Dear Virgin media/mobile or to whomever the buck stops.
I've had an experience with your company that has given me great anxiety, confusion, dismay, personal expense and loss of a lot of time, to no result whatsoever. All in, the past weeks have been a pointless exercise that has left a bitter taste in my mouth. After having been a loyal and enthusiastic customer of yours for at least five years, perhaps seven or even more. (I've used virgin for my past three contract phones and a rolling monthly as well). After this experience, I'm ready to see the back of you - yet this open letter is my final attempt at getting a comprehensible communication with you, written on tgis platform in preparation to share on social media.
A few weeks ago, I received a call from one of your representatives. I forget the lovely ladies' name, yet she appeared genuinely interested in me and my relationship with my two year old Xperia z3 phone. Coincidentally, I'd broken and replaced the screen, not two weeks before, and have been unhappy with the result.
So she offered me the opportunity to upgrade to the only phone I would replace my beloved z3 with - the xperia xz premium. Ahhh... I've been watching this phone ever since its prerelease and even been to see it at your shop! Yet, I was hesitant to sign up to another contract.. Then your representative offered to multiply my tariff allowance by four and wrap up the whole deal for only one pound more than I was already paying, on a three year contract - which I thought was GREAT! I have given your company, ridiculous amounts of money for data allowance indiscretions over the past six months - £33 last month, for a mere 100mb data! Yet... I was still toying with the idea of being contract free... And then your representative offered to throw in a Sony playstation 4! Well, now that's an express ticket to the hearts of my teenagers and big point scorer, right there, which definitely made the deal worth talking about with my most significant person in the world.
:and then the fun begins:
I replied that I would love to accept the offer, and added that I was not at my registered home address at the moment, that the house was being renovated and that I am presently in a different part of the country for work, and asked; would it be possible to have the hardware sent to my work address?
the operator replied that that was fine and that she would take the revised address from me before the completion of the call, which ended quickly and neatly - without her doing so!
Perplexed, I decided to await the arrival of a promised email in anticipation of some sort of address confirmation link that would sort this out... And an email did arrive, which told me that another email would soon follow!
Then I received a call from the same operator, whom apologised for forgetting to take my address, and asked me to contact your customer service department on 789 to rectify the situation.
The second email arrived arrived, which was just a link to 'click here and your phone will be on its way'. I decided that I would not like to enter into an agreement where the device I was paying for, was going to an empty house, at the other side of the country, so I left that alone and called your customer service department...
So I called 789... I spoke with five different operators, being shunted about from one to the other, being told the same story by each - "Sorry, there is a parked order on your account that has been placed, and I don't know why... Ah I see... I can't change your address... The outbound operator appears to be the only one who can remove it... please hold". Now their explanations weren't so brief as that, nor was being switched to a different operator, a very quick and easy affair, either - having to confirm, affirm and verify all personal and password information at every operator I spoke to (and every one after that! Wait for it, this gets better...). By the fourth operator, I'd lost my sense of humour, and the poor fellow just couldn't understand my disdain at having to sit thru listening to his five minute recital of his dutifully memorised script - that I had already heard three times previously - which was delivered with the unwavering determination of an attention-seeking seven year old with OCD. He failed to comprehend that standard protocol was not working for me already, and expressed belittling intolerance for my efforts to move the conversation beyond the last line of his recital, and, upon arriving at said point without receiving my complete and ecstatic satisfaction, passed me on to the fifth person with further ado. This fifth operator suggested that I await further communication from the initial outbound caller, and to disregard the email acceptance of the offer, in the meantime. So I did just that.
I waited two days...
...when I then received an email reminding me to accept the upgrade offer, which would expire in 48hrs. So I phoned your company again which, in short, went something like this...(keeping in mind the number of times that I've had to confirm my identity and repeat my ever-lengthening story, as we go along; sometimes having to wait up to ten minutes whilst my file is being read, or supervisors consulted)...
Dialled 789 - "Accept the offer and, then when I can see that you have done so, the park order restriction will have been lifted and I will contact you to get the new address to put into the system so the courier doesn't send the hardware to the other side of the country and that you will receive your new handset without further delay...do this by six pm and I will contact you by the time I finish my shift at eight.
Hesitant about entering into an agreement to pay for a phone that is being sent to an empty house, six hours away, I did so.
I watched my fone, and waited anxiously, taking numerous breaks from band practice to make attempts to contact 789 prior to the magic time of 8pm and also afterwards; at that time of the day, the lines were chocked full of people trying to contact customer service as well - I very well couldn't leave the rest of the band standing around or playing without a drummer, so no, I didn't wait on hold, and I eventually gave it a rest until the end of practice. I made my final attempt at contacting your service after it had closed.
The following morning, I renewed my attempts before your service opened, and got thru as soon as it was. The responding operator was very helpful, making attempts to contact the courier before giving me their phone number, and advised me to effect the change of address by way of using the tracking number...
Dialled courier - (recorded message) "your parcel is on its way. Thank you for calling"
Dialled 789 - "oh, sorry. Let me put you thru directly via our extension... "
Dialled courier - same recorded message
Dialled 789 - "oh sorry, let me change the address for you now" :changes address: "all done. You parcel will arrive tomorrow".
Relieved and excited, I purchased a sturdy case to suit my new phone, at a cost of £17.99, via eBay.
Emails and text msgs then arrived from the courier to confirm delivery is being rerouted and yes, that it will be with me tomorrow.
But! It didn't arrive. Now, I don't know what happened in the mind of the driver to take the package to a mistaken address, but that's what happened, and the deliver was refused. I also don't understand why the courier company failed to use my phone number to reconfirm the delivery address... Having been a delivery driver myself, this procedure is standard protocol... No company or driver likes to waste time of doing the same deliver twice when it can be avoided, yes? The drivers have phones, contact numbers and an ability to utilise these and the English language, yes?
Anyways, I found out that the delivery had failed, about an hour and a half after the fact, and contacted 789 yet again.
The address was clarified to include the business name, and I was assured that redelivery would be effected.
Well, this was on a Friday, and I held hope that delivery would be re-attempted the same afternoon or the following day, and kept an eye on the tracking website and awaited sms confirmation. No change and none arrived.
The following day, I contacted 789 yet again. This time, I was advised that redelivery could be re-initiated or, that I could drive 32miles to the distribution depot to collect the package.
Totally fed up with the palaver and wanting the least painful end of it, I agreed to collect the package myself. I was given an address and phone number and, on monday morning 7.30am, I set out in peak hour traffic for the distribution centre.
Upon arriving at the address given, I noted that I had arrived at the Royal Mail depot, where I had been contacted by Yodel throughout the course of the failed delivery attempts. Something wasn't right, so I called the 0345 number I had been given (which I hadn't done so earlier in fear of exorbitant calling charges - so tired of excess charges I have become!). Yes, the phone number was for parcel force.
I parked in the customer bay and went inside, to be told that the tracking number was not one belonging to Parcel force. I returned to my car, and called 789. I had just finished retelling the entire story to the operator, whom had appeared enthusiastic to help... When the phone line cut out, and put my call back to the main menu!
I went thru the whole process again, and, in the middle of that call, had security personnel from Parcel force approach me wanting to know what I was doing, sitting in my car for so long, occupying one of their very few customer bays.
Back to the phone call, and the operator advised me that I was disallowed to collect the package from the courier depot and that redelivery must be re-attempted - but first... I must contact my bank to change my address with them to match the delivery address!
I replied to the operator that I was tired of jumping hoops for the privilege of being locked into a three year agreement to give their company money, and that I wanted resolution here and now. The operator advised me that she was immovable on her condition, and that if I was unwilling to change my address with my bank, then she would have to cancel my upgrade order - so asked what would I like to do...? I reiterated that I would like to stop this game and if stopping meant e cancelling then so be it. She cancelled my order.
And then I asked for an email address to which I may address a complaint. I was put on hold, and, after a lengthy wait, was told that email complaints were not acceptable and that a representative of the company would contact me to discuss this matter further, within 24-48hours...
...and guess what happened?
No one called!
So... Here I am at my wits end. I have one week left of my rolling monthly agreement and am preparing myself for making the call to end my relationship with Virgin, and to move my number to a different carrier.
Dear Virgin mobile /media... I await your reply...
With sincere regards,
Ps, In the course of writing this account, I am decided to share this letter with my 3200+ friends on Facebook, in an effort to amuse myself and, to give your company the maximum exposure for the kind, attentive, and understanding reply to my complaint or.... Not.
Be advised that this letter is in the process of being approved for publishing by the moderators of www.opnlttr.com, which is a process that will take 12hours. You have until then to respond and request that I keep the matter between the two of us.
Best wishes, Zz
Zeebox - at - email - dot - com