Virgin increases rates by 17%… adds $35 “account set up fee”

virginrateincreasedIf you’re a customer (prepaid or monthly) of Virgin Mobile before today you best be keeping your current plan and will not be effected by the massive average monthly rate increase of about 17%!

I must start off by stating that all plans come with Incoming Text Messages, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Conference Calling, Monthly system access fee and the 911 Emergency Access fee. However you get pooched on some areas such as the $0.35 local and long distance charges and $0.15 outgoing text messages charges.

Majority of the monthly plans increased by about $5 per plan, plus the bundle options have also been increased. The worst part of this is the new “One-time account set up fee” that was not there before… will now cost you a $35. Their main competition is Koodo Mobile who has the same $35 fee but they state “if you activate your phone online or in-store, that fee is waived”… I wonder if Virgin will do this?

Added to the monthly plans is a new “Starter” plan for $25 per month will get a staggering 100 text messages, 100 minutes plus 1,000 evening and weekend minutes (free after 7pm).  The $30, $40 and $50 all used to all be $5 less a month with the $60 monthly plan staying the same. 

If you want to add another feature to your plan such as call display, voice mail… you will have to get a bundle package and you’ll be happy to know that the majority of these have also increased! Currently the $25 bundle stays the same. The $10 bundle will now cost you $11; $15 bundle will now cost you $18 and the $20 bundle will now cost you $22.

A few reasons we are told that the rates have increased:

1. Virgin has never been profitable since opening the doors back in March, 2005
2. New devices coming… touchscreen within the next month, more QWERTY style phones and a tip we received that seems way out in left field is the BlackBerry Storm by end of year.
3. They are looking to have more presence by building actual walk-in stores, not just kiosks in the mall.

Check them out at Virgin Mobile
(You can always join the conversation about this on our forum here)