My wife has a three phone. I bought it for her a while ago. It’s a NokiaE71. It’s been good to her, even if the UI is a little crazy. It’s been dropped a couple of times and drooled all over by the kids, but it’s kept going, until recently. It’s stopped charging, but will tell you it’s charging, even when it’s not. Unless my wife has suddenly become a wireless charging device.
Anyway, we’re WELL outside the contracted term so I figured it would be time for an upgrade. As we’ve been a good customer, paying on time, for about nearly 2 years and are probably several months out of contract, I thought we might get some kind of loyalty discount or what-have-you.
I thought wrong!
I’ve heard tales of my friends and colleagues bartering on the phone for great deals with an upgrade, so that their mobile operator keeps them as a customer and was expecting a similar thing when I phoned three. I didn’t want the earth, I just wanted a new phone and not to pay any more than I am currently paying. I got through to the upgrade department after some time on hold and explained what I wanted. The guy seemed delighted that I wanted to upgrade and remain with three and asked me what phone I wanted. I’d done a bit of research and wanted the the HTC Desire S. Mainly for the 2.3 software of gingerbread and the larger internal memory. I also said that I didn’t want to pay any more than £25 a month. He took a look at my usage and said I use about 300 – 400 text messages, 300mb of internet and about 200 mins. Then he put me on hold while he ‘worked out my deal’.
So, I sat and waited, then he came back ‘Good news Mr Pearce, we can do you the Desire S, on the One Plan. Which gives you 2000 mins, 5000 texts and unlimited internet!”.
“Isn’t this the One plan on your website for £35?” I asked.
“Yes, that is the one.”, he replied.
“Well, like I said, I don’t want to pay more than £25 a month and I don’t need all those minutes or texts.” I said, figuring he might say ‘oh yes, I forgot you said that’
“OK, well we can do 500 mins, 1000 texts and 1geebee of internet for £30”.
I thought for a moment. “That’s the Text500 plan on your website?”
“Yes Mr Pearce, that’s right. It’s a great phone, 5mp, HD camera, blah blah blah and only came out 5 days ago! You can show it off to all your friends!”
“Right, I’m not interested in showing it off, that’s not a great sales pitch is it now? All want, is this phone, with 300 minutes for £25.”
“You won’t get a better deal with another network Mr Pearce” He said, pre-empting my next move.
“Actually, I will. Orange do the same deal but 300 minutes and 500mb of internet, which is enough for my usage, for £25.”
… silence ….
“I’m sorry Mr Pearce, this is the best we can do.”
“The ‘best we can do’ is just the deals on your website? Nothing for existing loyal customers? How about a free case?”
“I’m sorry Mr Pearce, we don’t do accessories.”
I was getting pretty pissed by this point, why would anyone bother with a new deal AND a 24 month contract if they can’t get anything worthwhile out of it? Why would anyone remain loyal to three.co.uk is there are no benefits? I even phoned back and spoke to retentions and said I was thinking about going to Orange (even though their signal is non-existent in my house). I was told I could have a two year warranty, which I thought was cool, until I realised that it was snake oil.
In the end, I went for the HTC Desire instead, on the same package, but it was £25 a month. The E71 is buggered and I need my wife to have a phone without going through all the porting of a number malarky. We went through the T’s&C’s rigmarole and, just before we finished he said:
“The One Plan is only £5 a month more at £30, 2000 minutes, 5000 texts and …” I interrupted, “Are you taking the piss?”