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Virgin Media launches broadband deal for Universal Credit claimants

Written by: Emma Lunn
The Essential broadband plan is designed to help those facing financial difficulty and receiving Universal Credit.

The broadband deal has a speed of 15Mbps and a fixed price of £15 per month. The plan doesn’t have a fixed-term contract length and Virgin Media says the price won’t change while Universal Credit payments are being received.

Virgin announced plans to launch the new package in August and the service is now live.

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 then receive confirmation that their application has been successful before they are moved onto the plan.

The introduction of the Essential broadband plan is the latest initiative from Virgin Media following previous steps designed to help and support vulnerable customers.

Last year Virgin Media announced measures that help overcome some of the obstacles that vulnerable customers can face in the marketplace.

This included introducing annual package reviews, more flexible bill management through a specialist team, and bespoke engineer visits.

Jeff Dodds, chief operating officer at Virgin Media, said: “The launch of our Essential broadband service is about supporting customers who are experiencing financial difficulty and uncertainty. We all know how important connectivity is right now to our day to day lives, so this reliable, hassle-free service will help people to get online and carry out essential activities.

“This is the latest step in a series of industry-leading measures we have introduced for vulnerable customers. This includes providing annual package reviews, more flexible bill management and is on top of action we have taken to keep our customers connected during the pandemic.

“We are committed to supporting our customers and will continue to play our vital role in keeping the country connected in these difficult times.”

The latest official figures show that there were 5.7 million people on Universal Credit as of 8 October 2020 – which is an increase of 2% from September 2020. Of those, 39% of claimants were in the ‘searching for work’ conditionality group.

Last week saw Vodafone launch a £10 a month mobile deal for jobseekers.

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