Advantages next day delivery, immediate (nearly) connection, loads of free stuff which you really do receive!!
Disadvantages 9 months down to 6, have to cancel direct debit after 3 months and also have to pay for the free 6 months, but then have to go through trouble of claiming it back again. WHY???
My story is one of worry and joy. I was worried because I'd heard somewhere before that companies like this never actually give you what they say they will. The reviews here on Ciao are very mixed. Either people have had very good or very bad experiences with them. There seems to be little in-between. That’s understandable though I suppose because they either do what they say they will, or they don't. In my case, the joy previously mentioned comes from the fact that they did JUST about give me what they promised.So what did they promise me?? First off I'll answer that question and then I'll explain it all a little more afterwards.
"Ben, if you buy your phone from us, we will give you……"• A Nokia 3310
From the sounds of that, I'll only actually have to pay 3 x £13.99 = £41.97 for the whole of the next year. It would of course not work quite like that, cos peak rate calls and calls to other mobiles are obviously inevitable. Being the trusting and laid back kind of person I am though, even if they hadn't given me most of it, I still wouldn't have really cared. It was a BRILLIANT deal and even minus a few of those extra little bits, it still would have been superb. So I set to work ordering it.
This deal is only available (they say) from their website. That wasn't the problem though cos I was already there, but on the order form that they ask you to fill in, you have to give them the number of credit cards that you own. I'm sure I can't be the only one without ANY at all (I limit myself to SWITCH - which you can pay with, its just that you must also have credit cards), but because I entered a ZERO in that box, it would not let me place the order, and I couldn't lie really could I?!!!I suppose the reason that they ask for it is because they want to run credit checks on their customers to make sure they can pay for their phones (or not as the case may be - with so much free stuff). I've read on Ciao that they once ran a check on someone without asking, and then wouldn't let them have the phone because of a lack of money in the account. Sneaky!!!
I solved the problem the hard way, by getting my Dad to apply for the phone in his name, using his account details, and then getting him (no mean feat) to let me pay him for whatever was charged.___________________________
RiNg RiNg (but the quiet email version)!! In the next few minutes, my email account finds itself with a new inbox resident. My attempt to remove the squatter is then foiled by the fact that this new message looks quite important. Dial-a-phone had sent me a confirmation email so that I could check that I'd given them the right info and ordered the right thing. At the time (you'll see in a minute), YEP I had. My suspicion of them rose slightly as the order code contained a funny looking 6 (instead of a 9!? 6 months free like they advertise on telly instead of the 9 they promise online?). Oh well, that'd still be good. I needed to do nothing now but wait. You can request a date for your phone to be delivered on (you have to pay if you want it done on a Saturday), and I was hoping that mine would be there the next day.
Excellent!! So with my order now accepted, I sit back to start writing more tripe that I can shove on Ciao.
I actually made the original order in the early hours of one morning. By breakfast time though (day before delivery) it became apparent that my Dad, who had to sign for the phone PERSONALLY on delivery (cos it was in his name), wouldn't be at work the following day due to a back problem, so the delivery address would have to be changed to our home one instead. It was actually lunchtime before I got around to emailing dial-a-phone to ask them to change it. I should perhaps have phoned as I was quite worried that it would be too late to change and the phone would go undelivered. My worry continued (nervous wreck I am) as I received no reply to my request. I would just have to hope it wasn't too late.BaNg BaNg BaNg goes the door the NEXT DAY, as a delivery bloke stands there, parcel in hand. I'm not so much impressed, just glad to see the message got through and they still managed to change things around at such short notice. Thank you dial-a-phone!!
After sifting through every nook and cranny of their website (which is very fast and easy to navigate), reading all the small print I could find and looking at literally EVERY page there, I was given the impression that on delivery, as well as signing for it himself (Dad), he was going to have to sign a few contracts too and the delivery bloke would have to wait for him to do it. Ordering things like this online obviously means the customer isn't there to do things the normal way. When that delivery person turned up though, all that had to be signed was the receipt of delivery form, and that was it.Enclosed in the main information section of the parcel was a huge envelope. It stated that in order for connection to take place, ALL DOCUMENTS INCLOSED MUST BE SIGNED AND RETURNED TO THE ADDRESS…….. If it wasn't for the fact that there was a big sticker on one side saying that we needn't bother, I'd have been slightly worried that due to a silly delivery bloke, it would now take me ages to get connected.
They then stated that they would try to connect me within 24 hours of delivery. Sifting through the free stuff (more on that soon), I found the charger and happily fired her up. You can imagine my surprise > when within 30 minutes, a VODAFONE thing popped up on the screen and I could actually make calls. 30 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was by now VERY IMPRESSED!!!!!!The free stuff and…..more >
So did they give me what they said they will?? Apart from the full 9 months free line rental (I do get 6 instead), that would be a pretty resounding YES!!!! They do give you a few other little problems though.
That 6 months line rental is free, but they complicate things by making you actually pay for it to start with, and then after 6 months you have to claim it back. What is the point really?? Seems a bit silly to me. I wasn't aware of that at the time of ordering cos I can't remember seeing it mentioned on the website, but there was one thing that I was aware of:INSURANCE
The 3 months insurance really is free. Straight up with no payments being made. The problem comes in though when you find that after 3 months you don't actually want the insurance any more. Many of you might find it useful, but for anyone like me who doesn't want to pay an extra £4.50 ish a month to keep it going, you must go through the processes of cancelling the direct debit that they set up for you to pay for it. Its not really a difficult thing to do, but its just the problem some people might have with remembering to do these things after a whole 3 months of plain sailing. Just hope I remember to claim back that line rental in 6 months time too!! I'm getting old you know!! My memories not quite what it used to be :)Those 2 problems are just niggly little things though and aren't really bad at all. When you get such a good deal all the hassle is worthwhile.
I haven't mentioned much else there so you'd be right to assume that the rest of it has gone pretty ok.____________________________________________
• The Nokia 3310 - who wouldn't be pleased to get one of these for free??? The ratings it already receives here on Ciao show how good it really is. Dial-a-phone actually give you quite a wide range of choices. What I mean is that you pick a network (i.e. Vodafone), and you are given a list of phone handsets they'll give you to go with that network. I had the choice of this, 2 other top Nokias or 2 nice little Ericssons. The price of line rental and the free stuff they give you varies with each one, but the range is full of amazing deals. It just so happened that this particular one suits me best.
ALL THINGS PHONEY THAT NEED EXPLAININ'
• Free connection worth £35 - AND IN 30 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!• Free accessories worth up to £70 - What does that mean?? Well, I got me an in-car charger, a leather case and a hands-free kit. Not sure whether they would push 70 quid, but surely they're better than a slap round the face!! I assume that the normal charger comes as standard and isn't included in that £70 worth, but its obviously there anyway.
But HEY, "Roll up, roll up!! Mobile phone covers goin' cheap. To you nice people, only £109.99 each. Whada bargain!!"• 14 day peace of mind guarantee - I won't be needing it thank you, but it’s a good little 'safety line' for those of you who think you've either been had, or you've just changed your mind.
• Free camera - Yeah right!!! I never expected this one to arrive. BUT IT DID!!!! A Kodak ADVANTIX F300. It’s a nice little one actually. Supplied with film and batteries I'm sure I can find a use for it. Again, "thank you Dial-a-phone!!"____________________________________________
Dial-a-phone change their online offers quite regularly so it's always worth checking back. I may be lucky one off who for once got what they asked for. The 9 months down to 6 doesn't worry me. This is the only time I've used them before, and I'm sure I wouldn't hesitate in going back there again. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!!
In the post today (09/05/01) I received a letter informing me about a number of free ringtones and logos that were available to me. Visiting the dial-a-phone site once more, their selection looked quite impressive. Ordering them was easy too. You visit the site, jot down the codes which apply to the things you'd like (you can listen to them online fiorst if you like), then you call the phone number they give you (at BT National call rates) and type in the numbers. All very simple.
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