Virgin will now sell you a smartphone on a 12-month contract


WhistleOut
10 October 2017

Virgin 12-month contracts

No one really likes 24-month contracts; two years a long time to be locked into anything. We've got some good news though: if you're a bit of a commitment-phobe (but not too much of one), Virgin will now let you pay off your phone over 12-months instead.

Only select phones are available on Virgin's 12-month plans, and they tend to be on cheaper end of spectrum. These include the iPhone 6, OPPO R11, Samsung Galaxy A5, and Samsung Galaxy S7, for example. Newer devices like the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 aren't available on 12-month plans; you'll still need to sign two years of your life away to get the latest and greatest on a plan 

Rather than make use of Virgin's standard 24-month pricing, these 12-month contracts are based on one of four simple plan tiers, with a handset repayment fee plonked on top. This repayment fee is equivalent to the phone's outright cost, divided by 12.

It is however worth noting that in some cases, Virgin is listing a phone's outright cost as higher than competitors. In the case of the iPhone 6, Virgin says the outright cost is $588; Officeworks has it for $469. In the case of the Galaxy S7, Virgin will sell you it for $1,032, while JB Hi-Fi is ranging it for $699. The OPPO R11 is being sold at its recommended retail price, however.

The four plan tiers for 12-month contracts are as follows:

  • $30: 2.5GB, unlimited talk and text, and $25 of international talk and text
  • $40: 5GB, unlimited talk and text, and $100 of international talk and text
  • $50: 9GB, unlimited talk and text, and $150 of international talk and text
  • $60: 11GB, unlimited talk and text, and $250 of international talk and text

While these aren't as good value as Virgin's SIM-only 12-month plans, you are able to cancel these contracts at any time. You'll just need to pay out the remaining balance of your handset when you go.

There is however one more catch - you'll need to call Virgin to get these deals; you're not able to just to checkout online. We're not quite sure why, but if you want to give Virgin a buzz, the number you need is 13 63 69.

Virgin's offer is similar to Vodafone's new approach to phone contracts, where the plan and the phone are two distinct components on your bill. You pick a no-contract plan which you can change on a month-to-month basis, and then pick a phone which you can pay off over 12, 24, or 36 months. As with Virgin, if you leave early, you pay out the remaining balance on your phone.


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