I got my phone (HTC Desire) stolen on Thursday evening – some little fucker with a knife requested it and my cash. Wanted to take he knife and stick it his arse, to be honest, but put sensible hat on and went – fine, here you go.
Anyway, reported phone stolen to T-Mobile and was informed was just 9 days away from my automatic ‘upgrade’ – also known as you’re coming to end of contract and we need you to sign a new one. So, if was going to have to stolen, not a bad time to have it happen.
That’s ok, I thought. With only 9 days to go, and in the circumstances I am sure we’ll be able to wave those 9 days and get me sorted for a new phone etc today?
Well, you’d have thought so, but it wasn’t that simple. We ‘MIGHT’ be able to do it, but it depends on the phone T-Mobile told me. Ok. I liked the HTC Desire – best phone I have ever had in fact (iPhone 3G was previous phone). But wanted something a bit higher spec and thought about the Samsung Galaxy S II. This is a lovely phone. I really like it. VERY thin and light. But it is VERY wide. And then, of course, there is the iPhone 4S. I’m not a fan out the squared sides design and it weights a ton – or at least feels like it –and I really didn’t want to go back, but there is no denying it is still a lovely smart-phone.
It looked like I could get the Samsung free on tariffs from about £30 and the iPhone was going to only be free on tariffs of around £47. To take it on a £36 tariff would cost me £99 for the phone. Having picked up both phones again, I came to sad conclusion that if I was going to have either it would have to be the iPhone, as the wideness issue with the Samsung was the one that was going to be the most problematic for me.
Anyway having been on 02’s shop site, I knew that they were offering the 4S free on a £37 tariff. So I, not unreasonably, asked T-Mobile if they’d waive the £99 charge on the phone, as I was an existing customer. No, sorry, we can’t do that on that tariff. Also if we bring forward your upgrade date you’ll have to pay your final months tariff you’re not going to use (another £30). Ok, thanks.
T-Mobile also didn’t believe that 02 were making that offer – ‘I can’t see it on their website’ : Really? Not even on this website I took a deep breath.
So, rather than make the deal with an existing customer who you’ve made £720 off in the last two years (actually it’s more like £850 if add on holiday data add-ons etc) , and who is willing to go on the £36 tariff , so will provide you with a guaranteed minimum of £864 over the next two years (or £785 if take off the £99 if you agree to my proposal), you’d prefer that I go to 02 instead? Essentially, T-Mobile’s answer to that was yes. Fine. I walked into my local 02 shop, and the friendly, helpful and beautiful Sharma and I quickly reached a deal where I would go on their £32 tariff (yep, not even the £37 tariff), and would get the 4S for free. 02 are happy they’ve got a new customer, T-Mobile? Who knows.
What is true – no matter how much they say otherwise is that T-Mobile (and in my experience all the mobile operators) are far more interested in getting a new customer than they are at holding on to their existing ones. T-Mobile said this was not the case. I’m sorry but if that was true they’d have been either offering to match the 02 website offer, or at least trying to meet me half way. Had they offered the phone for £50, I may well have taken the offer, to avoid the inconvenience, and seen it as an attempt to demonstrate the importance of keeping me as a customer.
Meanwhile, Sharna spotted that here was a potential new customer unhappy with his current network who was there for the taking, and if it meant waiving the £169.99 phone cost that was advertised on the £32 tariff to ensure that I signed on the dotted line, so be it .She’d just guaranteed 02, a minimum of £768 they were not getting in the next two years, before I had walked into the shop. Job done.
Come two years time, I fully expect to leave 02 for similar reasons that I experienced here – indeed have previously left a network for the very same reasons: they care more about getting you than keeping you. They may say otherwise but their actions and their words are usually very different things.
So, I return to 02 and the iPhone. Last time around I liked the latter more than the former. This time? Time will tell.