Virgin yawns at VHA plan changes


Carrier Virgin Mobile today crowed over a series of changes to capped plans made by rival Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), saying the company was simply copying its existing offering.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia revealed its changes — which will see customers able to make unlimited free phone calls to contacts on the same carrier — yesterday, billing them as a shake-up of the mobile market.

However, Virgin (an Optus subsidiary) reacted quickly. “Our apologies if this press release causes déjà vu,” the company said in a statement.

“We see that our friends in the telco industry have just announced a new range of Post-Paid cap plans. We think free calls to people on your network is a great idea. In fact we’ve been doing the same thing for years!” the company’s marketing director Anthony Hearne said.

Optus too, reacted quickly to VHA’s plan revamps. VHA had announced new month to month plans for customers that didn’t want to get locked into long-term contracts.

Optus today launched a new pre-paid offering it called “Turbo Max”, claiming it would allow customers to enjoy “virtually unlimited mobile usage with the flexibility and certainty of pre-paid”.

Optus is offering two new pre-paid plans — a $70 offering with 3,000 minutes per recharge to any Australian mobile, and a $100 plan which offers 3,000 minutes, 3,000 SMS messages and up to 2GB of data. However the Optus pre-paid balances expire on recharge or after 30 days – whichever comes first.