I have just had one of the more frustrating experiences of my life at the hands of of your “customer services” department, as I will now recount.
Whilst on holiday I fell in a river (a dog related incid that both Houndle and I would prefer to gloss over) and lost my O2 contract I-phone, which is essential to my business….. in fact to my entire technogogically dominated and frustrating life.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to you to discover that trying to get through to O2 “customer services” whilst on holiday (with your O2 mobile residing at the bottom of a river) is a nightmare in itself, as your customer services numbers don’t seem to want to receive incoming calls from other mobile phone networks. Consequently I had to trudge about Northumberland looking for a public phone box.
When I did eventually find a phone box and get through to one of your highly trained ”customer services” operatives, I was asked to confirm either my account password or the details of my last bill. It turns out my account doesn’t have a password, and details of my mobile phone billing is not information that I tend to carry about with me on holiday.
Fractionally before I succumbed to stress related apoplexy, your ‘customer services’ consultant relented and accessed my account anyway. He agreed to have a new SIM card sent to my billing address……..!
Why you need to go through MI6 level security questions to send a replacement SIM out to the same address you send all my bills to escapes me, but “hey ho” it’s clearly important to keep the customer on the verge of a nervous breakdown at all times.
The following Monday, on my return to work, I again rang your helpful “customer services” people and enquired about whether the aforementioned drowned I-phone was provided as part of my contract. This seemed a difficult concept for my new “customer services” consultant to deal with. But, after some discussion, we established that it was, and that my current contract had another 6 months to run….. However, if I was to renew my contract for another 2 years, I could get a new phone and (to your credit) my monthly payments would also reduce.
“Brilliant!” I thought “How long will the phone take to get to me?” I asked.
“We’ve got them in stock I will get one dispatched today and it will be with you within 3 working days at the latest.” Was the reply.
“Phew!” I thought “Crisis averted.”
Thursday came and went……. no phone……. So back on the land-line to “customer services”.
After the usual pleasantries, I was informed that “the I-phones are now in stock, and one will be dispatched today and should arrive within three to five working days.”………
”Hang on a second” I mused ”on Monday I was told that they were in stock and that I would have had it delivered by the end of this week at the latest. Now you are telling me that the phone is not going to get to me before the end of next week (given the bank holiday). Surely as you’ve messed up here, you can at least get the phone couriered over so that I can have it next day.”
“We are willing to give you a month’s free line rental.”
“This is not much use to me when I’m trying to contact, and be contacted by, my clients during the course of the next seven days… which, coincidentally represents 25% of the free line rental you have so “generously” offered. No thanks, I would much prefer to pay the line rental and get the phone please.”
“Sorry that’s impossible.”
“Do you not have a phone and a copy of the yellow pages?”
“What do you mean?”
“Armed with these, you could contact a courier and get the phone dispatched to me, probably by close of business tonight.”
“Sorry we don’t have that service available from our couriers.”
“Frankly I’m not interested in the contract you have with your couriers. Anyway, I would be very surprised if any contract you did have with your couriers specifically stated that they wouldn’t, under any circumstances, offer a “fast-track” delivery service if you paid them enough. What you appear to be saying is that you won’t ask them.”
“No, we’re not saying that.”
“Oh, then what are you saying?”
“That it is impossible to get the phone delivered.”
“Surely you can conceive of a scenario, involving an Iphone, a competent courier and an adequate payment that would result in me getting a phone before the end of next week?”
“Yes, I can conceive of that scenario.”
“So, as I mentioned before, what you’re actually saying is that you refuse to send me out a phone on a next day delivery.”
“What are you saying?”
“We don’t have the tools available to do that.” (that’s a verbatim quote).
“So, O2, a multi-billion pound turnover company, is incapable of getting a courier to deliver something at short notice, in order to rectify the fact that you have, during the course of making a sale to a customer lied and, as a consequence, severely inconvenienced them?”
“We did not lie to you and we are not refusing to get the phone delivered tomorrow.”
“How did you not lie to me?”
“The stock levels quoted by our system when the previous “customer services” consultant was speaking to you may have shown Iphones being in stock. Therefore he was not lying.”
“But there wasn’t a phone in stock at the time.”
“Consequently, the statement he made that “we have an Iphone in stock for delivery today.” was not a true statement.”
…..long pause….. “Yes.”
“And saying something that isn’t true is lying, is it not?”
“But he didn’t know it wasn’t true at the time.”
“But it was still factually incorrect and therefore a lie. The fact that he believed the words as they came out of his mouth is irrelevant. Your system was conspiring to put him in the position of giving a false statement, i.e. lying. As a result of that lie, I have entered into a contract with your organisation and been waiting four days for a phone that has not yet been despatched and that you are now refusing to send by courier.”
“No, we’re not refusing.”
“You can, by your own admission, imagine a scenario, involving resources, readily available to all of us at a reasonable price, which would result in the phone being delivered to me. But you are choosing not to use those resources to achieve, what for me would be, a positive outcome.
In my universe that constitutes a refusal.”
“We are not refusing.”
“Yes you are.”
“We don’t have the tools available. If we don’t have the tools available then we can’t do it.”
“If you had promised the CEO of O2 that you would get a phone over to him by Thursday and he rang you up on Friday wondering where it was. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t tell him that you “didn’t have the tools available” to get said phone to him for another seven days.
It is possible for you to get the phone to me. You are simply choosing not to. To choose not to do something is to refuse to do it.”
“No it isn’t.”
……. At this point I realised I had been beaten. As a last, impotent, act of defiance I asked for the email address for customer complaints (only to be given a PO Box address in Dunstable!!!!!!!) and, with that, I wished my victorious adversary “bon voyage”.
If this constitutes good customer services then I’m Usain Bolt.
Yours with no shred of dignity intact