“SugarMama” makes you dream come true: free calls on your mobile
Calling on a mobile phone has never been that cheap in North America; recently, Skype sets the standards by providing free SkypeOut calls on landline and mobile phones. But Virgin Mobile USA has a plan to take down the stronghold: watch commercials, having a beer, and talk for free.
“SugarMama” ― no kidding ― is the name of the program starting on June 14. Registered members will have to pay closely attention to 30-second adverts on their computer or text messages on their phones. Closely because after screening commercials, they will have to answer correctly to questions in order to get their free bonus.
If they’re doing good at SugarMama 101, they could get up to 75 extra minutes per month on their plan. According to telecoms analysts interviewed by the NY Times, this would equal a mere $8 rebate. Other observers think the plan is somewhat bound to shush.
For the record, the same kind of ad-supported calls was tested in France by Bouygues Telecom, one of the 3 national mobile carriers. They did target college students and kids. That was a long time ago, when VoIP wasn’t even invented, that minutes of airtime were 10 times more expensive, and that there weren’t competitive VoIP offers like Skype or Helio. And you know what? It was a flop.
Anyway, Virgin Mobiles, newly acquired by NTL, is willing to try every promotional campaign to increase its user base. Across the Atlantic, in the UK, the local Virgin Mobile promotes its service by offering free beers and kebabs. People text message a given number to receive free coupons.
May 30, 2006 | By Nuno