1. I received a cold call telling me I'd be better off upgrading from my Simplicity tariff with 300 minutes' calltime.
2. I went into the shop and explained I'd like a phone with a similar calltime allowance but also an amount of data which would mean I could check my emails. I signed up for the HTC 8 on a £17 per month tariff with 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 100 MB data..
3. My son connected it to Wifi to minimise data use, but all the data was used up in two days although I didn't actively use any.
4. I rang 202 and the operative informed me I'd been sold (a) the wrong handset and (b) the wrong tariff as I was getting less calltime than my previous 300 minutes on Simplicity and that the phone 'gobbled data' so '100 MB was useless'. I defended the salesgirl at our local store, but the operative said, 'Er...'sales' - doesn't that give you a clue?' He recommended that I return the phone asap within the 7-day period and exchange the phone for a Samsung Galaxy, as for the same tariff, ie £17 pm, I would have 300 minutes and 500 MB. My husband looked online to check before we went to the store and also found the Nokia Lumia 620 for the same amount.
5. We therefore went to the store early before it got busy with a view to either paying £50 and keeping the original phone or swapping to one of the two other options at £17 pm. We were dealt with by a young man who was rude and offhand from the start. First he said that there would be no difference between the HTC and the Galaxy as the Galaxy used even more data. We pointed out that that phone came with 5 times the data and 100 more minutes, so it had to be better. He was dismissive. I also enquired about the Lumia, and he said it was identical to the HTC. Again, I pointed out you got more for the same money. Again he was dismissive and unhelpful. He looked up the phone in his book and said we could have the same amount of minutes and more data with the same phone (the HTC) for £17; all we had to do was call 2020. My husband said this didn't sound right as that would have surely been recommended in the first place. The 'assistant' then realised I had to pay £50 for this tariff and this phone, which I would have been willing to do had I been treated with any consideration.
6.He still told me to call 2020 and sort it out myself. I said (very politely), that as I only had 4 days left and I was going away for the weekend, I really didn't want to leave the shop until it was sorted out. He got rather aggressive, throwing up his arms in a very inappropriate manner and saying, 'I always help.'
7. As we were no closer to a solution, we decided that the best thing to do was to hand in the phone and go back to my original phone on the Simplicity tariff. The 'assistant' said the tariff would be 'the nearest thing to that.' My husband enquired what exactly the tariff would be, but Harry said repeatedly that it would be near to my original one but not exactly that because 'it no longer existed.' My husband pointed out we could hardly accept a tariff without knowing what it was, at which point, Harry was extremely rude, saying, 'I'll say it again ...' My husband said, 'Look, I've been very calm up till now, but I'm going to lose my rag in a minute. If you don't want to deal with us, perhaps you could call someone else over to help us.' The assistant manager had been keeping an eye and - instead of coming over to resolve the issue, sent another assistant over to threaten to escort my husband off the premises. Alan himself went into the back, which seems very unhelpful. WE NEVER FOUND OUT WHAT THE TARIFF WAS.
8. We didn't raise our voices at any point but had several very reasonable questions which were not answered satisfactorily. What really upset me was that at one point, the 'assistant' said, 'I won't be spoken to in this way', which was extraordinary as at no point was I rude; I was more bemused than anything. I replied, 'Hang on a minute. I was told by an 02 operative to come into this store and explain the situation, which I have done. In other words, I have done exactly as advised by 02, but you have been rude and unhelpful from the start. I am a paying customer and you are supposed to be here to help me.'
9. I then went home and rang 202 - again - and an extremely polite, pleasant woman checked my tariff for me. She seemed to think I could go back to the original one after all, but she wasn't entirely sure. My phone was cut off, so I had to set up a Simplicity account again. I checked the payment had gone through, which it had. Two days later, I received a text to say my phone would be cut off, so again I rang 2020; she confirmed the payment had been received, but we were cut off in the middle of the call! Having removed the SIM card and put it back several times, it eventually got signal again. (Switching it on and off didn't work). THE NEW TARIFF IS CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN MY ORIGINAL ONE. There are several issues here: I am a 54-year-old teacher who has never encountered anything like this before by a salesperson. I do not expect to be treated like this; basic manners cost nothing. In addition, it seems that the different people in the company 'are not singing from the same hymnsheet', which is confusing and frustrating for the customer. I had been with 02 for over 5 years, have always paid my bill and had no complaints with them before now. Because this situation was mishandled so badly in the store, I now think the best thing to do would be to change provider. I also think they need to be aware of the level of service - and management - at some stores as I doubt I'm the only customer who is dissatisfied. The whole experience was extremely upsetting - and I am out of pocket to the tune of about £40 - and have made no change to my phone or tariff, except to pay more for something close to my original service! I do not recommend this company as there seem to have been some drastic changes; all companies are interested in making profits, but 02 are ruthless and do not care about their customers at all. I will NEVER use them again once this month is up. I sent an email of complaint to 02 on Sunday and as yet have received no acknowledgement or response, which indicates (a) their level of customer care and (b) their level of complaints, I suspect.