VS/Virgin Wines promo: no miles, e-mails ignored

Discussion in 'Virgin Atlantic | Flying Club' started by User Name, Jun 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Long time lurker, first-time poster here – felt compelled to sign-up to share this story in the hope that it helps others who are thinking of taking similar offers:

    Here’s a story about a premium brand (Virgin) trying out something in a new market (Virgin Wines in the US) and completely screwing up a basic offer and then compounding it with non-existent service recovery. It’s pissed this loyal Virgin Atlantic customer off enough to want to share. For those interested, read on. For those thinking of shopping with Virgin Wines, buyer beware.


    As a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club member I received an e-mail offer in mid-April of $59.99 (plus $20 shipping) for an introductory mixed case from Virgin Wines, with a sweetener of 2,000 Flying Club miles for signing up. I fly Virgin Atlantic from time to time (they’re the preferred airline of my employer) so I figured this was a good offer.

    I placed my order on April 27th and the admittedly nice wine arrived within a few days or so (caveat – I am not a huge wine drinker or indeed that knowledgeable, but like to have something reasonably nice in the house and Virgin seemed like a safe bet).

    My miles were taking a bit longer than I expected, so I e-mailed Virgin Wines on May 7th to ask where they were. They replied quickly (just 90 minutes!) apologizing for an error that had occurred and asking me to supply my Flying Club number a second time. I replied with this, and again they responded quickly (later that day) to confirm receipt of the number and to say I’d get my miles within 30 days.

    A month later – no miles – so I wrote again to ask where they were. Again they wrote back within minutes to assure me that they had processed the miles request back on May 9th and that my Virgin Elevate miles would be received within 6 weeks of that date.

    Needless to say I was concerned – not only had the timescale moved without explanation – but, more importantly, they were saying that they had tried to process Virgin America Elevate miles – a completely separate program run by a separate company and one that I am not even a member of!

    I replied straight away to point this out (just in case it was a typo on their part) and to ask why the dates had changed too. I fully expected a reply later that day (based on past performance) to apologize and explain that they would sort out the error without delay.

    3 days later and I had heard nothing. This was getting ridiculous. I was now about to write them a fourth e-mail just to try to get them to fulfill a simple sign-up offer for miles. My e-mail asked if they could either sort it out or supply me with the appropriate contact details so I could escalate the matter. I also (in a cheeky but very nice way) that they might like to actually give me a little more on top of the 2,000 miles for all the waiting, monitoring and e-mailing they’d made me do. I also gave them a deadline – I said that I expected to receive my miles within the next 7 days. Not unreasonable, I thought.

    Those 7 days have now been and gone, with no word from Virgin Wines nor any miles received into my account.

    I appreciate that Virgin Wines is new in the USA, but they have the weight of a big, premium band behind them yet they seem to lack the competence to be able to fulfill the simplest of promotions. What really bugs me though is the attitude that they are showing in not taking any ownership at all in sorting this out.

    Disclosure: I have written to them again today to let them know that I have shared this story, and promising to re-post their reply (if one is ever received). Personally I’ve always been a fan of the brand, but Virgin Wines so far seems like a lost cause and I think I can probably kiss the miles they promised me goodbye. I’d advise anyone reading against taking up any of their promotions.

  2. The company I work for has a Facebook page so that it can interact with its customers. We’re on there pretty much all the time, talking to people and looking out for potential customer service issues that we can react to and solve.

    I just realized that Virgin Wines has a Facebook page, so I posted my problem on their wall.

    Virgin’s response? They deleted it within a couple of minutes, with no attempt to contact me via Facebook.

    Perhaps it detracted from their own ridiculous post:

    Friday Afternoon - Fact or Myth? Wines labelled as ‘huge reds’ are made with grapes that are as big as footballs?

    I think it’s clear where their priorities lie, and it’s not with their customers.
  3. I posted a second time, on both Virgin Wines and Virgin Atlantic's FB page. The airline just deleted it again after about 2 minutes. Virgin Wines left it up there and responded about an hour later:


    Hi User Name, you need to contact our team in the USA in order to resolve your issue as this is the UK facebook page. Please would you therefore email them at service@virginwines.com OR call toll free on 866-426-0336. We have already contacted them and asked them to look out for you and they are very keen to help. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    The problem is that these are the exact people who I've been trying to contact and who stopped responding. I replied (on FB) to say that they know exactly who I am and how to contact me.
  4. free101girl
    Original Member

    free101girl Silver Member

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    Thanks for sharing this info. I received the same offer and considered it. Now I'm glad I didn't jump on it.
    YULtide likes this.
  5. You're welcome. There are plenty of other wine programs out there.
  6. Update: Some five hours after I tweeted Sir Richard, I received a very warm and apologetic call from a very nice customer service manager at Virgin Wines.

    9.15pm on a Friday evening was a bit late for a call (had only just got the baby off to sleep), but I appreciated the gesture. She asked for a little more time to look into things and said she would get back to me on Monday.

    Perhaps Virgin do listen after all, but it's a shame the amount of noise you have to make first...
  7. To remain fair to Virgin Wines I had earlier promised that I would post updates regarding their resolution.

    I spoke to the CSM again on the phone this morning. Again, very apologetic - and she had clearly reserached what had gone on. It seems that two seperate mistakes came together - one internal procedural error and also a systems comminucation error regarding the mileage transfer.

    We agreed a mutually acceptable resolution and that (if executed as promised), hopefully, is that.

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