Tag Archives: customer service

Phones4U – Lacking Basic Knowledge

Hi All,

Logo for Phones4U

I spent over 90 minutes in the store in Leeds buying a Lumia 920 yesterday and wanted to blog about my experience. I hope that someone from Phones4U (or Nokia) read this in order to review their processes to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t continue to happen…

There’s been a lot of mis-information as to whether the Lumia 920 (sold “Sim-Free” by P4U) is locked to certain networks. Phones4U even put out a tweet confirming that even Sim-Free Lumia’s were blocked. This clarified that Black ones were locked to EE, T-Mobile & Orange with the White device being locked to EE only.

Either way, when purchasing the device in Leeds, Mike (sales-person) informed me they have a code to unlock it so I can use my O2 Sim card in it. HURRAH!

So I pay the £459.99 for the Black Lumia 920. He opens it up, pops in my O2 sim, gets to the code entry part, and then is confused as to why the unlock code isn’t working. Shock horror.

He calls up the Phones4U tech support and this is where the story actually gets slightly unbelievable and worrying. Their own tech department tells poor Mike that the black version is a 4G ONLY device so no 3G sim’s will work, and that it’s actually the “white” Lumia 920 that is 3G compatible and that the O2 sim would work.

Now, the simple fact is, that is untrue. The devices are sim locked and the black device IS 3G compatible. Mike of course didn’t believe me and wanted to open up a white one un-necessarily. In order to prove it to him, I asked him to get a T-Mobile 3G sim card and put it in the phone. Low and behold, it works, proving the P4U tech team wrong.

The end result was, I bought a 3G Sim-only T-Mobile contract (£21 a month for unlimited everything) which I expected to do in the first place.

I’m absolutely baffled and actually quite concerned with the process I went through. I mean, at the time I found it quite amusing as I knew all of the above before I went into the store, but think of the thousands of consumers that will be getting this “advice” from them which is not only incorrect, but it’s also self damaging to Phones4U as it will result in phones having to be re-packaged and returned left right and centre.

I don’t blame Mike for any of this. He was a nice guy and none of the retail staff there had ANY information passed down to them, causing the confusion. I think there are some serious issues within the Phones4U business which means a new device can come out with mis-information being spread from the sales staff downwards but also in their actual tech team!!!!!

In summary, if you want a Lumia 920 unlocked, you need to buy from Germany or wait till the new year when other vendors will start selling the truly unlocked device. If you buy it from Phones4U, don’t expect your non EE sim to work. Simple.

Lucky for me the phone itself is absolutely incredible! 😉

Tweet me @thejsug !

Using Twitter for Customer Service

Hello World!

Something interesting happened recently that I felt the need to tweet about regarding Virgin Media, and their use of twitter for customer service. Customer service on twitter is a new but valuable tool. It means average joe’s like you and me can get the service we really need, but it still raises the question of “Why has it come to this?”. This blog contains some information as well on how to use twitter to get that customer service.

To take my example, my awesome 20mb Fibre Optic connection seems to randomly drop for a few hours every now and then. 4 conversations with their support number, I was told a whole range of excuses including “There’s nothing wrong, we can connect to your modem fine” all the way to “there is a known problem and it will be resolved shortly”. No matter how many times I’d argue that there’s some deeper issue, I’d be shunted away like some annoying rat. When asking to speak to someone above the 1st line support engineer, I’d be told that’s not possible…

So in my frustrated mood, I took it to twitter:





Within 1 hour, a virgin media representative replied asking for more information:










A few tweets and an email or two later, I had an email apologising and admitting there is a major issue with my line and an emergency engineer will be sent out to help resolve this issue ASAP, with priority treatment.

Wow! It worked! When I tweeted, I didn’t really expect anything to happen except for some customer service guy to see the tweet and reply saying sorry or something, but to actually put effort into resolving the issue with urgency was really key. From their point of view, it’s a necessity. Let’s just say stephen fry randomly wanted to retweet my comment to his millions of followers, that hurts Virgin Media a LOT. There are 2 reasons why I dislike customer service on twitter:
1) It feels like the company are only doing it to protect themselves, NOT to give you the service you should be getting
2) On 4 occasions, their own support desk failed in helping. Using twitter should not be a last resort when the user is already frustrated and angry….

Social media is still in it’s early phase, though for customer service it’s becoming crucial. The days of support desks with 0870 numbers are limited due to social media, where a company can reach out to it’s customers on their own ground. The best businesses for customer service are those embracing social media without question, such as BT, VM, KLM Airlines etc… Within the next 10 years, every major business will host their customer service through social media platforms, and this allows the customer to get what they want and to be treated like someone of importance rather than the “annoying rat” feeling I got after the Virgin Media call!

So, for people who have never used twitter, and don’t know how to, though have something to complain about, here’s my advice:
1) Sign up for a twitter.com account (free and easy)
2) Google the company name and twitter. For example: http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=virgin+media+twitter – This will bring you to that businesses home twitter page
3) Make sure there’s a blue tick to the right of their name on the twitter page (check the Virgin Media one for a comparison). This proves it’s not a fake (example below):





4) Click on the cog wheel just above their tweets, and select “Mention [company]”
5) A new popup box will appear with @companyname
6) Fill in the tweet with information about your problem and why you’re frustrated
7) That’s it. Submit the comment, and every now and then check what mentions you’ve had in twitter ( http://twitter.com/#!/mentions ) to see if they’ve replied!

If you already know the companies twitter name, without having to go onto their page, just create a new tweet and type in @companyname with the rest of the information.

Would be interested to hear whether anybody else has had similar twitter experiences as well so feel free to comment! (You can login using your facebook to comment in theory!)


Tweet me @thejsug !