i just spoke to a woman called Sijabulile on the phone at the virgin Customer sCare desk concerning a money-being-owed-to-me-by-virgin issue and she was very friendly and professional. she checked my information, she understood the problem and assured me it was being taken care of. she even emailed the billing department to inquire as to why the payment had not gone through yet. she updated my email details and set me up for billing confirmation. all very exciting.

excepting that in january, Thatho had already done all that, and the following week so did Lebo, and then Dumelo, after whom it was Gabriel who was followed by Sisiwe. a couple of days ago Akhona assured me that within 24 hours the money would be returned.

which helped introduce me to Sijabulile. yet another call. yet another long wait. the same verification questions which i can answer before they arrive – confirm cellphone number, id number, present place of residence and email address.

mid jan is when virgin decided it would be fun to inexplicably disappear the free 1000 sms deal i have as part of my contract and start charging me sms’s and so suddenly my R250 airtime was R96 and then within a day i was sitting not being able to send sms’s because i had 0.02 on my phone. they – eventually – rectified the mistake (i know of at least two other people this happened to so it was not just Richard Branson getting back at me for emailing him asking for the R15000 he owes me for when i forgot his name on The Weakest Link ) but have yet to return the amount i lost (including the extra R120 i had to put on through my ATM)

by the end of the day, by monday, within twenty four hours, by tomorrow this time, at the start of the next month are all time scales i have received for when the money is going to be returned…

it probably will be eventually – and no doubt less than i spent – but who will repay me the hours lost listening to “hi there and welcome to virgin where your wish is our command” messages…

i suspect my current wish you would not be all that eager to fulfil.