Monday, 4 April 2011

O2 - Never thinking of You

I hate to feel like if I have been done a dis-service and in this instance I would think it fair to say that I really have been 'sharfted'!  This might sound a bit odd to some of you lovely younger peeps out there, but when I was twelve I wasn't expecting a mobile phone for my birthday, some trainers, the latest Now 13 tape (yes tapes)... some extra pocket money and day out if I was a good girl, maybe.  So when I passed  my driving test aged 17, my Dad, being protective let me have use of this funny new thing called a mobile telephone.  It was great, it meant I could go out and not worry about breaking down and not being able to call for HELP...

The phone that Dad lent me was to say the very least a brick.. but I loved it... I've just spent about an hour searching the tinterweb and I found a picture of it... and here it is...

Notice how it doesn't even have screen!! How on earth did I know who I was calling? Anyway, when I went to university Dad lent me phone on a more permanent basis.... in those days the phone provider was called Cellnet... heard of them... maybe not?  After a year or so, the phone didn't hold a charge and I found out that people were starting to use this new way of communicating called 'Text Message'... weird new fangled thing... you write a short message and send it to your chum and you don't have to bother them with actually speaking to them! Result!...I want this... so I called up Cellnet, and not only did they tell me that they were becoming BT-Cellnet, but also that I would need a new digital sim card...Crazy talk!.. Ok, just send me the goods.. they did, no fuss, no trauma. The new phone arrived and I got this dinky little sim card to put in it (the old one was the size of a credit card!) and ... it had a screen. Now, not only will I be able to see who's number I am calling, but also any messages I might get or indeed send!

My next phone was a Nokia (what a funny word... that will never take on a product name! HA! where do they get these ideas from?)...

When I finished University (2000) I took over the payment of the mobile phone and it became my account.   And here is where BT-Cellnet and I became BFF's!.. we enjoyed years of me paying the bills on time EVERY TIME, they gave me lush new upgrades and better deals, and we didn't even fall out when they changed their names again to O2... 

The cracks in the relationship started to develop about 2 years ago... admittedly we only spoke once a year when my contract was up, or and new upgrade was available, but some relationships work when you can have a comfortable silence.  Something was about to go horribly wrong and I'm sure it wasn't me.

The invention of the iphone 3Gs killed our relationship.  Being a hip and modern kinda chick I wanted to upgrade my phone to a new hip and modern kinda phone... so I called the number I found on the website and explained that I know I had recently had an upgrade, but I wanted to buy my own iphone and would my sim work in it... yes I was told, but you will need to change your tariff to an iphone tariff.  Ok I said, I'll call you back when I have the new phone... which I did!.   It was this second  call to O2 that broke my heart.  They were telling me that because I had been with them for so long, and that my account was so old,  I was on an old billing system.  This old billing system would not allow me to be upgraded to the new iphone tariff! "Interesting", I thought, glad the young man who advised I could go ahead and spend £450 on a new phone knew what he was talking about! Cheers for that!

There follows approx. four weeks of phone calls, each time having to be passed on average to four different people because I was on an old system and how dare I try and assume I should be treated like any other O2 customer and expect to speak to someone who actually cared...Each time I called I was told that someone was 'migraiting' my account to the new system, and the phone would work very soon.  No such luck! It was clear that they could not do this and EVENTUALLY someone took pity on me sobbing down the phone saying I had bought the phone on their recommendation, and hadn't been able to use it as they can't change my billing system.  After admitting to me that they couldn't 'migrate' my account to a new system, O2 provided me with a bolt on free of charge each month to allow me to use the new iphone.  I was relieved to have it working and decided that I didn't need to call them again, ever!

Sadly, I have recently made a massive mistake in thinking that I could upgrade my phone again, to the iphone 4... I called O2, and to my dismay I was passed from pillar to post again, being told the same old story about how I had an old account (I was starting to feel like this was my fault) and it came to a head last Friday when I was told because of this, they couldn't upgrade my phone.  However, they would be able to 'migrate' my account to a new system! Really! WHY HAD YOU NOT DONE IT BEFORE?? 

I explained in no uncertain terms that if this was not done withing 7 days, I would be forced to go else where.

This morning (Monday) I started to get text messages from O2 saying that I wasn't on an iphone tariff and that I would get charged extra for any data used! Charming, I called them, and told them that I KNOW I'm not on an iphone tariff! They are the ones that wouldn't / couldn't make that happen.  ARG!

After talking to a lady in customer services, I asked to speak to someone who would be able to tell me what it was they would offer me to keep me, after all, I have been a customer for OVER 10 years.  Paid my bills on time EVERY TIME, and had endure their red tape.  I spoke to Michael in 'Retention' and proposed what it would take to keep me, which is as follows :
  • £35 per month line rental
  • 2000 mins to any network
  • 5000 mins to same network
  • 5000 text messages
  • Unlimited Data Usage
  • iphone4 16GB - for free.
 I based that on the Three Network, The One Plan, and all I asked was the phone for free... Three are asking for £69 upfront for the phone.

But Michael said no, and not only the no, but no suggestion of anything else to make me stay.  So thanks to Michael, I am no longer a very unhappy O2 customer.

(screen shot taken from the current O2 advert explaining how O2 are ALWAYS THINKING OF ME)

... Michael has set me free to be ONE VERY HAPPY Three customer!!

Thanks Michael I owe you one!!!