Technical fail: Broken mobile Britain

Update 20 May 2012: I never posted the below blog post at the time, but I’ve decided to go ahead and do it anyway. 

I’m so hacked off right now. All that rubbish about “never blog in anger”? I don’t care. Over the next few days, a few companies are going to feel my wrath and they better be ready for it.

So let’s start with the mobile phone networks.  I’m a patient kind of guy, but I’m utterly and completely sick of the shit service that customers have to put up with from the overpriced money-grabbing virtual cartel that are Britain’s mobile phone operators.

It is utterly unacceptable that in 2011, the simplest of tasks cannot be carried out with any sanity or convenience. This evening, it’s the second time that I have attempted to buy a top-up for my Three Mobile Mifi device while preparing to travel and that I have been disappointed.

The situation is compounded by the fact that my primary mobile network, the utter incompetent buffoons that are O2, refuse to let ad hoc personal hotspots be created by iPhone users. In fact, personal hotspots are simply another excuse for the networks to rip us off.

I am angry. Customers are repeatedly sold visions of flawless network performance, fault-free handsets and a company that claims to care about customer service.

Ultimately, the only thing they care about is their bottom line and most consumers are not at all important to mobile operators obsessed with hooking in large corporates with fat BlackBerry contracts or flogging overpriced iPhones with rubbish stock control.

Three, you cannot sell yourself as a 3G data specialist when you won’t even let customers pay you to use your mobile broadband services! It doesn’t help that you’ve signed up to this bonkers 3D Secure (Verified by Visa/Mastercard Securecode) which constantly breaks and frustrates consumers. If you really care abut this, your big boss needs to pick up the phone and bullock someone at Big Bank HQ whose intern designed the system. To be honest, you’re lucky I ever bought this Mifi off you lot because the first dongle I bought in 2008 barely got reception in the middle of central Manchester!

O2, I’m stuck with you because you claimed exclusivity on the iPhone then watched your network collapse like an elephant sitting on a balloon. You have never, ever provided a consistent 3G signal during a phone call and don’t blame the iPhone, I’m holding it the correct way. You also very rudely stop customers using all the features of the device that they’ve forked out £500+ for! Activate ad hoc personal hotspots immediately and take it out of the measly 500 MB allowance you’ve given us. We’ll have to pay if we go over that, as I frequently do these days.

The other networks are pretty much as bad. When the iPhone 4 was released to Vodafone and Orange, they had an opportunity to provide a much better deal than O2 and, in fact, offer welcome bonuses to defecting customers. They did not, and they fail. In fact, at the time I was looking, they didn’t even have any iPhone SIM-only tariffs for customers desperately wanting to jump the sinking O2 ship!

Now I’m sure there are some lovely people working in customer services etc etc but I cannot be bothered with 140 character apologies and whatever. Sort. out. your. mess. And while I’m at it, I love how O2 have just stopped bothering replying to me on Twitter whenever I have a complaint or a comment. I suppose there’s a little flag next to my name with the word “ignore”.

I suppose, if I’m lucky, I’ll get some comment from the above named firms on my blog post. Some sort of platitude/apology (with pleadings that it is truly genuine). I just don’t give a shit. I am trying to throw money at you guys to make this darn thing work! Make it work!

Rant over. For now.