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gemchrltn
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Technicians saying phone was damaged by me when it wasn't

Virgin have given me the worst customer experience I have ever had.
I bought an iphone 5s in December 2016 and after a couple of days, after only a little use, it started to just turn itself off and was hard to turn on again. Within 6 days it was unusable. It got a red screen and would not restore itself from recovery mode.The battery symbol was showing full  in the brief moments of life. It was not dropped or misused in any way, nor taken into the bathroom - was on my bedside table primarily. It is important to mention this because of what has happened today, which I will come to later.
 
I contacted Virgin, and spoke to the technical department who agreed that the phone was obviously faulty. I was offered me a door to door replacement but I was then contacted and told that the iphone 5s was out of stock and was likely to be for some time so I could either have an alternative (which I turned down) or cancel the contract under the 14 day Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. I chose to do that, waited for a jiffy bag to be delivered, posted it back to Virgin and waited for the cancellation to process.
 
After a week I rang up to make sure that the cancellation had gone through and was told that it hadn't done as it was very busy after Christmas. I rang up several times during the beginning of January as I wanted to get my PAC code to take my number elsewhere. It was the most frustrating customer services experience of my life. Every time I rang, the calls would last at least 45 minutes and I'd be put on hold for long periods, often getting cut off. After a while I made sure I gave my number to the operator and requested that the ring me back if this happened so they could continue trying to resolve the issue. But they never did, so each time I rang I had to go through the whole story again, be put on hold lots of times and then inevitably get cut off again.
 
Each operator I spoke to gave me a different account of what was happening. Some said it hadn't been received back yet. Some said the phone had been received but there was a delay because 'find my iphone' hadn't been switched off. I explained that it would be impossible for me to have done that because the phone wouldn't turn on to allow me to do that. Some said that the cancellation was being processed but it would take longer. A couple personally promised me that they were going to personally follow it through so I wouldn't have to ring again. And eventually I was promised that it had been cancelled, that the payments that had been taken had been refunded and that a PAC code would be left of my landline answerphone. It never was but I decided that I couldn't be bothered with chasing it up anymore and left it.
 
However, a few weeks ago I noticed that the payments hadn't been refunded and were still being taken from my account. It was easy to miss because I pay for my daughter's Virgin iphone and assumed that any payments taken from my account were for her phone.
 
I rang up last week and had the most awful experience. I was on the phone for almost THREE hours, got cut off several times, didn't get rung back, had to explain the same story over and over again to each and every person I spoke to. But I persevered, determined to resolve it for once and for all. I was yet again told different stories about what the problem was by every operator I spoke to. One insisted it was because 'find my iphone' was still turned on. I ended up speaking to someone from Apple, who helped me turn it off via my laptop. One person insisted that my phone hadn't actually ever been returned and I had to root around for the receipt to tell her the tracking number but she still insisted it had never been returned. One person said that , in order to process the cancellation my phone needed to be returned to me so I could return it to Virgin, which didn't make any sense. The last person I spoke to assured me that she was going to personally follow it through and make sure that the cancellation would be processed within a day or two, that all payments would  be promptly refunded and that she would ring me with a PAC code asap. It didn't happen.
 
All this would be a good enough reason to contact someone in management at Virgin Media but today I received a shocking letter, dated 6th January 2017. It says
"Thanks for sending your phone to our team. We've checked it thoroughly, and we're really sorry to say that the type of damage to your phone isn't covered by our Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. Our technicians have found physical or liquid or moisture damage to the phone. We're sorry that we're not able to accept your phone under the terms of our Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. This means that you'll still have to pay the charges under the terms of your contract with us and you won't be entitled to a refund. In this particular instance, your contract can't be cancelled".
I absolutely refute that there could be any damage to the phone, moisture or physical, unless it has been caused by the technicians or during transit. The phone went wrong so quickly, within a few days of gentle use and very careful handling, that it is obviously likely it was a faulty product.
This letter was dated 6th January. I spoke to Virgin Mobile operators many times after this and not one person I spoke to suggested that there was a problem such as this, even though there must have been some record of the findings on record. I was told that find my iphone needed to be switched off and there was some confusion as to whether the phone had actually been returned but not one person suggested that there had been a problem with the phone, other than it being a faulty product. I was assured many times that the refund was being processed or had already been processed.
 
It defies belief that this phone has been sitting somewhere since this letter was written on 6th Jan 2017 and not one person has contacted me via my landine (a Virgin one), my email (which Virgin has and my internet is in fact provided by Virgin), or the other mobile my household has (which is on Virgin too) to let me know of the problem and that no-one at Virgin seemed to have any idea that this letter had even been written. Surely the least they would have done is to let me know what was happening so I could at least be using the data/calls/text contract that they'd been charging me for during the past four months. I had been told it had been cancelled.
 
This whole experience has been extremely upsetting for me, in the time spent trying to sort it out and also the incredibly frustrating and time consuming customer services calls that always end up with me getting cut off, the absolute lack of communication within Virgin mobile (which means that every person you speak to has a different story) and now the fact that I'm being told, many months after the event) that my right to return the faulty phone is invalidated. There is absolutely no way that this phone was damaged by me in the very short time it was in my possession and I will not accept that Virgin can just expect me to carry on paying for a phone that just 'packed up'. Obviously technicians can make mistakes, damage the phone themselves or it could have been damaged somehow in transit. The fact is that I did not damage it in any way.
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gemchrltn
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Message 2 of 10
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Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture damage

I got an iphone 5s which went wrong very quickly. Only got used a very small amount and after a couple of days it started just turning off and taking a lot of effort to turn it on, having to reboot it. Battery symbol was fine. Connected it to itunes which found it to be in Recovery Mode but it would not restore, said there was a fault. Eventually it went to a red screen. Virgin technicians on the phone agreed it was faulty. I returned it after speaking to Virgin and they agreed it could be returned under the 14 day Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. It's taken a ridiculous amount of time (about 10 calls by me taking up about 10 hours of my time with every operator cutting me off and telling me a different reason for the delay in cancellation and refunding me) but today I received the phone back with a letter dated 3 months ago (!), saying that they've found it to have physical or liquid and moisure damage. It was very carefully handled and there was no chance of me causing any damage. I know that nothing I did to it in those few days caused any damage and it is obviously unacceptable to me that I can be charged for this when there probably isn't any damage at all, it's just faulty, or there's a chance that damage might have been caused by mishandling by technicians, misdiagnosis by technicians or damage during transit, ie rough handling by delivery company. It is unbelievable that I am being expected to pay the full price of a phone that simply packed up after a few days. With all other products, you return them if they quickly go wrong. But Virgin are hiding behind the 'terms' and completely ripping me off.

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Message 3 of 10
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Re: Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture...

Hi gemchrltn,

Welcome to the Community Forum and thanks for your post. I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing a problem with your handset.

Please contact the manufacturer of the mobile handset direct if you would like a second opinion on the repair centre's findings. Our repair centre has to follow the guidelines directly from the manufacture and also sends the repair notes to the manufacturer. Please go direct to the manufacturer for a second opinion as they are the only ones who can overrule this decision.

 

Kind regards,

Terri

Virgin Media Forum Team


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gemchrltn
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Message 4 of 10
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Re: Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture...

I have not even received a copy of a report stating what the problem was found to be. But I would say that, in all likelihood, a phone that's only been used a couple of days that goes wrong and starts shutting down and refusing to reboot, is simply a faulty phone. Nothing happened to it in those few days and if there is anything wrong with it then what's to say it wasn't caused by a technician manhandling it or it having been roughly treated at some stage of transit either before it got to me or in the process of being returned to Virgin. I used this phone very little for about 3 days and it is ridiculous that I have had to endure the worst customer service ever in order to get this problem recified. In terms of hours of wasted time and energy trying to sort it out, the fact I am, 4 months later still being fleeced monthly and that you're now expecting me to contact the manufacturer.
If a phone goes wrong within a couple of days SURELY you have to, by law, give the customer the benefit of the doubt because there is no way you can prove that, even if there is damage to it, that it was not caused when the phone reached me or left me and was in Virgin's possesion. I believe that, for the phone to go wrong so quickly, it has to be that is was faulty.
I would like a deadlock letter and this will be taken to the Ombudsman and Watchdog.
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Re: Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture...

Hi gemchrltn,

Welcome to the Community and thanks for posting regarding your experience.

I am sorry to see things have not gone to plan here and would like to take a look into these issues for you.

In order to look into this for you, I'll need to take more information. I'll send you a private message requesting further details. Just check the envelope icon at the top right of this page.

 

Kind regards,

Terri

Virgin Media Forum Team


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enlli
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Message 6 of 10
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Re: Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture...

Forget Virgin if it is an Apple Phone. Make arrangements for them to look at it. They are usually very good. 

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gemchrltn
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Message 7 of 10
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Re: Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture...

Thanks. I just feel though, that if a phone goes wrong when you've only had it for a couple of days, that the company you got it from should accept it's obviously a faulty one and replace it. Or cancel the contract if they can't provide you with another one, as was the case here. I don't think that I should be the one to go to the time and trouble of having to get other people to look at it.

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enlli
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Message 8 of 10
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Re: Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture...

Only trying to tell you the best way (and quickest way to do things) whatever the rights and wrongs

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Furzul
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Message 9 of 10
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Re: Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture...

Totally agree with enlli, whatever' the rights and wrongs you will get much better service from Apple. Which in the long run will make your life easier.
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Message 10 of 10
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Re: Phone returned as faulty within a few days but technicians say there was physical or moisture...

Hi gemchrltn,

Thank you for getting back to me via PM. I have updated your complaint with the information you sent. Our Complaints Team will be in touch with you direct regarding this.

 

Kind regards,

Terri

Virgin Media Forum Team


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