Once again bringing innovation to the wireless market, Virgin Mobile USA announced today it will unveil its new Totally Unlimited prepaid calling plan for $49.99 on April 15, 2009, and will bolster its monthly plans with a special program designed to help support customers who become unemployed.
Customers signing up for the new $49.99 plan or other Virgin Mobile USA Monthly Plans Without Annual Contracts may qualify for "Pink Slip Protection," which will waive up to three months of monthly charges, if the customer becomes unemployed.** Pink Slip Protection will also apply to the new Texter's Delight program, designed for those who text more than talk.
"With a great selection of high quality, affordable handsets, Virgin Mobile USA offers consumers unparalleled value," said Dan Schulman, CEO, Virgin Mobile USA. "New network rates obtained from Sprint, which go into effect immediately, allow us to pass value back to the consumer and open a new addressable market for us at the $49.99 unlimited level. This offer allows us to effectively compete in the market and we believe will help to further improve our financial performance.
"With the unemployment rate rising, the fear of job loss or salary reductions have made consumers watch every dollar," added Schulman. "These issues tend to impact our prepaid base more than many wireless users, so we hope this program can offer some peace of mind to our customers."
$49.99 Totally Unlimited Calling Plans
Last year, Virgin Mobile USA launched one of the lowest-priced unlimited nationwide calling plans. Now, that same offer of no-annual-contract unlimited calling, anytime, anywhere in the United States is available for $49.99. Virgin Mobile USA's plans are payable with cash or credit/debit, have no activation fees, and no long distance or roaming charges, as some companies do, but are consistent with industry standards excluding taxes and surcharges. Roaming charges from some regional companies can run as high as 39 cents per minute. Virgin Mobile USA operates on a nationwide 3G network, reaching more than 280 million people.
Virgin Mobile USA's new refreshed suite includes 300 anytime minutes and 1,000 7PM Nights/Weekend minutes for $29.99 and 400 anytime minutes plus unlimited Nights/Weekend minutes for $39.99. All three Monthly Plans Without Annual Contracts can be bundled with Text/Messaging and/or Mobile Web Access plans for as little as $5 each. And Unlimited Messaging can be added for only $10 per month.
"Prepaid offers better value, rates and flexibility with more advanced handsets than ever before," added Schulman. "No-annual-contract plans lead the wireless industry and Virgin Mobile USA's competitive rates with no long-term commitment provide a viable alternative to contract plans. With our inexpensive handsets, the cost of entry into Virgin Mobile wireless service is often much less than that of our large and smaller competitors."
With texting continuing to grow in popularity, Virgin Mobile USA is also introducing on April 15 the only nationwide prepaid plan designed specifically for heavy texters. "More and more people are opting to text instead of talk, in part because it's easier and more convenient, and also because it's less expensive," said Bob Stohrer, Chief Marketing Officer for Virgin Mobile USA.
The new plans offer 1000 Messages for just $14.99 or Unlimited Text and Messaging for $19.99. Included are Text, IM, Email, Photo and Video messaging. Of course, texters can also talk whenever they need to on both plans, with minutes competitively priced at 10 cents each at all times. Stohrer added, "These new Monthly Messaging Plans are a great value at under $20 for heavy texters who want inexpensive minutes only as needed."
More information about the new $49.99 Totally Unlimited and new Texter's Delight Plans is available at http://web.virginmobileusa.com/unlimited.
Pink Slip Protection
New customers choosing Virgin Mobile USA's new Monthly Plans Without Annual Contracts -- $29.99, $39.99 and Totally Unlimited for $49.99 -- will automatically be enrolled in the Pink Slip Protection** program. Once a customer has been with Virgin Mobile for at least two months on a Monthly Plan, and then loses his/her job and becomes eligible for state unemployment benefits within the next 12 months, Virgin Mobile USA will step in with Pink Slip Protection and cover the cost of the monthly plan including taxes and surcharges for up to three months. Proof of eligibility for state unemployment benefits will be required.
Current prepaid Monthly Plan customers will have an open enrollment period through June 30. In order to apply for Pink Slip Protection, one must be a Virgin Mobile USA Monthly Plan customer for at least two consecutive months. Customers activating on the new Texter's Delight monthly plans are also eligible for Pink Slip Protection.
"We take the Virgin role as customer champion very seriously, and hope this is another way our customers can 'Take Advantage of Virgin Mobile.' The role of your cell phone becomes even more essential when you are networking and Pink Slip Protection can mean retaining all the benefits and flexibility of your wireless plan when you need to stay 'connected,'" said Stohrer.
For more information, customers can visit http://web.virginmobileusa.com/protection/ to enroll as of April 15 (website not live until April 15).
Choice & Flexibility
Virgin Mobile USA continues to offer its Pay As You Go Plans as well, with minutes costing as little as 5 cents each which can Roll Forward**. Customers who prefer can still purchase minutes separately that are 20 cents anytime, all the time, and Text/Messaging and Mobile Web packages are available as well.