This is what happened.
I signed up with O2 in May 07 for a contract phone. Went for the XDA Orbit and Co-Pilot software so paid £50 for that bundle. The contract was the O2 35 tariff.
In the 11th month of the contract, I decided that there was no particular phone of interest to me so switched onto the Simplicity tariff which is great value for money.
Exactly one day after my contract had expired, I had a call from a pro-active retentions person at O2. She was desperate to get me back into contract. What happened was, she told me that she did not have to call me to offer me a great deal as I had switched over to Simplicity and not one of the desperate to retain customers anymore as I could walk away from the network at any time anyway. She said that I would lose my loyalty I had built up with the network.
She tried offering me 18 month contracts and I had said I had no interest in signing up for that period of time due to the cost. I had interest in in one particular handset, the XDA Stellar and did not want to be paying for the handset and then paying a reasonable amount each month as well.
I asked what is the cheapest contract possible on 12 month deal. I only agreed to it so I could keep the loyalty. She said she could give me the O2 25 tariff with £15 a month discount and then add £100 credit on to the account for sticking with the same handset. That meant for the whole contract, it would cost me only £20 if I did not go over the minutes and text allowances, which I did a little bit.
It got to the beginning of July, when the iPhone 3G was all announced and I had phoned to enquire about it. The guy thought I was still on Simplicity until I reminded him I agreed to a new contract. He then told me I would have to pay the full amount to cancel the contract. I told him the woman that sold me the contract said I'd lose loyalty and was the only reason I agreed to the contract. He said I should consider reporting it to the complaints people, so I did. He told me you don't lose any loyalty at all on Simplicity.
I called O2 sometime in July, told them of the situation and that I had felt like I had been mis-sold a contract. I said I was quite happy on Simplicity and only went back into contract as I had believed that I'd lose any loyalty built up with the network. The manager of the complaints team spoken to retentions. They had the name of the person that offered me the deal. They investigated, said they would listen to the phone call which is fair enough.
They got back to me a few days later and put me back onto Simplicity. They said as a gesture of goodwill, they would leave me with £20 credit of the £100 they credited to the account.
iPhone 3G was meant to launch on Pay & Go and I had decided not to wait on Simplicity for too much longer after finding out it would not be on Pay & Go for some time.
Got my PAC Code, received a new SIM card, moved on to Pay & Go recently. I have topped up £20 since moving over on or around the 26th July.
I believe that I am a reasonable spender with O2 and feel like I have a lot of loyalty to the network in terms of me deciding in my own mind that O2 are the best network in the UK, offer great customer service (apart from that one occasion mentioned earlier) and they do good deals where you can get extra's with the minutes and texts. I used to have the long weekend deal which was very good.
The situation as it is now. With the launch of the new Samsung i900 Omnia, that has got my interest. The first time I've ever thought of getting a Samsung Mobile as it runs on the Windows Mobile platform which I like a lot with me owning an XDA Orbit (which is a little on the slow side now).
I have noticed O2 are not offering this handset at the moment, possibly due to it harming iPhone sales. There are a lot of similarities between the two.
The best deal I could find for the handset was with Vodafone, sorry O2. They are offering 500mins, 100 texts, £35 a month on a 12 month deal with the phone being free. Not only that, I could get £90 cashback (eventually) from Quidco if I signed up through using their site.
This led to me calling O2. I phoned the customer services on 4445 (with me now being a Pay & Go customer). I got the same options as one would on Contract. I thought the Pay & Go customer services were much different.
The guy I spoken to there told me when I asked for the PAC Code, I will just put you through to retentions and they will sort it out.
The lady I spoken to in there. I immediately said I would like my PAC Code please. She said you want to leave O2 then. I said yes. She then said where will I be porting the number to. I replied Vodafone. She said, is there any particular reason why? I said well they are offering the Omnia phone on a 12 month contract. I said they are offering what I am looking for. I mentioned that I do not entertain 18 month contracts as I like to often have the latest handsets and get them on the tariff offering best value for money. With 18 month deals I've noticed you get offered free internet or texts on top of your usual allowance and no discount on the tariff. I said I'm not bothered about that, would just want the handset. She told me she has no idea of when this phone would be released by O2. Then she asked if there is any handset similar to the Omnia that I might like. I replied well I have had a little look around and noticed that O2 are offering the HTC Touch Diamond, rebranded as the O2 Ignito.
This is what she offered me. Free handset (great), 600mins, 1000 texts, unlimited internet on 18 month contract for £20 per month. I said I want to compare the cost to the Vodafone deal. I asked if O2 could do a 12 month deal and she said they no longer offer 12 month contracts. I've noticed that on the website. The deal from O2 is of course a retentions deal which represents better value than the Vodafone one.
The two phones are very similar. Samsung is of higher spec, but since looking at the Ignito a little more, I have gone to like it equally as much as the Omnia.
I asked the woman in retentions how come I can get such a great deal when I am on Pay & Go. She seemed a little surprised. She thought I was on Simplicity until she went away and checked. I told her my temporary number too. She then realised I had recently ported my number to O2 Pay & Go. She told me she has not had many cases like this but there are procedures they can go through to get such a deal for me. She is not 100% it will work though. Now got to wait until Tuesday and a decision should have been made by then I think. It is the IT Department she said she must deal with and some manager as well.
Sorry its a long post. Thought I'd explain the situation fully. Wondering what the outcome will be.