Steve Schlosnagle (frogmaster) wrote in bad_service,
Steve Schlosnagle

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Virgin Mobile USA problem

I have a billing dispute with Virgin Mobile USA. I have talked to Customer Service twice and just sent them an email message. Any other suggestions on how to resolve this?

Here is the email that I sent them, it explains the details of the dispute:

Good day,

I have two accounts with Virgin Mobile, one for each of my daughters:

xxx-xxx-0144 and xxx-xxx-0156

The 0144 account has been in dispute since the beginning of the month.

The dispute goes like this:

I try to deposit money via the web page into the account 2 days before the account is due, the web page looks as if it takes the deposit, but the charge does not show up on my credit card account and no money is deposited into the 0144 account.

A $4.00 charge is placed on the 0144 account because the account is close to the due date with no balance on the account.

I try to deposit money into the account again via the website, this time it does go through, I see the charge on my credit card account.

This is all still before the due date of the account.

Evidently it takes almost a week for the $4.00 charge to be credited back to the account.

My daughter gets text messages on her phone telling her that there is not enough money in the account. I reassure her that I put more than enough money into the account to cover her monthly charge.

Since the $4.00 charge is not refunded by the new month the account automatically goes into $0.18 per minute mode. She runs through the $40 and the phone stops working.

I call up customer service and we figure out just why the phone is not working. The operator says that they cannot do anything other than escalate this problem to disputes. They assured me that I would get a call back within 72 hours.

I never got a call back.

So I called customer service today. They inform me that the dispute department ruled against me. And there is nothing that they can do.

I was dumbfounded. I put in the contractually required amount of money before it was due to maintain the selected contract. They only reason that there is a dispute is because of the week lag in the eventual refunding of the $4.00 charge.

I think that a $4.00 charge to placed on the account for being "close" to the due date without a balance is ridiculous enough but then to take a week to refund that charge borders on predatory accounting practices!

Still, I was confident that customer service would be able see that this was a customer that was acting in good faith and be able put everything back on track.

Evidently customer retention is not very high value placed on the customer service department.

What it comes down to from my view:

1) I paid the amount I was supposed to pay when I was supposed to pay it.
2) Customer service has no authority to help me or even have the ability to put me into contact with someone who could.
3) While I paid full price for service, the service that I received was only fraction of the number of minutes. The phone has been mostly useless for this entire month of service.
4) I think we are entitled to a $35 credit towards our next month of service, since I did not get what I paid for this month.

I am not trying to something for nothing. I am not trying to get more than I paid for or 'work' the system in some manner. I am trying to be a good customer.

Seeing that Virgin Mobile is FAR from the only game in town for Pre-Paid cellular service I am surprised that you are so unwilling help a customer. The main reason I chose Virgin Mobile was because of their high customer service scores.

If I cannot get this resolved to my satisfaction I will simply cancel both of my accounts and go to another carrier. Yes, my other account, 0156, has a zero balance as of today, I am not about to put any money into that account until I see how the resolution of 0144 account works out.

Thank you for your time and attention,
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