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Virgin Mobile going after T-Mobile postpaid customers

Apparently Virgin Mobile smells blood in the water. This week it launches an ad campaign that directly pleas with T-Mobile customers to make the switch. It does seem odd, indeed, that Virgin is targeting customers from a postpaid brand, but the opportunity is clearly there. T-Mobile is already losing customers, and Virgin sees the opportunity to satisfy them with their monthly prepaid plans. It would help, though, if the ad didn’t make a specious claim or two.

The ad in question mocks the new T-Mobile girl, which, in my book, is a no-no right off the bat. Maybe that’s just the testosterone-fueled guy in me talking, but seriously, why insult such an exemplary spokeswoman? It does create familiarity, though, and at the same time it sets up a contrast between Virgin and T-Mobile.

The one part I disliked more than the mocking of Carly is the customer service claim. AT&T, as we all know, is seeking regulatory approval for its acquisition of T-Mobile. AT&T just happened to score lowest on a recent J.D. Power and Associates survey that measured customer service in wireless. Virgin pokes fun at AT&T for this, while conveniently ignoring the prepaid side of the same survey. That one had Virgin Mobile dead last in customer service score. (On the postpaid side, T-Mobile came in a close second to Verizon.) That’s quite a bold claim coming from a company that has failed in the exact same survey.

It is clear why Virgin is running this ad spot. But they’re not winning any points, at least with me, by bringing Carly into it. Nor are they scoring any integrity points by speaking ill of AT&T’s customer satisfaction score while their own score is equally deplorable.