Virgin has announced it will send automatic data usage alerts via SMS to postpaid customers as part of an overhaul to its user account interface. From August, alerts will be sent to users when they near their included usage allowance each month to help them manage their spend.
"Auto-Alerts are all about helping you stay in control and on top of your spending," Virgin Mobile explained in an email roll-out to its customers. "We'll send you a text when you've used up a pre-set amount of your included value, mobile data or excluded usage in a given month. That means you'll always have your finger on the pulse and get a heads up on any potential bill shocks before it's too late."
By default, the alerts let you know when you reach 50%, 85% and 100% of your included value and mobile data, although these can be adjusted or switched off. Customers will also be able to set up Auto-Alerts for excluded usage, such as excess data, which will send a notification when a certain dollar amount of excluded usage is reached.
The changes form part of an account spit-and-polish that includes a new-look UI with improved navigation.
It's worth noting that other telcos already provide a similar service to this, so Virgin Mobile is sort of playing catch-up here. Still, anything that cuts down on the potential for bill shock is nothing to be sniffed at.