A few months ago I pressed the $ button on the handset by accident, which allowed me to get access to my account balance (I usually don't want to use this function because it will charge me 10 cents each time). Since then I have been careful not to touch this button again. But I didn’t know that the company kept charging me 10 cents every day for the flowing months, until recently I found my account balance unusually low and went online to check my account activities. I called the customer service line and I was told that once I press this button they will automatically activate the service of “access to account balance” and charge me 10 cents every day. I don’t think this is fair; charging a customer for a daily service without informing the customer is not an honest practice for business.
The $ function, located in an up-scroll button, is very easy to be pressed by mistake. I don’t understand why Virgin Mobile designed this button that way. In Virgin Mobile's theory, customers of Minute2Minute (a prepaid program) are those who use their cell phones infrequently, which is true, but then why Virgin Mobile would think that these infrequent users would need to check their account balance every day? To me this is a way Virgin Mobile designed to make extra money. I don’t expect them to do their business in decent manners, but charging customers without their awareness is unfair and should be stopped. They should have clearly informed customers by a message in the handset screen, or in the user agreement when the contract is signed at the first place. When I complained about it in the phone to their customer service department on Nov. 26, 2007, I was told by the company’s representative that this information is available in their website. But do we need to go through so many pages of their websites to search for the possible hidden charges?