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teejayuk
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PAYG sim card deactivated

I have a PAYG phone which I only have so that my wife can contact me while I’m out if she has to (in case of emergency etc.) luckily it’s been a long time since it was necessary.


However, last Thursday (27th August 2015) I took my car for its MOT to our local Kwik Fit, they asked for my mobile number, which I couldn’t remember, they told me to ring their phone and they could get it from there without answering. I tried this but my phone said “emergency calls only” so I’m then stood there feeling pretty embarrassed and telling them “I must have no credit left” I knew this was untrue as I had somewhere between £2 and £4 when I last checked. I had to change my plans and stay there while the MOT was done


When I got home, my wife had been texting me to tell me that our Niece and Nephew (who I haven’t seen for several years) are going to be making a flying visit that morning, but her texts have been undelivered (messages not sent). My phone has “limited connection” showing on it, but my wife’s is fine, so I know it’s not a network problem, but keep trying it throughout that day, with no change.


On Saturday morning I decide to phone Virgin on 150 from my home phone. Now here’s where the “fun” starts. I get through to the mobile section, and I’m told that as I hadn’t used the phone for over 3 months, the number/sim card has been deactivated. So I say I had no idea that this would happen (and I have gone much more than 3 months without using it in the past) I ask why this has been done with no notification by email or text, and I’m told it’s because it’s in the terms and conditions, which I explain would not be read by at least 90% of customers. I then say, ok just reactivate it then. I’m told this can’t be done, all they can do is send a new sim card, I say ok then, as long as it’s the same number, again I’m told this can’t be done. I then tell her right, that’s ridiculous, but send me a new sim card and put my balance from my old sim card onto the new one, she asks “how much credit was on it” I say “you tell me, I’m not sure, maybe £2 to £4, but have a look exactly how much it was” but apparently she can’t, there’s no record now that it’s been deactivated.


This is now getting me really annoyed, the credit I’ve paid for has been stolen from me with no record of how much it was, my number has gone forever, and the time that I needed to use the phone, it was deactivated without notification. I tell her I want the money I’ve paid added to the new sim, she puts me on hold and eventually transfers me to customer care (I think).


After speaking to someone there, she tells me she’ll phone me back, which she does 5 minutes later and says they will send a new sim card and put some credit on it for me to replace the credit I’ve lost. She then says she’ll speak to the mobile section and transfer me through to then and they’ll sort it out for me.


But, she only puts me into a queue for the mobile section, which has a 20 minute waiting time. I’m getting more and more annoyed by now. When I eventually get through (over 15 minutes later) I speak to a guy who has no idea why I’m ringing, so I have to explain everything to him, apparently nothing is logged on my account about my call. He tells me he can reactivate my sim card, and I’m delighted by this, until he grasps that it’s a PAYG card (which I’m sure I told him initially). He then tells me all he can do is send a new sim card, and I will have to pay for £5 of credit on it. This guy would not listen to what I was saying, or even try to understand. I admit I ended up screaming down the phone at him and asking to speak to his boss who, conveniently, is “busy at the moment” I tell him “fine, I’ll speak to his boss instead” apparently they are all tied up right now, so I tell him “put me onto someone in charge, someone in authority, I’ll speak to Richard Branson if I have to” he ignores this (don’t think he’s heard of Richard Branson). Eventually, after banging my head against a brick wall with him, and screaming some more at him, especially when he tried talking over me, and when he said that I had to top up at least once every 12 months to stop it being deactivated, he put me through to customer care again.
I speak to a girl there and I’m trying to make her understand that all I want is what is rightfully mine, I’m not trying to say I had £200 credit, it’s a maximum of £4 credit that was on the phone, and that the way I feel right now, I am so close to just cancelling everything I have with Virgin Media (phone, broadband and TV). She told me that the phone has to be used at least every 60 days to stop it being deactivated. A few minutes later, as I’m talking to her, the call gets disconnected. I would like to think this was accidently, but as she never bothered to call me back, I think it was deliberate. As I was talking at the time it obviously wasn’t me who ended the call. This was around 1 hour and 30 minutes after I first picked up the phone to call about this matter


I have waited until now to post this as it’s left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth and I gave myself some time to calm down a little. To say I am furious at the treatment I had, the lack of understanding shown, and the rigid, scripted replies I had, would be a massive understatement. Customer care shown by Virgin Media was nil, understanding of how I felt about this was even less than that


Facts are that I have paid for credit that has been stolen from me, and there’s allegedly no record of how much it was. This is unbelievable, how can a big organisation like Virgin Media not retain records of customer credits? This seems like a really dodgy business practice to me, would need some explaining to auditors I’m guessing? I do not believe that it’s impossible to give me my old number as it’s currently not in use. I also got told 3 different things about how often I needed to use the phone to avoid it being deactivated, so maybe it wasn’t scripted, but just plucked from thin air, maybe instructions are “say anything you like and sound convincing”


The actual amount of credit I had on the phone is irrelevant, it was only a few quid, but if it had been £200 or whatever, the same thing would have happened, credit stolen without warning, it’s the principle of the thing, I feel like I’ve been pickpocketed. Giving me back what is mine will not bankrupt Virgin Media, they’ll still be able to afford Usain Bolt, David Tennant or whoever for their adverts.


I have been a customer of Virgin for many years since they took over Telewest (and many years before that with Telewest), and the way I was treated with what amounts to contempt is incredibly annoying, and at the moment I am wondering if staying with Virgin any longer than absolutely necessary is what I want to do.

 

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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated

Hi teejayuk,

 

Welcome to the forumSmiley Happy and thanks for posting.

 

Sorry to hear your PAYG SIM was deactivated. Appreciate your frustration with this.

 

Just to clarify things for you as there maybe some confusion after reading through your post. PAYG SIMs are deactivated if they are not used for 3 months.

 

I understand your anger with this as it can cause some inconvenience. I would like to get this looked into for you. I will send you a private message (red envelope, top left hand side) to gather some details from you.

 

Speak soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen_B
Community Moderator

The do's and don'ts. Keep the community welcoming for all. Follow the house rules


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teejayuk
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Message 3 of 15
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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated

Thanks Steve, much appreciated
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teejayuk
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Message 4 of 15
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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated

Well, what a waste of time it was contacting a social media advisor.

 

Been treated like a number, not a person. Received a reply which I was totally unhappy with. When I replied and said he was hiding behind terms and conditions, and that basically he was saying that Virgin Media basically justify stealing money from me by all but saying "we can do it, because we say we can do it" guess what? he replied by telling me the places I could find the terms and conditions

 

This is just incredible, the amount of money is totally irrelevant, this is a matter of principle, especially as his first reply contained this paragraph

"In regards to any unused top up credit that remained on your account at the time of deactivation, I’m afraid that this would not been refunded and provided to you, including if you were to take out a new SIM card with us. This would be the case regardless of the amount of Top Up credit remaining on the account at the time."

So that means Virgin Media will openly steal whatever amount of ctredit you have, and not even consider refunding it to you

 

This whole approach from Virgin Media stinks, it is morally repungnant, and their staff are automatons, prgrammed to not think for themselves, or to judge cases on what is right or fair, but purely to hide behind terms and conditions

 

Customer care it seems is dead at Virgin Media, along with common sense.

 

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HughJarsse
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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated


teejayuk wrote:

Well, what a waste of time it was contacting a social media advisor.

 

Been treated like a number, not a person. Received a reply which I was totally unhappy with. When I replied and said he was hiding behind terms and conditions, and that basically he was saying that Virgin Media basically justify stealing money from me by all but saying "we can do it, because we say we can do it" guess what? he replied by telling me the places I could find the terms and conditions

 

This is just incredible, the amount of money is totally irrelevant, this is a matter of principle, especially as his first reply contained this paragraph

"In regards to any unused top up credit that remained on your account at the time of deactivation, I’m afraid that this would not been refunded and provided to you, including if you were to take out a new SIM card with us. This would be the case regardless of the amount of Top Up credit remaining on the account at the time."

So that means Virgin Media will openly steal whatever amount of ctredit you have, and not even consider refunding it to you

 

This whole approach from Virgin Media stinks, it is morally repungnant, and their staff are automatons, prgrammed to not think for themselves, or to judge cases on what is right or fair, but purely to hide behind terms and conditions

 

Customer care it seems is dead at Virgin Media, along with common sense.

 


This, basically sums up Virgin Media....

 

Morally bankrupt in the chase for 'profit' 

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teejayuk
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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated

You're quite right there Hugh

 

Another snippet from latest reply, this bit is just laughable

"I can assure you that we take customer care into full consideration, and is something that we pride ourselves on"

 

My sides nearly split when I read that!!!

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Message 7 of 15
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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated

Every mobile phone carrier in the UK has a threshold (usually three months) where they will deactivate an unused pay-as-you-go SIM.

 

They also all have it in the terms and conditions, specifying that threshold date and what they deem as "unused" (usually the failure to make a chargeable call or text).

 

There's also a good reason for it (they need to be able to recycle unused numbers).

 

Frankly, I can't see what everyone's getting upset about. If you haven't made a call or sent a text in three months, then it's right that the SIM should be deactivated. If you can't read, then there are plenty of utilities that will read the Virgin Mobile terms and conditions page out loud from your browser, where you'll see (or hear) in section 8.2 (h)


Suspension for other reasons: We may also suspend your use of the Services and disconnect your SIM from the Network without giving you notice if you, or anyone who uses your SIM:
  • chooses not to use our Services within a 90 day period either by making a chargeable call or sending a text message,

 

I'm not an apologist for Virgin Mobile, but even I accept that they are providing a service, and that it's subject to terms and conditions, and that I need to adhere to those terms in order to maintain the service.

 

This forum is packed with people with real problems. Yours is that you didn't read the Ts&Cs, and is easily rectified by you.

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HughJarsse
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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated


Gorf wrote:

Every mobile phone carrier in the UK has a threshold (usually three months) where they will deactivate an unused pay-as-you-go SIM.

 

They also all have it in the terms and conditions, specifying that threshold date and what they deem as "unused" (usually the failure to make a chargeable call or text).

 

There's also a good reason for it (they need to be able to recycle unused numbers).

 

Frankly, I can't see what everyone's getting upset about. If you haven't made a call or sent a text in three months, then it's right that the SIM should be deactivated. If you can't read, then there are plenty of utilities that will read the Virgin Mobile terms and conditions page out loud from your browser, where you'll see (or hear) in section 8.2 (h)


Suspension for other reasons: We may also suspend your use of the Services and disconnect your SIM from the Network without giving you notice if you, or anyone who uses your SIM:
  • chooses not to use our Services within a 90 day period either by making a chargeable call or sending a text message,

 

I'm not an apologist for Virgin Mobile, but even I accept that they are providing a service, and that it's subject to terms and conditions, and that I need to adhere to those terms in order to maintain the service.

 

This forum is packed with people with real problems. Yours is that you didn't read the Ts&Cs, and is easily rectified by you.


Would it not be 'charitable' of VM to shall we say, send a reminder text (cost to VM =0) to 'jog' users memory that they are approaching the cutoff point??

Surely 'we notice you haven't used your phone for a while, and would like to remind you that in XX days, if you do not make a call the SIM will become disconnected'  type??

 

Not rocket science, is it. VM are quick enough to bombard us with texts etc to get more money from us!! 

A little consideration from VM, like the text, would save a lot of bad feeling..

PS, my daughters PAYG sim, texts her when her credit drops below a certain level, so it's not like the technology isn't there... VM could be a lot sharper if they thought about it!!

 

Regarding the 'real problems' Gorf...surely this is a REAL problem for the OP??

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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated


HughJarsse wrote:

Would it not be 'charitable' of VM to shall we say, send a reminder text (cost to VM =0) to 'jog' users memory that they are approaching the cutoff point??

 


I wasn't aware that Virgin is a charity. I'm impressed if their developers work for nothing.

 

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Re: PAYG sim card deactivated


Gorf wrote:

HughJarsse wrote:

Would it not be 'charitable' of VM to shall we say, send a reminder text (cost to VM =0) to 'jog' users memory that they are approaching the cutoff point??

 


I wasn't aware that Virgin is a charity. I'm impressed if their developers work for nothing.

 


NOTE...the word 'charitable' was in inverted commas, Gorf...(implication, rather than FACT) 

 

Also, VM have the 'technology' to tell my daughter when she is down to her last £1 on her PAYG?? (so they know how long she is on the phone, and when!)

The 'technology' used for that, is also quite easily adapted to check dates of calls, set a flag, then send a text if not used for a preset number of days...as I said...not rocket science!!...

Development cost...MINIMAL,  just a small adjustment to EXISTING software coding ... (but we all know just how difficult VM find THAT, don't we!!)

 

NOT a CHARITY.... but should be inclusive to a good CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! (which VM definately DO NOT HAVE!!) 

 

One of the suppliers my firm uses, will give us a call if we don't use the account for a certain length of time..NOT to pester for business, but to see if there is a problem with their service!!  THAT's what CS is all about!! No 'big outlay' just a courtesy call... does that make them a 'charity' then Gorf....just asking!!