Carphone Warehouse’s 40 days and 40 nights of pain

A mobile phone is a commodity item. Agree?

You get them in different styles and price ranges but, ultimately, they’re a commodity item.

If you want them replaced when they break or if you lose them, you need to get insurance. Other than that, work on the basis that you need to pony up the cash in any other event.

Here’s some learning in the form of Ed Cave’s experience with his Nokia N82 and a Carphone Warehouse ‘Service’ Centre.

Day one, right?

Carphone Warehouse Repair Centre….. well where do I start, a frustrating experience to say the least.

The problem: I was upgrading the firmware on my Nokia N82 and whilst I went out for lunch the battery died half way through. Stupid silly mistake I know! Knowing there was a Nokia certified Carphone Warehouse repair centre down the road I jumped on the bus and headed down. Second stupid mistake….

These are not Service Centres.  They’re anti-service centres.  Don’t ever take your handset to any of these places unless you want to participate in a saga.

I logged the phone in, the engineer was on holiday that day but was back in the next day and I should have received my phone back that Saturday afternoon. No such luck!

After ringing the store to get a progress report that afternoon I received no answer to my call and decided to leave it til Monday morning.

Role on Sunday morning… 6am my spare phone starts ringing, obviously at that time of the day I ignored the call. Later I pick up my voicemail with an automated call from CW repair centre saying they can not fix my phone and it has been sent to the manufacturer. A hassle and annoying but at least I heard something.

Monday… Tried calling the store to find out how long it would take… No answer even after ringing an 0870 number for 30+ minutes.

That’s you assuming there’s meant to be a ‘service’, Ed.

Tuesday…. Phone still rings out so I decide to visit the store. Up to 14 days I am told. Again my thoughts are this is a hassle and annoying to be without my handset for this long but so be it.

So let’s be clear — that’s two weeks gone?

14 days pass…. No answer on the store’s telephone, visit the store….
“It takes up to 21 days sir, it should be back with us shortly. We will call you when it arrives”

21 days pass… No answer on the store’s telephone, visit the store….
“It takes up to 28 days sir, it should be back with us shortly. We will call you when it arrives”

Inside I am getting more and more annoyed and irritated but think I have spoken to the manager and most contracts, etc., are 28 days so despite being lied to be polite and calm and it will be fine.

28 days later.

28 days pass…. I get excited thinking time to pick up my long lost beloved phone nothing can go wrong now… off to the store I go. How wrong I was!

“Your phone still hasn’t turned up Sir. I cant chase it up as I did not log the repair. Our engineer is back in on (Bank Holiday) Monday. He will contact Nokia and find out where your phone is. I will call you on Monday when we have it in, we WILL have an answer and the matter resolved by then.”

Oh dear me.

After stating it was bank holiday on Monday he reassured me all will be fine so off home I went frustrated and irritated.

Monday….. Phone doesn’t ring….. Thinking that nothing gets done unless I go to the store I will pop down there and see whats what.

“We have emailed Nokia and will get an answer back from them tomorrow as they do not work on bank holidays.”

More lies….

They just can’t be bothered, can they?

Tuesday…. Nobody in store calls me so I decide to visit.

“Good and bad news Sir. Unfortunately Nokia can not fix your handset so they will be sending us a brand new one to give to you. It will be here in 5 working days.”

That’s a bit of a result, eh?  A new handset!

Off I trundle home again thinking at least I get a brand new handset instead of my scratched battered old one.

One week, day number 39, later…. I make my bus journey to the store knowing that no one will bother calling me.

“Good news Sir! Nokia will be sending you a new phone as they cant fix your old one.”

I really don’t know what else to say, I try to reason with him that more must be done to help me get my phone back but it’s like talking to a robot which can’t comprehend and the same jumbled sentences get repeated. Surprise surprise I am told I will have my phone with me in 3-5 working days and they will call me when they have it.

Questioning my sanity and whether this guy thinks I am an idiot I proceed to inform him that this was last weeks “good” news.


So here I am on day 40 still without my phone.

I think irritated and annoyed are the only polite words I can use for this shocking experience. I can honestly say I do not recall one person saying sorry let alone trying to go out of their way to help me. The manager just came out with feeble excuses and was in no way prepared to go out of her way to make sure I received my phone as soon as possible.

She would not even check the deliveries on Friday afternoon and chase up with Nokia if the handset had not arrived and call me to save me my wasted bus journey to the store.

All I can hope is that Nokia remember to send the phone this time I am not in the situation of the poor customer I met on day 28 who was still without her Motorola phone after 3 months and was being made to PAY for a replacement.

I for one will never use Carphone Warehouse again for any service.

Ridiculous, Ed, ridiculous.

I think the fault, alas, is yours — for assuming that they actually specialise in delivering ‘service’ in this context.  Clearly they can’t be bothered.  A warning for every reader:  Either get a new handset there and then or don’t bother.  Blood.  Stone.  Total arse.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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