“Virgin Mobile, You Suck” Club

crackphoneVirgin Mobile, you suck! I’ve been a customer of their no-contract wireless service for over four years, enjoying my Samsung Galaxy S2 until two weeks ago when I dropped it onto the concrete of Main Street and it shattered beyond repair. Time for an upgrade.

Satisfied with my provider up until now, I ordered a new iPhone 6 through their Website. Excited to get my new phone, I sprung for the $12 overnight shipping. It arrived two days later.

When I called to ask where it was after one day, they explained it shipped overnight only after they processed it the next day. While I had Carlos on the phone (always get the name!), I asked him what I would have to do when I got the phone; I wanted to be prepared. He gave me some simple instructions involving entering a series of numbers and the pound sign after I powered on the phone. He also advised me to call them so they could “swap” phones.

The phone arrived the next day, and with it, a bonus credit card holding a fingernail-size gold chip. This is the sim card and I followed directions to punch it out and insert it into the phone. Carlos did not mention hardware!

I called Virgin again. I wanted to ensure I proceeded correctly.

“This is my first iPhone,” I explained. “I just want to make sure I’m doing it right.”

“I will help you, ma’am. Do you have a paper clip? Take it and push it into the silver button on the side.”

“It’s not opening,” I explain. At this point, I thought the silver end cap would pop out and the sim card would slide into the slot. I didn’t know there was a “tray.” I persisted to push the pin-sized button and nothing happened.

“Push it harder,” the technician advised.

“I’m trying. I don’t want to break it.” Finally, I shove the clip in deep and forcefully enough and something comes flying out. Now I know it was the sim card tray and the cover. But I had never examined iPhone hardware before. “There! It popped out. Now, what? The cover is gone! I told you I didn’t know what I was doing!” I was heated at this point.

Crawling on the floor, with the Virgin Mobile lady still on speaker, I searched for a silver cap and I can’t find it. She says, “Never mind, let’s try to do it without the cover.” NOW I KNOW THIS IS WRONG. “Try to put the sim card into the slot – just push it in.”

“I don’t think I should put it right into the slot,” I was hesitant.

“Just jam it in. Push it in!” She insisted. Finally, I shoved it in and nothing happened. I tried turning the phone on; it was on but said no sim card. Now I had a non-functioning phone with a stuck sim card.

“Now what do I do?”

“You have to go to a Virgin Mobile Certified location and they have to take the sim card out for you professionally,” she said. “There’s a place on Amsterdam Avenue.”

“That’s across the bridge in another state, isn’t there anywhere closer in New Jersey?”

“I can’t be sure if they will be qualified.”

At this point, I was flabbergasted so I hung up. I called Apple Care instead and they suggested I go to the Apple Store. Jordan would handle it for me – and he did, only in the process of extraction, he damaged my sim card. Sorry! I would need to request a new one from Virgin Mobile.

I had to call them again.

I won’t give relay the dialog this time, but I was sizably more irritated. I asked them if they would overnight me a new sim card. They transferred me to Technical Support because only they could waive the fee. I spoke with the second Carlos. He assured me it was coming in the mail the next day.

It didn’t come.

The next day I called them again. They checked the system and told me it was coming on the 15th. (It was the 10th.)

“You told me it was coming overnight. They say our conversations may be recorded. Please pull up all of my conversations!”

‘I’m sorry, ma’am, but it has already been processed and out to Fed Ex and we can’t change it.”

The 15th came and guess what? The sim card arrived! I called Virgin again so they could connect this sim card to my phone.

The sim card has a 20-digit number in font size one. (Usually, 10-12 size is the normal type size for human legibility.) I’m 41 and this font size one is making me feel especially old because I say, “these numbers are so tiny” more than once and I read it to the first woman three times. She put me on hold two times before she says she needs to transfer me to Technical Support. (I thought I had already gotten to Tech Support buy pushing 4.)

I read the microscopic 20-digit number two more times and this technical support rep says he’s sorry, they sent me the wrong sim card. It’s for 3G, not 4G.

What am I to say now? I use words like unacceptable and supervisor and he says, “There is nothing anyone else can do for you.” I’m the word beyond exasperated and disgruntled and feel like I’m in a travel nightmare.

He promises he will overnight a new sim card. The next day comes. That’s today. Guess what? NO SIM CARD.

I call them again.

They tell me it was just processed today and I should get it tomorrow after 3 pm. It’s been two and a half weeks without a phone. Virgin Mobile, I’m breaking up with you.

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7 thoughts on ““Virgin Mobile, You Suck” Club

  1. I was a fan of virgin mobile until trying to switch phones as well. It took over a week to transfer my service to the new phone and I had to call three times to ask why it still hadn’t been done! Then when I switched to another carrier, they gave ne the run-around when I tried to get my account number from them so I could carry over my phone number! I was transfered four times and they finally gave me a fake number. I gave up and got a new phone number.

  2. OMG I hope that doesn’t happen to me. I am switching carriers but still haven’t “cancelled” my service b/c I want my number. It’s the only number I’ve ever had since this whole cell phone business started 20 years ago!

  3. That’s why I am going to go to a new provider and get it all set up before I call to have them disconnect the number. I was nervous if I returned the physical phone, they would disconnect my number. It kind of sucks – no, it really sucks – that customer service has gone to the crapper.

  4. Pingback: “Bring Back Customer Service” Club – HeartsEverywhere

  5. Red Oscar

    So sorry to hear that you have had such a bad experience. I have a Virgin Mobile Galaxy S2 that has never been activated, only used on WiFi, that I could have sold you for cheap. If it were me, I would have viewed some YouTube videos on how to install a sim card on the iPhone 6. From a couple of videos, I learned that the tool to remove the tray comes with the iPhone, and that it doesn’t look that difficult (as long as you are careful).

    I recently retired my old Motorola Triumph, which has served me faithfully for several years, to the HTC 816 on Virgin Mobile. I used a laptop to swap phones, and the process took me all of about 5 minutes. The new phone became activated almost immediately. The HTC 816 works great and Virgin’s LTE service is far faster then their 3g service. I’m really glad I made the upgrade.

    It sounds as if you need a geeky friend.

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