John Ward – Exclusive: All Mobile Phone Co’s Too Busy Working With GCHQ To Help With A Crap Phone Top-Up System – 2 January 2014

JohnWWell here I am sitting in a hotel in Brighton. I don’t really want to be in this hotel, but such is the nature of privatised rail services and their bank holiday works than don’t work, or any sign of Government action in the face of a wind blowing stronger than 30 mph, I’m here and to be honest whether I like it or not is immaterial, because none of the bastards care.

So I thought, you know, got some time to kill, top up my nothing-could-be-easier-than-to-top-up-my-mobile pay as you go phones. I have O2 for France and Vodafone for the UK, and as I’m in the UK now on account of that’s where Brighton is it seemed wise to start there. I thought, 2 phones, max, 5 minutes each.

One hour and forty-five minutes later, I’ve given up. This narrative might help explain why.

First, Vodafone. I hate Vodafone. They have a grasp of customer service that falls well short of anything you might expect from an Iberian airline or the Italian postal service, but then the top-up card was a gift and so I’ve kept it ever since. I used to have a contract with them, but they stitched me up so many times with dishonest, rip-off drivel about “this is the best package for you” I decided to leave them for Orange, who were truly barbaric.

I made an escalated complaint to Orangw containing the French word ‘con’ (arse) and they reported me to something in Brussels for internet abuse. So I threatened to sue them under EU Human Rights law, and reported them to UK ombudscomofdiddly-doodle or something and eventually they relented, at which point I went to France Telecom who then merged with Orange, and yes I know it’s daft to have O2 in bloody Ipswich let alone France, but the choice (in real First World terms) ends there.

Anyway, I thought “A Vodafone PAYG thing – how much can they f**k me up, I mean, come on?” Well it all started to go wrong when they said ah, you need a pin code to fulfil your topup and then you need to dial 2345 on your empty phone FREE and listen to the instructions. The only thing missing from the instructions, when I got through, was how to get a top up having been given a pin code. I went through all five options and none of them had the remotest relevance to anything I wanted, and so I went round and round the cavernous dungeons of the Chateau D’If online looking for a telephone complaint number for a telephone company, until eventually after several threats of torture and child kidnapping, The Slog was given an escalated complaint number to dial in India. I dialled it.

“Sorry,” said a voice, “You do not have enough credits to make this call”.

So it was on to O2 into which I typed my email address and password at the sign-in page. But they said the combination didn’t match any of their records, which is bollocks, but I asked for a new link for password change to be sent to my email address and they said we’ve sent it, but they hadn’t. I checked Spam, Bin, Bum and Bam, but it wasn’t in there. So I went to another page and gave them my 02 phone number which, let’s face it, I’d be unlikely to get wrong, and it was definitely right because I had used it to empty my credits not 30 minutes earlier. A panel came up offering this outrageous mendacity:

“Sorry, but we do not recognise this as an O2 number. Please contact Support for Help”.

Every single bloody time I top up with O2, I go through this ridiculous ritual. It never changes, but the one big change coming their way sooner than they realise is not having an O2 PAYG customer any more. As this is what they already believe, it isn’t going to cause much sleep-loss on Planet O2. But I thought, what the hell, I’ll give Help & Support a go.

Now this is a tricky maneouvre to perform if O2 have already told you your password is wrong and they clearly don’t know how to send a motherf**king email even, so this time it was round the dungeons of the Bastille until (due only to my infallible Mafia connections) another number called 191* was offered. I dialled it.

“Sorry,” said a voice, “You do not have enough credits to make this call”.

Since then I have tried every combination of SMS, email, “free” phone lines, *#1914444#**@twitter to get my phones topped up, but without success.

And before any smartarsed geek starts up again at the comment threads, I have tried Livechat for both suppliers (“Sorry all our live chatlines are busy”). With O2, when I tried the tap-in phone top-up, I got “I’m sorry I didn’t get that” until she said “Press * for personal help” and so I did and then another Stepford Wife said “Sorry, this service is not available at the moment, please try later”.

Sooooooooooooo, I’m waiting for livechat, personal help, and for all I know the cows to come home via the Moon, but chiefly I have two empty and useless phones, with no realistic level of service either forthcoming or (let’s face it) remotely likely.

Oh, and I’ve tried Callback on both services. Both of them gave me three options each, and neither of them offered “We won’t call you back at all”. Bizarrely, this is the option I got anyway.

…………………………………

How many similar posts to this one have I put up about phoneco and ISP service since the Great Windmill Tilt started way back in 2003? I’ve no idea, but if just one – and only one – Slogger out there tries on the “user error” bollocks with me this time, they will not be coming back to comment again.

ISP and general online service was, is, and will continue to be unmitigated smelly sh*t until some Government somewhere grows a pair of balls along with a simian spine, and forces these piss-taking gits to provide proper back-up.

This will involve employing people with a functioning cerebrum atop the spine. Employing such folks will reduce the country’s welfare costs and make society a safer place with fewer idle hands in search of devilment. Employing people will reduce the dividends paid to shareholders and you have me confused with someone who gives a jumping chuff about that: they’ve had four years of QE and I’ve had four years of Zirp so it’s my turn…you can all GFYselves.

And on that sour note, I shall bid you all a fond goodnight.

www.hat4uk.wordpress.com / link to original article

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One response to “John Ward – Exclusive: All Mobile Phone Co’s Too Busy Working With GCHQ To Help With A Crap Phone Top-Up System – 2 January 2014

  1. Pingback: John Ward – Exclusive: All Mobile Phone Co’s Too Busy Working With GCHQ To Help With A Crap Phone Top-Up System – 2 January 2014 | sweetwillowman