[UPDATE: I had to go into an O2 store to get my SIMplicity account upgraded and iPhone purchase. but between Apple and O2 they need to allow existing O2 customers (be it PAYG, month-to-month, contract renewals from another phone) go into an Apple store and get what they need done. Otherwise don't bother advertising the Apple Store as an option since it's just a waste of time for many. ]
I've been waiting to get an iPhone for quite some time now but was stuck in an 18 month 3 contract until just recently. When my contract expired at the end of March 2009 I thought I'd do the good thing and move over to the SIMplicity tariff on O2. Hoping that since I was on O2 it would be easy to move across to the new iPhone when it came out.
Well it's out today and it seems that there was no point in moving to O2 first. I booked a personal shopping session at the Apple Store, Regent Street, for 12 and arrived there a few minutes early. I was taken upstairs and asked to wait while they organised themselves. One interesting thing to note is that the staff have Apple iPod Touches running a custom application listing those that are expected for their sessions. Finally I get called.
The 'personal shopper' asked what iPhone I wanted, to which I replied the 16GB Black. Off he went to get the phone and SIM kit. Managed to grab a thimble of coffee (Starbucks) that they were offering around. The shopper returned and I showed him that I was an existing O2 customer and wanted to retain that number. That's when the fun began...
The look on his face said it all and I knew I'd be in for a fun ride. He mentioned needing a PAC code and people, can we please understand this, a PAC code is for moving between networks. It's not going to work. Off he ran to speak to his supervisor and came back saying that they can only offer new connections - not upgrades - and they'd have to issue me a new number. So what about keeping my old one? Well they don't have permission to do that so I'd be left on my own to beg O2. Oh and they could not advise if there would be any cost associated with it. !^&?!
Not a camper at all ... I asked if he could find out if the nearest O2 shop had stock, they did. Off I ran to the Oxford Street store to be greeted with a queue of 5 people going out the door. The staff were quite friendly and offered us muffins, water and newspapers. Sadly it would take another hour and my lunch break was running short so I had to leave.
Guess I'll have to find an O2 store now (or upgrade online) but I am very disappointed with Apple. I'd have been better staying on 3 and NOT giving O2 money every month and gone to the Apple store with PAC code in hand. Thanks O2 and Apple. Awesome customer service and care.
(On a side note I was all very excited and happy with Apple this morning, they gave me a ring - and followed up with an email - asking what iPhone I wanted as they were running low on the 32GB White's. Thought that was nice customer service but it's since been ruined.)