Virgin introduced a new “Freestyle” tariff

Will new Virgin tariff lure some PAYG SIM card customers?
Will new Virgin tariff lure some PAYG SIM card customers?

Virgin UK extends its offer by adding a flexible contract tariff that enables to tweak your offer on a monthly basis.

This week Virgin has announced that they go live with new flexible tariffs know as Freestyle. In a nutshell, customers will be able to change their tariff every month and get a new phone before their 24-month long contract ends, as long as they pay for the handset in full.

Virgin’s customers will be able to move around five tariffs priced between £10 and £25.  There is no restriction for whether you move up or down, which basically means that one month you can choose the £20 tariff and then drop to the lowest one next month. In terms of what the tariffs come with, the lowest £10 tariff offers unlimited texts, 250 minutes and 250 MB of data. The next tariff is the £13 one and it has four times more minutes and twice as much data. The middle £17 tariff gives unlimited calls and texts plus 1GB of data, then for £20 you will get 2GB of data more. Finally, the highest tariff comes with unlimited calls, texts and data for £25 a month. If you already have Virgin broadband, TV or home phone, then you will get £5 off on all tariffs.

The second innovation offered by “Freestyle” tariffs is the possibility to upgrade your phone before the contract ends. However, to do so you need to pay off all the remaining balance on your mobile phone. It is possible, because essentially Virgin sells handset in “Freestyle” tariff through a credit agreement. This means you pay for your phone in monthly instalments but there is no interest rate. This monthly phone payment is added to your tariff price which together gives you the final value of your monthly bill.

You can get a wide range of phones with the “Freestyle” tariff. This includes all major state-of-the-art models like iPhone 6 and 5S/5C, the newest Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z3 or HTC One. However, if we take, for example, Samsung Galaxy S5 then the monthly instalment is £19, while the newest iPhones start at £29 per month. Add to this a middle-priced tariff and you can end up with a monthly payment of £36 or £46.

All in all, Virgin Media launched a nice novelty that gives contract customers some degree of flexibility, so that you don’t end up with a too high or too low tariff for the next two years. However, the option to pay off your phone doesn’t seem to too alluring, but we must admit that it creates an opportunity to take your phone on credit with zero interest rate.