O2 UK Customer Service Fail

January 31st, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Rants

I am putting this all down in an article as I need to get it off my chest, get it in chronological order,  and have a record of it for any future issues with regards to my credit file. Warning, this is a very long post. It all started when I saw that the HTC One M8 was down to £240 in total if you bought it on O2′s rather excellent ‘Refresh” scheme, something TTUK listeners and readers will know well, and I am a fan of. This is where you can buy a mobile on a contract, part Phone Plan, and part Airtime Contract, but once the Phone Plan part is paid off, you can cancel the Airtime Contract without any early fees. In fact if you settle the phone plan quickly enough after receipt, you might not have to pay anything on the Airtime part, although often you do have to pay the first month. The HTC M8 was available with nothing upfront, and £10 per month Phone Plan, £28 a month Airtime. I applied online and was accepted although I had to pay a £100 deposit to be accepted which would be returned to me once I had paid 3 months. I was not bothered by this as I knew I would settle it off within days, so would soon get the £100 back. The order was 24/11/2014 and delivered next day, under order number ms-303889150 So I ordered the HTC M8 with the intention of doing exactly that, pay it off right away and get a cheap nice handset. When the M8 turned up (it was a refurbished handset) I noticed a small dust spot under the screen, which I knew would annoy the hell out of me, so I decided to use the UK Selling Regs and return the handset within the 14 days allowed. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 15.59.35Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 16.05.02On the 1st December, I posted the M8 back to O2 and decided not to use the returns service they offer, but used RMSD, as I feel that is safer for high value items, and remember there was a £28 * 24 mth contract linked to this, so I felt it was worth it. As you can see from the two photos, the Royal Mail did their usual excellent job with RMSD and delivered it to O2 the next day, 2nd Dec 2014.     Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 16.12.15 Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 16.15.50I did not  think much more about it for a few days, but I then noticed that O2 had taken the first Direct Debit for the deal from my bank account, on the 9th of Dec, which I thought was a bit odd. So I went onto O2 chat, and this was the transcript (click to enlarge)  its a bit hard to read, but essentially, they tell me they have not received the handset back yet, and I tell them I have full proof. Then I am told I can not email it but have to FAX it back to them, yes in late 2014 O2 did not appear to have progressed beyond the Fax machine, something I thought was staggering at the time, although as you will see later on, that was actually not true. Not only that but *I* had to then chase them on the phone to confirm that this proof had been received by fax and no, they can not call me back. I faxed it (twice as I thought first had failed) on the 9th Dec The next day I called up O2 as instructed, and spoke to a helpful guy called Dale Grice who said no fax had been received, and could I send it by email. I explained about the day before, but he had an email address of “capita” and said it was fine, he could receive it. He was great, and waited on the line to confirm the fax proof was received, and the whole thing would be cancelled. I left it a few days, and then had this exchange on O2 Chat on 14th Dec 2014, and it all appears sorted. Yeah, right! Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 16.33.10 So, a quick summary, 12 days from when they had the handset back, I have no handset. I am £100 out of pocket (deposit) and £38.90 taken out for first payment on phone and Airtime (Sim card was never opened) and I am doing all the chasing, BUT as it says above, all sorted now. At this point I decided to cancel the Direct Debit, in case they took more money out (watch this space!), but by the 18th I had still had no refunds, and no contact. So I started posting on Twitter. I don’t claim to have much clout on there, but I do find often that if you raise something there, it can get sorted quite quickly. I was contacted by a member in the Social Care team, and she headed all her emails *In confidence* *It was not my intention to ever publish those emails, but this whole thing has got to the point where I need to do so to establish the full facts. In fairness I don’t do this lightly, but I did not at any point (that I recall) agree not to.* So, this is the first email. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 16.54.54 As you can see, she advises me to claim the payments back from my bank under the DD indemnity scheme, which I decided to do. This was paid back to my account on 22nd Dec.  In between this, on the 20th Dec, I got this email from same person in Social Media team. I had told her that I had actioned the Indemnity claims. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 16.59.48 So, it was looking like it was finally sorted out, but during these few days I had at least one letter and a couple of emails saying I owed them money (never with any amounts) and I should pay before it escalates. I feel safe ignoring these as this lady is on it right? On Christmas Eve, the same lady contacted me to say that the £100 account deposit had been refunded to my account but could take 10 working days to arrive. Christmas came and went, along with a couple more slightly more threatening emails and one more letter, but I ignored them as it was all OK. Yeah, happy new year. On Jan 2nd I got this. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.05.56 Wow, lucky I cancelled that direct debit right? Otherwise I would be *another* £230 out of pocket. And look, by following their advice to claim indemnity from my bank, I was now defaulting in their eyes.  And did you notice how they have now refunded me again for those two payments, but oddly not the £28.90 for the Phone Plan that they took, but a few pence less? I let this slide as I could simply not be bothered to argue about a few pence. Just showing it here for further proof of how incompetent this company is. So I needed to pay them back the refunded money, £27.97 (oddly not quite the actually payment of £28.90) and £10 for the phone plan. No problem, so I sent this email back by return, her reply is attached. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.36.15 So I call up to pay the £27.97 and £10 as asked to, and guess what? Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.43.13 Yes, even now the info is wrong, I owe them £28.90 not £27.97 despite the latter being what they refunded me. Now I know its wrong, but hey, its only a few pence, so I decide to just pay up. Now I make a bit of a mistake. I don’t feel like talking to them so I just go online and pay £28.90 directly to the account, here is proof. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.48.10 See my mistake? I have forgotten to pay the £10 for phone plan, although in my defence by now it is showing that the Phone Plan is actually £0.00 and confusingly it is showing the £127.97 is actually claimable as a refund. To recap that is made up of £100 deposit, and £27.97 they say they owe me. They don’t of course as I have already had it. I feel like I want to claim it just for the hell of it, but I resist. This was how it was when I paid the £28.90 (and it is still same today 31st Jan) Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.51.36 So even as of today, 31st Jan 2015 I can click that link and claim that £127.97 refund. Madness. Complete madness. So, it goes on, unknown to me I still owe them £10. I get a letter a few days ago. Note how it does not have any amount on, nor does the account number actually match with all the other account numbers (it turns out it is separate number for phone and plan) Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.58.14 I called the number on that letter and was told it was “not a payments issue” and was put through to Customer Services. A really helpful lady apologised profusely for all of this and explained that I had £10 outstanding, but she could see how long this has all dragged on so agreed to just wipe that £10 out and close the account down.  2 months after they had the handset back. Finally, its over…….nah, next day (yesterday 30th Jan) this email arrives. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 18.03.35 So, although they are unable to wipe £10 off my account if I phone them and pay them £10 then they can then somehow credit £20 to that same *disconnected* account as a “goodwill gesture” I humbly suggest that O2 would not know goodwill if it smacked them in the face. I was intending to get back on this today from work if time allowed, but I had a personal issue that meant that was not possible. I then received this rather scary letter this morning, sorry for quality, am getting a little tired here. So, lots of CAPITAL LETTERS, and loads of lovely threats, all over £10. I hope if anyone from O2 actually bothers to read this, they feel at least a little bit ashamed they are part of this nonsense. I could actually feel the frustration of some of the people I interacted with, as they wanted to help but couldn’t.  Ultimately, a company stands or falls on the way they respond to issues like this. On that basis, O2 is somewhat lacking. Oh, what I decided to do this morning was call the number on this letter and just meekly pay up the £10. The nice chap promised me that nothing has been placed on my credit file, even though I am not so sure,  as it will likely show as a “settled default. What do I want out of this? The ideal for me would be if someone at O2 could change things so that the good people can actually have some authority to then solve the customer’s problem. The Twitter team are good people, but seem to have no power to actually do anything except go around in circles? Even today I was sent to a chat link where a nice chap at the call centre wanted me to start the whole thing from scratch. Maybe what I should do is go back on and when he asks what is up, I can cut and paste this little lot in. Read on for some bonus extra incompetence.   BONUS EXTRA While all the above was going on, I decided I needed ANOTHER M8.  Yes, looking back this was crazy I know, but there you are. In my defence it was when things looked like they were basically sorted on the other one, I saw the M8 had come back on refurb, so I ordered another one, and it came next day. I phone up the following day and paid it off, and cancelled the Airtime. No problem right. Here is proof I paid the £240 off on 22nd Dec on the second M8. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.14.09   With all the stuff going on with the other M8 I thought a little check may be in order. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.20.51Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.21.12   Can they do anything right first time? Sorted though right? Ha, by now you know better…..I got a bit rude with this one, and regret that, sorry Sumita. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.24.11Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 17.25.16 Err, yeah as I say, not my proudest moment, but I was pretty frustrated since this was on top of all the stuff with the other M8. As far as I know that one has now been resolved (after more emails and one more letter).

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4 Responses

  • Hi Kevin, thanks for bringing this to our attention. First of all let me sincerely apologise. It looks like we’ve fell short here and it’s not the sort of experience we want our customers to have. We’d like to put this right and do everything we can to help. We’ve replied to your tweets and would appreciate if you could send us over a contact number that we can reach you on so we can discuss these problems and ensure a resolution is in place.

    Many thanks in advance.

    O2 Social Media Team.

    • Kevin Wright says:

      Thank you for the apology.

      As for the rest, I don’t see what I need to talk to you about, I have now paid off the ridiculous £10 this was all about, and highlighted your woefully inadequate system failures.

      I am not sure how you feel we can “put this right”, maybe you mean “give him some money to shut him up”, or maybe I am being unfair?

      If you have genuinely read my blog post (I ask because your comment of “it looks like we have fallen short” makes me wonder) I really don’t see what we have to talk about?

      It took me over two hours to write the above article, a lot of that was setting it out without any of your staff names so I hope you will understand when I say I have had enough of O2 for now.

      The thing is, this is not an isolated incident in my opinion, the mere fact you even messed the other M8 purchase up despite it being a very simple transaction suggests that your company is institutionally incompetent and that this comment and the ones on Twitter are merely attempts at mitigating this view.


  • Gerard says:

    Lol and now they follow you on to your website. Please do keep us updated but either way I shall be avoiding O2. I would not have the patience for this.