I moan. A lot. But two days on the trot means that something must REALLY need me to moan about it. And it does.
3G is my hero. It is like oxygen to me. I am a writer. A prolific tweeter. I have a social life that needs constant nurturing AND I have a couple of businesses so I get emails. Lots of them. All the time.
So I need 3G. I’m not a teenager that uses it to arrange illegal raves at unsuspected other peoples houses. I am an adult. Who relies on it to make her business work. To make money.
About a year ago I had a crash in a Gumpert Apollo. You all know that. I banged on about it for months. A lot of stuff got broken in that crash. My glasses. My body. The Gumpert and, most annoyingly, my iPhone.
Being the lovely company that Michelin are, they replaced my iPhone 4s with a lovely shiny new iPhone 5 from Apple.
After about 8 months I realised that my Wifi had stopped working. I realised this because I was suddenly using an unimaginable amount of data. Which was fine. Until O2 changed their data policy and reduced mine to 1GB per month.
I live on an Island. There is no Apple Store here. So I waited until I was in London to take the phone in. Hoping they would repair it or, better still, give me a bloody new one.
They did neither and told me I would need to send it off to Apple. They offered no replacement phone. Long story short I got so fed up with the whole process I decided to just muddle through with it until my O2 contract allowed me to upgrade. This will happen in December.
Muddling through means that I am caning my 3G. I think I use around 4GB maybe 5GB a month. I know that sounds a lot. But imagine having NO Wifi and then having to use 3G for everything when you are at home etc. Plus, because I am a lucky Virgin Broadband customer, I get the joy of experiencing ZERO internet about 25 days of each month. SO occasionally I have to tether my laptop through my 3G which, is a nightmare.
Because O2 have a stupid policy, I can’t just shove unlimited amounts of data on my package. So they text me when I hit 80% and I then call up and go through the hideously awful process of talking to them. They then add another GB and so the cycle continues.
It is a painfully awful experience. But one that works and means there is no downtime, where I have a stop in my 3G service. Because in the past when I have, it has stopped my whole world. Not having 3G means I need my computer to connect myself to the world. My world. My business. It is awful.
Anyway. 9 days into this month my 3G just suddenly stopped. No message from O2. No reason for me to think it had run out. Just a really slow rubbish service.
I called O2 on the 10th.
This is what happens when I call O2
“Welcome to O2, Please press 1 if you are calling about the phone you are on”
I press 1
“2 if you are calling about another phone” long pause “I’m sorry I didn’t get that, Please press 1 if you are calling about the phone you are on”
“Sorry ……” This time I wait, impatiently, for the woman to finish giving me both choices. I press one. “Please type the number of the phone you are calling about”
Hang on? what was the point in the last question then? If I have to input my number? I input my number.
“Press 1 for technical help” I know better now than to press one – even though I know the number I need ” 2 for billing, 3 for sales ….. ” I press one.
“We are unusually busy at the moment. Someone will answer your call. You can find the answers to most questions on the website ……”
Urghh. Already I am annoyed. I can’t find my answers on the website. I, like almost EVERYONE ELSE that has a mobile phone, actually live in the year 2013 and if there is ANY chance on earth of getting an answer to my question from Google or your website, I wouldn’t be on this stupid bloody phone call. I wait. At first it just rings. I like that. I can sort of ‘zone out’ of a ringing phone noise. Then, THEN the god awful music starts. Not music I like. Rubbish music. That sounds like it has been piped through a telephone line in outer space. Worse than that.
Why can’t we have a choice? I mean jesus I have already had a thousand choices. Here, O2, here is an appropriate time to offer me a choice “Press 1 for silence with the occasional bleep to show you we haven’t hung up. Press 2 for awful shitty music”
3 minutes pass. I kind of feel if you hit 3 minutes then you are in for the long haul. It’s that awful amount of time where you feel that they MUST, surely, answer the phone any minute.
7 minutes. Christ. WHO stays on the phone for seven minutes.
10 minutes hits. I get cut off. WHAT?? Yes. The phone dies. This is O2’s fault whichever way you look at it. Either their stupid system has got more bored than me of waiting OR their dreadful service has caused the call to fail. Now I am more angry than ever before.
I am exhausted by the experience. I can’t possibly start the process again today. I’ll live without 3G for one more day. Then call them tomorrow. At a different hour. So they aren’t ‘unusually busy’
The next day arrives.
I’ll spare you all the repetition.
This time I get to 6 minutes and then I give up. I have better things to do. I try later that afternoon.
This process repeats EVERY DAY until today. 8 days after my original attempt to call.
I am ragged. I’m wired. My eyes take this insane glaze as I pick up my phone.
I get to the “We are unusually busy” part of the call.
O2, what I am wondering is when does unusually busy become something usual. Because for me, after 8 days. EIGHT DAYS of calling. I would suggest that this unusual business is actually more normal than if you answered your damn phone.
We are in a recession. There are people DESPERATE for jobs. I don’t even care what country they are in. Globally people are crying out for work. So O2, here’s an idea. EMPLOY SOME MORE STAFF. Employ some more staff and answer my goddam phone call.
Because here is how I feel. Right now. YOUR customer.
I genuinely feel so hideously depressed after two minutes on your stupid telephone system that I want to get some blunt spoons and I want to slowly gouge my own eyeballs out. And then I want to sit like Steve McQueen in The Great Escape and just ping my own eyeballs at the wall. AND THEN I want to get my hair and pull each and every single strand from my head. AND THEN I want to walk into the street, with no eyeballs in, no hair, a set of blunt spoons, drop to my knees and yell “WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYY??????????????”
I hate you. Not only do I hate you, I hate EVERYTHING. You have made me so enraged that I hate everything.
I need a straight jacket.
I need a brown paper bag.
I NEED TO SPEAK TO ONE HUMA……
“Hello thanks for calling O2 can I take the phone number you wish to talk about”
Ok – I am torn – I am so happy to hear a customer services operator that I could cry with joy. But I am also so baffled as to WHY I am being asked for my telephone number when, at the beginning of this awful experience, I think I have given my number to you. Twice? I decide not to complain about the awful wait. I am so entirely desperate for 3G that I just ask for that. I have been reduced to this pathetic awful wimp of a human and like Oliver I come to you with my phone in my hand “Please sir, may I have some more”
“MORE??” you say. “HAVE YOU HEARD OF OUR BROADBAND OFFER”
Like Jim Carey on You, Me and Irene I can feel something awful is about to be released in me.
No O2. No, after the last 9 days of sheer hell and torture, I do not want your FUCKING broadband I JUST AND ONLY WANT what I have called you for. Give it to me. GIVE IT TO ME.
Its nearly 5pm.
Do I have 3G?