October 25, 2010
Assurance Wireless Introduces Two New Low-Cost Offers
Shortly after increasing its basic plan to 250 minutes of free voice service, Assurance Wireless introduces 500- and 1000-minute options
WARREN, N.J. (BUSINESS WIRE), October 25, 2010 - Assurance Wireless has introduced more choices to give its customers the opportunity to pay to add voice minutes and text messaging to their free wireless service. Assurance Wireless, a cell phone service from Virgin Mobile that provides a free cell phone and service to eligible low-income customers, recently increased its core voice offer from 200 to 250 free voice minutes per month. Now the company is providing customers the ability to increase to a total of 500 monthly minutes for $5 or a total of 1,000 monthly minutes and 1,000 text messages for $20.
The core offer remains the same: 250 minutes of free talk time, a free phone with the ability to buy additional minutes or texts at 10 cents each. The $5 Talk offer increases the amount of minutes available each month to 500; the $20 Talk & Text offer increases the minutes to 1,000 and adds 1,000 text messages. The new offers include a Service Protector feature which ensures that the basic 250 free minutes are guaranteed each month a customer is eligible, even if a customer cannot pay the additional dollars during a particular month. These new offers are available to all Assurance Wireless subscribers.
“During these tough economic times customers have to make difficult decisions on how to spend their money but wireless communications has become a necessity for people for a variety of reasons,” said Grace Boehm, director for Assurance Wireless. “Assurance Wireless wants to help our subscribers by providing a variety of options beyond our basic offer.”
Cell phones are no longer a luxury. Assurance Wireless commissioned a survey to learn how and when Americans use their cell phones. The survey revealed that adults, regardless of household incomes (ranging from below $25,000 to more than $75,000), are equally as likely to use their mobile phones for employment searches. Eight of 10 Americans reported feeling dependent on their cell phones and using their mobile phones to stay in contact with family and seek help in case of emergencies.*
In addition to providing a free handset, voice mail account and call waiting, Assurance Wireless also features caller ID and access to 911 in case of an emergency. On all Assurance Wireless’s plans, customers who need more minutes can pay for additional 10-cent-per-minute domestic calling, 10-cent text, e-mail or instant messages (sent or received), international calling at competitive rates, and more.
Although eligibility varies by state, customers eligible for Assurance Wireless generally include those who participate in Medicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP, Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA/TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or the National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program. Customers may also qualify based on low household income.
Assurance Wireless is currently available in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, with more states expected to be added each month.
About Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless, one of Sprint’s prepaid brands, is supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, part of the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), and designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income customers at reasonable and affordable rates. Assurance Wireless uses the Nationwide Sprint Network, which reaches more than 275 million people.
To learn more about Assurance Wireless, including eligibility requirements, please call toll-free 800-395-2171 or visit www.assurancewireless.com. Information is available in English and Spanish.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48.1 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Note: sources for all information and statistics are available upon request
*PKS Research Partners was commissioned by Sprint/Nextel (Assurance Wireless) to conduct a research project among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults 25 years or older, in order to determine their attitudes toward and usage of mobile phones.