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Virgin Mobile: Last Chance for $25 Unlimited Data, Text, and 300 Voice Minutes

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As Jonathan from My Money Blog pointed out on Friday, the best deal in wireless is about to get a little more expensive. On July 20th, the price for the cheapest plan (300 voice minutes and unlimited data/text) will jump from $25 a month to $35 a month. (Those who talk more can also save a lot of money with their plans that include more minutes). However, if you get in there before the jump, you are grandfathered in at the $25 rate. On Saturday, I rushed to three Radio Shack's to get in on the deal. Why three? It seems like there's a lot of demand for Virgin Mobile's best phone... an LG Optimus V running Google Android.

I had been threatening to move from Sprint to Virgin Mobile for months now. The only thing that stopped me is that I wanted to use the best mobile operating system on the planet (excuse the fan boyism) in HP/Palm webOS and it isn't available on Virgin Mobile. However, with the last chance to get in at $25 and the increasing realization that Sprint probably isn't going to carry the Pre3, it seemed like the right time to make the move. I had been happy with Sprint's service, but if they aren't going to carry the phone I want, I might as well save myself nearly $50 a month and go with Virgin Mobile (which, ironically, uses Sprint's network).

Three Radio Shack employees, one at each store, tried to talk me out of it. They said that the data connection wasn't very fast (it's essentially the same 3G that I have my Palm Pre now). They said that they throttle everyone's speed (cell phone jargon for slowing your connection when you use what they deem is too much data). They may be speaking from experience, but Virgin Mobile, in the press release above, said that they will only throttle those who use more than 2.5GB of data a month. That's a lot of data for a mobile phone. I'd also rather be throttled to slower speeds than have to pay more money on Verizon and AT&T. The only carrier not restricting data in some way is Sprint, and if I'm going to be forced to use an Android phone, I might as well save $50 a month or $600 a year.

I asked about the return policy because I wasn't sure about the coverage and whether I'd be able to make the move to Android. Radio Shack said they'd take it back in 30 days. That will give me enough time to run the phone through the paces. I'll keep my existing Palm Pre for back-up during that time.

I should note that Virgin Mobile is coming out with the Motorola Triumph, a new higher-end Android phone, the day that prices increase. If you are grandfathered in at the $25 rate, you can upgrade to the new phone without triggering the price increase. This means that one could sell their existing Virgin Mobile phone and get something almost on par with the HTC Evo or Droid. The phones are more expensive, but the data plan savings will make up for it in just a few months.

Posted on July 18, 2011.

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11 Responses to “Virgin Mobile: Last Chance for $25 Unlimited Data, Text, and 300 Voice Minutes”

  1. jdp says:

    Sometimes paying more is worth it. Having been a long time Virgin Mobile user by necessity not by choice I am now happy to pay more ANYWHERE else for better service/customer service. Hope your month is enough to decide, sounds like a good plan!

    • Lazy Man says:

      That was another that the Radio Shack people said. They each said, “You get what you pay for.” That’s almost always the wrong thing to say to me as that isn’t true in many, many cases.

      One of the good things about not having a contract is that I can go somewhere else if the customer service isn’t adequate. In general, I don’t deal with customer service that often.

      When you say better service, do you mean coverage or do you mean customer service.

  2. Andy Hough says:

    I’ve had my LG Optimus V for a couple months now and I’m reasonably satisfied with it. My main complaint would be that the internet seems to go down at least a couple times a week. I’ve only had to call customer service once and they resolved my issue so I don’t have any complaints yet. Considering how much less I pay compared to other smart phones I think even with these drawbacks it is worth making the switch.

  3. pfstock says:

    I bought an LG Optimus T (as in T-Mobile) for myself. The phone is about the same cost, and I have a strictly pay-as-you-go plan: 10c/min at the cheapest tier. My reasoning is that I have wifi available at home and work, where I’m most likely to use data. If I’m on the road, I can buy a 24-hour 3G data pass for $1.49. Also, my experience with the Android phone is that wifi is almost always faster than 3G.

    You can often (but not always) find free wifi at many businesses (e.g., Safeway, Starbucks, etc.). So, this works out as being an even cheaper alternative for people who don’t need a lot of minutes. Just my 2 cents worth…

  4. The time is running out. Gotta grab this offer ASAP or else have to shell out an extra $10.

  5. Alexander says:

    I have an LG Optimus V, but I `m not satisfied with battery. Otherwise I really like it.

  6. Nancy says:

    I’ve been on the $25/mo VM plan for about a year now — and LOOOOOVVVE it. I’ve always hated contracts, fees, and taxes. Not much of a talker, so this plan is great for me. I don’t like texting, but I appease others. But I need internet. Unlimited, baby! Yes, the connection will cut out more often than most people can handle, but since I’m glued to Facebook more than should be allowed, then this weens me. I’ve downloaded Opera Mini as my browser, which I like better than the default. (I just have an LG. But I’ve never been much concerned about keeping up with the Joneses. It’s about the Benjamins.)

    I travel through the country, over mountains, to the shore, and to islands. I use GPS religiously on it. Reception is super! I just know that I will not get reception for a few miles in the mts of MD/WV and on a natural reserve in Chesapeake Bay. I can deal with that. Hell, it’s $25.

    Oh, and I’ve never had to use customer service. Ever. Battery: Charge it every night. Full in the AM. Lasts me all day.

  7. […] three months if I put on $3000 of charges I'll get $500 in cash or $625 in airline tickets. Putting my new phone on it, was a pretty good start. Next month we have a trip and putting the hotel on it should get me […]

  8. […] now that I've got it out there, it's a lot easier. Three months ago, I rushed to take advantage of Virgin Mobile's $25 Unlimited Data, Text, and 300 Voice Minute plan. It was the last call as it's now […]

  9. […] Phone: $25 – I'm on a grand-fathered Virgin Mobile plan that costs me just $25 for 300 minutes, unlimited data, and text. Since this is my phone and my […]

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