I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Virgin Mobile.
I received a sample device to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.
My daughter Maya, who just turned 10 in September, recently asked me when she’ll be able to get her own phone. The answer? Sooner than I thought!
I’ve been a Virgin Mobile USA customer for years – they have a good selection of phones, reliable coverage on the nationwide Sprint® network, and NO CONTRACT – but when I heard that Virgin Mobile USA launched an all-new mobile prepaid plan over the summer, I didn’t think much of it until I was presented with the opportunity to test the service… and I’m so glad I did! With Virgin Mobile Custom, Maya now has a great new phone, and I can control how often she uses it and what she’s doing on it. I’ve been giving her a little more independence lately, like walking to and from her friends’ houses, so her having her own cell phone gives me a little more peace of mind.
What makes the Virgin Mobile Custom prepaid plan unique?
- It’s fully customizable. You can build the exact plan that suits your needs so that you’ll pay for only what you use. With up to 5 lines per plan, each line costs as little as $6.98 per month. If you prefer, you can even make it only an unlimited texting plan for $10, or only unlimited voice for $18.
- Change plan limits anytime. With a few simple menu swipes of the screen, you can change your plan limits at any time, and even receive alerts as you approach your limits, giving you the opportunity to adjust accordingly and avoid inconvenient overages.
- There are unique data options. “Add-ons”, such as unlimited usage of popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, and Pandora (which does not count against data use), are available for purchase. You can even buy one-day or one-week usage of maps and other navigation apps. I may be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this with any other service!
- Amazing parental controls. Parents can control when and how their children’s phones are being used. I can limit the times of day Maya can text and call – like during the school day – as well as control who she’s able to connect with throughout the day, and turn off access to certain apps like Facebook during the school day, or restrict data usage at certain times. So. Many. Options.
- Great devices. Virgin Mobile Custom is initially available on three devices: ZTE Emblem™ for $59.99, LG Pulse™ for $79.99 or LG Unify™ for $129.99 (excludes taxes), and sold exclusively at Walmart. Your kids won’t be complaining that their phone “sucks” and you won’t complain about the price! Maya has the LG Pulse and really likes it. It’s a fast, Android-powered smartphone with a large screen and a good camera (5 MP) for taking pictures, a front-facing camera for when she wants to make video calls, and access to wifi. What more could she want?
How Virgin Mobile Custom works
After buying one of the phones mentioned above, activation is easy. It took me less than 10 minutes to get Maya’s phone up and running!
The Base plan costs $6.98 per line per month, and comes with 20 texts and 20 voice minutes. Or you can opt for the Unlimited plan for $35 with unlimited talk and text. I chose the Base plan, of course. Adding to it is as simple as using a slider bar to select the number of minutes, texts and data I’d like for Maya to have per month.
I stuck with the 20 voice minutes since she will make calls for emergencies, moved texts up to 250 (for $2.50), and 20 MB of data (since she’ll mostly be using wifi), all for about $10. What a bargain!
I could see exactly how much these changes cost before committing, which is awesome… no hidden fees! If we decide that Maya needs a little more calling time, texts, or data, I can change her plan as many times as I’d like throughout the month. So easy!
I adjusted the phone settings so that even though this is our only Custom phone, Maya’s not the primary account user. Otherwise I’m sure she’d figure out how to give herself unlimited service… she’s a smart cookie. 😉 What’s really cool is that there’s actually an app that parents can download to their existing smartphones that lets you access all the incredible controls available with Virgin Mobile Custom. I downloaded the Custom Control App for free from the Apple App store (also available on Google Play) and can manage what Maya is using and spending anytime I want from my iPad or iPhone. I find the app to be intuitive and easy to use, and will definitely use it to keep tabs on what Maya is up to.
I’m really happy with Virgin Mobile Custom’s family friendly service and plan features. Designed specifically with families in mind, it offers parents a great value and greater choice and control than ever before! This plan wouldn’t only be a great option for kids, but also adults who like the idea of having a smartphone but don’t need all the features all the time… or like feeling tied down by an annual contract. My mom, for instance, would probably go for the unlimited Facebook add-on since she doesn’t really do anything else online, haha! The maps feature would also be convenient for her to access only when she really needs it. One of these phones would make a great holiday gift!
Watch this video to learn more about Virgin Mobile Custom: