Kevin Bacon? My Arse!

As a fitting balance to last week’s celebrity and entertainment special, this week I shall be sending mundane stuff your way.

I have no photos or videos of handsome young chaps with large instruments, instead, a tale of modern life that just makes me full of woe and worry for the way of the world.

If at all possible, I will undertake any day-to-day task online. This is a symptom of my dislike of most human beings I come into contact with on a daily basis, and the fact that I do online stuff for a living. Both of these factors make me feel more comfortable self-serving in this manner.

So after many, many years with the same mobile phone network, it had come time again to upgrade the handset. I have been on various iPhones now for a long time, and to be honest fancied a change. The 5S doesn’t look like enough of an upgrade from the 4S, and I had been hearing a lot of “buzz” about a new HTC handset. The fact that I describe news of a new handset as “buzz” probably tells you all you need to know about the excitement levels in my life.

So in the past couple of weeks I have been logging on to my mobile phone account to check the upgrade date and to take a cursory look at the deals that may be available to me. When the day finally came when I could do the deed on Friday, I logged on, absolutely in my own time and in no way during working hours, only to find their “Manage your Account” bit of their website was broken.

It wasn’t down, just throwing up lots of nasty error messages. Now as I mentioned, I do this online stuff for a living and totally understand that from time to time shit happens and a web site can have such issues. Typically, if it happens on my watch I am battering technical folks with a large blunt instrument until they resolve said issues, hopefully within a few minutes of it happening. So, being all understanding and empathetic, I left it an hour and tried again. Nope, still broken. I sent them some feedback via their feedback form, even pointing out the technical name for the error I was seeing. I am a dream customer indeed.

So after all of Friday had passed without any sign of resolution, I got the hump, and started to look around the other network operators for a similar deal. Having mentally noted what my network were offering a few days ago, imagine my dismay to see that I was struggling to find a deal equally as bad as the one I was being offered as a long-standing and loyal customer by my own network. Once I’d added in some Quidco cash back it was making a load of sense to jump ship, and had completed everything on another (working) web site, and I was just one click away from doing the deed.

I even checked my own network’s new customer prices, and they were far better for an identical deal that I had seen online a few days ago. I had the right hump. Whilst doing that, one of those fandangled chat things popped up and asked if I needed help. Well, that’s more like it I thought. Two minutes in and my hump had quadrupled in its size. After explaining all my woes and their online failings I was promptly told that this chat service was only for new customers and I, as a scummy existing one would have to email someone instead. My irateness knew no bounds.

At that point I called my own network to get my PAC code so that I could transfer my number and cancel my contract. They asked me why, and so I told them. I was immediately transferred to their retention department. So after a few minutes “chat” a deal that had started off with a huge upfront cost for the handset, and a monthly fee about 20% more than any other new customer deal I could see, I ended up with –

  • A free handset (quoted at £159)
  • A monthly fee less than I could find anywhere else, as I fibbed a little about the deal I was leaving for. It is £5 less than I have paid for the past two years!
  • Four times the amount of data allowance I currently have and 4G.

So, after toying with them for seconds, I agreed, and my new phone arrives tomorrow. So thank you EE for having a broken web site (by the way it is still down), truly shockingly bad deals for customers who have been loyal to you for years, and having the under hand tactic of getting you to the brink of leaving before dropping your drawers and offering deals you should be doing in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, having four mobiles in the house on different networks, I know that none of them are exemplary. Vodafone for example refuse to limit the data use on Rebecca’s account as she keeps going over it. Aside from sending her a text when she is close to her limit, typically three days into a new month, they will not simply stop data being used when she goes over her allowance. This is profiteering of the highest order.

All in all, I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth, and a lesser view of a company I have been a customer of for years. On the bright side, I have a shiny new toy arriving tomorrow, for less than I’m paying now, with a much better contract. Tomorrow evening will be awash with me fiddling and a faffing with my toy, transferring contacts, installing apps and the like. The fact that I am moving from iOS to Android will surely only add to the fun. The old phone is off to be traded in for a tidy sum too. I shall endeavour not to do as I did with Rebecca’s last trade in, when I left her sim card in it! Maybe that is why she keeps using so much data. There is some guy in the trade in factory browsing YouTube on her contract allowance!

Anyway, for those sad of mind this is the beautiful new thing that shall arrive tomorrow.

Come to Daddy

It is the HTC One M8, and is according to the reviews I have read, THE best smartphone in the world ever, amen! I shall let you know of course.

I’m off to throw darts at my photo of Kevin Bacon and burn my copy of Footloose. Well, maybe not the latter, let’s not be too hasty.

Been working so hard, I’m punchin’ my card….

Till the next time…..

8 thoughts on “Kevin Bacon? My Arse!

  1. The HTC One M8 is indeed the puppy’s privates. I have had one for a month now and it put my S3 to shame. You can even expand the memory with a micro SD card which my wife can’t do with her HTC One (M7), not that I remind her at every opportunity. I bought a 64gb card for under £30. Try doing that with an iPhone.

  2. Hi Craig. This is a question, not a comment. Have read both of you Florida books. Did you have any problems publishing them due to copyright laws to do with Disney. Please advise me as I did send you the link to my 2008 holiday diary.
    Thanks Hilary

    1. Well, I haven’t yet been sued 🙂

      Both the books contain a suitable disclaimer pointing out that they are not endorsed etc by the Walt Disney company etc. That seems to be what all the books about WDW, but not by them seem to do.

  3. Hi Craig
    What an absolute co-incidence about the mention of Kevin Bacon. I have just sent an email to Orange/EE regarding their shambles of a customer service. My email went something like this…..”It is time you stopped paying vulgar amounts of money to Kevin Bacon and instead pour this into Workforce Education & Training”

    I sent this to Olaf…the CEO no less and any other email address of the Executive Team I was able to find.

    I did get a response, not from Olaf but Francoise… Head of Customer Relations, however, it took me 12 phone calls and 5 emails….not good.

    Wouldn’t happen at Disney !!

  4. Hi Craig….just a wee note to say how much I’ve really enjoyed reading ALL your trip reports this past week. I downloaded your 2 trippie books onto my iPad & honestly couldn’t put them down. You certainly have a way with words and had me both laughing and crying when you as lovely parents gave Emily her “best kept secret” birthday present. We did exactly the same for our daughter for her 18th & 21st birthdays….. you really bring WDW to life and if I closed my eyes I could imagine myself there with our kids,remembering when we had our trips over so many years.We are going back this year at end of september but just me & hubby…..staying onsite at OKW resort for 12 nights. Hubbys idea as he really liked onsite 2 years ago at Coronado Springs which was amazing.It felt really strange going without our 2 but they’re adults now doing their own thing. In fact DD gets married next year so don’t know if we’ll get away with us making a fairly large contribution to that (guess where the honeymoon is) ,,, Wont bore you any more so i’ll just say thanks very much for bringing us into your lives in a Disneyfied way,,,, oh and just to say I hope you do manage to get away this year 🙂 regards Sharon

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