Richard Branson challenges Canadian mobile companies to stop making up fees!

Virgin Mobile Founder challenges Rogers to stop misleading consumers

TORONTO, Nov. 6 /CNW/ - In response to Rogers Communications' recent announcement that they are removing the System Access Fee and replacing it with the Government Regulatory Recovery Fee (GRRF), Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson is once again throwing down a challenge. Branson has called for the establishment of new standards for the mobile industry that would abolish bogus, made-up fees and force mobile companies to stop misleading consumers.

Sir Richard, Chairman of the Virgin Group and founder of Virgin Mobile Canada said, "I'd like to congratulate Rogers for removing one fee that never made sense, but I'm perplexed to hear that they've replaced it with another equally confusing one. I suppose that they hoped by putting 'Government' in the title that people would assume the fee is legitimate. It clearly states in Rogers' own advertising fine print that 'It is not a tax or charge that the government requires Rogers to collect.' Are they deliberately trying to mislead the public?"

"We encourage Rogers to think again," continued Branson. "Canadians are smarter than that and they deserve to be treated better. At Virgin Mobile we don't make up fees and we're always clear about what our customers are being charged for."

The challenge from Branson is being backed up by a new national ad campaign from Virgin Mobile that directly calls out Rogers' bogus fee and asks for honesty to replace the smoke and mirrors. As well, Virgin Mobile will approach relevant industry authorities to discuss its concerns and the establishment of more stringent standards to protect consumers.

"We're proud of the mobile phone service we provide," said Robert Blumenthal, President, Virgin Mobile Canada. "We innovate and put customers first, delivering everything people need without being sneaky. We love our customers and treating them properly is just the right thing to do. If you're with Rogers today, we're not surprised that you might be scratching your head. We invite you to switch over to us and see what mobile phone service should really be like."

About Virgin Mobile

The Virgin Mobile group of companies has attracted more than 12 million customers worldwide. As the No. 1 mobile youth network, Virgin Mobile Canada's mission is to be Canada's most loved mobile company. Its simpler, better deals offer customers control, flexibility and choice to design mobile packages that truly works for them. J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Canadian Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study has awarded Virgin Mobile "Highest in Customer Satisfaction With Prepaid Wireless Service, Five Years in a Row"(1) and it has ranked Virgin Mobile "Highest in Customer Satisfaction With Postpaid Wireless Service"(2). 91% of customers would also recommend Virgin Mobile to a friend.

Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000 locations with top-up cards available at more than 10,000 locations nationally. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at www.virginmobile.ca or by calling 1-888-999-2321.

    
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    (1) J.D. Power and Associates 2005-2009 Canadian Wireless Customer
        Satisfaction StudiesSM. Study based on 15,207 total responses from
        consumers with prepaid wireless service, measuring 5 wireless service
        providers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and
        perceptions of consumers surveyed in October 2009. www.jdpower.com
    (2) J.D. Power and Associates 2005-2009 Canadian Wireless Customer
        Satisfaction StudiesSM. Study based on 15,207 total responses from
        consumers with postpaid wireless service, measuring 9 wireless
        service providers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences
        and perceptions of consumers surveyed in October 2009.
        www.jdpower.com
    

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Virgin Mobile Canada

For further information: For further information: Erica Faltous, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4695, (416) 400-0171, Erica.faltous@hillandknowlton.ca


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