Refund on Balance left on Pre-paid Phone Account

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I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin Mobile and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).  I recently loaded about 2-3 additional months balance in each account to take advantage of some Amex Offer so in total I had about $300 on all those 4 accounts.  I called several times, I escalated and I keep getting the same answer: no refund on balances.  I understand that any unused part for the current month is lost.  I would even understand if they charge a termination fee, but keeping all that money sounds shady.  Any option I may have? 

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Yes, Too many customers = network busy signal.(e.g. Mother's Day)
Like all businesses, there are points of congestion

ellory (Dec. 26, 2016 @ 8:34p) |

I've never heard of a phone company turning away new customers because they already had too many customers.

Glitch99 (Dec. 26, 2016 @ 8:53p) |

In general, they plan the network to be large enough to support the managed load.

However, that doesn't always work out i... (more)

ellory (Dec. 27, 2016 @ 6:53a) |

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I've never heard of any prepaid plan giving refunds on balance. That's the whole idea of prepaid, isn't it? You "pay as you go" for mobile service, it is not a bank account. Why did you load $300 when you knew (I assume) you were switching?

I've tried to get my $100 balance back, no joy.

I had a T-Mobile prepaid line as well as a post paid account through them. They were able to refund the prepaid balance to the postpaid account for me. But they said if I did not have that postpaid account I wouldn't be getting the money back.

Ecuadorgr said:   I've never heard of any prepaid plan giving refunds on balance. That's the whole idea of prepaid, isn't it? You "pay as you go" for mobile service, it is not a bank account. Why did you load $300 when you knew (I assume) you were switching?
  I loaded the amount several weeks ago and at the time I had no intention to change.  The recent Verizon offer, combined with the Verizon wireless Amex offer, discount on new job,  and cash I am getting from a cashback site made it an offer I could not refuse.

hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).
  Is the balance for each account at Virgin now $0.00 ?

xoneinax said:   
hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).
  Is the balance for each account at Virgin now $0.00 ?

  Yes.  The accounts are closed and the balance in each is zero.  Are these companies regulated somehow?  Any entity that would listen to a complain?

hobo916 said:   
xoneinax said:   
hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).
  Is the balance for each account at Virgin now $0.00 ?

  Yes.  The accounts are closed and the balance in each is zero.  Are these companies regulated somehow?  Any entity that would listen to a complain?

  They are regulated (the FCC, in particular), but why do you think that you're entitled to the money?  You prepaid for wireless service.  You decided not to use the service.  

I am sure it is clearly spelled out in the terms you agree'd to when you setup your account with them. Just take it as a lesson for next time.

Yeah, I wish you could get your money back, but the Terms and Conditions are NOT on your side.

https://www.virginmobileusa.com/#!/legal/general-terms-and-condi...

Spelled out fairly clearly in terms of service. Not something I'd look up but IF I planned to load up my account during a promo, I'd certainly look up then.
https://consumerist.com/2014/10/21/use-up-all-the-money-on-your-...

hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin Mobile and Boost onto Verizon
 

 I understand the reasons for keeping your old phone numbers (Contacts, ties to credit cards, accounts, etc).  I hope you didn't have to pay high porting fees.

IgorSkovoroda said:   
hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin Mobile and Boost onto Verizon
 I understand the reasons for keeping your old phone numbers (Contacts, ties to credit cards, accounts, etc).  I hope you didn't have to pay high porting fees.

  There was no cost to port onto new carrier actually.

cestmoi123 said:   
hobo916 said:   
xoneinax said:   
hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).
  Is the balance for each account at Virgin now $0.00 ?

  Yes.  The accounts are closed and the balance in each is zero.  Are these companies regulated somehow?  Any entity that would listen to a complain?

  They are regulated (the FCC, in particular), but why do you think that you're entitled to the money?  You prepaid for wireless service.  You decided not to use the service.  

  That is kind of shady.  The proper thing would be to keep the account open until the balance is spent down.  I understand the idea of no refunds, but they should still provide what was paid for whether he wants it or not.

Glitch99 said:   
 
  That is kind of shady.  The proper thing would be to keep the account open until the balance is spent down.  I understand the idea of no refunds, but they should still provide what was paid for whether he wants it or not.

  Sorry but that is just your opinion.  

Their's should be 'We need to make money and this guy is porting out anyhow.  Clear his balance! We get free funds for him leaving"

Glitch99 said:   That is kind of shady.  The proper thing would be to keep the account open until the balance is spent down.  I understand the idea of no refunds, but they should still provide what was paid for whether he wants it or not.
In what way did they fail to provide what they were obligated to deliver?

All the wireless mobile providers do this. Its part of their business model

Glitch99 said:   
cestmoi123 said:   
hobo916 said:   
xoneinax said:   
hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).
  Is the balance for each account at Virgin now $0.00 ?

  Yes.  The accounts are closed and the balance in each is zero.  Are these companies regulated somehow?  Any entity that would listen to a complain?

  They are regulated (the FCC, in particular), but why do you think that you're entitled to the money?  You prepaid for wireless service.  You decided not to use the service.  

  That is kind of shady.  The proper thing would be to keep the account open until the balance is spent down.  I understand the idea of no refunds, but they should still provide what was paid for whether he wants it or not.

  
If someone prepays for a room at a Hyatt for three nights, but checks out after night two, he wouldn't reasonably expect to get refunded for the third night.  If he decided to upgrade to a suite, the hotel would probably apply his payment for night three to the suite cost, but wouldn't just give him his money back so he could go spend it at a Hilton instead.

cestmoi123 said:   
Glitch99 said:   
cestmoi123 said:   
hobo916 said:   
xoneinax said:   
hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).
  Is the balance for each account at Virgin now $0.00 ?

  Yes.  The accounts are closed and the balance in each is zero.  Are these companies regulated somehow?  Any entity that would listen to a complain?

  They are regulated (the FCC, in particular), but why do you think that you're entitled to the money?  You prepaid for wireless service.  You decided not to use the service.  

  That is kind of shady.  The proper thing would be to keep the account open until the balance is spent down.  I understand the idea of no refunds, but they should still provide what was paid for whether he wants it or not.

  
If someone prepays for a room at a Hyatt for three nights, but checks out after night two, he wouldn't reasonably expect to get refunded for the third night.  If he decided to upgrade to a suite, the hotel would probably apply his payment for night three to the suite cost, but wouldn't just give him his money back so he could go spend it at a Hilton instead.

  Hotel rooms are a finite commodity.  They wouldn't refund the third night since holding it had prevented them from selling it to someone else.  And even after cancelling, your room would remain available for you to use should you change your mind -they wouldn't make you pay for that third night a second time.  There is no limit on the number of accounts a cell company can sell; there's nothing gained from them cancelling an account and keeping the balance, verses letting the account spend down the balance.

montee4 said:   I had a T-Mobile prepaid line as well as a post paid account through them. They were able to refund the prepaid balance to the postpaid account for me. But they said if I did not have that postpaid account I wouldn't be getting the money back.
I often see prepaid phone cards available at a discount, e.g., Target.com has them 10% off now (ends today).  So, even if I don't have a prepaid account, this would be a way to get 10% off my postpaid account?  But if it involves a customer service person manually doing something, maybe they won't do it more than once or twice for the same account.

Glitch99 said:   
cestmoi123 said:   
Glitch99 said:   
cestmoi123 said:   
hobo916 said:   
xoneinax said:   
hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).
  Is the balance for each account at Virgin now $0.00 ?

  Yes.  The accounts are closed and the balance in each is zero.  Are these companies regulated somehow?  Any entity that would listen to a complain?

  They are regulated (the FCC, in particular), but why do you think that you're entitled to the money?  You prepaid for wireless service.  You decided not to use the service.  

  That is kind of shady.  The proper thing would be to keep the account open until the balance is spent down.  I understand the idea of no refunds, but they should still provide what was paid for whether he wants it or not.

  
If someone prepays for a room at a Hyatt for three nights, but checks out after night two, he wouldn't reasonably expect to get refunded for the third night.  If he decided to upgrade to a suite, the hotel would probably apply his payment for night three to the suite cost, but wouldn't just give him his money back so he could go spend it at a Hilton instead.

  Hotel rooms are a finite commodity.  They wouldn't refund the third night since holding it had prevented them from selling it to someone else.  And even after cancelling, your room would remain available for you to use should you change your mind -they wouldn't make you pay for that third night a second time.  There is no limit on the number of accounts a cell company can sell; there's nothing gained from them cancelling an account and keeping the balance, verses letting the account spend down the balance.

  
They didn't cancel the account, the OP cancelled the account.  The OP was completely free to spend down the balance by keeping the service until the balance had been used up, and then switching to Verizon.  He/she chose not to do so. 

cestmoi123 said:   
Glitch99 said:   
cestmoi123 said:   
Glitch99 said:   
cestmoi123 said:   
hobo916 said:   
xoneinax said:   
hobo916 said:   I recently ported 4 numbers from Virgin and Boost onto Verizon and found that the balance I had left on my account is lost (I had those accounts for at least 5 years).
  Is the balance for each account at Virgin now $0.00 ?

  Yes.  The accounts are closed and the balance in each is zero.  Are these companies regulated somehow?  Any entity that would listen to a complain?

  They are regulated (the FCC, in particular), but why do you think that you're entitled to the money?  You prepaid for wireless service.  You decided not to use the service.  

  That is kind of shady.  The proper thing would be to keep the account open until the balance is spent down.  I understand the idea of no refunds, but they should still provide what was paid for whether he wants it or not.

  
If someone prepays for a room at a Hyatt for three nights, but checks out after night two, he wouldn't reasonably expect to get refunded for the third night.  If he decided to upgrade to a suite, the hotel would probably apply his payment for night three to the suite cost, but wouldn't just give him his money back so he could go spend it at a Hilton instead.

  Hotel rooms are a finite commodity.  They wouldn't refund the third night since holding it had prevented them from selling it to someone else.  And even after cancelling, your room would remain available for you to use should you change your mind -they wouldn't make you pay for that third night a second time.  There is no limit on the number of accounts a cell company can sell; there's nothing gained from them cancelling an account and keeping the balance, verses letting the account spend down the balance.

  
They didn't cancel the account, the OP cancelled the account.  The OP was completely free to spend down the balance by keeping the service until the balance had been used up, and then switching to Verizon.  He/she chose not to do so. 

  He didn't cancel the account.  He ported a phone number.  

Porting the phone number out is a multistage process. It includes
1) The original company deactivating the account
2) The new company activating the account
3) New network routing rules established

Note
A) The first step above is a deactivation of the account from the original company
B) It is a business decision what to do with the balance. All pre-paid companies have terms (T&C) in place that say that they keep the cash (Note: This is how they make the bull of their money)

Don't like it? Find a different prepaid company that complies with a different set of rules
 

Glitch said spend it at a Hilton instead.  Hotel rooms are a finite commodity.  They wouldn't refund the third night since holding it had prevented them from selling it to someone else.  And even after cancelling, your room would remain available for you to use should you change your mind -they wouldn't make you pay for that third night a second time.  There is no limit on the number of accounts a cell company can sell; there's nothing gained from them cancelling an account and keeping the balance, verses letting the account spend down the balance.
 
This is a poor example. Network usage is a finite resource for a finite time.  (e.g  xGB per month)

ellory said:   
Glitch said spend it at a Hilton instead.  Hotel rooms are a finite commodity.  They wouldn't refund the third night since holding it had prevented them from selling it to someone else.  And even after cancelling, your room would remain available for you to use should you change your mind -they wouldn't make you pay for that third night a second time.  There is no limit on the number of accounts a cell company can sell; there's nothing gained from them cancelling an account and keeping the balance, verses letting the account spend down the balance.
 
This is a poor example. Network usage is a finite resource for a finite time.  (e.g  xGB per month)

  So you are saying a phone company is limited to only having a certain number of customers at any one time?

Yes, Too many customers = network busy signal.(e.g. Mother's Day)
Like all businesses, there are points of congestion

ellory said:   Yes, Too many customers = network busy signal.(e.g. Mother's Day)
Like all businesses, there are points of congestion

  I've never heard of a phone company turning away new customers because they already had too many customers.

In general, they plan the network to be large enough to support the managed load.

However, that doesn't always work out in their favor. There was a case, I believe in Brazil a few years ago, where the operator was prohibited from soliciting service from any more customers until they fixed their network



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