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Virgin Mobile announces price hikes for 250,000 customers

About 250,000 Virgin Mobile customers will see their bills rise from April as part of a tariff shake-up, with some reporting hikes of up to £150 – but if you're affected, you can leave penalty-free or haggle down your bill.

Virgin Media, which runs Virgin Mobile, says it's removing some old tariffs and changing the price of others, which could result in increases for some pay-monthly customers (including some Sim-only contracts). It says customers will be moved onto the closest equivalent tariff currently available. 

But those affected CAN leave their contracts penalty-free or switch to a different Virgin deal, as long as they contact it before Sunday 31 March. 

The changes, which take effect from customers' April bills, are separate from inflation-based rises seen from firms such as EE, O2 and Three over the past couple of weeks.

While Virgin hasn't confirmed any future inflation-linked price rises, its terms and conditions say its pay-monthly and Sim-only plans will increase every July by April's retail price index (RPI) rate, which is set to be announced on 22 May 2019. 

For more help on cutting your mobile bill, see 30+ Cheap Mobile Tips

'My new tariff's almost triple the original cost'

Mitesh Tailor, 34, from Manchester, emailed us to say his Virgin tariff had been raised from £10/month to £23/month – a massive £156 yearly increase. 

And other Virgin Mobile customers have reported increases to their bills on social media:

My bill's going up – what can I do?

Virgin Media says it's contacting customers by letter and email to let them know about their exact changes. It is refusing to say exactly which tariffs are affected.

If your monthly bill's been hiked, you CAN leave penalty-free. If you're not happy with the price increase, contact Virgin Media by Sunday 31 March and you'll be allowed to leave your contract without penalty. 

If you're looking for a new deal, consider that most should NEVER pay over £10/month for mobile use, particularly given more than two-thirds of mobile users consume less than 3GB of data a month. See our Mobiles section and Best Sim only Deals guide for full help on finding a cheaper deal elsewhere.

Alternatively, if you're willing to stick with Virgin, this could be a chance to haggle a better deal – especially as you have the right to leave penalty-free. See our Mobile Haggling guide for more.

If you have a 'Freestyle' tariff, where the airtime and handset costs are separated, you could opt just to cancel the airtime part of your contract penalty-free, and continue to pay the monthly handset part of your contract, or pay it off in a lump sum.

Alternatively, Virgin says pay-monthly customers who want to swap to a different Virgin airtime and handset contract can trade in their existing handset and use its value to offset what's left to pay of their handset loan. Before doing this, check if you're getting a good deal using our Sell Old Mobiles guide. 

What does Virgin Media say? 

A Virgin Media spokesperson said that only a "small" number would see price rises of up to £150 a year, and that the majority would see lower rises. 

She said: "We want our customers to enjoy our latest and greatest mobile plans so we're removing some old tariffs and making a limited number of price adjustments for a small number of customers.

"Any changes made will be communicated clearly to our customers."

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