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Virgin Mobile to axe pay-as-you-go services from 2022 - what it means for its 123,000 customers

Virgin Mobile is to close down its pay-as-you-go (PAYG) services from January 2022 in a move that impacts 123,000 customers. Here's what it means for your plan, mobile number, and unused credit. 

Affected customers will be notified about the shake-up no later than October 2021 with existing customers able to continue to use their PAYG plans until January 2022, at which point their service will be cut-off automatically.

But you don't need wait until January 2022 to check if you can switch and save; use this as an opportunity to plug your details into our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to find the best deal for you now. PAYG customers can leave penalty-free at any point as they're not locked into a contract

Alternatively, if you want to stay with Virgin Mobile and switch to one of its Sim-only or pay-monthly plans, haggle with it to see if it'll match or beat a deal you've found elsewhere. See our Haggling with Service Providers guide for further info.

You'll need to request a refund for any unused credit

You continue to use any credit on your mobile account between now and January 2022 as normal - and you can continue to add new credit as usual up until the service is switched off. 
After the service is cut off, you'll have up to 12 months to claim a refund of any unused credit as cash. You'll need to contact  Virgin Mobile's customer services to request a refund. All refunds will be made via bank transfer.
If you switch to a new deal before Virgin Mobile's service closes, just remember to use any credit you have left as you will lose it when any switch is completed.

You can keep your existing mobile number if you switch

You can choose to keep your existing mobile number if you want to take it with you elsewhere once Virgin Mobile's PAYG service has closed. To do this, you just need to:

  • Request a switching code. Simply text 'PAC' and your date of birth (in DD/MM/YYYY format) for free to 65075 and you'll be sent your 'porting authorisation code' (PAC) immediately via text. For example: PAC 01/03/1984.

    Alternatively, you can get a PAC by signing in to your online Virgin Mobile account and selecting 'Switching' to make your request. You can also get your PAC by calling Virgin Mobile on 0345 6000 789. 

    Virgin Mobile says you'll still be able to request a PAC from it even after its PAYG service has ended. 

  • You need to give the PAC switching code to your new provider within 30 days. You'll then be switched within one working day. You won't need to contact your old provider again.

If you want to stay with Virgin Mobile, for example, if you switch from PAYG and upgrade to a contract, you shouldn't need to carry out this PAC process – just call its customer service helpline and they should be able to sort it.

What does Virgin Mobile say?

The move by Virgin Mobile, which is part of Virgin Media, comes after it told us it's seen a 75% reduction in active PAYG usage over the past few years. It stopped selling PAYG services to new customers in August 2019. 

A spokesperson for Virgin Mobile said: "We regularly review our products and services to ensure our offering reflects our customers’ needs and best supports their usage." 

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