Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Virgin (im)mobile

I'm one of those users who don't need anything else than broadband. I don't have a telly, and I don't have a stereo, just my laptop for e-mails, Twitter and Facebook, some fora, and catching up with documentaries or watching films. Unfortunately, I don't have a choice as there are no other companies who offer broadband only. Virgin, with its call centre in India (or wherever) is a pain in the arse to deal with. As you know, I recently moved from one flat to another in the same building and even took my modem with me. It took them three whole weeks to come and connect me. To make matters worse, they charge me a fiver more for the same package I had, despite my telling them I don't want to change anything. Before the move I paid 18.50, now they charged me 23.  So I called and asked them how it can be possible. After a long back and forth and transferring me to the right person--someone in the UK--I'm now paying 18.50 again, having had to agree to an 18-months contract. Fine by me, I can't switch anyway. Besides, once Virgin is connected, it's going fine. In the six years I've been with them, I only had troubles to connect on three occasions and got reimbursed by Virgin for the times missed. Nevertheless, I had asked for a loyalty discount when I spoke to the call centre before I moved flats, and they assured me they'll do whatever they can. Well ...

Now on to Virgin mobile. I only have a PAYG tariff, because I'm not exactly one who's constantly on the phone, or texting. In fact, I hate texting. So a contract wouldn't make any sense to me. If I need to call a landline, I use Skype. However, after my last 'getting lost' while cycling to a certain destination, I decided I've had enough and need a phone that's capable of accessing Google Maps. Went online, checked out the phones, picked one and called Virgin. All fine, until they said their courier is Yodel. After the (un)wonderful experience with that company last time, I told the lady from Virgin that, in that case, I'd rather get the phone from the shop. Great, I thought, saves me anger and hassle with Yodel and eight quid. Win/Win.
Went to the shop the very next morning--to learn their system was down. They couldn't access my account and credits. Uh! I was assured I'd be called when this issue was resolved. I nodded and waited ...
Today, I thought I'd be clever and call Virgin, before I cycle the fifteen minutes to the shop. The non-British lady from the call centre didn't understand what I was talking about. I explained again and she assured me the issue was resolved. Yay!
With anticipation I headed over to Wood Green, having to wait for twenty minutes until someone could speak to me, to learn--that the system's still down. Plus, while I was there, the phone rang and rang. When it was my turn I told the guy to please answer it. Took ages, but, hey, one happy customer on the other side of the line. When he put the phone down he apologised, saying that's why he never answers the phone. Huh, Virgin, is that how you see good customer service? Two overworked people in a shop with a queue of people waiting, ignoring the phone? Not fixing your system? For the overpriced costs I would think you can employ a few people who can sort this out, don't you think?

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