This is a story about how mobile operator customer services have changed in the last ten years.
About 8 years ago I had a monthly contract with Orange. When my SIM failed I requested another and had to pay about £15 for it and have it delivered to my place of work. According to Orange the SIM was delivered, but according to the staff in the post room it wasn't. So, no SIM.
Orange agreed to send me another but only if I paid another £15. This would not happen today because competition is fierce in the mobile sector. As a result I left Orange and moved to O2, where I have been since.
I am sure Orange, now part of the EE partnership with T-Mobile in the UK, has improved its customer services since then. But I recently had an experience that I thought was worth writing about. It shows how important customers are to mobile companies as they fight over customers in a saturated market.
Being a Computer Weekly journalist I am usually quick to complain when things go wrong with an IT supplier, but in this case I am going to write about a good experience, because it does show how the mobile sector has changed.
I recently moved to a Blackberry Z10 on my account with O2. Last week I updated the software and as a result was unable to make or take calls. Everything else worked fine.
I began my journey using O2's online chat, which I like because no more long and expensive phone calls. I was asked a few questions and then told to take it to my nearest shop and they would send it for repair. This was quick and the person I was in contact with seemed to quickly identify the problem. I work at Oxford Circus in London so there are lots of O2 store near.
I went down and got served straight away, even though it was busy. I explained what happened and I was very quickly given a replacement phone and told they would do the rest. This was great and I only had to pay a refundable deposit for the phone I was borrowing.
This was a Friday afternoon. By the Tuesday my phone was back at the store fixed. Good service.
The other good thing was the advice I was given about saving all the data on the phone. Things like contacts and pictures. I might write for Computer Weekly but I am as far from being an expert tech user as you can get, so it was great that the people in the store, including the Guru, did everything for me.
And guess what? The problem was related to the phone itself and not O2. But O2 still did all this. It cost me no extra money and not really any inconvenience. Actually the small mobile phone I was given, that only needs to be charged once a week and fits in your pocket, was great for a change. It just meant I wasn't doing work emails all night.
So I was a very happy customer. If this is what competition brings then I am all for it.
Well done O2 staff at 134 Oxford Street