Sep 08 2008

O2, Oh Dear

Published by at 12:26 pm under Blog

A lot has been said of O2 and its customer service in recent times, and sadly I’ve become just another number who has borne the brunt of O2’s lack of respect for its customers and lack of interest in its customers problems.

My issue is slightly different to others. It does not relate to the iPhone, it does not have anything to do with dropped calls or billing issues, it’s not even regarding a phone at all.

A few months back, I purchased a new iMac Computer at the O2 Experience Store on the lower end of Grafton Street (opposite Marks & Spencers). The transaction was relatively painless and within 20 minutes of arriving back at the office, I had the beautiful Mac unpacked, up and running and on the network.

A couple of months later, we encounter a small problem. CD’s keep getting stuck in the drive. There’s a few things we tried (as advised by Apple after-care) such as restarting the computer, holding down certain keys in sequence, using the eject option from iTunes rather than the desktop. Some of these worked sometimes, but it was quickly clear that there was a problem.

I returned to the O2 Experience Store and explained my problem. They said they had encountered it before and if I just brought the Mac in to them, they would send it off for repair. All sounded simple enough. They said repair would take up to 10 days. I therefore waited another week before bringing the Mac in to them, so repair would coincide with the month’s holiday the person who uses the Mac was taking (i.e. the month of August).

Firstly, the repair did not take up to 10 days. It took 16 days. This is obviously not a major problem, but it the interest of a full story, I thought it best to include it. I collected it towards the end of my working day on Friday 29th August and brought it back to the office.

On Monday morning, bright and early, I returned to work and went to set the machine back up in time for the boss’s return (he is the Mac user). Lo and behold, the power cable was missing. Now, I know I gave them the power cable when I left it in for repair. I know this because a) I’m not stupid and b) I have an O2 docket confirming same. I immediately hopped on to the O2 website to try locate the telephone number of the O2 Experience Store. It was not available (at least, not obvious to me). I had a similar problem when consulting the phone book. So, being that I work in Dublin’s city centre I just walked over to Grafton Street (documentation in hand) to get my power cable.

The store was closed. Yes, they had decided to close for renovations. A sign on the door directed me to the other O2 Store on Grafton Street (I am aware this is not an Experience Store and doesn’t stock Macs, so I knew this was going to cause problems for me).

I went up to the Store (50 Grafton Street). It too was closed with a sign saying they were closed temporarily due to maintenance issues. From what I could see, they were unable to open the security shutters. Frustrated, I returned to the office.

Later on the Monday I returned to the O2 Store. There were five members of staff dealing with customers. Not one of them acknowledged me to say they ‘would be with me shortly’ etc. Instead, I approached one of the after 15 minutes, with the intention of asking when the best time to return would be. He cut me off mid-sentence and said he was busy with someone else. Duly chastised, I stepped back again and waited. After another 12 minutes (total of 27 minutes standing without even a nod from a staff member) a female staff member came over to me. I explained my problem in detail. It may be worth pointing out that she was foreign and struggled with what I was asking. She ran off upstairs to see if they had the power cable. It didn’t seem likely to me but she went to check anyway.

After 10 further minutes, she returned to say the cable wasn’t there and I should try the Experience Store when it reopened. She then walked off to serve another customer. I quickly called her back and made it clear this was unacceptable as we needed to computer for business. She said that they don’t sell power cables in that store and she could not help me. I pushed further, looking for someone to help me, but she said that it was “not her problem“. I felt this was completely unacceptable and asked for the manager. She went away upstairs again and returned to say there was one of the O2 Experience Store staff members dealing with any queries while the store was closed and she would ask him to ring me when he was in, which would be in an hour’s time. I accepted this, gave her my details and number and returned to the office.

I’m sure you won’t be hugely surprised to know that I did not receive the promised phone call. Nor did I get any call on Tuesday. I was unable to get over to the store on Tuesday due to work commitments. I did, however, return to the store on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning I rang O2 Customer Care (an oxymoron). I was, it should be said, not left on hold for any lengthy period of time before reaching a human voice. I explained my situation and they tried to ring the O2 Experience Store, despite my telling them it was closed. They had no luck and recommended I go into an O2 Store. Unhelpful as this was, it did force me to look through the documentation for the repair and I noticed it had a letterhead for Mactivate in Blachardstown. These are the people who repair Apple products for O2. So, I tried ringing them and explained my issue once again. Their first response was that I should contact the O2 Experience Store as they would have shipped everything to them, including the power cable. Again, I reiterated that the store was closed. They put me back on hold and when they came back to me, they said that they would look into it further, but they were sure they had sent everything back to the store. They too suggested I contact another O2 Store.

So, back to 50 Grafton Street. Once again, I was left waiting for over 25 minutes before anyone addressed me. I did not make the mistake of approaching one of the staff for fear of further chastisement. I did, in my time in the store, witness two other customers being snapped at by the same man who did not wish to speak to me on Monday. One woman just wanted to ask where she could buy a charger. He literally told her to “go away – I’m busy“. I directed her to the Vodafone shop next door.

Eventually Dinko (according to his name badge) became free. I, once again, explained my problem and he went upstairs looking for my power cable, despite my telling him the girl had already checked on Monday. He returned and said it wasn’t there. I told him that I was aware of this and he said there was nothing more he could do for me and I would have to wait for the O2 Experience Store to reopen. I was not prepared to accept this. I asked to speak with the manager. He went upstairs again.

After 10 further minutes of waiting (I was approaching 45 minutes in the O2 store at this stage), Dinko returned with a guy in a very wrinkled shirt and no tie. He introduced himself to me as the manager, Shane, and told me they didn’t stock power cable for laptops(???). I was becoming very irate at this stage, as clearly Dinko had not properly relayed my problem to him. I tried again to explain my issue and he too uttered the dreadful phrase – “it’s not my problem”. My voice was definitely raised at this point and he repeated again that I would have to wait for the Experience Store to reopen and he couldn’t help me. He walked away from me and became extremely infuriated, saying that he must be able to point me in the right direction for getting my problem sorted, even if they could not do anything in-store.

At this point, a more senior looking individual (apologies for the stereotype but he was wearing a suit, tie and looked clean cut) approached me and asked me what the problem was. He introduced himself to me as the store manager, Garreth. This left me wondering why Shane had been lying to me about being the store manager and just angered me further.

Now, I tend to be very good at keeping my cool when having to explain myself a number of times, so I took a deep breath and started from the beginning. I gave Garreth all my information and told him of my issues with ‘his’ staff, O2 Customer Care and Mactivate. He once again said that he could do nothing for me and I would have to wait until the Experience Store reopened (sensing a theme?). He also said that everyone from the Experience Store was away on holidays, every single member of staff. This is despite the fact that the girl I spoke with on Monday told me that there was a member of staff from the Experience Store who was dealing with any issues arising from their close. I told him I could not accept this and I wanted to speak with the area manager, or whoever was over the Experience Store. He would not give me a number to call and began spouting the “you must ring Customer Care” line. Again, I told him that I had contacted both Customer Care and Mactivate but they both told me to go into the store.

He gave in and went off to ring Mactivate (I was in earshot and could hear that he did try to get to the bottom of it). Eventually, they said that someone would contact me later in the day or early on Thursday. Garreth gave me his number and a contact name in Mactivate (Gerry) and told me if Mactivate did not help me out, I should call him back and he would look into it further. Finally, it seemed someone was giving me some help with my problem.

No, I did not receive any phone call from Mactivate. So, I rang them myself on Thursday and tried to get to the root of the problem. At first they were adamant that the O2 Experience Store were at fault and I needed to deal with O2. When I rang back later, they said they would be willing to supply me with a power cable but I would have to arrange collection from Blanchardstown. At this stage I was so furious and irritated by the whole stupid debacle that I accepted this and said a courier would collect the cable on Friday morning.

So, I have a working Mac now, at expense to me and I await some form of response from O2. I am not holding my breath.

Previous O2 Problems: Alexia (again and again and again), Damien, John (again and again), Pat.

 

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37 responses so far

37 Responses to “O2, Oh Dear”

  1. Darrenon 08 Sep 2008 at 12:31 pm

    In addition, here is O2’s Customer Care Charter

    O2 Commitment

    Our commitment to our customers is centred on responding to your enquiries as promptly and as efficiently as possible. Our commitment is to:

    • Provide customers, where feasible, with an on-the-spot response to any enquiry
    • Aim to rectify the problem immediately and if this cannot be done, to investigate the problem and call the customer back within 24 hours.

    After this initial contact, the O2 Customer Care representative will agree an appropriate call back schedule with the customer.

    We believe it is important for our customers to know and understand how we handle any queries you may have.

  2. Darraghon 08 Sep 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Well… god bless your patience. I wouldn’t have done same.

  3. Nathalieon 08 Sep 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Oh. Dear. God. Darren this is appalling. Fair play for keeping your cool. O2 have some serious customer service issues. I bought my iPhone in the Carphone Warehouse and while there have been a few niggles with it, the guys in there sorted them out as fast as possible and were always apologetic and super friendly. Sad to say, I’m sure that if I had gotten it from an O2 store they wouldn’t have been sorted that fast and I would be in the same boat as you guys. They seriously need to take a look at how they train their staff.

  4. Lottieon 08 Sep 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Yes – Well done for keeping your cool – I would have had to be dragged from the shop with Dinkos bloody decapitated head in my hands.

    If I were you I would send O2 the couriers bill and see what response you receive.

  5. Lottieon 08 Sep 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Frick! Frick! Frick! Frick! Please take me out of moderation. Stupid WordPress!

  6. Sinéadon 08 Sep 2008 at 4:01 pm

    What an awful experience – must echo everyone else and say well done for keeping your cool. I had some fairly rough experiences with O2 when I had my phone with them, have since changed to Meteor who have been excellent so far.

  7. B'dumon 08 Sep 2008 at 5:03 pm

    very long post, I didn’t even read it but it’s definitely gotten some point across from its length alone.

  8. Ray Foleyon 08 Sep 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Macs are great though, aren’t they?

  9. Xbox4NappyRashon 08 Sep 2008 at 5:46 pm

    This is identical to every single incident of Dutch customer service I’ve encountered over seven and a half years.

  10. Darrenon 08 Sep 2008 at 7:23 pm

    @Darragh Well, I doubt the team in the O2 store thought me particularly patient, but I was pleased with my level of calm. Inside I was ready to kill.

    @Nathalie I have heard so many bad stories about O2 lately (not just from Bloggers). I don’t know why they can’t just sort it out. Customer service should be the most important part of their business. How can they ever hope for repeat custom with bad service like this?

    @Lottie I’ll see what kind of reply they come back with, before I seek recompense.

    @Sinead Well, I’m with Vodafone for my mobile and they’ve been acting the piss lately, cutting me off without notice. I think I may join you on the Meteor route.

    @B’Dum Yeah, sorry – it is a bit of a long rant. I probably could have shortened it a bit.

  11. Darrenon 08 Sep 2008 at 7:26 pm

    @Ray You really are a glass half full type person, aren’t ya?

    @Xbox Never. Going. To Holland.

  12. Stellaon 08 Sep 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Well done on keeping the cool and having patience. It sounds like a very frustrating and challenging encounter, i’d have lost the plot several times had I to endure that.

    Is the O2 experience shop a “normal” O2 shop that sells computers or is it just a shop where you get experience never to buy computers from O2?!

  13. Sean Connolooly!!on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Heyo! Found this post veery funny….however i am going to go against everyone else, and not commend you keeping your cool….bad Darren!! You should have gone all pulp fiction on their asses, blowing Dinkos damn head off in the process. Then, just to spite o2, paint the shop red with the employees blood, and spell out ” Vodafone” with their remains…that’ll teach em!!! Then go and unplug the mac the bastards surely have upstairs and take that 😀 coz ya know, like ray said…macs are cool!!

    yes , I’m in a little bit of a violent mood

  14. Daragh O Brienon 09 Sep 2008 at 9:45 am

    Darren

    1) Send them a bill for the courier.
    2) Include with it a detailed letter (similar to your blog post) outlining the issues.
    3) In your letter, direct them to your blog.
    4) Offer them a right to reply in the comments section.
    5) Post a post about the letter you will have sent, linking back to this post. (in fact, set up a category for these posts and just tag things)
    6) Every month post a “Still waiting on response” post (with links to previous posts) to keep the theme alive… unless you get a response, then post that instead.

    To see how blogging about your problems can get things (eventually) sorted out, check out http://obriend.info/category/dell_hell/

    Apart from anything else, you may find your blog posts appearing in a ‘reputable’ sunday newspaper when they find page 6 is empty at 11:45 on Saturday night. 😉 (Sorry.. correction… an article recounting similar events in substantially similar terms will appear. but it won’t be yours. God no.).

  15. NaRocRocon 09 Sep 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Darren, I’m reminded of a good luck message you posted on my blog when I first started blogging a couple of months back….

    “Best of luck on the fresh start. When in doubt, just rant about things that annoy you. I think that’s what most people do.”

    Ne’er a truer word spoken! A fine rant indeed. Altho I’m with those who would’ve shed blood within 5 minutes. Fair play to you for your patience. I firmly believe karma will kick in on Dinko and his ignorant gang.

  16. Darrenon 09 Sep 2008 at 3:48 pm

    @Stella lol – The Experience Store is a big O2 shop that also sells Apple products (other than just the iPhone).

    @LittleSean Calm down boy! Although…it doesn’t sound like the worst idea in the world. Love the Vodafone bit.

    @Daragh Thank you for the advice. I had planned on doing something on those lines, but the extra few points are very helpful.

    @NaRocRoc Cheers for the comment. You’d want to be careful listening to me though – I talk a fierce amount of crap most of the time.

  17. TheChrisDon 10 Sep 2008 at 3:11 pm

    This sure makes me glad I’m never planning on buying anything from O2…

  18. Damien Mulleyon 12 Sep 2008 at 12:49 am

    Checked back here expecting an update where o2 groveled and the like. Nada. They really are cunts aren’t they?

  19. Darrenon 12 Sep 2008 at 9:45 am

    @Damien I got something of a response yesterday, which I will post about shortly. I am expecting a further follow up call/email this morning, so I will wait for a little while to see if that transpires.

    (And that you for the linkage)

  20. John Kearneyon 12 Sep 2008 at 11:19 am

    In fairness to O2 I have always found their Limerick call centre an absolute pleasure to deal with going back to the Dodgyfone Days.

    Their Galway Shop staff are also very pleasant and engaging . I have never had an issue with them either nor ever found them wanting, having said that I always buy my iBooks in New York so I only ever deaslt with them for phones etc 🙂

    I would think that the general level of competence and good manner of shop staff has dropped enormously in ALL of Dublin in the past 10 years . It started with low end shops in the 1990s and this wave of rude uncouth and frankly skanky staff have obviously permeated the entire retail ecosystem by now.

    I certainly find the shopping experience in all of Dublin to be chronic nowadays and never go there any more to buy anything.

    In that context I see that O2 are probably no worse than anyone else . As they still have some competent staff I would urge them to show a lead to Grafton Street by fixing their retail experience.

    I might then comtemplate shopping in Dublin again !

    But not all of O2 is broken , try calling eircom or BT or that shower 3 Ireland and see what you think of their so called ‘service’ thereafter .

  21. Declan cashinon 12 Sep 2008 at 11:50 am

    O2 are abysmal. I’ve been dealing with the “staff” in the O2 Store on Henry Street for the past 4 weeks trying to get a replacement BlackBerry. They don’t answer/return my calls so I’ve had to go into them 3 times to try get it sorted, and every time, the staff have been unprofessional, rude and unhelpful. It’s almost like i’m inconveniencing them. They didn’t have my model in stock and they don’t know when they can order one in, and don’;t seem too pushed about it either. Week 4 and I’m still waiting.

  22. Shaneon 12 Sep 2008 at 12:16 pm

    The only correct part Customer Service is when you drop the Oxy from Oxymoron. I have a Mac. First one bought direct from Apple but then you have to go through 3rd parties for issues. Second and current one bought from The Mac Shop. Great to deal with direct when there was an issue.

    Good luck with getting some decent response.

  23. Darrenon 12 Sep 2008 at 12:47 pm

    @JohnK To be honest, I’d be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if they hadn’t been so adamant that they could not help me. The repeated line telling me to wait for the Experience store to reopen just smacked of sheer laziness, not incompetence. The proof is when I kept pushing and eventually a phone call was made to sort things out. How easy it would have been to do that in the first place.

    I suspect the problem may stem from the fact that it is a busy store and therefore don’t need the business. Unacceptable from a customer’s viewpoint, but completely acceptable from their profit margin’s point of view. I think I’m going to move to Galway!!

    @Declan I guess my problem pales compared to yours. I know it’s tough, but perhaps go into the store and kick up a bit of a racket. Maybe then someone will listen to you?

    @Shane The Mac Shop, you say? I’ll look into it for future purchases.

  24. Shaneon 12 Sep 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Darren,

    The are on Merrion Square – much handier than Blancardstown. http://www.themacshop.ie.

    Cheers

  25. Shaneon 12 Sep 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Darren,

    The are on Merrion Square – much handier than Blanchardstown. http://www.themacshop.ie.

    Cheers

  26. raptureponieson 12 Sep 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I’d have thrown my mac out the window, if i didn’t find them hideously awkward to use.

  27. Yer Manon 12 Sep 2008 at 9:38 pm

    darren, i feel your angst and frustration but in a way sometimes you’ve got to think outside of the box and put yourself into someone elses shoes ..
    i wouldnt ask anyone to apply to work at o2 grafton street. but – if you were to work there for a month and maybe more , wouldnt you be easily frustrated by people constantly telling you what to do and that they want it now! unless of course u deal with that every day which i kinda feel sorry for you hehe!

  28. Bock the Robberon 14 Sep 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Wrong.

    There’s no obligation on Darren to empathise with their bad manners and stupidity. If they can’t treat every customer with respect, they’re in the wrong job.

  29. Darrenon 15 Sep 2008 at 10:39 am

    @Shane Cheers again!

    @RP But they’re so pretty.

    @YerMan No excuse for rudeness, as far as I’m concerned.

    @Bock Thank you. Having worked in the service industry for so long, I do tend to empathise with their lot, but when I see sheer ignorance like this, it wrecks my head.

  30. Snooginson 30 Sep 2008 at 6:58 pm

    To be completely honest, I think it’s reasonable considering the shop was shut for repairs. If it was that urgent you could have gotten another power cable for a few quid. You’re just a complainer mate.

  31. Darrenon 02 Oct 2008 at 5:19 pm

    @Snoogins €75 is not a few quid. Not to me anyway.

  32. Snooginson 15 Jan 2009 at 1:39 am

    I don’t understand, you said you needed it for business, you could make more money… oh, sorry, it’s for your blog. lol. fail.

  33. Tilietteon 14 Aug 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Just another example of the way O2 treats their customers…

    Had awful experience with one staff member at one of the O2 shops on Grafton Street (opposite Marks & Spencers) today. My phone was blocked for some reason but the shop assistant argued that it wasn’t their fault. It’s OK to be incompetent I believe but on top of that he was really impolite!

    The staff member there couldn’t fix the problem, and he was not helpful nor friendly, so I went to the smaller O2 store on Grafton Street (the one nearer St Stephen’s Green). Staff there was much more friendlier and we managed to solve the problem (with me helping them to solve it however 😉

    I then went back to the first O2 store I had gone to on Grafton Street (opposite M&S) to let them know how the problem had been fixed. I talked to the same staff member who hadn’t been able to solve the problem in the first place, and who was extremely unfriendly.

    Before I left, I politely told him:
    “I also think you should be more helpful.”
    To which he replied:
    “Well, that’s your own opinion. People have their own opinion you know.”
    I was gob smacked! I then walked out only to be hearing:
    “Have a nice day!” and “I hope I don’t see you again!”
    shouted at me by this staff member. I did not clearly hear the “I hope I don’t see you again!” but I heard something like that and I believe he wasn’t saying that he hopes to see me again in his store…

    That is abusive behaviour to me!! I was going to send a complaint to the O2 Store Manager, but seeing all the online comments about how bad the O2 staff is, I think it would clearly be a waste of time.

    I was quite upset by the experience, and I believe that should I not be 1/ a woman 2/ quite small 3/ foreign then maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so much abuse. Then again if a staff member behaves like he did with me I suppose he will do that with anyone!!

    If I want to buy a new phone the next time I WILL NOT choose O2!

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