December 20, 2004

Screw you O2

I've had my Nokia 6100 on the O2 Online 100 tariff now for over a year, I decided it was time to upgrade, not because I'm fed up with my 6100 but because I am entitled to an upgrade so I may as well have one. I had my eye on a phone in particular; the Nokia 6230. I got the number for upgrades off the website, called it and followed the voice prompts which informed me I needed to call a different number, how useful?

So I call this new number which has nearly the same voice prompts and get through to a women in Manchester called Vicky. She asks for various detalis to verify my identity; mobile number, name, address, date of birth, number of guys i've slept with, which bum cheek my mole is on etc. I tell her I want to upgrade to the Nokia 6230, she tells me its not free and costs £99.99, I tell her I'm not paying for it when providers are offering it for free with new contracts. She makes up some bollocks about it being a hassle to start a new contract and that I wouldn't be able to keep my number (also untrue) and then tries to recommend other phones to me. I'd had enough, told her I didn't want to upgrade if its going to cost me, she apologised for not being able to help.

Ok, plan B time, call the disconnection department and request a PAC (port authorisation code) so that I can take my number to Orange and get the phone for free (well actually I didn't actually plan on moving to Orange, but may have done if the result was different). So I call back the number I'd just called, followed the prompts for disconnecting and it then told me I needed to call the first number, stupid system, I called the original number and got through to a guy called Carl.

He asked me how he could help, I said "I'd like a PAC number please.". He took all the same annoying details I'd just had to give Vicky and then asked me why I wanted to cancel my contract, so I told him straight out "I want to upgrade to the Nokia 6230 but you want to charge me £100 when I can get it free on another network", he says "Who are you thinking of moving to?" so I told him Orange (surely one of their biggest competitors?), he very quickly says I think there's probably something we can do about the price of that phone. I wasn't sure what to expect next, was he going to offer it me at a discount price and then I'd have to up my threat to leave? He didn't, he just said we can let you have the phone for free.

So there we go, I'm getting a new, free, Nokia 6230 and all I had to do was threaten to leave them! You may ask if it is right to swindle them out of £100 like that but I'd have to ask "Is it right that they try and get away charging £100 for a new phone to existing customers when they offer it free to new customers?", I think not!


- 5 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. It's a strange strange world where 'Customer Retentions' have more power than ‘Customer Services’. The less strange thing is that every network does it. It never really matters which network you threaten to go to, just the thought of them losing you will do it!

    I worked with Orange for 2.5 years and I’m glad – because now I know not to take any shit like ‘That’ll be £99 sir’. Nice one getting it for free!

    20 Dec 2004, 13:21

  2. Mathew Mannion

    I've been with the O2 Online 500 (or whatever it is now, it was Genie when I started with it) for 2 years now. Got my second upgrade a couple of weeks ago – the first one should be free but the second one isn't, and since no other provider does anything near to the value of my tarrif, I decided to cough up £40 for my Motorolla V600 :)

    20 Dec 2004, 13:39

  3. She said that the amount the upgrade costs depends on the length of time you've been with them, I didn't bother trying to bargain with her, I knew I'd get better results with the disconnections department. I said orange not because they are a large company but because I know they do the phone for free.

    20 Dec 2004, 18:07

  4. Just out of interest… would you happen to know if you're entitled to a PAC if you want one? Or are they entitled to refuse and make life difficult for you if they want to? Cheers

    10 Jan 2005, 01:23

  5. I would have thought they can refuse, but at the end of the day they can't stop you leaving, just stop you taking your number with you, their main interest is keeping you as a customer, not trying to make things awkward if you are sure you want to go.

    10 Jan 2005, 05:14


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