You may recall from my earlier post “O2 customer service driving me insane” that I have not been having a very good experience with O2 support/customer service of late, and sadly things have not improved and if I had any hair then I would certainly be tearing it out by now, so here is my latest rant on the subject.
My last phone from O2 was a Nokia Lumia 930, which while being an overall good phone when it works, I have had ongoing problems with it and O2 and have had it replaced around 5 or 6 times now. Now most of these replacements were O2’s decision to just replace the phone because they could not be bothered to troubleshoot my issues, which on several occasions were to do with signal problems, call quality, sms messages going missing and the likes so replacing the phone actually made no difference at all. Yet they actually had the gall to tell me that they would not replace the phone again due to the number of times it had been replaced already, even though most of the replacements were O2’s choice not mine and were due to their own laziness. I have also since discovered that all the replacements I have received are refurbished not new phones, which probably explains why I have had ongoing problems.
O2 also has the default response to tell me to take my phone to my local O2 store so that they can take a look at it. I have taken my phone to the store twice when advised, and the store staff and the store manager has told me that they cannot fix phones so it is pointless O2 support telling me to take my phone there and they do not know why they keep telling customers to do it. They are not engineers, and the most they can do is a factory reset or just follow the exact same canned response suggestions that O2 support have already given. The only thing the store can really do is just send the phone away to be looked at or repaired, which O2 support can arrange themselves anyway. Even when I tell O2 this, and advised them that the store themselves told me this, they still continue to suggest going to the local O2 store.
So my current issue with my Lumia 930 is that the search button stopped working which is quite annoying as it takes more effort to use cortana as well as search, I have now had 2 phones with this issue, and also a phone where the screen started to grow a corrupted color blob from one side which was getting bigger and bigger. I have wasted a huge amount of time on the phone, on live chat and on twitter with O2 trying to resolve this and getting no where as every person is as clueless and unhelpful as the next, it is like running up a down escalator.
I am certainly thankful for my OneDrive cloud storage and phone sync that is for sure, as have had to factory reset this phone so many times now because O2 required me to do so due to their standard response.
The last suggestion I had from O2 after weeks of back and forth was to book a meeting with an O2 Guru. I do wish I have taken screenshots of my live chat conversations as most of these are monumentally stupid.
This is despite me telling them that the staff in the shop cannot fix phones, and I asked them to confirm if the guru was any different, and they advised me that he would be able to help me fix the phone. Needless to say I did not believe this, and was not going to make 2 hour round trip to take my phone to someone who would just give me the same response as my local store. So I booked an appointment but I also took my phone to a local repair shop and they advised me that it was the digitizer which was faulty and that this was a common issue with refurb phones. So I advised O2 of the issue.
I then got a response from the O2 guru who I had booked the appointment with, and he informed me (as I knew he would) that he would not be able to help me with the problem and the phone needed to be repaired. So I then reply to O2 support and tell them this, and their reply was this.
So even though they knew the phone was faulty, and knew what the fault was because I had told them, they had still told me to go to the guru who they knew could not fix such an issue. Not to mention that I had previously been told they would not repair the phone now due to the previous replacements.
During this whole process, just to wind me up a bit more, we were getting lots of unsolicited calls from one of O2’s sales/marketing agents called ADSI, all the other numbers on my account were getting calls several times a day trying to get them to upgrade, no matter how many times they said that they are not the account holder or were not interested, the calls kept coming. O2 were just as helpful with this as well, they just said they did not recognize the number (see tweet above), further tweets did not help they just refused to take responsibility even though this company was calling on behalf of O2 with the details O2 had given them.
By this point I had started to hate my Lumia 930 thanks to O2, so as I had a couple of numbers on the account which were due for an upgrade I decided to just cut my losses and get a new phone instead. Silly me for thinking this would be any easier. I tried many times to call O2 but was constantly stuck in a never-ending queue, same with the online chat. So I sent an email to all the O2 addresses I had in my address book asking for someone to call me back to do an upgrade as I was unable to get hold of them. Did anyone call me back? No of course not, instead I got a rather unexpected letter via email telling me that my (non-existent) complaint had not been upheld. I of course had no idea what complaint they were referring to, and the sender of the letter “Christine Marsland” refused to reply to me. so I had to take it to twitter yet again order to get an explanation, which is when I was told that sending an email asking for a call results in a complaint being logged, WTF ?.
Not only did Christine refuse to reply to me but needless to say that “Terri-Ann” never called me either.
The saga continues.
Anyone from my generation or older will have heard of Dreamland. At the height of its popularity in the 1960s, when it attracted more than two million thrill-seekers a year, Dreamland boasted a wall of death run by legendary stunt motorcyclist Yvonne Stagg, which was covered in Anderson’s unsettling 1953 documentary film, O Dreamland, with its terrifying animatronic electric chair and Haunted Snail ride.
In its hay day, Dreamland was at the cutting edge of fairground excitement. But by todays fairground standards the rides feel rather lackluster. Rather than competing with the high-tech thrills of Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, it has opted to try and maintain that retro feel with its gentle, sweetly retro vision of seaside fun created by designer Wayne Hemingway. Old rides and paraphernalia have been refurbished and recycled. 17 rides are currently open, which may be enough for a day out forthose with not too high expectations, ranging from the vintage galloper merry-go-round, its handsome, brightly painted steeds performing a stately dance, to the hectic, waltzer-meets-roller coaster swoops of the Crazy Mouse.
I recently took my 2 boys Bret (8) and Austin (11), which cost roughly about £40 for the 3 of us. Had this resulted in a fun day out then I would have said that is a very reasonable price indeed. My thought process was, even though I found the rides old, dull and boring and cannot go on anything that makes me dizzy anyway, my kids would probably be entertained well enough for the day, but sadly this was not to be the case. Despite the fact that the park was fairly quiet and there were barely any queues, my kids got bored and we were done within 2 hours. Sadly the rides are just too old and dull to keep anyone entertained for long, even kids. I think their decision to go for retro style rides was a mistake, and won’t keep people coming back for subsequent visits, overall it really isn’t any more fun than those travelling fun fairs, aside from those 2 rides which were closed anyway.
The 2 rides they really wanted to go on, crazy mouse and the scenic railway were still offline which was the first disappointment, this was then followed by further angst as each ride they tried to go on Bret was told he was not tall enough. This resulted in one very disappointed 8 year old and an 11 year who was forced to go on the rides by himself without his brother, which diminished his enjoyment and stopped him wanting to go on the rides more than once. Had they been able to go on all the rides together then they would likely have gone on them again and again. The remaining rides that they could both go on were generally a bit too retro and dull.
Had we been going to a big theme park, them I would have expected to encounter height restrictions on the big scary rides, but considering the retro 60’s nature of Dreamland I just didn’t expect this to be an issue, and there was no information about these restrictions until you get into the fair itself, and the ticket staff did not bother to mention this either.
The day after I did actually contact Dreamland via their website with feedback and suggested they put these restrictions in plain view outside where you buy the tickets, to avoid such disappointments for other families. Their response was to point out that this information is on their website, which is true, but their emails felt like a typical uncaring canned response and not really adequate in my books, and doesn’t help those who did not think to check the website, certainly grandparents bringing their grandchildren out for the day would likely not even know how to do that.
I had also sent them some feedback RE octopus garden,which is a kids play area and the total lack of security, and the replies I received from customer services were very belligerent and nonchalant and they are in total denial that there is any problem with their security at all. When I said I would video the security problems for them next time I was there and send it over for them to see, they responded by threatening me, so clearly the safety of your kids is of little interest to them.
I have been a customer of O2 for many years now, my company has a business account with them, having tried out most other providers over the years, they were all truly awful when it came to customer service, and O2 seemed like the best of a bad bunch. For the most I rarely ever had to contact them, so never had much to complain about, but this all started to change back in 2013 when I started to have reasons to contact O2 customer service, and realized just how bad it was, and it seems to get worse each time I contact them. What follows is 3 examples of the best trials & tribulations they have put me through. The most ironic thing is that they call these people gurus ?
The number transfer tribulation
this is a long story cut short, this one dragged on for weeks and weeks.
In 2013 my company acquired another company who also used O2, the previous owner of which transferred all his numbers away to another account, which as we found out some months later, included the number of an employee who was still working for us. So I contacted O2 and explained the situation, and the guy arranged to get the number transferred back (or so he said) and stated that it should be done within a few days.
So several days later I call back to find out the status of the transfer, only to be told there is no record of any transfer or any such conversation taking place, and that it is not even possible to do this so I must be mistaken and must have imagined the whole conversation I had with the O2 guy a few days ago. They told me I could not have the number back because it was in someone else’s account, they had no record of it ever being in our account to begin with, and I would need to provide them with those account details and the password, which of course was impossible as I had no way to know those details. I suggested they simply contact the account holder and speak with him and he would realize he had mistakenly transferred a number he shouldn’t have and would agree to transfer it back. But no that would be too easy, they wouldn’t do that, so I suggested they call the number of the phone in question and speak to the user who would also confirm his number was transferred in error, but no they wouldn’t do that either. Instead I had to just through all kinds of hoops for several weeks, each time having to explain the problem all over a again to each person I spoke to, in the end I had to just give up and go down a different route as O2 simply couldn’t or wouldn’t sort it out.
You would think it would be easy to transfer a number from one O2 account to another, but no. What I had to do was go and pick-up a free Tesco SIM card, and ask the employee to contact his old boss and ask for a transfer token, which he then gave to me, and I transferred the number over to Tesco. Then once it had been transferred to Tesco, get another transfer token and transfer it back to our O2 account, absolutely ridiculous.
The McAfee Enigma
The last time I did a phone upgrade, O2 offered me a bundle with included McAfee for up to 5 devices for less than it would have cost to NOT take it. Before you smite me for being foolish, let me first say that I am not a fan of McAfee anyway, my experience with McAfee software are up there with Symantec, i.e. install it at your own peril, and my experience with McAfee customer support is AVOID AT ALL COSTS. However I decided that I could just use it on mobile devices such as my kids tablets and phones, and if I had any problems I would only have to deal with O2, so it would be ok, its just a mobile app, how bad could it be, oh how silly I was.
The first brick wall was even getting the license activated, which was a challenge in itself. Firstly O2 sent me incorrect login details which did not work, it turns out you have to be a bit of a clairvoyant and figure out that they insert an extra word into your username which you have to remove, but they didn’t even know this, I had to figure it out and tell them. So sirely every single customer they sign up must be having this same issue ?
When you finally get into your O2 apps account, you then have to create another user for yourself to assign the licenses to. I tried to do this 10 times and it would not accept my email address saying that the user already existed. I contacted O2 support and spoke to some lady who informed me that when this happens, all they can do is cancel the account, and then I have to wait 30 days for it to expire and then get a new account. She also said I would have to use a different email address as McAfee do not allow you to signup more than once with the same address (all of this was nonsense).
I found this quite unbelievable, as she had made no effort to troubleshoot the problem at all and I did not believe for a minute this would solve the problem, and surely if I had to use a different email address in 30 days, then I could just use that email address right now to get a new account, but no supposedly this was not possible in O2 bizarro world.
So I wait 30 days, and then I get some new account details, and lo and behold, to the exact same email address as before, the username was wrong yet again, so they still hadn’t fixed that problem, it also meant that saying I could not use the same address twice was clearly a crock. So I go through the set-up process again, and had the exact same problem as before. So this time I tried creating a user with a different email address, and it worked. So it seems the problem is that you simply cannot add yourself (the admin) as a user to assign the licence to. So the error is very misleading when it says the user does not exist, what it should say is that the email address is already in us, and it also means that the whole having to cancel the account and wait 30 days was also a complete crock made up by another clueless O2 support person and a total waste of time.
So I finally get it all sorted out and get the licenses issued and get McAfee installed on all my kids tablets, only to finally discover that installing McAfee under the admin user (me) does not protect the other users. You have to install it separately under each user, thus giving them full control over it and the ability to alter my settings and override parental control. Calling O2 was pointless, as all they did was email McAfee, wait for a reply from McAfee, then relay the message to me, then relay my response back to McAfee and so on, a complete exercise in time wasting. So I contacted McAfee directly, which was equally as useless, each person I spoke to barely understood English and could not grasp my problem at all, and just kept telling me to re-install it over and over again. I had calls from 3 different people at McAfee, each time after 10PM at night as well, and went through the same crap with each of them. By this point I had already concluded myself what the limitations of the app were and that it had to be installed under each user and could not be locked down without using another parental control app on top of it, and that it would never work for me and so I told them this and told them not to bother contacting me again as I had removed the software and switched to AVG free which worked perfectly for what I needed and was FREE and far easier to setup and use. Several days later, despite being told not to contact me again, I get another call from McAfee, and the tech then proceeded to inform me what I had already told them, wow, no shit sherlock. Then just to rub it in a bit more, I get a follow up call form O2 as well.
I can honestly say this will be the last time I ever touch anything McAfee or sign up to any 3rd party software through O2, it is like dealing with muppets controlled by other muppets.
The Tablet Transmogrification
So last year O2 were doing tablet+phone bundles, so I got myself a Windows Phone + ASUS VivoTab Smart windows tablet. Despite barely being used, the tablet developed a fault with the screen, it kept randomly turning itself off and nothing would get it to turn back on, you just had to wait until it decided to do so of its own accord. So of course I contacted O2 as it was still in warranty, and they told me to take it to my local store to get it repaired or replaced. This made me groan, as all my previous dealings with my local store had been about as much fun as shaving with a blunt razor. The store cannot do repairs, and have no idea why O2 customer services sent people to them with that premise, they also do not have the same products in store as O2 sell on the website, especially not business deals, so they cannot replace them either.
So I begrudgingly trudge down to my local store, tell them I have been told to bring in the tablet for warranty replacement, the salesperson taps at the computer for a minute or 2, and then proceeds to tell that they have no record of this tablet, am I sure I got it from them. “Yes”, I told him, it came in a bundle from O2, “did you buy from this store” he asks, “no” I reply, I got it over the phone, it is on my business account, look it up. He then goes and speaks with his manager, who then comes over and asks me the same question “are you sure you got this from us?”. Agghh, we go through the same questions and answers again, only for to again be told, we do not have this tablet on our system, so I cannot help you. So I ask him, can’t you just call O2 customer service and speak with them, no he says, you will have to do that yourself.
So here I am standing in an O2 phone store, where the O2 staff are completely incapable of picking up a phone and making a phone call to their own customer services dept, unbelievable. So I get my O2 phone out, call O2, go through all the menus, eventually get through to someone, explain the situation, and hand my phone over the store salesperson, so he can speak to his own customer services dept. they eventually decide that they will have to put my tablet through as “Another device” because my device is not listed, and just hope that the repairs dept send me back the right replacement, sheesh.
Several days pass, and I get an email telling me that my tablet could not be repaired, but a replacement had been dispatched today for delivery tomorrow. Tomorrow came and went, no delivery, 2 more days passed, still no delivery, so I called O2. They have no record of my tablet or the repair or any idea where that email came from, so advise me to go to the store as it was probably delivered there, oh jeez here we go again. So I go back to the store, and surprise surprise they also have no tablet and no record of it, no idea who sent me the email and cannot help me and tell me to contact customer services. So I call customer services again, and again they tell me to contact the store, I tell them I have done this, and I ask her to call the store, instead she just calls the store and patches me through without even speaking to them, and again the store tell me they have no further details and tell me to contact customer services. By this point as you can imagine I am losing my temper. So I call customer services again and demand that they call the store and speak to them directly and stop messing me about. This time customer services speak to the manager of the store and tells him he has to take responsibility and deal with this.
An hour or so later I get a call from the store, so it appears he did manage to track down the details after all, amazing what can be done when you actually make some effort, he tells me the tablet is due to be delivered next Wednesday, and has no idea why I got an email telling me was to be delivered 3 days ago.
Next Wednesday comes, and I get another delivery notification, so off I toddle to the store expecting the worst. The manager hands over my replacement tablet, and to my surprise (not) it is not the same tablet, not even the same brand, mine was an ASUS, this is a Sony. Is there any information as to why I got a different tablet? nope, nada, so the manager takes a guess and says, they probably did not have any of those left so sent you something else instead, hmm yes ok, but would have been nice of them to ask me first and maybe give me a choice in which model I get sent.
I decide to bite the bullet and take it anyway, as it seems to be a much newer model anyway, and hopefully much better than the one I had before, which luckily turned out to be the case, it was a Sony Xperia z3 tablet. Running the latest Android 5.1.. Ok so my other tablet was Windows 8.1, but I was not bothered as I had already decided at this point that Windows did not work well on tablets, it just did not scale properly as the desktop is completely unusable on a tablet screen as everything is too small, and to be fair while I had gone off Android since 4.2.2, this 5.1 version did seem a lot better and the tablet was nice and nippy. The only problem I have now is that they did not send me anything with the tablet, and using a regular USB cable does not seem to charge the tablet properly, it charges very very slowly (8% in 6 hours), whereas my wife’s tablet charger seems to work just fine, so it obviously does need an actual charger.
Today I got a call from the repairs dept asking me if everything was ok with with my replacement tablet. I explained to the chap that I had been sent a different tablet, and that I did not even have a charger for it either, can you guess what he said? Sorry there is nothing I can do about that, you will have to contact customer services. Sheesh, then why bother calling me to ask if everything is ok if you cannot do anything about it if the answer is no.