Blogging 365, Day 51: The Last Virgin Mobile Post


UPDATE 2/21/13: In the midst of Virgin Mobile’s outage that they are now quietly acknowledging, I got this interesting text today:

2013-02-21-17-02-04

I clicked on the link and it took me here (click image to enlarge or go directly to site):

boost

Ahem. So I went ahead and called my voicemail and it told me exactly what this page reads. This seems very interesting to me since Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile use Sprint’s network. I can’t be sure (nor do I have further proof) but if I had to guess, Virgin is going the way of the dodo and will soon be swallowed up by Boost Mobile.

All of this while they continue to sell phones and charge people for service they can’t use. I smell lawsuit or at least some sort of compensation, which is too bad since we’re moving on (read rest of post).

Has anyone else gotten this? Leave your notes/frustrations in the Comments section.

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vm logo

For as long as I’ve been a customer of theirs, I’ve always been happy to write about Virgin Mobile’s bargain pricing and decent selection of phones. After all, coming from Verizon where Ann and I were paying well over $100 for two lines, the lure of paying a mere $25 per line (then $35 after a phone upgrade) was just too much to pass up.

And it worked for us. No, their 3G connection (provided by Sprint) is definitely not the fastest out there but it was reliable and did the trick for upwards of 4 years. SMS and MMS messaging were also trusty and only had a few hiccups now and then but nothing that would make me want to leave.

All was well for the longest time and in fact, Ann and I were looking to upgrade to the Galaxy S II once our tax refund was in our hot little hands. Even better? It’s currently selling for $279.99. All we needed was some cash.

Flash-forward to February 16, 2013, the day Ann’s new month started. I get a text from her telling me she wanted to send me a picture but couldn’t for some reason. She tried again and the phone just refused to do it. Later that day she realized that she had no 3G connection and couldn’t get online unless she was using WiFi.

This prompted a call to Virgin Mobile’s Customer Care line and if you have never called them, be prepared because this is what’s in store for you.

I spoke with no less than 8 people with each person “elevating” my call so that it would get higher priority. Each person asked me for the same information and had me do the same things to the phone, which went a little something like this:

programming

I gave them full access to Ann’s account so that they could try to figure out what was going on. None of it helped and by the 8th person I was becoming utterly annoyed by the service and incompetence of Virgin Mobile’s outsourced call center employees.

The best part? I was disconnected by Person #8 who was supposed to be Tech Support. This after being on the phone for almost an hour. That’s when I became completely unglued and weaved a blanket of obscenities that is still lingering above the house.

Figuring I had nothing to lose, I took to social media in the hopes of getting my problem solved. I definitely got responses and emails from @VMUcare but none of them solved the connectivity problem. All they kept asking for was my ZIP code and which error message I was getting.

And for each time they asked, I told them that there was no connectivity or no error messages. All that led to was the resetting instructions you see above which, as you can imagine, didn’t do a thing. I finally threw my hands up after this tweet.

vmtweets

Then I took to their Facebook page.

fbpost2

You know, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if people are having problems connecting to their 3G network then there’s a good chance that the network is having issues. This is what was making me even more annoyed because as the complaints continued to roll in about no connectivity, there was not one mention of such an outage. It was only until recently that the word started to get out that there was indeed an outage.

So until things are back up and running, Virgin Mobile customers are getting screwed out of the 3G service that they have already paid for. I do realize that we are paying a dirt-cheap rate for service but it would have been nice if Virgin Mobile would have told us up front that they were experiencing an outage, rather than make us jump through hoops of fire by following useless instructions in the hopes of getting our phones back online.

And should I mention that my phone is fine? Ann’s is the one that does not have connectivity. I’m doing the calling and complaining because she can’t handle dealing with people who are completely clueless, which this situation has confirmed.

Network issues cannot generally be avoided nor can they be fixed in a timely manner. I truly understand that. But what I don’t get is why Virgin Mobile didn’t acknowledge this in the first place so that we, their paying customers, were left in the dark all this time. And if you think what I told you was bad, I’ve read posts from people with iPhones who have been without service for close to two weeks. I’d be twice as annoyed and pissed off if I were one of them considering the unsubsidized price of the phone.

So, all things considered including the way in which the matter has been handled and the way I was treated when contacting Customer Care, we have decided that we are through with Virgin Mobile for good. This situation has proven that when it comes handling an outage, they have no idea how to go about appeasing their customers and would rather lie to us and delay us by having us try pointless phone resetting.

We have already chosen MetroPCS as our new provider and will be making the switch within the week. Until then, our phones will still be active through Virgin Mobile as they have to be if we wish to port our current phone numbers to our new provider, one who offers unlimited everything for $35 per line (with a Family Plan). This beats Virgin’s $35 plan for 300 minutes.

There you go, Virgin Mobile. For your lack of truthfulness regarding the network outage, incompetent call center, and overall poor service over the course of the outage, you are losing two previously loyal customers.

And I get the feeling we won’t be the only ones.

This is indeed my last Virgin Mobile post. You can thank them for making it happen.

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6 thoughts on “Blogging 365, Day 51: The Last Virgin Mobile Post

  1. Let me take a moment and say thank you. I’ve been without VM 3G (but not 4g where avail) for almost 2 weeks. I’ve been on multiple tech support calls, all claiming it’s my phone. “There’s NO reports of 3G issues right now”. Yah right. I hate being run around. I’m glad i’m not the only one, i’m sad you had to fight tooth and nail, and I think I will be asking for a free month after hearing this. Being today is the 21st, i’ll give it till tomorrow and i’m moving to Boost or another competitor a call.

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    • No problem. But before you go to Boost, you might want to check the update (at top of post). I figure it’s better to just leave them for good and let them sort out the issues without being lied to. Check MetroPCS’ coverage in your area. It’s a comparable deal and $5 cheaper per line with a Family Plan.

      We simply had enough after my last call in which I used language I’d rather not repeat after I was disconnected. Their “techs” truly are useless monkeys reading from a 3-ring binder.

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  2. I went ahead and filed a complaint with te FCC against them, im on day 12 of no service and in the hour I was on the phone with customer service, not one person even mentioned that there was a known data outage. They didnt bring that up until i resorted to twitter to tell the world how much they suck….and I like you have been a customer of theirs for many years.

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  3. Not only did I have data issues but now my Mother,partner and myself all have VM Phones. We have no voice service at all. This is going on day 5. I went and used a friends phone(at&t) to call VM. They told me it was just a little outage and would be fixed in a few hours. We had already been without service for days. I told her that and she said she did not know anything else. That it would be fixed by 9 pm. That was two days ago and we still have no voice and hardly any data or text. I have a young toddler who has been known to stop breathing at night and phone service can be life or death. This is ridicules. I think someone needs to get a lawsuit going because not only are we out the money for the month but we are stuck with fairly new phones that we can not use with anyone else and can’t afford new ones.

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    • Believe me, we feel (or felt) your pain. And I said, my phone was working fine but my wife’s was the one that was out for at least a week. The phone is still active but she still has no 3G connectivity. We also grew tired of their excuses and no solid answers on when the network would be back and working. It was all too much and I do hope that users can recoup the costs of their days of “service.” We’re now with MetroPCS and have had no issues so far, save for a poor 4G/3G signal inside my office (but I can use local WiFi if necessary). I can still get and send calls and texts. Best of luck to you.

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