SafeLink Wireless raises federal Lifeline offering
From press release
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Prepaid cell phone provider, TracFone Wireless, Inc., announced its federal Lifeline offering, SafeLink, will now offer participants of the program in Illinois the choice of three monthly plans, including up to 250 minutes of free monthly talk time—nearly an hour more per month than is offered by any other competitor.
The new choices made possible by TracFone give low-income families up to 250 minutes of free monthly talk time and additional flexible plan options give families the freedom to choose which plan is best suited for their needs to stay connected, stay safe. Also, SafeLink is the only plan that gives eligible applicants the freedom to use their minutes for either texting or to make a phone call.
Recognizing that Americans are still struggling through the worst economic recession in decades, SafeLink is renewing and further strengthening its commitment to low-income families by affording them the ability to stay connected with current or potential employers, children at home alone while their parents are at work, health care specialists, vital emergency responders, or relatives in time of personal emergencies, such as roadside vehicle breakdowns.
In addition to the free wireless cell phone customers receive at TracFone’s expense, participants of the SafeLink Wireless program will have the choice of the following plans:
→ New 250 free monthly non-carryover minutes, one text per each minute and a free cellular handset.
→ New 125 free monthly carryover minutes, one text per each minute and a free cellular handset.
→ 68 free monthly carryover minutes, three texts per each minute, International Long Distance to more than 100 destinations and a free cellular handset.
Illinois customers previously enjoyed a flat allotment of 200 free minutes per month. The new plans will allow SafeLink customers in the Prairie State more options to appropriately address their needs.
In addition to the free monthly airtime minutes for one year, SafeLink offers superior coverage area throughout the United States; quality LG, Motorola, and Samsung cell phones; 411 at no additional cost; unlimited access to 911; and in-demand features: voicemail, call waiting and caller ID.
Paulette Hampton of Chicago, 57, was informed about SafeLink Wireless by her daughter. She’s been a customer for five months and has benefited from the service since the first day. Since she suffers from asthma, Paulette relies on her Safelink phone every day.
“Having the phone has been such a blessing, for my asthma attacks or other dangerous situations,” Hampton said. “I woke up one morning to a man in a hoodie banging at my door. I was alone, and I feared he was going to break in. With my phone, I was able to call my son right away and had him come stay with me. Had I not called, who knows what could have happened?
“I live alone and my children live outside of the city,” she continued. “There’s been so many times I’ve needed to call them for help, and having extra minutes makes me feel much safer.”
In August 2008, TracFone was the first to modernize Lifeline for the way people communicate today with the creation of SafeLink. SafeLink is offered in 24 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, with more than a million households eligible for the service in Illinois.
The prepaid feature gives customers the freedom to control the cost of their monthly telephone expense without any surprises. SafeLink customers wishing to use additional minutes beyond their free allotment can add minutes by purchasing TracFone airtime cards at local retailers. As an exclusive benefit for SafeLink customers, SafeLink phones will automatically add bonus minutes to TracFone’s 60-, 90- and 120-minute airtime cards. However, there is no requirement to purchase additional minutes and no pressure applied to applicants to do so at any time.
To qualify for Lifeline in the state of Illinois, a household must participate in one of the following:
→ Federal Public Housing Assistance/Section 8
→ Food Stamps
→ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
→ Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
→ National School Lunch (free program only)
→ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
For enrollment and plan changes support, call 1-800-977-3768 or visit SafeLink.com.
From the Sept. 15-21, 2010 issue
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