Virgin today announced what it trumpets as "the ultimate unlimited* tariff" for mobile phone users. Two problems, Virgin: the first is obvious to the eagle-eyed -- that asterisk. The second? Tesco.
The Virgin deal offers unlimited everything for £65: texts, minutes and browsing. Calls to other Virgin Mobile users are free. You have to be an existing Virgin Media customer and you have to be prepared to commit to an 18-month contract. What a wonderful way to make your existing customers feel all fuzzy and loved! Way to go, Virgin.
Now, about that asterisk. As regular readers will know, the word 'unlimited' in the mobile phone world means "yeah, there's a whole bunch of limits". And Virgin's unlimited tariff is limited to 1GB of data per month, and both cross-network and Virgin-to-Virgin calls to 3,000 minutes. Oh, and if you want a paper bill you pay an extra £1.25 per month.
The second problem? Tesco Mobile, of all people, unveiled an identical deal yesterday. Except it was less than half the price. Yes, unlimited texts, minutes and browsing for just £30 per month, albeit with asterisks of its own. You have to laugh. We certainly did.
Update: The Tesco Mobile ‘unlimited’ deal has a cap of £500 per month on it. That means that Tesco will allow you to make as many calls, texts and downloads as you like during the month up to the point where, if you were paying for them on a standard monthly tariff, the total bill for the month would come to £500. That equates to 125MB of data, or 2,500 minutes or 5,000 texts, or a smaller combination of the three.
Tesco promoted the tariff with a picture of ex-Popstar and one-time love-rattee Suzanne Shaw with her fruit 'n' veg out. That's her with the trolley. Look, her lemons are squished beneath her fizzy pop! Schoolgirl error. We would show the whole picture, but we're not that sort of site.
Oh go on then, if you really do have to see Suzanne Shaw in a state of provocative dress, click continue.