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WARNING! Virgin Mobile pay as you go cell policy violation
Old 02-25-2013, 12:02 PM   #1
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WARNING! Virgin Mobile pay as you go cell policy violation

Here's a heads up for any VM paylo/pay as you go customers. Wasted many hours this weekend as I discovered VM is violating their own terms & conditions as stated in writing on the website.

Here's the policy term & conditon in question:
"Payment Date & Account Active Period Info: Additional funds should be added at least once every 90 days for pay-as-you-go plans to keep your service active or your service will be interrupted (excludes calls to care and 911) and you will lose any unused monthly voice, data or message allotments. You will have 150 days after your last payment to add money to your account to prevent cancellation, loss of all funds comprising your account balance and your telephone number."

- I needed to top up by 2/21/13 and had a balance of $280.
- 92 days since my last $20 top up. I normally top up $20 every 90+ days,
routinely went up to 150 days between top ups for years.
- 2/23 @ 9:30a, got a text stating our balance was low ($0).
- account balance was zeroed out by VM as of 2/23/13 @ 4:41am.
- called VM twice to get it fixed and was told to check the terms online, nowhere does it say they zero out your balance as stated and was promised it would be corrected later today.
- On 2/24, still no updates to my case so I called again. I was told they decided the policy to zero out my balance was now 90 days and "internal only" and isn't available to customers to see and has been the policy for "at least a year".
- Resolution offered to me: top up first, file another case or they would hold my balance hostage. This is a direct violation of their own terms & conditions. - I escalated to 2 different supervisors only to get the same story.
- I asked for this information in writing since there's a lack of trust and I was denied anything to confirm this resolution. The last supervisor stated I couldn't get to his supervisor as he was the head person in charge that day.
- I started googling escalation customer service contacts for VM and many phone #'s were no longer in service, but got thru to one number.
- This line only answered the phone with "How may I help you?" and no company greeting or name offered. I had to ask if this was VM escalation customer service as I got someone in Ca, not overseas! This person looked up my account notes and agreed that I never should've had my balance zeroed out, but acknowledged the system automatically does this! He immediately restored my account balance and extended my next top up thru 5/24/13. This rep also mentioned that VM overseas reps don't seem to follow the same guidelines as US based VM reps and apologized for them too. This in not reassuring at all. They seem to be chasing away customers playing hardball now instead of trying to keep them.

If you're a current pay as you go customer or considering them, RUN and find another service! That's my plan as soon as we can deplete our balance.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:21 PM   #2
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Just a question.... if you have $280 balance, they you do not talk much at all... how are you going to deplete your account unless you talk on the phone that you normally would not

Also, you have to see your balance as a sunk cost.... pick the plan you want and move... I have tried to get my balance down, but never have and am still on VM...


My mom lost over $200, but I think she did go over the 150 days as she did not even charge her phone up...
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
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We had a phone on another service that just ended. So we're probably going to open another account (even a 3rd for my 13 yr old too) soon. You can move your account balance between phones too, as long as you're under the same household (I was provided this in an email from VM), you have to call to get the amounts transferred. It would be pretty hard to get it down to zero, but between 2-3 accounts, we should be able to use most of this balance up.

EDIT: My original balance was just over $100, DW had a VM phone balance of about the same, but she switched to another carrier about 1/5 yrs ago, so we stopped her account and moved her balance over to my phone. That's how my balance got to $280.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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I use prepaid, but have Tracfone instead of VM. The minutes rollover, but in order to keep the phone active, I have to add more minutes/time. I use to fear running out of minutes, but now I have about 2000 minutes and add 800 new minutes (400 minutes but double minutes for life of phone) each year. Though prepaid, by having to keep the phone active, that works out like a subscription, at least without the cancellation fees.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
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I use the VM paylo but I get the monthly plan, auto billed. It's odd, but I still have a plus $8.16 balance from over a year ago still sitting on my phone it shows from when I converted to auto monthly billing. I have dealt with customer service several times and they have all been helpful. Though I admit it goes a lot quicker when I get an American. When I get the people from India, man it throws me off with the way they accent the words. They usually have to repeat everything 2-3 times before I can decipher what they are telling me.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
Here's a heads up for any VM paylo/pay as you go customers. Wasted many hours this weekend as I discovered VM is violating their own terms & conditions as stated in writing on the website.

Here's the policy term & conditon in question:
"Payment Date & Account Active Period Info: Additional funds should be added at least once every 90 days for pay-as-you-go plans to keep your service active or your service will be interrupted (excludes calls to care and 911) and you will lose any unused monthly voice, data or message allotments. You will have 150 days after your last payment to add money to your account to prevent cancellation, loss of all funds comprising your account balance and your telephone number."

- I needed to top up by 2/21/13 and had a balance of $280.
- 92 days since my last $20 top up. I normally top up $20 every 90+ days,
routinely went up to 150 days between top ups for years.
- 2/23 @ 9:30a, got a text stating our balance was low ($0).
- account balance was zeroed out by VM as of 2/23/13 @ 4:41am.
- called VM twice to get it fixed and was told to check the terms online, nowhere does it say they zero out your balance as stated and was promised it would be corrected later today.
- On 2/24, still no updates to my case so I called again. I was told they decided the policy to zero out my balance was now 90 days and "internal only" and isn't available to customers to see and has been the policy for "at least a year".
- Resolution offered to me: top up first, file another case or they would hold my balance hostage. This is a direct violation of their own terms & conditions. - I escalated to 2 different supervisors only to get the same story.
- I asked for this information in writing since there's a lack of trust and I was denied anything to confirm this resolution. The last supervisor stated I couldn't get to his supervisor as he was the head person in charge that day.
- I started googling escalation customer service contacts for VM and many phone #'s were no longer in service, but got thru to one number.
- This line only answered the phone with "How may I help you?" and no company greeting or name offered. I had to ask if this was VM escalation customer service as I got someone in Ca, not overseas! This person looked up my account notes and agreed that I never should've had my balance zeroed out, but acknowledged the system automatically does this! He immediately restored my account balance and extended my next top up thru 5/24/13. This rep also mentioned that VM overseas reps don't seem to follow the same guidelines as US based VM reps and apologized for them too. This in not reassuring at all. They seem to be chasing away customers playing hardball now instead of trying to keep them.

If you're a current pay as you go customer or considering them, RUN and find another service! That's my plan as soon as we can deplete our balance.
As I read their new terms and conditions, as long as you top up with $20 in the next 60 days you will get all your prior money (new terms and conditions appear as of November 2012) I do not see the issue, pay the $20 for 3 months of cell service and have $300 of credit. The reason they are probably doing this is the hopes you go away as now there is no $7 a month plan. I would pay and keep it and hope my $'s show up, but even if they do not and you then argue, where are you getting phone service for $6.66 per month?
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I use prepaid, but have Tracfone instead of VM. The minutes rollover, but in order to keep the phone active, I have to add more minutes/time. I use to fear running out of minutes, but now I have about 2000 minutes and add 800 new minutes (400 minutes but double minutes for life of phone) each year. Though prepaid, by having to keep the phone active, that works out like a subscription, at least without the cancellation fees.
If you don't need the minutes, there is an option when checking out using the tracfone website to "supersize" your order. You can get 1yr service only ( no minutes ) for $50, when you purchase a minutes card. So I get 60 minute card and then add the 1yr card for $50 and it good for a year. They don't seem to advertise this, and you can only get it when checking out online.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #8
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If you don't need the minutes, there is an option when checking out using the tracfone website to "supersize" your order. You can get 1yr service only ( no minutes ) for $50, when you purchase a minutes card. So I get 60 minute card and then add the 1yr card for $50 and it good for a year. They don't seem to advertise this, and you can only get it when checking out online.
Thanks for the tip. I'll have to look into this my next "fill up". I just renewed about a month ago.

How much does a 60 min card run for ? About $20?

The cheapest I see a 1 year, 400 min (800 when doubled) is about $85 at Amazon.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:15 PM   #9
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60 min card is $20, so it would be $70 total for 60min + 1yr service. Last time I looked the 400min + 1yr was $100. The amazon deal may be better if you need the minutes.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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As I read their new terms and conditions, as long as you top up with $20 in the next 60 days you will get all your prior money (new terms and conditions appear as of November 2012) I do not see the issue, pay the $20 for 3 months of cell service and have $300 of credit. The reason they are probably doing this is the hopes you go away as now there is no $7 a month plan. I would pay and keep it and hope my $'s show up, but even if they do not and you then argue, where are you getting phone service for $6.66 per month?
If I just topped up and did nothing else, my balance would only be $20. I would have to call and file a case to get my old balance returned to my account. In the recent past, you wouldn't lose your balance until you lost service and your phone# after 150 days (as described by written terms online).

Travelover mentioned a phone service for $2.50/month in this recent thread.

Traveling around USA, need a Cell phone for emergencies only
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
60 min card is $20, so it would be $70 total for 60min + 1yr service. Last time I looked the 400min + 1yr was $100. The amazon deal may be better if you need the minutes.
That's good to know. I figure, when it time to refill, if the minutes I have are, say 1500 or above, I can go the $70 route, but if below I can go the Amazon deal route. I don't have to decide until renew time.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:42 PM   #12
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Just a question.... if you have $280 balance, they you do not talk much at all... how are you going to deplete your account unless you talk on the phone that you normally would not

Also, you have to see your balance as a sunk cost.... pick the plan you want and move... I have tried to get my balance down, but never have and am still on VM...


My mom lost over $200, but I think she did go over the 150 days as she did not even charge her phone up...

I used my credit balance to buy smart phones on sale from Virgin, then sold them on eBay after the Virgin sale was over. I make a profit on one, broke even on the second. YMMV
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:44 PM   #13
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............

Travelover mentioned a phone service for $2.50/month in this recent thread.

Traveling around USA, need a Cell phone for emergencies only
Yea, I like Page Plus. It is $10 every 120 days to keep it active. They let me use a smartphone and it is on the Verizon network.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:44 PM   #14
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60 min card is $20, so it would be $70 total for 60min + 1yr service. Last time I looked the 400min + 1yr was $100. The amazon deal may be better if you need the minutes.
If you need minutes AT&T gophone is a better deal - $100 for a year that would translate to 1,000 minutes (10 cent a minute plan). You can get an AT&T compatible phone for as little as $50 if you don't have one. Works well for us.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:00 PM   #15
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Yea, I like Page Plus. It is $10 every 120 days to keep it active. They let me use a smartphone and it is on the Verizon network.
I like Page Plus as well. It's a great deal even if you use some minutes - $80 for 2000 minutes that are good for a year, even less if you buy from CallingMart ($76). I did have T-Mobile prepaid but the coverage is not as good where I live, and it was more expensive at $100 for 1000 minutes.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:38 PM   #16
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I have $200 and pay auto top up every 90 days with $20. One day I will switch it to monthly when the Iphone is cheaper.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:56 AM   #17
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I used my credit balance to buy smart phones on sale from Virgin, then sold them on eBay after the Virgin sale was over. I make a profit on one, broke even on the second. YMMV

Wow... that is interesting... when I had a large balance they would not let me buy another phone with it... I had to pay out of pocket...
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:13 AM   #18
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Wow... that is interesting... when I had a large balance they would not let me buy another phone with it... I had to pay out of pocket...
Dunno. I did the last one a few months ago, just before I left Virgin.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:46 PM   #19
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where are you getting phone service for $6.66 per month?
I had to call VM support again, they forgot to credit back my bonus time of $14.72 and they put it back on my account in under 5 mins (US support). I was told my current .20/min pay as you go plan (per min plan) is still available, but it's not listed online now. You can only request it by phone. Online, the cheapest paylo plan offered is $20/month.
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