Friday, January 11, 2008

Virgin Mobile Phone Activation Hell

So I've been trying to activate my wife's virgin mobile phone for two weeks now. She's had the service for a few years now and every year we upgrade the phone to a newer model. This year they've made it so if you activate with a customer service representative you have to pay $10. But if you do it online, it's free. So we tried the online route and the POS web server kept rejecting the ESN number. Call number one which took over 45 minutes consisted of confirming that it was indeed the right ESN and that we did have enough IQ to use the web page. Yet the end result was that yes they understood it was their fault but for them to fix it would cost $10 as the computer would not let them override. Thus began the email rant to customer service. After a few volleys they said they'd fix it for us for free. Followed by a few more emails confirming information, then followed by a "We're sorry, you'll have to call us to fix this". Thus began Call number 2. Talked to friendly advisor who came to the same unfrigginbelievable response. I decided it was time to escalate and asked for a supervisor. After 15 minutes on hold I was beginning to wonder if Sir Richard Branson himself had been roused to come and defend his company's honor. Unfortunately no, just some low level supervisor who came up with pretty much the same rubbish and added - "it shows the computer has automatically launched an investigation." To which I asked well hasn't it been generating errors for two weeks now? What's the difference now?
Yeah, it's only $10 but at this point it's just the principle. Any good customer service company has to provide a way to fix issues that are caused by their own systems or they are worthless.

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