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3.7

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: June 13th, 2023

Virgin Mobile is a provider of non-contract cellular phone and wireless services. It is a wholly owned brand of Sprint and has been providing telecommunications products in the United States since 2002 using the wireless 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 website or at 40,000 retail brand locations. In fact, Virgin Mobile has one of the largest storefront presences among wireless provider companies. Customers can also 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. 

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The Good

  • "Unlimited" Service Plans
  • Add-Ons
  • Simple Payment System
  • Variety of Phone Options
  • Member Benefits

"Unlimited" Service Plans

Virgin Mobile makes it easy for a customer to get set up with an affordable cellular phone or another wireless device with calling, text messages, and data. The company doesn't require an annual phone contract and has a 7-day, no-questions-asked return and refund agreement period if customers are unsatisfied.

Virgin Mobile offers three unlimited plan options. Note that after using the allotted LTE for each plan, Virgin's terms state that data speeds are then reduced to 2G.

  • For $35/month your phone plan comes with unlimited talk, data, and text with 5GB of mobile data.
  • For $45/month, you get unlimited text, talk, and data plus 10 GB of high-speed 4G LTE data. Also, the client gets 100 international minutes and unlimited international texting.
  • For $60/month, your cell phone plan gets unlimited everything, including unlimited 4G LTE data.

Add-Ons

The carrier caters to additional needs and preferences by offering add-ons for mobile hotspot, phone insurance, and international calling.

  • Mobile hotspot — Share data with up to five devices (starting at $3/day)
  • Phone insurance —  Protect your device against damage, theft, or loss ($7/month per device)
  • International calling —  Make unlimited calls to Canada and Mexico and choose from 70+ other countries for more coverage (starting at $5/month)

Simple Payment System

In addition to providing a number of service plans, Virgin Mobile also makes it easy for 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. 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.

Plus, it's easy to change your plan if you want more or less data, talk, or text.

Variety of Phone Options

Another thing customers enjoy with Virgin Mobile is the variety of phones available. Even though there aren't Windows or BlackBerry phones, there are several Apple smartphone and Android device options to choose from. The cost listed for most of the phones listed is significantly less than the suggested retail price. Additionally, there is also an affordable $19.99 basic flip phone that customers can use if they only need standard calling and texting (Alcatel GO FLIP).

Device brands include:

  • Alcatel
  • Apple
  • Coolpad
  • LG
  • moto
  • Motorola
  • Samsung
  • ZTE

To assist during the phone selection process, Virgin Mobile includes customer reviews of each specific phone model available online. This information helps prospective customers choose the phone that will work best for their situation.

If you want to bring your iPhone, you have the option to do so by ordering a Virgin Mobile iPhone SIM card for $9.99. Most iPhone versions work with Virgin Mobile, but make sure to check your phone's compatibility before purchasing a SIM card.

Unfortunately, you cannot bring your own non-Apple current cell phone to Virgin Mobile.

Member Benefits

In addition to network coverage and phone services, Virgin Mobile rewards customers with a number of member perks (at no additional cost) with its partners. Partnerships and deals are subject to change but benefits have included discounts for Virgin Hotels, Virgin Wines, Turo car rentals, Priceline hotel reservations, Papa John's pizza, Shaw Academy online courses, and even SoFi student loan refinancing (0.125% discount).

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The Bad

  • 4G LTE Speeds Actually Limited
  • Coverage Gaps
  • User Complaints

4G LTE Speeds Actually Limited

The word "unlimited" is somewhat misrepresentative when applied to the two cheaper unlimited plans. Even though the carrier advertises unlimited data, there is actually significant data throttling if a customer goes over the stipulated quota for the month. Customers have noted that data was incredibly slow (reduced to 2G speeds) on their phone after using the LTE GBs available with their specific plans.

Coverage Gaps

Though Virgin Mobile's network reaches 99% of people, some areas of the country, such as most of Montana and Wyoming, don't have voice coverage through Virgin's network. In some other places there is only very basic data plan coverage or voice coverage, meaning that if a customer is traveling to communities outside their normal coverage area, they might not be able to easily get a signal for their phone.

User Complaints

Customer reviews describe some potential challenges to be aware of:

  • Customer service communication issues
  • Poor coverage as compared with other carriers
  • Device issues

If customers have a problem, they can request assistance from the company seven days a week between 7:00 AM-9:00 PM CST.

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The Bottom Line

Virgin Mobile's strengths lie in its simplicity: simple plans, a simple payment system, and a straightforward inventory of phones and available services. Many customers are more than content with what Virgin Mobile can provide.

However, its less-than-perfect coverage, 4G LTE data limits, extra international fees, and lack of a multi-line family and friends discount should give potential customers pause.

Read through verified Virgin Mobile reviews on our site below for further insights.

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3.1

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44 Reviews

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Jeff Chagnard

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.

5 years ago

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A Customer Conifer, CO

Lotsa of service issues, poor coverage, and absolutely abysmal customer service. You can almost never get through to tech support, if you do they are ignorant and run you through the same reboots until the ticket is finally escalated. You never hear back.

5 years ago