In August of 2009 I bought my daughter a cell phone through Virgin Mobile Canada. It was a cute little phone – an LG Rumour she could use to text, browse the web and phone home. 2 year plan which seemed pretty good as cell plans go. Unfortunately, the phone got broken in her backpack on the bus.
Rather than throw good money after bad we went to the Virgin kiosk and got a cheap candy bar phone, Nokia 2730. This phone had a sim card unlike the CDMA phone originally on the contract. I asked, as is my want, “will this cost anything extra or change the contract”. He said no and so it seemed as no extra charges were incurred.
Fast forward to Nov. 2010 when the screen on the Nokia started to seem faded, this worsened over the course of weeks and in December my daughter took the phone to the Virgin kiosk to see if they would send it away for repair as it was still under warranty. She was all but told to f off. Came home nearly in tears. No effort was made even to look at the phone let alone look up that it was in fact still under warranty. I then called the call centre and asked that her plan be reduced to calls only as the screen was no use for anything else.
I found a phone the next day, that I had when I had a previous contract with Virgin Mobile Canada and phoned the call centre to see if that phone could be put on her plan. I asked again, “will this cost anything extra or change the contract in any way”. I was told that the only change would be that her friends plan would include fewer people as we had dropped that featured and the original was a promo. Fine no problem.
Wait. Big problem. January’s bill includes an extra 179 dollar charge!
I spent one hour and forty-seven minutes on the phone to the call centre to try to sort it out and apparently this is a charge for changing from the candy bar sim card phone to the Samsung Vice CDMA phone. CDMA the same type of phone the plan started with. And seriously a 179 dollar downgrading charge!
When I asked if they have no legal obligation to full disclosure of charges – see above I did ask – I was told the charges still stood and that I should have read the contract if I wanted the information.
And to add insult to injury if I want to just cancel that will be another $160 to $180.
I was so frustrated with this ridiculous nonsense I told the call centre rep I was hanging up as I could no longer be polite. I was in tears by the end of it.
It is really unfortunate that the company has sunk to this level. My very first cell was a Virgin pre-paid and unlike other companies I had heard stories of they treated their pre-paid customers well. I then had a contract with them and their service was good but not the kind of service they had before. Now in my opinion if you want a cell plan look anywhere else but with Virgin Mobile Canada.
From this experience – Virgin Mobile Canada does not honour their phone warranties, does not require their employees to tell you the truth about added charges you may incur and will refuse to give you a number to higher authority with which to take up the matter. At this point the over 400 dollars it will cost to remove Virgin Mobile Canada from my life seems well worth it, though it would have been nice if any attempt had been made to recognize the mistake on their part and the charge for their error.
Virgin Mobile Canada – a name you can’t trust.