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6 Reviews
  • The Direct Debits Don't Always Go Out
  • infuriating
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    6 Reviews
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      02.08.2002 16:33

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      Avoid at all costs - Advantages: Cheap - Disadvantages: Unrelable Customer Service

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      13.06.2002 03:25
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      Firstly it is "not" £30-£35 for delivery, it's £19.95 for connection (as Sainsburys mobile don't have there own network, so this charge is then paid to O2) and "£4.95" for courier delivery. Secondly, It's clearly stated on the mail shot that there is "a one time connection fee and p&p fee" READ THE SMALL PRINT ! I have now had Sainsburys mobile for 8 months and I wouldn't part with it, ok in fairness you might not always get through, But what other company is going to shop around different tarrif's between different networks just to get you the cheapest price on your calls? Answer: NO-ONE IS ! No matter what company it is, or in what industry, customer service is ALWAYS going to be busy, it a proven fact, try phoning any customer service for any company and there will be wait to get through to someone (FACT) Sainsburys haven't been in the mobile game that long and i think they deserve a bit of respect, I mean lets face it, if you dont get through to someone it's not the end of the world, Just keep trying. Every NEW company or division are going to have problems at the start, A companies chance of folding is in the first year, when they are starting to get thing's wright. In Conclusion I think Sainsbury's deserve a chance ! P.S if it's so bad why is there only 3 post's about this topic (and one of them is good !) TQ.

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        03.06.2002 06:36
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        • "The Direct Debits Don't Always Go Out "

        I am so glad that this category exists as I have to tell you a story about Sainsbury's Mobile. This has to be the best idea and unfortunately the worst mistake you could ever make. Here is the story?.. CHAPTER 1 Some time ago there lived a young girl (ok then, not so young) who had many a mobile phone and could always pride herself in the fact that she got the best bargains. She always new where you could get a free DVD player or Gameboy Advance or simply the best tariff available. She would tell all her friends and they would worship the mighty bargain hunter for her valuable advice. One day she received a letter from Sainbury's Mobile, she had been chosen! Chosen to receive a free Nokia 3310. The heavens must have been smiling down at her as her existing contract was about to expire and she was in the market for a new phone. This offer was too good to be true it had no mention of any initial charges and promised that they would find her the best tariff every month without her having to do anything. They would look at 26 different monthly tariffs by Orange, BT Cellnet, One 2 One and Vodaphone. Whichever tariff worked out most beneficial i.e. cheapest, including line rental, calls and text messaging that is what she would pay. The airtime would be provided by BT-Cellnet however so if she made calls to other networks they would be classed as cross network calls. Better still after 3 months if she didn't like what she saw she could cancel the contract and keep the phone. She would have 3 months free insurance in addition to this, fantastic! Now being of reasonable intelligence she worked out that if she spent £20 per month on calls and line rental and cancelled after 3 months it will still have cost her only £60 for the phone, they were at the time retailing for about £120.00. She had to have one! CHAPTER 2 There was a knock at the door and it was Initial City Link, they had a parcel for her. She could hardly contain her excitement as she unwrapped the packaging. Inside was a welcome pack from Sainbury's Mobile and a Nokia 3310 all nicely boxed. She got out the phone and read the instructions and charged the phone up ready for use. It said that when she made her first call it would automatically be re-routed to Sainsbury's to set up some security details and sure enough it did. All was going to plan but she wanted to know when her first bill would arrive. She phoned them up and asked. They couldn't tell her but told her that she would have around 10 days to pay after receiving the bill as she had signed up by direct debit. No problem! The bill didn't come and upon checking her bank account realised that a payment had been made to Sainsbury's. Being the logical person she is she put it down to Christmas post as it was the beginning of January. She phoned Sainsbury's to ask them for a breakdown of the bill, as she hadn't received it. She was surprised to hear that the money was a charge of £19.99 connection fee and £4.95 for delivery. At no time previously was she told about these charges, not on the letter she received inviting her to have a phone or at the time of placing the order over the phone. She was not very happy. In all fairness to Sainsbury's they offered to refund the connection fee and half the amount of postage. She agreed as this was some way to making amends, but what about the bill? They apologised and said it should be with her soon. It came 3 weeks later, better late than never! Hopefully things would get better next month when she received her first bill for call charges. CHAPTER 3 The bill arrived with a due date for the direct debit so she made sure the money was in the bank on time, she waited and waited and waited. The money was still there so she phoned them up again. She had much trouble contacting them as the phone line was always busy. It often said 'please try again later' but she per severed. She eventually got through and was told not worry, there was no reason why it shouldn't have gone out and it will be taken. It didn't go out and when the next bill came it was for 2 months to cover the last months charges. She wasn't too worried as the bills did work out as promised. All the call charges were laid out in columns under each different service provider with the tariff that worked out the cheapest under each one. Sure enough the amount to be charged was the cheapest and you could see how it was added up and check that you had been charged for the correct tariff. As this was a new service she put it down to teething problems and waited patiently. Hooray!! The direct debit went out for the 2 months payments and she was straight again. Ready to chat for another day. CHAPTER 4 Having the last direct debit go out ok she thought it would be plain sailing this month, alas it was not to be. She again waited patiently for the bill to arrive, she received a letter telling her that there would be a delay and informing her when the direct debit would go out. She made sure the money was there to avoid bank charges and waited in hope. Again the money didn't go out. After numerous attempts at phoning Sainsbury's she was told there was no reason why it shouldn't have gone. Again this was added to the next month's bill as the direct debit didn't go when promised. But wait! What is this? She should have had insurance free for 3 months and realised that she had been charged for the third month. She managed to get in touch with them, to explain, they were very apologetic and said that as a gesture they would start the 3 months free insurance again next month. It was a good job that the telephone number was a freephone number or it would have cost a fortune. She was prepared to give them one last chance. CHAPTER 5 For some reason the next bill came only a couple of weeks after the last one, why w here the bill cycles so erratic? She was horrified to see that although she had paid her last bill they were asking for this again along with this month's amount. Even worse it was bank holiday, could she contact Sainsbury's before the direct debit went out? She phoned and her call was answered and they said they didn't work for Sainsbury's and they would take a message and someone would get back to her. Nobody phoned back. She phoned again and the same thing happened, no one phoned back. She had no choice but to cancel the direct debit or too much money would have gone out. After the bank holiday she got in touch with Sainsbury's who said the bill was printed before they received payment notification. They said they were having problems getting the bills done at the same time each month as they were calculated in Germany; they then had to be sent to Sainsbury's who produced them and sent them to her. She decided to cancel as she had had enough. The friend who she recommended them to had also had problems with direct debits. This resulted in her having to pay bank charges, as she didn't have the money in the bank, as she didn't receive a bill. Was she going to be looked up to and consulted about future purchases in quite the same way after this, who knows? Her friend was to cancel also. Even after cancellation she received a bill for insurance for the month after she had cancelled, this was of course sorted out but this was after 3 days of trying to contact them by phone. If she phoned after 6.00 p.m. she was greeted by someone telling her they don't work for Sainsbury's and they will take a message. She has yet to receive a reply from these calls. Have they done anything to improve these matters? CHAPTER 6 There has been no improvement as the last call she made to them regarding the insurance was only last week. They have made the offer even less attractive as if you cancel within 180 days you must return th e phone or pay a £100 fee. She has yet to find out if their bills and direct debits are now on time and personally she wouldn't take the chance or recommend them to anyone else. She would of course tell you that this is just her opinion and that someone else may tell you different. If you decide to use them be cautious and fully aware of the terms and conditions of offer. They do now stipulate on the Internet site the charges for delivery and connection. She has been chosen again many times since, by letter and email but realises that she is not alone and that sometime things are just too good to be true! Is that girl me? Of course it is but don't tell all my friends or they may never trust my advice again!

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          29.04.2002 17:27
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          • infuriating

          Given the problems my girlfriend has had with Sainsbury's mobile over the last five and a half months, I would advise anyone to think twice before taking them up on their "Free mobile phone offer". Firstly, you still have to pay around 30-35 quid for delivery. We accepted this (this was mid-last November), but the problems we have had made us wish we hadn't. After placing your order, the Sainsbury's Mobile website tells you that you'll receive a confirmation of your order by email "soon". We never received this email, and so around three weeks later attempted to contact Sainsbury's by telephone to ask what had happened. We were told that they werent' able to access any information about orders, but that if we had ordered one, it would arrive "soon". Another two weeks passed (making it over the statutary 30 day limit that mail order companies have to deliver goods), so at this point we concluded that there must have been a problem and that they can't have received our order, so we went out and bought an alternative phone instead. Lo and behold, the Sainsbury's mobile phone randomly turns up just before Christmas. Usefully though, they gave a telephone number to call, to allow you to return the telephone. Upon calling this (on the day that the phonre was received), we were informed that a returns label would be sent out to us that day. No returns label arrived. A week later, we called again and were again informed that a returns label would be sent out. Again nothing arrived. So we wrote a letter to them, but didn't get any reply. So we called them again and again and again, each time we were informed that a returns label would be sent to us, but nothing ever arrived. We carried on like this until mid-February, when we wrote a letter to them. Unfortunately, we didn't get any reply. We then wrote again in early March. This time we got a reply, an d were informed that they now had a freepost address, and that we could just send the mobile back to "the freepost address listed below". However, there was no freepost address listed below. A call to them resulted in us being given an address though, so we finally sent the mobile off to them (getting a proof of postage, just in case!). A week later we recieved a demand for payment of £127.66. At this point we wrote to the managing director of Sainsbury's. Today, on the 29th April, we've received another letter from Sainsbury's, this time threatening us with a debt collection agency. When we called them, they informed us that although we may have returned the phone, they have no record of it "as they are running about a month behind with returns", and they have asked us to send them a copy of the proof of postage (thank goodness we got that!). Hopefully (maybe) sending it to them will end this nightmare. We originally ordered this phone from Sainsbury's because we thought that they were a reputable organisation. As it is, we just cannot believe how incompetent they have been. So far we have written 4 letters, and made 14 phone calls to them over a period of nearly six months - And all we wanted to do was return a mobile phone.

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            06.03.2001 01:43

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            Sainsbury’s One , when you sign up, send you free statements every month. They list all the calls you make in the previous month and compare them against the other tariffs from ‘these four’ (BTCellnet, One to One and Vodafone,Orange). On the statement,the call charges and line rental in one ARREARS price) are listed – Sainsbury’s One charges the customers the LOWEST of those price e.g for eg you may make calls mainly on weekends. S1 would probably select a tariff that incorporates free weekend calls, giving you the best possible price on your eventual monthly bill . If the following month you got rid of your phone, and made LOADS of calls, S1 may determine that a 500-minute-free tariff would get you the best value There are advantages and disadvantages with this. you DO get the best value for money – while the prices are not BETTER than anything else on the market, you WILL get the BEST price on the current market. Another thing is that S1 matches you up against the 25 ‘published’ tariffs – this does not include any promotional offers. However you would get good monthly prices, and not have to worry about making a concerted effort to use the minutes that you’ve already paid for. The fact that all the S1 payments are made in ARREARS is good cos they DON’T take Advanced Line Rental. these r a few point to remember: a) You will actually get to see if you’re making a saving (and S1 reckon you could save at least 10%) b) ‘Normal’ use will ensure that you don’t overuse the phone and (fairly) pay the price for ALL the extra calls you’ve made – this is a service to get the best price for what you use – if you use more than you can afford then that’s your own fault! C)If you only use your mobile for emergencies and spend less than 10 pounds per month, then pay-as-you-go may b e more suitable. If you have the dosh, then annual / 18-monthly tariffs/prepayments may be cheaper in the long run, though you are STILL liable to lose minutes that you pay for. There’s every incentive to join. Up to 14 days after signing up, there’s a period where you can cancel without question and go back to you old network let’s put things in perspective. I REALLY HATE SAINSBURY’s!! Their products are GROSSLY OVERPRICED whereas in other superstores the exact same items are 20% cheaper; their their Stores have a disgusting yellow tone that reminds me of urine stained toilets!!! S1 is an innovative new idea that could change the way you use and pay for mobile phone calls. – the big four are all keeping an eye on S1’s progress. I have a mate whose work involves Sainsbury’s One. It seems as though Sainsbury’s have pulled out from the mobile phone market to a great extent. by daniel macphee

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            22.01.2001 05:18
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            >>Thought: R.I.P. Sainsbury’s, M&S and Tempo<< Sainsbury’s is one of three retailers that I wouldn’t shed a tear for if ALL their outlets were obliterated from the face of the Earth (the other two being M&S and Tempo). I wouldn’t really mind how – benign liquidation or BRUTAL DEVASTATION and DEMOLITION!!! But EVEN I had to give one of their products a second look. Sainsbury’s One (S1) is a brand new product released last Monday (15th January 2000), which is an exclusive offer for Sainsbury’s Reward Card holders that enables them to ‘get the best deal out of their mobile phone calls’. Suited predominantly for monthly payers, it works like this. Sainsbury’s One, when you sign up, send you free itemised statements every month. They list all the calls you made in the previous month and analyses them against the 25 published tariffs from ‘the big four’ (Orange, BTCellnet, One to One and Vodafone). On the statement, the best tariff from each company (i.e., the ones producing the cheapest price for the customer and the calls they’ve made, incorporating the call charges and line rental in one ARREARS price) are listed – Sainsbury’s One gives it’s customers the LOWEST of those prices, giving them all the associated benefits of the tariff from which it came (free minutes etc.). (You probably have to pick up a leaflet from your local store) To give you an example: One month you may make calls mainly on weekends. S1 would probably select a tariff that incorporates free weekend calls, giving you the best possible price on your eventual monthly bill. If the following month you caned your phone, and made LOADS of calls, S1 may determine that a 500-minute-free tariff would get you the best value for money. Another example: If I were a BTCellnet customer and used only 60 of the 100 minutes on th eir Net 100 plan, I’d pay 35 squids (for argument’s sake). Having signed a 12-month contract with them, I’d be rather miffed at the fact that my lady friend who experiences EXACTLY the same sort of service but pays three squid less on the Vodafone 60 tariff. With S1, however I use my phone, I’d get the best value for money – in this case, rather than paying the price of the BT tariff, I’d pay the Vodafone price, saving me money. There are advantages and disadvantages with this. Firstly: Yup, you DO get the best value for money – while the prices are not BETTER than anything else on the market, you WILL get the BEST price on the current market. Another issue is that S1 matches you up against the 25 ‘published’ tariffs – this does not include any promotional offers. However you would get CONSISTENTLY good monthly prices, and not have to worry about making a concerted effort to use the minutes that you’ve already paid for. The fact that all the S1 payments are made in ARREARS is good cos they DON’T take Advanced Line Rental. BUT, as your tariff is determined AFTER you’ve used the phone, the undisciplined amongst us may have a problem insofar as they don’t know what they’re spending (in terms of per minute rates and free minutes). The brainier folk however will adopt the sensible course of action, and that is to CARRY ON USING YOUR PHONE IN THE SAME WAY AS USUAL. This is crucial because: a) You will actually get to see if you’re making a saving (and S1 reckon you could save at least 10%) b) ‘Normal’ use will ensure that you don’t overuse the phone and (fairly) pay the price for ALL the extra calls you’ve made – this is a service to get the best price for what you use – if you use more than you can afford then that’s your own fault! If however you only us e your mobile for emergencies and spend less than 10 squids per month, then pay-as-you-go may be more suitable. If you have the dosh, then annual / 18-monthly tariffs/prepayments may be cheaper in the long run, though you are STILL liable to lose minutes that you pay for. I often speak with S1 sales consultants, and they advise customers that if you are currently stuck in a contract with one of the ‘big four’, they don’t advise breaking it because you might well get charged for it. S1 is ideal if you are between phone service providers, because they don’t put you on a contract – if you sign up but want to leave, all you need do is give 30-days written notice. There’s every incentive to join. Up to 14 days after signing up, there’s a ‘cooling-off’ period where you can cancel without question and go back to you old provider. If after 3 months with S1 you are not happy, they will set you back to your old provider at no cost to you and even give you 1000 reward points for your trouble. If you have a phone that’s compatible, you can by all means use it. You can also port your number over. If you’re charged by your existing provider for either unlocking your phone or porting your number, then send the receipts to S1, and they’ll re-imburse the costs as a credit on your S1 account. Plug, plug, plug! But let’s put things in perspective. I REALLY HATE SAINSBURY’s!!!! Their products are GROSSLY OVERPRICED whereas in other superstores the exact same items are 20% cheaper; their customer service is badly polished and is almost like an after-thought (c.f. Asda, where Customer Service is of Paramount importance); their Stores have a disgusting yellow tone that reminds me of urine stained toilets in some hospitals. Their staff are always dressed in dark clothes, which gives the impression that there ‘could’ be stains and dirt that is imperceptible to the passi ng eye. It’s chain retailers like Sainsbury’s (and a few others too) that are trying to expand their horizons into other domains, like mobile phones, banking, financial lending, petrol etc. etc. The reason being is that merely their regular superstores are not providing the growth that shareholders are wanting to see. But what are they comparing themselves too? In a word – ASDA. Asda is not foraying into all this other ground (at least not yet) but their stores and prices are so powerful that it is REALLY scaring the opposition. Their growth has been unbelievable (on both sides of the Atlantic, what with recent mergers) and there statements to ‘bring US prices to the UK’ must have the other superstore chains shi**ing bricks! But amidst all that dank, urine-stained, dark-clothed, jealous, loathing, conniving, lurid envy, the consumer may benefit! S1 is an innovative new idea that could change the way you use and pay for mobile phone calls. Proof is in the pudding – the big four are all keeping an eye on S1’s progress. According to S1 officials, it has not taken off in a big way for a couple of reasons. Firstly that it’s really aimed at a very specific part of the already saturated market. And secondly, the planned pay-as-you-go option has not materialised, and probably won’t do so till the summer. Had they both been released at the same time, the cat REALLY would be amongst the pigeoto’s. Now the big four can take their time and increase yearly / 18 monthly up-front tariffs to counter. The big bast**ds win again! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UPDATE 24/01/2001 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, it’s only been a few days since writing my opinion on S1, but some really important developments have occurred in that time. I have a mate whose work involves Sainsbury’s One. It seems as though Sainsbury’s have pulled out from the mo bile phone market to a great extent. Rather than continue to throw money at it and continue flogging the proverbial dead horse, Sainsbury’s seems to have cut it’s losses and ceased with any further promotion and advertising. There have been a number of important contributing factors. Firstly, as mentioned before, a pay-as-you-go service was supposed to be in place along with the monthly tariff, but it never materialised. This was a huge loss as it meant that a) It’s a huge market that has not been tapped b) The chance to convert any existing pay-as-you-go users to monthly S1 via a potential pre-pay S1 has been lossed. The idea of a TV campaign was flirted with, but again this never materialised. A range of four decent handsets at very competitive prices was also supposed to be in the off. The best of which was a Nokia 6610 at £180. Also 3310 (I think), T10 and Siemens c35 – all at good prices according to my fellow customers. These were supposed to be available without necessarily having to sign up to S1, but apparently were never in stock – so the interest in handsets from customers proved to be a source of embarrassment. Some considerable failures in research and development have also been attributed to the dismal sign-up rate to S1. In November last year, sales personnel were asked to carry out surveys on whether or not people would be interested in an ‘S1-type service’. The study carried out in Sainsbury’s stores in the South East (Lakeside and Essex, I think) found that a significant proportion of people would ‘definitely be interested’ in such a service. Unfortunately ‘definitely interested in’ and ‘actually signing up’ are totally different things. This was translated into (with hindsight) unrealistic sales targets – 14 signings per day per store; in actual fact only a handful of signings occu rred throughout the entire country! So finally, when Sainsbury’s produces a product that really CAN compete with others on the market with regards to price, they COMPLETELY cock up the marketing (lack of pay-as-you-go, crap conclusions following research) and promotion (reluctance to pursue TV advertising). Such UNFOUNDED ARROGANCE in automatically ASSUMING that the product would IMMEDIATELY be a success. It’s nothing personal – I’m all for loyalty to one’s Superstore; but you have to put things in perspective – A Superstore will only deserve MY loyalty when they do ALL in their power to be Loyal to me, for instance in continually striving to bring me the lowest prices, best quality, best customer service and of course ‘aim to bring me US prices to UK shores’! In terms of the demise of Sainsbury’s – it’s another nail in the big fat, over inflated, festering corporate coffin. GOOD BLOODY RIDDANCE!!!!! **** UPDATE 12-JAN-2002 **** Sainsburys have recently (well for a few months now) rebranded this offer and have re-launched it. More details on that if I ever go in-store again! But in the mean time I leave you with a thought. If you go to a branch of Sainsburys, is it with the express intention of buying a new phone or tariff? This is perhaps one of the primary stumbling blocks of the scheme. Admittedly though it is aimed at loyalty card holders, who frequent the establishment regularly, and the concept of the Sainsbury's mobile phone offer may permeate such mids eventually. Taking the idea on and off the shelf will of course put off potential customers and disillusion those that have signed up. But surely if you 'limit' such a concept to cardholders, the remainder of the public won't be exposed (or willingly seek out) the benefits that such a tariff may or may not offer ... no matter how easy Sainsburys claim it is to obtain a loyalty card.

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