Virgin to introduce the “BYOP Virgin Mobile SuperTab”

Ian Hardy

April 14, 2012 9:07 pm


The BYOP (bring your own phone) or BYOD (bring your own device) trend is something the carriers have been quietly promoting over the last several months – offering up a free SIM for those who sign up on a contract/month-to-month. Virgin Mobile has devised a plan to capitalize on this BYOP phenomena and created the “BYOP Virgin Mobile SuperTab.”

This new program will start April 15th and here’s how it’ll work. A Member (customer) can bring their own device to Virgin, get a free SIM, and at the end of each month Virgin will take 10% of the total bill and add it to their SuperTab balance, up to a total of 500. This running total can be put towards the purchase of a new phone where “members get faster upgrades.”

In addition, there’s a couple other important notes. First, Existing Members on the Virgin Mobile SuperTab won’t be able to upgrade to the new BYOP Virgin Mobile SuperTab program. According to the internal doc we received it states that “However, if a Member goes from a term agreement to the BYOP Virgin Mobile SuperTab, cancellation charges will apply if applicable. If a Member wants to buy a phone from Virgin Mobile and go on the BYOP SuperTab, the purchase must be made on the 30 Day Term and then the Member should be upgraded to the BYOP SuperTab.”

Look for this to go live in a few hours…
(Thanks tipster!)

  • zzZZzz

    So, more or less like Fide-dollars

    • GENERAL WONG

      yeah, but you don’t have to sign a contract to get the free dollars. 30 day terms FTW!

    • Rio

      I like what Bell is doing better.

      If you bring your own device to Bell you get 10% of your monthly plan. Only on select plans but still.

  • Steve

    I got the same thing from Koodo when I brought a new Galaxy Nexus to them in Feb. I had assumed it was norm.

  • gwydionjhr

    Not like Fido Dollars. If you want to use your Fido Dollars to purchase a smartphone outright, they screw you by making you sign a 3 year data contract. Just ask the guy with over $350 Fido Dollars, but is thinking of leaving because of this ridiculous rule.

    • Jim R

      When I left Fido for Koodo, I walked away from ~$200 in Fido bucks because I couldn’t use them to buy a smartphone without signing a 3 year contract (believe it’s actually a data contract you have to sign). When I was with Fido it was very contract-centric, and if you weren’t willing to sign a contract, you were a 2nd class citizen (e.g. best retention deals required a contract) – don’t know if it’s still like that.

  • gwydionjhr

    Oh yeah, Fido Dollars are only 5% back, the SuperTab is 10%.

  • Joe

    Bring your own bananas, peeps

  • zzZZzz

    well right now, fyi, you can still get 5$ off text&talk plans and 10$ off smartphone plans if you BYOP, but that’s on a 30day. Advantage is that 5-10$ is usually more than 5%, disadvantage is that if you change plans you lose the credit. With the tab you would keep getting 10% back no matter which plan you have.

    pros and cons aside, I’d like to see benefits to bringing your own phone being implemented in other companies as well … they don’t lose anything, on the contrary, they gain “free” increase in revenue (free because there’s no more activation cost due to phone subsidy). But I guess investors don’t want to see a decrease in ARPU (even though more revenue comes in)

  • Mike

    Oh wow, that’s 3 to 6$ a month on average (30 to 60$ cellphone bills). It would take 8 years to get a decent smartphone at that rate. What a poor incentive.. 20-25% would be considered reasonable.

    • ToniCipriani

      While it may make more sense, but it isn’t “reasonable” to them, because they use this as an “incentive” for people to spend more monthly. Increasing how much they give back would be counterproductive to what THEY are trying to do.

      How often do you see a credit card with a 20% cash back?

    • ToniCipriani

      Besides… can’t be worse than their smartphone tabs.

      Most of their smartphone tabs are $30. Considering they have a minimum of $50, and the average smartphone plan is $60, that would give you $6 a month.

      $350/$6 = 58.33 months = 4.8 years to pay off your tab.

    • ToniCipriani

      *$350 tab.

      Damn it MS, we need an edit button.

  • Ray

    Not enough. I wish they’d just offer good byop voice + data plans for around $30/month. They don’t have to subsidize any hardware so they should be able to.

  • Doug

    @Gwydionjhr, I used about 300 of my fido dollars and bought a phone outright , but i had to pay adminstration fee of 30$. No 3 yr contracts here.

    • Jim R

      My experience was similar to Gwydionjhr’s. Maybe it’s changed now. The rules at Fido are so convoluted it’s difficult to keep up.

    • gwydionjhr

      @Doug – did you get a feature phone, or a smartphone? The 3 year data contract applies to the smartphones. I’ve currently escalated this to Fido’s Office of the President. One nice thing about not doing contracts means I can effectively use Virgin’s Supertab in a “price match” arguement.

  • Bad Apple

    What a bunch of crock…

  • Jim R

    This new program is one more nail in Koodo’s coffin. With this there is less incentive to stick around with Koodo (which has lost its advantage with the recent changes IMO) since now the phone you bring over to use from Koodo will still result in tab accumulation. The only drawback is coming up with the cash to pay off your remaining Koodo tab when leaving. If you have the cash, it’s all good, as in the long run it all evens out.

  • Matt

    But do you still get the 5/10 off the plan when you do this or do you only get the 10% back? The discount is the better deal with any of the plans, after all, it is money saved now instead of money you may possibly use down the road.

    • Rahul

      Hi! If it’s as a second phone, aboteuslly. Switching all-out form an iPhone to BlackBerry for some people is almost impossible. But, as a secondary, you have the best of both worlds. The iPhone for the tons of apps, touchscreen interface and large display, and the 9900 for BBM and keyboard. Cannot go wrong my friend, cheers!

  • Me

    Thanks to the iPhone the COA has risen yoy and shows no sign of going down.

  • sicsicpuppy

    Why dont they just make it simple . Drop any plan 15% if you BYOP.

  • slapnuts2k5

    What do you mean a nail in Koodo’s Coffin? Koodo has been activating peoples phones like this for the last year. With no charge sim/activation fees. You still get the 10% tab accumulation. you can choose whatever plan you want? It just shows virgin copying Koodo again, because it works. Koodo only goes up too a positive 150, but I bet you there isn’t too many out there that will get a +500 dollar suber tab within 5 years.

    Plus Koodo has the rferral program getting you too the positive faster.

  • Narc

    There is a big difference with koodo tab and the virgin supertab.
    Koodo: you pay a extra 10% on the top of your plan.
    Virgin: the company pay the 10% for you. All you have to pay is your plan + tax.

    Virgin FTW

    • Lazed

      @Narc No, Koodo takes 10% from your bill just like Virgin takes 10% from your bill. It would make no sense if they added an extra 10% for you to pay…

  • Doug

    I got a Blackberry 9360

  • fred

    called virgin to ask -they knew nothing on this -girl could barley speak english- only good for phones the sell- no i phone or nothing new-waste of time

    • Jennifer

      Virgin sells iPhones, what planet are you from?

  • leito

    I’m with koodo and have been for 1 1/2 years. I’v found there the best there is for cheap plans. epically for long dianstce calls. they have an option where you add $2 a month on to your bill and you get $0.05 per min international calls and free local or international text messages anytime.Also free evenings and weekend local calls.I know mobilisity do $0.03 per min international calls, but my friend had trouble with the reception signal (even in Vancouver) and if you go outside Vancouver at all the signal is terrible and they charge long-dianstce.I dont have data on my phone so I dont know how their plans are for that. But yea i’d recommend koodo to anyone who wants to call or text internationally.