I sent the letter below to the CEO of Vigin Mobile over a month ago. Thus far, there has been no response.
Can anyone suggest a decent, inexpensive prepaid cell phone service?
August 14, 2008
Daniel H. Schulman, CEO
Virgin Mobile USA
10 Independence Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Warren, NJ 07059
Dear Mr. Schulman,
Ref: Virgin Mobile phone number (XXX) XXX-XXXX
I purchased a Virgin Mobile Marbl phone from Target on April 23, 2007 and signed up for an account through your Web site on April 24.
The phone has never worked properly. Here is what I wrote about the problem to your firstname.lastname@example.org email address on July 17, 2007:
We bought a Kyocera Marbl recently; our phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. The battery lasts less than a day when fully charged, even when no calls are placed or received. Even a short call makes the battery last for a lot less time. Furthermore, the low-battery warning is pretty much useless, because the phone konks out almost immediately after the battery is displayed.
I received a response (tracking number XXXXXX) telling me that I had to call to troubleshoot the phone. I passed this on to my wife, who actually uses it.
She made two subsequent attempts to call you. The first time she called, she found your telephone menu system so time-consuming impenetrable that she eventually gave up. The second time, she did manage to find her way into the supposedly correct queue for speaking to someone about the issue, but she ended up waiting on hold for so long that, again, she eventually gave up.
And then, since we are both very busy people, the phone simply sat, unused, in a drawer, and we continued to pay Virgin Mobile $20 every 90 days for a phone that we could not use.
A long time later, in March 2008, I ordered a new battery for the phone from a third-party site, Factory Direct Cellular. My reasoning was that since the battery was probably the problem, and it was apparently too much of a pain to get decent help from Virgin Mobile, it was easier just to pay to replace the battery ourselves. Unfortunately, it didn’t help – the phone continues not to work properly, even with the new battery.
Today, I decided to try one more time to get Virgin Mobile to address the problem. I called and spoke to one of your agents, explaining that we had tried on at least two prior occasions to get Virgin Mobile to address the issue and had been unable to do so. The agent with whom I spoke (after navigating your obnoxious menu system and waiting on hold for several minutes) apologized for the trouble, claimed that the phone was still under warranty, and said that she would transfer me to the department that would be able to arrange to send out a replacement.
The second agent, with whom I spoke after being transferred (after once again waiting on hold for several minutes), contradicted the first agent, informed me that the phone was not under warranty, and said that her “hands were tied” and there was nothing she could do about the problem. I asked to speak to someone whose hands were not tied.
The third agent, who claimed to be a floor supervisor, once again insisted that she could not replace the phone. I explained to her that she could see clearly from our account records that we had almost never used the phone, and that we had tried twice within its warranty period to get Virgin Mobile to address the problem. She claimed to have no record of that. I offered to fax to her a copy of the email message in which I first notified Virgin Mobile that the phone wasn’t working, and she said that would not do any good.
You sold me a bad phone, and you’ve provided me with bad service. You’re about to lose me as a customer because of it, but you can keep me as a customer for the foreseeable future simply by replacing the bad phone you sold me and apologizing for the bad service my wife and I have received in our repeated attempts to get this problem addressed.
The alternative is that I’m going to use the cash balance on my account to purchase a phone from your Web site, auction it off on eBay in an attempt to recoup at least some of the money you’ve stolen from me, cancel my Virgin Mobile account, switch to another vendor, and then tell everyone I know, in person, through my blog and in postings to Internet forums I frequent, to avoid Virgin Mobile like the plague.
It’s your choice. I look forward to your prompt response.