Yesterday I received an email from Virgin Mobile, the pay-as-you-go cell phone company from which I got service until recently. I switched over to Verizon Wireless not because I ever had a complaint about Virgin Mobile—their coverage was good, and their pricing was up-front and not unreasonable (25 cents a minute for the first 10 minutes a day, 10 cents a minute after that, 10 cents to send a text message, nothing to receive one)—but simply because my cell phone usage had increased to the point where it wasn't economically efficient, especially with Verizon Wireless' free nights, weekends and in-network calling (Ratha is in-network, so I can call her any time totally free).
The email said they were sorry to lose me as a customer, and asked me to pass on my phone. Whoever I gave it to could re-activate it and get $5 added to their account. Now, obviously they would like me to do this so they can gain a customer (who would have to pay them a minimum of $20 every 90 days to keep their account active) to replace me. Still, I got emotional over this stupid email from this huge, faceless corporation. It didn't feel like they were trying to take advantage of me. It felt like they were my friend.
I wanted to keep my previous number when I switched to Verizon Wireless (and indeed, had consciously waited for number portability to come into effect before doing so), but I'm sort of tempted to re-activate with Virgin Mobile with a new number. I don't know what I would do with the phone—I guess I could loan it out to anyone who doesn't have a cellphone who I need to keep in touch with for a particular time period. But hey, it would only cost 1/6 as much as I'm paying Verizon Wireless now, and I'd spend way more than that on any of my actual friends in a heartbeat, right?