O2: “We have iPhones, we just can’t sell them to you”

This post was supposed to be made from my iPhone. It was supposed to be triumphant. It had a lot of colourful characters in tow – Goldilocks, the Three Hoodies, Stripes and a young, belligerent Myers. All prospective iPhone customers I met today in passing. All with stony gazes of intent. Jesusphone zombies. Come this afternoon though, O2 has left us disappointed.

I stood on Grafton for the bones of the day. Watching and waiting to such an extent that the helpful drunks enjoyed coming up and telling me that I’d “been there all day”. Thanks a lot. I watched the iPhones getting delivered to the store at 11:50am. And at noon, I watched O2 staff inside the store tell a fresh customer that no phones had arrived, despite the fact that the trolly of oblong, brown boxes had rattled past me ten minutes earlier. Just after the customer left, I went up and asked the very same question. The same employee smiled and told me that they had arrived, but alas, O2 couldn’t sell me one as their systems were down. First off, a lie to another customer and then the tantelising promise of iPhone snapped away. Of course, this was by now my third trip into the shop. I was on first-name basis with the sales reps. But that does not excuse the deliberate lies they told another customer.

It seems that O2’s instore systems have been down all day. The only sales transactions that they can carry out is the sale of Speakeasy phones. Billpay sales cannot be processed. Their broadband sales have been affected too. I’m unsure about the online offering. Surely those systems are tied together in a centralised, sales transaction system? This problem is national. So lots of other iPhone customers have cold comfort this afternoon.

Sales rep guy gave me a flash of his pearlies and a card with the store phone number. Thanks a bunch. Off I went to the Carphone Warehouse, just to see how they were affected. They said that they were unable to sell O2 phones also as they use the same system. They also said that customers had contacted them as they were having problems sending text messages this morning. Of course, this is hearsay – but interesting nonethless.

I called back to O2 twice more and called them a couple of times to see if their systems had come back online. And as of 4pm today, their systems are still offline. It’s infuriating. If I were not for the six, yes, six Chamomile teas I had today, I might have gone loco on Grafton Street. I called into the O2 store at the top of Grafton Street near the Green on my way home. The staff in there couldn’t be nicer. They were helpful and told me they * might * be getting some in next week. Result of the day, some nice unplanned people watching photos.

Update:Jump to part two of the story…

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  1. That’s a really poor experience, but totally unsuprising. We popped into the O2 store on grafton street, and the guys their were basically rude assholes. Then Sarah (the wonderful fiancee) decided on the spur of the moment to pop into Carphone Warehouse in Wexford (we’re on holidays), where the incredibly helpful sales assistant got the last iPhone in the store out for her and spent 20 minutes trying to get through to O2. Having failed to do that, she has taken all the necessary details and will sort it all out for us as soon as O2 have it sorted.

    What really makes me worry is sweet zombie jeebus do I want an iPhone (watching my mate Chris remote-control my iTunes as they played wirelessly through the Airport in the kitchen speakers sold it for me) – but I really really don’t want it from a phone company that can’t get their phone and website stuff up and running after a failure in less than 10 minutes!

    Anyway, the O2 guys in the shop bullshitted you – if they were in any way bothered they could have gotten you halfway through the process and guaranteed your phone for you. Give up on the O2 shop near BT – they’re hopeless.

  2. Hi,

    Sorry to hear this agree with Stewart they could have put your name on a phone and when they sorted their system they should have let you know and come back in. 02 should be ashamed of their experience.

  3. I haz mah iPhone! The customer care person was really nice, she was polite and helped me get switched over. Seems like it’s just the store people who are … can I say fucktards? (censor if you like!)

  4. Only just got to reading this now, and to be honest, before the Carphone Warehouse bit I suspected that o2 staff were just keeping them for themselves…

  5. hi there Guys just wanted to ask you all a few questions
    1.why are you so worked up over a few phones
    2.why are you so irate over the fact that an employee said there were no iPhones on the day surely he must have just been informed wrongly.
    3. If you nowhave the unit what’s the problem stop complaining.
    4. Why do you think that the staff are keeping the iphones for themselves? If you go there you will find that only 1member of staff in the store has the new one.
    5. Do any of you know how hard it actually is too get the iPhones into the store. O2 doesn’t know how many they will get in that is dictated by apple and their suppliers.
    6. Do a lot of the bloggers above currently reside with their parents because as far as I can tell you are a bunch of wailing infants.
    7. Lastly stop bashing o2 they aren’t too bad they aren’t briiliant but having beenwith all the networks they are superior.

    Lastly given the anti o2 propaganda present on this page I would not be surprised if my post gets rapidly deleted. I would love to continue this argument with anyone willing too.

    P.s: apologies for any mispsllings as I am typing this on the bus from my iPhone on my way home from work

  6. I know from previously working in O2 what a shower they are. Last week a mate of mine tried to change over from Vodafone to O2 as her brother has moved to Canada and O2 are the only ones who have a partner over there. She was told 3 hrs, then 6 hrs then the system was down then 12 hrs and finally it happened 24 hrs later.

    Suffice to say they will say what ever it takes to get one off the other end of the line.

    Shame they got the iphone contract IMO

  7. 1. I wasn’t worked up over the phones, I was annoyed at the rude treatment I got in the o2 store
    2. The were delivered in front of him. So he’s either blind, incompetent or lying.
    3. The complaint was about the staff, not the phones.
    4. I don’t care what phones they have
    5. Again, I don’t care. Not my problem.
    6. Is slagging people part of your staff training?
    7. If I get poor treatment I’ve every right to voice my opinion.

  8. Stewert, same thing happened in my house. My boyfriend had his name down on waiting lists in two o2 stores. We were popping into the shopping centre to check on the waiting list when I suggested he carphone warehouse, I just asked on the offchance and low and behold they had one left. Which he bought and is now delighted with it. Can’t say enough good things about the carphone warehouse after the experience.

  9. well thanks for responding but there are a few you didn’t answer

    ”4. I don’t care what phones they have
    5. Again, I don’t care. Not my problem.”

    You cant just say that and get away with it I mean a little explanation I know all the lads who work there so do you know what his name was.

    If you look at this page it has relatively low hits and there are hundreds of satisfied iphone customers in Ireland I am one of them

    If you hate it so much just switch network.

  10. And while I do respect you opinion stewart as you have many excellent points you should try and see it from o2’s point of view as its impossible to meet the demand placed as apple will not fulfill the orders. They wanted the buzz to be iphone sels out in 1 day so the supply is enough for 1 maybe 2 days of sales.

  11. Angry employee, you obviously have not read my post, may I direct you to http://www.mcawilliams.com/darkroom/the-on-going-saga-of-o2.html

    Like Stewart this does not boil down to the phones its the lousy attitude of the staff working in the stores.

    Also I have seen the phones being served to customers even though after calling into the grafton street store on 8 occasions in 3 hours I was told there were absolutly no phones in stores.

    I am still complaining since last week when I phoned the store above my call was answered with a swift placement on the counter, not even a hello or anything and I was left there for 8 minutes untill I decided to hang up, which is when I had it affirmed that the store does indeed take the phone off the hook, even when not busy as I heard everything that went on for that 8 minutes and very little was dealing with customers.

    I dont give a damn what phones the staff have but I do believe phones are being kept for friends etc, thats my opinion live with it, its a free country.

    Again like Stewart I dont give a damn, that is between O2 and apple

    You have proven again as an employee of O2 the attitude of the staff, I reckon I probably have 10 years on you since I am 37, own my own house with my wife and have a very respectable professional job.

    O2 have handled the iPhone launch so badly, I have spoken to people who work for apple and they agree with every problem I have had.

    To be honest I really felt like not answering your comment since obviously going anonymous proves you really aint that important for me to lodge my complaint to but I have personally received a call from, I imagine your boss the head of the retail stores in Ireland, he actually understands exactly what my issues were, maybe you are commenting here because he may have had words with you?

    Once again read the posts properly before you decide to insult your customers more.

  12. I dont work in an o2 store, I also have quite a respectable job but did not feel the need to wave that around.
    I have had exactly the opposite experience to all of you on this blog.
    This is why I am posting my opinions on here. Yes you do have years on me 11 to be precise but that does not mean a thing.
    I purchased the iphone 1 week after it came out and yes granted I have had one or two problems they were dealt with quite swiftly by a person in the very shop being bashed.

    That is why when I stumbled across this page I felt I would just voice my opinions and didn’t expect to be attacked. All I wanted was to make some contribution from the other end of the spectrum.

  13. ^
    but no one seems to like hearing anything good about o2 do they????

  14. Angry Employee, from an o2 point of view, like you suggest, it would have been very simple to implement a waiting list (with deposit, if necessary). They chose not to at a corporate level, store level and reseller level.

    That’s not how you manage a supply/demand problem.

  15. @Angry:

    Do you think blatant lying to customers is okay?

    I find your dig at bloggers offensively. Are you resorting to throw stones like that as some kind of defense? If so, this just demonstrates how weak your argument is.

  16. I have been with O2 since esat digifone launched some years before you may have had your first mobile, I have never ever had any reason to complain about O2 quite the opposite actually, recommending them to everybody, but this fiasco which is the best way to describe it is not just with bloggers, I think you will find it is with quite a majority of people.

    I was also writing my comment before you clarified your name, so yes I was angry seeing what I thought was an employee continuing what I felt had been resolved.

    The 11 years on you does mean something, for starters you were calling the people who have commented and have posted their dissatisfaction “wailing infants”, I am very far from infancy and also do not wail half as much as I should do.

    I have as I said received 2 calls from different people in O2 management they as I have said have apologised in no uncertain terms for MY treatment, and for that I am thrilled.

    I am also really happy that you have had joy with the grafton street store, but I for one will never don their doors ever again, and to be honest I dont think they will care less.

    I am not attacking you or your views that is what is great about blogs and comments, but I urge you to read the post I put up to understand why I find it so hard so find any good in relation to O2’s retail stores.

  17. “That is why when I stumbled across this page I felt I would just voice my opinions and didn’t expect to be attacked. All I wanted was to make some contribution from the other end of the spectrum.”

    Funny you should say this after calling the bloggers a bunch of wailing infants who live with their parents; saying their comments were anti-O2 propaganda; and predicting that your comment will be moderated for offering a dissenting opinion. Sounds like you were asking for a fight.

  18. Its nice to hear that macwilliams thanks for that clear up.
    And Im not ”digging” at bloggers I am merely voicing my opinions in the same manner which you all have voiced similar ones agaist the guys in that store I am just aiming them at the people on the page rather than at anyone in o2.
    I know its unfortunate that a load of you feel hard done by but the truth of the matter is that there is a lot of satisfied customers compared to those dissatisfied ones.
    When someone is angry they are more likely to voice those opinions than if they were happy.
    Further more I do know quite a bit about economics ‘cgarvey’ as I spent the better part of my time in college studying the subject

  19. I really hope that my comments are not construed as hostile….well except for the infants one that one was a little bit!

  20. As I said, that been their flagship store has had more bad press then good, compared to the store up the top of grafton street which by all accounts have performed much better over the past 2 months with customers.

    “I know its unfortunate that a load of you feel hard done by but the truth of the matter is that there is a lot of satisfied customers compared to those dissatisfied ones.”

    Personally I dont agree with this statement at all, quite the opposite, everyone I have spoken to either in my job or personally, forgetting about the bloggers has not had a great experience, but one thing for sure is, yes people are very satisfied with the iPhone in general, not O2.

    I agree people do not write up about the good times have as much, mainly because as Irish people we do generally get the raw end of the deal.

    To be honest you are the first person that I, and I would think everybody else, has come across to speak so highly of O2, you positive you dont work for them??? hehe

    BTW its mc a williams just for further reference 😀

  21. Well I actually do in some respects work for all three networks through the odtr and I think theyre not the best thats true but in irish terms comparing to the rest I like them and I have also been with them since the good old esat digifone days!
    I mean when compared to o2 uk or even any of their sister companies they are not so good but in Irish contexts theyre gr8!
    If I had been like MCAWILLIAMS!! I wouldnt be best pleased

    But i need to know whats your next move going to be regarding the iphone??

  22. This gets better.. so you work for the ODTR (who no longer exist)?

    Re: the perceived economics lesson. So we can agree then that economics have nothing to do with the maltreatment, by o2, of their customers (new and existing)? Whether they know they’ll have 4 phones on Tuesday, or none until Friday week, doesn’t give them the right to lie about it, right?

    If the answer is “yes” so far, then what did you mean by point 5 in comment 17, because I took that to be a defence of o2’s actions given they were under strain from lack of supply.

  23. ok ok whats up with ireland. a friend told me about this blog and i actually cant believe my eyes……all of this over a phone. i have an iphone (not the 3g because this one is just the same) and i dont see what the big deal is.

    yes its a great toy but why is everyone getting so worked up over it, with silly digs at each other and so on. im always in the o2 store near bt (because im a pure technofobe) and i find the staff there very helpful even tho iv being in there a million and one times asking the same questions.

    the whole “lie” thing that everyone is getting so worked up about again i dont get. iv realised that people get so worked up about this phone, so did you ever think the staff taught that saying they had none was better than feeling the verbal abuse that they would get by saying we have them but cant sell it. id much rather be told that “lie” than be told that.

    and im sure the staff would love to sell you one, because im only guessing there on commission. i think everyone should just take a breather and just look at themselves. apple have done there job well, they have generated the hype they wanted and all of you have fallen into there hands

  24. @delboy You really should read the post again, it is as much about customer service as it is about “getting a phone’. @ming you really needed to resort to personal abuse did you? Is that because you have nothing constructive to add? Or is it just your answer to everything.

    The owner of the blog had an experience, she wrote about it. It does not imply than from reading one post on a persons blog that you know the details of their life and have a right to tell them to get one.

  25. o2 customer service is grand u my ”friend are pathetic”

    please ban my ip from this so no one in work ends up wasting time on it.


    p.s get a life

  26. i work here ground floor…D.I.T aungier street down from camden street as you can see from your i.p tracker. Would love to see you some time. Im X in Y.

    (Update: Editing out identity details)

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