Virgin Mobile Cuts Costs, Offers a Bailout

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Virgin Mobile USA today announced drastic cuts to its prepaid monthly calling plans, introduced an SMS-only plan, and announced that it will cover the phone costs for its jobless customers. Starting April 15, Virgin Mobile USA customers can get unlimited calling for $50 per month, $30 less than the current unlimited plan. Two of Virgin's other monthly calling plans also get a price cut: 300 anytime minutes and 1,000 7PM Nights/Weekend minutes for $30 (down from $35) and 400 anytime minutes plus unlimited Nights/Weekend minutes for $40 (down from $50).

Messaging Madness

In a nod to the growing popularity of Multimedia Messaging (MMS) and micro-blogging services like Twitter, Virgin Mobile unveiled its new Texter's Delight plan. For $15 a month you can 1000 MMS every month or for $20 you can get an unlimited monthly texting plan. Texter's Delight covers Text, IM, Email, Photo, and Video messages. If you still like to have the occasional telephone conversation, Texter's Delight will charge you 10 cents per minute for every phone call.

Virgin Mobile Bailout

Virgin has also introduced a Pink Slip Protection (PSP) program to bail out customers who lose their jobs in this tough economic climate. To be eligible for PSP, you must be a Virgin Mobile USA customer for two consecutive months prior to losing your job, and become eligible for state unemployment benefits within 12 months. If you meet these restrictions, Virgin Mobile will cover the costs of your plan including taxes and surcharges for up to three months. New monthly calling plan customers will be automatically enrolled for Pink Slip Protection and current customers have an open enrollment period until June 30.

Wireless competition is starting to heat up as customers search for lower and more effective ways to cut their costs. Virgin Mobile's new plans are in response to other competitors recently dropping their prices including Metro PCS, Leap Wireless and Sprint's Boost mobile. Virgin first introduced unlimited calling plans last summer after major carriers such as Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile did the same. The new plans and Pink Slip Protection will be available from Virgin Mobile as of April 15.

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