1/28/2008 10:35:00 AM
Virgin launches new prepay plan to regain ground
Virgin has launched a new prepay strategy in a bid to regain pay-as-you-go market share. The MVNO introduced a new flat rate tariff and loyalty program to combat falling prepay subscriber numbers.
Virgin Mobile’s prepay subscriber numbers have been falling since the final quarter of 2006, and between January and September alone it lost 229,000 prepay customers.
To halt the pay-as-you-go churn, the operator unveiled a new flat rate prepay tariff of 15p per minute to any network, and five free minutes or texts for every five minutes or texts paid for. Virgin also introduced a loyalty program, taking 10p for every pound spent, and allowing customers to use the accumulated money towards the purchase of a new handset.
‘Virgin Mobile is back regaining this space in the market,’ CEO, Graeme Oxby told Mobile. ‘We need to make sure that we have a good proposition that appeals to customers.’
The company has been under noticeable strain after it was integrated to the Virgin Media group. In addition to falling prepay subscriber figures, contract growth slowed down, with 71,000 new contract customers in 4Q06 and only 30,000 in September last year.
Furthermore, a number of senior executives resigned from Virgin Mobile since the integration. Oxby admits that the company took a while to settle after the integration process, but things have now stabilised.
‘A lot of stuff went on. But a lot of the change has already occurred. As a business loses senior people there is always a period of destabilisation. We are now settled, we have structured sales and marketing.’