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Thursday, 25 Oct 2012

Here's copy of a message I have just sent to Carphone Warehouse regarding a SIM contract that I bought
from them over the phone:-

Invoice: *********

This purchase is a new SIM deal for my daughter to use.

I specifically asked for a micro SIM so that it would fit in an iPhone 4, which she is going to buy very shortly. I bought at the same time a Micro SIM converter so that he microSIM would fit in her old phone in the mean time.

You have sent me a standard SIM card, so it fits in the old phone just fine. However, the two quid I spent on the Micro SIM converter was a waste and when she buys her iPhone, what is she supposed to do then?

Please advise what you are going to do about this.

If you want something done properly, you have to beat someone about the face with a kettle.

06-Nov-2012 UPDATE

I did not receive a reply from Carphone Warehouse. The answer I deduce from this is that they are prepared to do nothing about it. I sorted it out myself by calling Talkmobile and ordering a Micro SIM separately. Initially my choice of IVR options, after calling the customer service number, got me through to a Carphone Warehouse agent who assured me that I would be charged £15 for the Micro SIM; then I got put through to a Talkmobile agent who assured me that this would be free. Give it up for connected business processes. In the meantime I popped into a local Carephone Warehouse store and got a refund for the unnecessary Micro SIM converter.

So I sent another message to Carphone Warehouse through their online Contact Us message page, which reads as follows:-


I should like to draw your attention to my blog post regarding my attempt to contact you about a disconnect in the ordering process for a recent order I made for a SIM only deal.

The blog post will be linked to from my Facebook account. If you folks are happy to ignore messages sent to you by paying customers, that's fine. You just have to be happy also about people knowing about it.

Thanks awfully for your attention.

-James Collett.

Saturday, 20 Oct 2012

I called up T-Mobile customer services (I used the term ironically) today. I want to ask them about some calls I was charged for on my bill. It's not a lot of money but it could be a mistake, so it makes sense to ask them, right?

When you call any company of reasonable size these days, you have to work your way through a seemingly interminable sequence of options: Press 1 for this, 2 for that and 3 for the other. And then when you do press 1, it takes you through another round of options. It is like wading through treacle.

Here's a funny thing. With T-Mobile there is no option to "Ask about your account" or "Ask about your bill". I mean, we know there won't be an option to "Speak with an advisor" - that would be silly - but you might expect that making inquiries might be in there somewhere. Apparently I can leave T-Mobile, upgrade my price plan, ask for handy tips or indeed a variety of other specific things. But actually just ask a question? No, fuck off. Anyway, I plumped for the closest match - "Change your account details" (well, it had the word "account" in it) and I stuck it out for the ten-or-so minutes the IVR warned me I would need to wait. It seems that whenever I call T-Mobile the contact centre is extremely busy. Imagine that.

Finally I got through to a man for whom English is clearly not his first language. Why would it be? - he lives in the Philippines. I was irritated enough that I have to decipher what the man is saying through a heavy accent but when I found that he just did not listen to me and would only repeat what I had said to him, I was getting a bit cross. Finally we arrived at an understanding of what my question was.

My question is simple, really: I've been charged for some calls on my latest bill and I don't know why. I think they should be included in my call allowance. I'd like an explanation. The contact centre agent finally understood what I was asking. He then failed to exhibit basic thinking skills and offered nonsensical explanations - reasons that do not stack up against other details clearly apparent in the bill.

So the man said he would like to call me back and in the meantime would find out the answer to my question. I expressed my anxiety about ending the call, since it took me ten minutes just to get through the first time. He said he would call me back in five minutes. That was nearly an hour ago. Imagine my surprise.

This was actually my second conversation with a T-Mobile contact centre representative. I asked the same question a couple of weekends ago. Same story, only in that call, the representative was even stupider. His lips must have been moving. Noise was coming out of his mouth. But none of it made any sense. T-Mobile then sent me a text-based survey to evaluate my satisfaction with my call to the contact centre. I scored all the questions pretty much as low as possible. For the "Please tell us what we could do better" question, I gave a fairly candid couple of suggestions, to amplify my scores. I wondered if such a low score would generate some further follow-up call to placate a disgruntled customer. What was I thinking?

28-Aug-2013 UPDATE:-
While I never did receive a return phone call from T-Mobile, the spurious charges did appear to get refunded on a subsequent bill. There was no explanation. That is all.

Saturday, 13 Oct 2012

"It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out."
- Carl Sagan

"Some minds are so open that they need to be closed down for repair."
- unattributed Beacon