No the problem with the emoticons is that they appear in the message when I'm writing it but are not received by the recipient. Also when I refer back to the message after it has been sent the emoticons have disappeared from it.
Worked fine up to about Oct 2014. Then unable to send pics or emoticons. Spent ages on the phone to tech support who couldn't fix it. Vaguely remember tech support said Virgin systems had been changed but he couldn't find out why it caused the problem.