Diatribe: Why Do People On Government Assistance Get Free Cell Phones?
I’ve had a cell phone plan for many years. My first contract was with SBC. SBC merged with BellSouth Corporation and, in 2000 created Cingular Wireless. In 2004, Cingular Wireless acquired AT&T Wireless. Throughout all these changes I remained a loyal customer and my plan grew and changed until, currently, we pay for four lines … three of which are smartphones with unlimited data and text messaging. Over the years I’ve spent thousands of dollars on wireless service.
Today I learned about Assurance Wireless, a “Lifeline Assistance” program from Virgin Mobile that’s supported by the federal Universal Service fund. All customers get a free phone and two-hundred-fifty free voice minutes each month. There is no annual contract or activation fee. Users enjoy nationwide coverage via the Sprint Network, voicemail, call waiting, Caller ID and access to 911 services. For free!
To qualify for Assurance Wireless, customers must participate in a government program including Medicaid, Food Stamps, Section 8 Housing, School Lunch Program or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs. Others qualify solely based on household income.
Why do people on government assistance get free cell phones? I don’t get it!