While Ewan is having a nightmare with T-Mobile’s billing system I got a call from O2’s earlier this evening.
This month I completely messed up a bank transfer to my bills account (thanks to the UK’s antique banking system transfers take ages) which meant there wasn’t enough money in there for the O2 payment (cue loads of bank charges and nightmare calls to follow up and make good the payments). Given my previous horrible experience with O2 I really wasn’t looking forward to calling them to get them to re-attempt the payment.
At half past seven this evening a call came in from a short +35 number (not the most ideal caller ID for this service to be honest, but hey) and, when answered, proudly announced that this was “an important call from O2, your airtime provider” (airtime, how quaint!). The system asked me to confirm that I was the account holder and gave me a slight bit of confidence by telling me that my name is Dan Lane.
Once I’d confirmed who I was it reminded me of the exact amount due and that the direct debit had failed. I was then given the option to make a payment instantly using a credit or debit card, make the payment later (I was told that if I chose this option they would send me a text message with instructions on how to make the payment) or speak to a customer service representative. I chose to make the payment instantly using my debit card and after entering all the relevent digits I was sent a text message to confirm payment and asked if I’d like to re-instate the existing direct debit or speak to someone to setup a new one.
I did feel a bit uncomfortable putting my card details into a system that cold-called me but with the few tokens of information it gave me, my name and the exact amount due, I felt reasonably secure that it was a genuine call. I do feel it could have done with a bit more in the way of security confirmation at the cost of usability.
If you followed the debacle that was my inaugural O2 experience you’ll notice that this experience was completely the opposite of that. Well done O2, it was a brilliantly simple bit of IVR magic that completely eliminated the nasty embarrasing “I’m not a deadbeat, honest!” call.