Last weekend son 1 finally decided which new mobile phone he wanted and we ordered it from the website of a well known mobile phone retailer, along with a new sim card, as a package deal. Phone duly arrived on Tuesday, but to Son 1's great disappointment it wouldn't work with the sim card or indeed with his old sim card from a different network. A flurry of emails to customer support did nothing to sort out the issue so I promised to take it back to the retail shop for him yesterday.
Fortunately that particular retailer has three branches in our local shopping area...I have no idea why. Anyway, I decided to go to the newest and least busy branch first. The staff there didn't seem to know what to do about it. By experimentation they found the handset would work with a T-Mobile card rather than the O2 card purchased with it. They suggested I went to the branch up the road as the computer said they had that model in stock, 'but don't tell them we sent you, they hate us'!
I duly went to the branch up the road. It was very crowded but eventually a girl greeter approached me and I explained the problem. She experimented a bit and asked a member of management who couldn't have cared less. He shrugged his shoulders and told me I would have to go to the O2 shop or send it back to the website, he couldn't do anything. I then queued in the O2 shop. The O2 shop assistant experimented and decided that it definitely wouldn't operate on O2 but the O2 card was not faulty, as that would work in her phone, so it was the problem of the first retailer.
Getting very fed up and knowing that son 1 desperately wanted the phone and was not going to be at all happy about further delay, I went to the T-Mobile shop. They experimented, agreed it would work on T-Mobile and said we must have been sent the wrong handset in error. I asked if they could unlock it but they couldn't, although I could go to some dodgy shop around the corner and pay to get it unlocked. I suggested that perhaps it would be easier just to buy a T-Mobile Sim card, as we do have an old O2 enabled phone at home so could use up the credit on the O2 Sim card. The nice T-Mobile girl quite rightly pointed out that I had retail rights and not to give up, even though by then I was tearing my hair out.
I decided to give up and walk round to the charity shops to browse at the books. Just up the road from the charity shops is yet another branch of the retailer whose website had sold us the phone. A couple of times recently I had passed the shop and seen a notice saying that their systems were down, but today it was open and busy. I queued yet again and by luck was served by the manager. He was absolutely charming, called up the order immediately on his computer and said it was no problem to replace it. He then found the right model of phone in the stockroom and got it working on the O2 card, did all the paperwork on the computer and gave me a new receipt.
If only I had gone to that shop first!