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So long, Vodafone -- and thanks for nothing

For fun, I left the phone connected to see how long Vodafone would keep me on hold for. After 2 hours 17 minutes my battery gave up

I've been a Vodafone customer for years. I first joined around the turn of the Millennium, when I switched over from what was BT Cellnet. Recently though, I've been thinking Vodafone doesn't offer the best value for money and because there were no new phones on its books that I wanted, I decided I'd give SIM-only a try.

After a fruitless negotiation with Vodafone's retentions department I decided O2, the current king of SIM-only, was the way forward (rather ironically, since it used to be Cellnet). My beloved QuidCo was offering £100 if I signed up to a 12-month, SIM-only contract. For a monthly fee of £20, I get something ludicrous like 800 minutes and 1,200 texts with unlimited Internet access -- the most important part for me. It's a deal that Vodafone simply wouldn't match.

I asked Vodafone if I could have a PAC to move my number to O2 -- that's where the fun began. The first request yielded no joy. I was promised a text with the details and a letter in the post -- neither arrived. On the second attempt, I pushed harder, asked for the PAC on a Monday, chased it on Wednesday, and was told it took 48 hours. I politely pointed out they'd had 48 hours and was informed it would be sent on Thursday. I called again on Thursday. It would take 72 hours. Then I kicked up a stink.

I was passed from representative to representative and ultimately put on hold and never reconnected to anyone. In total I was messed about for 40 minutes. For fun, I left the phone connected to see how long I'd be kept on hold for. After 2 hours 17 minutes my battery gave up.

Any doubts I had about leaving Vodafone have gone. I know I've made the right decision. So far, touch wood, O2 has been better in every way. I know there are some problems with its network at the moment, but somehow I get the impression it might have the motivation to fix it.