Mobile phone suppliers letting down their customers.

While I love my iphone and am constantly impressed by the products turned out by the mobilephone manufacturers my feelings for the Mobile Network operators are less than favourable. When my customers ask me to recommend a mobile phone network my reaction is usually to cringe, as my experience is that mobile providers in general & even traditional telecoms service providers are all next to useless and show a disregard for their customers that beggars belief. Oh by the way I’m not going to join the chorus of voices condemning the major EE outage yesterday. These things happen occasionally and personally being without a mobile service for an hour or two won’t do me any harm and I personally think being off line for a while feels like a positive thing. Although businesses who depend on mobiles will disagree.

What does alarm me is the casual way they disregard their customers when it suits their business needs. Two recenct examples. O2 have recently sold all of their residential terrestrial Broadband business to Sky. At the start of March they notified their business customers that they would be ending their service on 18th March. Considerably less than the 30 days Ofcom demands. My customer received no notice as the notice was sent to the salesman who initially signed them up for O2 and so they were surprised when on Tuesday the 18th the broadband circuit stopped. Of course they called O2 to be told that O2 had ended their service.

As a result I had to set them up with a temporary Internet connection ironically using 3G which will give them a connection for the 10 or so days it will take to get a new circuit in place. fortunately they had another number that was able to have the broadband provisioned on it otherwise a further delay would have been inevitable for reasons I won’t go into here. I’m sure lots of other ex O2 customers won’t be as fortunate.

I would imagine my customer is not alone. So why didn’t O2 make some effort to contact their customer when it became obvious that the circuit was going to be ended as the customer hadn’t migrated to an alternative supplier. Were their too many to be contacted personally, in which case why did they let it happen or if it was a minority of customers then they should have pulled the stops out and contacted them. After all they know the phone numbers and the addresses and possess call centres full of people who will bother us when ever they have something to sell, so why not use some of this resource to help a customer that they were dropping for their own business ends. If O2 want to post a reply here feel free it will make interesting reading.

I will now move on to EE and Orange who have managed to displease me for other reasons, once again this stems from Oranges’ decision to move its customers to EE. I am not alone I know on this one. When the account was moved over to EE I was billed by EE for the correct amount, additionally I was billed by Orange for over £300. On calling Orange I found this spurious amount had inadvertantly been billed to many of their customers as a result of the change over and they were making plans to re-imburse me and all the others (nothing like some urgency).

I short circuited their plans by contacting my bank and arranged a DD clawback. problem sorted. Well not quite as a month later they did the same thing (silly me not cancelling the DD). Anyway it took Orange 3 months to sort out a credit against the invoice and to stop pestering me for payment after I ended the DD.

The lesson would seem to be the best policy is to get the best deal you can as in this industry customer service just doesn’t figure. The thing that comes through is that actually you want to go to a resseller that you have a relationship with and will look after your intersts. So when I’m asked I recommend my customers to use Simon Farncombe of Numatel. 0844 544 3789

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