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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

O2 and Carphone Warehouse... pathetic SIM registration system

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently lost my phone. My own stupidity, can't blame anyone else.

What I can blame people for, however, is the length of time it's taking to get up and running again with a new SIM and alternative phone.

I called CPW at the time I discovered I'd lost it (about 1.30am on Monday morning). The IVR system advised me to call O2 directly as it was out-of-hours. This I did, calling & putting a block on the old SIM, but not the phone itself as I didn't have the IMEI number. I then called CPW back at 9am to put a bar on the phone's identity as well. At 11am I went into my local CPW store, bought a new SIM, got put through to the call centre to register its details, my address etc, and was told to wait for it to register with the network, which could take up to 24 hours.

Unfortunately, no joy. "SIM not registered", still, at 9am this morning. Call through to CPW at 8am today, and get promised a call back to tell me what the problems is. Yeah right. Still not working at 2pm, and no call from Carphone. Try customer services again, and speak to a very helpful lady (Hi Charlotte if you're reading) who goes away to check what the problem is & explains it to me.

Apparently, there's a "Network Error" at O2, which means there's a conflict somewhere in the system, which prevents Charlotte & co at CPW from making any further changes on my account, like unbarring my new SIM. My take is that the O2 network guys are too busy sitting on their thumbs to do anything about this promptly. It'll take another 24 hours, and then CPW can actually do something. Why? There's no excuse for a day's latency in a critical business process which directly impacts O2's user experience and hence customer loyalty. Come to think of it, there's no excuse for getting something so apparently simple wrong in the first place.

In this case, I think the fault lies squarely with O2, not its service provider CPW (apart from the lack of phone-back to inform me).

By contrast, Ariva, which runs the coach on which I left my phone, has a lost property office. They informed me yesterday that they'd make a note of the details, and call me back if they found it. If I didn't hear within 24 hours, that meant they hadn't picked it up and I could be certain I'd lost it. This morning, 23 hours and 50 minutes later, I got a call to tell me they'd found it, and would they like it to be sent to their London office. Helpful, efficient, and on time.

So, O2 - how'd you feel, knowing your business processes are less modern & efficient than those of a bus company?

(footnote: in an amusing piece of bad - or good - timing, I've just got a PR email saying that O2 is updating its customer management system with a new one from Martin Dawes Systems. I'd love to know whether this will fix the problem.... or if it's actually the transition that's exacerbated it)


Anonymous said...

The new system will not be implemented until may, and only impacts O2 business customers

Anonymous said...

You must keep your phone turned off during the time O2 are processing the unbar or simcard migration, if the sim is active ie in a phone that is on, this can cause problems registering the sim.

CPW staff member