Date: Sat, 05 Mar 2005 17:56:23 GMT
From: (Andrew Stephenson)
Subject: Re: OFF TOPIC Question on Mobile Phones in USA

In article <3z7Wd.1596$> "MikeV" writes: > I live in Florida, and a popular "disposable" phone down here is Virgin. > Since Virgin is a UK company you might want to give them a look: > Over Thanksgiving of 2003 I was in the Philadelphia area and got a Virgin Mobile "Party Animal". Marketed at "brainless teens" to judge by the gosh-wow phrasing of the paperwork, this worked well enough for me to want to revive it for a California trip in July 2004. At 10 cents/minute after 25 cents/minute for the first I- forget-but-a-low-number of minutes each day, anywhere in the US, costs seemed reasonable. The phone was a simple Kyocera unit, I would guess a design they were ready to retire and gave VM a good deal on. The package cost me $30, including a voucher for $20 of time, from a VM store. The only downside (other than slight patchiness of coverage -- I had a strange time finding a live spot in the southwestern Mojave Desert, ending up among waste bins behind the local Jack-in-the- Box) was Virgin's useless marketing. Between late 2003 and mid 2004 my phone number had expired and to reactivate it I had to feed at least $20 to Virgin Mobile -- but it had to be the US company, not the UK one. Their US web system would not accept a credit card not matched by a US address... It was a pretty klutzy arrangement, for a big international company. To make the phone work (with a new number) I had to travel to the US and buy a top-up card from IIRC a Ralphs (supermarket). After that it went smoothly, with a free phonecall to Virgin and a wait of about 4 hours. Overall, using Virgin worked and I'd say to consider them. But I really cannot say much for their marketing savvy. (Though maybe it has since changed.) -- Andrew Stephenson

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