Virgin To Virgin - Not So Free After All

What Lies Beneath! Unlimited Virgin to Virgin! That's what we were told, however, imagine my surprise when I was billed at 45p a minute, which, as it was quite a long personal call, amounted to quite a lot of money.

They Missed That Bit Out! This was due to one of my friends phoning my landline, which was on call-divert to my mobile. No worries, you think, it's Virgin to Virgin so it's unlimited call time. That's what they said. Except, there's a catch, it's not unlimited at all. There is in fact a 60 minute limit, even on Virgin to Virgin, and when the hour is up, the meter starts ticking, in this instance at 45p a minute.

Lie By Omission! Nobody in government has ever pulled them up on this blatant lie by omission and totally false advertising to my knowledge and when I try to address any of these dodgy issues with them, they point out that it's all covered in the fine print of their cleverly worded terms and conditions. Yes, I'm sure it is! But who wants to wade through that lot.

Quite A Long Call: As it was quite a long call dealing with some personal issues, my excessive billing was about £27.00. Only because I complained to Virgin Mobile pointing out the falsehood, I was given half the amount back but not all. So, this 'little misunderstanding' still cost me over £13.00 for the one phone call, which went into their coffers.

Trust Issue! Fundamentally, this is a trust issue! Advertising one-liners that sound atractive but are misleading because they fail to mention buts and catches are there for one reason and one reason alone. Such behaviour shows that Virgin are just one more dodgy company who try to catch you out and have you over for their own financial gain!

Virgin Mobile - Not Very Helpful!

No Go Ahead: I arranged a new unlimited tariff for my mobile, however, due to a change of circumstances, I decided not to go ahead with it and phoned Virgin Mobile 10 days later to cancel the order. Even though this was still three days before my refresh date and the date the new tariff was due to come into effect, I was told that I couldn't cancel the order as the computer wouldn't allow it.

Cooled Off But Frozen Out: I said again I did not want the change to go ahead and pointed out that I shouldn't have to ring back, I simply wanted to cancel the order and keep the package I was on. The customer service advisor insisted that there was nothing she could do as the computer wouldn't let her cancel the order and I would have to ring back on or after my refresh date.

Convoluted Process: A new sim turned up in the post but I didn't use it, having it in my mind that I would have to ring Virgin Mobile again at some point to sort things out. However, being extremely busy, finding a spare half hour to go through the convoluted process of ringing them wasn't that easy or attractive.

Don't Mind Me! Despite my asking them not to, and not using the new sim, they went ahead with the change of tariff and started billing me the extra money. I eventually found the time to ring them again two months later and asked them to put me back on my old tariff. Of course, it wasn't available, as I suspected it wouldn't be.

Worse Value: I was instead offered a number of options all worse value that what I had previously had. I was told that my original tariff had been better value because it had been linked to the new 2 year phone contract, which was only 6 months in. The phone itself hadn't turned out to be that brilliant either so now the whole thing was starting to be rather ditasteful for me.

Stitched Up! Feeling like I'd been stitched up, I spoke to the complaints department and various other customer service personel, who were all very nice but couldn't help give me my package back. They wouldn't reimburse my money either, despite the fact that they had acted against my wishes and my instructions and despite the fact that I hadn't used any of the new tariff, as they could plainly see.

Customer's Wishes Ignored! So, I ended up being switched to a new tariff that in the end I didn't want, against my wishes and against my instructions and charged signifcantly more money against my wishes. I was also refused my orignal tariff back that they had taken from me against my wishes and against instructions. The end result was that I was worse off financially and had wasted more than 3 hours in total on the phone with them for nothing.

Blame The Computer! Everybody I spoke to in customer service followed the same old party line and used same old excuse to justify the fact that had effectively stolen my tariff from me against my wishes and wouldn't give it back. The 'easy get out, can't do anything about it clause' of blame the computer. However, even if this were true, some devious person somewhere must be programming it musn't they!

Devious Scheme: My conclusion is that Virgin Mobile want to get people off the better value tariffs and charge you more money wherever they can get away with it. Not allowing people to change their mind and making life more difficult for them is just another one of their devious schemes to that effect.