I am trying to understand my father's cell phone plan/charges and I cannot understand some of the charges (and neither can he).
He says that until the past 6-12 months he had a plan where he only paid $20 every three months. Now he's paying $25 every month with Top-Up cards, which is a huge rip-off considering he barely uses the phone.
I looked up the charges online and here's what I've found (under Account Activity), which I can't make any sense of:
Basic Rate 20˘ per min.
Top-Up by: 9/05/12
Minutes Left: 574 A/T Minutes - Expires 7/07/12
Current Balance: $7.18
Under Balance Info it mentions "Your Beyond Talk Plan"
So every month, before the Minute expiration date, my dad adds a $25 Top-Up. The last time he did this it seemed that it added 200 minutes and $25 to his balance. But then maybe 20 minutes later, $20 was subtracted from the balance for xtras. In May, $30 was subtracted for xtras after he topped-up before the minute expiration date.
Firstly, what in the heck are these xtras? My dad doesn't understand what they are and neither do I. He only uses voice, no texting or anything else (or so he says). I don't see any activity for anything other than Voice.
Secondly, how can he go back to paying $20 or so every three months?
Why are there two expiration dates (one for the minutes and one for the top-up)?
If he doesn't Top-up before the monthly minute expiration date, what would happen?
It appears that somehow his (maybe) older PayLo phone and plan got switched to a
Beyond Talk plan. I believe this can be done if the phone is an older pay-as-you-go phone.
If he's still using the same phone, call customer service and get switched back to Paylo.
Also, extra charges like $10 or $20 per month sounds like he may have signed up for
some kind of service that charges a monthly fee. Have customer services stop this.
The basic Paylo requires a $20 topup every 90 days and charges $.20 per minute.
It sounds like something is really messed up in your father's account, since it shows both the basic rate and "beyond talk," which shouldn't be possible. If you are on Facebook, I would recommend posting on Virgin Mobile's Wall for help, or you can email them at "firstname.lastname@example.org" (yeah, I know, kind of hokey, but that's their Social Media help team email.).
In the meantime, I would suggest checking if he has enabled Virgin Xtras on his phone. It looks like you can find this under the Settings and Preferences tab. Look on the sidebar labeled "I Want to..." and choose Edit Service Settings. You should get a popup with an option to check/uncheck a box under the heading Daily Access Subscription. Unchecking that box disables Xtras, and should hopefully take care of any more charges for it.
And yes, it should be possible to fund a phone with the $20/90 day option. That is how I fund my daughter's PayLo phone, which she uses for minimal calls and texts. If you want to keep your father's Virgin Mobile phone, I suggest pursuing a solution with the Social Media team - they seem to be on top of things, if a bit overworked. Be persistent until you get complete answers. It may take a while for them to figure out what happened. Afterward, if appropriate, you could request some kind of account compensation or credit for the money lost to Xtras. Good luck getting things sorted out!
All the plans have the "Beyond Talk" header - that's just web designer incompetence.
Another possible source for the Xtras are "cram" charges put on by an unscrupulous third party. I suspect this more than "Virgin Xtras" since they are in multiples of $10. You can get third party purchases blocked, I believe.
I have this PayLo plan on one of my phones. I use Auto topup and only pay $15 every ninety days. I have no idea what the extras are for. Call Virgin Mobile would be my suggestion. If he has ever been asked for his cell number for a freebie he may be getting charged as suggested by some third party.
And yes as stated above the Beyond Talk is just crappy web design.