Pre-ordering a 3G iPhone through O2 – what a nightmare! – updated

As a lot of you know, I was a happy owner of the first generation iPhone since summer last year and was looking forward to the new 3G iPhone!

Some time ago I “registered” my interest to pre-order the new iPhone from O2 here in the UK, and as rumours predicted it, on Monday morning I received an Email from O2 informing me that I can pre-order the phone at their online shop.
This is where the terrible experience starts!

The O2 online store was unusable! I took me 30 minutes to successfully put through the order! During that process I had to start from scratch several times, re-entering all of the information again and again!

Well, at least I managed to put an order through, which apparently wasn’t the case for many other people, so I kind of thought that I was lucky, but as mentioned, we are not done yet!

Shortly after placing the order, I received the first confirmation Email from O2:

Dear Mr Mike Hellers,

Thanks for placing your new order. We’re just currently processing your request and we’ll be in touch shortly to let you if it’s been accepted and when it will be dispatched.

Yet again, shortly after that, I received the second confirmation Email from O2:

Dear Mr Mike Hellers,

We just want to keep you updated on the progress of your order. Your order has now been passed to our warehouse for processing and we’ll let you know shortly if it’s been confirmed and when you can expect to receive it.

So far everything seems to be working fine, considering the tremendous amount of orders that O2 apparently received that day.

Later on Monday, I received the third update from O2:

Dear Mr Mike Hellers,

Your order is still being processed and, if accepted, should be despatched to you within the next 5 days. Any iPhone 3G orders will be delivered on or after 11th July.

We’ll email or send you an SMS to confirm when your order has been accepted and despatched so that you’ll know when to expect your delivery. You will need to sign for the delivery, but don’t worry if you’re not in, the courier will leave you details to rearrange delivery.

If you selected a chargeable delivery option a refund will be applied automatically to your credit/debit card within the next 10 days.

But, knowing O2, I kind of had my doubts that it would continue as easy, and guess what, I didn’t get disappointed.

On Tuesday evening I received yet another update from O2:

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your recent order with O2.

To process your order we require some additional information from you. It is important that you contact us within 2 working days of receiving this email, or we cannot guarantee delivery within your stated timescales. Therefore please can you contact us on 0870 4444713 between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

We need to check 1 proof of Identity and we need to check your residency. Please have the below with you, when you call. Proofs acceptable to O2 are listed below. Please make sure your proofs are for your address where you have applied for service and are in your name, and that all address details are complete.

This is where the trouble starts! (funny side note: Instead of addressing me using “Mr Mike Hellers”, the Email now simply starts with “Dear Mike”…)

I received the above Email of course after 4.30pm, so no chance in calling them them on Tuesday. I tried reaching them several times today, but it seems impossible to reach somebody at O2 under the mentionned phone number, and there is no other way to contact them!

Instead, they keep on sending me the same Email. I have received it two more times today! Not really funny!

Oh yes, of course, although they claim that these problems are caused by the fact that they have to handle an unprecedented amount of new orders, they obviously have now problem at all to collect the money! Already on Tuesday they cashed in the money from my debit card!
Pretty amazing to consider an order still as being processed, and waiting for additional information (among them a proof of address in the form of a Debit or Credit card), but at the same time they have no issues using the provided debit card information to cash in the money!

I will keep you updated on the progress…not really looking good so far: I am not amused!

After another 45 minutes calling O2 this morning, I was finally able to speak to somebody! And after a very efficient process to verify my address and identity (they were even able to check my identity using my non-UK passport over the phone) I received the confirmation that my order is now complete and they will send the iPhone to my address tomorrow.

We will see if it will actually happen. But things look at least a bit more positive again!

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