‘SIM’ple really isn’t simple enough
So I went and bought a mobile phone. Exactly as I would buy any other item as a consumer, and being equal amongst others, I bought it over the internet. Like most things. Besides it saves time and money – or at least is supposed to.
So, the phone! And for its sins… the SIM-card.
Just as a recap from the first blockbuster blog on the subject, it was about the trials and tribulations of buying a phone, hardly therefore an impulse buy now days. Don’t want to receive a ‘pig in the poke’ after all. However, there are some things which don’t go to plan.
(You know, you can download all the software under the sun – just as a caution, or which may be needed – to ensure any new item will do as it says on the tin. BUT, as all you avid – and not so avid – geeks will know, if it ain’t going to sync…it ain’t gonna sync!! Sometimes there’s a way out, but to me, it kind of defeats the object of buy anything brand – Harry Spankers – new and it definitely takes the ‘fun’ – if indeed we get any nowadays – out of it.)
My 64 bit lappy uses Windows 7 which is regularly updated [it’s a Toshiba C 855] barely 2yrs old and bought new, so the new wanna be Samsung Galaxy S III would/should be well at home [other brands are available].
It arrives and is connected to firstly charge up. No sense even doing anything until that is complete, irrespective. Now I apologise for giving a blow by blow by the book account – it’s purely for the benefit of the curious.
Anyway, all charged up and ready to link to the lap-top we hit ‘add device’….and wait. And wait, and wait.
“Houston we have a problem”.
Fevered scouring of the net takes place for a resolve to this. Yet prudence concurs my precautions previously – as just in case – however, getting nowhere [online], we go to the manufacturer on their [telephone] ‘hotline’ [for customers] having first registered at their site.
So my pre-purchase excitement and enthusiasm was a bit dampened. Disappointment continued when even they could not ‘fix’ the problem – nor could they explain why I couldn’t register the actual phone itself… [as directed] on their site. Vexing ain’t the word.
Ostensibly I’ve now got a product which doesn’t want to be recognised let alone be connected to the outside world – and that’s before anything else. [Thinks, at £285 this is wrong. Reasonable price or what – blows that argument!]
Whether or not it can sing or whistle Dixie, it becomes redundant if it wont sync/connect as a ‘device’ even by or to its own manufacturers software. It was now destined to be returned for this fact alone. (At least it didn’t come in an abysmal colour – reason ‘x’ – for when returning items by post or courier)
By now I was looking at comparable alternatives, even if perhaps it would cost a bit more. An unhappy prospect! The other thing of course was timing. Bank Holiday weekend was but days away. Consequently and realistically, nothing short of nothing was going to happen until next week. Tuesday if we’re lucky. But this ‘thrilling’ life experience…. was to be shattered further.
My untouched, SIM-free, Android handset [a ‘Neophyte’ if you would] actually nearly entered working life heaven help us. As it turns out, the fact [thankfully] it didn’t, has caused more of stir than if it did. So let’s explain a few things if it wasn’t made patently clear from the previous blog concerning this meeting of coincidences, as we have time – we have time.
However, I am concluding the tale of the indolent Galaxy, all £285’s worth – first. A damn sight more important than a measly tenner on a SIM-card – and that of its replacement.
It was returned to the retailer on the Tuesday after Bank Holiday. Its replacement and nearest by price was the Nexus 4 from Google [via Google Play]. That was ordered late on the Monday evening prior. One out, one in. There was a full refund back in my bank account by the end of the week for the Galaxy. The Nexus turned up on the Wednesday [shipped from Ireland] £289 all in.
The next day it was announced that Google had cut the price down to £199 AND I could get a refund as purchased after the 12th August. HUZZAH! Something actually working in MY favour. [and it synced first time as well!] Refund on its way….*Smiles*.
Now the other matter. No doubt thousands of pairs of hands are now rubbing with glee and delight, pens and pencils poised to annotate constructive comments to this blog and dare I mention Twitter. Will I be ‘blog of the day’ [whatever] again. Modesty forbids. Top marks though to my commentators [two] who saw the first point, and what is the building block of life to any mobile phone – that of signal and strength.
Not so much a problem for large town or city centric folk wherein it’s more of how with ingenuity, reception is maximised. Anomalies occur [bound to] but do not even compare to the dismal signal coverage experienced by millions across the UK, by no means wholly rural or thoroughly isolated. It is thus by dint of ‘force majuere’ [whose signal is strongest] who becomes the victor and who gets the spoils [as a/the chosen provider].
Having just looked at the coverage on the ofcom.org.uk site which gives the percentage for 2G and 3G proves my point. If you’re very very lucky, you may be in the 90% plus areas but you are in the minority. So man’s ingenuity with all that he can throw at it can’t even get over 90% for all the country, still.
I suppose its equivalent is to be still stuck on ‘Dial-up’ when all you see is fibre fibre, the next generation, or its ilk being lavished in adverts, and your peers enjoy even a modicum of broadband speed. Is it a control thing, this want want, when you don’t have, like most advertising and marketing? [rhetorical]
Telecommunications – mobile in particular – is one of the most keenest and hard fought over industries globally with over 70 million handsets in the UK alone. (despite the non-existent level playing field of near maximum countrywide coverage)
As you most probably might be aware of, there are five major UK mobile phone providers, Three, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, and Vodafone. There are several other mobile phone networks currently in business in the UK, these are called Mobile Virtual Network Operators, market share is obviously important as are operating costs and reducing the dreaded ‘holy grail’ of churn. The rewards are huge.
So when O2 plc get given a new idea, adopt it and eventually create Giffgaff Ltd, it was quite surprising for me to;
- even think it would affect me
- give an opinion about it or them
- give a damn
All I want after all [at any one time] IS A SIGNAL THAT WORKS. (In a phone…. that now works).
However, since these forward steps have been made by O2 plc, let’s have a look at what the agency [who was given the original brief to create the name etc..] said to figarodigital.co.uk about their appointment. Apologies for not posting it.
It was their brief to create giffgaff, nevertheless, do have a read it’s in their own words, besides, they’re hardly going to slag themselves off!
What also is of interest are these words, part of other ‘Insights’ given to a meeting of Digital Surrey in Feb 2011 by the then Social Media & PR Manager of Giffgaff Ltd – Heather Taylor. [It comes from the blog by headstreamsocial which I will re-bog following this post]
“giffgaff believe the model is scaleable. If giffgaff accounted for 25pct of O2s total customer base, it would save £12.5 min from annual customer service costs.”
It’s reasonable to assume £M.
(If at the beginning of all this I was the Financial Director on the board, I’d have listened with more than interest along with fellow board members to what merits ‘the answer’ and do as they did – try it!.)
But this fledgling behemoth is and has become the architect of a few problems in its own Ltd right. Not least its use of semantics.
Just for seemingly solving a short term situation, I’ve been inducted from being a customer/user to being a member come [unabashed] Sales Agent, all because somehow I’m somebody in a community of somebody’s thinking. Seems my former industry created a doozie of a scheme coming up with that [faint-hearted wry grin].
Though nothing to compare at the time with the situations encountered.
At least the problem of a six day delayed SIM-card delivery by virtue of sub-contracting the process to TNT [who in turn then use the Post Office to deliver] has been exposed. Regretfully, a delayed activation of the SIM-card eludes explanation [important at the time]. Although not having a contact/helpline for new customers still commits [in my opinion] retail suicide.
And no….. I don’t need to hear another bloody sales pitch misspent as a comment/s to this blog. They will be moderated.
You see the ‘hook’ of anything being *FREE* invariably isn’t. Profound happiness though if you believe it saves you money and earns you money as well – by doing what you do to get it. Does it equate to a minimum wage – at least – for all those hours some put in?
Suppose that having the option to donate to charity [matched by Giffgaff Ltd as well] gives those the moral high ground, even validates it? [Don’t even go there..!]
As might those who do comment in the company’s name. Might be different if indeed it was ‘the company’.
Doubt though they [Giffgaff Ltd] would condone the use of calling a customer/user “fucktard” in their name, particularly after encountering major issues, [using giffgaff_Z as an ID] but that’s what happens when people go for points or ‘kudos’. Not exactly how to win customers. So, mission failure there then.
Bank Holidays may never be the same. Or after.