Thursday, November 18, 2004

A long rant

o2 customer service seems to be dying to challenge Singlepoint 4U as the worst mobile phone related company with bad services in the UK. Why? Read on... This is a long rant so be prepared.

After four years with Vodafone/Phones 4U I decided to switch to o2 as my mobile phone service provider. The duo has been snitching me up for years bleeding me of my money. o2 instead offered better mobile prices, tariffs and have online support.

Now, I signed up for this little tariff called o2 Leisure Time Plus which features a 1000 minute off-peak call and 100 text. It costs £20 a month and for the first six month I have double minutes and double texts. It is cheap but I only need to make calls during the evenings and weekends so it suits me fine.

You see when I signed up in September, I was sold to the tariff because the 1000 minutes includes UF fixed-line calls, WAP over GSM data calls, calls to o2 mobiles and calls to other UK mobiles (Cross-Net). Now I was more interested in the WAP over GSM data calls thingy as that would mean I would be able to connect to the internet over GSM to download my e-mails, weather information and tid bits of information.

The only way previously to obtain free WAP over GSM was to sign up through o2 online. Fortunately this time o2 High Street were offering a better deal than the online one. 2000 minutes for the first six months off-peak which I can divide up for my e-mail checking and calling up my girlfriend. Great!

Tuesday, I opened up my o2 online account to view my bill. £59 for October! What the fuck! I viewed the online summary and then did a detailed check on my calls. All my o2 WAP over GSM calls were being charged at 10p per minute. I was furious and send an e-mail off to their customer service. Got back a reply that stated that my inclusive minutes does not include WAP over GSM. Send of a reply threatening to take the issue with

Today I went to my local o2 High Street store. I spoke with this bloke who agreed with me but needed to check with o2's customer service first. He called o2 who told him that my tariff does not include WAP GSM. He asked another staff at the store for her opinion. She agrees with me. So he called customer service for me and I spoke with this guy called Jeff. Now Jeff seems to be a nice bloke and he agreed to help me. After some persuading he talked to his manager and some 'technical' guys. All of them concluded that WAP GSM is not inclusive! They even confused GPRS with GSM.

Jeff finally spoke with one of the store manager, Martinez. She was bounced back through several people before finally calling o2 data support. Presumably these are the people who deals with GPRS issues. The data support people agreed with her that my tariffs includes GSM WAP. Now we are getting somewhere. Unfortunately o2 data support can't rectify the issue and they can't contact o2 customer service themselves so we were bounced back again!

I chatted with customer service again (different guy) who bounced me off to customer department! This time Martinez went to get her o2 staff store guide. These are guides created for o2 high street staffs. She found in the tariff page that specifically states (not in small print) that all inclusive minutes on the o2 Leasure Time tariffs includes internet access through the 915000 or +447712927927 numbers. That is the big proof!

Anyway, I got bumped into 'billing'. The lady in billing did not believe me. Eventually she asked me to fax her the o2 November catalogue! Now at this point the whole situation was funny because it seems that the people working at o2 who deals with customers does not have any catalogue with them! It is plain ridiculous!

Sarah, another o2 manager finally helped me send the fax to them. When the lady finally received the fax, she even wanted to argue that it was not on the small print! Finally after some careful reading (like reading to a four year old child) I finally pointed out the section. Pause. Quiet. She probably realized that she was a fool! I was put on my fourth 15 minute hold while she gets the supervisor. When she finally gets back to me she told me that my problem has to be taken up with the 'resolution department' and she promised that they will get back to me.

Two hours and no results! All I am told is they will get back to me. I know I am right because the proof is there in the high street customer catalogue and in the staff store guide. The staffs at the store agrees with me. The techie people at o2 data support agrees with me. The one that does not are the clueless people at customer support, customer department, billing department and their supervisors and managers. The same people who does not have customers catalogue at their disposal and are clueless to what is going on in their company. And the amount of red tape I had to go through and different holds and through different departments was just plain mad.

opefully this problem will be settled. I just wonder that even if this is solved, there are thousands of people on o2 Leasure Time who does not know that they have a right to inclusive WAP GSM. Most of them probably won't bother connecting to the internet on their mobiles but I am sure some will.

Thanks to Martinez (Happy Birthday), Sarah and the other bloke (I did not catch your name) for putting up with me!

No comments: