Privacy Breach Fiasco Puts a Question Mark on the Customer Data Security Process and Practices of Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile

Last week’s privacy breach fiasco has put Virgin Mobile’s reputation under the hammer. This embarrassing privacy breach has certainly raised the eyebrows of many Virgin Mobile customers. Most of the Virgin Mobile prepaid phone service users are already turning to their social media accounts for reporting the issue.

What Exactly Happened!

This problem started bothering Virgin Mobile customers during the morning session of Tuesday on 16th August 2016. Subscribers were directed to a stranger’s voicemail messages or voice mail inbox immediately after dialing 212 from their phones. That’s not all! The problem did not just stop here. All of the prepaid phone service users of the company are taking this problem very seriously because of many more reasons listed here.

  • They don’t know whose message bank they are accessing.
  • They struggled to access their own message bank.
  • They could hear or delete all of these messages.
  • Security pin was not needed to do so.
  • Every time users dialed 212, they ended up accessing the voice messages of random strangers.
  • Sometimes they were even asked to leave a voice message.

Some of the customer also reported their own concern about the security of their own voicemail messages. If they are getting access to random stranger’s voicemail messages then somebody else must also be accessing their message bank. This problem persisted until Virgin Mobile deactivated the service. This problem forced the cheap cell phone service provider to deploy experienced technical resources to investigate the issue quickly for determining all of the causes and factors responsible for this huge mix-up.

Swift Action from Virgin Mobile for Solution:

As expected, Virgin Mobile treated this problem seriously and quickly released a statement. The company released this statement to promise all of their customers they will leave no stone unturned to ensure the security and privacy of their voicemail messages, treating the situation with the utmost priority. The company released the statement on its official Facebook page.

But what is even more bothersome for customers is that the company has confirmed that customers affected will find it very difficult to lodge a privacy complaint in the office of the Australian information commissioner for some reasons mentioned below:

  1. The company reacted quickly and solved the issue.
  2. Virgin Mobile, an affordable cell phone service provider, apologized to all of its affected consumers and acted transparently.
  3. Company’s technical experts smartly protected customer’s data during the resolution.
  4. Company’s officials prioritized monitoring all of its social media channels for responding to the customer’s enquiries.
  5. Being one of the high quality and cheap cell phone service providers, the company has promised all of its customers that this kind of problem will not occur in future.

This certainly has helped the company save its reputation as one of the most secure prepaid phone service providers in the market. And, it looks like customers can heave a sigh of relief. It will be very interesting to see how the company manages to restore and regain its market reputation from here on. Moreover, it will also be very interesting to see whether customers calm down or claim compensation for this inconvenience from such a cheap phone service provider like Virgin Mobile.

T-Mobile Reveals Its Plan to Continue Getting the Market Share

T-Mobile Plans


T-Mobile, one of the largest wireless carriers in the entire United States, has been reported at a 15-year record low. The company had been adding over one million postpaid customers to its ever increasing subscriber base for the last seven quarters. Contrary to this, the company has hardly managed to add around 890,000 postpaid customers during the last three months.

Out of all these newly added customers, 646,000 customers already having phone connections reflect T-Mobile’s poor showing in the recent past. Much of the credit goes to some of the top ranked fierce industrial competitors mentioned below:

  • Verizon Communications
  • AT&T
  • Sprint

This is way more than the number of customers Verizon Communications, AT&T and Sprint managed to add in their consumer base collectively. Verizon Communication managed to get only 615,000 new consumers for postpaid connections and 86,000 phone customers. Coming to At&T, the company struggled to add 72,000 postpaid customers. AT&T lost more than 180,000 phone customers whereas another industrial competitor gave tough competition to T-Mobile in the market by increasing more than 180,000 postpaid customers and 173,000 phone connections.

If the market report of the Financial Times is to be believed, T-Mobile is seeing a 15-year record low of subscriber switching. This decrease noticed in switching trends is surely going to make T-Mobile’s journey tough.

The inside sources of the company are busy assuring the investors that the management has a certain plan to continue grabbing the lion’ share of the market.

Some of the T-Mobile insiders have confirmed some essential components of its plan. All of these components are mentioned below:

  • Make the best use of network expansion
  • Focus on family plans
  • Possibility of Stir by iPhone 7

Let’s see how this plan and all of components blow the wind in favor of T-Mobile.

  1. Make the best use of network expansion:

Taking the company’s current position in the marketplace, T-Mobile has recently shifted its focus towards LTE (Long Term Evolution) Network expansion. This move has been taken by the company as an integral part of its business development strategy for including more than 311 million customers in its coverage network. T-Mobile already has the network exceeding 200 million people within the 700 MHz low spectrum band. The company is planning to add an extra 70 million people in it. This is hurting T-Mobile one way or another as the company has struggled to reach and serve customers in these areas. However, this is also a kind of a huge opportunity for T-Mobile to consolidate its reputation for new customers and growth in such areas.

  1. Focus on family plans:

The T-Mobile think tank is considering shifting focus to family plans to consolidate its market reputation. T-Mobile’s family plans are very much affordable as compared to rest of the rivals like AT&T, Verizon Communications and Sprint. The company invests heavily on promoting its four-line family plan with 6 GB data at the cost of $120. As a comparison, the price of AT&T and Verizon’s four line plans are concerned, users are charged $235 and $170 respectively. The company strongly believes that there is a good possibility of doing much better with family plans on the business front.

  1. Possibility of Stir by iPhone 7:

The T-Mobile think tank is also keeping eye on the release date of iPhone 7 by Apple INC. Its release is going to be a huge opportunity for the company to stand tall in the category of companies like Verizon Communications, Sprint and AT&T. Many consumers will look forward to switching their carriers for the opportunity of upgrading their devices to the new version of the iPhone.

T-Mobile has proven its history of doing better specifically when a large amount of users switch carriers. With the release of Apple’s iPhone 7, many customers will switch carriers. Now it will be very interesting to see if the plan comes to fruition.

Vodafone has Scrapped Separate Line Rental Charges for Strategic Reasons

vodafone scrap separate line rental

Vodafone has scrapped separate charges for line rentals. This is one of the strategic moves by the company. This strategic move clarifies Vodafone’s intentions to seek solid ground against some of their rivals to get firmly established as the UK’s leading broadband service provider.

Following the footsteps of BT, Virgin Media and the rest of its fierce competitors, Vodafone focused on increasing its consumer base to millions by launching a fixed line broadband service in the month of October. Citing concern about all of the established broadband service providers misusing traditional landline pricing structure with the objective of reducing a price rise to small print, the company has taken the initiative to be the first to abandon line rental charges. Vodafone is consistently responding to all of the consumer groups, government, and regulators in this regard through phone calls and e-mails.

There are several solid reasons behind this initiative taken by Vodafone. Let’s take a good look at all of these reasons one by one.

  • Broadband users were not able to work out the total cost of broadband service.
  • Broadband is the most important telecom service for users.
  • Vodafone broadband will be affordable and fast as compared to its industrial rivals.
  • Vodafone wants to increase its broadband consumer base to millions.

Let’s throw some light on all of these reasons to understand Vodafone’s intentions to scrap separate charges for line rentals.

  1. Broadband users were not able to work out the total cost of broadband service:

ASA (Advertising Standard Authority) conducted a research and found most of the broadband subscribers find it difficult to work out the total service cost. It was mainly because of marketing materials. According to Three Quarters, the information regarding the following was found totally unclear:

  • One-off and on-going costs
  • Introductory offers
  1. Broadband is the most important telecom service for users:

This initiative taken by the Vodafone has clarified that users prefer landline just for hassle-free internet services. Almost 45% of it’s users rated access to high quality broadband services as a main reason to subscribe for landline services, confirms Offcom’s recent research.

  1. Vodafone broadband will be affordable and fast as compared to its industrial rivals:

The company aims to provide affordable broadband services to the landline users only at the cost of £25 whereas mobile subscribers will not have to pay more than £18. Most importantly, this billing will be without any kind of recurring charges. The contract will be for one and half years. Vodafone intends to ensure top speed internet access for all of the subscribers at 76 megabits per second. This plan will not cost users more than £28. And it will be almost £332 less than what BT is offering for one year.

  1. Vodafone wants to increase its broadband consumer base to millions:

Looking at the consumer base of companies like BT (9.1 million), Sky (6 million) and Virgin Media (4.8 million), Vodafone’s think tank needs to put their heads together and do some serious thinking to come up with a solid strategy to catch up with them in the broadband industry.


This move will surely provide relief to all of the subscribers. As for Vodafone, let’s see which way the wind blows.

AT&T to Make Stronger Move Against Robocalls

AT&T Taking hard on Robocalls

AT&T has come forward to take a firm step toward putting a check on robocalls. The announcement came just few months after AT&T’s CEO claimed that they cannot do anything to stop the unwanted calls.

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T said that the company does not have authority to put a stop to robocalls, though the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) clarified that the carriers are allowed to provide robocall-blocking services to cell phone users. Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC, last week addressed the carriers urging them to “offer call-blocking services to their customers now—at no cost to [consumers],” and the second largest carrier in the nation has thrown down its previous averseness.

In a latest statement passed by AT&T Senior VP Bob Quinn, he said Stephenson will lead the new “Robocalling Strike Force, the mission of which will be to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to abate the proliferation of robocalls and to make recommendations to the FCC on the role government can play in this battle.” Stephenson got a letter from the FCC’s Wheeler that robocalls are having adverse effect on the industry as well as users. In response, AT&T has decided to take necessary action against these annoying and illegitimate calls.

The strike force will coordinate with carriers to make a “Do Not Originate” list for recognizing apprehensive calls that originate from outside of the country. The company also shared that it will “facilitate efforts by other carriers to adopt call blocking technologies on their networks.”

AT&T users can make use of Nomorobo call blocking, a free, third-party service that decreases robocalls and automated telemarketing calls to your VoIP landlines and does not include traditional landlines or wireless service. It recognizes calls from known robocallers and disconnects the call before you take it.

AT&T’s initiative is being appreciated by Wheeler and he has asked the rest of carriers to come forward.

Verizon Acquires Yahoo for $4.83 Billion



Setting the stage for a bigger internet leap, Verizon Communications Inc. has acquired Yahoo Inc’s core internet business for a sum of $4.83 billion.

The country’s largest telecom giant has revealed its plans to combine Yahoo with another faded online star AOL, which was also acquired by Verizon last year for an amount of $4.4 billion. The costs of high stock compensation deals that were given to employees by Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO, will also be covered by Verizon.

The current CEO, Marissa Mayer, seems to remain with the company for the time being. Although speculations are there that she is not going to remain for long at the position.

The acquisition is expected to complete by the first quarter of next year. Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO passed a statement stating “We have enormous respect for what Yahoo has accomplished: This transaction is about unleashing Yahoo’s full potential, building upon our collective synergies, and strengthening and accelerating that growth,” “Combining Verizon, AOL and Yahoo will create a new powerful competitive rival in mobile media, and an open, scaled alternative offering for advertisers and publishers.”

Lowell McAdam, Verizon chief executive said “Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers. The acquisition of Yahoo will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company.” Verizon will take over the ailing company’s online assets including mail, search and instant messaging, as well as its real estate holdings and ad technology. Yahoo’s cash, stakes in Alibaba Group Holdings and Yahoo Japan are excluded from the sale.

By combining AOL and Yahoo, Verizon is looking forward to providing a serious challenge to its two main competitors, Google and Facebook. However, a UBS analyst commented “Consumer interest in Go90, Verizon’s mobile video portal, has been tepid,” “Meanwhile, trends at Yahoo have been difficult, with the company losing share of mobile ad dollars to the heavy weights (Google, Facebook, etc.)…. While this deal will barely move the growth or margin profile of Verizon, synergies over time could provide upside to earnings.”