Assurance Wireless Offers Free Cell Phone and Service to Washington Residents
Today, Assurance Wireless, a cell phone service from Virgin Mobile that provides a free wireless phone and 250 free minutes of wireless voice service monthly to eligible customers, launches in Washington.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported1 that the percentage of Americans living in poverty increased by 14.3 percent in 2009 -- the highest rate of poverty in 15 years. An additional 4 million Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, bringing the total to 44 million.
More than 322,000 Washington residents are currently without a job and more than 12.3 percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance Wireless gives eligible customers the ability to provide a contact number and return calls to a prospective employer, which, studies show, can improve the chances of securing employment as well as provide a simple way to stay connected to family in case of emergencies.
“With unemployment in Washington at 6.2 percent, people need to be connected if for no other reason than to be able to apply for and obtain a new job,” said Grace Boehm, director for Assurance Wireless.
According to a recent nationwide survey from Assurance Wireless*, adults with an income of less than $25,000 are as likely to use their mobile phone for employment searches as those with higher incomes.
“Programs like Assurance are so important for helping individuals and families stay on, or get back on, their feet and succeed in these difficult financial times,” explained business columnist and personal finance expert Louis Barajas.
"As a state, we've taken the issues of poverty very seriously and are actively seeking out relief with outside partners," said State Representative Dawn Morrell, 25th District. "Assurance Wireless has the potential to support over 300,000 of our currently unemployed residents by providing a service that can help them seek employment."
Assurance Wireless has also introduced more choices to give its customers the opportunity to pay to add voice minutes and text messaging to their free wireless service. The core offer remains the same: 250 minutes of free talk time, a free phone with the ability to buy additional minutes or texts at 10 cents each. The $5 Talk offer increases the amount of minutes available each month to 500; the $20 Talk & Text offer increases the minutes to 1,000 and adds 1,000 text messages. The new offers include a Service Protector feature which ensures that the basic 250 free minutes are guaranteed each month a customer is eligible, even if a customer cannot pay the additional dollars during a particular month. These new offers are available to all Assurance Wireless subscribers.
In addition to voice mail2 and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Beyond the free 250 voice minutes, customers can pay for additional 10-cent-per-minute domestic calling, 10-cent text, e-mail or instant messages, international calling at competitive rates, and more.3
Customers eligible for Assurance Wireless include those who participate in Medical Assistance, Food Stamps/SNAP, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Community Options Program Entry System (COPES), Disability Lifeline, DSHS Chore Service, Refugee Assistance or State Family Assistance (SFA). Customers may also qualify based on low household income.
Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling (toll-free) 800-395-2171, or visiting www.assurancewireless.com.
Assurance Wireless is currently also available in Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
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