Useless, useless, O2

Presenting... my new business mobile phone: an O2 XDA Mini S. It's rubbish: but more of that later. First, O2's customer service.


Oh, my God. Up until now I'd been a customer of Orange since it launched, with a short unfaithful affair with Virgin Mobile. While Orange are a shadow of their original loveliness, O2 really takes the biscuit in crappy, crappy, customer service.


First, this is my business mobile phone. I can't receive or send picture messages, and I have a legitimate business requirement to do both. The O2 contract is dealt with by head office in Scotland, but my only contact is with our own office in London.


So, I ask the people in London to get picture messaging working on my phone. They ring Scotland. Scotland rings O2. I get a direct call from O2's customer services. I explain the problem ("It says 'user barred' when I try to send an MMS, and sends me a text message when I receive an MMS asking me to log onto a website."). They promise to send me the settings to correctly send an MMS message. I point out that I'm running an O2 phone and that I've checked the preset settings on their website. They say they'll send me the settings. "How will this help when my account is not set up to allow me to even receive picture messages?" They say they'll send me the settings, and that somehow it will. "Will the email have your contact details on it?" Yes, I'm assured.


The email arrives, from a send-only email address which has no contact details. It contains "How to send a picture message" from my phone. That's not, in any sense, 'settings', and not, in any sense, relevant to my enquiry.


Instead of wasting my team's time who'll then have to ring Scotland to ring O2, I look on O2's website to discover the customer services number, and ring it. "Please enter your mobile phone number," says the machine. I do. It tells me that for my account, please "ring the number on the last invoice". I don't sign off the invoices. I have no such number.


I email London, who email Scotland, who reply to tell me that it is now being provisioned on my account and that it'll work in 24 hours.


I try sending a picture message 24 hours later. I get the above message.


Clearly it's an impossible task for O2 to suitably understand a chinese whisper via our London and Scotland offices; or clearly it's impossible for them to understand a simple request to switch on a service that will inevitably mean that they will earn more money. I have no idea which, but I'm bored trying to find out.


(Please don't send me picture messages any more, not that anyone does anyway.)


[Disclaimer: I am responsible for a unconnected business relationship with O2, and have enjoyed some hospitality from the company.]

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  • Trixie Karinski 9y

    When I went to Serbia a couple of years ago I asked O2 to ensure roaming was allowed on my mobile. They said it was so off I went, only to arrive, with a stop in Zurich, only to find my phone worked neither in Switzerland nor Serbia. Rather unhandily this was 7th July 04 and all my friends trying to check I hadn't been involved in the bombs were just getting a dead tone from my phone. Great! Anyway many calls ensued - I was told it would be on it a bit, on in 24 hours etc etc, only for the final person to tell me that there was no 02 roaming partner in Serbia, which later investigation shows there clearly was. Grrrh at them!
  • akira_kev PRO 9y

    o2 xustomer have 3 friends who work for them i Manchester, they tired tto charge me 376 quid for a phone that i returned to there insurecence partner but the insurce partner had not returned to them. there inscaunce people had a record that it had been returned but o2 wouldn't listen and kept trying to charge me, i took o2 to court in the end and they backed down and it was all strangely sorted.
  • Robert Andrews PRO 9y

    I really empathise. I bought this phone on a new O2 consmer contract in December 2005 after previously enjoying my Orange service with a SonyEricsson P900. Had to take it back because it lost its charge pretty quickly. That limited my 30-day try-out period so I stuck with it.

    It's the worst phone I've ever had, with the crappiest user interface, the lamest camera.

    It's particularly bad on MMS, and that's particularly bad on O2 - you can apparently only send files smaller than 100kb. MMS is handled by a separate Java client so it's not integrated with regular messaging at all and you can't MMS a picture you've taken (because of the limit, I think) - you have to fire up the MMS client and take a picture from *there*.

    December 2006, rather than get a new phone on a new contract with another network (there aren't any out that I want that much right now, but there will be soon), I got a Nokia E61 off eBay.

    No camera at all, but good UI, good web browser, big screen. (I had got an N80 from Orange back in August, but, whilst the camera was great and the slider was nice, I wanted something a bit more smartphoney). Now if only I could get the calendaring to work with my Mac/Google Calendar, and if only I could get my Google Apps on Your Domain gMail to work with the POP client.

    In the spring, the N95 (a variant of the N80) will include a 5mp camera and built-in GPS. I hope T-Mobile will carry this because their data packages look great.
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Taken on January 5, 2007
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