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Virgin Mobile ends Sugar Mama

Sad news for all the Virgin Mobile users out there. It appears they’ve begun sending messages saying that Sugar Mama is no more. We started talking about Sugar Mama at Prepaid Reviews two years ago, almost to the day. For those unfamiliar, Sugar Mama was a program whereby Virgin Mobile subscribers could sign up to view ads, respond to text messages, and fill out surveys. They were compensated with free minutes. It sounded like a great program, and Virgin was going strong with it as recently as a year ago, when they launched a Facebook app. It’s unclear what happened between now and then to cause its discontinuance.

Strangely enough, Alcatel-Lucent has started a similar project, whereby mobile subscribers can earn free services when they view ads. Perhaps Virgin will go with them rather than Sugar Mama, but that doesn’t sound likely. Unfortunately, it appears we’ll have to play the waiting game in order to get an explanation.

13 Responses

  1. Jayne Wallace Says

    Very astute, PPR. Yes, sadly, the program is ending due to technical difficulties beyond our control…really, that’s the truth. We hate to lose this clear demonstration of both our innovation and our commitment to serve our customers…who can still earn free minutes in other ways including our Kickbacks program – And we’ll continue to look for new ways to reward our customers.

    Jayne Wallace
    Virgin Mobile USA

    Posted on July 8th, 2009 at 4:42 pm
  2. Peter Kent Says

    Hi Jayne. I hope you guys come up with something simpler, easier and better but similar to replace Sugar Mama. You won’t believe how many people LOVED that program as flawed as it could be at times (Fund My Phone hard to work, Sugar Mama not giving full minutes that ads are watched for, etc.)

    Posted on July 8th, 2009 at 7:54 pm
  3. Amanda Bowman Says

    I have relied heavily at times on Sugar Mama. I’ve had my phone for years now and there has been times I haven’t been able to buy time for a few critical days and Sugar Mama is what allowed me to keep appointments and keep my phone useful. In return I have supported the advertisers when I HAVE been able to return the favor, and been loyal to Virgin Mobile including recruiting three people I never got ‘kickbacks’ for…

    Without a similar program to replace it I may consider other options now. (I don’t use or want facebook)

    I’ll be sad to see it all go.

    Posted on July 10th, 2009 at 7:11 am
  4. jerry Says

    Virgin may have been selfish and discontinued the sugar moma application but i don’t need it any more with my low income phone for 10$ and 120 minutes with Virgin mobile.

    Posted on July 16th, 2009 at 8:36 am
  5. JAsonB Says

    I heard Virgin is launching a new $10/120 minute plan aimed at low income users. I am a student and would love to be able to get hold of this. It’s not advertised on their website so what’s the story? Anybody help?

    Posted on July 17th, 2009 at 4:03 am
  6. Joe Says

    Jason, I’d recommend calling customer service and asking about it. I haven’t seen anything released about this yet.

    Posted on July 17th, 2009 at 7:23 am
  7. Sal Ignab Says

    Gee, PPR says “It’s unclear what happened between now and then to cause its discontinuance” but Jayne Wallace says they were “technical difficulties beyond [VMUs] control.”

    Sudden “technical difficulties?” You don’t have to be too cynical to see through the PR BS – I’m guessing ad sales dried up and VMU just didn’t want to support their customers in this way. Hopefully some other SMART company will pick up this opportunity and all these displaced VMU customers. And really, **that’s** the truth.

    Posted on July 17th, 2009 at 2:03 pm
  8. Jayne Wallace Says

    OK, perhaps “due to technical difficulties beyond our control” wasn’t exactly accurate. I was using a common euphemism to be clever. In fact, the change is due to operational issues we’re experiencing.

    Jayne Wallace, Virgin Mobile USA

    Posted on July 17th, 2009 at 3:59 pm
  9. Peter Kent Says

    There are a lot of programs at VM like Kickbacks, Pass it On, Studio V and Mobile Lounge. But none of them can really be considered a direct substitute for Sugar Mama. There are a lot of people who are leaving because Sugar Mama got pulled. Once they use up their accumulated minutes, they are gone. Hope SM comes back in one shape or form. VM needs something like that to keep an edge in today’s competive prepaid market. There were hundreds of thousands of SM users out there.

    Posted on July 18th, 2009 at 5:37 pm
  10. Sal Ignab Says

    Sugar Mama must have cost a ton of money to run. You have to find advertisers who are willing to pay like 10 cents per view. With most online advertising going for fractions of a cent the only reason to keep it would be to encourage loyalty.

    But keeping it would force higher prices. Since nobody else is doing this, nobody is realistically going to leave over this. But if they hike up prices to subsidize it, then everybody will leave. So good business move on Virgin Mobile’s part – and maybe we are all better off with Sugar Mama out of the neighborhood.

    Posted on July 21st, 2009 at 2:16 pm
  11. Russell Says

    > Hopefully some other SMART company will pick up this opportunity

    Great idea!

    I’m from a company called Embee Mobile.

    We have a Facebook application that let’s you earn *free prepaid minutes* for your Virgin Mobile Phone.

    Its called the “Embee Mobile Minute Wallet”:

    Like Sugar Mama, you can participate in surveys and other offers — and get *completely free prepaid minutes*.

    In fact, its not just limited to minutes — you can fund any type of plan, including data, text, ringtones.. even use it to fund your unlimited plans.

    We support 20 US-based carriers, including Virgin, and are expanding to other markets soon.

    Hope you will be willing to give it a try. Feel free to contact us if you have questions:

    [email protected]

    Russell, CEO, Embee Mobile

    Posted on July 21st, 2009 at 3:16 pm
  12. Hunter Says

    The Sugar Mama program was great. Most of the time it was all I had on my phone. i’ve stayed with Virgin Mobile for about 5 years and love them. I really hope they find a solution or start something new and similar!

    Posted on August 3rd, 2009 at 6:10 pm
  13. Michael Says

    Well Jayne Wallace what are other ways ,besides the kickback program, to earn free minutes?

    Posted on February 20th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

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