Speaking Engagements & Private Workshops - Get Dean Bubley to present or chair your event

Need an experienced, provocative & influential telecoms keynote speaker, moderator/chair or workshop facilitator?
To discuss Dean Bubley's appearance at a specific event, contact information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com

Thursday, March 01, 2007

[Personal story] O2 - incompetence verging on negligence

Bad timing O2, putting a banner advert in front of me for a 1-month contract SIM this morning. Hopefully, people will find this page via Google and realise that the way you can offer 1-month services like this is by failing to register peoples' new SIMs in the first place. O2, You've cost me business, time & reputation over the last few days - it's my turn to return the compliment.

My advice: STAY AWAY, potential new O2 customers. And CHURN, existing O2 customers. I know I will when I get a chance.

The sorry saga of my lost phone and unregistered new SIM has finally come to an end. After only about 60 hours of failure to register the new card on the network on the network - and countless calls to helplful Carphone Warehouse people, whose efforts were hamstrung by O2's "network error" message locking their systems, and O2's inaccessible and seemingly incompetent support staff.

Without going into detail, CPW's system doesn't allow them to enact changes on a customer account while their network provider (O2 here) has an unspecified "network error" in place. Their hands are tied, and the best CPW staff can do is "monitor the status" until O2 fixes the problem in their own sweet time. I tried to get contact details for the O2 network support department so I could give the people there a kick myself. But there's no inbound number, as they're too arrogant, scared or poorly-trained to talk to real end-customers. Or else they just spend the day in the pub instead.

Eventually I hear from CPW yesterday afternoon at 2pm to say things have been resolved, that my new SIM's registration is now going through the system & should be up and running soon. I say that I've retrieved the phone from Lost Property, and can they reactivate the IMEI on that as well. They agree, and tell me to throw away the old SIM card. Now roll forward another 10 hours. I'm STILL getting "SIM card not registered". I get a sinking feeling.

And then I have a brainwave. Maybe... just maybe.... and I'm right.

The old SIM card - the one I reported lost on Sunday night (directly to O2, not CPW as it was out-of-hours), but which I got back when I picked up the phone, is working. Luckily, I haven't yet thrown it away or destroyed it as was suggested to me. But not the new one, the number of which I have now given 4 times, is still dead as a dodo. As I hadn't had the phone for three days, I can't tell if the old SIM's been reactivated... or simply not barred in the first place. I suspect the latter, which is why an error might have occurred when I & CPW tried to register the new one in its place.

Frankly, this is appalling - and quite possibly negligent. If I have time, I'll put in a complaint to Ofcom about it. I'm certainly getting a refund for the useless new SIM. Luckily the phone was found by the honest & admirable people at Ariva bus company, not someone dodgier, as I'd have had a nightmare to prove I'd actually reported it lost in the first place in time.

Full marks to Dan, Jon & Charlotte at CPW, who've actually given me real personal customer service , though. I could sense their frustration at the inexplicable "network error" message. What they didn't realise was that it actually meant "sorry, you chose the wrong network in the first place, why don't you go to one of our competitors instead?"


Jag said...

Hi Dean,

Naturally, I'm distressed and sorry to hear about your experience. I will email you with some thoughts.

Gab said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Unbeleiveably i'm experiencing virtually exactly the same thing with the month rolling contract SIM.
After loosing a phone , and ringing up o2 to cancel my contract (decided to go pay as you go) , the sales rep i'm speaking to convinces me to take the one month contract sim only option..
Sim arrives , registers , and then 2 days later reads unregistered SIM.. I'm now on the 7th day of no phone service while trying to resolve this with o2 and getting no where fast.. I find it unbeleivable that a company can sell a new SIM to me , and then think its fine and within their stated fix time to not actually be able to provide a working service within a 7 day time frame... I've asked them to call me back numerous times , no one calls.. With the competition within Teclos these days , how a big company like 02 hope to compete while showing , obviously repeatedly ,such unbeleivable incompetence is quite frankly mind boggling..