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Virgin Mobile today launched the Virgin Mobile Tester Team, a concept encouraging Virgin customers to produce two minute handset video reviews in exchange for a phone.

Accordng to Virgin, recent research is indicating online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of product information, only behind information received from friends and family

Aussies looking to purchase a new handset will now be able to also turn to Tester Team reviews for advice, as well as iTWire of course.

 The Virgin Mobile Tester Team program opened today for all Virgin Mobile Australia customers, who can nominate themselves via a dedicated Facebook tab and on Virgin Mobile’s website.

The successful Tester Team participants will be sent the latest handset to test drive and asked to review the phone model’s pros and cons via a two-minute video that will be uploaded to Virgin Mobile’s YouTube page and the Tester’s own social media channels. They then get to keep the handset.
 
The initiative follows the trend on YouTube forusers to upload videos of themselves, documenting the unboxing process and revealing the moment of newly purchased, must-have technology products and the increasing popularity of these clips. 

Other popular trends include customers lining up to buy new phones only to smash them and upload the destruction video to YouTube, although somehow I think Virgin's terms and conditions might prohibit this.
 
Commenting on the new initiative, Virgin Mobile Marketing Director, David Scribner said: “The customer experience has always been at the core of everything we do at Virgin Mobile. We care about what our customers think, so who better to review our products than those who use them. By asking real people - our customers - to review handsets openly means people are getting a fair and honest review by everyday people, not just the technology pros.
 
"Recognising the value of peer endorsement, Virgin Mobile is excited to provide real reviews from real people via the Virgin Mobile Tester Team.
 
“The Virgin Mobile Tester Team is just one way that Virgin Mobile is putting control in our customers’ hands, providing reviews that reflect how our customers actually use their phones on a daily basis," Scribner said.

"We have one million Virgin Mobile customers who are in fact handset experts, so who better to review our handsets than our own passionate customers.”
 
To express interest in joining the Handset Tester team or to check out reviews, visit Virgin's Tester Team page here.

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David Swan

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David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the tender age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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