Sprint Nextel announced this morning that they will purchase Virgin Mobile USA. The company, which specializes in prepaid mobile phone service, started as a joint venture between Sprint and Virgin, and Sprint owns 13% of their stock. Virgin Mobile USA phones already use the Sprint network.
Starting tomorrow, Virgin Mobile will offer all customers who sign up for $30 or more post-paid plans coverage under their free Pink Slip program, which means if you get laid off and can provide proof, they’ll pay your cellphone bill for three months, and you won’t have to put a Skype number on your resume.
Reader Aiden was considering buying a Virgin Mobile phone, but he had some questions about their Studio V program. (It allows you to make wallpapers and ringtones and sell them for $0.10 in airtime credit to other Virgin Mobile users.) The FAQ he found was honest, but not very helpful.
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
Did I want to Top Up? Did I want to Upgrade My Account? Did I want to Buy An Amazing New Phone? No, no, no. I wanted to get rid of my old and mediocre phone and wash my hands of my old account. JUST LET ME OUT! my mind (and occasionally my mouth) screamed. I WANT THE NO HASSLE NO CONTRACT PART. By that point I would’ve rather paid a cancellation fee. Any supposed benefits to “no commitment” phones were mercilessly mocking me.