Virgin Media O2 won't charge hard-up customers for mobile data when visiting debt help sites | The Sun

MILLIONS of Virgin Mobile and O2 customers can now access a number of debt help sites without eating into their mobile date.

The measures have been announced as Brits face rapidly rising energy costs, food bills and rent.

Customers of the two mobile networks have previously been able to visit websites such as Citizen Advice, Money Advice Service and debt charity, StepChange, without incurring a data fee.

But, the firm is adding another five websites to the scheme, so customers can seek debt help from more places without facing charges.

Customers of both Virgin Mobile and O2, irrespective of their contract or if they're on pay-as-you-go, are now able to visit the following sites free of charge:

  • Business Debtline
  • Debt Advice Foundation
  • National Debtline
  • National Energy Action
  • Turn2us


How you could get FREE mobile data if you’re struggling with bills

Virgin Media and O2 give free mobile data to hard-up families

This means Virgin Media O2 customers can now access eight debt help websites free of charge via their mobile data network.

Broadband customers won't be charged extra for visiting the sites either as Virgin Media's tariffs already come with no data limits or caps.

The change comes after Virgin conducted its own internal research using its customer base.

The research showed that nearly two thirds (64%) of low-income households say they have worried about running out of data in the past three months.

And, half (50%) of these customers said they could not afford to buy more if they ran out.

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The telecoms regulator, Ofcom, even estimated that data poverty is an issue for around two million households in the UK.

Virgin was one of the first telecoms providers to also launch a broadband package for those facing financial difficulty and in receipt of Universal Credit.

Launched in November 2020, Essential Broadband costs just £15 a month and offers speeds of 15Mbps. The plan has no fixed-term contract length and no price changes while Universal Credit payments are being received.

Virgin Media O2 chief commercial officer Gareth Turpin said: “We are committed to supporting all our customers and the communities we serve through the cost-of-living crisis.

“Through further expanding our zero-rated list, we’re making sure all of our customers can easily access help and advice at a time when they may need it most.”

You could save up to £570 a year with a social broadband tariff

Those on low incomes can get a special rate – called a social tariff – on their broadband bills.

Swapping to these deals can save those who are eligible an average of up to £144 a year.

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Ofcom says only around 55,000 homes out of 4.2million who qualify for the cheaper rate can get the offer.

Check directly with your provider to see what they have on offer.

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