Why 02 will never get my money

I am so angry right now. I attempted order of the iPhone via the web on Mon/Tues whenever it was it came out, only to find a site full of errors. So I pop down to enquire at my local store – Dartford 02 shop – and they say I can reserve one, so I fill out the form for that. I get a call last night about 6pm to say actually, they can’t reserve them afterall, I’ll have to pop down at 8.02am with everyone else and take my chances. So far, so bad.

I pop down anyway, I figure it could be interesting to see what all this queueing and excitement is like – I’ve never done it before.

I get there, the shop has 5 people in it already, and a queue of 20 before me. I knock on the glass ask the lady behind the locked door how many iPhones there are as I’m at the back of the queue, 6 months pregnant, and don’t really want to hang about if there are 5 phones. She says she can’t tell me. I say that’s not good enough, someone obviously knows, so they can tell me. She says she’ll find out. Yep, you guessed it, she doesn’t open the door again. After waiting about for 5 mins like a monkey, I go back to my boyfriend and the rest of the queue and give them an update.

So I figure I’ll give it another 10-15 mins. Still no-one has gone in or out, or any representative come out to talk to us. I go back, knock on the glass, she still doesn’t know how many there are or any indication on time that each is taking to set up. Apparently, she’s in her own words, “just a security guard” and has no information. I ask for someone with information to come and speak with me. She tells me no-one is free to let anyone in the queue know any information. Staff in the shop can see me there clearly looking at them holding my bump and trying to get information. A few people have left the queue by now.

Here’s a photo of the queue, with babies, children, and everyone else in it, whilst they know the whole time there are no phones (click on it to go to my Flickr where I’ve added notes):

Ten more minutes later, and pretty pissed off, I go and knock on the glass a final time.

“All I can tell you is we’re out of the 16GB ones” she says.
“And you didn’t think to maybe let us know that?”
(no-one has entered or left the store, so they knew this from before I started queuing, or asked the first time)
“How many of the 32GBs are left?”
“I can’t tell you that”.

So, a wasted 30mins (and that would have been longer, if I’d have waited patiently as they hoped I would), and a distinct lack of lie in, and if 02 think that they’re getting any money off me in the next millenium then that just shows you how stupid they think their customers are. I’m sure they would have left me there the full 1-2 hours until my turn was up, before telling me there were no 16GB ones left, had I not have persisted. Disgusting.

Yes, iPhones are pretty, they work nicely, and the apps are really interesting. Does this mean I am going to take leave of all my senses, to be dicked about to get one? If that’s the level of customer service I get when I’m trying to give them my money, there’s no WAY I’m going to chance an 18 month contract with them when they’ve already got it.

What a load of cobblers.

[edit] worth pointing out, there were also people with kiddies in the queue, as well as me, clearly pregnant (and I told them so) as well as people able to queue for longer periods. Not once were we given any update, or information, offered water, or even acknowledged for that matter. Unbelievable.

[extra edit] I’ve just been on the phone to o2, who give no apology. They have given me this email address though: complaintreviewservice@o2.co.uk so if you’ve had a bad experience I would call you to arms and ask you blog about it and send them a link and a copy, if you feel like it, ping the url to your blog in my comments too.

We may be needy nerds, but we’re certainly not helpless push overs.

Haha, what a surprise – I just got this back in my email:

“Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com.
I’m afraid I wasn’t able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I’ve given up. Sorry it didn’t work out.

About Thayer Prime

Tall. Eats a lot. Talks too much. I tweet over @thayer
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9 Responses to Why 02 will never get my money

  1. Anonymous says:

    System down
    The scoop ion the street is that the O2 systems went down and they had to process orders manually. Also the Apple store in regents street had loads of stock, but only for new to 02 customers… it’s a bit mess really!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Apple may be regretting their choice of network partner
    That’s a rubbish situation to be in.
    I think what’s so bad about it all is the amount of confusion between O2, Apple and Carphone Warehouse re. who (ie existing O2 customers, existing O2 iPhone customers and new customers) can buy what, where and when; there were conflicting signals from all of them.
    Then there’s the lack of planning for the incredible demand, both online and in-store.
    I would like an iPhone, but my current contract isn’t up until December. Maybe I’ll wait until the O2-only agreement ends…
    All the best,

    • Thayer Prime says:

      Re: Apple may be regretting their choice of network partner
      Thanks for your comment Tim. I would definitely wait by the sounds of things. As I said in my post – if they’re this shit to you when you’re a new customer, imagine the fun you’ll have when they’ve already got your money. I’m sticking with Vodafone, and the iPhone can just wait.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love my iPhone, it’s really great, but my experience of dealing with O2 has been “really, really charming people, but utterly hopeless at the end of the day”.
    When I got mine in Feb I swapped my mobile number from my old network. This generally worked really well, until my iPhone started displaying my temporary O2 number, and not my swapped number. So, O2 were really nice, and, without saying it, essentially turned my service off and on again. All was well. Until their billing department sent me a bill for £650 for terminating my agreement. Which I hadn’t. So I cancel my direct debit, they roll my real bill over. Then I get a call from their billing department for non payment of bill, which I got for not paying the money I didn’t owe them. Then there was the insurance. Didn’t want it, didn’t ask for it, they applied it. I cancelled it. They applied it. I cancelled it. They applied it, and I said if they don’t cancel it I’ll come round, stick an iPhone up your arse, and you can claim for that on your insurance. They cancelled it.
    Hey ho!
    I don’t think Apple have handled the iPhone 3G / iPhone 2.0 software launch / .Mac to MobileMe transition at all well. They should have staggered it.
    Oh, and there aren’t 32GB versions. Just 8GB and 16GB.
    Gareth x.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You lot need to shut up and get a life so that you got better things to do than queue up to buy a stupid phone. Plus for the people that had kids in the queue shouldn’t they be actually taking their kids to school or something. If you haven’t got more important things to do with your day then maybe you should’ve got there earlier, everyone knows what it’s like when there’s things like this, if you want to be first you got to get there first, which obviously you was not.
    Also having a moan at the staff that are trying to do their best and just following orders, especially those to do with health and safety concerning the customers, and policies that mean they are not allowed to divulge stock amounts, which are not decided by the store. And when they told you that they had sold out of the 16 GBs and they had only served a few customers did that not make you think that they had only a very limited stock?
    Plus there was more than one shop selling the new iPhone in Dartford so why didn’t you try them as well?
    I myself have been in 02 Dartford many times and consider the staff to be very pleasant and helpful people.
    Just a comment, if you posted you blog at 8:53, and the store opened at 8:02, and supposing it took you 15 minutes to get home and on the computer minimum and 15 minutes to write this, and upload the photo from your phone or what ever, then surely you were only waiting 20 minutes or less. And as everyone can see in your lovely photo of One Bell Corner there are benches that you could’ve sat on.
    I hope 02 don’t apologize to you because the way I see it they haven’t done anything wrong, they could’ve prepared their systems a bit better so they could cope with the extra work but all you had to do was wait a bit longer than usual. Apple however should’ve supplied them with more stock so they could supply to everyone.

    • Thayer Prime says:

      One last thing…
      About this:
      “You lot need to shut up and get a life so that you got better things to do than queue up to buy a stupid phone”
      I completely agree. I’ve never done it before, I’ll never do it again, I was a total mug for buying into the idea that this would in any way be a Good Thing. Lesson learnt.
      The whole experience has definitely made me realise that, and on this point I totally agree with you – it’s pathetic, and if I’m honest, I’m pretty embarassed I got caught up in the whole iPhone sillyness.

  5. Thayer Prime says:

    Hi Michael,
    Now that’s more like it, if I’d have had contact with what was happening and some friendly cheer from staff along the way, it would have made for a much happier ending, iPhone or no iPhone.

  6. Anonymous says:

    O2 Store
    Just saw those pictures and after another look realized that I had been to that exact some store. The world is a small place.
    Do you reckon you would have had better luck if you went to another 02 store? A friend of mine seemed to have some great success; although, he did start waiting outside the store at around 6:30 in the morning.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Pretty bummer. its another classic case of bad customer service.

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