- Virgin Mobile USA
company_name = Virgin Mobile USA
company_type = Public (NYSE: [http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?ticker=VM VM] )
location = flagicon|USA
Warren, New Jersey
key_people = flagicon|GBR
Sir Richard Branson
num_employees = 450
Virgin Group, Sprint Nextel
homepage = [http://www.virginmobileusa.com/ VirginMobileUSA]
Virgin Mobile USA (nyse|VM) is a wireless entertainment service and cellular telephone company that is a
joint-venturebetween Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Groupand Sprint Nextel. Virgin Mobile USA uses Sprint's CDMA-based Personal Communications Service(PCS) network. Virgin Mobile USA began operating in the summer of 2002 and was one of the first companies in the United States to offer prepaid cellular service, and was the first prepaid-only provider. As of January 2007, Virgin Mobile USA has 4.6 million users. [cite web |url=http://www.moconews.net/entry/virgin-mobile-clocks-up-46-million-subscribers/ |title=Virgin Mobile Clocks Up 4.6 Million Subscribers |accessdate=2007-06-20 |last=Pearce |first=James Quintana |date=January 4, 2007 |format=webpage |publisher=MocoNews.net]
The corporate office of Virgin Mobile USA, Inc., is located in
Warren, New Jersey. Legal issues are managed in Warren and in the company's offices in New York City. The IT offices are located in Walnut Creek, California. Customer services are handled at its five call centers (known as "Virgin Mobile At Your Service", originally called "Virgin Mobile Central Intelligence") in Manila, Philippines; Spokane, Washington; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Lake City, Florida, and their brand new center in Managua, Nicaragua (which handles 100% of its spanish speaking callers). The company also has many at-home agents based throughout the United States contracted through West Corporation. ICT Group holds the contract to provide customer support in Spokane and Manila for Virgin Mobile USA customers. Client Logicsupports the centers in Lake City and Albuquerque.
Handsets and airtime are sold through the company's website [ [http://www.virginmobileusa.com/phones/catalog.do/ Virgin Mobile USA Phones] ] and various retail outlets, such as
Wal-Mart, Target, RadioShackand Best Buy, and major grocery and drug store chains such as Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS/Pharmacy. Additionally, existing Virgin Mobile USA customers can purchase prepaid airtime using a credit or debit card or a PayPalaccount. Virgin Mobile USA does not maintain its own retail stores.
Virgin Mobile USA began operating in the summer of 2002 and was one of the first companies in the United States to offer prepaid cellular service, and was the first prepaid-only provider.
In 2004, Virgin Mobile USA came under criticism for inventing the "
Chrismahanukwanzakah" fictional holiday for use in an advertising campaign which went to air over the Christmas period. The fictional holiday combined elements of Christmas, Chanukkah, and Kwanzaainto one celebration in a satirization of the effect of political correctnesson the Christmas season. [ [http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=311874&page=1 ABC news report] ] The "Chrismahanukwanzakah" name was used again in December 2007.
In May 2007, Virgin Mobile USA initiated an
Initial public offeringfiling with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. [cite web |url=http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1396546/000119312507097779/ds1.htm |title=Virgin Mobile USA Initial Public Offering |accessdate=2007-07-13 |date=May 1, 2007 |format=webpage |publisher=www.sec.gov]
On June 27, 2008, Virgin Mobile USA signed an agreement to acquire Helio from
SK Telecomand Earthlinkfor $39 Million.
On July 1, 2008, Virgin Mobile USA introduced the $79.99 Unlimited plan which offers unlimited anytime minutes, unlimited night and weekend minutes, and unlimited Virgin Mobile to Virgin Mobile calling.
On August 22, 2008, Virgin Mobile USA completed its acquisition of Helio for $38 million. [http://virginmobileusa.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=176]
Current Price Plans
Virgin Mobile USA has two types of plans available to customers:
Pay as you goplans (also called "minute plans") and "Monthly Plans". None of these plans requires the user to sign or be bound by a contract. Virgin Mobile also allows customers to earn free minutes in exchange for viewing advertising content online through its "Sugar Mama" program.
Minute Packs and Pay As You Go
*$20 packs (200 minutes)
*$30 packs (400 minutes)
*$50 packs (1000 minutes)
All minute packs expire after 30 days (minutes roll over with the purchase of additional packs). Virgin also offers a "Pay as you Go with Roll Forward" plan where customers pay a flat 18 cents per minute. This option has no monthly charge, but the customer must purchase minutes every three months (at least $15) [ [http://web.virginmobileusa.com/help/plans/18talk/payment-top-up Virgin Mobile Help for Prepaid Cell Phone and Plans] ] to keep the account active. Unused money accumulates if it is not used. For example, a never-used phone might carry $15 after three months, $30 after six months, and so on.
Alternatively, for a charge of $6.99/month, all calls cost 10 cents per minute.
*monthly $24.99 charge (200 anytime minutes + 500 primetime minutes)
*monthly $34.99 charge (300 anytime + 1000 primetime minutes)
*monthly $49.99 charge (400 anytime + unlimited primetime minutes)
*monthly $59.99 charge (600 anytime + unlimited primetime minutes + mobile-to-mobile minutes)
*monthly $79.99 charge (unlimited anytime + unlimited primetime + mobile-to-mobile minutes)
Primetime minutes are in effect from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. daily; all day weekends.
If all anytime minutes are used before the end of a month, additional overage minutes are 20¢ each deducted straight from the customers cash balance.
Text Messaging Packs
*Without a message pack: 10¢/text & 25¢/pix msg
**monthly $1.99 charge (30 messages)
**monthly $4.99 charge (200 messages)
**monthly $9.99 charge (1000 messages)
**monthly $19.99 charge (unlimited)
**$5 charge (1000 messages)
**$10 charge (unlimited) [ [http://www.virginmobileusa.com/stuff/messaging/textMessaging.do Cellphone Text Messaging from Virgin Mobile ] ]
KyoceraCyclops (available in Red (online))
KyoceraMarbl (availible in multiple colors at Wal-Mart Super centers)
KyoceraTNT (available in Blue, and at select Wal-Mart Super centers, Brown)
LGFlare (available with a free $50 blue-tooth headset at Wal-Mart Super centers)
UTStarcomSuper Slice (availible in Black and Limited Edition Blue at BestBuy stores)
PCD(Formerly UTStarcom) Shuttle. (http://www.virginmobileusa.com/phones/phoneDetail.do?skuId=VMUTX2)
Virgin Mobile Festival
* [http://www.virginmobileusa.com/ Virgin Mobile USA]
* [http://newjersey.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=89&bbb=0221&firm=11006962 Better Business Bureau Entry]
* [http://www.prepaidreviews.com/virginmobile.html Review of Virgin Mobile USA]
* [http://cellphones.org/provider-reviews/virgin-mobile Virgin Mobile Review] at CellPhones.org
* [http://virginmobileusa.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=63 Helio devices on Virgin Mobile USA] Template group
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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