Virgin Mobile (VM) is a popular no contact mobile phone service provider in the US. They allow people to break away from contact services and enjoy a low cost solution. VM is able to provide their service because they have a deal with Sprint to use their network. I get a lot of questions about this service, so I decided I wanted to provide you with a Virgin Mobile review of their service, plans, and phone choices. You can view my other mobile phone provider reviews at any time.
Virgin Mobile Plans
Virgin Mobile offers its customers a few different plans in order to meet their needs. Remember, none of their plans come with contracts, so you can switch between plans. Nothing is tying you to Virgin Mobile. The freedom is quite nice! You can choose a plan that best fits your current needs and if you have to change, they make it easy.
Virgin Mobile PayLo
The PayLo plan comes with three different flavors. This plan is very simple as it is geared toward those just looking for talk and text capability. Data is extra on these plans or they give you very little. If you are not a data user, then check out PayLo. Here is the breakdown.
- $20/Month – For this price, you get 400 talk minutes and texts cost you 15 cents per text. If you use data, then it will cost you $1.50/MB. This plan really should only be considered if you need some talk time and don’t use many texts.
- $30/Month – This price gets you 1,500 minutes and 1,500 texts. You also get 30MB of web access. This is a basic plan to work on a basic phone.
- $40/Month – You get unlimited minutes and texts, plus 50mb of web access. This price seems a little high to me considering their other plans. There are other lower cost solutions if you need this type of access, like Republic Wireless.
Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk
The Beyond Talk plans are just that. They provide you with no fuss data limits and then you can pick specific talk and text limits that meet your needs. If you talk a little, then you can pay less. If you want more minutes and texts, then you can get it. Here is the breakdown and prices of the Beyond Talk plans.
- $35/Month – This price provides you with 300 anytime minutes with unlimited texts. You also get [tooltip text=”unlimited” gravity=”n”]Virgin Mobile allows unlimited data, but you only get 2.5GB of high-speed data. After, your data speed is throttled down until the next month. You still get data, but it is 2G.[/tooltip] 3G and 4G data depending on where you live and the capability of your phone.
- $45/Month – You get the unlimited text and data, but you also get 1,200 anytime minutes.
- $55/Month – At this price point, you get their unlimited plan. Unlimited minutes, texts, and data.
[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]Virgin Mobile advertises “unlimited” data, but they do indicate that you will only get 2.5GB of high-speed (3G/4G) data per billing cycle. Your speed will then be throttled down to near 2G speeds for the remainder of your billing cycle, then put back up to high-speed.[/box]
Virgin Mobile Service
As with other no contract cell phone providers, Virgin Mobile buys usage of another’s cell towers. In this case, the other is Sprint. Sprint has mixed reviews in its quality and data speed. It really depends on where you live. I know a few people using Virgin Mobile in my area and they have pretty good coverage. I know that Sprint has it’s problems with coverage, so make sure to check the coverage section of their site. Below is a quick overview of their nationwide coverage. As you can see, it is lacking.
Just like Sprint, VM’s service works OK in bigger cities and populated areas. When you go into rural areas, you will struggle for cell coverage and surely data coverage. One common misconception about cell coverage is that if you don’t have cell signal on your phone, then you can’t call for emergencies. This is incorrect. You can even call 911 when you don’t even have service on your phone. It is a requirement. Your phone will connect via another provider’s network in order to make the emergency call.
If you are thinking about getting Virgin Mobile, then make sure you check your area and the places that you travel. If they provide coverage in those areas, then it could be a good deal.
Virgin Mobile Customer Service
I get a lot of questions about customer service, so I figured I would include some information about Virgin Mobile’s customer service. As with any lower cost cell phone provider, you do get what you pay for. The customer service for Virgin Mobile can be a hassle at points, but it can also be helpful. It all depends on who you get on the phone. The best way to contact their customer service is to call 1-888-322-1122. Their wait time can be extensive, but you might be able to bypass it by pressing #, then 3, then 5, then continuously pressing 0 until it transfers you to a person. If you are already a customer, then enter your phone number, then press 4, then 2, then 2. Hopefully this will help you get in touch with the Virgin Mobile customer service.
Virgin Mobile Phone Selection
VM does not provide a bring your own phone program, like Straight Talk or T-Mobile. You have to purchase a phone from them. They also don’t provide subsidies like Verizon and AT&T do, but they do have occasional sales. You have to pay for the phone outright and then your monthly bill. This can be scary when you are looking to save money, but look at these calculations.
If you switch from a $90 a month plan to a $35 a month plan, then you will save $660 a year. Since you have to purchase a phone outright, then it will cost you upfront. You can buy a $300 phone, yet still save money at the end of the year. It will take around 6 months to pay off the phone purchase with your savings. You are still winning at the end of the year. Don’t let a higher priced phone scare you. Do the math first!
They do offer a buy back program that will give you a statement credit for your old phone. Not all phones will be accepted, but they do allow you to get a quote based on the phone you want them to buy back. You can use the statement credit toward the purchase of another phone.
[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]Virgin Mobile is currently offering a promotion on all phones priced $99 and higher. If you pay with the Paypal service, Bill Me Later, you can make no payments and no interest for 6 months.[/box]
Pros of Virgin Mobile
As I stated before, the plans on Virgin Mobile are pretty inexpensive. You can get a good deal with the $35 plan. You are even getting a deal with the $45 plan. It really depends on your needs. I am a big fan of not having a contract and that is a big selling point for their service. You can switch any time without paying costly fees. If you are looking for either an android phone or iPhone, then you have the selection. Yes, the phones cost full price, but the phone will be paid for within the first year.
Cons of Virgin Mobile
The biggest downfall of Virgin Mobile is the service they get from Sprint. Sprint is not known for their network, but they do have some good coverage in the bigger cities. Some will say that they don’t like having to pay full price for a phone, but I already showed the math for it. I push this con toward the other big carriers that got everyone used to phone subsidies. As I stated in the coverage section, make sure you look at their coverage map to see if your regularly traveled areas are covered.
Have any of you tried Virgin Mobile or are using it right now? How do you like the service and the price? Would you move to another carrier if they provided better coverage at the same price? For those looking for a new carrier with no contract, then I hope my Virgin Mobile review helped. Let me know if you have any questions.