Saturday, 26 February 2011

When Jogglers Go Bad

My Joggler went wrong over the festive period 2010.  It refused to boot, it simply showed the O2 logo on the screen and didn't go any further so it appeared to get stuck during POST somewhere never reaching the boot loader.  I was going to replace it with something else but was (quite rightly) persuaded to use the guarantee to get another one since it was only 8 months old.

I contacted O2 early in the new year via their usual support channel.  What follows shows just how wrong a company can get it when they venture outside their core business.  It seems all support processes and staff just were not cut out for supporting the Joggler.  The best way I can put across my experience is simply to recount the notes I took at each point of contact with them.  I had a feeling at the start of the process this wasn't going to go smoothly so started taking notes from the very first call.

7th January
Called O2 for the first time to report my broken Joggler.  Spoke with "Neil" and agreed the Joggler team would call back in 3-5 days.  Direct Joggler support is not available to the customer, Neil has to email the Joggler team to get them to call me back.  It seems even O2 customer support aren't able to contact their Joggler team via any other method than an internal email.  Neil was not able to find a record of my purchase since I'm not an O2 customer for anything other than the Joggler.  Fortunately, I still had a copy of the dispatch email so was able to look up the order number to locate the purchase on the O2 systems.  I left mobile and work numbers with Neil and was given a support case number.

10th January
Received a call from "Simon" in the Joggler team.  He queried the symptoms of the broken Joggler and asked for it to be sent into O2 for a replacement product to be issued.  I agreed to return the Joggler to an address Simon was able to confirm via email.  He advised this process should take up to 2 weeks in order for me to receive a replacement and that I should obtain proof of postage.

11th January
I returned the Joggler via first class post to the address Simon provided with a cover note including all my contact details and the case ID number.  Proof of postage was obtained.

1st February
No Joggler or correspondence received from O2, twice as long as promised.  I phoned O2 support and spoke with "David".  He emailed the Joggler team once again and I agreed to receive another call-back from the Joggler team by phone for an update on the issue.  Particularly, why four weeks have passed without any contact from O2 when I was promised a replacement product within 2 weeks.

4th February
No call-back yet received from the Joggler team.  I responded to the email sent by Simon on 10th January asking for an update.

7th February
Still no call back.  Phoned O2 and spoke to "Thomas Wright".  He investigated and informed me he thought the case had been sent to the wrong team and he was going to email the Joggler support team.  I agreed that I would receive a call-back from the Joggler support team within 48 hours and left my home telephone number in addition to the details already on record with Thomas.  He informed me everything I had been told so far must have been incorrect and I could now not expect to receive a replacement product and O2 might instead insist on issuing a refund instead.

9th February
Wrote to Matthew Key, the O2 CEO, via email.  I wasn't expecting a response to an individual case query but thought he might be interested in a copy of my notes recounting my poor experience with his company.

15th February
Again no call, email or any form of correspondence from O2.  Phoned O2 and spoke to "Robert".  He investigated and was going to pass me to a senior advisor but none were available after a lengthy hold period on the phone.  He said he would continue attempting contact with a senior member of his team and call me back later.

I raised a formal complaint via email to and copied Matthew Key for his information once again.  I used the advice from the government Consumer Direct site, stating what the issue was with full reference to my notes and case ID and giving O2 14 days to respond before starting small claims proceedings for their breaking the terms of their guarantee i.e. running off with my money!

17th February
Received a call (finally) from O2 but it wasn't from the support department as expected, instead it was a member of the CEO office, Jonathan Moore.  It appears my emails to Matthew Key had got through.  Jonathan was responding to my formal complaint email sent 2 days earlier.  He apologised for the way I had been treated by O2 and promised to take my issue under his wing and follow it through to conclusion.  His thoughts on the issue were that I would be issued a refund rather than a replacement product.  He was not aware of any support systems that might be able to use the case ID I had given him, seem O2 aren't joined up at all and they have several different support systems.

18th February
Jonathan Moore called twice during the day to confirm he was sending out a refurbished Joggler in addition to organising a full refund for the original purchase.  The original purchase include a £10 mobile broadband USB dongle, the cost of which was also refunded.  He had managed to contact both the Returns Department to determine there are in fact a small number of refurbished Jogglers available to send out as replacement products and the order team to organise the refund.

During the week beginning 21st Feb I received a refurbished Joggler and was able to verify a full refund had been credited back to my account.  I don't think I'll be returning this Joggler when it eventually goes wrong as I don't much fancy going through all that again.  While I'm clearly satisfied with the response of receiving both the refund and the replacement I view that merely as compensation for the hours (literally) spent on the phone and costs incurred.

Would I deal with O2 again?  Actually, I probably would but that would very much only be for their mainstream products but if a competitor had a comparable offer I'd probably shy away from them now.  I'm still awaiting a call return from Robert in support and 2 calls from the Joggler support team... useless!


Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see how far you would have got without taking the initiative and contacting the office of the CEO. I rather suspect you'd still be waiting now for them to get back to you even now.
The big telecommunications companies really need to raise their game if they want to get out of being just a supplier of bandwidth, and into areas like the Joggler where (in theory) they might be able to charge more for their services.

Graham White said...

I completely agree Richard! Things went wrong quite quickly, I wouldn't usually complain so readily but felt lost in the system very on. The thing that annoys me the most is not getting called back, I just couldn't do that to our customers. A call back is essential if promised even if it's bad news or just to say there hasn't been any progress.