Thursday, January 27, 2011

Continuing Problems With Virgin Mobile

I used to like this company, but now problems with Virgin Mobile continue to hit me in the pocketbook. Last November, I blogged about inadvertently ordering 2 month’s worth of data packs which can be used to access the internet on my cell phone. I say inadvertently because I didn’t press the buttons on the phone myself when the order went to Virgin Mobile. You see, when my phone downloads email, the touchscreen becomes unlocked and if say, a pen in the pocket where the phone is bumps the screen, it could do anything from trying to dial a number, send a text message, or in this case, order data packs. I think this is a design flaw with the cell phone because even though I have it in a case now, it still does the same thing.
So anyway, back to the problem. As I said data packs were ordered and I tried to cancel them by disabling internet access for my phone and calling Virgin Mobile customer service to get a refund. They told me that since I disabled internet access, they have no way of refunding the data packs that I never used. In short, that money had disappeared in cyberspace but was still being charged to my credit card. I then filed a dispute with the credit card company who refunded the money (worth 43.90) to my account. With Virgin Mobile, there is a separate fund to pay for phone calls which they call Top Up (or load in some countries). When I topped up with 20 dollars last November, Virgin Mobile took the money out of that fund and refunded my credit card, and they did it again in December when I topped up at that time (remember there where two separate bills that I disputed worth 21.95 each). In turn, the credit card company rescinded the refund they gave me because Virgin Mobile paid them back, even though this came from my top up fund. When I appealed to the credit card company’s customer service, they said they couldn’t do anything about it because when Virgin Mobile returned the money, the dispute had been settled. It may have been settled between them but I’m still out $43.90. When I originally contacted Virgin Mobile about this, all they could offer to placate me was 100 free minutes worth about $10.00. All I could do now is take a hard swallow and eat the cost. It’s irritating but it’s not the end of the world. Oh, well.

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