I have been on the Simply 8 pay as you go tariff for some years. I don't make many mobile calls or send many texts in an average month so this tariff - with the addition of a 1GB data bundle each month for £5 - has provided all I need at reasonable cost.
Virgin have been trying to persuade me - via mailshots - that a rolling 30 day contract offers a better deal. Unfortunately, the packages on offer were not a good fit to my usage profile and it seemed to me that going with one that provided 1GB of data (or better) would inevitably mean paying more on average per month. However, last Friday, Virgin's customer services rang me and offered me the £9/month package that provides 2GB of data, 150mins plus unlimited texts at half price for 6 months. Add to this, the 4G nature of the data allowances and it all seemed too good to miss - so I said yes.
I was told that direct debits would be added to my existing TV/broadband/landline monthly direct debit -although, oddly, I was also asked for my bank details. However, the rep also advised that as my existing pay as you go balance (£29 as of today) would transfer to the new account/SIM this transferred balance would be spent before any direct debit charges were made. I was also advised that no new SIM was needed and I could keep my existing number.
Some ten minutes after this call, I was rung back and advised I would need a new SIM after all and that this would reach me in ~5days. Annoying but, ok, if that's the way it is, that's the way it is.
This morning, I received the usual SMS regarding renewal of my 1GB data bundle. As the expected new SIM had not arrived, I thought I'd better check with customer services as to what I should do. To my annoyance I was advised that no SIM had been sent because of "too many credit checks on my account", that I was not being transferred to a contract and to apply again in 30 days. What the %$£%$^ is Virgin playing at here?
Firstly, I fail to see where any credit is involved. The current balance on my existing pay as you go tariff is £29 - ok, it will be £24 in a day or two when the data bundle renews - but at £4:50 a month it would be some months before the new tariff would have consumed this. Seems to me that I'm providing credit to Virgin rather than the other way round!!!
Do Virgin make credit checks if I decide to watch a pay to view movie? I can't see that they do and surely, the additional amount added to our normal TV, broadband and landline direct debit is equivalent to renting one or two pay to view movies each month. As we pay £50/month at least, the extra amount is trivial so why the big deal on credit checks?
Of course, cynical old me is now thinking that Virgin mobile's customer services (I can't help but feel this is a misnomer) were telling me rubbish and that a new, additional, direct debit was involved rather than just some variation to the existing cable TV etc direct debit.
Well, I've been a loyal customer but I'm thinking of going elsewhere for my mobile service once I've spent my credit. Anyone got any convincing arguments as to why I shouldn't??
My bank account provides 24hr access to my Experian credit file. In the light of my problem with getting a new SIM I was alarmed to discover there had been 6 searches of my credit file since last June. So, it looked, at first sight, that there had indeed been "too many credit checks".
However, further investigation revealed that 5 of the 6 were made since January 2017 and these related to insurance quotations for my car (and possibly my wife's). As we both pay "upfront" in full, this had me puzzled and not a little worried.
Yet further investigation reveals that these are not credit searches in fact but -to quote one of the agencies who searched my file (LexisNexis.com)- "Insurers carry out this search to verify identity and address and, in some cases, to obtain an insurance risk score. This is not the same as a credit score or rating that is usually used by lenders when you apply for credit. In other words, I had not applied for credit in relation to these 5 searches.
So, I am even more cheesed off with Virgin Mobile than I was. I just wonder how carefully Virgin check credit ratings ?? I'fd really appreciate some response to my emails on this topic
Thanks for your post on the Community Forum. I'm sorry to hear that the credit check done for a SIM upgrade has failed.
If you would like more information about our credit checks, please see our online Terms & Conditions: Terms and conditions, which also gives our contact postal address if you would like to query this further.