package. So, read on!
How To Downgrade Virgin Media Package?
You may prefer to downgrade the services from Virgin Media for many reasons. Most of them are personal and mandatory.
Sometimes, you just have a sudden thought can I downgrade Virgin Media package? It probably occurs when you see half of your services going to waste.
Downgrading is not easy as the plans available to you might still not suit your requirements. Sometimes, you may have to haggle with customer care to get a customized package if possible.
A lucky customer may get a bumper offer with limited plans according to their need.
Let’s have a thorough look at each of the methods you can follow to change or downgrade your existing plan in Virgin Media Network :
Solution #1: Change Your Virgin Media Plan Online
The easiest method any consumer would love in case of changing plans or downgrading is to do it online.
Also, in the case of Virgin Media, all the plans are changeable with a simple login to your My Virgin Media Account page.
If you are thinking about how to downgrade Virgin Media package online, here are the steps to do so:
- Go to your My Virgin Media Account .
- Enter your credentials to sign in.
- Once in, click on More options on the right corner of the page.
- Choose the My Upgrades & Offers option.
- You have the details of your current plan displayed with the plans you can change to.
- Skim through them and select the plan of your choice.
Solution #2: Contact Virgin Media Online
Another way to contact the Virgin Media Network to solve your issues is by emailing them. You will get the email ID to contact when you browse through the options on Virgin Website help page.
Log in with your My Virgin Media Account credentials for a trouble-free experience. You can also compose mail through their website itself.
If you are having thoughts on how to downgrade Virgin Media Package online, you can also select the live chat option.
Here’s the list of steps needed to start a live chat session :
- Go to Service Change Page .
- A Live Chat option is available on your side screen in the middle.
- Choose the button.
- The first question would be to choose the help regarding broadband and TV or mobile .
- Select your option and give the necessary information to get started.
Solution #3: Downgrade Over Phone
While online sounds like a great idea, some people still like to get the confirmation of a human when it comes to changing things over their Virgin Media plans.
Your option here is to talk over the phone by dialling the customer helpline of Virgin Media Network.
Call the Virgin Media hotline using the numbers:
- 150 – Works from your Virgin Media Phone only
- 0345 454 1111 – Works from any phone
Once you dial these numbers, talk to the corresponding person to understand if you can downgrade your package. Additionally, always remember to ask about the current offers in place that suit your needs.
Sometimes, you may have to haggle with customer care to get a personalized deal if possible.
Mention your needs clearly and understand the options listed by them.
- Try sharing your maximum monthly budget and the major services you need.
- Avoid accepting the first offer given. Wait for better ones.
- Don’t accept any add-ons that are useless to you.
- In the case of TV or broadband, remove the services that you don’t use.
- Ask for a discount while talking to the customer helpline number.
- Try calling again as different representatives may have different approaches.
The last resort is to play the “ I wish to cancel the contract ” act when they won’t budge.
You may get better offers to retain your membership. Most of these offers might be perfect for your needs.
Solution #4: Check for Some Other Packages
You have many plans from Virgin Media to choose from if your needs are less. Several combo offers have a blockbuster deal in the form of TV, Broadband, and Mobile services.
Let’s look at the TV plans that are worth a pick:
- Mixit TV (small TV plan): Up to 110 channels
- Maxit TV (big TV plan): Up to 230 channels
Combo offers from Virgin Media:
1. Big Bundle
You get M50 Broadband with 70 and above TV channels, Sky On-Demand, and New Virgin TV V6 box at just £33 PM.
2. Bigger Bundle
More than 230 channels with high-speed broadband of M200 package. It includes sports and drama channels too at just £45 PM.
3. Ultimate Bundle
You get the ultimate combo of 630 Mb average speed broadband, TV, and O2 sim in this deal at just £99 PM.
You have many options wherein the bundles are further mixed with other options like Drama, Movies, Sports, etc.
Solution #5: Try the Rolling Contract
Virgin Media is flexible with many options for customers under the rolling contract. You can go for this choice when you do not want to commit for more than a month to check their services.
Also, it helps when you are on the move. Most of the contracts are for 18 months.
However, the rolling contract is only for a month and if you are not satisfied, you can always walkout by giving a 30-day notice to them.
The one downside to this package is that none of the add-ons or benefits is available to you. If you plan to disconnect in between the notice period, you are liable to pay a disconnection fee.
Still Not Able To Downgrade Your Virgin Media Package?
Usually, all the steps mentioned in the guide help change your package easily. However, after all these attempts, many customers find that none of the alternative plans listed by customer care seems helpful.
For them, the best part would be to start negotiating or haggling with the Virgin Media Team.
Additionally, try giving a hint that you are ready to switch to competitors and cancel the contract if nothing fruitful happens.
This trick will alert the Virgin Media Team to present any other different offers customizable. Moreover, you will land on a package that suits your needs and budget without hassles.
Else, look at similar service providers to have a change for the better. Many competitors give likewise plans that may suit your broadband and TV needs.
But, keep in mind that if you’re in a contract, you might have to pay an early disconnection fee .
Read Next: How To Reduce Virgin Media Bill?
You can consider downgrading Virgin Media package by getting in touch with customer support over call, email, or live chat. You can also the great deals and combo packages available online.
This guide would help in answering the question of how to downgrade Virgin Media Package?
The trouble-less method would be to do it online. Log in to your My Virgin Media Account and change your preferences under the My Upgrades & Offers tab.
The other method would be to contact Virgin Media Customer care through phone, email, or live chat.
You can also try choosing the best packages and keep checking their website for flash bundle offers once in a while. Try haggling with customer care to bring out a suitable plan.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.
Virgin Media announces major change that could have all customers paying more
Bosses have said they will introduce an inflation-based price surge next year, meaning customers won't be able to leave their contracts without paying a penalty.
- 09:23, 2 MAR 2023
- Updated 09:27, 2 MAR 2023
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Virgin Media has announced that it'll be introducing a price surge based on inflation and prevent people from cancelling their contracts for free.
From April this year, millions of Virgin customers in the UK will see their phone, broadband and TV bills surge by an average of 13.8 percent.
And in 2024, the telecoms giant will start to use the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation - plus 3.9% on top - when deciding how much prices will need to be raised. The Mirror reports that this new pricing scheme will come into force in April of next year, and will be based on the inflation figures from that February.
Additionally, the price rise will be included in any terms and conditions of anything that comes with a customer contract - meaning you won't be able to leave penalty-free within 30 days of receiving notice of a bill increase.
In an email sent out recently, Virgin Media said its new rules apply to any additional add-ons you might have, excluding subscriptions such as Disney+ and Netflix.
Addressing its customers, the email said: "From April 2024, we are changing our approach so any price rise to your package is always made at the same time every year, and it’ll be linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) rate of inflation plus an additional 3.9%, so the amount of any increase will be clearer, sooner. To do this, we need to change our terms and conditions."
The email continues: "As this annual price increase is provided for in your terms, there is no right to cancel given for this price increase from April 2024."
Virgin Media told The Mirror that the RPI measure of inflation is expected to be lower in 2024 than it is today, and said other major providers also use this to determine price rises.
A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “The introduction of inflation-linked price changes, which comes into effect in 2024 when RPI is projected to be at around 1.5%, will give customers clarity and certainty about what to expect from their bills while fuelling the investment required both now and in future.
"We are clearly communicating these changes directly to our customers."
It comes after consumer group Which? said customers of telecom firms that don't allow people to leave penalty-free are trapped between choosing huge mid-contract price hikes or exit fees of over £200.
Which? is now urging companies to let customers leave contacts without paying a fee if prices are hiked mid-contract.
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How to save money on broadband
If you've been hit by rising mobile phone or broadband bills, there are a few things you can try to bring the cost down.
If you're out of contract, you're free to leave and go elsewhere - or maybe you want to haggle down your current provider.
There is also no harm in trying to haggle if you're still in contract. The first thing you should do is compare prices elsewhere to see what other deals are available - you'll normally find SIM-only plans are the cheapest.
You can also compare prices by using comparison websites such as MoneySupermarket and Uswitch.
Take a look at how many minutes, texts and how much data you currently use, so you can find similar plans that suit your needs. You might find you're actually paying too much right now for allowances that you're not using.
When haggling, explain the better deals you've seen elsewhere then ask if the company can match or beat that price.
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Virgin Mobile to O2 FAQs
Help and support
Virgin Mobile to O2 | Help & Support | O2
Following Virgin Media and O2’s merger in June 2021, we're starting to move all Virgin Mobile customers over to O2’s range of plans. We started in March and will complete by end of December 2023. As a result of this move, we'll be providing all our customers with unlimited texts and voice calls, and either double the data or unlimited data for the same amount of money each month – no customers will see the cost of their plan rise as a result of this move. We'll write to you 30 days ahead of your move to let you know when it'll happen. It will be seamless and over-the-air for the vast majority of customers – you don’t need to do anything. Key points to note:
- Your phone number will stay the same
- Your network experience won't change, as Virgin Mobile already uses the award-winning O2 network
- The majority of customers won't need to replace SIMs or change billing dates
- Once you're with O2, ring 202 rather than 789 for Customer Services from your handset, or head here for more information
- You won't pay any extra for your new O2 plan. You'll pay the same price on your new O2 plan and receive double the data or unlimited data, plus unlimited texts and voice calls
- Your planned switch will not work if you are abroad – but don't worry, we'll try again next month and let you know when it's happening.
Why's it happening?
This is a key part of Virgin Media O2’s integration. The first stage of this plan was completed at the end of last year, when the entire Virgin Mobile base transferred over to using the O2 network – so all data, voice and text traffic is already using our connectivity. This second stage is where we start moving customer plans over to O2.
Virgin Media and O2 merged in June 2021 creating the UK’s largest telecoms challenger with award-winning mobile services and the fastest widely available broadband in the market all under one roof.
When's it happening?
In February 2023, Virgin Mobile will start contacting the first customers to move over to O2 mobile plans, and the switch will happen in March 2023. They'll continue to move customers over to O2 mobile plans throughout the year, and by the end of 2023 all existing and newly joined Virgin Mobile customers will have been moved to O2 plans.
Do I need to do anything?
If you get one bill from Virgin Mobile with all your mobile phone numbers on, they'll be switched together. If you get more than one bill, they may be moved on separate days. We'll let you know in advance how this affects you.
In most cases, you won't need a new sim to switch from your Virgin Mobile plan to a new O2 plan. We'll try to sort everything remotely, so you don't have to do anything. In order for this to happen, please keep your mobile switched on while we move you over. We'll only send you a new sim if we can't switch you over remotely. This'll happen automatically, and you won't have to order the sim yourself.
No, you won't need to do anything. We’ll sort all the changes to your Direct Debit for you and send you a confirmation message. Once you’ve moved over to your new O2 plan, your Direct Debit will be collected in the name of O2 instead of Virgin Mobile, and you'll see 'O2' on your bank or building society statement. If you've another Direct Debit for your handset loan, this'll stay the same and the name on your bank or building society statement for this will still be 'Virgin Media'.
No, your phone number will not change and there will be no need to replace SIMs, change billing dates or information.
Yes, your price will remain the same when you switch to O2. This also applies to any promotional data allowance included in your new O2 data allowance.
Following your move to O2 and if you have a compatible device, you’ll be able to use Visual Voicemail that lets you listen, save, share and delete voicemails using a visual interface on your phone. This allows you to manage your messages without calling into your voicemail service.
Any existing voicemail messages and recorded greetings that are on your Virgin Mobile account won’t be transferred over. So, if you have any special voicemails you’d like to keep after your move, you’ll need to record these onto a different device .
The easiest way to record your voicemail messages onto another device is to record the voicemail message as a voice memo on another mobile device:
- Open the Voice Memo app (Apple) or Voice Recorder app (Android) and start recording
- Play back the voicemail message on loudspeaker, holding the two devices close to each other
- Save the recording on the device. It can then be shared
This works with laptops too, just use the Voice Recorder or similar application and hold your phone near the microphone.
Alternatively, if your phone has a 3.5mm headphone port, you can use a 3.5mm audio cable to connect your phone and computer:
- Insert the audio cable into your phone and the microphone jack port on your computer
- Use an audio recording software on your computer (such Audacity or Garage Band), click ‘record’ and play back your voicemail message
- Save and share the audio file from your computer
What are the benefits for me?
When you’re with O2, you’ll have access to new benefits, while keeping some of the Virgin Mobile ones:
- you’ll get either double the data or unlimited data for the same price
- you’ll continue to be able to roam freely across Europe – up to 25GB – plus four extra countries, making 47 in total
- you’ll get Visual Voicemail, which allows you to listen to, save, share and delete voicemails using a visual interface on your phone, rather than calling voicemail
- you’ll get access to Priority, with offers from high street brands, tickets, experiences and daily treats.
Your network coverage will stay the same, as all Virgin Mobile customers are already using the O2 network, which was recently awarded ‘Best Network for Roaming’ and ‘Most Popular Mobile Network’ at the Uswitch Awards. And we'll always treat you fairly, with access to the same deals as new customers.
We use Visual Voicemail – a quick and easy way to manage your voicemail on your phone. Visual Voicemail lets you listen to, save, share and delete voicemails using a visual interface on your phone, so you can manage your messages without calling into your voicemail service. It's available on newer iOS devices and some Android devices. Learn more about Visual Voicemail .
Yes, when you're on O2 you'll get to enjoy all our perks, like daily treats from Priority and access to gig and event tickets 48 hours early with Priority Tickets.
No, you'll either pay the same or less for your airtime tariff when you move to O2.
When your household is with both Virgin Media and O2, you’ll get supercharged speeds, data and wifi (these are known as our Volt benefits). That means double the mobile data on every eligible O2 Pay Monthly plan in your household. You’ll also get a broadband speed boost to the next available level (if you aren’t already on the fastest speeds you can get in your area, and subject to availability). WiFi Pods are available if you find any wifi blackspots in your home. Plus O2 Travel Inclusive Zone, so you can roam in 75 destinations at no extra cost. Applying your Volt benefits when you switch to O2 If you’re eligible for Volt benefits and the name on your Virgin Media broadband account matches the name on your O2 mobile account, your Volt benefits will be added automatically within 14 days. If your broadband and mobile accounts are in different names, or the names don’t match (for example Chris and Christopher), you’ll need to activate your Volt benefits in My O2, and they’ll be applied within 14 days. You'll also need make sure the address on your O2 account matches the address on the Virgin Media broadband account, whether it’s in your name or that of someone else in your household. If they don’t quite match, you can edit your address in My O2. If you’re unsure, you can check in My O2 seven days after your move. If you think everything's correct and you still aren't seeing the options to activate your benefits, give us a call on 202 free from your O2 mobile. Find out more about supercharged benefits from O2 and Virgin Media. You can check your eligibility and activate Volt benefits in My O2 .
O2 was awarded Best Network for Roaming and Most Popular Mobile Network at the Uswitch Telecoms Awards in March 2023. Find out more here .
What changes will I see?
Billing, payment date & spend caps.
Don’t worry, you won’t pay extra for your airtime on an O2 plan – we made sure your price stayed the same when you moved over from Virgin Mobile. To keep your price the same, we added an Airtime Discount Bolt On to your account. The price you’re seeing in the tariff section of My O2 is before the discount is applied – that’s why it looks higher than your previous Virgin Mobile bill. You can view your Bolt Ons in My O2 to see your airtime discount and any other discounts you may have. Or click on your bill to see a full breakdown of your tariff and any applicable discounts. Your bill will only be available 24 hours after you’ve moved over to O2. View Bolt Ons in My O2 .
Your bill and payment dates won't change unless you're usually billed on the 29th, 30th or 31st of the month, in which case your bill date will move slightly to the 1st of the month and your payment date will move to either on or after the 15th of the month. If this applies to you, we'll be in touch to let you know of the change. The Direct Debit on your bank statement for your monthly Airtime Plan will also change from 'Virgin Mobile' to 'O2'. This is only for the airtime part of your mobile plan. Any handset loan agreement payments will stay on the same day, as they'll still be provided by Virgin Media Mobile Finance Ltd. Your Direct Debit for handset loan repayments won't change either, and will still show up as 'Virgin Media' on your bank statement.
If you still have a handset loan with Virgin Media Mobile Finance Limited, you'll continue to pay your Direct Debit as usual.
Yes, you can check your Virgin Mobile bills through your Virgin Mobile online account.
Your final Virgin Mobile bill will come out on your normal bill date. It'll only include any out-of-allowance charges incurred before moving to O2. Your monthly airtime charge will appear on your O2 bill from this date, so your monthly charges won't overlap. If you still have a handset loan with Virgin Media Mobile Finance Limited, you'll continue to pay your Direct Debit as usual.
If you pay for your handset and airtime package in a single payment, you'll be moved to an O2 Airtime Plan. If you are out of contract, then your payment will have already changed to reflect an airtime only price. If you are still in contract, when you switch to O2, your payment will change to reflect an airtime only price.
If you have a spending cap on your Virgin Mobile account, we’ll move it over to your new O2 plan for you. If you don't have one, this'll stay the same on your new O2 plan. After you've moved over to us, you can choose to add a Spend Cap or change your existing cap by calling 202 for free from your O2 mobile, 0344 809 0202 from your home phone (standard UK rate), or +44 7860 980 202 if you’re abroad (free from an O2 Pay Monthly mobile, other providers' charges might vary).
An out-of-allowance or an out-of-bundle charge is the cost of services outside your Virgin Mobile Pay Monthly plan. This includes, but isn't limited to, certain types of UK calls and messages, exceeding your data allowance and international costs (from the UK to abroad).
Yes, you'll keep any existing discounts you have on your Virgin Mobile plan when you move over to O2. Your net monthly recurring cost (after all discounts) will stay the same.
However, if you use out-of-bundle services, these will be charged at the rate set out on our website and won’t be discounted.
Your Virgin Mobile airtime will be switched to O2, and you'll get an O2 airtime bill. Your Virgin Media products such as broadband, TV and home phone will remain unchanged. Instead of receiving one bill from Virgin Media, you’ll now get two bills.
Airtime bill from O2
Broadband, TV and home phone bill from Virgin Media
Don’t worry, your overall price will remain the same.
For example, if you paid £132 for your overall single Oomph bill from Virgin Media, you would now pay £25 for your airtime bill from O2 and £107 for your cable broadband, TV and home phone services from Virgin Media.
In addition, following your move to O2, you’ll also be eligible for VOLT benefits.
What is VOLT?
VOLT gives you exclusive benefits for being with both Virgin Media and O2. You can enjoy lightning-fast data, WiFi and broadband speeds, and supercharged connectivity.
A broadband speed boost to the next available level (up to a max of 1Gbps)
Double mobile data on all eligible O2 Pay Monthly plans* (for example, 10GB boosted to 20GB)
WiFi Pods are available if you find any WiFi blackspots in your home
O2 Travel Inclusive Zone, so you can roam in 75 destinations at no extra cost
Applying your Volt benefits when you switch to O2
You can check your eligibility in My O2. You can sign in online or download the app. If you’re eligible for Volt benefits and the details on your Virgin Media broadband account match the details on your O2 mobile account, your Volt benefits will be added automatically within 14 days.
Check the account name If your broadband and mobile accounts are in different names, or the names don’t match (for example, Chris and Christopher), you’ll need to activate your Volt benefits in My O2, and they’ll be applied within 14 days.
Check the address You also need to make sure the address on your O2 account matches the address on the Virgin Media broadband account, whether it’s in your name or someone else in your household. If they don’t quite match, you can edit your address in My O2.
If you’re unsure, you can check in My O2 seven days after your move. If you think everything's correct and still aren't seeing the options to activate your benefits, give us a call on 202, free from your O2 mobile.
Find out more about supercharged benefits from Virgin Media and O2.
Devices, handsets & loans
Yes, you can. With O2 Recycle, you can trade in mobiles, wearables, watches and AirPods. For more info and to get a quote, go to O2 Recycle .
If you choose to enter a new Consumer Credit Agreement with O2 for a new device and you have an outstanding loan on your existing Virgin Mobile device, you'll continue to pay the existing Virgin Media device loan. This means you might be paying for two credit agreements at the same time.
Find out if you have an existing Virgin Mobile device loan agreement .
No, we won't do another credit check on your account if you get a new device with an O2 Custom Plan. We'll only ask you some questions to help make sure the new credit agreement is right for you. Just so you know, to get a new device the mobile number being upgraded needs to have been with Virgin Mobile or O2 for at least 6 months.
Yes, your insurance will continue even after you've switched to an O2 mobile plan.
After the switchover, you can call O2 on 0344 809 0202 for help and support.
My Virgin Media & My O2 App
Find out how to change your My O2 username or password .
We’ll send you a text with your My O2 username and password once you've moved over to us. If you have more than one mobile number with Virgin Mobile on the same bill, you'll get one My O2 username for all your accounts, and we'll send the text to the first phone number that moves over to us.
When you call O2 for the first time following migration, we'll set up a security question, which speeds up the verification process the next time you phone. This can take a few minutes to set up. To speed things up, you can create a security question on My O2:
In the app:
- go to 'Manage your account'
- click 'View all'
- choose 'Manage my details'
The 'Change My Security Question' option is in 'Sign In Details'.
- click 'More'
- choose 'Update your personal details'
Learn about how to access 18+ content on O2 .
Find out how to use parental control services on O2.
Enabling Wifi Calling on your Apple or Android compatible device will allow you to move seamlessly between Wifi and 4G network coverage to continue your call. You can make phone calls and use data even if there's no signal. Once you've moved to O2, you'll need to re-activate Wifi Calling on your device. Click here to find out how .
Network & Roaming Coverage
Your network coverage won't change as you move to O2, because you're already using the O2 network with Virgin Mobile. Learn more about O2's network and coverage or check your O2 network coverage .
No, you'll continue to enjoy free EU roaming on O2 – up to 25GB – plus four more countries than you currently get with Virgin Mobile. Learn more about roaming with O2 .
If you're an Early Bird customer, you'll still be able to switch your device to a new one 12 months before your plan ends. If you're on a 24-month Early Bird plan, you can swap your device after you’ve paid your 12th bill. If you're on a 36-month Early Bird plan, you can do it after your 24th bill. All you have to do is call us on 202 free from your O2 mobile phone when you're eligible to upgrade, and let us know you're an Early Bird customer. You'll swap to a new O2 handset and Airtime Plan. You'll be sent a prepaid envelope so you can return your old device and, as long as it's in good working condition, your handset loan will be closed. Your device must meet the below requirements to be eligible for an Early Bird upgrade:
- it must have the battery included
- it must power on without an error message
- its screen and camera must not be cracked or damaged, and its case must have no missing parts
- its home button, all physical keys, all soft keys and touchscreen must be fully operational.
If your device isn’t in good condition, it might have to be devalued, which could leave you with an outstanding balance on your old Virgin Mobile handset loan.
Service Differences on O2
Billing You'll be billed by Telefonica UK Limited once you switch over to O2. If you pay by Direct Debit, you'll see this listed as ‘O2’ on your bank statement. To see your bills from O2, just register for My O2.Link 'register for My O2' to o2.co.uk/myo2 You'll get an invite to do this when your switch is complete. Any handset loan agreement payments you have with Virgin Mobile won't change, as these will still be provided by Virgin Media Mobile Finance Ltd. Your Direct Debit for handset loan repayments will also stay the same and show up as 'Virgin Media' on your bank statement. Annual O2 price rises As it did for Virgin Mobile, each year your annual plan will increase by the Retail Price Index (RPI) rate of inflation announced in February plus 3.9%. If RPI is negative, we’ll only apply the 3.9%. You’ll see this increase in April 2024. Learn more about pricing . Out-of-bundle charges If you go over your monthly data allowance, you'll need to buy an O2 data Bolt On for additional data. Learn more about Bolt Ons . Call charges might vary from your current Virgin Mobile airtime plan. Learn more about call charges . EU roaming Good news, you'll still get to use your airtime allowance when roaming across European countries (up to your regular data allowance or 25GB on plans with a 25GB and above allowance), as you do now on Virgin Mobile. You'll also bag access to additional destinations as part of O2’s Europe Zone, including Azores, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man and Switzerland. Our Roaming Fair Usage policy will apply. International roaming You'll need to buy one of O2’s travel Bolt Ons to get inclusive data roaming in international destinations outside of the Europe Zone. Learn more about international roaming .
O2 uses Visual Voicemail – a quick and easy way to manage your voicemail on your phone. Visual Voicemail lets you to listen, save, share and delete voicemails using a visual interface on your phone, so you can manage your messages without calling into your voicemail service. It's available on newer iOS devices and some Android devices – see more here .
Please access voicemail like you did when you were on Virgin Mobile. You can also access voicemail by dialling 901 from your mobile. Read more about keeping your voicemail safe .
Terms and conditions
Your contract will remain with Virgin Mobile, but O2 will provide services on our behalf.
Your terms and conditions will change from the date we move you onto your O2 sim plan. Please read these carefully. Review your terms and conditions .
What happens during my move?
What to do on the day.
On the day you're moved over to O2, we'll update your sim remotely so you won't need to do anything. Just remember to keep your mobile switched on and fully charged. Once you’ve successfully moved over, you’ll see the O2 network displayed on your device and we’ll send you a text message to welcome you to O2. In some cases we might need to send you a new O2 sim, but don’t worry, this is really simple and we’ll keep you updated along the way.
Yes, keep your mobile switched on and charged on the day of the switchover. If your phone isn't on, we won't be able to move you over remotely and will have to send you a new O2 sim.
In most cases, your mobile service will only stop working for around 1–2 minutes as we switch you over and your sim restarts. Once this is done, you'll be able to use your mobile as normal.
Checking your switch has worked
Once you've successfully moved over to your new O2 plan, you'll see the O2 network displayed on your device. You'll get a text message welcoming you to O2 with info on how to check your allowances, see your bills and more.
The move to your new O2 mobile plan should happen remotely with nothing you need to do – no need to swap sims, port your phone number or update any billing info. If for some reason this doesn't work as planned, we'll text you to let you know and send you a new O2 sim. You'll be able to continue using your mobile on your existing Virgin Mobile plan until it arrives.
Before you move over to O2, you can reach Virgin Mobile as normal by calling 0345 600 0789 from your mobile. After the switchover, you can call O2 on 0344 809 0202 . If you're not sure when you're being moved to an O2 mobile plan, please check the letter or email you were sent about the switchover.
Troubleshooting any issues on the day you move to O2
Your mobile signal won't change as you move over to your new O2 mobile plan, as you're already using the O2 network with Virgin Mobile.
If you haven't received your new O2 sim or it's damaged, please call 0344 809 0202 . So you know, you'll only get a new sim if we can't move you over to your new O2 mobile plan remotely.
If you need a new sim sent to you but the address on your account is wrong, call us on 0344 809 0202 as soon as you can.
Even though your phone may display 3G/4G/5G and have several 'reception bars', your phone might not connect to data.
If you're experiencing issues, please try the following steps one by one, which should fix the problem:
- Turn your phone off and on again
- Ensure your phone has the latest software, i.e. iOS or Android
- Reset network settings (refer to device manufacturer instructions if unsure)
- Factory reset the device
- Contact us if any of the above doesn't solve the issue
What happens if you are abroad on the day of your switch
We can't move you over to your new O2 plan remotely if you're abroad when this is scheduled to happen. You'll get a text letting you know the migration couldn't be completed as planned and that we'll try again next month. If this is the case, your mobile service won't be affected and you'll be able to continue using your mobile as normal.
I am an esim customer, how does my switch work?
To complete your move to O2, you’ll need to temporarily swap to an O2 physical sim card, which we’ll post out to you. Please follow the instructions on the back of the sim pack and pop it into your mobile on the day you lose service on your current esim . Please don’t use it any earlier than this, as it won’t work correctly and might affect your current service.
Yes, once you have inserted your O2 physical sim card, and your move to O2 is complete, it’s easy to switch back to esim. A couple of days after your O2 physical SIM card has arrived, we’ll follow up with an esim pack. This pack will include a QR code which you'll need to scan using your phone’s camera. This will download an eSIM profile to your device. Don’t worry, the esim pack gives you step-by-step instructions. Once you’ve completed the esim download and set-up, you can move your mobile number across to your esim. You’ll need the Sim Serial Number (SSN) for your new O2 esim profile, which is printed on the back of your esim pack and you’ll need to register and log into My O2. You'll also need to have your physical O2 sim inserted to be able to receive the replacement sim security code
If you haven't received your new O2 sim or esim or it's damaged, please ring 0344 809 0202 and we’ll send one.
If you have inserted your new O2 sim too early, don’t worry, just reactivate the Virgin Mobile one and wait for it to lose service. Once it has, then insert the new O2 sim.
What happens with my personal data?
Yes, to switch your mobile service over to O2, Virgin Mobile needs to share certain information about you with us, so we can provide you with mobile services on its behalf.
To switch your mobile service to O2, Virgin Mobile needs to share certain information about you with us. This includes:
- contact information like your name, address, phone number and email
- personal information like your preferred title, your date of birth and any accessibility preferences
- service information like the date your mobile service started and when it ends, and the airtime plan you're on, including any spending caps you've set
- bank information like your sort code and account number.
O2 will use the information about you that Virgin Mobile shares with us to provide you with mobile services on its behalf. This includes:
- connecting your sim to the O2 network
- managing the minutes, texts and data included in your O2 sim plan
- calculating and issuing bills and collecting payments
- sending you information about your mobile service and your O2 sim plan
- responding to your questions
- administering your mobile service contract.
No, not in this case. Since June 2021, Virgin Media and O2 have been part of the same group of companies, and we've been bringing together our mobile operations and businesses to offer our customers the best of what both companies have. Because of this, we can share your information with O2 as it's in the legitimate interests of both companies to do so. This means that you don’t need to give us permission, but you do have a right to object. If you object to the processing of your personal information by O2 we won’t share your information with O2 for this purpose, and we won't be able to provide you with mobile services, and your mobile service will end. If you choose to, you can cancel your mobile service without paying any cancellation fees. To make sure your mobile service doesn't switch to O2, and to stop your information being shared with O2 for this purpose, your cancellation must go through at least 48 hours before you're scheduled to move over to O2. We'll confirm this date by letter and email at least 30 days ahead of time. If you have a handset loan with us, it won't be moved to O2 and will continue to be provided by Virgin Media Mobile Finance Ltd, which means your right to cancel won't extend to your handset loan. You can read about the legitimate interest legal basis here .
No, not in this case. Since June 2021, Virgin Media and O2 have been part of the same group of companies, as we bring together our mobile operations and businesses. O2 has legitimate interest as its legal basis to use your information to provide mobile services on Virgin Mobile's behalf. This means we don't need your permission but you do have a right to object. If you object to the processing of your personal information by O2, we won't be able to provide you with mobile services and your service will end. You can exercise your right of objection at any time after moving to O2, by emailing [email protected] . The Information Commissioner’s Office also has lots of helpful information about legal basis for using personal data .
To make sure your information's all there and accurate before it's shared with us, sign in to your My Virgin Media account. If you can't do this before you're moved over to O2, you can review the information we have about you by signing in to My O2 using the username and password texted to you.
O2 will be in control of the information we use about you to provide mobile services on Virgin Mobile's behalf. This means you can exercise your data subject rights connecting to the mobile service provided by O2 by emailing us at [email protected]. You can also find more information about how we use your information in our privacy notice . The Information Commissioner’s Office also has lots of helpful information about data subject rights .
O2 will use the information about you that Virgin Media shares with us to provide you with mobile services on Virgin Media's behalf. This includes telling you about important things affecting your service, your contract or your O2 sim plan, and sending you bills. If you receive direct marketing from us before moving over to O2, your marketing preferences won't be affected by the move. If you're new to O2, we'll will only send you direct marketing if we have a separate legal basis to do it. For example, we might have a separate legitimate interest that doesn't require your consent. You can check and update your O2 marketing preferences at any time.
Who do I contact for support?
Once you're with O2, you can contact customer services for both O2 and Virgin Mobile by dialing 202 from your mobile.
For Virgin Media TV, Broadband or Home Phone queries, dial 150 from your Virgin Landline or call 0345 454 1111 from your mobile.
For help and support with your O2 Pay Monthly account, contact us or call 202 for free from your O2 mobile, 0344 809 0202 from any home phone (standard UK rates) or +44 7860 980 202 if you're abroad (free from an O2 Pay Monthly mobile, other providers' charges might vary). You might be able to find your answer online. Check out the links below: Worried about paying your bill? Learn about payment support . Bill higher than expected? Read about what those extra charges might be . Need to check your bill? Find out how to view your bill online . Looking for a new device? Browse Pay Monthly phones Want to see our sim only deals? Browse Pay Monthly sims For any other Pay Monthly questions, check our Pay Monthly help articles .
Giving you the best mobile service and experience we can is our top priority. If you're not happy and would like to talk through an issue or make a complaint, find out how to complain .
No, they'll remain separate accounts and not be merged.
If you're on a sim only plan, you can upgrade your mobile plan right away. If you have a handset loan with Virgin Mobile, you can upgrade to a new device after you've had your number on Virgin Mobile or O2 for six months. If you choose to enter a new Consumer Credit Agreement with O2 for a new device and you have an outstanding loan on your existing Virgin Mobile device, you'll continue to pay the existing Virgin Media device loan. This means you might be paying for two credit agreements at the same time.
We have a dedicated team to support vulnerable customers with their move to O2. In addition, any existing support processes we have in place to support vulnerable customers e.g. accessible billing and emails, will continue after the move from Virgin Mobile to O2. If you need any additional support please contact O2 customer services either via phone on 0344 809 0202 , webchat or pop into one of our stores.
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Ofcom urged to investigate Virgin Media broadband contracts
Terms and conditions allow firm to raise bills at any time and by an unlimited amount, Which? claims
Virgin Media is facing calls for the telecoms watchdog to urgently investigate the legality of its broadband contracts, under which it can increase bills at any time and by unlimited amounts.
The consumer champion Which? has concluded that Virgin Media’s terms and conditions may amount to unfair contract terms and could be in breach of the Consumer Rights Act. It has written to Ofcom calling on it to intervene.
Virgin Media, which has almost 6 million broadband customers in the UK, said it denied these “baseless allegations in the strongest possible terms”.
Which? claimed that buried in the company’s small print was the right to apply “aggressive inflation-linked annual mid-contract price increases, while removing the right for affected customers to cancel without paying substantial exit fees”.
It said this was creating a significant imbalance between the rights Virgin Media had granted itself and those of the customer.
In April, Virgin Media customers faced average increases to their bills of 13%, equivalent to more than £100 a year for households on expensive packages. It was by no means alone: almost all telecoms suppliers have responded to high inflation by pushing through similar increases, leading to accusations that they are fuelling “greedflation” .
In May, the company changed its terms and conditions, adding a clause stating that in future customers would face annual price rises based on the retail price index (RPI) measure of inflation. The move set Virgin apart from rivals, as most other telecoms operators use the consumer price index (CPI), which produces lower calculations of inflation and is regarded as more accurate than RPI.
It also became the latest operator to impose an additional 3.9% supplement on top of the annual inflation-linked increase, which campaigners say is hard to justify at a time when inflation is soaring.
Which?’s complaint to Ofcom centres on a longstanding clause in Virgin Media’s terms and conditions stating that the firm can “change our charges at any time”, meaning some customers could face more than one price increase during the lifetime of a contract. Given the current rate of inflation, those increases could be large. Virgin’s mobile phone customers this year faced 17.3% increases – RPI of 13.4% (January’s inflation number) plus the 3.9 percentage point supplement.
Rocio Concha, the director of policy and advocacy at Which?, said: “Virgin Media is trying to have its cake and eat it by imposing eye-watering inflationary price increases while also giving itself the power to hike customers’ bills whenever it chooses.
“Which? believes this is not only unacceptable but potentially unlawful and Ofcom must investigate urgently. This should send a clear message to all telecoms firms that time is up for these unjustifiable inflation-linked, mid-contract price hikes. Providers should make a commitment now that they will not try to impose these increases next year, to reassure customers already struggling in a cost of living crisis.”
Concha said she believed the consumer group’s stance was supported by guidance on unfair contract terms from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which states that “any purely discretionary right to set or vary a price after the consumer has become bound to pay is obviously objectionable”.
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A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We have always been open and transparent about any price increases. We have openly set out to customers that we are introducing inflation-linked price changes from April next year, which are widely used and give customers greater certainty about what to expect from their bills. Customers were given the right to cancel their contract within 30 days of receiving this notification.
“Our terms and conditions are very clear that inflation-linked price rises only apply to a customer’s monthly subscription charges and we have no plans to increase monthly bills multiple times within the same year. If separate out-of-bundle charges are increased at any point, then this would be clearly outlined and customers would receive a right to cancel.
“Our terms and conditions have been drafted in line with standard industry practice, consumer law and Ofcom guidelines.”
This is the latest row to dog the broadband supplier. In recent weeks it has come under fire after its email systems collapsed, leaving customers without access to emails for days and in some cases months .
Ofcom said it was ready to consider and respond to the issues raised. “We already have an enforcement programme open into whether telecoms firms have previously been complying with our rules, which state that mid-contract price rises must be set out clearly before customers sign up,” it said. “We are also reviewing whether inflation-linked, mid-contract price rises give customers sufficient certainty and clarity about what they can expect to pay. We will report on both of these later this year.”
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Which? asks Ofcom to investigate Virgin Media contracts over fears they could break the law
Which? has asked the telecoms regulator to urgently investigate concerns that Virgin Media is potentially breaking the law by giving itself sweeping powers to hike customers’ broadband bills by unlimited sums whenever it chooses.
Virgin Media has introduced inflation-based annual mid-contract price rises but also allows for prices to be increased at any time. We have raised this with Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, as we believe it’s the most egregious example of unacceptable price hiking practice across the broadband industry.
However, Virgin Media is not the only provider that may be relying on questionable terms and conditions to justify inflationary price hikes. We have also urged the regulator to assess all relevant telecoms providers for compliance with consumer protection legislation.
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What is the issue with Virgin Media’s contracts?
Earlier this year, Virgin Media announced it would make a change to its terms and conditions – from April 2024 it will introduce inflation-based price rises that mean the amount its customers pay for their broadband will increase every year.
But we’re concerned Virgin Media’s terms are an attempt by the firm to both have its cake and eat it. As well as applying aggressive inflation-linked annual mid-contract price rises, it’s also maintaining the right to hike bills further at any time.
That discretionary price rise clause has been part of Virgin Media contracts for some time, but the new terms also allow for annual price rises based on the retail price index (RPI) rate of inflation plus an additional 3.9% while removing the right for affected customers to cancel without paying substantial exit fees.
We believe these clauses amount to unfair contract terms and could be in breach of the Consumer Rights Act by creating a ‘significant imbalance’ between the rights Virgin Media has granted itself and those of its customers.
This position is supported by guidance on unfair contract terms from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which states that ‘any purely discretionary right to set or vary a price after the consumer has become bound to pay is obviously objectionable’. This is particularly because these terms can make it impossible for consumers to predict how much they’ll end up paying for broadband services when they sign a contract with Virgin Media.
Which? has asked Ofcom to proceed urgently with an investigation into Virgin Media, so that action can be taken to prevent millions of customers facing unfair inflation-linked mid-contract price increases in April 2024. Ofcom could demand that Virgin Media drops its unfair terms and ultimately ask a court to declare them unlawful and unenforceable, and to prohibit further unfair pricing practices. A court could also order Virgin Media to refund money to consumers who signed up to unfair contracts.
The problem with inflation-based mid-contract price rises
Inflation-based mid-contract price rises, like those Virgin Media has introduced, are an issue on their own, trapping customers in a lose-lose situation where they are forced to pay higher tariffs or pay pricey exit fees to escape.
Virgin Media’s plans are particularly concerning because it will be the only major broadband provider to use the retail price index (RPI) as the basis for its increases, rather than the consumer price index (CPI) - RPI is typically higher than CPI. This is the same rate imposed on Virgin Mobile and O2 Mobile customers, who this year faced hikes as high as 17.3% on airtime.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) discourages the use of RPI, saying it’s not a good measure of inflation and is likely to overstate it. It says any use of RPI over other indices (such as CPI) should be ‘closely scrutinised’.
Inflation-based mid-contract price rises make it impossible to tell how much you will end up paying over the course of your contract when you sign up, particularly given an increasing number of the broadband contracts on offer are 24 months long. It would take a crystal ball to tell what inflation will be in early 2025, for example.
Recent Which? research found that only one in 20 consumers were capable of estimating what impact an inflation-linked mid-contract price rise would have on their monthly telecoms bill.
How does this affect current Virgin Media customers?
If Virgin Media wrote to you about the change in terms, it should have given you a 30 day window to end your arrangement with Virgin Media if you didn’t wish to accept the new terms. If you received that letter, the window given by Virgin Media to switch away is likely to have closed by now. However, your price won’t change (by RPI+3.9%) until April 2024.
Virgin Media says the new terms will also apply to customers who are re-contracting, as well as new customers.
If you’re considering re-contracting with Virgin Media, you should weigh up the pros and cons as we’ve suggested for customers considering switching.
Should I still switch to Virgin Media?
You’ll need to carefully weigh it up - Virgin Media offers some of the fastest speeds available, but it’s facing an increasing amount of competition. This is partially thanks to the increasing availability of full fibre connections including from smaller, localised full fibre networks. But the options available depend entirely on where you live - some customers may only be able to access ultrafast speeds (100Mbps or more) via Virgin Media.
Keep in mind that a price that might seem attractive now will increase in April next year. You won’t know the exact extent of that increase until February 2024 when the relevant RPI rate of inflation has been announced. Some Virgin Media contracts are 24 months long so if you switch now, the amount you pay will go up yet again in April 2025.
The concerns around Virgin Media’s pricing practices are compounded by woeful customer service, with Ofcom already investigating claims the company has made it difficult for customers to cancel their services. Virgin Media has also consistently underperformed in our annual broadband provider customer rankings . It received just one star for both customer service and technical support in this year’s customer satisfaction survey.
All providers should call time on annual price hikes
Ofcom is already reviewing inflation-linked, mid-contract price rises amid concerns that they do not give consumers sufficient certainty and clarity about what they can expect to pay. However, we are concerned that the review is not expected to conclude in time to affect increases next April and are calling on all providers to stop the practice, irrespective of the outcome of the review.
Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said: ‘Virgin Media is trying to have its cake and eat it by imposing eye-watering inflationary price increases while also giving itself the power to hike customers’ bills whenever it chooses. Which? believes this is not only unacceptable but potentially unlawful and Ofcom must investigate urgently.
'This should send a clear message to all telecoms firms that time is up for these unjustifiable inflation-linked, mid-contract price hikes. Providers should make a commitment now that they will not try to impose these increases next year, to reassure customers already struggling in a cost of living crisis that they will not face yet another unpredictable hit to their finances.'
What does Virgin Media say?
Virgin Media said it refuted our accusations ‘in the strongest possible terms’ adding that the contract terms in question are widely-used in the broadband industry.
It argued that it is ‘transparent’ about its price rises, which come against a backdrop of rising costs and investment in its infrastructure. It believes its RPI-based mid-contract price rises will give customers ‘greater certainty about what to expect from their bills’ and said customers were given the right to cancel their contracts within 30 days of receiving the notification that it would introduce inflation-based price changes from April 2024.
Virgin Media also told us that inflation-linked price rises only apply to a customer's monthly subscription charges, it has no plans to increase monthly bills multiple times within the same year and customers will be given the right to cancel their contract if out-of-bundle charges are ever increased. It said that its terms and conditions have been drafted in line with standard industry practice, consumer law and Ofcom guidelines.
What does Ofcom say?
Ofcom said it will consider – and respond to – the issues that Which? has raised.
It pointed out that it already has an open enforcement programme exploring whether telecoms firms have previously been complying with its rules, which state that mid-contract price rises must be set out clearly before customers sign up.
It is also reviewing whether inflation-linked, mid-contract price rises give customers sufficient certainty and clarity about what they can expect to pay and will report on both issues later this year.
What should I do about broadband price rises?
If you're out of contract, keep in mind that you don't have to accept any price rise – you're free to shop around to find a better deal. In many cases you'll find that it will save you money, and you may get a better service. But check the T&Cs of any new contract carefully so you're aware of your new provider's policy on price rises – particularly if you’re signing up to a long contract.
Some providers commit to keep your prices the same for the duration of your contract – this includes Hyperoptic, Utility Warehouse and Zen Internet. And while Sky and Now Broadband have both recently raised prices for some customers, both have avoided putting clauses covering above-inflation rises in contracts, allowing their customers to haggle or switch when they’re notified of an increase.
If you're already struggling to pay your bills or have concerns about the impact of price rises, make it a priority to speak to your broadband provider.
Certain customers are eligible for special discounted broadband deals - read our guide to broadband social tariffs to find out more. If your provider offers a social tariff it will usually allow you to move onto it even if you have time remaining on your contract, though you may have to prove your eligibility first.
If you're not eligible for a social tariff - or your provider doesn't offer one - and you have concerns about paying a higher price, your provider will take other steps to help you with your bills. If your provider considers you financially vulnerable it may exempt you from price rises, though this isn't always publicised. Read more about the things providers can do to offer help for customers struggling with their broadband bills .
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