ISPs like to mess around with things and not tell their customers. The latest to fall victim to this tactic are Virgin Media customers, who are quietly being switched to O2 plans without being told.
Following on from the mega-merger of Virgin Media and O2, the two brands are trying to merge. We’ve heard reports that many Virgin Media customers that they are being moved over to O2-branded plans and tariffs. It appears that the Virgin Media brand may not exist for much longer – at least not in the mobile market. It remains to be seen whether this will affect Virgin Media broadband customers.
At the time of writing, O2 does have a small but massively underused (and under-promoted) O2 Broadband outfit. However this has up to now been marketed solely at mobile broadband plans, rather than the home user.
It is unclear if O2 will become a new brand in the fiercely competitive home broadband market, or it will continue to just promote itself in the mobile niche.
Re-branding in progress
Over the past year we’ve heard from various sources and customers alike, that Virgin Media and O2 are taking slow but stready steps towards merging their product offering. An example is the introduction of the VOLT bundles to the O2 lineup – previously these were only available to Virgin Media’s mobile customers. It has been widely expected by industry experts that the Virgin Mobile brand, now merged into the Virgin Media stable, will be retained, but recent steps have shown that to be false.
Will you be sad to see the Virgin Mobile brand sent into the history books, or do you long for O2 to be the powerhouse it longs to be?
Interestingly, the O2 website still states that Virgin Media and O2 plans will be separate and not be merged.
In a similar vein, BT and EE may also be merging too. They’ve been part of the same company for a long time, but have so far kept a separate brand offering. Both EE and BT offer mobile & broadband services aline, but this may also soon be changing, if the rumours are true.
The offering between BT and EE has been much alike for a long time; indeed it seems that you need to comb over the finer details to find any major differences in what the two brands offer. We expect to see more merging of brands here at Broadband.Deals over the coming months and years.