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Beyond Frustrated with Virgin’s Horrible Customer Service Experience


TonyguyCO
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I’ll preface this with saying that I’m typically a person who doesn’t get easily frustrated and complain about companies, but my first time experiences with Virgin cruises has pushed me to attempt to find any way to fix the problem their incompetence is unable to. 
 

Background:

I was initially booked on a cruise for February 2024 out of Miami, but this was suddenly canceled due to some delay in another ship’s launch… no clue how that all works, but I figured ok, no problem, so I re-booked the same cruise, which now departs out of San Juan on February 10th. 
 

Ever since the rebooking, I have been unable to access my account both on the app or on the website. I’ve called Virgin countless times, spoken to different people every time of course, and still have yet to get any resolution. 
 

The last time I called was on November 17th. I paid the entire cruise cost in full because it was due, and they “prioritized” my issue… since nothing happened after that call, I sent an email request in on November 20th. I’ve received a whopping two responses, both contradicting the other and the equivalent of the “have you tried unplugging and plugging back in?” kind of help you receive with wifi router tech support. Truly, one response was “well you need to make a new account with a new email”… I don’t have another email account and I’m not creating one that I have to try and monitor somehow, so I responded to that effect, and was then told “your account was deleted, so all that is needed is to create a new account with your same email and new password and you’re all set.” 
 

I tried that and shocker… received an error message saying there was already an account associated with that email. I responded to the customer support email three times over the course of a week about this last failure and have yet to receive a response.
 

My cruise is less than two months away, I can’t access my account, can’t book excursions, can’t place bids on upgrades even though I’m getting their dumb a** emails, and I’m ready to file for a full refund and write every review possible about this amateur-hour experience I’ve received. I’ve sailed Royal Caribbean a half dozen times and never once experienced anything close to this and it’s amazing they’re actually still in business.


Has anyone experienced this before and, if so, can you tell me what you did to correct it? If not, is there someone else that’s actually competent in their company who can help me with this issue? 
 

Thanks in advance for any assistance with this issue.

 

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Haven't had this issue, but my suggestion:

 

Set up a new email address, and set that address up to auto-forward anything received to your current email address. Then set up a new account with Virgin using the new email, then call them and get your booking tied to the new account/email address.

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Welcome to Virgin.  Their Shoreside Sailor Services is totally awful with a very few exception, and it has gotten better over the past 2 years.  The only way to get around their insane lack of customer service is to book thru a Gold Tier travel agent and let that person deal with them.  Obviously that's too late for you now.  Tolkmit may have given you a good idea.

I've had issues in the past when the perks (known as "add ons") on the web site were intermittently wrong....I had screen shots when they were right and from my TA just in case...and magically everything was right after boarding.

 

I have no good ideas for you....just a "you're not the only one."  There is a guy named Raoul who is good...if you are ever lucky enough to get him on the phone.  The only line I've cruised with worse customer sercive than VV is Princess, and we won't get into that.

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2 hours ago, WanderingBrit said:

You can transfer your account to a First Mate (travel agent) and have them work to resolve things for you. Alternatively try online chat, as I’ve found that better than email.

Actually, since he is paid in full, he can no longer transfer to a TA.

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I booked my cruise direct and paid in full at the same time.  Instead of a confirmation email, I got “this is your last payment warning email”  I tried to call them all day the next day and was unable to get through.  Finally got through the next night and they couldn’t locate my booking at first.  After 30 mins, they finally located my booking and sent though a confirmation email that confirmed all my details and I had in fact paid in full.

Next day, I couldn’t log into the app or via the website.  Like you, my one and only email was rejected.  I could change my password using my email but the email itself was being rejected when I tried to log in.

Called them again that night, went through the same debacle of them not finding my booking - using my booking number/name and DOB - they then told me I was booked to go to the Carribbean when I’m cruising in Australia 😳. I said I would like to speak to a Manager.  I was put on hold and 
Finally, they said “I can see the notes taken by my colleague last night.  I can see the issue and it will be fixed.  Just delete the app and don’t log in again for 24hrs” And yes, 24hrs later, I installed the app & everything was as it should be.

My advice is keep persevering with the phone calls.

Also, for a February cruise, we can’t book restaurants, shore tours etc until 1st January so assuming it’s the same in the US, you are not missing out yet.

 

 

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1 hour ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Also, for a February cruise, we can’t book restaurants, shore tours etc until 1st January so assuming it’s the same in the US, you are not missing out yet.

 

 

For Rockstars on February sailings shore excursions opened up some weeks ago, and dining reservations are available now for those Rockstars sailing in 60 days or less (mid February or earlier)

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On 12/10/2023 at 6:01 AM, WanderingBrit said:

You can transfer your account to a First Mate (travel agent) and have them work to resolve things for you. Alternatively try online chat, as I’ve found that better than email.

 

No, it's paid in full so it can no longer be transferred. 

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On 12/9/2023 at 7:15 PM, TonyguyCO said:

Thanks in advance for any assistance with this issue.

 

First off, sorry for all of this run around. Sailor Services on the public side are a whole different experience than Sailor Services on the TA side. With VV, and really any cruise line, you really want a TA precisely for when things go sideways. They have a different group of folks they work with in addition to a direct connection at each cruise line.  You're not alone with VV having experiences like this reading these forums. 

 

While you cannot transfer your booking to a TA at this time because you're paid in full, a Gold Tier or Top 100 Independent TA could still help to escalate your situation if you reach out to them. No we cannot recommend TAs in these forums because this forum is owned by a very large travel entity. 

 

Again my apologies for this terrible customer service, but hopefully you'll find a TA who can reach out to VV on your behalf.

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  • 4 weeks later...
2 hours ago, jwattle said:

Just to give y'all a laugh: the same thing can happen to a Gold Tier agent...and they get the same treatment... 😄

 

No doubt--my Gold Tier TA told me about VV screwing up her 485 status and that they just couldn't seem to get it right for at least one cruise.    Still well worth having her to deal with the nonsense they try to pull on me!

 

Edited by cantgetin
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Not sure if OP is still having problems but posting my experience since others may have it too...

 

I had this exact problem 2.5 years ago when I first became a VV customer. I had signed up via my email address for offers, etc., in 2019 or 2020, but by the time I booked my first cruise in 2021, I "logged in" using the Google shortcut (I have a gmail email address). Somehow in doing that, I wound up with 2 accounts with a very similar experience to not being able to access things as the OP.

 

It was painful to resolve, but I was insistent that I remain on the phone until the customer service agent put me in touch with IT who could actually "make ship happen" (HA). HOWEVER, as mentioned, that was 2 years ago when they weren't nearly as busy with people using their cruise line and customer service agents actually had the knowledge to resolve things and time to put me in touch with the right people. I understand that now they have a larger CS staff and if I had to guess (based upon a recent call with them) are fairly new to dealing with VV. 

 

I feel like the end result was for VV IT to delete BOTH accounts and then I was able to create a new account using my booking number to get things back in sync. I've not had any problems since, but I do use that Google shortcut to login to VV rather than a unique username/password. 

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I have this same problem and I am at my wit's end. I can't book anything through the app, and neither can my cabin mate.  I did try creating an account with a new email and that didn't help at all.  Support has been useless.  I don't want to spend my days at the sailor services desk every time I want to book dinner or shows.  
My booking was for San Juan too and dates were switched.  I was paid in full and when they transferred my booking I had a payment due for -$1. SMDH

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