Making Our Money Go Further

I helped J with their Virgin bill. They had the full package that they didn’t really utilise. They were paying £96 per month but it was going up to £104 and they just couldn’t afford it any more. All they use is the internet and phone and only watch freeview channels. I spoke to Virgin and they could change the contract with zero penalty because J had received a letter to say the prices were going up, so they are entitled to leave the contract. They were told that 500mbps internet and talk anytime would be £57 a month. Looking online the same package is £51 so I queried this. They said this is because new customers get a ‘welcome’ discount. I was cheeky and asked why existing, loyal customers couldn’t have a ‘thank you’ discount for staying with them? Their answer………. just because, that’s how it is!

I remembered Martin Lewis saying that you could always cancel the contract and change it into someone else’s name. I did a bit of googling and found a lot of people have done this too. After a discussion of the pros and cons J decided to give it a go and has given 30 days’ notice. The contract ends on the 26th March.

B went online and saw that they offer up to £50 reward for referring a friend. She contacted her friend to submit a referral form, the email came through and she proceeded to set up the account with 500mbps and talk anytime for £51 per month and a £35 set up fee. She did this in less than 10 minutes. (The thing to bear in mind is that they do a credit search which may not be right for some individuals). The old connection will cease on the 26th March and the new connection will start on the 27th March.

Virgin will send out packaging for J to send the old equipment back. They will need to send new equipment for B. They will also have to pay out £50 to B and £50 to her friend (B will still be £15 up after the set-up fee.) The household will be saving £7 per month over 18 months. In total over the 18 months contract they will have saved £141 (18 x £7) + (£50 – £35) = £141.

The thing that we couldn’t understand; for the sake of £7 per month, Virgin will have spent a fortune on postage as well as an engineer visit for installation. It just doesn’t make sense.

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