Phones

Do O2's customer-service woes stem from its recruitment policy?

We recently had cause to consult O2's useless virtual assistant, 'Lucy'. Our insults fell on deaf ears -- instead of getting upset, she offered us a job

Crave can exclusively reveal the malaise at the heart of O2 customer support. The mobile network's problems, we have discovered, stem from a peculiar recruitment policy -- namely offering employment to people who clearly hold it in the highest contempt.

Last week, our O2 data service did yet another disappearing act -- this time for over 24 hours without any explanation. If you've ever called O2 support, you'll be aware it's a painful experience. When we called, we held for 20 minutes, then, when our call was finally answered, we asked where our data had gone. The highly trained customer-service rep told us that our Android-based handset probably doesn't support data, despite the obvious points that a) it does, and b) it had been working just fine on O2's own data service the previous day.

After unexpectedly being cut off by the phone support people, we jumped on the Web site to consult with virtual moron 'Lucy'. Upon asking our rather insulting question, she did the unthinkable -- tried to recruit us to work at O2. It goes without saying that we're considering it, if only to try and work out how much data we're allowed to use on our 'unlimited' tariff.

In the end, we did manage to find out that O2 had suffered a power outage that had affected large parts of West London -- we don't live or work in West London, but it was the best answer we were going to get. Before we could call again, the data came back and we were online once more.