So on Thursday, I purchased a new phone for my mum online through Virgin Mobile, because she now spends about $15 per month on prepaid, and for another $4, she can use her phone as much as she wants, and she will get a new phone. I ordered online to make use of the 3 months free access, which is a saving of $57 – which is a quite bit.
I ordered her he Samsung Wave, on the $19 Easy Cap plan, which gives her $50 of credit, and 50MB of data, which would suit her well.
Our family is not one that regularly buys physical products online, but a few weeks ago, we decided to replace our 10 year old fridge. Harvey Norman stocked it for about $2200, while online; we could buy it for $1600, so we did. We put the order through, and by the next day, it was delivered and installed. It was so easy, and we didn’t have to do any manual labour or anything.
So based on this experience, because it was a fridge, delivering a small phone would be much simpler right? Well, was I wrong about that!
First of all, let’s take a step back. I was previously on Virgin Prepaid, and needed a new phone, and I wanted to use the internet on the go. I went down to my local All Phones retailer, picked out the phone I liked from Virgin, had a demo of it, and purchased there and then. Doing the paperwork took a while, but once done, I had my new phone in my hand walking home. In a few hours, my prepaid credit was automatically transferred over to credit on my Post-Paid plan and I was able to make calls, and browse the internet on my brand new Nokia 5800.
So you can see it was a quick and easy process. Ordering online, however, was a different story. As I said at the start, I ordered the phone online on Thursday, and it wasn’t until Tuesday 10am I received the phone. Although that’s 3 business days as they said on the website, it took 5 nights to get delivered – which is a long time for a device we rely on everyday. We got a phone call on Friday from Virgin, just to confirm our order, and it was put through the delivery process on Monday, and received Tuesday (according to the Messenger Post website).
So I had the experience of buying a Virgin Mobile in store and upgrading my prepaid to post-paid, and buying online, upgrading from prepaid to post-paid with Virgin Mobile. The only difference, in store took half a day, online took 5 nights.
However, the problems with ordering online do not stop there. I now have to active the service, and transfer the original number over, which will take a few hours (like it did with my phone). However, I cannot do this because Virgin had to do a major system update today didn’t they.
Update: I sent an email to Virgin Mobile, on Wednesday, they called my back a few hours later and got the service activated. However, the My Account section looks a bit suss (information missing), so hopefully everything went to plan. The good thing is that my mum now has a phone to use.
However, I do think Virgin will call me back in 2 weeks to confirm that the commitments are carried over from the new post-paid sim card to the old pre-paid simcard. Logging into My Account with both phone numbers, bring up the same information – I wonder if it can make a call.
Update 2: By ordering online during the time of system updates was probably a bad time to order a new phone. But after I upgraded my phone from the Nokia 5800 to an Xperia Arc, it only took a 14 minute phone call, and I got the phone the very next day (a Friday)