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Virgin Mobile

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4.8

Overall Score

19 User Reviews

5 days ago

Virgin Mobile

verified
$100 Guarantee
Virgin Mobile offers unlimited talk, text, and data with no contract, but lack a competitive family discount plan.

Virgin Mobile is a provider of non-contract cellular phone and wireless services. It is a wholly owned brand of Sprint and operates under the slogans and brands of “payLo by Virgin Mobile” and “Assurance Wireless Brought to You By Virgin Mobile” as its core selling points. Virgin Mobile started providing services in the United States in 2002. It started using the Sprint 1900 MHz PCS, CDMA, and digital network. The company provides customers with branded handsets and broadband devices, which are sold through the company’s online website or through it’s 40,000 retail brand locations. In fact, Virgin Mobile may have one of the largest “storefront” presences of most wireless provider companies. Customers can get Virgin Mobile products at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target, Wal-Mart, and many convenience stores. It is easy for customers to purchase “top-up” cards at more than 150,000 locations throughout the country. 

The Good

  • Unlimited plans
  • Easy to pay bill
  • Variety of phone options

Virgin Mobile has a history of making it very easy for a customer to get set up with an affordable cellular phone or wireless device. For its phones, Virgin Mobile has four unlimited plans.

  • For $20/month, the Wi-Fi Lover's delight only has Wi-Fi access. There are 300 minutes per month and unlimited text messaging.
  • The "best value" plan of $35/month includes unlimited talk, data, and text with 250 MB of 3G/4G access, or you can get 300 minutes and 2.5 GB of high-speed 3G/4G data.
  • For $45/month, a client gets unlimited data, text, and talk, plus 1 GB of high-speed 3G/4G data. Also, the client gets 100 international minutes and unlimited international texting.
  • Finally, the $55/month plan gets a customer unlimited everything, with 3 GB of 3G/4G data.

In addition to providing a number of service plans, Virgin Mobile also makes it easy for their customers to pay their bill. Customers can get a top-up card at any of the 150,000 stores throughout the United States and add money to their current balance. This lets you pay for your phone however you'd like. It's easy to change your plan if you want more or less data, talk, or text. You can even pay your monthly charge on your phone. There is no need to log onto an online account for you to pay with your top-up card.

Another thing current customers enjoy with the Virgin Mobile service include the variety of phones that are made available. Even though there aren't Windows or BlackBerry phones, there are several iPhones and Android phones to choose from. There is also an affordable $19.99 basic phone that customers can use if they only need standard calling and texting (Alcatel One Touch).

To assist during the phone selection process, Virgin Mobile has included customer reviews of each phone they offer online. This information can help prospective customers choose the phone that will work best for their situation. By seeing what other customers have rated a particular phone, a potential customer might decide whether or not they want to purchase a particular phone.

There is also Broadband to Go available from Virgin Mobile. For $74.99, a customer can purchase the Net Gear Mingle Hotspot and get a monthly data plan for this product.

The Bad

  • Customer complaints
  • Bad coverage
  • Other major issues

Virgin Mobile has had several complaints from customers regarding problems with products and service. Some of these complaints stemmed from a misrepresentation of the word "unlimited" with each of Virgin Mobile's monthly plans. Even though the product advertises "unlimited" data, there is actually significant data throttling if a customer goes over the stipulated quota for the month. Customers, after using their 1 GB, 2 GB, or 3 GB available with the various plans, often noted that their data was incredibly slow on their phone.

Also, Virgin Mobile has some of the worst coverage for 4G and 3G in the United States. Some areas of the country, such as most of Montana and Wyoming, don't even have voice coverage. Sometimes, there is only very basic data coverage or voice coverage, meaning that if a customer is traveling, they might not be able to get a signal for their phone very easily.

Other issues current customers have experienced include:

  • Updating Account Info: Many customers who did use the website to pay for their phone service had a hard time updating their credit card information.
  • Double Payment: Sometimes, the login window was a little bit slow and customers might accidentally hit the "pay" button twice.
  • Restrictions with Top-Up Card: If using Virgin mobile, it is best for the customer to pay on their phone, using the Top-Up card option to pay for their monthly charge.

Also, the Alcatel One Touch offered as Virgin Mobile's basic phone is not a very good product technology-wise. Customers had rated it poorly, giving it zero stars.

The Bottom Line

Virgin Mobile can be a great service from some customers, but it will depend on a few variables. Some customers had complaints about the coverage. Virgin Mobile does not offer quality 4G LTE networks throughout the country. In fact, you have to be near a major city to get 4G in most situations.

Current customers have also been a little bit concerned with the data throttling policy that governs most of Virgin Mobile's plans. Even though Virgin Mobile advertises "unlimited" data, they even stipulate that there is a limit on most plans (up to 3 GB) that a customer can use for each month of service.

Most customers do like the unlimited text and talk service available through Virgin Mobile. Typically, customers also liked that Virgin Mobile is starting to offer international calling for customers, meaning that customers on less advanced service levels can talk and text internationally, speaking to family and friends who may be overseas.

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User Reviews

2.8

19 Reviews

Your trust is our top priority, so we check all reviews for accuracy and relevance. Additionally, we do not allow companies to alter or remove reviews. Learn more

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Dee Farquharson
December 6th, 2018 Washington, DC DETAILS
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I had Virgin Mobile for years. I like that they were constantly getting new phones for purchase. They were pretty cool. Topping up minutes for the phone was little expensive, but i could usually catch a deal at Target or Walmart. It's a part of Sprint so customer service was pretty much the same as Sprint's. Connection could be spotty and I had issues receiving pictures via MMS on some devices; buying the high end devices was the solution I was given (which i didn't opt for )

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R Fitzner
November 16th, 2018 DETAILS
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Virgin is the worst company I have ever dealt with. The customer support team is entirely based in the Philippines, they sell to you with local salespeople, but when you have problems you get referred to their "Customer Care" department. The customer care department appears to be entirely based in the Philippines I called them over 12 times trying to set up a payment plan, over three different departments every staff member was a non local, who's english while passable made the specifics of the issues difficult to communicate. Their overages are insane, if you ever get caught roaming or using anything an inch beyond what your contract allows for they will nail you with hundreds of dollars of overages. Then they will call your house and mobile phone, spam your e-mail, and otherwise bully you until you pay them in full. I made the mistake of not realizing the Wifi at the university campus I was on didn't extend to the food court while doing some high bandwidth work over several days. I used an additional 2.5 gigabytes of data and they charged me 250$. More than 3x my plan for my phone and two gigs a month combined! When I called them and mentioned that 4.5 gigabytes of data normally costs around 120$ a month, they told me that I was contractually obligated and that there was nothing they were willing to do. Then told me they would go to collections if I didn't pay them by the end of the month. They also lied to me over the phone when on my 5th referral to a new department (getting passed around until I gave up) I advised them I would be recording my call for use in court, as they were refusing to help me. They then told me it was illegal to record my conversation with them, which it is not! "The Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46 [Criminal Code] imposes a general prohibition on interception (recording) of private communications, but then provides an exception where one of the parties to the private communication consents to the interception of that communication." You are allowed (without even asking for permission!) to record any conversation to which you are a party to. However they refuse and have the company policy of not allowing conversations by their customer care team to be recorded, and will lie and tell you to do so is illegal. I was offered a record of an online chat I had with one of their team members, I said yes please, but made sure to take photos and videos of the chat from my computer at the same time. The chat they sent me was doctored to hide all charges, all dates, and all names. Making it completely useless. They edited away anything conspicuous. Then, they tried to take an additional payment out of my account when I turned off pre-authorized payments. If you try and turn them off the system will still withdraw one more payment unless you deal with hours of phone calls to get them to disable it. They are rude, unprofessional, and care nothing for their clients. I will never ever be a customer for them ever again.

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Jackie
October 9th, 2018 Palm Coast, FL DETAILS
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Their very attentive when i need them. I seldom have any difficulty.

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Friend
September 24th, 2018 Damascus, MD DETAILS
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Haven't had problems and get good coverage

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Thomas Kirby
September 24th, 2018 Glen Allen, VA DETAILS
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Good price. iPhone support. Good service. Reliable network.

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Ursula
October 8th, 2018 Shawnee, KS DETAILS
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The worst company in the world! Impossible cancel account!

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Jeff Chagnard
July 10th, 2018 DETAILS
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Have been with Virgin Mobile (VM) for over 10 years now and have always been a loyal customer. Recently VM decided to only sell iPhones and eventually do away with all android phones. For this, and this alone they will be loosing my business. To assume that all customers are interested in using apple products is a mistake as there are plenty of people (myself included) that will not use apple products.

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Pat Gustafson
June 26th, 2018 Las Vegas, NV DETAILS
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VM discontinued service without warning due to a network upgrade at sprint in the middle of my billing cycle. Was told I had to purchase a new phone and calling plan to reestablish service. I complained and they offered a refund of the last billing month ( I hadn't used even a fourth of my voice minutes for the month). I then quit virgin mobile and went with a different carrier assuming I had the refund coming. Received voice mail that my refund was cancelled as I had made too many calls, even though I paid for minutes not calls. Classic bait and switch tactic. I still can't figure out why they didn't just discontinue service at the end of my billing cycle; instead they took my monthly payment first and then discontinued the service.

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Eileen R
April 10th, 2018 Philadelphia, PA DETAILS
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Because they are the best cell phone company , there customer service is amazing they're a people that will work will you and help you when you are going through a situation , I have ?? with them for nine years and I am very happy that I choose a good and wonderful company

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Irene
April 10th, 2018 DETAILS
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Very poor customer service and phones are not the best

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Mary Sweeney
April 10th, 2018 DETAILS
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They are reliable. They don't drop calls. Their price is reasonable.

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Tina Clark
March 12th, 2018 Fort Wayne, IN DETAILS
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They sent me a JUNK iPhone and blamed ME for the imperfections! I will contact better business bureau on BRIGHTSTAR AND VIRGIN MOBILE next week, if they don't send me a usable phone !!! IF THEY MAKE IT RIGHT, I'll take this bad review off.

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Lindsey
December 11th, 2017 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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Virgin Mobile is a good option for children or teenagers just starting out with phones. It was a cheap option for me just starting out with a phone.

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Sarah Renfrow
November 9th, 2017 Portland, OR DETAILS
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I have had Virgin Mobile cell service for 7 years. Over that time period I have had probably 3 different phones. I have never had any problems with the service at all. I use my phone for both business and personal use, travel throughout several states, and signal/reception has never been a problem. I use the $35/month plan and have never had any problem with billing. On the rare occasions that I have had to contact the company, customer service has been good.

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Hyrum
October 26th, 2017 Sandy, UT DETAILS
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As far as cell phone plans, they're on the cheaper side. Overall, I was happy with my plan, though some months I bumped up really close to my data limit, which was unpleasant.

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M
August 14th, 2017 Rochester, NY

Have had service about one month. Dropped call, voice distortion, static, breaking, bad connectivity, volume so low other end can't be heard, can't access voicemail, voicemail does no download, networking problems, on and on. Unpredictability, unreliability is unbelievable. Attempting to change service, but even this is difficult, due to communication problems with this service. Customer service is of no help.

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stephen schradin
June 20th, 2017

Horrible customer service I could not reach a operator not matter how many times I tried

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Becky
May 22nd, 2017

I have been with Virgin Mobile almost 8 years now and I am somewhat satisfied with the service overall. The service has never been up to par in my area since I have been with them since 2009, but in other areas in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex seem to be just fine . Whenever I need to speak with customer service, they have always been friendly and helpful to me. I never recall being on the phone for very long waiting for the next available to rep...usually within a couple minutes at most. The phones to choose from are are ok I guess. Like another person who rated said that some seem to be second hand Sprint phones, and that Boost Mobile that also is a Sprint sister company does seem to offer more phones and better prices at times, too. I am with the company mainly because the service is very affordable even if at times their service signal is not always up to par in my area. The service and phones are in no way bad enough for me to leave. Maybe one day I will seek into another service provider, but not anytime soon.

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Anthony
August 17th, 2015 Lodi, NJ

Virgin Mobile has been my cell phone provider for nearly 7 years, but by no means does that mean I love the company. It's just not costly. I use the $35 dollar plan, and what you see is what you get. It's $35 dollars plus tax. However, with that cheap cost comes cheap phones,Sprint hand-me-downs, and a few flagship phones. They sell out quickly of phones, so if you have a phone that you want, then buy it asap. They take forever to restock their supply. Not to mention, their phones range in price with huge gaps. You may be able to get a smart phone for $70 or $80 dollars, with no clue as to the phone's quality, or you'll see that they have the newest iPhone and last generation's Galaxy S5, but very little in between. So if you wanted to drop some money on a "good enough smart phone", you'd be hard-pressed to find on. This is strange, since their sister company, Boost Mobile, has a very wide range of phones and plans. Customer service isn't bad. They are very honest, and in my experience, try very hard to make sure that you are satisfied. However, if your phone has a manufacturer's defect and your phone still falls under the company's 1 year warranty, they will make you pay a $25 dollar fee to cover the cost the manufacturer's processing fee. Service is nothing spectacular, but it isn't bad. For $35 dollars a month, you get what you pay for. However, it does show the short -comings of the sprint network, as I live in a pretty populated area of New York State and the service drops, and is sometimes none existent. So if you are lost and without WiFi, you may be upset by the GPS functionality on your phone. Also, if you go past the data cap for your month, your data speed gets dropped to 2g speeds, and with speeds comparable to dial-up, it makes loading a 21st century webpage a very annoying experience. For Virgin Mobile, what you see is what you get, and I appreciate that philosophy, but they are lacking in many areas. However, if you manage to find a phone and you don't mind the quality, or you can afford an iPhone, and you don't mind inconstant nature of the Sprint Network, or you always have WiFi, and you don't mind paying a fee for a phone that is under warranty- than Virgin Mobile is right for you. It is a solid performer in the prepaid market, and in my experience, has gotten better, but still is not that good. With Sprint, I can't imagine them getting better any time soon. However, it still seems to be the prepaid company with the most bang for your buck. If you do not want a contract, and are wary of the T-Mobile's Uncarrier philosophy, then Virgin Mobile might be your best bet.

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