Got an email from Virgin Mobile:
From: Virgin Mobile <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Today 14:34:24
Top-Up now to save your service!
Since you haven’t added money to your account in the last 90 days, your phone has stopped working. If you don’t take emergency action and Top-Up now, you might lose your phone number and any balance remaining in your account.
Given that I have the account set to recharge itself every 90 days and it’s been doing that for a couple of years, I thought perhaps my credit card had flipped past the expiration date on file. Fighting my way through VM’s craptastic website, noooo, that’s not the case.
Nay, verily, the account had topped itself off at 11:34, exactly three hours before that email went out.
So I asked the obvious question, doggedly using the impenetrable Customer Service form:
The phone seems OK.
What’s going on?
Which produced this missive:
Response (Rommel) – 06/23/2010 08:32 AM
Thanks for contacting Virgin Mobile Customer Care.
I really appreciate the time you took to provide us with the information requested. I reviewed your account and found that indeed you have the auto payment set up correctly in your account. What happened is that the system always sent this alerts to keep the customers aware of their account status but since you have the auto payment option, please ignore this alerts, you don’t have to worry about it. The system charged your card for $15 on 6/22/2010.
Now, your account will be active until 9/20/2010. You don’t have to worry about the alerts, if you have credit on your card the system will always do it automatically. I apologize on behalf Virgin Mobile for any misunderstanding.
Perhaps it’s just me, but formulaic cut-and-paste obsequious fawning grates on my sensibilities. What I really want is action that resolves the problem, not just having VM’s Customer Service team blow it off. So I fired off a reply:
> please ignore this alerts,
> you don’t have to worry about it.
So, if I understand your advice correctly, when VM sends me a warning message like this:
Since you haven’t added money to your account in the last 90 days, your phone has stopped working.
I should just ignore it. Is that what you mean?
That’s stupid advice. You do not want to train your customers to ignore email from VM, particularly information saying their phones are “not working”.
The correct response is that you will take steps to ensure that VM never sends a bogus warning. The people responsible for sending that message must fix their own problem, at the source of the problem, where it happens.
Your customers should not be required to ignore anything from VM.
Let me know when you’ve taken effective action to prevent this from happening again.
No answer to date. I suspect VM doesn’t monitor incoming email. I wonder why?