Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Few Virgin Mobile Incidents

While at work last week, my touchscreen cellphone got unlocked while being jostled around with pens in my pocket, and inadvertently ordered some data packs, twice. When I got home, I checked my account for any activity but it didn’t show any, so I deactivated the data function. Upon checking my credit card transactions the next day, it showed that I ordered the two data packs after all, albeit unintentionally. Each cost 21.95 for a total of 43.90 for 10 megabytes of data. Now, I have never used the internet on my phone other than to download email messages which cost only a few cents, so I had no use for those data packs. I immediately sent an email to Virgin Mobile to explain what happened.
This is what I told them: I have two transactions in my Visa account for $21.95 each for a total of $43.90. The other day, my phone which was in my pocket with a couple of pens, inadvertently ordered what I think were data packages. This wasn't done intentionally and I have no use for those packages. You can probably check in my history that I don't use the internet on my phone. Can you please cancel those transactions and reimburse my credit card account? Thank you very much.
This was their response: Regarding your request, we have carefully reviewed your account and saw that both data packs were activated through the web site, not the phone and since both of them were already deactivated, there's no way we can refund them. If you had contacted us immediately to let us know without deactivating them, we could have done something about it, but they were unsubscribed already. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and we would love to help you out with this. Your understanding will be highly appreciated. 
                So I called them right away and explained my plight again. The call center representative (in the Philippines) apparently consulted with a supervisor and reiterated that they could not give me a refund because I deactivated what I supposedly ordered. Not only that, if I wanted to avail of those data packs after all since I couldn’t get a refund, I couldn’t use them anymore because I deactivated them. In short, I’m giving them $43.90 in exchange for nothing! As a consolation prize, they offered to give me 100 anytime minutes which only cost less than half of what I was charged on my credit card. I forewarned them that I will be filing a dispute with the credit card company and that was the first thing I did after hanging up the phone. Via the credit card company website, I disputed the two charges and explained the situation.
So here is the update. The credit card company contacted Virgin Mobile and they agreed to cancel one of the transactions while they negotiated on the other one. A few days later, I noticed that both charges had been taken off my account. Virgin Mobile, it appears as of this writing, has allowed me keep the 100 minute consolation prize that they gave me.
A week after I thought I finished writing the draft of this post, Virgin Mobile is up to more shenanigans. A couple of weeks ago, I topped up my load and added $20 worth of minutes. Suddenly on Monday morning I received an automated text message from the company saying my auto top up failed (auto top up is a setting where if my minutes fall below $5.00 worth, my credit card is automatically billed $20 so I don’t run out of minutes). How can it fall below $5 when I hardly used the phone? I called up customer service and they said they were going to “escalate” my inquiry to find out how my $20 disappeared. Then I checked my account on their website later in the day. Well, since my credit card company didn’t pay Virgin Mobile (VM) the amount that I disputed, VM took it upon itself to deduct $21.95 from my account! Wow, the nerve! Since they gave me 100 minutes free (see above), I figured we could call it even. The next day, I checked my account again and they had readjusted it by giving me back the $20 I put in. I hope that’s the end of that or else I’m switching to another provider after I use all my minutes.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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you can also request any kind of data!