Monday, 4 November 2013

O2. Oh dear.

The Manager
Correspondence Department
Telefónica UK Limited
PO Box 202

Dear Sir/Madam

Well, the first thing to note is that your address as quoted on your web site is wrong (pedantically, Houghton Regis is not a Post Town and the department should be above the company name) but I am writing to you really because I find it impossible to contact you in any other way. Brilliant. A stroke of genius by a telecoms firm: force us to write letters to an incorrect address. Do you prefer them in longhand? Green ink perhaps? 

You probably expect me to phone 202. Tried it. That is not going to happen again. Last time one call took 42 minutes and your lily-livered call handler hung up on me without resolving my query.  I may have lost my temper to her obfuscation but you are employing the wrong people if they are incapable of apologising for your institutionalised delays and dealing with shouty, angry customers. Talking over us, arguing back and transferring us from pillar to post is never going to work. I would have thought you had plenty of practice to get this right. Do you train staff at all?

I took to Live Chat several times - like crawling uphill with an elephant on your back - but what I asked to be done has not been done. So that was another pointless waste of my time. Where is my PAC code and acknowledgement of contract cancellation? Plus Live Chat is not available as I write this. Now is the time I have set aside to sort this account out: I do not intend to waste another half day waiting for O2 to employ enough people to handle the volume of enquiries it receives. Your excuse that query volumes are exceptional are nonsense. Delays happen ALL THE TIME and therefore your staffing levels seem always wrong. Do you think all customers are stupid?

So, I have to resort to squashed dead trees and the world's most expensive fluid. Why can I not simply write this in an email? Or on a web form? You are a telecoms company for heaven's sake. What is it? Has nobody taught you how to deal with spam and loonies? I know you wilfully abuse the Data Protection Act (by retaining credit card expiry dates and 'renewing' Continuous Payment Authorities - the clue is in the name) so I imagine some misinterpretation of yours stops you using email and so on. Sheesh.

My original query was to ask about why my phone was apparently not barred from making premium-rate calls. I had asked for this to be put in place years ago as I was once caught out by a rouge dialling virus on a land-line with a PC and didn't want the same to happen with a smartphone. However, I have since been caught out by a Missed Call Scam to an 07005 number which I thought was a mobile but turns out to be a follow-me premium number. So, my original question still stands: is my phone barred from making outgoing premium-rate calls?

I think you get the picture. I refuse to pay any bill, as it stands, because I do not expect to find premium-rate calls being billed to it as I asked them to be barred. That is why the Continuous Payment mandate has been cancelled by me. You do not answer my queries or do as you are asked: I no longer can trust you with access to my Credit Card and will pay nothing until you have resolved these issues to my satisfaction: you are in breach of contract. The only way you are going to extract more of my cash is to ask nicely and having done all as you were asked.

Please send an amended bill. Please ensure I am sent my PAC code and please acknowledge my contract cancellation as I asked at the end of my last Live Chat session but had to leave abruptly as I had callers at my door. Why was there no follow-up if for some reason you were unable to do as you were asked? Just ignoring things when customers ask you to do something specific only results in letters such as this, so why don't your colleagues know better? Unfulfilled customer requests will serve only to bite you on the bum. 

I have been a customer since I switched from a analogue mobile phone but O2 obviously does not give a rat's arse and can afford to shed loyal customers like autumn leaves. How about you try and reciprocate some of that loyalty? Hmm? How about a number we can dial to go straight through to a person who can do anything? Is that really asking too much? I'm off somewhere smaller where they know what it means to provide high quality customer service. It is patently obvious O2 no longer have the faintest idea what this means. Too big maybe? Incompetent management perhaps? Probably. I no longer care. You have lost me. Tell your boss and his colleagues to think about that as they cruise home in their shiny company cars I helped pay for. Press button three if you think they are ungrateful gits.

Meanwhile, if I drive through Slough and see that your Head Office is on fire, I will not be crossing the road to urinate on it in an attempt to extinguish the flames.


Yours faithfully

T. Hill

P.S. As a matter of courtesy I know you should respond in the same medium as this but please email me* in plain text at ###@#####.### as it is more environmentally friendly, quicker and easier. Please do not phone as I require a written record of any dealings with you from now on. Thanks.

*Please note: Emailing me at my request does not constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act as somebody ignorant of such things at O2 is bound to say.