CBS 13 has the story of a 13-year old kid who saved up his money and bought a pre-paid Amp’d mobile phone from Circuit City. The phone was $100 with a $120 rebate.
Amp’d Mobile will shutter its ailing service on July 24th at 12:01 am, meaning that today is the final day to port your number to another carrier. The mobile virtual network operator has worn a giant “Kick Me!” sign ever since it filed for bankruptcy after half of its 175,000 customers failed to pay their bills; securing its fate, Amp’d costs Verizon $370,000 per day and owes the telecommunications behemoth over $56 million. The goodbye text Amp’d sent its customers, and information on porting your number, after the jump.
Verizon Wireless said that as of June 23, Amp’d Mobile had incurred $15.6 million in post-bankruptcy charges and is costing the carrier $370,000 a day, but still has not obtained debtor-in-possession financing that would assure the carrier that its bills will be paid. Verizon Wireless said it has received one payment of $2.5 million, which was supposed to placate the operator and allow Amp’d Mobile to have continued access to its network.
At the time of the bankruptcy filing, Amp’d had already run up $41 million in unpaid bills to Verizon, in addition to the aforementioned $15.6 million.The Pioneer Press reports that Amp’d has about $9,000 in cash. This means that you are likely richer than Amp’d mobile.
Collecting payments from these subscribers proved to be a challenge, however. “Approximately 90% of the debtor’s customers were on 18-month service contracts,” according to the filing. “The debtor began to find a host of credit and collections problems (that) contributed ultimately to a liquidity crisis.” By May, the number of nonpaying customers reached 80,000. That’s nearly half of Amp’d's current customer base of 175,000 subscribers.
If just half of one percent of the group’s 5 million members sign up for NWF [National Wildlife Federation] Mobile, the program stands to generate more than $100,000 a year, says Greg Griffith, director of cause-related marketing at NWF. The organization’s other affinity programs and corporate outreach generate some $3.5 million a year today. Based on the response to NWF Mobile’s first ad, Griffith expects as many as 5% of NWF’s members to sign up&–more, in fact, than the number currently using the group’s affinity credit cards. “People will say, ‘I spend this much on a phone anyway, I might as well spend on the cause I care about,’ ” Griffith says.
Bad news for Virgin Mobile, good news for panda bears. —MEGHANN MARCO
- Cellular phone carriers like Verizon, Sprint and Cingular, now the new AT&T, are beginning to test and roll out advertising on mobile phone screens, and by next year, cellphone advertising is likely to be more common.