Posted by: Daisy | October 27, 2008

Asking Virgin Mobile

I finally gave in and got a cell phone a few months ago.  I ended up choosing Virgin Mobile and went on their Pre-paid plan.  That basically means, I pay for the phone, and then I pay as I go without a contract.

The customer experience from the beginning was pretty good.  I had a few mishaps with a portion of their web site having some issues and going down, but I figured nothing out of the ordinary.  The folks I purchased from were pretty great and darn happy it seemed for folks working retail.  The phone works just dandy, and there were absolutely no issues.. until I tried to figure out how many minutes I was using. 

I checked around all the usual suspects to figure out how to get this information and finally filled out a standard form requesting information.  Here’s a shorter version of what it said:

Sep 26, 2008
Are you currently a Virgin Mobile Customer?: true
First Name: Daisy
Last Name: ****
Virgin Mobile number: ***-***-****
Contact telephone number: ***-***-****
Enter your PIN: ****
Tell us more: How can I find out what my monthly minutes used so far are?

They responded with a friendly (standard note) that follows:

Oct 1, 2008

Hi Daisy,
Hope everyhing’s good!
Currently Virgin Mobile Canada does not have the ability to track minute usage for our customers.  We are currently looking into systems that will better enable us to track monthly minutes.
In the meantime, while we don’t send out billing summaries every month, we can certainly send you one if you like. We just need your PIN for your account, for security purposes. We can email your billing summary as a Microsoft Excel file as soon as possible, or send you a printed version by mail, which takes about 5-7 business days. Oh yeah, one last thing – our records only show up to the last 90 days of your phone activity
Raymond, VM Team


Why thanks Raymond! I responded back with a note saying – you have my pin. It was in the original note above.  You know, the one you originally replied to?

Oct 6, 2008
Hi Daisy!

Thank you for writing in again! Sorry we didn’t notice the PIN # before.

I am setting up a usage request for you on your account. You should get the usage report within the next 3-5 business days. If you have any other questions or problems, please give us a call at #1-888-999-2321 and a friendly customer rep will be happy to help you out!


VM Team


Thanks Tara.  Two weeks later, I wrote again on Oct 20th asking where my usage report was.  Today, Oct 27th, I called asking where my usage report was.  The not-so-friendly lady sure as heck didn’t sound like Tara or Raymond, or the electronic lady who answers the phone.  Instead, she sounded like one of the many typical customer service reps hating her job, and told me that she would put a note in my file.  I told her I didn’t want a note in my file.  I wanted my usage report and I wanted to know how she would ensure I got it.  No answer.  Except that she would put it in the notes.  I’m looking for someone to take responsibility and follow-through.  Come on.  Go put it on another monkey’s back if you need to.  But take it.  Okay.  How about this, I need a call back today or tomorrow to tell me when I should expect my usage report.  Does that sound fair?  Yes, okay.  Oh goodie.  Crap, I should have given her a consequence if I don’t get a call back.  Oh well, too late now.

You know, the importance of the usage report isn’t even that high (that’s why I let it slide for so many weeks – now more than 4 weeks since the first request for information), however, it is the communications and customer service that is concerning me.  I guess I got sucked into believing they could deliver on what they promised.

My note to them today (I followed up the phone call with yet another email basically summarizing the phone call) included a note about how I am a new Pay as I go customer who is very happy I did not sign a contract with them and now considering a move elsewhere. 

Get cracking and fix your leaky work processes, okay Virgin Mobile?

Oct 28, 9:40am Update.
Hey guess who sent me a note this morning? Wanna see what it says this time? 😉

Hello Daisy,

We do apologize for the late response.

Due the high volume of usage request our Admin department are currently with their usage summary process and that’s the reason why you haven’t receive your usage summary yet!!! We do apologize. But hey! no worries I have gone ahead and forward an e-mail to our Admin department in regards to your request and I will send you a confirmation as soon as your usage report is submitted.

Again we do apologize for any delay and we really appreciate your patience.

In the meantime if you have more questions or concerns feel free to give us a call @ 1-888-999-2321 or 611 from your Virgin Mobile phone and we are here to help anytime between 9am-9pm (local time) Monday-Saturday and 10am-7pm (local time) Sunday.

Have a nice day now!

VM Team

Why Rizza, you have a nice day too. And magically 9 minutes later, I got my usage report. Deciphering it, now that’s a different story!

– Daisy


  1. OMG… How terribly frustrating for you. Customer Service can seriously suck sometimes. I don’t blame you if you switch companies.

    I have to admit, I love the tone of their emails – they are so ‘fun’.. perhaps I should just write my next one in their tone…. – Daisy

  2. That’s virgin for you!

    I’m not too keen on the other competitors either.. so I’m going to cross my fingers that they’ll come through.. – Daisy

  3. I work for Virgin USA and you can track your mins. on your handset. It’s strange that you can’t do it in Canada. It was fun reading your post.

    Yes, in my first email, the longer version had a question about whether I could track it on the handset, and really, I don’t know why it’s not possible. Thanks for the visit. – Daisy

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