Update: I’ve cancelled both my O2 accounts

If you’ve been following my dilemma over my mobile phone accounts, you’ll know that last night I was giving substantial thought to whether to deactivate/continue/upgrade the various accounts I have with a number of UK operators.

I was on the O2 website today and a “Can I help?” pop-up box appeared. I decided to give that a go. I asked the person if I could cancel my accounts with them via online chat. I thought I’d need to phone up. However all credit to O2 — their online chat person simply transferred me to “retentions”.

A few sentences later and they’d readily agreed to cancel both my accounts. Job done. They’re deactivated come 22nd of March.

I have to say I’m delighted and rather deflated.

I’m delighted because it was a speedy, simple process and highly convenient. Online chat is simply brilliant because you can get other stuff done whilst they’re busy checking systems.

I’m deflated because, well, that’s it for me and O2. There was no attempt to keep me. But then again, they’ve got nothing I want. Or, rather, nothing I haven’t already got. I was almost persuaded when I found out I was on the “O2 Silver Program”. I didn’t know this. It’s a bit like BA miles. But all you get of value is the ability to upgrade one month earlier. Meh. The other options are tickets for shows (I’ve got a family now, so none of that is relevant) and I could qualify for advertising messages. I’m disappointed to say that this didn’t tempt me.

It could have been so different had I managed to get hold of an iPhone from them a few months ago. Instead I got it from Three.

I think the point that pains me most is that — as far as I can see — there’s nothing the company could offer me from it’s existing stable of products and services that would have persuaded me to retain my accounts.

A new phone? No. I just don’t want the 24-month lock-in any more. I’m fine to be locked-in for 5 years. Being LOCKED IN isn’t the issue. The problem is being tied to hardware that’s out of date in 9 months. (Hence why leasing appealed.)

Yet I don’t need another phone. I don’t need O2 Priority. What else? Not even a “new” iPad is worth a look since it’ll require another 24-month lock-in.

I should point out that I’ve no axe to grind with O2 in particular. These issues apply for me irrespective of the brand.

I accept I’m a bit of an edge case.

What would it take to change my mind? I really don’t know.

Interestingly, the retentions chap I dealt with didn’t want me actually closing my accounts. Instead he suggested I swap to Pay As You Go. So that’s what I’ve ended up doing. It felt easier that way. I wonder if I’d pushed for actual termination if he’d have acted differently. This way, my 2 accounts stay in the O2 customer figures for 6 months until the lines will deactivate themselves (unless I top up).

Tomorrow I’ll do the same with the other operator accounts I’ve still got.

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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