Virgin Mobile doesn't want my money...

UPDATE: Since writing this blog and posting about it on Twitter, Virgin Mobile have kindly contacted me and resolved my problem. Apparently, they do want my money after all..!Recently I made a change of carrier, switching from Virgin Mobile to Telstra.

There were various reasons for this, ranging from poor reception at my house to some previous billing issues and poor customer support, although to be fair to Virgin Mobile the main reason was getting hold of a new HTC Desire from the local Telstra shop. Part of the switch involved paying my last bill and a couple of hundred extra dollars to close out my Virgin Mobile account.

Everything has gone relatively smoothly, but I've hit a small snag; it appears that Virgin Mobile doesn't want my money. Not only that, apparently they don't want to know about it, either...

It started just after I bought the Desire. I had just received a bill from Virgin, and thanks to their new 'we'll charge you more for a paper bill' policy it arrived online. So a few days after I'd switched I logged onto to the VM site, to pay that bill. When I tried to log in (using my pin and phone number) it rejected me, saying that these details were incorrect. I tried again, but quickly realised what had happened - since I'd ported my number to Telstra and in effect closed my account, I no longer had an account to log in to. Ah.

But I figured this wouldn't go on for long - now that the account was closed, Virgin would realise this and send me a final bill.

It arrived this morning. And, you guessed it, it's a virtual bill - which I can access, as soon as I go online and log into my account. Which, as you probably recall, I no longer have.

Hmm.

I tried again, just in case they'd reactivated the login to let me see the bill, but got the same result. Nope, I no longer exist. Okay. So, I thought maybe I'd respond to the email, and tell support I couldn't log in to SEE the bill, let alone pay it. But, as you'll probably have guessed if you've been through anything similar, it was a classic 'no-reply' address.

With the mission impossible theme now running through my head I returned to the site, and selected the support option. Did I already have an account, it asked? Yes, I said. Okay, the site replies, log in. Great. So I tried saying no. It offered to let me 'create one' - not exactly the help I needed.

Giving up, I tried the contact us option. Sure enough there's an email link - which once again asks me to log into my non-existent account to email support about the non-existent bill I'd not like to pay.

As far as Virgin is concerned, I don't exist - and they have no interest in letting me pay the bill that my non-existent self has to pay. Apparently.

There's a 1300 number to ring, so I'll give that a shot - but on past experience, I'm foreseeing around an hour of waiting and a big headache.

If only these companies realised how difficult they are making it on their customers to actually hand over the cash they want to pay..!!!

Gary Bunker

the Fore