Unlimited wars have heated up again this week. On Thursday, Virgin Mobile revealed their Totally Unlimited prepaid calling plan for $49.99 on April 15, 2009, and "Pink Slip Protection". Within a day, Boost sent out a news release to compare their unlimited service with Virgin Mobile's unlimited service.
Virgin Mobile's "Pink Slip Protection," will waive up to three months of monthly charges, if the customer becomes unemployed. Pink Slip Protection also applies to the new Texter's Delight program, designed for those who text more than talk. Virgin Mobiles' Totally Unlimited plan includes unlimited calling, anytime, anywhere in the United States is available for $49.99 Texters Delight plans offer 1000 Messages for just $14.99 or Unlimited Text and Messaging for $19.99. Included are Text, IM, Email, Photo and Video messaging.
Then we received a release from Boost Mobile saying that they were better and cheaper. They dared to compare and of course the comparison is in their favor:
"Boost Mobile's Monthly Unlimited plan offers greater value to consumers than Virgin Mobile's new $49.99 voice-only plan. In fact, Virgin Mobile's $49.99 per month plan can cost consumers closer to $72 per month when fees for text messaging, Web and telecom taxes are added in.
Boost Mobile charges $50 for unlimited use of talk, texting and wireless Web, plus there are no extra taxes.
Consumers who choose Boost Mobile can save more than $240 per year over Virgin Mobile's offering, and they won't be surprised by their wireless bill."
Boost sent a handy comparison chart. Boost uses the Sprint network and is completely prepaid. We've got a call out to Boost to find out why taxes are not included.
The Pink Slip Protection for Virgin, works this way. Once a customer has been with Virgin Mobile for at least two months on a Monthly Plan, and then loses his/her job and becomes eligible for state unemployment benefits within the next 12 months, Virgin Mobile USA will step in with Pink Slip Protection and cover the cost of the monthly plan including taxes and surcharges for up to three months. Proof of eligibility for state unemployment benefits will be required.
Current prepaid Monthly Plan customers will have an open enrollment period through June 30. In order to apply for Pink Slip Protection, one must be a Virgin Mobile USA Monthly Plan customer for at least two consecutive months. Customers activating on the new Texter's Delight monthly plans are also eligible for Pink Slip Protection.
Here's a comparison chart from Boost
Monthly base advertised price
unlimited talk, text, web & walkie-talkie
50MB Data Pack
(assumes 15min. travel/month)
total monthly price
*Based on 5% of plan + add-on price; telecom taxes can vary from 2% to 12% depending on jurisdiction. Competitor pricing data current as of 4/9/09. Boost also included Walkie-Talkie.
So what then is the better deal? Well if you think you are going to hear the words, "You're fired." then go with Virgin Mobile for the three months of their unemployment phone insurance. But if you are gainfully employed Boost may be the cheapest deal. As far as coverage, you'll have to check coverage maps.
The fine print for Boost unlimited is fascinating:
UNLIMITED USE DOES NOT MEAN UNREASONABLE USE. To ensure that all customers have access to reliable services provided at a reasonable cost, you may not use our service in a manner that interferes with another Boost Mobile customer's use of our service or disproportionally impacts Boost Mobile's network resources. Prohibited Uses: Boost Monthly Unlimited services are provided solely for live dialogue between, and initiated by, two individuals for personal use and as otherwise described in this policy. Unlimited voice services may not be used for any other purposes, including, but not limited to, conference calling, monitoring services, data transmissions, transmission of broadcasts, transmission of recorded material, interconnection to other networks, telemarketing, autodialed calls, other commercial uses, or other connections that do not consist of uninterrupted live dialogue between two individuals. In addition, Boost Mobile services may not be used to send or receive unusually high numbers of messages or engage in atypical web usage behaviors. We will presume you are engaging in a Prohibited Use, in violation of these terms and conditions, if you are placing an abnormally high numbers of calls, or repeatedly placing calls of unusually long duration (as compared to other customers on the same service plans), or if your usage is harmful or disruptive to Boost Mobile's systems or services. If we determine, at our sole discretion, that you are using an unlimited service in violation of the Boost Mobile General Terms and Conditions of Service, the Monthly Unlimited Terms of Service, or in any other manner that we deem to be unreasonable or excessive, then we may terminate individual calls, or, after providing notice to you, terminate your service, decline to renew your services, or offer you a different service plan with no unlimited usage components.
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