Category Archives: Networks

Latest Quarterly O2 Figures Reveal O2 Have Been Lying To Their Customers

A few months ago I posted about O2 imposing mid contract price rises. These were at the time blamed on increasing costs by O2 in tweets such as this one:

and numerous other official statements on the matter all blaming increasing costs as the reason why price rises were necessary.

However a few days ago O2 released quarterly figures to their shareholders which reveal something new. That for the last few months O2 have been feeding their customers a pack of lies.

Their costs haven’t actually increased by 2.7%, RPI, CPI or indeed any other measure of inflation. They have actually dropped over the last 12 months. By 5.1%. Which begs the question why were prices rises necessary in the first place and why have O2 announced new price rises for Pay As You Go customers today? Because the answer clearly isn’t down to costs.

You can read O2’s financial statement to their shareholders here (page 24 is the particularly interesting one)

O2 Mid Contract Price Rise Policy Incurs Customer Wrath

On 23rd January 2014 a ruling from OFCOM came into effect giving consumers the right to reject mid contract price increases on new contracts sold after this date. Heavily campaigned for by consumer groups such as Which this ruling was seen as a major victory for the consumer and ended a year or two period of every single major UK network increasing the cost of mobile subscriptions in the middle of a contract. Most UK networks have agreed to accept the ruling and will no longer unexpectedly increase prices in the middle of a contract.

O2 however have taken a rather different position. As of the above date, all contracts sold by O2 include a clause making you agree to a compulsory annual rise in your monthly tariff. Contracts sold before this date are not covered by the OFCOM ruling so O2 can still increase them too. So in one fell swoop O2 have stuck two fingers up at OFCOM and their customers.

Unhappy customers have taken to Twitter, Facebook and O2’s own customer forums to complain with O2 mainly providing copy and pasted standard responses and demonstrating an inability or unwillingness to answer simple questions when put to them. Questions such as why if O2’s costs in providing a service increase in line with inflation haven’t their costs in providing a Pay As You Go service similarly increased? – PAYG pricing remains the same. The answer of course is quite simply that PAYG customers are completely free to leave although I’m sure O2 won’t admit that!

Also in less than a day 1300 unhappy customers have, through a form set up by Which, emailed O2’s CEO to express their unhappiness at this. The form can be found HERE or you can email him direct by sending your email to ronan.dunne@o2.com

At the moment, O2 isn’t allowing any customers to cancel over this, however some customers may still have cancellation rights. O2 have also increased the cost of out of bundle minutes and MMS messages. If you regularly use these features and the new prices cause your bills to increase by more than 10% you can cancel. Also any customers out of contract can cancel. As can any customers on O2 refresh who pay off or have already paid off their phone plan which is exactly what I plan to do!

Terminate a Contract With Three UK (the easy way)

Something I see posted quite a bit on a variety of discussion forums I frequent is people asking how they can terminate their contract with three, particularly when their customer services occasionally don’t take the news that you want to leave well and will employ every (dirty) trick in the book to try and keep you. Luckily there is a way to terminate relatively painlessly without the need to talk to anyone on the phone. My other half used this method to terminate her contract with three in January 2013 and did so relatively painlessly

Whilst this advice was originally designed for customers of 3, there is no reason why the templates and procedure cannot be adapted to work for customers of O2, Orange, T-Mobile, EE, Vodafone, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Media, Virgin Mobile or indeed any other UK mobile phone network! Indeed I have terminated on O2 previously using the same letter and with far fewer attempts to call me still!

Step 1 – Check you are out of contract

Whilst it is possible to terminate in contract, this will involve the payment of an early termination fee which unfortunately may involve talking to someone

Step 2 – Ignore any information on terminating on their website

Three’s official line on terminating your contract is to simply(!) give them a call on 333. DO NOT DO THIS if you value your blood pressure. The following YouTube video should demonstrate why

Step 3 – Get your word processor out

The key to a painless termination is to do it in writing. The following is the letter that my other half sent to three which you are welcome to use as a template. The section on not needing a PAC code may need amending if you wish to keep your number but besides that you should be good to go once you insert your own details in the square brackets

 

[ADDRESS]

[DATE]

BY RECORDED DELIVERY

RE ACCOUNT NUMBER [ACCOUNT NUMBER] MOBILE NUMBER [MOBILE NUMBER] DATE OF BIRTH [DOB]

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to give the required 30 days notice to terminate my contract in respect of the above referenced account/mobile number.

Please note that this letter has been sent by recorded delivery and therefore notice will be deemed to have been served from the date the letter has been confirmed signed for by Royal Mail. I do not wish to retain my mobile number and do not require a PAC code.

Please confirm IN WRITING that you have actioned my termination request and the date on which my service with you will terminate. I would also ask that you dispense with any retention activity. My decision regarding this termination is final and any attempt to call me to retain me will serve as an annoyance which may reduce the likelihood that I will return to three in the future

I look forward to receiving written confirmation of the ending of my contract

Yours Sincerely

[SIGNATURE AND YOUR NAME HERE]

Step 4 – Place letter in an envelope

Put the letter in an envelope and send it to the following address

Three Customer Services
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd
PO Box 333
Glasgow
G2 9AG

Step 5 – Take letter to a post office

You need to send the letter by either 1st or 2nd class recorded delivery (at a cost of £1.55 or £1.45 respectively at the time of writing this blog post). It is imperative you send the letter recorded delivery otherwise it could get “lost in the post”. Keep your receipt to track the letter and keep an eye on the tracking so you can see when the letter was signed for. Make a note of the date the letter was signed for and work out 30 days from that date. This is the date your contract should be terminating on so remember it to compare with any correspondence you get from three.

Step 6 – Ignore your phone

Despite the letter stating that you would consider any retentions activity an annoyance and that they should communicate with you in writing, three customer services grasp of the English language isn’t too great. They will still call. Let voice mail deal with them. As a general rule of thumb if the number they are calling from contains a lot of 3’s then it is three. Also google any numbers calling you that you do not recognise and ignore calls from withheld numbers. If three leave a message asking you to call them to discuss your letter ignore them. Your letter has made it quite clear that there is nothing to discuss and as you have proof of when the letter was signed for, the clock is ticking

Step 7 – Wait

Eventually after a few days of receiving the cold shoulder, three will eventually do what it is you asked of them in your letter and will terminate the contract. You will receive a SMS confirming this though the SMS may say that your contract will terminate in 30 days. Ignore this for the time being. Soon after a letter will arrive and this should (with any luck) confirm your termination with notice being given from the date your letter was signed for. If for any reason the date is wrong then you may have to get in touch with three. I’d recommend either writing again or on facebook (search for three uk ) or twitter (@threeuksupport). After going through all this the last thing you want to do is talk to them on the phone.

Step 8 – Wait (again)

You may still receive the odd call from three. Continue to give them the voicemail treatment. Eventually your termination day will arrive and all being well your phone will terminate. If for some reason it doesn’t you may have to contact them. Again social networking is probably the way to go with contacting them as talking to them can be bad for your health

Hope people find this guide useful