Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Wonder Virgin Mobile is a Virgin.

I'm so frustrated, y'all. I've been without cell phone service since yesterday, all because Virgin Mobile's website was designed by a spider monkey on crack.

I usually pay my bill via PayPal, since that's how I get paid and it's where all my money is. Last month, however, I was super broke from being sick and basically not working, so I used a credit card instead. Or I thought I did. A few days later I checked my bank account and noticed it was negative $50. Virgin had charged my PayPal account anyway, instead of the card that I entered the numbers from and pushed "pay". Despite a few Twitter messages back and forth with their customer service, they eventually stopped replying, which I took to mean they really didn't care. I probably should have fought it harder, but I was sick and didn't have the energy.

So that brings us to this month. My bill was due yesterday, so I re-added my PayPal account so I could pay it. However, when I click "Pay Now", it sends me to log in again. After I log in, I click to pay, it sends me to log in, etc etc. If I click to pay from a different part of my account page, I get an error telling me to call them. ARRGH.

I hate calling anyone, so I tried talking to their customer service via Twitter again. That led to this:

VirginMobileUSA Care
What kind of issues are you having with the website?

Me: (lengthy explanation similar to what you just read, but in more like 280 characters.)

VirginMobileUSA Care
What device are you using to log into your account? Phone or PC?

Crystal Ward
PC, phone can't log on without service.

(I actually grabbed my phone at that point and tried to pay via the little $ icon, thinking maybe they were smart enough to leave that enabled, but it gave me the "Dude, you don't have internet when your phone doesn't have service!" message.)

VirginMobileUSA Care
And your web is working fine? You may want to try topping up from a PC.

Crystal Ward
I *am* trying to do it from a PC. I think you misread my response.

VirginMobileUSA Care
I'm sorry! Please email our team at (an e-mail address that amusingly ends with with a screenshot of the error you are receiving.

That sounded like it would go nowhere fast, so I finally gave in and tried calling customer service. It automatically knew I needed to pay my bill, and it gave me options of credit/debit card and PayPal. I said PayPal. It gave me a lengthy speech about how snazzy it is to be able to pay via PayPal, and then told me I could do so online. WTF? "Do you want to pay with a different method now?" it asked. "NO." "Ok, I'll send you back to the main menu!"

I hung up.

It finally occurred to me that it might work if I went back to the website and clicked the "restart my month now!" option. (I have a prepaid plan, so it gives you the option to restart early if you run out of minutes.) That gave me this:

An error has occurred while processing your request

We're having some trouble. Call Virgin Mobile At Your Service and they'll help you out.

It tells me to dial *VM to contact them, but given that I have a BlackBerry, dialing *VM doesn't do anything. Smooth one, Virgin.

So, I sent them a message through the help section of their site, detailing everything out again. I got this back:

"Our team is looking at your email right now. Due to higher than normal email volume recently, we will respond to your email within 72 hours. We apologize for any inconvenience. "

a) Could you maybe be getting a large volume of emails because your website SUCKS?
b) No big deal, I'll just hang out here without phone service for 72 hours. I don't have a life or need a phone or anything.

So, in short.... BLARRGHHHHH! I use this company because it's the best rate plan I've found ($35 for unlimited texts, internet, data, etc and 300 minutes) but having to go through THIS level of crap just to pay my normal monthly bill is unacceptable, especially since they screwed me over last month.

I should probably try calling and speaking to an actual human, but I'm way too frustrated at this point and I'd probably take it out on them, so I'll wait for a while to see if I hear back from my message.

Can anyone recommend a good no contract cell phone company with BlackBerry service?


Sharon said...

Oh man, that's SO aggravating! I was getting more and more pissed off on your behalf as I was reading that.

Unfortunately I'll be of no help to you, since I'm in Canada, but at least you guys have cheaper mobile rates than we do! It's ridiculous how much we're screwed up here. *sigh*

Hope you find a better company to use, and soon!

TriGirl said...

Stopping by from Comment Love day. I used to have Virgin mobile and I think I had the most basic plan they offered since I didn't use my phone much. I hate that sort of thing. It makes me feel like I'm going crazy. I ended up switching to an iPhone through AT&T a couple of years ago and things have been going pretty well. Good luck!

Ms Kate said...

Ug, so pleased I live in NZ. We have issues, but not as frustrating as that!
Seems weird to be paid by PayPal, I can't imagine that happening over here!
Stopping by from comment love day.

Laura said...

Visiting from comment love Sunday. That sounds absolutely horrible. What a mess. I hope you get it figured out soon.

Inspiring Always said...

Greetings from Singapore!

Visiting from Comment Love Day. I hate talking to machines too.

Hope you will get it sorted out soon.