The charade of swapping phone contracts

5 October 2010

Since recently moving out of the dark ages and buying a smart phone, I’ve been reminded how annoying changing contracts can be.

I’ve been an O2 customer for the past five years, after initially being swayed to sign up to a contract with the promise of £100 of free Benefit make up. 

Finally a few weeks ago my contract ended and I started looking out for a new one. I’ve been used to drawing or printing out maps when I travel and only accessing the internet from a PC, and the fact that even my parents have Blackberries made me realise it was time for an upgrade.

I ventured into the phone shop at lunch to find it packed with fellow confused customers and after waiting for 20 minutes I eventually spoke to the ‘phone expert’ who informed me the deal in the brochure was the only one I could get and there was nothing extra my five year relationship could offer me.

Undeterred, I called up customer services to be given exactly the same message. After searching around I found Vodafone had the same offer with a range of extra things which persuaded me to swap providers. When I called back O2 and they realised I was serious about leaving, I was transferred to another department where I was finally offered some extra benefits.

It’s a strange concept that to get a better deal on any contract you have to first use the precious line, ‘I’m leaving you’ to then be transferred somewhere else and offered something better.

Surely the fact I had been with the same company for five years was enough? Doesn’t customer loyalty mean you shouldn’t have to go through the charade of pretending to leave to be given something better?

This time however I didn’t budge, I’d already moved on and I’m now in a new relationship with Vodafone, long may it last.