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I have had a contract phone with Vodafone for the past 2 years, but decided to get an O2 Pay as you talk Sim card since my better half has (actually "had") an O2 contract phone. Now, since then we have both had nothing but problems with them (yes, its a "rant-view"). However, to be unbiased, let me tell you about the good points and the advantages to O2 first.
The Deal ------------------- O2 offer good value for money. When I picked up my Pay as You Talk Sim, the deal was that so long as I topped up £10 a month (easy when my contract bills are in the regio of £150!) I would get 500 free texts monthly, and a rate of 5p a min to other O2 mobiles. My other half had a fantastic contract deal as well - 500 minutes and zillions of texts for around £25 a month. She also got a fantastic deal on her phone - a (at the time) state of the art Nokia 7210, with camera attachment, for free. I had paid £149 weeks previously on Voda, so I must say I was pretty gutted.
There is a very wide range of tariffs available, both on contract and Pay as you talk, and a very good range of phones.
Reception ------------------- Reception on O2 cannot be faulted. I was able to receive reception in the basement at work - where my Voda couldn't. Minimal dropped calls, and good call quality all round.
Features ------------- O2 offer all the major features, such as Picture messaging, Wap, GPRS and so on, with the notable exception of 3G services.
Customer Service ------------------------------- Now, this is where our problems start. O2 would not know the meaning of good Customer Service if it came up and slapped them in the face with a wet fish. The first issue is that to actually speak to somebody you have to call at premium rate number, - or send them an email through their website that will only allow a 300 character message.
1 month into having my Pay as you talk O2 line, I started noticing my credit was vanishing a lot faster than it had been. Now, it should only have cost me 5p a minute to call my partner, since she was also on O2. I worked out that I was actually being charged as if she was on a different network. Bizarre, I thought, never mind a quick call and it'll be sorted. I phoned the company, who to be fair on the 1st attempt did refund me £3. They did not refund me the £5 it cost to get my £3 back, informing me I could have emailed them. Ok, I thought, its sorted. After topping up £30 and calling her again, I was shocked that I was out of credit again within minutes. I then emailed them, thinking they would solve it promptly. 5 days later I received a reply stating that there was a delay in processing emails. I never received another reply to my email. After a week, I phoned them (on the bloody premium rate number) and after much arguing was told that my girlfriend actually had an Orange phone. No, no, no. I was basically accused of lying. After wasting about £30 on this call, I hung up since they promised "to investigate" and call me back. No reply again. This pattern continued until I worked out I had spent £50 in phone calls to regain £30 of credit. I cut up my Sim - having never received a response from the email service, and not receiving any returned calls or compensation from their telephone service.
The problems do not end there.
As I mentioned previously, my other half had an O2 contract phone. Not Orange, as they assumed. Now, her contract was up shortly after this, so she gave in her written notice that she wanted to cancel. The cancellation should have taken place on the 1st of Sept. 3 months later, they are still removing money from her bank account. This is theft, in my book. Again, she has a similar story in terms of no reply via email, and the telephone service just being inept. It has come to the point where she is having to pursue O2 through the court to get the 3 months line rental back.
Conclusion ------------------ O2 offer good value for money. But, in my opinion, its worth paying a few quid more for a company that actually cares about its customers. During this time I have had, and still do, a Vodafone line. Totally hassle free, in fact they called me to let me know that they had identified a prob and fixed it - without me even realising! Fantastic. That is the type of service I expect. The sad part is, my other half now has a Voda line too, and we both regularly spend £150. That’s a lot of business for O2 to lose.
It could be said that I was an isolated case, but for both me and my partner to have such problems is either symptomatic of piss-poor (excuse my language) customer service or a massive coincidence.
I'm with O2 but have been burnt before by Orange and Vodaphone so I get it via the Carphone warehouse so I deal with there customer service people rather than the phone networks - so far (touch wood) its been ok tho shop to shop it does vary - both Aberdeen branches and Oxford street in London branch go out of there way to help you, but avoid the ealing broadway one as they really dont care at all.
leighton_87 27.01.2005 19:59
Excellent provider and cheap but i agree their customer service is weak. I've never had problems like you though. You must haveen been unlucky, i've had no problems in over two years - Andrew
abrokenstarr 20.01.2005 13:09
I've not had any of these problems myself, but I can sympathise as I had simlar problems with Singlepoint - a Voda seller.