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This is a long-term scam Virgin Mobile has been running for years. If you even play around momentarily on the internet, it triggers a service charge of $.15/day. I never use the web, but may have accidentally triggered it several weeks ago when I got a new phone. Since then it has been charging me $.15/day.

Turns out Virgin has a silent "Daily Access Subscription" charge per day for use of the internet. I'm sure it's some place in the fine print, but it's not something they want you to know about.

This happened a couple of years ago, and I complained. They explained to me that I had "signed up" for it by accessing the internet, though they admitted the sign-up process was totally silent. I asked for a refund, and they belittled me, pointing out what a trivial amount it was. I responded by suggesting it was such a small amount they shouldn't bother collecting it.

In general, it was an unpleasant experience, but now I know that if I accidentally trigger it, I can turn it off by logging in, selecting "Edit Service Settings" and deselecting "Daily Access Subscription". It's just part of doing business with a company like Virgin Mobile. If I could find a service provider that I believed was more ethical, I would switch in a New York minute.

Here is the explanation of this "service":

[Begin description]

Daily Access Subscription

Enable VirginXtras on your phone for just 15c every day. Browse and download the latest games, graphics, and ringtones. Get access to exclusive *MTV content, have some laughs with Comedy Central, and more... right from your phone! (Some features have extra charges.)

Just Select the checkbox and hit Update.

[End of description]

You believed that paying for a plan with unlimited web service would mean access was free? Ha! Fooled you!

It's not worth the time it takes to get them to refund it unless you don't notice it for an extended period, but you do have to check your account periodically.

It's a sad state of affairs that this kind of thing can happen. It says a lot about Virgin Mobile that they do it deliberately, and even sadder that this kind of blatant fraud goes unpunished. But that's capitalism at its finest. Enjoy!

Product or Service Mentioned: Virgin Mobile Phone Service.

Company wrote 0 private or public responses to the review from Dec 28, 2010.
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James G
Dewitt, Michigan, United States #233127

Ah! The devoted, EDUCATED (but spelling-challenged) consumer who thinks telephone companies running long-term scams (and not their victims) need someone to defend them. We all admire people with such high ideals!

But again you reinforce the point I’m making. I don't claim the charges were illegal--just carefully and deliberately obscure. Does anyone actually read the Terms of Service before clicking the box? All 165 paragraphs (6,493 words)? Oh, sorry, the term VXL doesn’t appear there. Or anyplace else on any of the Virgin Mobile web sites (according to Google). Nor does it appear in the ridiculous pdfs they produce to allow you to look at a teeny bit of your account history (and where I discovered the charges). But if you google the web, you will see lots of queries asking what VXL is and how to unsubscribe.

I really was tricked into triggering the charges. Having taught computer science courses for 30 years, I think I can say I understand the technology pretty well. I read text before I push buttons and don't fall for many scams. But I have never, ever downloaded a ringtone--didn't even know the term until I was investigating the charges on my bill. I had no clue that I had actually “signed up” for anything until it was explained to me. And this has happened to me twice!

It’s helpful that you have explained VXL to the victims of the scam. But this is a rather obscure place for an explanation. It would be nicer if your benefactor would make it much more visible. I’m not accusing VM of doing anything illegal--just unethical. Given the clear choice, how many people do you think would choose to pay a daily charge for the privilege of buying and downloading ringtones on demand?

Rovato, Lombardy, Italy #232733

The web and VXL are two different, seperate entities. You do not need VXL to access the web. VXL is for ringtones and games mostly.

And not an employee, just an EDUCATED consumer.

James G
Dewitt, Michigan, United States #232342

Dear VM "Customer" (which I understand to be a response from Virgin Mobile):

Thank you for confirming all the details of your scam, exactly as I stated.

Rovato, Lombardy, Italy #232188

That is the daily charge for VXL. You can turn this service on and off by simply going to my account on the phone, then choose data settings, then choose get access under Virgin XL access or end access.

This is not a scam, but a charge that the company has had since the beginning.

I would suggest turning it on, buy a ringtone, then turn it off. And make sure you read everything before agreeing, as consumers we need to be aware of what we are consuming.

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