I am always a Vodafone fan. In fact, my very first mobile phone contract was with Vodafone until now and I would not want to change to another mobile network. However, having said that, I did try O2, T-Mobile and also Orange just for a few months to test out their signals. I have also tried 3UK and I have to give two thumbs up to Vodafone UK as they have one of the best customer service advisors in the country (caveat: You need to be a business customer to experience 100% customer satisfaction though).
One week ago, my Vodafone contract have come to an end so I was thinking of renewing my contract with Vodafone. On second thought, I told myself that I should give other mobile network a run for my money as I am sure that their network quality and customer service is not too far away from Vodafone.
How wrong was I...
After getting my PAC (Portability Authorisation Code) from Vodafone, I took out a Pay as you Go with add-ons from T-Mobile. Upon doing that, I have managed to transfer my existing number to T-Mobile. The porting process only took 24 hours as it is a rule under EU Regulations to do so (I like EU law for that). Well, the trouble started two days after using the T-Mobile SIM card.
Initially, I was being charged for £1 per day but I could not come up to a reason as to how could I be charged. I then called T-Mobile customer service (I did pay 75p for every call to customer service on T-Mobile) to ask them as to their charges on my PAYG account as I know that I have 100 free text messages to UK mobiles and 100 minutes of talk time for the month as I have purchased an add on.
T-Mobile customer service could not figure out why was I being charged for the £1 so I took it as if I've made a mistake. Please bear in mind that I have top up £10 at the beginning of the week. You would not believe it as towards the end of the week, I only have £1 left in my account so I was rather suprised and disappointed. I then gave T-Mobile another call to enquire about my account. Once again, they could not come up with an answer for such charges. In fact, the customer service said that there is nothing they can do about it. Worst of all, the customer service hang up on me. Such a shame! I thought that T-Mobile's customer service on the telephone have imprroved but clearly not in this case.
I did not give up and went to a local store to sort out the problem. They made a call to customer service which he has waited around 10 minutes before he could get hold of a customer service advisor. I am also not happy with the fact that there were only two member of staff working in the T-Mobile shop. It should have at least four employees on a busy Christmas shopping season! When the T-Mobile sales advisor managed to get hold of a person on the phone, the customer service on the telephone could not give an explaination of how I was being charged. I am totally disappointed with them because it happened to me two years ago and the nightmare is still fresh in my mind. The last thing I want to hear now is that I have been charged for no reason!
After the T-Mobile sales representative put the phone down, he was kind to apologies to me that he could not do anything about it as no reason were given as to where were the charges. I then told them that in such a case, I will be going home to think of a way to resolve this issue.
Upon reaching home, I have figured out that I should not be using T-Mobile anymore so I made a call to ask for my PAC from T-Mobile. Having the PAC with me, I am assured that I could use it within 30 days and it will be effective and my number will be ported over to another network.
A few days later, I went to the same T-Mobile shop again as I would like to clarify some issues before I make my decision to leave T-Mobile for good. Eventually they persuaded me to stay and I took up a 30 days SIM only deal from them. I then sign the document and waited patiently for my contract to be activated.
However, I was being told that my account could not be activated because I have asked for a PAC. I remember correctly that if I am not going to use it, the PAC will not be useful anyway so I am just puzzled. Eventually I had to return the signed document to them as they (T-Mobile sales representatives in the store) will keep hold of my contract until I come back in a few days time as they need to get through to customer service.
Eventually I went back to the same T-Mobile store. This time, the manager was present and he actually made a call to customer service to deactivate my PAC. Before that, I've told him that I have left my documents including personal details with them a few days ago. He could not find such documents and neither could his colleagues (Can you believe it?)! It is pretty sad to think of it because I thought that T-Mobile has changed for the better after a nasty incident two years ago almost left me £200 worst off. They apologised and refunded the £200 to me because it was their fault to sign me on a normal contract when I have specifically asked for International SIM Only deal.
Coming back to the T-Mobile scenario, I could not take it anymore. The store manager assured me that they take personal information very seriously but I did argue that how could they lose my documents? This is just not happening! Maybe my contract was left in the confidential waste bag but I am not too sure because I was told by one of the T-Mobile sales representatives that they will keep my contract until I return two days ago. I am speechless because they are not taking customer's information seriously! How are customers going to trust them again? This is just terrible!
I then went opposite to an Orange shop to sign up for a 30 days SIM only deal with them. Eventually I have managed to sign on and gave my PAC to them so that I will be able to retain my old number from T-Mobile. Towards the end of the day, my Orange SIM card lost signal and I could not even make a call to customer service. Eventually I had to use another mobile phone to make a few calls to Orange customer service. I was told that they need some documents to proof my identity. I was furious because I have done so in the shop when I sign up to the contract! How could they disconnect my contract without informing me first? This is just crazy! The thought of T-Mobile and Orange merging could have been a better company for customers but to my horror, I don't think "Everything Everywhere" will get anyone anywhere with that sort of attitude.
I am sad to report that I could not lay my trust on Orange anymore because they could have inform me or make a call to me to ask me for more information and not just to disconnect my account! That is just horrible!
Folks, I would not recommend T-Mobile or Orange because their customer service is going from bad to worst. Customer services on the telephone do not value customers!!! I also question where have T-Mobile representatives done to my mobile contract...
In the end, I do believe that only Vodafone can give me a good customer service. I have to avoid O2 because they do not have good 3G coverage over my area and 3UK is trying their best to win customers by releasing good mobile plans to attract customers. However, I have to admit that 3UK's customer service on the telephone have greatly improved after a long 8 years.
If you want a good customer service, try Vodafone, O2 or 3UK. I would have to say that people should avoid T-Mobile and Orange.
Eventually I went to the same T-Mobile shop today and asked them whether they have managed to find the documents which I have signed last week or so but they said that they have not been able to find it so I would have to leave it there. So much for data protection act, eh?
The funny thing was that I was being told that T-Mobile does not support Skype (via online chat before I went into the same T-Mobile store). It means that T-Mobile does not allow its customers to use Skype. I don't get it. How could T-Mobile do that? It is just not right, don't you think so? When I ask the sales advisor in the T-Mobile store, they said that they do support Skype. Hum... Who is right and who is wrong then?