Now see? If I didn’t have those hashtags in the title, you’d all be like “Say what??!” Right?
So here’s the thing. We have a love/hate relationship with cell phones. The hubby and I have gone back and forth with contract then no-contract phones. The few times we actually tethered ourselves to contract phones, we weren’t happy with the service, the lack of connectivity and the whole concept of paying for what we don’t use.
When it comes to the hubby, he doesn’t use his cell phone much at all. Mostly because he tends to forget where it is, or if he does know where it is, the battery is deader than a doornail. So it’s pretty much a paid-for paperweight when it comes to him. I guarantee you if I call his cell phone right now, it’d go straight to voicemail.
The hubby doesn’t care so much about whether or not the phone is smart – I mean, if it’s just going to be a paperweight, it doesn’t need to be a smart one, right?
But me? I want to make sure my phone is a smartypants. I’ve got my favorite apps and games and want to spread my wings as a social butterfly, and a DumbPhone isn’t going to cut it.
So therein lies the problem – most pay-as-you go services have the crappiest of the craptastic smartypants phones. More like bricks. Which would work as the hubby’s paperweight, sure, but for me? Not cool enough.
So what do I do? Buy, for a stupid amount of money, a smartypants phone for my pre-paid service. I’m determined to get my money’s worth, yo.
So I was tickled pink when I saw that Virgin Mobile came out with a totally customizable option, and their phones weren’t crap. Excuse my French.
When I received my ultra cool kit in the mail, I may or may not have done some form of a Happy Dance. I’ll never tell:
I have to say (well, I don’t have to, but I’m going to) that I love LG. This phone is not as pricey as the one I shelled out lots of hard earned money to pair with my not-to-be-named pre-paid service, but it’s LG.
I love LG as a whole, so I’m going to overlook that my old LG phone as well as this new one suck pond water when it comes to internal memory, but at least this one actually gives you the option to move your precious apps to the external memory card so you can actually have your apps on the phone rather than pick and choose your top
five three out of a bajillion like my other LG phone.
Now I won’t get so bored sitting in the pick up line at the kids’ school, because I’ll have way more interesting stuff on my phone than I did before. (read: more games!)
I absolutely love the concept of the customization of the Virgin Mobile service – with the Virgin Mobile Custom option, I get to create my very own personalized plan that fits my usage vs. what the phone company thinks I might use, and charge me whether I use it or not.
I love that there’s an app for that right on the phone that takes you to the customization screen:
I picked what I thought I might use – and surprised myself, even keeping the data turned off when I’m at home, and turning it on when I’m out and about and want to stay social, that I haven’t used much at all in the almost two weeks I’ve been using it religiously every day:
Plans start at $6.98 for 20 minutes of talk time and 20 texts. There is no data plan for that bottom line price point, but that basic plan would be great for a kid who only needs the phone for emergency purposes, which in this day and age is a great idea.
From that basic price point you can pick and choose which areas you use and/or need most – they have them split up between voice, text and data – for instance, if you want to have 250 minutes of voice available on your phone, you can choose that and it will only add $3.00 for the month.
Consider yourself a texting maniac? Select 500 texts for the month, and you only add $4.50 to your month. Still cheaper than the 10-cents per text (either incoming or outgoing) that I pay for my pre-paid phone.
How about data usage? Want to connect to the interwebs while out and about, with no wifi access in sight? Like the crazy car line at the kids’ school – no wifi access makes for a very boring hour long wait. Data access? Boredom be gone! 20 MB of data is only $1.40 for the month.
The plans are totally flexible – which I absolutely love. Especially since I have no clue how much of each I really honestly use, since there’s no way to track it with my prepaid service. At all. Except to watch the amount of money on the account go down by 10-cents per whatever.
You get to pick and choose how much you want to pay for what. I really really like that.
And also? While there’s no specific ‘roll-over’ plan in place, what I found out from the handy dandy webinar is that all you have to do is a day or two before the new monthly billing cycle, go in and adjust your plan to the bottom dollar $6.98 option – you’ll see that your account now has a credit, so when the monthly billing takes place, you’re golden.
II’s not a ‘use it or lose’ it type of deal at all. Just remember to change your options to zero or you do lose them. I’ll be making sure mine don’t get lost the day before Thanksgiving.
You can also set a budget and adjust the features accordingly to meet that budget. So if you only want to spend $30 a month you can tweak the options to meet that amount.
You can set up multiple accounts within a single account, meaning you could set up plans for your significant other and kids all under one account. Parents can set limits to their kids’ accounts too. That way you don’t have to worry about them going over their limit and cost you more money at the end of the month.
I love that option – both the hubby and I have worried about how expensive it’s going to be to put Princess Nagger on an official plan vs. the wifi only phone she currently has. I want to make sure she has a phone that she can actually use when there’s no wifi available, so she can call me if she’s in trouble or needs something.
But that girl is a big social butterfly, so she’s going to have to learn to keep her socialization to a minimum. This plan helps do just that.
Best of all there is no contract. None. Nada. Zilch. That’s the kind of phone service we like, particularly after paying through the nose for contract service in the past that we were so not happy with. You are totally free to make changes or even switch service whenever you want. I love that freedom, and I love that it’s not going to break the bank, either.
I am also happy to report that I have had way better connectivity and signal with Virgin Mobile than I have with my other service. Since Virgin Mobile uses Sprint’s Nationwide Network, it’s no wonder there’s great connectivity.
You can find Virgin Mobile phones at your local Walmart store and at Walmart.com.
With Virgin Mobile Custom you can make it yours.
For more information about Virgin Mobile and their Custom plans that you can create visit VirginMobileUSA.com/Custom. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter. You can see what others have to say about Virgin Mobile with the hashtag #VirginMobileMom.
What’s your cell phone usage look like each month? Are you tethered to a contract, and are you getting your money’s worth?