It started with the car companies. “Get fired, and we’ll take on your car payments for a while.” they said. It’s the shining light in the darkness that is a slumping economy: when the wallets get lighter, the promotions get crazier. Looking to capture some of this crazy in a bottle and turn it into new customers, Virgin Mobile has adapted the concept for the mobile industry; if you’re a Virgin Mobile customer on a qualifying plan and get the boot at work, they’ll cover you for up to 3 months. They’re calling it “Pink Slip Protection”
Of course, they have a few safeties in place – you can’t just walk up to Virgin Mobile as a new customer with a pink slip and turn it in like a bread line pass. You need to have been on a qualifying prepaid plan ($29.99, $39.99, or $49.99), and be able to provide proof of unemployment eligibility. If you were on Virgin Mobile before this morning, you’ll have to opt-in.
VM also announced two new text-centric plans: 1000 messages (text, IM, MMS, or e-mail) for $14.99 a month, or Unlimited Messaging for $19.99. If you don’t sign up for a companion voice plan, minutes are 10 cents each. (On a side note: Boost Mobile almost immediately fired back a press release highlighting that their $50 unlimited plan includes messaging – but as far as we can tell, they’re not going to have your back if you end up jobless)