O2 and Tesco Mobile customers in the Heswall area who have endured poor and even non-existent service for the best part of a year have little hope of it improving in the near future.
Heswall Today is a customer of Tesco Mobile – which uses O2 as its carrier – and has been locked in a frustrating dialogue since April when, having finally reached the tether’s end, the No Service issue was reported.
Since then, Tesco Mobile Customer Service has sent 9 text messages saying the fault remains unfixed – messages which can only be received by standing in the garden with the phone held aloft, or when driving to another area.
Repeatedly it has been claimed that engineers have been investigating, and repeated requests to be told what they have discovered have fallen on stony ground.
This forged the conclusion that these particular engineers have all the reality of the Yeti, Loch Ness monster and small grey aliens, all of whom, despite being mythical, would probably do a better job.
Well meaning but unwanted weekly calls from Tesco have asked if any improvements in the service have been noticed. The fact that Tesco Mobile has to make these calls to Heswall Today’s landline might well be a clue to the answer.
The questions “what is wrong?” and “why should I pay for this?” have been repeatedly batted away, and it has been pointed out that Tesco does not guarantee a fault free service.
It has been pointed out in reply that a service with faults and a service with No Service at all are not really the same thing.
Having formally complained about the sub-standard performance, Heswall Today should have received a written response within 8 weeks. It took 12 weeks to arrive, apologised for any inconvenience but cast no light on the issues at hand. It went on to make “a full and final offer” of alternatives: either a second refund of £18.00 or two weeks’ useage, or the tearing up of contracts in order to pave the way for finding another provider.
There were also contact details of the Ombudsman if it was desired to escalate the complaint.
The letter, which had an unfortunate and slightly threatening tone, was replied to. Again Tesco Mobile was asked why it had not been possible to establish why many of their phones in the Heswall area – particularly Lower Heswall – don’t work too well. The point was also made that the contracts involved were meaningless when poor service was the norm and not some occasional aberation.
The result? Some proximity to the truth has at last been established, but it’s not brought customers any nearer to a solution.
Tesco Mobile has revealed that O2 is aware that parts of Heswall and possibly elsewhere in the area suffer from poor service. Now there’s a surprise.
It seems it has taken around 9 months for this conclusion to be reached (or perhaps it took 10 minutes and then 9 months to find a place where the phone call bearing the bad news from Heswall to O2 HQ could be made).
O2 has also concluded that a new mast is needed, but this is in ‘the planning stage’ and could be up and running by – well, no one seems to know when. It could be this year, next year or, frankly, not at all, given that it is subject to “planning and delivery”.
So it seems clear that customers of Tesco Mobile and O2, as well as other providers like Sky who use O2 as their carrier, and who would like a mobile signal everywhere, need to think about switching.
Many readers have already shared their experiences good and bad of their providers, but it would be helpful if more could use Heswall Today’s Facebook page to share opinions of the quality of service they receive and their locations.