Newest Review: ... 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 th... more
Sainsbury's Should Stick To Selling Food
Member Name: criple
Date: 03/06/02, updated on 03/06/02 (1112 review reads)
Advantages: Great Idea, finds the Cheepest Tariff, You Can Keep The Phone After 180 Days
Disadvantages: Badly Organised, You Don't Always Get Your Bills , The Direct Debits Don't Always Go Out
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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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