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O2 customer still without new phone three weeks after next-day delivery fail

Thursday, August 20th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

An O2 customer has hit out at the company’s “mythical” complaints department after spending three weeks unsuccessfully trying to upgrade his mobile phone.

Graham Banks, who has been an O2 customer for around 13 years, placed an online order for an upgrade on Sunday, 2 August.

But despite paying for next-day delivery of his new Samsung Galaxy S6 to the shop he works in, the phone never arrived.

When the 34-year-old contacted O2, the company confirmed that courier firm UK Mail had not delivered the phone, and rearranged for it to be delivered the next day.

“I told them it absolutely had to be delivered on the Tuesday because I was off work for a week after that on holiday so needed the phone by then,” Mr Banks told Cable.co.uk.

“It was supposed to be delivered between 12pm and 6pm, but 6pm came and went and it hadn’t arrived.”

When he contacted O2 that evening, he was told the delivery driver had tried to deliver at 6.30pm.

He asked if they could change the delivery address to his home in Rugby, Warwickshire, or if they could just send another handset on the Wednesday, but was told it was not possible.

Mr Banks was told it would not be possible to collect a handset from a store as the online order was still ongoing, so the saga resulted in Mr Banks cancelling the order so the handset could be returned to O2.

“I spent two-and-a-half hours on the phone to O2 on my birthday trying to sort out an issue that should never have existed. Most days I’ve been sitting on hold for about half an hour minimum trying to speak to someone.

“I asked to make a formal complaint but was told I couldn’t complain to O2 about it because it wasn’t their fault, it was the delivery company’s.

'Ridiculous'

“As far as I’m concerned, I placed the order with O2, so it’s them I will complain to.”

But he said when he asked to speak to the complaints department, he was told he could only complain via email.

“The complaints department seems to be mythical – all you can do is email, then you get an automated reply saying you’ll get a response within seven days.

When he called O2 on 10 August he was told that that while UK Mail had a record of his handset being returned to O2, O2 itself did not have a record of it being returned to its stock.

Despite this, the O2 customer services representative agreed to remove the phone from the account, leaving Mr Banks free to start the upgrade process afresh.

But he said he was reticent to order again for fear the same situation would happen, and wanted to wait for a response to his complaint.

“The fact their complaints procedure is so long-winded and useless that you can’t speak to someone is ridiculous,” he said.

“It seems like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”

Cable.co.uk contacted O2 for a response but had not received one by the time of publication.

In a response to his complaint, Mr Banks was told by O2 that some parts of his complaint could not be upheld – including the fact he could not pick up the new phone in store and it would have to be done as a new order, and that he would have to be called back by a manager.

But the letter acknowledged that he had called customer services multiple times, causing inconvenience, so that part was upheld.

"I apologised for this and applied a £37 credit to your account as a gesture of goodwill. We were unable to reach a resolution to your complaint as you didn’t feel this is adequate. This is equal to your standard monthly charge and I feel it is fair considering the issues you’ve had," the letter said.

It added that Mr Banks' concerns about the attitude of a customer service team member were taken seriously and would be investigated.

UPDATE: An O2 spokesperson told Cable.co.uk: "There was a delay in logging the returned handset onto our system but this has now been updated.

"For any inconvenience this has caused Mr Banks, as a gesture of goodwill we’ve applied a credit of £37 to his account and reverted him back to the previous tariff so he can re-apply for an upgrade."

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