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Hate to say it, But T-Mobile To Go is probably a Better Deal

by BetterThanJake    Apr 26, 2005, 12:12 AM

I used to have Virgin, and it was decent (until I started talking lots)... but I think the jig is almost up.

If you compare rates with T-Mobile To Go (T-Mobile's prepay service), Virgin is considerably more expensive in most cases. Virgin's rates end up working out to 15-20 cents a minute for most folks, while with T-M To Go, if you're willing to buy minutes in $50 or $100 chunks, the rates are 10-12 cents a minute... quite a bit better.

And even when it comes to very low usage (i.e. the'glovebox special'), which is one of Virgin's strong points, T-M TG is still a good deal.

For example, the $100 card with T-M To Go gives you 1000 minutes, and those minutes last one full year. Thus, if you buy one $100 T-M To Go card, you're current for one year off just that, since all it takes to stay current with them is maintain a balance above zero.

Thus, your minimum with TMTG works out to about $8/month. Virgin, in comparison, requires you to 'top up' $20 every 3 months, which works out to about $7/month (and with T-M TG, their $8/month 'minimum' gives you a lot more minutes than Virgin's minimum does... about 80 minutes a month vs about 40-50 for Virgin's minimum).

So T-M TG's minimums thus are nearly as low as Virgin's, and, if you do any real TALKING, you'll get more minutes for the same money with T-M TG.

Say you have $20 a month to drop on your prepay service... that'll buy you about 120 minutes a month with Virgin. With T-M TG (aqain, if you stick with the $50 or $100 cards), $20/month buys you 160-200 minutes a month. A significantly better deal.

Also have to say that the TMTG phones seem to be a bit cheaper & better than what Virgin currently offers... they have some pretty nice Nokias for $40-50 after mail-in rebate. And coverage? Well, since you're only getting the digital portion of Sprint's network coverage on Virgin (no analog), coverage is about the same as TMTG- mainly urban areas and along major freeways.

Before you scream that I'm a T-Mobile fanboy of some sort, I actually use Verizon, not T-Mobile, and I'm on a contract, not prepay anymore. But I started with Virgin, and while I liked them back then, I'm suprised that they're still offering the same old tired deal that I had back then, even in the face of increasing competition.

Maybe the good folks at Virgin will finally wake up and give you guys a better deal if enough of you shop around more. 'Cause if you do take the time to compare, ya probably won't go with Virgin these days. Have fun goin' cellular. Wink

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