Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

15 responses to “Sprint Confirms Virgin Mobile Plan Changes”

  1. Vi

    Hmm, an announcement on the same day data is down on the east cost (or more), but I’m good to go for a Black in the near future.

  2. Dave K.

    Where in the TOS that you linked to does it mention people will be grandfathered in? Some will do that if it is within 30 days only.

  3. andrew

    Can you get the Triumph on July 19 and lock in the $25 rate by activating it on july 19?

  4. Jose

    I’ve checkled, and haven’t found anyone offering to sell the Motorola Triumph at their stores on the 19th, though it would be astonishing if it didn’t happen. Yet no one is saying they will have it in their stores. Best Buy implies they’ll begin delivering mail order on the 19th. Will any other outlets carry the phone? No one knows. No one is saying.

    This is really Mickey Mouse. Sprint –not Virgin– confirms that its subsidiary Virgin after having spent the last couple of years doing handstands and yelling “25 dollars! 25 dollars!” is flushing all that marketing and goodwill down the drain.

    Yet there’s not even a press release? A sheet detailing the new princing structure? A written policy statement of who gets grandfathered, what are the conditions to remain grandfathered and when all of this goes into effect?

    The new phone has ALREADY been sold (by Best Buy on pre-order) without new Virgin customers being warned that they will have to pay 40% more for service than Virgin claims to charge. And by now many people –and certainly the eary adopter types– know 300 minutes is plenty because you can make VOIP-type calls over the unlimited data service. There’s an app for that.

    So what happens if a bunch of them return the phones to Best Buy after opening them, trying to activate the $25 plan and finding out they couldn’t? Why would you do something likely to infuriate the most important segment of the market, the early adopters who will spead the word about the new device, show it off to their friends and so on.

    It is *dangerous* to present changes in pricing structures this way, verbally, and apparently as a confirmation of inquiries by one or another mediaoutlet based on the leak last week of a sheet showing new prices. That’s just begging for confusion, rumors, and in particular creating conditions for your competitors to start rumors in such a way as to drag your brand image through a cesspool.

    And it is *insane* to tie a price increase to the launching of the most exciting phone not just you, but anyone has ever offered in this market segment. Instead of it all being about how cool Virgin and the phone are, it is going to be yes, it’s a nice phone but not only does it have a hefty price tag, you’re also going to be paying up to 40% more for service.

    Even worse if they sell it on the 19th and the service plan price goes up on the 20th. Then they’ll say on TV that “you pay more if you don’t activate it by midnight tonight, assuming you already bought it.” It’s worse because it gives you such a sensation of unfairness — like, who knew?

    This was going to be a defining moment for Virgin and the no-contract segment. Instead they’re turning it into a reminder of why we hate cellphone companies and that Virgin is no virgin, she’s just nasty old Sprint in drag. They’ve snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, turned the triumph into a taunt: “Ha Ha, we sure fooled you this time!”

    Everybody has a right to be stupid sometimes, but it seems to me Sprint/Virgin are abusing the privilege.

  5. Vi

    Relax man, if you have it now you’re grandfathered! I have a feeling if the 25 Dollar plan was 15 and going to 20 you would of posted the same….whatever.

  6. Sabra

    At $25/month for the 300 minute plan, I was excited. The Triumph launch on top of that made me really excited. Hearing that they now bumped the plan to $35/month means I won’t be buying this phone or joining this service after all. Really disappointed.

    And, as a marketer and pr person, I completely agree with Jose’s branding/marketing comments. If they feel they need to raise the rate, or can use this opportunity to make more money, fine. But communicate clearly and openly upfront, otherwise it really does look like a bait-and-switch con.

  7. ALDAN S.

    After leaving Sprint, I’ve bee using Virgin’s PayLo service for 3 years — with the Samsung Slash. Ive been envious of the abundance of smartphones offered by contract-wireless carriers, but the cost of ownership quelled my envy and I was content.

    When Virgin started releasing Android phones, starting with the Intercept, I had to sit on my hands and fight the urge to just do it. THEN the Optimus V came out, and I was *this* close to finally caving in. AND THENNN…….. the Triumph. Wow. I had been keeping tabs on it for the longest, and when I was finally able to pre-order it, BAM. I finally had a smartphone. Coupled with the greatest deal ($25) known to man, it was an easy decision. An expensive investment, but for my needs, a wise one.

    $100 more per year sucks. It sucks. And now after all this time spent in contemplation, I don’t know if I’m so stoked anymore. I would have loved to get an official heads up on that increase earlier. Even a month’s notice would have been great. I could have made a more informed decision.

    Now that the initial purchase price is already out of the way, it would make sense to say “might as well just go with the flow”. They planned this one out. That’s so “Sprint”. In a year, those Beyond Talk plans will be contract-based. And more expensive. And more confusing. Because that’s how Sprint rolls. I’m getting my money back.

    F…U…C…K Sprint.

  8. vmuser

    Well said Jose…. crap like this is exactly why people are switching to virgin mobile. Playing these games simply makes virgin mobile just like every other vendor, goodbye profits VM and Sprint. If they hike my rate I will drop the plan all together and go the pure wireless/voip route with a real top end phone(dual core, unlocked).

  9. andrew

    I think I’ll just get a LG Optimus at Best Buy now, then exchange it for the Motorola Triumph. The LG is a decent phone anyhow, I’ll keep it as long as Best Buy’s exchange policy permits, since the Triumph may come down in price after the initial adopters scoop it up. Virgin sure is making this complicated and undermining the launch of the Triumph with this price hike. They should be encouraging people to buy the Triumph by announcing the hike will take place in August or Sept, to reward early adopters and as a sales incentive. I could have bought the LG months ago, I’ve been waiting for the Motorola Droid. Now I feel stupid. for doing that.

  10. Rock That LG Optimus V

    Unlimited Data at $35 is still a kick’n deal guys – I mean, $30 bucks (I heard on a tech podcast yesterday – not verified) is the unlimited add-on price for Verizon ON TOP OF their crazy plan prices.

    Gotta keep some perspective here guys 😉

  11. Christopher Price

    The Verizon $30 tethering fee is for enabling 4G Mobile Hotspot on LTE smartphones. It is primarily for those on VZW with grandfathered unlimited data.

    The two really aren’t comparable. Verizon is charging customers $60/month for unlimited LTE on device and with tethering. Sprint wants about the same for WiMAX with hotspot after factoring in voice plans. Virgin is $35 for just 3G data, and no supported tethering.

    I would say both are good deals. Verizon’s service can replace a cable internet connection. Virgin is better if you are not in a 4G area, and make few calls or understand how to leverage VoIP.

  12. emily


  13. Vi


    Hey dude, you seem to be blowing up lately, so when is an iPhone coming to Virgin Mobile?

  14. Christopher Price

    Thanks, great to see truly on a comeback.

    I have no independent confirmation on the rumors of iPhone coming to Virgin Mobile. I can say that the Verizon CDMA variant would work on Virgin Mobile (and Sprint, and Boost Mobile, etc) without any hardware modifications.

    It is in Apple’s interest to push back against metered data, and even a throttled Virgin Mobile would be a way to do it.

    I think the issue more for Apple would be defining a device price-point (perhaps with a cheaper CDMA device more resembling iPhone 3GS).

    For Sprint, the issue would be that Sprint’s brand would be playing second-fiddle to Virgin Mobile, and that simply cannot happen from a branding perspective. Sprint would have to have an iPhone of some form, and a more powerful iPhone probably at that.

    I strongly suspect Sprint is holding out for a variant with WiMAX, and if Virgin Mobile gets an iPhone first, it will almost assuredly come with an agreement that Sprint will get the next high-end iPhone on their network at-launch.

  15. Spiny

    For all of the people that are conplaining about having already pre-ordered the Triumph from Best Buy I’d just like to point out that it’s a waiting list of sorts. Your credit card wil not be charged until it ships on the 19th. Also, Best Buy & Radio Shack have no restocking fee so you could buy another VM phone to lock in the $25 rate & return it once you swap phones. Also, speak to a live advisor on VM’s network if you do not believe they are grandfathering people in or need more info. Besides that, I sort of understand the frustration b/c I’ve been w/ VM for barely 4 months @ the $25 rate. But, w/ the release of the Triumph, I half-expected it. I am also wondering about the people w/ slower phones like the Samsung Intercept (ii.e. my current cell) w/ a crazy, small screen + resolution & non-Android phones… Why are they expected to pay higher rates for crappy phones & a sub-standard network! I am just glad I get to keep my rate, but I wonder how long! And, I think I am going to have trouble selling my Intercept on Craigslist after the 19th. I don’t think I can sell it early b/c I need to swap phones to keep my rate. In other words, I think I may lose my rate if I suspend my account in order to sell it. Does anyone know?