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.


  1. O2: Hi there, we're sorry to hear about your experience. We're happy to look into this for you and we have replied to you on Twitter about this, for some more details.


    Yes, I did end up following them and exchanging DMs on Twitter and the upshot of it is that O2 insist I jump through yet ANOTHER hoop for "security" reasons and send them an email. Then what? Visit a web page and tell you the story for the fourth time? NOT. GOING. TO HAPPEN. They have met my red line. Say hello to what happens when you piss a customer off just once too often. CUSTOMER SERVICE COMPANIES: STOP SAYING "JUMP" TO CUSTOMERS BECAUSE THE REPLY IS EVENTUALLY "FUCK YOU".

    O2 have my phone number in my first DM. That will link to my account. They will have on file and above here the complete story, so no need to further identify me or ask me to repeat myself. All they need to do is go to that account and carry our the instructions from the customer that they already have. There is no need to identify me at all here, they just need to just go away and finish what they should have already done. If their systems have forced them into this repeated security madness it is their systems which should be fixed or circumvented not my time which should be wasted repeatedly.


    In other words, just get the fuck on with it O2. On a customer service scale you have been downgraded to "Fucking Useless" already and the chances of you retaining me or ever getting me back as a customer are less than zero.

    Unfortunately following O2 on Twitter means that although you can exchange DMs they stuff your timeline with spam. If you had any service quality points left that would be minus another hundred.

    I repeat: fucking useless and fucking clueless.

    I want only three things from O2 and NOTHING ELSE

    1. amended bill without premium call charges I asked to be barred

    2. PAC code

    3. Confirmation of cancellation of Contract.

    Nothing else means, nothing else.

    I await the reply to this letter (which was posted yesterday) because their website, telephone and twitter support have all failed.

    I would venture to suggest O2 are crumbling under the crappiness of their own systems.

  3. I think I have given up ever hoping to keep my mobile number as O2 seem to have deliberately prevented me from taking it to a new provider. I have asked four times and I am met with being asked to email, phone or chat with them online. Again and again and again. They have ignored four requests for my PAC. I shouldn't have to do anything else, should I? They have my quad-request and just need to action it. How can that be so hard? Why do I have to spend so much of my time doing their job for them? O2, you don't need me to go through your tortuous security protocols yet again, just do as this customer has already asked four times.

    Their reply to my letter (above) is so terrible and their Twitter response so crass, I guess I am left only being able to complain to OfCom. I was trying to discuss this privately on Twitter (for the second time) by direct message with O2 but in the middle of the conversation, they unfollowed me which is just the same as their call handler who hung up on me. Here are the final two messages:

    Me: Reply from your correspondence team, today. At least I think so. Not on headed notepaper and they hadn't read my letter. Ofcom now.

    O2: This doesn't sound like us to be honest Tim, we really need you to email us so that we can complete our security process with you.

    "This doesn't sound like us to be honest Tim"? You patronising shitbags. What the fuck does that mean? That I forged a letter to myself? As I can no longer continue the conversation in private, and they obviously have no desire to give a flying fuck about sorting this out, here is the reply they have disowned without reading. I have 'marked' it.

    Here's a radical idea, you stupid pricks, why don't you email me and explain why you can't carry out a simple request and answer simple questions?

    I have made it perfectly clear that I am waiting for my PAC code and that I will not pay any bills until they clarify the issue about whether or not my phone is blocked from making premium-rate calls as I asked years ago and remove any premium call charges and send me an adjusted bill. Their crowning acheivement was sending me an SMS threatening to cut of my outgoing calls two days after they cut off my outgoing calls.

    O2, you are a terrible, terrible, company to have to deal with and I wish to no longer. I want to enjoy the rest of my life, not spend it waiting for you to graciously attend to my needs when it suits you. I will be sending you a bill for the amount of my time you have wasted. Initially I thought I was contacting you to ask a really simple question but your standard practice of Complaint Amplification where your fuck-ups are only surpassed by the next fuck-up have worn me down. Congratulations. You have lost this customer thanks to your contemptible attitude to this customer who has been with your since analogue became digital.

    O2: if you or OfCom are now hyperventilating about me posting 'your' letter as your lack of understanding of the Data protection Act is making you piss your pants, may I point out you that saying "This doesn't sound like us to be honest Tim" may have been a mistake.

  4. The saga continues. I have replied to their letter and an out-of-the-blue SMS.

    (This tale is also linked from which has a summary)

  5. I hope you are sitting down. O2 have sent me my PAC code and answered the question I asked them a month ago. This was all in a letter which almost apologises. Funny, I was repeatedly told that it was impossible to send a PAC by mail and that I MUST phone (and wait on hold) or use their online chat which rarely works.

    Just don't get it do they? Or care. Churners.

    I'm off to the Phone Co-op (£5 incl. 500MB data + calls/texts 7p min/ea.) and it will be on the same bill as my land line. And a divvy. :-)

    Here's my email to O2. Things are still going wrong..

    Dear Ben,

    Thank you for your lucid letter, for finally answering my question and
    for providing my PAC. Your reply was almost a month to the day since I
    first asked: the blood has finally oozed from the stone.

    You could also look into why, when I finally paid my bill in response to
    your letter, it took four days for non-WiFi internet to work. That really
    was the last, last, last, straw.

    I'm off to The Phone co-op ( but please reflect that
    it should not have come to this and though you can rely on Churn to
    replace old customers with new, I suggest that investing in servicing
    your existing customer base properly is cheaper than a massive
    advertising spend to attract new ones. How long will it be before, like
    Sky and BT, you have to tell lies in your adverts to attract enough
    customers to replace the discontent leavers? Your best advertisers are
    happy customers who won't fight with you on Twitter or blog your

    Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity. I was beginning to think O2
    didn't employ anyone able to deal with simple queries and requests any

  6. Ha, ha, ha. Realising that I need to use my existing phone with my new provider, I asked online earlier this week for the code to unlock it. That arrived by email today but I did use online chat to ask "why does your website say this takes up to 28 days to reply to such a request?" The reply was not to worry, they always deal with such requests quicker than that. So why say '28 days' you dumb, useless, daft, fools? And on the subject of unlocking the phone why is it that at no time did O2 realise this may be necessary and suggest it, and it was up to my new provider to remind me? At every turn their glossy appearance is a thin veneer over their thoughtless processes.
    Here is probably not the place to mentions that a friend, another fairly long term O2 customer, managed to launder her old iPhone and a replacement is available. In THREE weeks. Way to go, O2. Could you make servicing your existing customer base an even lower priority? Needless to say that when I spoke to my friend, she had spent three hours (so far this afternoon) sorting this out and stumbled at the point of them demanding a land-line phone number, because she doesn't have one. Crap broadband led to them having satellite broadband and mobile phones. O2, for goodness sake, you need to wake up.
    Be more Dog? Yeah, one that has been run over by a bus.

  7. To be fair, stealing PAC codes is the number one way to hack your email account and entire digital life; anything where your mobile number can be used as a security backup. And many have fallen foul of this, including a couple of security journalists. I'm actually investigating how to INCREASE the security of my PAC code with O2 — to try to absolutely prevent them from giving it out without proving that it is me. I suggest convenience is not the priority for PAC codes. They are powerful beasts.

  8. O2 are a bunch of useless shitbags, they have blocked half of the internet, this is nothing to do with age restrictions.... Are we not free people???