O2 and Virgin Mobile Merge: Everything You Need to Know

Virgin Media and O2 merged into one company in 2021 and have been slowly integrating their services across TV, Broadband. At the minute, they appear to be switching all Virgin Mobile customers over to O2, which has left users a bit worried about the future of their services and what to expect with this merger.

As a phone recycling facility, we like to ensure we are up-to-date with the latest mobile news. So today, we will be exploring the merger, providing you with all you need to know and what you should expect as a Virgin customer switching to O2.

Why has Virgin Media switched to O2?

The £31 billion deal of Virgin Media joining forces with O2 was about creating a new “national champion” in the UK to better compete with other industry giants such as Sky and BT. By joining forces, O2 and Virgin Media can offer a broader range of services, including mobile, broadband, and television, and compete more effectively in the market. O2 already dominate the market for mobile networks and offer coverage already for the following mobile contract providers:

  • Asda Mobile
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Lyca Mobile
  • Giffgaff

What does this mean for Virgin customers?

Switching over to O2 has already begun for many Virgin Mobile customers. It started in February this year, and the network giants aim to complete this by December 2023. You might be worried about what this means for you, but rest assured, some great benefits are coming your way.

The merger is expected to result in cost savings, increased investment in infrastructure, and improved customer offerings. So, not only will you continue to enjoy the services you’re used to, but you can also expect some exciting new features and improvements in the future. For example, those with a cellular Apple watch may have realised that they could not use the cellular properties in the past due to Virgin’s lack of capabilities. However, with O2, you can leave your phone at home and use your Apple watch fully. This means now is the perfect time to sell your Apple watch and upgrade to a cellular one!

I get great reception on my Virgin network. Will this change?

Since the merger in 2021, Virgin Mobile has cut ties with its Vodaphone network provider, which means that since then, as a Virgin customer, you have already been using the O2 network. So, if you have an excellent signal and 5G connection, this will stay the same as you move over to O2. You will still get the same great connection and download speeds as the infrastructure will remain the same. Instead, you will just deal with O2 directly for your contract and billing.

However, this is great news as O2 offers some great benefits and is one of the first network providers to offer 5G connections in 2019. They have 5G in 88 major locations across the UK, including around 750 towns and cities. As the 5G rollout continues, you can expect this to expand over the next coming years. If you still don’t have a phone which is 5G compatible, we highly recommend upgrading, as many networks are shutting down their 3g masts by the end of this year to make way for 5G. Don’t worry, though. With our sell my mobile services, you can get the money you need for upgrading and ensure your old device gets recycled in an environmentally friendly way.

O2 offers some excellent benefits!

Although you may be cautious about switching to O2, there will be many benefits you can take advantage of with your new O2 network provider. For example, O2 customers can benefit from their O2 Priority services, which provide its users with many offers, prize draws and even early access to event ticket sales across its O2 arenas nationwide.

If you plan on travelling around Europe, you can also take advantage of the free 25GB of EU roaming. This lets you stay in touch with family and friends without extra costs, keeping them updated with your in-the-moment holiday snaps and Instagram stories.

Other benefits include 12 months of Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Audible, Cafeyn, McAfee Mobile security (including a VPN), or six months of Disney+, Amazon Music Unlimited, six months of Free Apple Music and receive an extended warranty and Travel Inclusive Zone.

What do I need to do to switch?

O2 and Virgin Mobile will be making the changes remotely. The switchover will be pretty straightforward for most customers, with you being able to keep the same number and contract plan you currently have. In most cases, you won’t need to do anything.

All they ask is for you to keep your phone switched on when they text you to let you know when you will be switching over. If, for some reason, they are struggling to switch you over remotely, they will automatically send you out a new sim card, pop it in and follow any instructions in the letter they provide.

Billing and payment changes

Once you’ve moved over to your new O2 plan, your Direct Debit will be collected in the name of O2 instead of Virgin Mobile, and you’ll see O2 on your bank or building society statement. If you’ve another Direct Debit for your handset loan, that will remain the same, and the name on your bank or building society statement for this will still be Virgin Media.

Again, the billing and direct debits will change automatically, and there is nothing you will need to change for your payments.

Your bill and payment dates won’t change unless you’re usually billed on the 29th, 30th or 31st of the month, in which case your bill date will move slightly to the 1st of the month, and your payment date will move to either on or after the 15th of the month.

The Direct Debit on your bank statement for your monthly Airtime Plan will also change from Virgin Mobile to O2. If this applies to you, don’t worry, O2 will be in touch to let you know of the change.

What if I don’t want to switch?

Whilst O2 is a great network to be with, if you decide that you would rather change your contract provider as a customer, you are well in your right to do so. As with any mobile phone contract, you have the right to exit the contract if a change is made outside of your initial agreement. To do this, you must contact O2 directly, and their customer service team will help you with the cancellation.

However, before considering the cancellation, it is worth noting that all Virgin Mobile customers should expect no rise in cost for their contracts and, in fact, are currently being offered more data for their plans for the same price! O2 offers Virgin customers either double or unlimited data as part of the switchover, meaning you are getting an even better deal than you already have.

Discover more with Mazuma

Although we are the UK’s leading online phone recycling company with the likes of our sell my iPhone services, we also offer some great tips, news and advice in our blogs. We like to ensure our customers get the most from their smartphones before trading them in.

Whether you want to become a smartphone photographer and know the best phone to take pictures with or the latest features in the iPhone 14 series, explore our blog today and become a smartphone expert.

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