Vodafone has confirmed plans to extend its free unlimited data offer to NHS staff and care workers who currently use a Pay As You Go (PAYG) SIM plan. The mobile network had previously dished out free 4G and 5G data to all NHS workers and 250,000 care professionals on pay monthly contracts. The no-cost mobile data will be available for six months, which Vodafone hopes will enable key workers to keep in touch with friends and family during these unprecedented times.
There are some conditions though. When it comes to Pay As You Go SIM plans, care workers and NHS staff will need to be paying for tariffs of £10 or more. The £10 a month Big Value Bundle will be upgraded from the usual 3GB of data to free unlimited data.
Not only that, but Vodafone will also expand the usual 250 minutes included with this Pay As You Go plan to 6,000 minutes.
According to Vodafone, “customers can benefit from this offer for up to six months from the date of redemption, with each purchase of a £10 Big Value Bundle activating the free unlimited data and 6000 minutes offer”. This latest offer will be available until June 26, 2020.
If you’re currently on a Vodafone Pay As You Go plan of £10 or more, or aren’t tied to a contract with another mobile carrier and fancy switching to Vodafone to take advantage of this data-busting offer available for NHS staff and care workers available at the moment, you’ll need to head to https://keepconnected.vodafone.co.uk. From there, you’ll need to verify your status with an NHS email address.
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If you’re a care worker, you’ll need to provide Vodafone with the care company’s name, workplace address, as well as a personal email address. Once these details are verified, Vodafone will drop you an email to confirm the unlimited 4G and 5G data and upgraded call minutes have been added to your number for the next six months.
Vodafone will provision all NHS staff applications and the first 50,000 care workers who apply. The latest offer will apply to both existing and new Pay As You Go customers on the network.
Speaking about the upgraded offer, Vodafone UK Chief Executive Officer Nick Jeffery said: “We are proud to have led the way in offering NHS staff unlimited free data and including care workers in that offer. Until today, we were only able to offer this benefit to Pay Monthly customers but we know many NHS staff and care workers choose the flexibility of our Pay As You Go services so we have worked hard to find a solution that includes them. I am delighted that today we can announce that they too will benefit from six months free unlimited data and 6,000 extra minutes. It’s a small thank you for their great work in this crisis.”
The latest move follows a number of other measures introduced by Vodafone to help its customers through the COVID-19 crisis.
The company has added extra capacity to its broadband and mobile networks to ensure both are “in the best possible position to cope with any extra demand as more people work from home. That, along with the billions we’ve invested in the last five years, means that they’re strong and robust. We’ve made them the best they can be and as reliable as possible for you,” the company claims.
Just like Three and EE, Vodafone is also allowing all of its mobile customers to access health information free of charge.
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All Vodafone mobile customers can now access certain NHS websites, including nhs.uk and 111.nhs.uk for the latest information on the novel coronavirus outbreak. So, no matter how much time customers spend on these NHS webpages – Vodafone won’t count any of this time towards customers’ data allowance. So those who have a few MBs each month shouldn’t worry about racing through any allowance and being unable to send or receive WhatsApp texts.
The company acknowledged that while many customers prefer to talk about their concerns with someone face-to-face, “these are extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures.” For those who have an issue they’d like to raise with the company, Vodafone is advising customers to use the Vodafone app or check online where it offers a number of self-help guides at vodafone.uk/HowTo.
Alternatively, customers can talk to chatbot Tobi or ring 191 from a Vodafone phone as usual. However, the company warns that waiting times on the phone could be much longer than normal during this time.
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