A Letter To O2…

I sent this to the Chief Executive of O2 today: –

Hi Matthew,

You may have read or heard about an email that was sent to Richard Branson a few weeks ago by a disgruntled customer on a flight to Mumbai. He complained about the food on the flight in a very forthright and some may say witty manner. I wish I was that gentleman as although the food may have been terrible at least he could get off the plane after ten or so hours. My current odyssey with O2 has lasted currently about a fortnight. Some may call it a neverending story. In the words of this pop performer.

It started with a phone call to your customer service to take off a bolt on that had been in and out of my account more times than a violinist’s elbow (actually costing me one hundred picture messages in the process). It was agreed that I couldn’t upgrade until two days later which I accepted. Two days later I rang up to upgrade and was offered numerous deals on eighteen month contracts, even after I had said that I could only sign up for another twelve months at maximum. The reason for this is that I’m off to university in September, so cannot really justify a long term deal however “mind-blowing” it is. After being told twice that I could not possibly get a twelve month contract on O2 anymore, finally I was offered a twelve month deal (six hundred minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet) with a free Sony Ericsson C902 mobile phone for twenty five pounds per month. If the banking sector did this type of “Dutch Auction” style bartering then they would be publicly owned, bankers’ bonuses would be cut and they would be clearly struggling. Oh wait- that’s already happened.

However, the C902 as used in the Quantum of Solace was not to my liking as texting on it was nigh on impossible. If James Bond wanted to take surveillance photos then it would be ideal, if he wanted to text his mum to see what’s for dinner then he may have been better off with the Nokia 3210 from back in the day. The C902 was sent back very promptly by myself, and the next week I rang up to see whether or not I could get a slightly better phone, albeit for a small cost upfront.

I rang up again about a week ago and was told that there was no way I could get my preferred choice of phone, a Nokia N95 8GB, on a twelve month deal. I was told at great length by several agents how “amazing” the eighteen month deals were, even after telling them I was not interested time after time. In the words of this pop princess.

I have a basic understanding of the economics of mobile phone contracts and this made me feel like I was taking part in an episode of Sesame Street, such was the level of communication displayed. By the way if this email were an episode of Sesame Street then it would be brought to you by the letter “I” (for the Inconsistent nature of O2’s customer service) and the number 8 (the amount of hours I have spent on the phone to O2 this week trying to sort this issue). During these conversations I was told that I was being unreasonable, even after I had been left hanging on the phone for twenty minutes after blatantly everyone had left the call centre for the night. I also have had to put up with what I like to call O2 selective memory, that is to say notes on my account are not an accurate representation of the actual conversations that took place. The young lady who left me on hold and then went home had later recorded that the conversation had got heated so she didn’t wish to speak to me anymore. In my opinion the conversation was cooler than the weather this week and of this global Canadian reggae phenomenon in 1993.

I had to spend at least half an hour waiting for an email from me to be forwarded through to your systems before one of your agents believed that I had a certain deal in place from a few days before because “she couldn’t see the offer on the notes”. A quill, some ink and a carrier pigeon would have been quicker that night than your systems email. And at least it would have been tangible.

After a lot of wrangling, eventually the offer that O2 put on the table was for the previous twenty five pounds a month deal (six hundred minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet) plus me paying ninety nine pounds for the Nokia N95 8GB. Now this was very close to what I was prepared to pay for the upgrade, and given that I’d asked for twenty five pounds which had been added to my account as a “act of good will” earlier in the week to be taken off my account, I believe that a deal was close to being “signed”.

However then I learnt something today after getting off the phone to one of your agents- I should have paid fifty pounds for the C902 upgrade (which was free remember), therefore asking for ninety nine pounds for the N95 8GB is sheer greed as if you can do the C902 for a fifty pounds discount you should by turn be able to do the N95 8GB for fifty pounds discount as well, therefore making it fifty pounds upfront. I’ll let you keep the extra pound. I’m nice like that. However, this was not possible as the team leader said the N95 8GB was “at a different level than fifty pounds to the C902”. Well this begs the question if the N95 8GB is “at a different level to the C902” then why have you offered it to me at ninety nine pounds in the first place? Why not more? I accept that it’s an expensive phone but clearly it has been superceded by the N96 and next month the N97. Surely your margins can’t be that narrow- if they are then I suggest axing Sean Bean from your adverts and getting Jimmy Cricket or Billy Pearce in his place to save money.

Another option that would be available to me would be to sign a SIM only contract, however you are not prepared to match T-Mobile’s offer of twenty pounds for six hundred minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet, for reasons unknown.

I have been with you for nine years and have not encountered such ineptitude, rudeness and illogical arguments ever before from O2. I have also been tagged as a bit of a “chancer” apparently by O2, a tag that sounds like it was dreamt up by Charles Dickens in the eighteen hundreds. So you may be asking what do I want from O2?

*Six hundred minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet on either a twelve month deal for twenty five pounds per month with the N95 8GB for the princely sum of fifty pounds upfront or a on a SIM only deal at twenty pounds per month.
*An apology for the inconsistent nature of your customer service
*To make the retentions process a lot clearer for both your agents and the customers, and lead the industry with some sort of social responsibility.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Mayes


3 Responses to “A Letter To O2…”

  1. You never fail to impress Mr Mayes, gd work

  2. I’m ace Sarah- your work here is useless, spread the word:)!

  3. N95 is far better than the C902.

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