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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Virgin Mobile: Worst Customer Service Ever: Move over Chico's

So far. I've written about my bad experience with Chico's. A high up person got in touch with me, but never responded to my email. I also seem to have been taken off the mailing list, since I no longer receive catalogs. Retaliatory?

That's OK.

As I write, Mr. FS is on with Virgin Mobile. It is my fault. I noticed two charges for $20.60 for the same day on my Amex bill. I called Virgin to see if it was a mistake. They said I had to take it up with the credit card company. So I did. Amex said it seemed to be a mistake and removed the charge.

Virgin suspended daughter's phone service. After hours on the phone, including a 3-way call with us,Virgin, and Amex, we are ...nowhere. one rep says the charges were not an error; another rep said they were. Miss Em says they are. Virgin said that calling Amex set in motion a chain of events that will be hard to undo. When I said that the first rep told me to call Amex, Virgin said that it was a mistake to tell us that.

There is apparently no record of our chat with the supervisor. I can hear the annoyance in Mr. FS's voice. I think we will have to eat the loss of the minutes remaining on Miss Em's phone.

Roll of Companies I will no longer deal with:

DELL COMPUTER (don't ask)
CHICO'S (annoying)
Hamilton Books (this was a long time ago, so I may return)
VIRGIN MOBILE (winner of the worst contest or perhaps a tie with Dell)

Wonderful Companies that are famous for good service, and rightfully so:
Lands End
LL Bean
Sierra Trading Post

VIRGIN UPSHOT: We have to contact the credit card company and file a reversal of chargeback, pay the contested bill, file a fraud something-or-other, and THEN contest the charges with Virgin. Should we bother?


Duchesse said...

Don't bother, your time is worth more than $20.

Our son refused to pay a similar Fido charge. After brushing off his claim, Fido suspended service and placed bill with collection agency. I did a little tutorial w/ him re credit rating, he paid the $70, terminated his contract and signed up with a new phone company (Wind) who promise outstanding service.

Superb service? I second Land's End, who emergency couriered a mini wardrobe to me in FL, in ONE day when I was called there on a family emergency and had to fly from a business trip without being able to return home for clothes.

Shelley said...

Good to know who is a pain to deal with. How stupid not to take responsibility for badly trained staff. Depends on how badly you want the $20 back. For me it's not how much my time is worth (no one is paying me to do other work instead) but how much stress and aggrevation chasing them will cause. If you will be able to celebrate clawing back the $20, go for it; if it's just too much headache, let them keep it and just don't go back - ever.

If you wanted, you could even put a 'page' on your blog with Yea's and Yuck's (a Tightwad Gazette feature).

Duchesse said...

I don't gauge what my time is worth by whether someeone else is paying me, Shelley. It's not worth $20 to ME to be hunched over the phone dealing with these people, who are extremely unlikely to change their way of doing business by hearing my displeasure.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse and Shelley--Truly, these companies seem to be part of the evil empire. The problem is that we've put a lot of time in already--though that would come under the rubric of the "sunk cost fallacy."

Crystal Stemberger said...

I think my time is worth more than $20, BUT I will sacrifice my time to protest bad charges and services. I figure it's slightly therapeutic (I get to voice my angry opinion) and it might help someone else down the road.

I spent way too long filing official complaints about my really awfully-made Aveo and I'm planning on spending a few hours filing official complaints about Fedex as well.

In the past, I spent hours arguing with Comcast about the credits they were supposed to give me when my service went down. I'm now a happy AT&T U-Verse customer.

To me, it's more about the principal of the matter than it is about the money.

Funny about Money said...

Hhhmmmmm... Can Virgin Mobile spell "Louisiana Attorney General"?

Phone companies--make that "communications" companies--are the worst. My experience with Qwest was harrowing, and it's one of the things that makes me resist getting another cell matter what the provider.

About whether it's worth the time wasted to contest a $20 charge? Well, look it up on Consumerist. I was amazed to discover that I was not the only victim of Qwest's scam. Far from it; others described exactly the same maneuver.

If they're gouging you for twenty bucks, they're gouging a whole lot of other people. They get away with it because so many folks think it's not worth arguing about. When they cheat thousands of people out of $20, that adds up. Hugely. The only way practices of this sort will stop is when people quit putting up with it.

So far service has been pretty good with Cox.

SLF said...

Why is Em using Virgin Mobile anyway? They're rates are at least double what I pay for my Net10 phone although admittedly the phones they offer are less "cool." I say cancel service with Virgin and switch providers for moral and financial reasons :) Em can even switch her number over to the new company.

--Frugal Son

Frugal Scholar said...

@All--We're still trying to decide what to do. The second customer service rep said 1)there was no record of the 3-way call with AMEX, and that 2) having such a call is not allowed. MESSED UP COMPANY. EVIL EMPIRE.

Unknown said...

That's kinda disappointing in your part to be handled by that. It's kinda sad also because there are still companies with very poor customer service. We must all take note how important customer service is in making a company increase its credibility and its sales as well.

Poor customer service will result in making a company have very bad trust rating, net sales or it can really damage the reputation of a company. So companies nowadays should really give trainings to their staff and to their call center agents to ensure their customers that they will be able to provide them the best customer care that they deserve.

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