Finally. I’d had enough. Enough of the crappy reception, the dropped calls and the outright denial from O2 that there was anything wrong with their network. I decided to move to another mobile phone provider.
I called O2 at the weekend to get my PAC code (to keep my mobile number and move it to another provider). I’ve been in this situation with mobile providers before and it usually involves them offering incentives to stay and renew your contract. All O2 could offer me was a Palm Pre (which I didn’t want) or an HTC phone that I definitely didn’t want. Their rep then spent 10 minutes explaining how he’d be able to give me a free 32G iPhone 3Gs (something I actually *did* want) as they could offer slightly used handsets, returned by other customers.
Alarm bells went off in my head at this point, but I let him say his piece. When I eventually asked about how I could get one, it was time for him to tell me they were out of stock of that model for the foreseeable future. A royal waste of my ten minutes, then. I had to ask again for my PAC code and was told it would take 48 hours, as the team that manages it doesn’t work at the weekend. I then mentioned OFCOM and magically, that delay was cut to 45 minutes. This was all after a 25 minute wait on the phone just to talk to a rep from O2. Every minute I spent on the phone reaffirmed my belief that moving was the right thing to do.
Contrast this with the service I’ve received from Vodafone since joining. I signed up for a new account and iPhone 3Gs online on Sunday evening, provided my PAC code and received email and text updates between then and this afternoon when my new account went live and my number was diverted to Vodafone. I had a ten minute period with no mobile reception, and that was the sum total of even mild annoyance.
So after all of this, was it worth it? Definitely yes. The 3Gs is much zippier than the 3G (really, it’s not just in my mind!) and accessing the web from the phone is at least twice as fast over Vodafone’s network compared to O2’s. I’m a pretty intensive phone user as the iPhone is both my personal and work phone. In addition to a plethora of client and training calls (many lasting up to an hour) I’m a heavy data user, accessing emails and the web while on the move – and as I don’t have an office, this is pretty much all of the time. O2’s network was beginning to seriously hamper my productivity, not to mention annoy some clients!
All in all, a good experience and I’m also happy with the fact that I can now sell my 3G handset for decent amount and will get a nice cashback return for my new account courtesy of Quidco. What? You don’t have a Quidco account? Madness! Get yourself to Quidco and enjoy the feeling of getting something for nothing. Selling my old handset plus the cashback means I’m in actually in profit having bought new technology – something that has never happened to me before.
As for staying on the bleeding edge of technological advancements, I’m well aware that “they” say there’ll be a new iPhone model out this summer. It’s quite possible, but I waited almost a year to get the iPhone 3G – it won’t kill me to wait as long to get the next model. I’m more interested in what iPhone OS 4.0 will bring. And that should be a free upgrade for existing iPhone owners.
In any event, I’ll be trading bodily organs for an iPad at the end of next month. I’m sure the next model of iPhone will be the last thing on my mind by that point.