Telcoms, Bah Humbug!

Copy of email sent to O2
I live about a mile from the Sandy Heath radio mast and can see it from my bedroom window. Most if not all telecos have gear installed on it, including EE, my current provider, and O2. Despite that the EE signal often goes off, sometimes for a whole day. So I ordered an O2 PAYG SIM which came today.
I inserted it in the phone, switched it on and… no signal. The instructions say to activate I have to top up, by calling 4444 from the phone. But there’s no signal. There’s also the option to activate online, but do I really want to activate a SIM that doesn’t work and waste a minimum of £10?
So I went to the ‘Contact’ page. No phone number. I mean why would a phone company list a phone contact?
I clicked the contact button and got a message, something like Hang on while we check if there’s an agent free… Obviously there wasn’t because the message stayed there for ever.
I went to the Complaints page and there I found contact number I should try first before making a complaint.
I called and got the usual menu options, but none for Pay As You Go. There was Pay’n’go but I ‘d never heard of that so I ignored it. Eventually someone in the Pay Monthly team told me Pay’n’go was the same as Pay As You Go. He offered to put me through. He couldn’t explain why the phone options are different from the website options.
Long Wait.
Then, ‘The Pay’n’go team need your mobile number.’
‘Haven’t got one because I can’t get a signal therefore can’t authorise the SIM.’
Long wait.
‘Can I have the SIM number?’
It’s printed very small in pale grey for some reason but I read it eventually.
Long wait.
Eventually I get through and tell the guy the problem. He asks for the phone number. I explain. He asks for the SIM number. I read it again. Why is it grey and tiny? There’s plenty of room on the surrounding plastic. He tells me to authorise the SIM. I explain it again.
I ask him to check if there is a signal in my area. He checks. There isn’t.
I ask when it will be restored. He tells me tomorrow ‘evening’. After 11pm. So in effect I can’t use the SIM until Friday.
Is this typical O2 service? Does the Sandy mast fail often? Should I look elsewhere?

Phil Thane

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