• Tag Archives Virgin Mobile
  • Going Prepaid with Virgin Mobile in Australia

    Just came back from a great trip from Melbourne. Will blog about it more with photos in the coming week.

    After getting my N97, iPod Touch and upgrading my phone plan with M1 to an iPhone Lite plan, I’ve been so used to being online anytime and anywhere. I wanted the same accessibility during my trip.

    Did some research on Google and found a promotion by Virgin Mobile where an extra 1GB of data is given on each prepaid card purchase or recharge. The promotion is till end August. What luck!

    So during lunch on the first day of my trip, I made a quick detour to Elizabeth Street to buy a Your Cap 19 SIM Card Starter Pack. The instructions that came with the pack was pretty sparse, so I had to call the Customer Service. The CSO was friendly and patient and helped me through the registration process over the phone. She even told me I could use the prepaid credits to make IDD calls. One thing to note though, to register you will need a local address and land line on hand. The CSO informed me that I can use the hotel details to register since I was a tourist. When I was done, she informed me that the line will be activated within an hour.

    After a few hours, I was still not able to access the Internet or make phone calls, not even to the Customer Service hotline. I had to resort to using my M1 line to call.  The CSO, I think his name was Mika, was very helpful. Apparently, my account had zero balance. This was the reason why I could not make any calls with the SIM card. He activated the account on the spot, and told me to check. As I had to swap my SIM card, I asked him to call me back in 5 minutes, and he obliged.

    I still had issues accessing the Internet, and when he called back, I highlighted it to him. After doing some checks on my account, there was an issue with the pack I bought. It seems the prepaid mobile number that came with the SIM doesn’t match with the starter pack. He proceeded to log a case for me and told me I had to either fax or email the details on the starter pack and my receipt (Thank goodness I asked for one). He also credited $3 into my account for me to get by. I had to wait until I got back to the hotel to email the details, and by then it was after office hours.

    When I tested it the next day, I was able to access the Internet via all the usual channels, FaceBook, Hotmail, Twitter, FourSquare, etc. Not too sure how much data I used in all, but I was able to access the Internet for the rest of my trip. I also managed to make about 25 minutes of IDD calls back to Singapore during my trip, which was an unexpected bonus! Access in Melbourne and outside the city was quite ok, unlike some of the reviews I read which said that signals outside the city was bad.

    With the additional 1GB data promotion, this is definitely a worthwhile deal if you need mobile data access. Too bad the promotion is till end of August. I doubt they will make the additional data permanent, but I seriously hope they will revise their plans to provide more data.

    Pros:

    • additional 1GB of data (till end August 2010)
    • able to make IDD calls with the call credits
    • friendly and helpful Customer Service

    Cons:

    • additional 1GB of data (till end August 2010)
    • Lack of in pack instructions and details for registration