Virgin Mobile Needs Non-Customer’s Personal Information To Stop Spamming her

Image courtesy of Hello?

Someone signed up for Virgin Mobile, and used Shadee’s e-mail address by accident. She doesn’t particularly want someone else’s phone bills, so she contacted Virgin Mobile asking to have the problem resolved. They answered with a demand for her personal information: name, mailing address, and her phone number. Why do they need all of this information when she wants to get off their mailing list, not on it? So she reached out and posted on Virgin Mobile’s Facebook wall. The interactions that followed prove that while companies can assign staff to social media, it can’t make them actually listen to consumers.

She began by posting this message to Virgin Mobile’s wall:

A stranger signed up for one of your services using my e-mail address so now I keep getting account/billing e-mails which aren’t meant for me. I responded to one of the e-mails, explaining the situation and asking to have my e-mail address removed from this stranger’s account but for some reason the rep doesn’t seem to understand the problem and keeps insisting that my personal information is required for “verification”. I’m not a customer so there’s nothing to verify. Someone just used a false e-mail address during sign up and it happened to be mine. Hope someone here can help. Can’t imagine the customer would be thrilled about me having access to their account info.

Fourteen minutes later (well done!) Virgin Mobile responds:

Hi Shadee, in order for us to access the account, we would need validation for the account. Please email our team at so we can assist you further. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Great response time, but not so much with the listening. Shadee sent along the e-mail, and posted the response she received to the Facebook wall:

Good Morning Shadee,

Can you please provide me with the requested information bellow so I can request that the email account is removed from the Virgin Mobile account?

City and State:
Contact phone number:
Email Address to be removed:

Social Media Team

The ever-helpful Facebook rep responded:

Shadee, the information that we are requesting would be your own information, including the email address so we can forward this information to a different department. I apologize for any miscommunication

Yeah, we got that. The point is that she wants you to stop sending her things, not take down her information and send her more things. She wrote back:

I don’t understand why you need my personal information.
I’ve mentioned to the first rep that this person has been at this for quite a while now. With all sorts of different services, not just yours. I’m not interested in having a possible mix up, even if the chance is very slim, where this person somehow gets a hold of my personal information and gets a chance to harass me in real life as well.

I guess we’ll just have to leave it like it is then. Your customer’s sensitive information will be sent to me instead of them.

A different rep responded to her concern:

Hello Shadee, I’m sorry, but we’re required by law to have these measures in place to protect the information on all customer accounts. I’m sure this is frustrating, but we’re dedicated to the security and privacy of our customer accounts. The purpose of the Account PIN and Answer to Secret Question is to allow our customers to protect their accounts.

Again, that’s all very well and good, but has nothing to do with her original concern that she’s receiving someone else’s bills and wants them to go away. So she’s given up, writing a final note that read in part:

If after being made aware of the issue, your company is happy to continue to allow this customer’s private information to be e-mailed to a stranger every time they make changes to their account then that’s your choice. I mentioned in one of my first responses that having me mark all Virgin Mobile e-mails as spam simply isn’t the professional solution and that it would still become a problem again if I ever decided to purchase any of your services in the future but I don’t think that’s likely to happen now anyway.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.