My husband has a Virgin Mobile cell phone that he only uses when one of us is on the road, which is infrequently. He uses a 'pay-as-you-go' plan that requires a $20 top-up every 3 months to keep it active. As a result, his account continued to accumulate, because he rarely uses any minutes. the last time he checked, he had a balance of nearly $100 in unused minutes, which roughly equates to 1,000 minutes. Two days ago, he flew to Los Angeles with the phone, planning to use it while away for a week. When he unpacked, he had a message from Virgin telling him his balance was low, and he'd need to top-up to use the phone while staying with our daughter. They said he had less than $10 available. He tried logging onto his account through the internet, but without success.
Using a few precious minutes, he called me and asked me to contact Virgin on his behalf and straighten out the mess for him. I spent the next two hours of my life tangled with the most incompetent support people I have ever encountered, bar none, and that is saying a lot, as I have been in software development for the last 30 years of my life. In addition to an absolutely maddening run-around just trying to navigate the "friendly" automated call answering (this took about 5 minutes before I could get to a human being), I went through three levels (supposedly) of people who had progressively incomprehensible accents until the last one finally gave me a number to call ("Please to press #3, so that you get to the right department when you call") that turned out to be a clearinghouse for Sprint/Nextel -- and the person who answered the telephone told me in perfect, clear English that I'd need a subpoena or court order for her to provide me with the record of my husband's calls.
Turns out, Virgin cannot produce billing or transaction records for the services they provide, except for the woefully inadequate summary they post on the accounts page -- and even then, it only goes back 60 days. I asked repeatedly to speak with somebody in billing, but each person told me it wouldn't be possible, put me on hold, and coming back offered to process a top-up for me while I was on the line. As if draining the account wasn't a problem, and I'd be willing to hand over MORE cash to them.
The only thing this company doesn't do is provide its representatives with black masks and handguns to wear and use as they rip you off.
I ended the conversations with them by congratulating them on a successful scam, and telling them I'd be telling my husband to go buy a T-Mobile phone, and throw the Virgin phone away. I also told them I'd be cancelling both his account and mine (I've used mine for years), and that I'd be filing complaints against them with the State's Attorney General and the BBB.
What a long, slow slide to horrible this company's taken. While they were pretty good and competitive four years ago, they're execrable now.