Cornwall ON – Dear Virgin Mobile, Jim Balsillie, and RIM. I’ve been with Virgin Mobile for nearly six years now. Who can live without a cell phone after all; especially in business?
I started with a pay as you go and then moved to a 3 year plan after the phone died. Recently I made the move to a “Smart Phone” only it seems as though I got stuck with a “Dumb Phone”.
I went to the kiosk and had to choose between an iPhone and a Blackberry Torch. I liked having a keyboard and it felt more solid than an iPhone.
I went with “The Tab” which meant I was spending about $679.00 putting up $179 and tabbing out the rest. I opened my new phone with all those manuals, bells and whistles and all was well for the first few days and then my new Torch flamed out. It died in its sleep and wouldn’t wake up.
I phoned Virgin Mobile customer support; something akin to putting needles in my eye only to be told I had to return it to the kiosk who of course didn’t have a replacement. Maybe next week I was told. I phoned Virgin and they explained that they’d make an exception and mail me out another phone reminding me that if they don’t get the first phone back I get dinged for it.
Well my business was without a phone for a week, but I was happy to have the new one in. Of course my data was gone and I had to re enter a bunch of info, but at least I could use my phone for work….that was until it started freezing. I was told by a few people that this happens with this model.
So I called Virgin Mobile and they said “Send it back and we’ll send you another.” I told them that I simply couldn’t afford another week without a phone, not too mention all this time with customer support. At this point my monthly bill came in, a whopping $179 and the system wouldn’t let me in to see it. I was told that I wasn’t registered which was odd as I’d been looking at my bills online for nearly 3 years! This had happened recently when they switched from the old system to the new system for my old phone also.
I’d called customer support so often over the last year that it almost felt like I could work in their customer support.
So I told them Nyet. I don’t want a Torch any longer. I felt burnt. I said just turn my old crappy phone back on because at least it worked as a phone. And the rep actually told me they’d do that, but that I’d have to pay the full TAB!!!
At that point I asked for a supervisor, but none was available. Two days later one called and offered to replace my Torch with…another Torch. I said Nyet. No more Torch for me. He offered me half off for 3 months and I told him I didn’t want money. I just wanted a phone that worked because there’s nothing like being in a sales meeting and going to show someone The Cornwall Free News on your new smart phone (or dumb phone) and having the screen freeze.
I asked for his supervisor and he promised that someone would call. Nobody ever has.
So now Virgin Mobile, Jim Balsillie ( I still think the NHL shafted you and that you should have your hockey team in Canada) and RIM I’m in this situation where I have a phone that freezes that I have no confidence in and a bill due that I can’t read.
I’m thinking this isn’t really productive or good. I don’t want to call your customer service anymore because frankly I don’t have any faith in having my issue resolved.
What I’ve been told by a few friends is that you’ll just bill me to death, and unless I pay what you want, send it to collection and trash me for nothing which is sad because for all this time you’ve been getting my money each and every month.
I know in business; like in life, the difference between winners and losers is how you deal with adversity. Is this really how you are going to handle this Virgin Mobile? Is this really how your company operates?
I for one hope not. I for one hope that there’s a happy ending to this story and all that anecdotal information I’m getting is totally wrong.
We shall find out soon…..
So I phoned customer support to give them one last try. I’m still on hold after speaking to two people with heavy accents. (It turns out the call centre is in the Philippines) One suggested that they might send me a different phone but that I’d still be on a tab which is a bit confusing. I explained that I bought the phone in good faith. It didn’t work out and I simply want to be taken care of for this mess. The call ended with him assuring me the proper notes were added to my file and that guess what? Someone would be calling me!
Monday December 13. Ring Ring. It’s the doorbell and what’s on my step, but a new Blackberry Torch. This after I clearly told the rep from the Phillipines last week I din’t want any more Black Berry Torches.
I phone Virgin and get a non-Phillipine support person.
I still can’t see my bill online other than a total. She explains the bill to me line by line and sure enough when I migrated to the Torch and was promised quite clearly by the sales rep that none of my phone features and billing would change they’d dropped my 400 free Long distance minutes. They also had roaming charges even though my phone is set to only work off of the Home Network.
I now have two Blackberry Torches I don’t want and almost $400 in phone bills for two months when my monthly should only be about $75!!
40 minutes into this call and I’m waiting for a supervisor before I give up on them and go get my phone number ported over to a new phone with another company.
What a total waste of my time. Even the clerk admitted that I’m not the only person having issues with the Torch regarding Freezing.
UPDATE 4- 3:24 on December 13, 2010
Someone named Jeremy from Virgin posted in our comments section below while I’m hold with Virgin.
Hey there – This is Jeremy, I’m the Social Media and Community Manager here at Virgin Mobile. Sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad time with your phone. Talli passed this link on to me after offering to help you here a week ago.
In your original post you say that “I don’t want to call your customer service anymore” so we’ve offered to help you through email. Yet in your last update you say you want to call in again, so I have to admit I’m a bit confused. We’d love to help you out through this forum or through email, all we need is for you to email us at email@example.com Talli originally offered.
Of course we would have an account for you with info in it, but since this is an anonymous posting we have no way of knowing who you are. Talli or myself would need you to email us with your name and phone number so that we can access your info.
Again, we’re here for you and would love to help you out. All we need is for you to email us and we hope you do.
So I emailed Jeremy and the hello address and received an auto-reply that someone should get back to me in two business days.
In the meanwhile the first clerk I was on hold with, Terry, came back on to chat with me even though I’d asked for a supervisor to tell me she could give me 100 Free Long Distance minutes and I explained to her that when someone says there will be no changes to a contract and there is that’s an issue.
Now I’m still waiting for a supervisor…
UPDATE 5 – 3:55 PM
Spoke with Talli who posted below and there’s now a glimmer of hope. A ray of sunshine peeking through this wasted morass of blackness. 🙂
Update 6 – 4:12 PM
Another chat with Talli – am waiting to see the old phone ring and be active again. More rays of hope….
FINAL VIRGIN UPDATE!
Talli was amazing. I wish all cell phone companies had that kind of support. She patiently sifted through the mess and addressed all of our issues.
I sent back the third Torch that the rep in the Phillipines sent over my protests as well as Torch number two that was freezing and my old regular cell phone was reactivated. My account was cleaned up and I’m on month to month now.
I’m still going to be looking for a mobile net solution for 2011, but I’m going to wait a bit more and see what comes onto the market.
While Talli was impressive and I give Virgin full kudo’s for having people there I’m not 100% sure I’m going to stick with Virgin.
It’s time to start checking out all of the competition….
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.
If you’re having a problem with a customer service issue or a bad business experience you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and if we see merit in your case we’ll try and help you get it resolved!