Another fun task associated with moving house (and office) is to (re)set up all your utilities and telephony services. I've been using O2 as my broadband service provider for the past few years, not really out of choice, but more due to the lack of options available in our local area.
As a result of the move, I wanted to investigate broadband options for our new apartment at the same time as retaining our existing account for the old property as relatives live there and rather than signing them up to a new contract it seemed simpler to transfer our existing connection to them.
I called O2 and asked them what are options were, explaining my situation and that ideally I just wanted to change the billing details and name on the existing account but keep the service exactly as it was.
After a quick chat with a polite customer service rep I was told that if we wanted to transfer the account we would have to transfer both the line and the broadband, not just the broadband. I thought this was rather odd, as technically I already had this (as the line is provided by BT and the broadband by O2), thus proving there was no technical reason this couldn't be done. I suspect this has been done as O2 probably earn more money out of offering the line and broadband as a bundle.
After going through some pricing information it turned out by taking the whole package with O2 I would save a few pounds a month over the existing setup. Sounded good I thought. So we proceeded with my order and then finished up the call.
A few minutes later I received a confirmation text saying that an engineer was coming out to the property to install the new line in a few weeks and then after that we'd have a new phone number and broadband and BT would then disconnect the exiting line. Engineer? New line? New phone number? I didn't ask for any of that, I simply wanted to keep everything as is, but have the existing line and service both through O2.
I got back on the phone to O2 to find out what had happened. After speaking to a different customer service representative I was given a conflicting story and told that I could indeed keep the existing line and package and simply change the billing details. Great I thought. So I was put on hold whilst the rep attended to some admin. Upon their return it turned out that we couldn't in fact simply change the billing details and I would have to take the whole package as before. A mix up on O2's end it would seem.
So I explained that we had an existing account and line and simply wanted to O2 to take over the existing service in its entirety. This seemed to go straight over the rep's head as they couldn't understand why I would move house and still retain an existing line. I guess I was an edge case in their business model. You can take your broadband with you, you can sign up to a new account, but you can't simply transfer an account into a different name, pretty ludicrous I thought. So I cancelled the order and told them to just leave it as it was.
A few days later we received a new router and a package to return the old one as well as a letter confirming the new order and date for the engineer to come out and install the new line. Arrrr, obviously another miscommunication between departments. They obviously hadn't cancelled our order.
So back on the phone to O2 to explain the mix up and to double check the new order had been cancelled. Turns out there had been a mistake, our order was cancelled and that was the end of that nasty little fiasco.
Which then brings us onto our second issue. No broadband availability in our new property. I suspect this is due to our postcode being new and their systems not recognising it. Ironically our new property is in a larger town five miles from the small village we used to live in. You would have thought that a town would be more extensively serviced than a village, apparently not according to O2.
So I won't be getting a new broadband service through O2 and I will shortly be cancelling our exiting one on the basis that they are in fact providing us with problems rather than solutions. Another irony is O2 is a technology solutions provider whose own systems aren't flexible enough to cope with edge cases.
As they say in Little Britain: "computer says no".