I have had an iPhone 4s through Virgin for seven years. The service has been great, and they even upgraded my $30-a-month plan over time. But as I have been trying to upgrade my phone, Virgin's service and business model has frustrated me to no end.
I decided to buy an iPhone Xs max, and I wanted to buy it through Virgin's website for that juicy 100 dollar discount. But the website kept saying "Well, this is embarrassing, we're experiencing technical difficulties," and it wouldn't let me complete the transaction. (A month later, on multiple computers, I get this same message.)
So I called Virgin. A customer service representative told me that I could order the phone over the phone (perhaps things would have gone better if I had) or go get it from the Apple Store and ask them for a Virgin Mobile SIM card (AKA, a unicorn). I chose to get the phone from an Apple Store, because I had just moved to a new city, and I wanted to be able to Uber right away (Uber doesn't work on iPhone 4s).
On the day that I bought my phone from Apple, I spoke to three Virgin Mobile representatives who gave three different answers about Vigin's SIM cards.
One told me that I could not get a SIM over the phone, one told me that I could get a SIM card but that it would cost money, and one told me that I could and it was free. Please Virgin, teach your reps the real answers to what I consider a basic question like can/how I get a SIM card?
At least one representative told me that I could get them in a Sprint store. Wrong! All the Sprint store's I called said they don't carry Virgin SIMs, and seemed to think it was a weird question to ask. I also tried Boost, Walmart, and Best Buy. Best Buy said they don't carry them but they used to.
Anyways, the second representative said she would call me back at a certain time to see if I had found a SIM card at a brick-and-mortar store. She never did. So I called back and ordered one over the phone. The representative said after the order processed it would be 2–5 business days for a SIM. I called back a week later, and the representative said the order was still processing. I called back a week later, and the representative said that they were out of stock, and that they have no timetable for when they will have more SIM cards.
Virgin says you can bring your own unlocked iPhone to their service. But they don't have their own SIM cards, and they are oblivious to the fact that no one else does either. I guess now I have to choose between my $1000 phone and keeping Virgin. Needless to say, I have begun to look for a new carrier.
Virgin: You need to either carry your own SIM cards or stop telling people they can bring their own phones to your service. You need to maintain your store website. You need to better instruct your representatives (and put in an easy option to speak to one on your customer service line!). I'm guessing your business is not thriving right now, but that's no excuse for running this shoddy enterprise. If you can't keep things running smoothly, get out of the game.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We definitely value your feedback & want to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.
Update: I was able to acces the Virgin Mobile store using Firefox. I tried to purchase a SIM card through the online store. Your store had me check the eligibility of my phone using the IMEI before I bought the card. Your store said my phone was eligible for a card. The card got here a few days later, and it is not eligible. That seems pretty deceptive considering your website told me it was eligible before I purchased the card. Something else you should probably fix.
Hi there, newiphone19. Thanks for contacting us. We're sorry for the inconvenience.
To better assist you, please send us a private message with the IMEI or DEC and the SIM card number.
Thanks for the information. We've escalated the issue. Case number is 245029398. We'll send you the correct SIM card and/or a return label.
Again, please accept our apologies.