Last week, Optus announced that over the next two years, they would slowly be phasing out their Virgin Mobile brand and be shutting 36 stores across Australia. We know have a more accurate picture of when the stores will be closing and what Virgin's million-plus customer base will have access to, come closing time. Here's what you need to know if you're a Virgin Mobile customer and some potential alternative providers for you to take a look at.
Virgin Mobile was established back in 2000 by Richard Branson as a partnership between the UK arm and Optus. Since 2006, the brand has been wholly owned and operated by Optus, with a long-term licensing agreement in place that allowed them to continue to trade as Virgin Mobile. It appears that agreement is no more.
'.Virgin Mobile is not long for this world. Over the next two years, parent company Optus will be phasing out the brand and is likely to move all customers to its own network. So why stick around?
Here are the best equivalent plans from Virgin Mobile's rivals - many of which boast better data allowances and pricing. Make the switch now..'
Optus have announced that they will be shuttering Virgin Mobile operations, cutting 200 jobs and closing 36 stores by the end of June 2018. As of right now, it remains unclear what will happen to the Virgin Mobile employees, with suggestions Optus may try to fold them in to the parent company as closures begin.
If you're a Virgin Mobile customer, where does that leave you right now?
An Optus spokesperson speaking to The Australian on Wednesday suggested that Virgin Mobile customers will be contacted "in the coming days to let them know more about the changes and their future options."
On Channel 7's Sunrise after the announcment, the suggestion was that customers will have the choice as to whether they want to be bumped across to an Optus plan or seek greener pastures elsewhere. This is yet to be confirmed, but it would seem logical to offer customers the opportunity to switch over or get out - should they so choose. Optus have released a media statement remarking that they have "a special transition plan in place to make sure the impact to customers is minimal, and the experience they have during this time is a positive one."
Moreover, Virgin customers will have access to "specially tailored" plans should they choose to stay with the provider.
Some may still be looking for other network providers and if that's the case there's plenty of options available. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise and you're ready to switch anyway! As we routinely cover the best and most valuable mobile deals in Australia, in conjunction with WhistleOut, we've rounded up some of the most relevant deals you should start taking a look at below:
Data Only Plans
Sim Only Plans
'.Australia's telcos are at war with one another, and whoever wins, we do too. The price of data has dropped steadily throughout the year, and BYO SIM Only plans have been hit the hardest. you're now getting much more data for your hard-earned dollars..'
High Data Users
'.Do you remember when Optus used to include unmetered social media data in plans? Back in the good old days when most of Facebook was text-based and videos were unheard of..'
Prepaid Phone Plans
'.If you’re a phone lover, you may think prepaid is a dirty word; a term to describe the lowest rung of the phone-plan food chain. But this really isn’t the case anymore. We take a look at the best options for data, unlimited call and long expiry dates..'
Plans With Data Rollover
'.The way we buy mobile data is pretty unusual, if you think about it. Unlike other utilities, like water and electricity, we're asked to estimate our usage in advance, and what we don't use, we lose. Worse still, if we underestimate our usage we might get slugged $10 for an auto data top-up.
It's no wonder that data rollover is a feature we're often asked about. In Australia it's difficult to find plans that let you carry unused data from one month into the next month, but it's not impossible. Here are some of the best..'