Virgin Mobile Australia's chief executive, David Scribner, today issued a statement to the company's customers, saying that it had "messed up" and that he offered his "sincerest apologies" for a major outage over the weekend that left hundreds of thousands of its post-paid customers without service for several hours.
"Last Saturday (3 May), we experienced an outage that affected a large number of our customers," said Scribner in the message, posted on the company's website. "We messed up and I’d like to personally offer all of our customers my sincere apologies for this incident, and take this opportunity to explain in detail what happened — and what we're doing about it."
The message goes on to outline what happened, saying that a system fault early on Saturday morning incorrectly recognised a number of the company's postpaid mobile services as prepaid services with AU$0 credit.
"As a result, approximately 447,000 postpaid mobile services were unable to make calls, send texts, or use data," said Scribner in the message. "Those who tried to make a call or send a text received an error that sounded like they had a prepaid service.
"Due to the high volume of online traffic and customer enquiries, our website was unavailable for some time and our call centre experienced longer than usual wait times," he said.
According to Scribner, a fix was in place by 12:30pm AEST on Saturday, with some customers being automatically reconnected, while others were required to restart their phone for service.
The company has now offered all of its postpaid customers a credit to the value of their access fee for the entire day of 3 May. The credit will be applied within the next week and will appear on customers' bills, the company said.
In addition, Virgin Mobile Australia said that as "a further gesture of goodwill" it would offer all of its postpaid mobile customers free calls, texts and MMS to standard numbers within Australia for the next two Saturdays, 17 and 24 May.