Virgin Media launches Essential Broadband for customers facing financial difficulty

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Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
17 November 2020

Virgin Media has launched a special, broadband-only plan for customers facing financial difficulty and uncertainty.

Virgin Media Essential Broadband will be available to those receiving Universal Credit. It will come with a speed of 15 Mbps and a fixed price of £15 per month, with no fixed-term contract length and no price changes while benefit payments are being received.

Existing customers can apply for the plan by completing a form on the Virgin Media website. They will then receive an email asking them to provide proof of their Universal Credit status by sending a picture of their online Universal Credit account. Eligible customers will receive confirmation that their application has been successful before they are moved onto the plan.

“We know that these are tough times and that there are many people finding it more difficult to make ends meet and facing financial uncertainty,” Virgin Media’s chief operating officer Jeff Dodds said. “At the same time, the role of broadband in helping people to stay connected has never been clearer. Whether it’s keeping in touch with friends and family, finding advice and support or searching for jobs and working remotely – broadband underpins it all.”

Matt Warman, minister for digital infrastructure, added: “Having affordable access to the internet can improve people’s quality of life, connecting them with friends and family and giving them a tool to build a brighter future. That is why the government brokered major deals with broadband companies to support those struggling to pay bills right now.

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“I want to see continued efforts to protect consumers beyond the pandemic and welcome Virgin Media offering a permanent package giving vulnerable and low-income families the flexibility to continue to benefit from reliable connectivity.”

Supporting vulnerable customers

Last year, Virgin Media became the first broadband service provider to announce measures to help vulnerable customers. This includes introducing annual package reviews, more flexible bill management through a specialist team, and bespoke engineer visits. In 2016, the provider introduced its Talk Protected phone-only plan. This gave customers over the age of 65, or those with additional accessibility needs, a fixed-price home phone plan, with inclusive evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and mobiles, alongside other benefits.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Virgin Media has taken action to give customers the connectivity, data, entertainment and flexibility they needed. This included providing 10GB of mobile data at no extra cost, adding more kids and entertainment programming, removing data caps on any broadband plans that still had them, and giving customers more flexibility over their services such as the ability to temporarily pause sports subscriptions when live events were suspended.

Virgin Media employees worked hard to make sure that customers were able to access their services during the lockdown.

Visit Virgin Media to find out more.