Newest Review: ... he looks confused "why" "Cos they've cut me off" She spits. So some time later, there he is on hold, list... more
Would you like me to tell you where you can stick your network?
Member Name: Johnny Phoenix
Date: 14/10/02, updated on 14/10/02 (196 review reads)
Once upon a time in a crime ridden seaside town there lived a man. He tried his best to be a good man and was content to try and live a happy life - providing for his family and trying his best to keep them safe from harm.
For this reason, he thought that his teenage soon-to-be stepdaughter should have the mobile phone she wanted as it would enable her to ring someone in an emergency and talk to her friends without tying up the house phone for eons and eons and eons.
The mobile networks know that this practice is done but since anyone under the age of 18 cannot enter into a legally binding contract, a parent invariably has to take out this contract themselves.
So anyway, this young ladies birthday arrive - She gets a new mobile phone and he gets a contract with the O2 network because of their deal on free minutes and free text messages. He thinks (naively) that even a teenage girl wouldn't be able to use THAT many minutes talking about hair, boys and Gareth Gates.
As time went on, most of the bills were within reason and the ones that weren't were adjusted with the next month to reflect the £10.00 a month she was allowed to run up.
Then one day, he comes home from work and the teenage girl is glaring at him as he pulls up in the car as only a teenager can.
"Who the hell are you gawping at?" he asks sensitively.
"have you paid my phone bill?" She demands, her eyes burning furiously.
"Of course" he looks confused "why"
"Cos they've cut me off" She spits.
So some time later, there he is on hold, listening to Handels water music for the eighth time and tapping his foot impatiently on the kitchen floor. He sips the same cold coffee that had burned his lips when he sipped it before dialling the number oh so long ago.
"hello can i help you?" enquires a bored voice at last, not sounding like it wants to help in
He explains the situation for the third time and eventually he has his answer.
"It's been cut off because the bill has come to HOW MUCH?" He bellows, absently scribbling the figure down, but not believing the figure on the page
"ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY - WHAT?"
It turns out that in a magazine advertisement that the kid has seen an ad for "FREE SCREEN SAVERS" unfortunately, teenagers don't seem to understand that free means that you just pay through the nose rather than the wallet.
So in a mere four days there were £150+ worth of text messages sent to and from the mobile phone. The terms and conditions of the text - you know the bits that actually give you the billing information - are seperated with spaces so that you have to tab down to read them. How much small print did you read as a teenager, In fact how far past the word "Free" did you get before you started nodding frantically and holding out your clammy hand.
So our anti-hero, tries to reason, argue, fight and explain, but the account manager at O2 is having none of it. She knows that he has no interest in text pictures of rabbits humping chickens, big boobs, smiling faces or even big smiling rabbits humping chickens with big boobs, but she offers no sympathy only threats of what will happen should he refuse to pay.
So reluctantly he had to find the money and pay the debt, he cannot even cancel his connection with them out of disgust because as she happily points out, he is locked into a twelve month contract and to buy out of it, he would incur an extra charge of £100.00.
This is the equivilent of stopping someone from slamming the door on their way out.
Still he consoles himself with the fact that had they shown more sympathy and common sense and accepted that this was a genuine mistake, they probably would have retained him as a customer for the next 4 years at least
This would have meant a profit over the four years of around £1000.00 of line rentals and call charges. Instead, they will now lose him in six months so they may well have made £150.00 out of thim this time, but they will lose approximately £850.00 overall.
In addition to this, after he told several people the true story of the problems that he had encountered with O2, they were shocked at the lack of service and common sense applied and none of them will be renewing their contracts either. There are six of them at approximately £130.00 per year, so that's another £780.00 they have lost just in the next twelve months or £3120.00 over the next four years. Plus, they will probably want to keep their friends on the same network so possibly another two will switch over for each of the six. That's another 12 people so its probably cost them around £10, 000.00 in long term profits for failing to understand the principle of letting a £150.00 mistake slide.
So the moral of this story? Well there are three.
1. If you have given a teenager a mobile phone, make sure that they ask you before subscribing to anything at all, or alternatively give them a pay as you go.
2. O2, may be able to smile and patronize their customers in the event of a mistake. They can hire all the acne ridden, attitude problem, 'don't-remember-life-before-mobile phones', know nothing, are nothing, shelf-stacking, ex Mcdonalds floor wiping, arrogant, little geeks in the world.
But when it all comes down to it, our anti-hero thinks of the mobile networks as a long bench full of people wanting his business and the way he sees it, the bench might be long but there is no room for big arseholes.
3. "You can rip some of the people off some of the time, but every now and again, one will bite you in your ass!"