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Tales of the Carphone Warehouse. 
20th-May-2009 04:42 pm
full of shit
State of the Telephone

Having spent all of Monday night on and off the phone with Three technical support (which definitely sucks), I went into Carphone Warehouse on Brompton Road yesterday morning. They gave me a new C510 but told me if I wanted a new handset I'd have to go to TCR.

As it was Gamesoc last night, I decided to pop to TCR at the end of the day, to try and get some actual work in first. This didn't so much work because I spent the day ringing and ringing the TCR branch, not realising their phone is broken and they couldn't answer it. As well as being in conversation with @guyatcarphone after twittering my worries. Twitter for customer service? A+

So I went to TCR at 5.30 to explain the situation. The situation as is stood was this:
  • Carphone Warehouse sold me the phone on a 3 contract based on the fact that I make a lot of international calls, and with this phone, they said, I could make unlimited Skype calls.
  • The man on Oxford Street I spoke to before buying my phone from TCR (I had to go to my bank which was opposite the TCR branch), told me that he'd heard of problems with the C510 and Skype. And if I had those problems, I could switch to the Nokia phone with Skype pre-installed without fuss.
  • I spent Monday afternoon and evening knocking my head against the Skype installation and 3's technical support, who had me perform master resets and software upgrades and all sorts of things. One of the things I was stuck on was the fact that they expected me to have a software version ending in 29, and when I said I had one ending in 34, they told me to upgrade. Unsurprisingly, if you know your numbers, 34 is the up-to-date version.
  • I (me, not anyone paid to do so) identified the problem as being that Sony's software upgraded so fast that Skype couldn't keep up, and the C510 was no longer compatible, despite being marketed as such.

Armed with this information and the inference, I went to TCR and spoke to a senior advisor by the name of Lan, who listened and phoned up someone at the Oxford Circus branch which has a repair centre, who said they could install the out of date software but they would be closing at 6. However, she explained, there was a repair centre at the Centrepoint branch, so I could try there.

So I walked fast to that branch, and explained the situation to a manager called Imran. Imran told me that:

  • Carphone Warehouse don't install or uninstall software on phones.
  • Carphone Warehouse don't sell phones for use with Skype
  • Carphone Warehouse won't help me
  • He didn't care that Lan had spoken to someone in repairs who had said they could help me.
  • Now that I'd signed the contract, I was screwed, and if I wanted a Skype phone, I'd just have to go to a 3 store and buy a second phone.

I returned to the other branch, more than a little frustrated and out of breath, and Lan informed me I'd just have to try Errol at Oxford circus. I could make it there if I ran...

...I ran. With my bag on my back. Angry and frustrated and having an anxiety attack. Which, when you're running down a crowded road with a bag on your back, is very similar to an asthma attack.

Errol didn't work there. Or had gone home. Or something. But I queued at the repair centre anyway and explained the situation to a man who wasn't Errol. Not!Errol told me that they can't downgrade software, that's silly. And he can't help me, and Lan was 'just trying to fob you off on us' and frankly he didn't much care that she said they could help.

I showed him the piece of paper with Errol's name on it, and his attitude changed. Apparently me telling him that this was the problem and I was told they'd help and here are the names wasn't enough; he had to see the name "Errol" on a piece of paper first.

(Maybe Errol doesn't exist, and he's a codename for 'we're having a laugh at this customer's expense.')

Anyway, then not!Errol took my phone away, noticed I was having an anxiety attack and offered me a seat and some water.

An hour later, I had a downgraded phone with Skype and everything! As it's the same model and just as new as the original, this one is also being called Oracle.


So to get in contact with me:
My new phone will eventually have the same number as my old one, but I will have lost all of yours. So if people could wait a day or so then send me a text telling who you are, that'd be neat.

My Skype username should be pretty obvious. If you have it, add me, and I might just call you up at random times.

(Deleted comment)
20th-May-2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
It wasn't their mobile phone!
20th-May-2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Will do.

Is Skype worthwhile if you're me do you think?
21st-May-2009 07:56 am (UTC)
Possibly? Do you sit at a computer a lot wishing you were talking to people?
21st-May-2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Sorta. I'm wondering if its worth getting as I don't have a landline, and won't be getting one unless I move house. I doubt I'd make many calls myself, but it might be handy if other people want to contact me (Parents etc.)

Plus its something else to steampunk isn't it?

BTW Zetland Arms tonight if you're about.
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