My dad is finally embracing technology. He recently got his first computer and now he’s in the market for a cell phone. And of course after holding out for 60 years, he not only wants a cell phone, but a smartphone. Way to go dad!
I searched for the cheapest way to get him on the Android market with a data plan. We have Sprint SERO, so it we can’t add him to our account for less than $60 a month.
Virgin Mobile to the rescue! I was researching their $25 per month Beyond Talk plan when Jonathan at My Money Blog posted that they are increasing their rates tomorrow. So I had to act quickly!
Here’s a rundown of how I locked in the Virgin Mobile $25 per month plan with one day to spare.
How to Lock in the $25 Virgin Mobile Plan
- Buy a phone from somewhere you can get it today (Target, Best Buy, etc).
- Activate your phone at virginmobileusa.com today before the prices change tomorrow.
- Lock in the $25 Beyond Talk plan.
Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk Plan
- $25 per month
- Unlimited messaging, email, data, and web
- 300 Anytime minutes
- No contract
More on Virgin Mobile
Sprint Network. I haven’t used Virgin Mobile before, but apparently it uses the Sprint Network, so I’m hoping the coverage is adequate.
Android Smartphones. We found two Android smartphones to choose from, the Samsung Intercept for $199 and the LG Optimus V for $149. Rumor has it there’s a $20 off coupon for Target in the back to school mailer, but I couldn’t find it before I started running around town to a few Targets. (My Dad picked the Samsung since it has a slide out keyboard.)
Cheaper Phones. If you don’t need a smartphone, there’s also a few other phones in the $80-$100 range: Samsung Restore, LG Rumor 2, and the LG Rumor Touch. There’s probably plenty of other Virgin Mobile phones that you can find once you shop around too.
Skipping Shipping. Of course we could have purchased the phone slightly cheaper from Amazon or other online stores, however, since we physically needed the phone in hand today to activate it, we had to purchase it from a local store.
More Plans. In addition to the $25/300 minute plan, there is also a $40/1200 minute plan and a $60/unlimited plan.
New Rates. The two cheaper plans will raise their rates by $10 and $5 per month tomorrow; the unlimited plan will decrease by $5 tomorrow. So the tiers will change from $25/$40/$60 to $35/$45/$55.
Making the Switch
After getting my dad all set up on his new Virgin Mobile account, I’m seriously considering switching ours from our Sprint SERO plans too. It was an easy choice for my dad since he’ll be a very light user, but I still haven’t gotten a chance to test out the coverage and see if it could work for us. I guess I’ll have to make a decision in the next few hours!
Do you use Virgin Mobile? What are your thoughts?
I don’t use ViMo, but I am on Sprint.
Very curious to see how ViMo works out, I’ve been curious about those plans.
I’ve never paid much attention to how often I am on roam on Sprint, but I think that’s how ViMo keeps their plans cheaper. Regular Sprint plans include roaming for free, which makes up for any Sprint network holes (they roam on to VZ). Also ViMo phones seem to be using a slower 3G modem, but in my area, I’ve noticed I seldom get the benefit of a EVDO Rev. A rates..
RS – Good point about the roaming. I’ve also never paid much attention to when I’m roaming on Sprint since it didn’t matter.
I’ll have to keep an eye on it going forward to see how many times I need service in a roaming area.
The important thing to know about Virgin is that they ONLY operate on the Sprint network. In other words, there is no ability for the phone to work while roaming (I don’t even think 911 will work). That said, we’ve had Virgin for years and have found it to work in 99% of the places we tend to go so it’s worked out great for us. Many folks complain about the customer service, but I’ve actually had very good luck dealing with their mix of automated systems and (admittedly overseas) customer service.
TKS – I saw the complaints about the customer service, good to hear from a long term customer who found otherwise.
When you say it’s worked in 99% of the places you needed it to – do you think the coverage map is an accurate representation?
I use Virgin Mobile and have the Rumor Touch…and I absolutely love it. It has decent servkice, unlimited web access, and free messaging. Plus, you get 300 minutes for calling! 🙂