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Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile is a virtual mobile network that is run by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. It was launched in 1999 making it the UK’s first virtual mobile provider and it uses the Everything Everywhere (formerly Orange and T-Mobile) network.

Virgin originally only offered PAYG services and, with the combination of a no-frills approach and competitive marketing, it carved out a significant market share. It reported its first annual profit by 2003 and 37% of the company was made available when shares were publicly marketed for the first time on 21 July 2004. It now employs 1,700 people in the UK and had a net revenue of £563 million in 2006.

Free SIM

If you are interested in trying Virgin Mobile, you can order your free SIM right now.

Virgin Mobile review

Virgin Mobile is the UK’s leading virtual network. This means it’s usually much cheaper than the main networks such as Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and 3. However, many of the other virtual networks may offer better value as Virgin Mobile’s tariff is relatively pricey. The newly introduced Simply 8p tariff brings Virgin’s prices back into line with other virtual networks and makes it a reasonable offer but you have to be a current Virgin Media customer to take advantage. Even so, there are better offers to be had elsewhere.

There have been problems reported with their coverage and the customer service is said to be only mediocre. They have call centres in India and South Africa but their online support is amongst the best in the business. Although, it has got worse in recent years and Virgin as a whole is less competitively priced than in the past.

In summary, they are an okay choice for a PAYG user but the other virtual networks might provide significant savings.

PAYG Pricing

At a glance

Addict Tariff

Calls: 35pTexts: 12p Data: 50p/day (25MB)MMS: 30p0800: 41p0870: 41p

Simply 8p Tariff

Calls: 8pTexts: 8p Data: 50p/day (25MB)MMS: 30p0800: 31p0870: 31p

Details

On the Addict tariff, Virgin’s standard flat rate cost for calls is 35p per minute and texts are a whopping 12p which makes it very expensive for a virtual network. The costs for MMS and 0870 or 0800 numbers are probably the highest around too.

However, one of the tariff’s big plus points is the 1GB of data usage you get (along with 3000 texts) for a £15 top-up. So if you’re willing to pay at least £15 per month, use a lot of internet on your phone then you’ll probably be happy. But if you are a heavy mobile internet user spending less than £15/month, then you’ll probably want to look into unlimited data offers. If you need lots of voice minutes, it will be very expensive and you should probably look into getting unlimited calls on PAYG.

In contrast, the Simply 8p tariff is much better value. Calls are only 8p per minute while texts are also just 8p each. This is a huge price cut compared to the regular tariff and makes Virgin Mobile much more competitive. It can even compete with budget networks such as Giffgaff and ASDA Mobile. The costs for 0800 numbers and 0870 numbers are also slightly less extortionate although internet use is still incredibly expensive after the initial 25MB per day at £2 per MB. Also bear in mind that you must already be signed up to one of Virgin Media‘s expensive packages to qualify for this tariff and that you can’t get the free texts when you top-up £15.

Deals

On the Addict tariff, £10 top up gives you 300 free texts a month and 25MB of web per day. Topping up £15 gives you 3000 texts instead and a 1GB data allowance.

Price comparison

Please check out our conclusive price comparison table to compare Virgin Mobile’s latest pricing with that of other mobile networks.

Coverage

Summary

2G coverage: 99%3G coverage: 85%

Coverage map

Virgin Mobile uses the Everything Everywhere network (formerly Orange and T-Mobile). Please see the our Virgin Mobile coverage page to learn about Virgin Mobile’s network coverage in your area. For more information, compare it with other mobile phone networks’ coverage.

Rating

Please give your own rating to Virgin Mobile below:

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/5 (37 votes cast)
Virgin Mobile, 3.0 out of 5 based on 37 ratings
by Jon M

39 Responses to “Virgin Mobile”

  1. Chris 7 July 2017 at 15:26 Permalink

    I’ve been with Virgin Mobile for over 15 years now. No more… .

    For the last couple of years I’ve had aggressive Virgin sales people call me, starting with “Thank you for changing to our new monthly contract…” – when I hadn’t done anything of the sort. Last December (2016) I got a text stating that they had changed my plan from a (SIM-only) monthly direct debit PAYG (2p texts and 4p/min) to their £5 contract; I rang them immediately to say “no you don’t” and that I wanted stay on my current scheme. When I next tried to phone someone I just got a message to say I had no credit – they had changed it anyway. I called them immediately only to be told they could change it back since they no longer offered the plan I had been on, and then changed me to their current PAYG – so from 2p/text & 4p/min to 35p/text & 35p/min. Despite numerous attempts their (Indian) call centre is incapable of understanding that ‘more [free x,y,z which I don’t use] is not better’ – for 2016 I spent a total of about £20-25 (since I spend a lot of time abroad – using an international SIM), and that £6/month (their lowest ‘plan’) is not ‘better’. So finally we’re parting our ways… .

  2. Andy 22 February 2017 at 16:38 Permalink

    Literally the worst customer service imaginable. I was with them for over 8 years because they are quite cheap on contract prices and I always renewed at the end of the contract because they will throw extras at you. But once they have you…then they suddenly become beyond useless.

    Their non UK call centres are seemingly staffed by robots who are only capable of repeating ‘the notes’ on their system verbatim. No matter how many times you call all you will hear is “the notes say…”.

    Thinking of calling and complaining about the staff not helping you and just repeating ‘The Notes’ over and over again…good luck with that, when I tried all I was told is, you guessed it, “We’ll the notes say…”.

    Thinking of asking to speak to a supervisor…good luck with that too, I tried it and it took 5 calls, about 20 requests and over 2.5hrs on the phone in total before I spoke to one. The response I got was to tell me what ‘the notes’ said, contradict the timescales for my complaint that the other agents had said (because they wee already outside them) and then hang up on me. I naturally called back and the supervisor would not get back on the phone and had apparently noted that my problem had been ‘resolved’.

    You could try a formal complaint. Except that they only record the details of the complaint over the phone and won’t tell you what they have written (you can formall request it but tgat takes 40 das…just to get a copy of what they have recorder as YOUR COMPLAINT).

    You can’t email in to them because this global provider of multimedia, broadband and email…’doesn’t have an email address’…except that ive been with them for a long time and they used to have one. I guess it’s easier to ‘resolve complaints’ if only they can record what you are complaining about (and then refuse to tell you what you have complained about).

    I would literally rather go back to pay as you go than take another contract with them.

    Avoid at all costs…unless you really like hold music and hearing the same robotic answers again and again.

  3. Jo 12 February 2017 at 13:39 Permalink

    DISGUSTING SERVICE… Countless experiences with Virgin Mobile customer services, and have always come away frustrated after being on hold for far too long, cut off after being on hold for far too long, dealing with incompetent staff, unable to understand staff accents, put on mobile contracts without asking, denied my basic consumer rights to cancel within 14 days by incompetent staff, promised call backs that never came, passed from department to department… I’m going back to O2.

  4. Michael Boakes 1 February 2017 at 18:12 Permalink

    One of the Mobile phones on my contract was lost.Friday 27/1/17. Paid off the remainder of the contract for this phone and took out another contract with a new phone and tariff. Monday New phone and same # sim card arrives.Wednesday evening still can not connect to the network. Have spent hours talking to 12 different people in the Philippines call centre. I have had every excuse used and actions promised, awful service and totally incompetent, latest excuse is that the sim# will not load on to the EE network. Very bad service and no customer care being a loyal customer means nothing anymore.not even 1 star.

  5. Jim 21 October 2016 at 19:23 Permalink

    Virgins coverage is absolutely shocking. It never goes above three Bars. If you move to quick, go indoors, get in your car or go further than 5 miles from any city it’s rubbish. Don’t even try and use it abroad … by the time you finish the process you will be back home. DO NOT CHANGE TO VIRGIN… pay the extra for a quality service

  6. Gareth Williams 17 October 2016 at 18:59 Permalink

    The worst bunch of crooks I have come across will say anything to get the contract and then over sell over charge break your phone send it back damaged and charge you for it simplyb the worst customer service ever so so rude.

  7. Lesley 5 October 2016 at 03:11 Permalink

    They used to be good. Nowadays there customer service is so poor it is beyond belief. I cancelled both Virgin Media and Mobile having been with them ten plus years giving them a months notice. Virgin customer service ‘no you didn’t cancel’ …. Yes I did …on and on in endless circles. Virgin are the ‘Fawlty Towers ‘ of media companies. If it wasnt for the serious negative of having your credit rating screwed up due to their wanton inability to comprehend or process ‘ I want to cancel my contract’ a playback of conversations with them would be hilarious.

  8. Adrien 24 July 2016 at 10:38 Permalink

    I tried to join online, and it doesn’t work because I wanted to pay with a foreign bank account, I’ve been asked to call to do it on the phone.
    I called then, and my first question was “Can I pay with a foreign account, I don’t have a UK bank account yet”.. “Sure, give me your postcode blablabla…” and after 15/20 minutes talking on the phone “ho I’m sorry it seams that you can’t pay with this account, you need a UK bank account” ….. I don’t know if it is a kind of commercial technique or if the girl was just really stupid but I know I wasted my time.

  9. Marianna 1 July 2016 at 22:36 Permalink

    My husband called them to have a monthly mobile plan and the only thing we can say is that Virgin has the worst costumer service we have ever experienced! After more than an hour on the phone nothing was sorted out! The speed and efficiency of the people who work in this company is just unbelievable. If this is to give them money, can you imagine what happens if you have a problem with them? We are just highly disappointed, shocked and frustrated.

  10. Parveen Saini 17 May 2016 at 17:20 Permalink

    WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER!!! Do not go for virgin mobile. Disappointed with the service.

  11. El-Shafei 8 April 2016 at 16:56 Permalink

    Someone stupid in the Philippines cancelled my contract without my authorization! managed to to speak another stupid manager after 2 hours waiting (her name is Angy). They all have stupid racist attitude and very inefficient. I am writing A letter to the CEO

  12. Joanne Ahrendt 3 March 2016 at 19:05 Permalink

    I phoned to top up my Mobile by Visa Card but their computers had crashed and I was kept waiting for 10 mins so I hung up but they called me back 2 minutes later and gave me a free 150 mins. I couldn’t fault their service.

  13. GD 2 June 2015 at 18:42 Permalink

    Never sign up to Virgin Mobile. I used to think they had good customer service as when my phone broke, they were kind enough to give me a replacement (although this was under guarantee). I have just renewed my contract, upgraded my phone and they have decided to charge me twice for two separate contracts. Even when I asked them to show me where I had agreed to start my payments they could not produce a date and still refused to sort it out. The worst of it is, they decided to take the money out of my account on the last day of my cooling off period, so when I noticed the day after, I was unable to cancel my contract. Bunch of robbing ….

  14. shannon harvey 27 May 2015 at 20:19 Permalink

    Right so recently my phone broke and I sent it into the repairs team but it turns out alot of the same phone was sent back with the same issues of mine turns out apple made a flaut in there phones so I had to wait till apple repaired the flaut till they sent me a new phone which pkay was fine there was no problem here but we had an call from thw virgin team on monday saying between 7am and 8pm your phone will be delivered so I chancelled everyhing I had to do on that day to wait for the phone because I cant live without anyhow it got bout 7:30pm and still no phone keep on mind ive gone a month without my lhone and paid for a phone I dont even have so I had enough n phoned vrigin the person I got was so unhelpful and unfriendly she couldnt understand anything I said she had no notes on the system that I even had an iphone! Afther alot of shouting at her she finally told me she had no idea what was gonna on phone the repairs team tomorra she made me out as a lier and like I was stupid this isnt the frist issue I have had with phones the I also had a samsung phone thay got sent to the wrong address and took them two weeks to give me my phone hear my words NEVER GO WITH VIRGIN

  15. Srinivas 17 January 2015 at 17:08 Permalink

    absolutely disgusting service and the network is the worst

    service issues on network, says no service in central London

    cust services claims they don’t have a clue how long it takes when the services will be back to normal but the y claim that it can take upto 72 hrs

    are u kidding of w hat?

    never will join Virgin again or never will recommend them

  16. Daniel Fennon 18 October 2013 at 18:29 Permalink

    Recently signed up to a 24 month contract and after some initial confusion for the Samsung S4 they sold me the Sony Experia Z1… after receiving an Experia Z I contacted Virgin asking why I received the wrong phone.

    They simply apologised and promptly gave me a run down of my credit score didn’t meet the Z1 so they sent that one instead.

    After querying again with Virgin the manager literally said to me that I am to send the phone back and that Virgin as a whole don’t want me as a customer.

    I have been a loyal paying VM customer for 9 years and this jackass comes out with this.

    I started using the phone and they have subsequently blacklisted it. They still sent my bill though.

  17. Bizzy 16 August 2013 at 17:41 Permalink

    You have every right to a replacement. Go to http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/problem/what-do-i-do-if-i-have-a-faulty-product/ and scroll down to Your Rights If An Item Is Faulty

  18. Lauren Dwyer 13 August 2013 at 10:57 Permalink

    I recently signed up to a 24 month contract with Virgin mobile as they were offering the Samsung s4 for just £33.00 per month which was a fairly good deal. The phone was delivered the next day but the letter that came with it said that I had been signed upto a 43.00 contract? After a long telephone call this was rectified. After my first phone bill I realised my phone was sending messages as MMS messages and charging me 40p per message. When i called Virgin mobile they said that this was my error and that they couldn’t stop it. Apparently a long text message converts to an mms message so I need to keep texts to a minimum! Obviously I wasn’;t very happy then to top it off after just 5 weeks of having my phone the amoled screen underneath the gorilla glass cracked. Nothing happened to it, it wasn’t dropped and had no impact, pressure or weight placed on it but it still happened. I went into the store and they said that they wouldn’t do anything about it it wasn’t covered in there warrenty and I need to contact Samsung – samsung have batted it back to Virgin and in the meantime I’m stuck in contract with a broken phone. Not pleased at all.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 21 August 2013 at 17:31 Permalink

      There’s a setting the Messages app that allows you to send as regular SMS instead of MMS. You just need to change it yourself.

      Have you got your phone fixed yet?

  19. Melina 16 August 2012 at 21:07 Permalink

    Worst company ever. After being overcharged numerous times, I became fed up and wanted to pay to cancel the rest of my term. They sent me on a wild goose chase for their solutions department. The first CSR was beyond incompetent. It was as if he was thrown into the position and guessing the policies. The next guy, Ron Jandusay, Acct Specialist was even worse. Both from the Phillipines and both told me that the Solutions dept was too busy at the moment. Finally after much deserved lip lashing from me, they transfer me to some American B”$tch named Katrina Employee #15884. AFter 2 hours on the phone, it cost me $150 to cancel my contract which i gladly paid!!!! YOu couldn’t get me to sign on with them again if you paid me a million dollars.

  20. Michael 16 August 2012 at 01:36 Permalink

    THEY’VE OVERCHARGED ME REPEATEDLY AND BILLED ME FOR DATA THAT I CANCELLED. I CALLED TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT (WILLING TO PAY JUST TO LEAVE) AND THE CSR TOLD ME THAT I COULDN’T BECAUSE THEIR LINE WAS BUSY. THEN PROCEEDED TO TRANSFER ME TO SOMEONE ELSE (RON JANDUSAY, ACCT SPECIALIST IN THE POST PAID MOBILE DEPARTMENT) WHO I HAD TO REPEAT ALL MY INFORMATION TO AND THEN REQUEST FOR A TRANSFER WHO TRIED TO TRANSFER ME TO ANOTHER DEPT THAT WAS NOT THE CANCELLATION DEPARTMENT. THEY ARE FULL OF INCOMPETENT PEOPLE. I ASKED TO SPEAK TO THEIR MANAGER AND HE SAID THAT HIS MANAGER WAS BUSY AND IN A MEETING AND IS TRANSFERRED ME TO WHAT HE PROMISED WAS THE FINAL SOLUTIONS END DEPT. AFTER WAITING FOR A PERIOD OF TIME, I WAS THEN TOLD THAT THE “END” DEPT WAS VERY BUSY AND THAT I WOULD HAVE TO WAIT A LONG TIME. I WAS ASKED WHETHER OR NOT I WANTED TO WAIT. I TOLD HIM THAT IF THIS IS THE ONLY OPTION FOR ME TO CANCEL MY CONTRACT THEN HE ISN’T REALLY GIVING ME ANY CHOICE IN THE MATTER AND THAT THE ONLY QUESTION I HAVE FOR HIM IS HOW LONG HE EXPECTS ME TO WAIT TO CANCEL A PHONE. HE SAID APPROX. 10 MIN. UNREAL. I AM STILL WAITING…..THE LAST PERSON WAS NOT FROM THE PHILLIPPINES BUT FROM THE US AND SHE HAD MAJOR ATTITUDE. HER NAME WAS KATRINA AND HER EMPLOYEE # 15884

  21. Shan Parfitt 23 April 2012 at 20:42 Permalink

    I have also had the most dreadful experience with Virgin customer service. They have made numerous mistakes with my contract right from day one, including not using my payments to pay off my monthly bill, not providing me with any internet data service although it is in the contract, repeatedly failing to sort the problem out despite many phonecalls to customer services, promising me action that they then don’t deliver, making it hard for me to speak to a manager… I could go on and on. Don’t whatever you do go with Virgin.

  22. martin 13 March 2012 at 09:32 Permalink

    I lost me phone a month or so ago, my fault I know then I asked for proof of my IMEI number being block ten times yes ten and still they can’t send it to me as they agreed to do in the first phone call.
    I really think they are taking the micky, can anyone be that bad at their job?
    The shop in the high street is always empty, so I popped in, but they only sell and have no customer services capacity. Even writing two letters to their UK address didn’t help. They have beaten me down, I give up. The only thing I can do is warn you STAY AWAY they are crap! Save yourself it’s too late for me 🙁 run run for your life.

  23. martin 13 March 2012 at 08:25 Permalink

    The worst customer services I have ever seen, I give up.
    DO NOT USE VIRGIN MOBILE!

  24. Norman 9 February 2012 at 09:54 Permalink

    I was with Virgin Mobile for several years the network is generally OK but the customer service is truly appaling. I agree with previous comments about the service staff not understanding spoken English sufficiently to be able to answer customer questions. Their product knowledge is also poor. I will not use them again.

  25. bob 20 September 2011 at 16:26 Permalink

    I have been happy with virgin mobile until recently, they seem to prey on people with little understanding of the tariffs and phone after recomending to my father who is in his seventies they offered him a very poor deal, when I rang them there attitude was totally arrogant and condesending. This has shown me just how bad this company has become very poor customer services and if you have a technical problem be prepared to wait over an hour to get through. This was a great company however like everying these days the public suffer to boost there profits steer well clear. I will be leaving these when my contract finishes.

  26. Bob N 4 September 2011 at 12:51 Permalink

    Virgin mobile? Don’t make me laugh.Just come out of an initial 18 month contract and into a 12 month contract.Have had an ongoing issue with them since June 2011 and getting contradictory answers from them depending upon who you talk to in CS/technical,which again contradict info on their website.Ovreseas call centres are useless if it’s a problem which is not scripted.Complaint emails sent in July and Augus, with a follow up letter sent mid August have yet to be formally acknowledged either by mail or email, let alone resolved.A chaser call resulted in a call back from one of their technical guys who has effectively refused to investigate the problem, and was condescending to the point of being offensive.Regulator here I come….

    • Anon 13 November 2011 at 13:14 Permalink

      I used to work for Virgin Mobile, and I seen on a regular basis customers who have been frustrated by poor customer service and contradictory info. The problems with VM are inconsistancy, competancy and international call centres. This is why I finished working with them – I couldn’t bare customers being lied to!

  27. Dean Hibberd 20 August 2011 at 14:45 Permalink

    I have yet again been overcharged by virgin mobile …Had to call them as it is impossible to send an email as it crashes every time ….Got a person on the other end of the phone in the end after 10 minutes & I couldn’t understand a word they said & I had to shout over them to be heard as they paid no attention to what I said ( probably has a very basic knowledge of the English language)…Will be stopping my direct debits to them & they can chase me to find out way now ….Would cancel both my mobile & internet contracts right NOw if I could …Please stay away from this useless company !!!

  28. Steve Martin 2 July 2011 at 02:20 Permalink

    TO WHOMEVER WILL LISTEN & ACT

    I have been having drastic issues with my Virgin mobile prepaid phone now for a month. Robotic stupid voices, dropins & dropouts especially to my one & only friend who has another Virgin mobile (I recommended she join so we could have free calls to one another!!!).
    What the hell can be done about this & what exactly is the drama. I have never had any troubles with Virgin before & have recommended them to everyone…..now, I’m not sure if I should do so ever again!! BTW I live in Townsville Nth.Qld & my friend lives on the Sunshine Coast.

    PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

  29. Mobile Network Comparison 6 June 2011 at 14:14 Permalink

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for your comments. It’s always useful to hear about our readers’ experiences with various networks. What exactly were your problems with Virgin Mobile and what did they do about it when you complained?

    Please also don’t forget to rate Vodafone as well as Virgin Mobile and it would be great if you could leave a comment on our Vodafone review.

    Cheers.

  30. Liz James 4 June 2011 at 15:29 Permalink

    The most atrocious company I have ever had dealings with. Customer service worse that rubbish, non-existent. Lose information regularly, lose orders and lie to you. This applies also to Virgin media. luckily my mobile contract has now come to an end moved to Vodafone – no problems and much better network coverage/signal strength.
    Will be losing the broadband and TV as soon as contract ends, due to the cutomer service issues poor attitude and incompetence.


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