April 13, 2022
UK operator Vodafone’s Voxi For Now tariff is available to anyone receiving benefits, and offers unlimited 5G data, calls and texts for a tenner.
The tariff can be claimed for up to six months to anyone claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Disability Allowance, Personal Independent Payment, Employment and Support Allowance, or employment-based Universal Credit, and no credit check or contract is required.
Vodafone claims all this would usually cost £35 a month, representing a 70% discount and is the only mobile social tariff on the market.
“By enhancing VOXI for Now and extending it to anyone experiencing financial hardship, we hope to keep as many people as possible connected, both to family and friends, as well as to vital online services,” said Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK. “If you can’t afford your current plan, or you know someone who is struggling, we can help.”
It seems Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries was automatically summoned to recite a quote as well, as is increasingly the case with any telecoms story that’s even mildly political: “At a time when family budgets are under pressure from global price rises it is brilliant to see Vodafone offering support for those struggling the most. We’ve successfully worked with mobile and broadband companies to broker a range of social tariffs and this new offer means five million people are now able to make savings on their mobile phone bill. I urge those eligible to speak to their provider and see if they can save by switching.”
Catherine Hiley, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, said: “The cost-of-living crisis has made it harder than ever for those financially struggling to stay connected to their mobile service. Without this, they risk losing contact with vital support networks and, for jobseekers, being deprived of an important tool that can help them find work.”
If we were being cynical, as is often the inclination and sometimes the responsibility of a journalist, we’d point out that it hardly requires a 5G signal to do any of the things mentioned above, such as look for a job online or stay connected with family and friends via messaging, email and calls. And since people on benefits would presumably be less likely to upgrade to a new 5G contract in the first place, Vodafone doesn’t necessarily loose anything by offering a carefully targeted discount option. That said, we don’t know the economics behind it and for all we know this is being run at a loss out of pure philanthropy.
But with that caveat added, if it helps some people struggling in some way, what’s not to like?
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