A little over a month ago, having come to the end of a 2 year contract, I decided it was time for a change. Unsure of what I wanted as my options, I called o2 to cancel the £25 a month contract I had at the time. They gave me the due cancellation date, told me I'd just have to serve out the final 30 days and that'd be fine. If I wanted to change my mind I could call them or upgrade.
A couple of weeks after that, having shopped around, I decided to upgrade online. This was easier said than done. The website did not easily allow upgrades and it took several days before it finally allowed me to choose a handset and tariff. 24 month, £15 a month etc.
The new handset for the upgrade was sent to me. The tariff details on the website were upgraded to my new tariff, everything seemed fine. However, on the cancellation date for the old contract, they terminted the new, upgraded contract. I had assumed that upgrading online would override the cancellation - having chosen a 2 year contract and agreed to it. I was wrong.
Annoyed, I went into my local o2 store to try and see if they could resolve the issue but they couldn't even bring up my details on their computer. They advised emailing online. I did this several times and was met with robotic responses asking me to phone - despite having explained my contract had been terminated and I could not phone - various teams on 0870 numbers. I explained repeatedly that I could not call and wanted the issue resolved there. In one email I had written in twice that I could not called a number as I did not have a working phone, and they entirely ignored it. I asked why they had sent me a phone for the upgrade contract if they had no intention of allowing me to live out that contract, they ignored that.
Absolutely infuriated, I gave up trying to resolve it, assuming that the final payment I had been charged was the final payment for the account.
Come Christmas day, I find o2 have sent me a bill for £330, the entire term of that 2 year contract. I contact them again and explained the situation, telling them I am not going to pay for a contract that they have not provided and they themselves cancelled. I actually received a human sounding response! I was told that there was no details on my account of my having cancelled the upgrade order, but that if I had then I should have returned the handset and could I quote the 13 digit parcel number and the bill payment would be refunded.
I replied saying I would prefer, if possible, for the contract to be continued. But if not, can I return the phone in store, or do I have to do this via some other means that'll provide me with said 13 digit parcel number. Sadly it was time for the robotic responses again. Ignoring the majority of what I said, they asked me to phone a sales team or reconnection team or upgrade team on 0870blahblah.
Now, I have replied again, but having received about 10 replies from o2 and only one sounding human, I hold out little hope.
Does anybody know if I do just return the handset to my local store? If not, how do I go about returning it? Has anybody else had similar issues and found O2 a little more helpful? It's a shame to have had no problems for 2 years with them and then have this happen.
And cost them money. It's the only reason companies like this avoid answering via email. I'll be going back into one of the stores if they don't resolve it via email, I refuse to phone 0870 numbers when I have tried through multiple other means to resolve an issue that is their fault.
I would also call them. These problems seem to stem from making assumptions and refusal to follow the advised procedure (i.e call them). Given that 0870 numbers are now included in many call plans, that another contract customer would have been able to call Customer Service for free and that geographical numbers are available for most 0870 numbers; I don't see the point of making life more complicated.
Definitely call them and speak to someone to resolve your issue. If you want to return the phone don't take it into the store. Post it and get a receipt of postage or recorded delivery. Phones have a tendency to go astray when returned to a store. If you have any friends with a contract phone on O2, you can call customer service free and get transferred to the relevant department.Don't go down the email route as you get an automated response and it can take 48 hours to receive a 'human' reply. You need to get it sorted straight away rather than dragging it out via email.
Phone them, ask them to reconnect you and ask they send off the credit form to refund the termination fee's.
It will take around an hour to have your account reconnected and 3-5 working days for the credit. Also ask them the place your account into dispute to prevent the direct debit from being taken on the 8th. After the 8th you will need to phone up and re-instate your direct debit details.
If you don't get anywhere, request to speak to a lead advisor (specifically say lead advisor, if you say manager there may not be any around and you wont be able to speak to anyone higher).
Upgrading unfortunately doesn't stop the cancellation request, it requires the advisor noticing or the customer mentioning it so it is cancelled off.
Ok, what happened is that you asked to cancel, when you did this it created a request on the o2 system with a date in the future - your cancellation date.
As you've found out if you change your mind and process an upgrade order it doesn't automatically cancel out the cancellation request on the system so when that date does arrive your account will disconnect. If I were you I'd have called when you did the upgrade to double check this not just assumed what will happen.
o2 don't use robots or whatever to respond to emails, they have a dedicated email team. You may find the response sounds very scripted because it is, they're trained to type everything up so it doesn't just sound like an email coming from a friend.
Yes, you were told to call in. They weren't telling you to do this just because they want to make money off you or whatever you may think, it's because it is to do with disconnection etc and they want you to speak with customer service. This is because a conversation with you should allow everything to be sorted 100% Many companies do this because email often isn't the best form of communication especially for more complicated matters which become a nightmare to deal with in some cases due to the way some customers just bash out an email and expect it to be understood and dealt with.
If you'd followed the advice to call in then the disconnection could have been avoided. Calling the 0870 600 3009 number from a land line usually costs 5.25ppm from a BT line, next to nothing, the same as a daytime call to a standard national land line. You can also use the phone in the o2 store if you don't have access to a land line.
I appreciate your frustration but in my opinion your assumption about how o2's system works and your stubbornness to call in have contributed to this issue just as much as any short falling by o2.
Call them from wherever, advise that you didn't cancel your disconnection request after upgrading and that you want to be reconnected and have your bill recalculated to have the early termination fees removed. They should, hopefully, know exactly what you're on about.
As has been said above, it is next to impossible to solve a complex issue via email.
0870 is really not that expensive and given the sum of money involved here, I would really suggest that 5p per minute is worth paying to resolve the issue. Look at all of the time that you have invested so far and the stress that you have built up, just because you didn't want to pay a small amount of money to phone. You could have had this all straightened out with a 30 minute call a few weeks ago.
If you really are so desparate to avoid paying, go in to an O2 store and ask if you can use their phone to call customer services.